First, I'd like to say, that if you're here and you're struggling with acne..I GET YOU. Acne is such a personal battle to fight, and people only make it worse when they have "suggestions" about how you can cure it.
"Have you tried drinking more water?" "What about tea tree oil? I've heard that helps." "Or what about African Black Soap? It's supposed to work miracles!"
So. Many. Suggestions. It's exhausting.
I think the thing that separates me from a lot of people who "cured their acne", is that I didn't start out already having, basically perfect skin. I've seen YouTube and Facebook videos of people talking about their skincare routine who have never had hormonal or cystic acne a day in their life. But that is not the case for me.
I have always had insanely sensitive skin.
When I was younger, my parents had to bathe me in special ointment given to them by my pediatrician because my body would break out in bumps in an allergic reaction to the shower water. Yeah. I was born a princess.
I would get random rashes on my skin periodically and struggled heavily with eczema and excessive itching and scratching on my arms and legs. Calm and peaceful skin has never been something I'm used to.
I have spent years trying to figure out what my triggers are, and what products work best for my incredibly sensitive skin.
When I started college, things went haywire. All of a sudden I was breaking out ferociously on my cheeks. I'd never had this problem before. In high school majority of my acne popped up on my forehead and t-zone like most high schoolers. But now, I was battling large and painful bumps all over my cheeks. I had no idea what to do.
I went on an oral medication (I can't remember the name) as well as started using Retin-A and Differin. And it worked. Temporarily.
By the time I graduated college, the acne was back with a vengeance. Yet again, big, painful bumps invaded my face and this time any product I tried to use dried out my skin SO tremendously, my forehead was now cracking. This is no joke people.
It was one of the most depressing times of my life.
I started doing research on what could be done to help. What natural tactics could I use to fight this. And I kept coming across the same answer: gut health. Everywhere I read, said that improving your gut health would improve your skin. So, with my printed articles in hand, I went to the health food store and got to work.
I picked up probiotics, pre-biotics, kombucha,and ANYTHING ELSE I thought would help.
Within a year, my skin was brand new.
Of course, with the help of new products, a BRAND NEW ROUTINE, and consistency, I finally achieved the skin I had always dreamed of.
Here are the things that saved my skin:
1) PROBIOTICS Gut health and the knowledge that every ailment, disease or cancer starts in the gut helped me realize how important it is to keep it healthy. Through drinking kombucha and taking a daily probiotic, I was able to heal my gut and stop the gunk from lingering in there for too long.
2) DISTILLED WATER This may not be necessary for everyone, but when doing my research, I learned that many French women only wash their faces with bottled water. It may sound wasteful, but it's actually more environmentally friendly because you're not letting the water just run and run and run while you wash your face. Distilled water is the steam that is extracted from boiling water and put into a bottle. It is very helpful for people with sensitive skin who react negatively to all the minerals and fluoride that they put in our tap water.
3) OIL WIPES I didn't realize how oily my skin was getting overnight, until I started using an oil wipe first thing in the morning. Wiping off the oil stopped my skin from breaking out overnight. I know many people will argue that your natural oils are *actually good* for you, and maybe they are for some, but I had an excessive amount of oil that was actually clogging my pores and making it impossible for me not to break out.
4) WRAPPING MY HAIR AT NIGHT I started wrapping my hair at night consistently because it occurred to me that there was a good chance the oil from my hair was transferring to my skin. I wrapped my hair with a cute, little grandma bonnet (as my boyfriend calls it) so that any dirt and oil from my hair, wouldn't get onto my face. I also changed my pillowcase every other night to prevent the same problem of leftover dirt from the previous night rubbing all into my face the following night.
5) NO SUGAR ALCOHOL OR DAIRY This has to be the biggest and hardest one. And is something I still struggle with as I am a charcuterie board QUEEN and I love sour cream on pretty much anything I can get it on. But sugar and dairy are HUGE triggers for me. And when I say sugar, I don't just mean cake and candy. Sugar is in literally everything. Next time you're at the grocery store, check the ingredients of the products you've picked up and I guarantee there's sugar in almost all of them. Even in things that don't need it or you wouldn't think have it. Sugar is my biggest trigger, with alcohol and dairy following right behind.
6) OIL FREE MOISTURIZER AND DAILY SPF 50 Again, I try to stay away from products that have oil because our skin creates oil naturally. I don't leave my house without putting on my SPF 30 or 50 (depends on the day) Oil Free Moisturizer. I love the one by CeraVe and also enjoy the one by Mario Badescu. Sunscreen is SO important for healthy skin, so putting it on daily, even if you have darker skin and think you don't have to, is imperative.
7) NECESSARY FACE MASKS I started using face masks that were actually going to do what I wanted to do. It was no longer about the luxury of using a face mask, but I really wanted to know which ones would do something beneficial. I started using detox face masks and face masks for skin brightening and they helped tremendously.
8) PROFESSIONAL GRADE FACIALS I have now incorporated going to a get a facial at least once a month. A GOOD esthetician is hard to find, but when you find one, hold on to them and never let go. My esthetician Tess works wonders for my skin and keeps me looking bright for months to come. Now, of course, this is a luxury and you can definitely do your own facial at home. Through the use of facial steamers, rose quartz rollers and your favorite products, you can give yourself your own facial at half the price. I just love my esthetician and she and I are cool now lol.
If you're struggling with acne, know that you're not alone. I know how hard it is, and I know how painful it can be- literally and figuratively. Try implementing these tips and let me know if they work for you!
You can also check out my YouTube video that I filmed last year about how I cleared my skin linked below.
If you've made it this far down into this blog post, you are my new best friend haha <3 Also, if you'd like me to do a separate post about my skincare PRODUCTS, let me know!