Growing up, I never had a smooth, soft, and clear skin. Here and there I always had breakouts – small pubic pimples generally. One of the many teenage memories is me always hiding my pimples with hair or makeup. It wasn’t that bad though, at least I wasn’t realizing it.
I was not realizing it until I moved to Germany. New country, living in a close-minded community, new language, new school, first painful breakup after a few-years relationship. It was a stressful time, yet I did not feel it. My hormones started running up and down, and clearly that had repercussions on how I was feeling. More precisely: +10 extra kilos, massive acne, anxiousness, and unhappiness.
I won’t go too much into this sad story, yet I have been fighting acne since then, for quite some years now. I had better and worse times, and now it seems it has stabilized a little. During these years I tried dozens of various products and methods. Here I will share with you the ideas that paid off well and the ideas which were terrible.
My before & after (3 years ago & yesterday):
Create my own treatment & skip cosmetologist visits
Acne is a health problem, and most of the time its trigger is hidden inside. It can be a hormonal disbalance, stomach problems, lack of vitamins, or intolerance towards certain products. There are dozens of possible problems and only a doctor (or several specialists) can tell you what the reason is. Living in a new country, it was hard to find good specialists, so I was playing with diagnoses myself. I was never taking any oral medicaments (besides contraceptives), yet I experimented a lot with different treatments, skincare products, peelings, etc.
My biggest recommendation to the ones who suffer from acne (especially the severe one) is to always visit a specialist, preferably a verifies one. After a bunch of tests, you and your doctor will be able to define the reason or a combination of reasons for your case. Consequently, you will be able to set a treatment plan.
Squeeze the pimples on my own
If you have acne, you know this feeling of discomfort, shame, desire to hide your face, and certain anxiousness. Especially, when your breakouts have developed those yellow heads and are ready to pop. The worst thing you can do in this case is to touch your face. You most likely don’t know how to do it correctly and you have a chance to either infect the pimple or to damage your skin, which will extremely increase the healing time. At the same time, the infection might spread across your face, which will cause more breakouts to appear.
Never touch your acne skin yourself, rather find a good cosmetologist, who will professionally clean your skin.
Use various acids at the same time
Storytime: Once I burned my face. This happened right before New Year's Eve, and I welcomed 2019 with skin pieces falling off my face.
Advice: Don’t use heavy acids without consulting a specialist. Furthermore, don’t mix the acids, you are most likely not aware of chemical reactions that will happen when mixing them. It is quite dangerous, so don’t risk doing it on your own.
Not washing my brushes regularly
Makeup brushes collect a lot of microbes on their surface. When you have acne, your skin is very fragile and vulnerable. The breakouts are many times open and applying your makeup with used brushes will infect them and will make the condition worse. Try to wash your makeup brushes every day or avoid using them at all (same as makeup to be honest).
Use cheap products
Cheap makeup & skincare brands many times contain ingredients that are not so good for your skin, whenever it’s short or long term. During acne, I would strongly recommend using natural, organic, and/or pharmaceutical brands/products. They contain mild chemicals or only natural ingredients, which is even better. I gave preference to La Roche Posay, The Ordinary, and Ce RaVe.
Listen to bloggers’ advice
While you’re treating acne, never rely on the advice of your friends or bloggers (especially). First, what works for them might do your situation worse. The reasons for this are different skin types, different acne causes, etc. Second, many bloggers are getting paid to talk about certain products (acne products are promoted a lot). You may be desperate to fix your skin and I can relate to this feeling. Yet, at times those bloggers don’t even test it out and recommend it to you purely because they are getting paid.
This will probably be the fifth time I’m mentioning this, yet – always contact a specialist when in doubt. Acne is a serious health problem, therefore don’t play with self-treatments and experiments.
Find the cause
Here we go again, the most important step in treating acne is finding the reason, which is generally hidden inside. I had many cosmetologist visits, I visited several doctors, and heard many different diagnoses. Lately, I discovered, that my cause is my stomach and negative dietary reactions. I started taking daily probiotics and the number of breakouts has decreased by a lot.
Read good literature
It is a good idea to read about acne and various causes. As it is a big part of your life, you need to be aware of what the problem is, how it develops, how it reacts to various treatments, and how to take care of it. Yet, it is extremely important to choose good sources – scientific magazines, medical publications, and other trusted sources. You will probably read a lot of articles on acne in modern magazines and blogs, but it is important to know that these are unique opinions and experiences, which rarely contain scientific proof.
Clean my skin well
Honestly, even a year ago I was using one cleansing foam for my face in the morning and at night. I used it for both washing off my makeup and consequently cleaning my face. The terrible idea with acne, as some of my makeup would remain on my face, and I did not even realize it.
Currently, my cleansing routine consists of a few steps:
Daily: Cleansing gel in the morning; Wet wipes for removing my makeup & cleansing get at night. It is extremely important to use a separate product for removing your makeup, and then wash it off with a cleansing product.
Weekly: Occasionally I use my Foreo Luna Mini and various organic cleansing masks.
Use the minimum of skincare products that work
I don’t want to overwhelm my weak skin with a bunch of various products. Currently, I’m moisturizing my skin and supporting it with only 4 daily products (excluding cleansing). In the morning I use The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ce RaVe Moisturizing Cream. At night, I use retinol, and the same moisturizer a few minutes later. I also find very good the products of Kate Somerville, take a read here for the review.
I believe taking vitamins and supplements is crucial for our current lifestyles. I take several different vitamins and supplements, often switching them around and taking in different months, as I don’t like taking a bunch of supplements at the same time.
Currently, I’m taking Omega 3, Magnesium + B6, Daily Probiotics, and Vitamin D3. These are the basics, yet if you want to explore this area, consult a specialist.
I hope you enjoyed this article! This is my personal experience, and I hope your experience was more pleasant. ? If I missed something, feel free to add more Do’s and Don’ts in the comments. As well, if you want to talk personally, feel free to message me here at Fashion Potluck.