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How I cleared my acne for good has been a question I get often. There’s no magic involved just finesse and patience.
Let’s talk about acne bay-be, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and all the bad things acne can bring! I had to add a little humor to this topic because we all know acne is exactly the opposite of humorous.
In fact, its annoying af and can be troublesome for everyone that may experience acne.
I wanted to share my journey from frustrating acne to far and few in between minor pimples that still appear.
The pictures below were taken as my acne started to clear up. I will mention I didn’t take many pictures while going through this phase but this is what I was left with.
The Back Story of My Acne
I never experienced acne during my teens, luckily. However, my acne appeared in my late 20’s. WTF, I thought this was something that only appeared in our teens, why are these pimples deciding to show they face now I thought to myself.
It started with minor pimples, then progressed to what felt like a never ending plague of bumps. I called this my acne beard, which was in the shape of a dam beard I kid you not.
Not only were these bumps, these were the really deep ones that hurt to the touch. You know the ones you try to pop and all that comes out is puss?
That’s what was spreading across my face like wildfire, and they seemed to double at night.
From that moment on my skincare routine changed for the worse!
My Skincare Routine During That Time
The one thing I wish I knew back then was a solid skincare routine for fighting acne.
When my acne flare up started, I ran to the store and bought everything that had acne written all over it. I bought the stupid acne LED Mask and went home and scrubbed the hell out of my face thinking this was going to kill what was growing on my face.
When I tell you I tried everything, I MEAN I TRIED EVERYTHING.
From the “specialized acne washes”, to the acne masks, to the tea tree oil therapy, to acne clearing clay masks, using the Clarisonic, and nothing worked, in fact, would you believe me if I told you it made my face worse?
Back to my actual routine that damaged my skin even further.
- Washed my face with anything that said acne on it
- Toned my face with seabreeze
- Skipped Lotion ( my face was over oily didn’t want to add to it
- Applied acne treatment all over the place.
Eventually, I had completely lost hope and I remember running into the bathroom one day because it was so painful, my face was peeling because I dried the s**t out of it, and it was covered in both acne scars I felt completely ugly.
Is Alcohol Good For Acne?
Acne products were not a cure for my acne; it was making things worse. What a lot of people don’t know is alcohol is terrible for your skin! Not only does it dry out your skin; it also can enlarge your pores, causing your skin to produce more oil.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out my post about the changes I’ve made to my skincare routine, I go into depth about how alcohol is a killer for your skin.
My Improved Skincare Routine That Produced Results
After my cry fest in the bathroom, I felt defeated and accepted what was going on with my face. Nothing was working, and my face was getting worse. I thought it couldn’t get worse, so I decided to give my face a break.
I went home that day and put everything that had any acne medication in it away and start fresh with a new clean routine.
That also meant no makeup, to cover up what I was so embarrassed by. This was extremely hard for me; I can’t even put into words how it made me feel. It made me feel exposed, vulnerable, and that everyone was staring at my breakouts and scaring or the peeling skin.
My Three Step Routine
This was a crucial step that helped clearing up my skin. Earlier I mentioned I put away all of the face washes that said anything with acne medication. I purchased Cetapil and I still use it to this day, it is super gentle on my skin and leaves my skin feeling clean.
I know a lot of people use a toner after they wash, I even threw out my toner and reverted to ginger. I love ginger and you should to actually. Not only does it fight bacteria, but it also helps with the circulation of blood in your face that helps clear acne.
I still do this to this day as well, I love the smell, the tingle it gives to my face, and it leaves my face feeling extra smooth. I swear it helps tone down my oil as well. I do this at night, and I just cut thin pieces of ginger and rub them all over my face.
I have to be honest, I was scared to use lotion during this time. I always felt that lotion was what was causing me to break out. Every lotion i have tried has been way to oily for me so I stopped using it, and my face went off the charts with the oil production.
I went to Sephora and found a lotion that I couldn’t live without at that time. It left my face feeling hydrated BUT also cut way back on the oil that was coming through.
This was a huge breakthrough for me, and this is when I started to see the light.
Other Changes I Made
Before my breaking point I went to a dermatoligst and was prescribed medication. I’m not against medication to fight acne but for me I wanted it to be my last resort. I had to make other changes to my lifestyle in order t clear up my acne.
Yes, I changed my diet, and it did wonders. I can’t stress how important our diet is and how it contributes to pretty much everything. I didn’t go crazy I just cut out dairy and eventually meat.
After cutting out dairy, I noticed my skin was beginning to do three main things:
- Produced Less Oil
- Breakouts were slowing down
- Current Flare Ups were going down and less painful
Cutting out dairy worked for me and I still do not consume dairy to this day.
2. Make Changes Slowly
Finding the right routine was a very slow process. A huge mistake we can make when trying to fight acne is doing too much at once. This causes problems for two reasons.
- Your skin doesn’t have a chance to react to the products
- You dont know what is actually is working and what is delaying the healing.
When I first started I had every product I could get my hands on. It’s more effective strip your routine down to the basics.
Keep these products as close to natural as possible. Avoid alcohol; this will dry out your skin. Cetaphil is an excellent option for a cleanser, it’s fragrance-free, and has the bare minimum ingredients.
3. Patience is a MUST
While going though my frustrating acne phase, I had to have patience. I cut out all makeup, extra products outside of my three staples, had to stop falling for quick acne gimmicks.
This takes time, and even after the flare ups decrease I still had to figure out how to get rid of my scarring. This helped me not go crazy over what was currently going on and helped me focus on the next step.
4. Started Including Vitamins into My Daily Routine
I read that four vitamins can help clear acne, so of course I decided to give it a shot. I really had nothing more to lose, my self esteem was dam near close to hell so why not. The four vitamins are
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin E
Before I changed my diet I didn’t take daily supplements, and when I did it was a miracle. I began incorporating these vitamins and I did notice a change in my overall apperaence.
My hair began to grow stronger, I was getting sick less often, my energy levels were picking up, and best of all my skin was clearing up!
CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?
I did read that you should consult a doctor prior to taking these random vitamins, not the way I do things so I went for a mild form and got a multivitamin that included the above.
If you’re unsure make sure to see a doctor before consuming the vitamins
5. Started Making Homemade Masks
I still make and use homemade masks today and there’s something about it that is mentally satisfying.
The two main ingredients to have on hand is honey and lemon!
Honey naturally fights bacteria and helped reduce the deep painful acne I had on my cheeks.
Lemons also have antibacterial properties, this makes lemon an alternative treatment to harsh acne products.
6. Avoid Cleansing Brushes and Washcloths
While cleansing brushes are awesome to have, they can also cause more flare ups and pain.
Clarisonic is the brush I had while I was going through my acne phase. I know they specifically have a brush head that is labeled for acne but let me tell you.
This brush was a nightmare for me at that time. I say at that time because it was spreading my acne like wildfire, it was also painful.
The best thing you can do is use your bare hands, make sure they’re clean of course, and be super gentle when washing your face. You may get the urge to scrub hard, but pull back and keep it simple!
7. Apple Cider Vinegar Will Be Your Good Friend
If you can tolerate the smell and a slight tingling sensation, you’ll want to give ACV a try. Never apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin without diluting it.
I did 1 part ACV with 2 parts of water, and the burning wasn’t as bad. I will be honest; I did get desperate and applied directly to my skin, and I saw better results. Please do what feels better on your skin.
Remember stay strong and positive, this will pass and it wont happen overnight! Any progress made today is worth the payout the next day! Let me know what you use to clear your acne!