An acne update
15th May 2017
It’s been three years since I last wrote a post about my acne, and considering my acne posts are some of my read posts I thought it was worth giving you an update.
So yes, I still have acne. No shock there. I’ve now been suffering with the condition for over a decade.
But I feel like I’m starting to get to grips with it. I’ve started to understand what upsets my skin and what it needs to recover. I’m probably going to jinx it but in the last couple of months or so my skin has been the best it’s been in years, although I’m not completely sure why this is exactly.
I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes recently which I will share with you in this post. As always, I know that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another person, and that what may work for someone for the first couple of months, might not work for them in the future.
Here are two pictures of my skin on a good day versus my skin on a bad day:
Since my last acne post…
Firstly, what has changed since my last acne post?
Well, in my last acne update post I mentioned that I was trying out many different tropical acne treatments prescribed to me by GP, with my favourite being Epiduo. I carried on using Epiduo for a few years but I ran out of it about 12 months ago and haven’t bothered going back to my GP for more.
And quite honestly, I’ve not missed it, hence why I haven’t gone back for more. I’ve discovered better, less toxic ways of helping my skin during a breakout.
I’m still in the progestogen only contraceptive pill because I had such bad side effect from the combined pill (oestrogen and progesterone), and I completely gave up on the Cidal soap because it wasn’t making any difference.
In my last acne post I also talked a little about my skin care routine, and this is something that has changed massively in the last 3 years.
My morning skin care routine…
As I say, my skin care routine has changed a lot over the last couple of years and at the moment I feel it’s the simplest it’s ever been.
In the mornings I just wash my face with water, or wipe it over with a baby wipe, just to create a clean base. Previously I would cleanse and tone in the mornings, but I felt like I was overdoing it so I stopped.
Once my skin is clean I apply my oil-free moisturiser (Neutrogena Visible Clear oil-free moisturiser), and my primer (Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot) if I’m wearing makeup that particular day, but I don’t bother with primer if I’m not wearing makeup, obviously.
I used to have a horrendous habit of not washing my makeup sponges frequently enough, so I invest in loads so that I have no excuse to be using a dirty one to apply my foundation.
Taking off my makeup…
When it comes to the evenings and removing my makeup, I use the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser. I tend to remove my makeup as soon as I get in the house.
If my skin is having a break out, or is particularly oily, I will use the Seaweed Oil Balancing face mask from The Body Shop. Alternatively, if my skin is dry I’ll use either my Santuary Spa exfoliator or my Liz Earle exfoliator.
Right, lets stop here for a second because I need to talk about the Pixi Glow Tonic! Since I’ve started using this there has been a dramatic change in my skin. If I do have a breakout, my spots tend to clear up a lot quicker when I use this toner, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed.
I consider it to be expensive at £18 for a 250ml bottle, but for me it is absolutely worth every penny.
There are so many things other than keep on top of my skin care routine that I do to help with my acne.
Firstly, I try to be cautious about what touches my face, whether that be my hands, makeup sponges, muslin cloths, towels, pillowcases, etc. It is so hard to monitor what comes in to contact with my face, but I try to avoid touching my face as much as possible, and I always carry a little bottle of hand sanitiser with me so I can clean up my hands on the go if they do get dirty.
I also try to think about what I’m putting inside my body; what I’m eating. I’ve started eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking green tea, and taking vitamin supplements, all in hope of helping my skin. I also try to cut out dairy when possible, as this can be a trigger for acne, but this is incredibly difficult for someone who loves cheese as much as I do!
Another slightly weird thing that I think might be helping my acne is swimming. Yep, swimming. I find that the chlorine in the water really dries out my very oily skin which seems to help clear up my acne. I know, this is a strange one! But if it’s helping me then I’m happy!
I feel like I’ve used the word “try” so much in these last few paragraphs, but that’s just it, I’m trying! I don’t know what makes my acne better, and I don’t really know what makes it worst, but I’m experimenting and learning through trial and error.
What’s next for my acne?
I don’t know if I will ever grow out of my acne. Sometimes, when my acne has been under control for a prolonged period of time, like now, I start to wonder if this battle is finally coming to an end. But it’s best not to get my hopes up. I’ve been suffering for over 10 years, and there’s nothing to say it will continue for the next 10 years.
All I can do is continue to learn from it.
I hope that I can get to a stage where I can start looking at ways of improving the appearance of my acne scars, which probably effect my confidence more than the spots themselves, but I don’t want to invest in treating the scars until the acne itself is under control.
I always like to end my acne posts with some advice, so here goes:
- If your acne gets out of control and starts to impact on your mental health (this happened to me) talk to a doctor.
- Ignore the gimmicks. There’s plenty of products on the market that promise to clear up your acne but most of them are bullsh*t.
- Ignore the airbrushed photos of model who look like they have perfect skin. Nobody has perfect skin!
- Try simplifying your skin routine. Go back to basics.
- Try switching up your diet. Take an allergy test to see if you are allergic to anything.
- Stop touching your face!
- Keep persevering. Keep trying new avenues.
Do you have any skin problems? How do you take care of your skin?