Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How i got rid of my acne. Medications, skin care products, and even a before and after!


So, I decided to do this post because of how much my skin has improved.  I've tried everything for 2 years now, and nothing has worked, my skin has only maintained it's constant breakout- or gotten worse with everything I did.  It got to the point, where I NEVER thought i'd wake up to see a glowing face in the mirror.  I got so used to the spots, and really felt there was no hope.  Only I was wrong.. Because (other than the few occasional pimples) my skin is clear, it actually glows. (Still not as perfect as J.Lo's but we're getting there haha!) 
In Highschool I wasn't someone who had acne, I had an occasional pimple and that was it.  A lot of my friends did have actual "acne" and I never thought I was going to be a candidate.  Only I was wrong, When i turned 19 I all of a sudden started flaring up everywhere.. I hated it.  It was like I went to sleep with glowing, pure, clear, and overall even skin and woke up to a completely different face.  Not only did I get blackheads I also got big problem spots.  All I could see when I looked in the mirror was pure RED.. Yes, seeing red (haha).  I did everything I could.  I've tried numerous skincare products and routines and given them time to take effect, I saw numerous dermatologists, TRIED PROACTIV, I went to every blog and skin care site that existed in hopes of finding that "secret"... and before I knew it the acne was there, and there to stay FOREVER (so i thought).  There were a few months that my skin got better, then it would go right back to the way it was. I literally felt COMPLETELY hopeless.
Well, I just turned 22 on April 27th, and I can proudly say that 3 years later I finally got it to go away.  I've always taken good care of my skin and done what i was instructed to do by dermatologists (and a lot of them).  Now I know a lot more goes into your skin besides the cleaning routine.  Eating, stress levels, and our overall health DOES come into play.  I have combination skin, I don't consider it to be dry or oily, It's literally both not to the extreme of either/or.   
So finally,
I was at my doctor office, I brought my skin up and explained that I had tried everything I thought possible and how depressing it was --  it was out of my reach.  My doctor (or lifesaver? lol) recommended I try birth control because of horomones.  She really put a lot of thought into which would help most with my skin-- there are so many birth controls with different strengths and different benefits.  I tried it out and a month later all my inflammation was gone and I wasn't having the problem spots and areas that I was before. Although it fixed mostly everything, my skin still wasn't as clear as possible, so she recommended I add an antibiotic on top of the birth control. An antibiotic helps with bacteria build up, and some people say it's stupid-- but it's not because it's helped.  The antibiotic she thought was best for me is Minocyclin, but there are many other antibiotics that may be better suiting for you.  The combination of the antibiotics and birth control have seriously helped more then anything I could've dreamt of.  Inflammation and redness was one of my biggest concerns and what drew the most attention to my acne.  Although some of the redness is still there because it's somewhat scarring, it will continue to fade away.  I finally got a skincare routine that works for me and I love it.  

So here's the breakdown:

Everybody has different skin types and different needs in their skincare products.  These are what have worked for me and they are dermatologist recommended.  I do suggest these for anyone (acne, or not) because they are tested by dermatologists and great for problem skin.
Products i use:
* Cera Ve hydrating cleanser
* Cera Ve foaming cleanser
* CeraVe moisturizing lotion
* Dickinsons witch hazel
* Neutrogena microdermabrasion system (if you can't afford this, try a good exfoliator.)
* St. Ives apricot scrub (I don't use anymore thanks to my dermabrasion system)
* Ponds original all day clean with vitamin E wet cleansing towelettes.

In the morning, I use CeraVe's hydrating cleanser i was thoroughly with warm water.  Then i use my witch hazel on a cotton ball and gently rub it over my face after I cleanse because my pores are open and my face is warm and fresh.  Some days if i feel i need it, i'll use my moisturizer.
At night I use a face wipe by Pond's to remove excess makeup, then with warm water i wash my face with CeraVe's foaming cleanser.  I use the foaming cleanser at night only because it tends to dry out my skin when i use it twice daily.  I like the foaming at night because it really gets makeup off a lot more efficiently.  I then use my witch hazel on a cotton ball to remove anything else that could possibly be left over, followed by the CeraVe moisturizing lotion.  
Every other day (or about 3x a week) I'll cleanse my face once a day with the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion system.  I love it because it really gets into your skin and pores and removes excess left overs as well as really exfoliating and smoothing your skin.
Ocassionally, (Usually every Sunday) I'll use a face mask.  I love the Mint julep mask by Queen Helene's.  I also love proactiv's face mask for all over, but it's super excellent as a spot treatment.  Last but not least, i love love love love Olay's mask.  
For spot treatment, again I love Proactiv's refining mask.  I also use Clindamycin which is prescription (see your doctor or dermatologist) it's great for spot treatment and works hard to dry out any stubborn pimples.  Really any spot treatment that has benzoyl peroxide should help.  Toothpaste is a "always around the house" remedy that works as well!

If your cleaning your skin like you should and there's no improvement it's time to turn to a dermatologist and sometimes your regular doctor can even help.  You MUST take your medicine as instructed or it'll never have the ability to work.. again, I preach.. Take your meds correctly.
I take:
* Birth control (make sure to really talk to your doctor and let them know what your looking for out of birth control, Skin improvement being one of them.  Make sure your doctor puts thought into what strength is best for you.)  I take Nortrel 7-7-7-28 (sounds CRAZY right?) My doctor recommended this one for me in particular because I was fearing weight gain and really really seeking skin improvement.
* Antibiotic (There are so many, talk to your doctor about chosing the best kind and mg per day to best suit you).  Again, I take Minocyclin, but you could very easily need one of the other kinds)

*Diet- eat fresh and healthy.  Eating fast food and greasy stuff isn't going to help.  Spicy foods are also known to cause breakouts.
*Drink lots of water
*Horomones (The birth control will help balance these out)
*Get plenty of sleep
*Stay away from drinking large amounts of alcohol or consuming drugs
*Make sure your makeup isn't causing breakouts, sometimes certain formulas don't 

* Cetaphil face washes
* Purpose cleansing gel (or bar)
* Clean and clear 
* Neutrogena oil free acne wash (orange formula in a clear bottle)
* Neutrogena oil free making removing cleanser
* Clearasil daily face wash
* Toners and moisturizers are always safe when made by CeraVe, Cetaphil, and Neutrogena.  I believe every skin type is different and everyone will have their own preference.

BEFORE (19 years old, see the redness!)
BEFORE (This was about 6 months ago) 

BEFORE (this was about 8 months ago, look at the inflammation!)

AFTER (22 years old)
~ Feel free to ask me any questions ~
Live laugh love, clear skin is in!
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  1. Excellent information provide for us.....................
    Acne Skin Care Products

    1. I did provide you with the acne skin care.. I actually recommend you get it at ULTA or a drug store. I'm not sure what that link is.

  2. Congratulations! It was a long road, but finally, you were able to say goodbye to your acne. It’s a good thing that you are using products recommended by dermatologists. They, of course, would know best which products that really keep the skin clean and clear. Now that you got rid of the acne, the next battle is to keep it from coming back. Good luck and thanks for your great skin care tips!

  3. Try Gunilla of Sweden Lerosett Clay Mask. It's the only thing that has ever helped me. I have bad PCOS with severe acne and oily skin. I'm also on Nortrel 777 to help with my PCOS and it does infact help my acne a ton. But Gunilla of Sweden is my miracle face wash/mostriser/mask.