18.1.13

My Skincare Routine. Battling Hormonal Acne Breakouts.


Up until a few months ago, the past year and a half had been a headache for my skin. My face was greeted with a lovely dose of hormonal acne and it was the absolute worst it's ever been in my entire life. I'm sure if you look back on my photos you would think that I am making this up. The power of Photoshop, my friends!

This all happened a couple of months after I went off my birth control pill. Horrible skin was not something I was expecting to happen, and definitely not something that I was warned about. I almost wished that I had never gone on the pill at all... That's honestly how frustrated I was with what was happening to my face. A quick Google search for "acne after birth control" immediately confirmed that I wasn't alone and that this was actually a huge issue! Who knew? The worst part was, I couldn't find a damn thing about how to cure it.

I never had what I would consider "acne" even before the pill. Sure, I had random spot breakouts occasionally, but never anything like this. I tried everything from different face cleansers, treatments, and moisturizers to changing up my diet and introducing vitamins and omegas. I even skipped on makeup for a while.  I felt ugly and gross.  I tried expensive products and ones that had great reviews. NOTHING WORKED.  Until now.

The past few months or so I've been continuing the same skin routine and have noticed a huge difference. I'm no longer having a lovely stay in breakout city, thank you very much. My skin has been clear and I'd even say (knock on wood) that my issues have ended completely... Besides the occasional random spot.

The products I am now using continuously were not new products to me. I found that they didn't work for me while I was on the pill... In fact they had adverse effects. Which is why it took me so long to try them out again. I didn't realize at the time that what used to cause me problems could have totally different effects due to that change in my hormones.


Here's what I've been using:

Clarisonic Mia - even before these issues, this thing has been my saviour!  In case you haven't heard of this, it's a sonic frequency device that vibrates (like a tooth brush) to clean our your pores. Whenever I don't use it my skin just doesn't feel as clean. Seriously, if you don't have one of these, regardless of it you have acne or not, you are missing out.

Aveno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser - What?! A drug store product?!  I decided to try this out again after my regular (i.e. no longer working) cleanser ran out. I had a spare bottle in my cupboard and it had proved to be just the ticket I needed. While on this not-so-fun journey, I discovered that oils in my products were causing more harm than good. I eliminated all oils, and this product is oil free. It's a Salicylic Acid based product, as opposed to a Benzoyl Peroxide one, as I found those too harsh and drying.

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant - Also something that was sitting in my cupboard. I tried it a long time ago and absolutely hated it. I think I even left a bad review on the store's website (oops!). Since my body is different now, however, I'm in love and I do think it has been helping to keep me clear.  You apply this product to your skin after it's cleaned and it helps to really get in there and get rid of excess dirt and prevent blackheads. I specifically use this on my cheeks, where the majority of my breakouts were happening. It's another Salicylic Acid product, which I believe to be the main "cure" for my problems.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture - For sensitive skin, this is great. Has SPFs too. I use this very sparingly only on the areas of my face that tend to dry out. A lot of moisturizers tend to cause me to flare up but this one has been gentle and decent.

Bedtime For Breakouts by Dermatologica -  A spot treatment that I decided to try out after reading tons of good reviews about it. I wouldn't call it a miracle product, but I do think it helps clear up those random spots quickly.

I wash my face in the morning and at night and use the products in this order. I don't change anything or add different products, as I know is a popular way of doing things for some.

The Bedtime spot treatment only gets used at night if I need it, which hasn't been very often, thank goodness!

I have no idea if this information will help somebody else, and I understand that I am not a professional in this area, and that everybody has different skin which requires different needs, but I am happy to have finally found a routine that actually works for me.  Just look at these photos, no Photoshop needed ;)

In case you wanted to see the disgusting makeup-free before photos, this is what my skin looked like at one point about a year ago. This was the worst it's ever been in my entire lifetime, and this was while I was using the same products I had used for probably about six years (thanks, ever-changing girl body! ugh):


Gross, right? I can't believe that was even me. Sayonara ugly skin!

xo, Dana

sweater: c/o romwe

41 comments:

  1. great post! so helpful! <3


    http://stylingbyjong.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. I have struggled with bad skin for years, finally Accutane was the only solution!

    Silver Wishbone

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  3. Thank you so much for this post! I'm going to have to try those things out because my poor skin is terrible, and I really think it is the hormonal breakouts. It's always my cheeks too!

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  4. I'm glad you found the right combo for you! I've been off the pill for almost 3 years now & still haven't found what works wonders for me.

