I want to talk about my acne story because I discovered a couple of products which have been keeping my breakouts at bay and I’m not particularly sure why… because they’re not products specifically for acne-prone skin. I will be showing you my current skincare routine on Skincare Sunday - you can follow me on BLoglovin' or GFC (sidebar) so you don't miss out! But first things first…
My Acne Story
My story starts when I was about 12 when this little girl turned into a young lady. You know what I’m talking about: the P-words. Puberty and Periods. I tried everything: OTC acne skincare, GP, anti-biotics, contraceptive pill, prescription creams, Proactive, dermatologist, Roaccutane…
• OTC stuff did pretty much nothing.
• The Pill kept the acne from being as bad as it could have been and I’m still on it.
• Prescription creams probably were working but it made my sensitive skin, really dry and irritated and I just wasn’t patient enough to stick with them.
• Proactive actually worked really well on me and got rid of a lot of my acne until it started to irritate my skin. This was when they first started out and didn’t have alternative salicylic acid alternatives to their 3-step BP treatment so instead of using it less frequently e.g. every second day or nights only, I stopped using it all together. More on this later (:
• Dermatologist did nothing until she prescribed me Roaccutane… which did nothing. See below.
• Roaccutane unfortunately did not work for me but I might have jinxed myself by saying that, given my luck, I of course would in the 20% of people for which Roaccutane just does not work. Anyway, jinx or not, it didn’t do anything while I was on it. I simply went from having combo skin to normal skin, lips were a bit dry but nothing some cheapstick couldn’t fix. My skin did not freak out and erupt into cysts as I have heard from some horror stories, which was why I was reluctant to try Roaccutane in the first place. My skin pretty much started getting better from day one and I had perfect skin for the year that I was on the drug.
It all went downhill about six months after I finished the treatment (beg. 2012 – after a decade of acne) and at this stage had pretty much given up and was thinking that I’ll just live with acne for the rest of my life… it’s not going to kill me. I don’t think it was as bad as my teenage years but I always had some of pimple somewhere on my face at any given time.
Last July (2012) I moved to Melbourne for a month. The BF was moving there for work and I thought I’d keep him company for a month because we had free accommodation and I was on my uni break. That month, I broke out the worse I have ever broken out in my entire life… concentrated around the sides of my face but generally everywhere. I blamed it on the diet because we ate out every weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and what happens after you eat out... you have dessert – San Churro, Max Brenner, Coco Black you get the idea. So I didn’t think anything of it and it eventually got better when I went back to Sydney for my final semester and even when I was working full time 10 hour days, studying full time and writing a research paper, I didn’t break out as badly as I did while I was in Melbourne.
Last December, I moved to Melbourne for good… and the nightmare began again. I just started breaking out… everywhere. We weren’t going out every weekend. Sure we cook different food to our parents but if anything, traditional Chinese cooking is way oilier than what we were eating. I cut out meat for a week. We cut out preservatives. I cut out dairy, gluten, soft drinks, sugar… didn’t make an ounce of difference. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the diet (although I still eat as healthy and as balanced as I can). Maybe it was the skincare - I tried natural aka Lush, I tried harsh aka alcohol and acids, even my trusty Phisohex didn’t have a huge effect. Eventually I tried Proactive again because I kept thinking back to how Tiffany D from YouTube loved it for so long and so I thought maybe if I give it another go it’ll work for me again. So off I went to the Proactive counter and picked up the pack for dry skin. If you want to know my Proactive routine, then just leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to let you know how I used the products in my Dry Skin Pack. The routine worked to clear up my wide T-zone acne but I still getting some painful ones on the sides of my face. (I’m not blaming Melbourne but… seems a bit more than coincidental…)
Eventually I figured out they were hormonal/cystic/stress/diet related. I was already drinking lots of water, cutting out sugar, eating less meat, dairy etc. and I wasn’t about to start hormone therapy... so again, I was at a loss. Then one day, something clicked and I just thought, I think it’s about time I started being nice to my skin for a change. Keep it simple, keep it consistent, keep it gentle. So after a lot of research, this is the routine that has been working for me for the past month, morning and night without fail (I think when you start seeing results, you just don’t ever want to break the trend no matter how tired you are) and I’ve had three pimples in that time. (That’s crazy! I usually get three a day…)
Current update: although I don't have any active pimples (at the moment) I am still left with a scarred face. I have acne scarring in both texture and colour, redness, huge pores, blackheads, whiteheads and blocked pores when I slack off on the exfoliation, but that's the least of my worries since Winter has so kindly crept up on Melbourne, I now have seriously dehydrated, scaly, irritated, peeling skin. It's just all fun and games for me. lol. I'm definitely finding the Melbourne Winter much colder and dryer than in Sydney, however I already knew that when I came down last year and had to suffer the worst (cystic) acne while having super dry, itchy, red, irritated skin. ... I seem to also be developing some kind of stress rash on my forehead and eyebrows (of all places) that just seems to itch.
I know I've been talking a lot about skincare lately but that's because it's the only thing that's been plaguing my mind since I moved to Melbourne at the beginning of the year. I haven't bought any makeup since the Priceline 40% OFF sale and even when I do buy makeup, I don't get super excited anymore because I know that it'll look like crap if my skin underneath is all ... eurgh. So, now you've read all my woes, let me know yours! What keeps you up at night? And if you have none, well let me know too so I can envy you haha. Share your happy life tips and spread the joy! (no really, I need some tips to reduce stress - but I think that's a topic for another TalkBack Thursday...)
Want to know what has been keeping my skin clear for the past month? Stay tuned for Skincare Sunday!
TalkBack Thursday is a weekly blogpost series where I pick a topic of discussion that I may have some queries about and hopefully you'll join in the conversation and TALK BACK AT ME (:
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