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!
sweater: c/o romwe
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