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  5. This totally happened to me after I came back to the states from living overseas. The changes in stress/diet totally wrecked my skin for at least 6 months. It was crazy. And I had maybe, 4 pimples before that in my entire life! Aveeno products, lots of moisturizer, water, and apple cider vinegar were my saving grace! xoxo

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  6. Thanks for sharing this! I can completely relate. I just switched birth control pills about a month ago (got off of Yaz which I had been taking for 4 years) and my skin has never been oilier! No matter what I do it is an oil-slick a few hours after applying my makeup. It's immensely frustrating but it feels good to know that I'm not the only one with this issue!

    Also, do you know if it just takes time for your hormones and skin to readjust? I'm just hoping this isn't a very long-term thing...

    xx Louise
    A Little Beauty Luxury

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    Replies
    1. Ohh I've heard a lot of bad things about side effects from Yaz in particular :(

      Your hormones will readjust and get on track but I have no idea how long it takes. I think it depends on how long you were on the pill too. I was on it for like 10+ years which is a pretty long time. All of the forum posts and stuff I've read from other girls with this problem are all different. Some are fine within a few months, others have been having issues for YEARS. So I'm not sure there is a way to know for sure :\

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  7. it seems to be skin condition confession time - also read a very helpful post from jenna at paleo life!

    I did experience the same thing after going off the pill and so far I couldn´t find a way that works. i read a lot about the oil cleansing method and I was also thinking about the clarisonic.... also I do think that diet plays a big role in this whole issue, don´t you think?!

    happy friday!

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    Replies
    1. I always think diet plays a role in everything, so yes! However, for me at least, my diet wasn't terrible, but I tried changing it up a bit and even following this diet called the Luteal Phase diet which is basically changing what you eat around your menstrual cycle. Still didn't work for me. I also looked into the oil cleansing method, but i couldn't get the courage to do it because I kept finding oils were terrible on my skin!

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  8. Thanks for sharing this! I have wanted a clarisonic mia forever....I think you have finally convinced me. My skin has always been so-so. For years (around my early 20s) it was great and I was on birth control....once I went off that, my skin is like a 15 year old's. I hate it and am always breaking out. I find that a lot of my breakouts depend on what I eat. When I eat a healthy, plant based diet, I break out far less. When I eat my (preferred :)) diet of pizza, burgers, and ice cream I break out all the time.

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  9. That brush looks amazing. I went and looked into it a bit.
    But, currently, there is no way I could afford to spend that much.
    Maybe someday.

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    Replies
    1. I felt that way too, but it was seriously worth the investment!

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  10. Curious! I've been reading more and more about the pill lately and how bad it actually is for you - in terms of just messing up your hormones and whatnot.

    I've been on the pill for what seems like forever now, so I'm wondering if you experienced other symptoms going off of it? Rather personal question I know... but other than your skin issues, did you feel better? worse? (Will my boobs shrink back down to their original size before the pill? Because that would be nice.)

    That last question was just to make you laugh :) But seriously, lemme knowww! xo

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    Replies
    1. hahaha, I didn't really have any other symptoms. The reason I went on it in the first place was because of cramps, and I haven't had any abnormal things happen to me in that area. Everything has pretty much stayed the same, besides the fact that that 'time of month' seems to last a little longer now. I actually feel like I lost weight though. I know I definitely lost 10 lbs but I'm not sure if that was due to the pill or not? boobs are the same though hahaha.

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  11. Thank you for such a useful and helpful post.

    x
    www.anowlinabowl.blogspot.com

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  12. I've contemplated purchasing a clarisonic for quite sometime, but everyone raves about them so I might make that plunge! I do love that Aveeno Cleanser! I've used up a couple of bottles! Great post!
    xx
    The Introverted Brunette

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  13. It's amazing !
    New post on http://everydayalook.blogspot.fr/
    Emy

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  14. I'm fortunate enough to have never really had any problems with my skin (touch wood), but my little sister who is in her teens does struggle with spots bless her. This is a great post Dana, so informative :) I'll have to show my sister! xx

    seeking--serendipity.blogspot.com

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  15. I had the same problem when I went off birth control--but my zits were all over my back! Ugh! I even went to a skin doctor (who was not helpful), then finally realized it was from going off the pill. I use the Aveeno foaming cleanser on my face--love that stuff. I just started buying the daily moisturizer with spf--so far, so good! B.C. pills should come with a warning about the zit explosion when you stop taking them!

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  16. Love da Clarisonic whoot whoot!
    Katie
    Www.trixiegirlaccessories.blogspot.com

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  17. i experienced a bit of adult acne recently, and despite what some may say about proactive being too strong, it worked for me! with everything, though, consistency is key! i hear lots of good things about that clairsonic!

    rockoomph.blogspot.com

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  18. This is a very helpful post and routine. How about helping the mySkin community by plugging your skincare routine on mySkin.com?

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  19. I'd love to try Clarisonic!
    love Coco

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  20. I'm always curious what other's solutions are to clear skin because I have yet to find mine. I have hormonal breakouts on my chin, which unfortunately, have lead to scarring. So now I'm falling for all these "dark spot corrector" gimmicks that just don't work. Rah!

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  21. Actually this breakout you had doesnt look very bad. I had a very bad acne and took antibiotica because of this and when my skin looked like yours in your worst time I were happy that it looked sooo good :D

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    Replies
    1. I know it's not the worst ever, but for me it definitely was. I never experienced anything like that before and definitely was not expecting it!! I'm sorry to hear about your skin issues :(

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    2. No problem!
      I can understand, that it must be difficult to have this, when you didn't expect it.
      Now I have clear skin and I'm also very happy, that I beat the acne :)

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  22. I;ve been meaning to try the Aveeno Cleanser - It's so annoying with so many breakouts. Great post!

    xx
    Anna

    modestelle.blogspot.com

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  23. hello Dana,
    Great post...but a bit suprised. Why? Because all the products you listed are not that gentle as they should be. Just check on the product composition and you will see why.

    Skins prone to breakouts need very delicate cleansers (that do not strip off natural oils of the skin) and moisturisers that actually moisturise rather than drying.

    Often, the big beauty brands use a lot of marketing claims..and those are not always accurate.....so I always check up the composition of the products and often choose for organic beauty products.

    For more info, you can visit my blog. I give a lot of advices and always review beauty products in a very "fair" way (I hope !). I tend to explain why a beauty product can be good or less beneficial for the skin.

    www.mademoisellenature.blogspot.com

    Hope that helps!

    Loving your blog by the way!

    have a great day.
    xx
    Melle nature

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    Replies
    1. Oh believe me, I went the route of examining all of the ingredients and trying stuff that was said to have been "better" for my skin. I had a list of ingredients to avoid that I would take with me to look at products. The last thing unexpected was some drugstore brand that was sittin gin my cupboard to work, but that's what did! This combination actually has been working for me and my naturally oily skin. I'm not about to go and switch things up again. ;)

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  24. For me, chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid have also been the way forward! Although I've found the most effective for my skin is azelaic acid (in e.g. Dr Debagh deep exfoliating mask). It really sucks the dirt out of the enlarged pores around my nose, where I have most of my breakouts. I thought I'd be over this by this point in life...

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  25. Wow, that's awesome. Your skin looks amazing now! I might have to try some of these out...

    http://apinksunset.com

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  26. The Aveeno cleanser is amazing! Although I'm not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but the pump action stops working after a few pumps?....And I have to manually "un-pump" the pump to be able to use it again. Quite tedious.

    http://jemaroons.blogspot.ca/

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  27. I am experiencing the same thing! I wish I never stopped taking the pill simply because of the breakouts afterward. So frustrating! I've been seeing an aestetician (gah I don't know how to spell it!) over the past six months getting intense facials and infusion treatments and have seen a great improvement. Now it's just a matter of clearing up some of the leftover scars that decided to stay. Any tips on those? Good luck with yours and so happy that you are feeling better about your skin!

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  28. Good to see someone else posting about this, I do love my clarisonic too. My acne got so bad I am now taking roaccutane (or accutane in the USA). I have been on it for a few months now and documenting it on my blog. I also like the aveeno products and use some of these. I like the body shop products too as they are so gentle. I am glad yours has cleared up, wish me luck that I will soon have clear skin for the first time ever. You look great and I am constantly reading your blog, big fan.xxx

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  29. Great post :) xxx

    http://jeminixlife.blogspot.com

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  30. Weirdly enough, I got on the pill when I was younger mainly to clear acne cause by the hormonal changes that came with adolescence!

    But I love that you posted about this. Reading blogs and seeing everyone's pretty pictures always gave me this impression that everyone else can keep their skin from breaking out! This post only goes to show how human even some of the prettiest bloggers really are :)

    Denise || http://www.ispasiyo.com/

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  31. I have been afraid to go on birth control for this very reason! ( a bad one I know). I have always had a clear face unless I leave my makeup on, and I have seen the horrors my sister and brother have had.

    Sarah=)

    www.etsy.com/shop/owleyevintage

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  32. I get break outs too due to hormones - though regardless of whether I'm on birth control or not - and I'm in my late 30s. I use St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub Daily and a benzoyl peroxide acne cream on any blemishes as they arise. I mostly have my chin break out - though sometimes it's my entire t-zone. I have an IUD and so the breakouts aren't nearly as bad as when I was on the pill.

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  33. I really want to try the clairsonic - I just need to find one that is available in Australia! I have always had skin problems. I found an amazing doctor who helped me. At the moment I am a long course of antibiotics for my skin, however I know I can't keep them up forever. Will try your tips:)
    xo Emily @ Hungry Delights

    ReplyDelete

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