Showing posts with label My Acne Journey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Acne Journey. Show all posts

Acne hacks skincare Sally Hughes pretty honest
Acne hacks pretty honest by Sally Hughes skincare

*Googling tips to on how to clear acne fast at half past midnight.*

There is a reason why all these acne posts you've read include the word 'journey'. That's because it is and it can be really long, lasting anything between a few months to a few years. For me, my acne journey has been a 10 month battle. 

I’ve finally reached the stage where I can comfortably look in the mirror and smile with confidence. My skin no longer looks like a battlefield and has been almost clear for a few months now. Yay! It’s not been an easy road and I’ve definitely made some errors along the way. By no means am I an expert but I thought I’d share all the things I wish I knew before treating acne. 

Here are some do’s and don’ts I wish somebody told me on how treat acne:

DO be patient. The first thing your doctor of dermatologist is likely to tell you is, “it’ll get worse before it gets better”. When you’ve been prescribed topical retinoids, you’re skin often purges which will make it look a lot worse. The good news is that it’s actually pushing all the acne that’s under the skin to the surface. So, it does get worse before it gets better. Hold on tight!

DON’T let anyone tell you what to do. Your acne journey is personal to you. Everyone always has something to say when it comes to treating acne. I had a lot of people with perfect skin telling me what to do and what not to do. But like I said, acne is a personal journey and there are multiple reasons as to why it’s flared up. There is plenty of information around -I recommend following estheticians and dermatologists on Twitter- for you to see what works for your skin and doesn’t. You don’t have to follow all their advice and you can pick and choose what works for you. It’s also where I get a lot of my advice from.

DO look after your moisture barrier. I’ve mentioned it plenty of times before and you’ve heard it a million times everywhere else but hydration is key. And the key to healthy skin, is a healthy moisture barrier. Some things that can harm your moisture barrier include over exfoliating, washing your face with hot water and using harsh products. A lot of acne treatments are drying and I've found they're a lot more effective when you're using products to help retain moisture and rebuild your barrier. I've been using Cerave's foaming face wash and I love it!

DO wash your face with cool water. I remember reading that you should wash your face with hot water because it will help open your pores and leave your face cleaner. WRONG! I’ve found that washing my face with cool/ lukewarm water has been really good at not irritating my inflamed skin and helping it to retain moisture. I got this tip from @makeupforwoc on Twitter who specialises in inflamed skin conditions.

DO use SPF. Wearing SPF is vital to anyone but when you’re been on retinoid creams and antibiotics as your skin becomes more vulnerable to the sun and it’s rays. Even more reason to top up on the SPF. The sun can always cause red/ dark marks to darken even more so SPF is a really good way to help improve the appearance of scarring. It’s also essential even if you’re not on any medication. SPF protects your skin from harmful UV rays, which are still around on rainy days.

DON’T pick your spots. I used to be an avid spot picker but it was my spot picking habits that helped me to realise I was starting to get acne. These spots were deeper under the skin and never formed a head. Acne spots aren’t pickable and trying will only leave you with scarring. Knowing that whatever I picked would leave a scar helped me kick that habit to the curb. Post acne and my skin has a lot of pigment scarring from the inflamed acne. Any spot that pops up 

Love, Aoife xo

If you had asked me who or what Cerave was this time last year I wouldn’t have had a clue. I first came across the cult US brand when it started appearing in Boots. It then started popping up on my feed and I could see it had a lot of (good) attention around it. People seemed to be flocking to the shelves in the shops.

Cerave is popular for a number of reasons. The most popular being that all of the products are enriched with ceramides. Ceramides help to repair and strengthen the skin’s barrier helping it to retain moisture. This means that Cerave’s products are all about hydrating the skin and maintaining the moisture throughout the day. They are fragrance-free and free of ingredients that irritate the skin.

The price range for Cerave is mid-level. It’s more affordable than La Roche-Posay but not as cheap as high street brands like Simple. The brand has a small range of roughly eight products that work for the body and face. 

I finally gave in to my product junkie urges after I decided to simplify my skincare to help improve my skin— which of course started with some new products as an incentive. I’m currently on acne medication and needed something gentle on my skin. I saw that Cerave is often recommended when you're on acne medication. If you like, you can read more about my acne journey here.

I picked up the Foaming Cleanser and Moisturising Cream to see if they were worth the hype. The Foaming Cleanser is suited to normal and oily skin which is exactly my skin type. Since I have been dealing with very dry skin, I wanted a strong moisturiser that could penetrate the flaky patches I got. 

I’ve almost finished both bottles and I really like them. The cleanser is really soft and light. It foams up well and is good at keeping my skin hydrated. Especially since when I use the prescription cream I can’t put anything on my face for 15 minutes. My skin feels a lot lighter, softer and plumper from all the bonus moisture.

The moisturiser is lovely, thick and enriching. It doesn't cover up my pores or trap dirt and allows my skin to breathe. Normally, I'm a little apprehensive on applying such a thick cream with oily skin. I'm not sure if it's these products specifically or a combination of everything I'm using in my routine, but my skin has been a lot less oily.

Cerave is a basic, no-frills brand. It is one of those brands that reinforce the main purpose of skincare- to clean and hydrate the skin. From what I’ve used, it’s very gentle on the skin and definitely hydrating. You can see a difference in your skin within a week of using them regularly. When it comes to the hype around skincare products I expect big things. Personally, I’m not sure Cerave fits my criteria of a hyped product. But I will say that it is incredibly soft, gentle and hydrating without making you look greasy. 

Love, Aoife xo

Over the last six months or so, my acne has gotten much worse. It went from a few pimples on my cheeks to having a full beard of red marks and occasionally painful spots. It's been so itchy and I couldn't even cover up the redness with makeup. It got so bad that I didn't like looking at my face in the mirror and seeing all the inflamed redness. They say not to pick your spots because that could make things worse but let's be honest, we've all picked a spot at some point in our lives. The good news is I've managed to curb that habit and I'm just hoping it'll clear in its own time.

I thought I could sort it without the help of a medical professional but even my Effacular Duo couldn’t save me.

What I’ve tried:

What haven’t I tried! I went through a list of things that could possibly be making the acne worse; I changed my diet and stopped using certain products that I thought were harsh on my skin.

I went through this list, cutting out dairy completely, eating anti-inflammatory foods only, cutting out sugary foods, and only noticed a slight difference in the redness of my skin but the acne didn’t go away. I tried cutting out meat entirely which didn't make much of a difference either.

I've also tried using different products that have worked for other people. I stopped using the Pixi Glow Tonic (read my review) in case it was too harsh. I applied Sudocrem which seemed to reduce some of the redness but didn't do anything to my acne. Additionally, I also tried an over the counter 5% Benzoyl Peroxide gel, Acnecide. It worked on a few spots but I ended up having an allergic reaction to the gel so I had to stop that treatment. My face swelled up so much to the point I couldn’t even suck in my cheeks. My face was extremely dry especially on my neck and around my eyes which hadn’t even come in contact with the cream. It took me about two months and plenty of Aveeno to improve my skin texture. 

Where I am now:

My doctor first thought I could be suffering from hormonal acne and prescribed me the combination pill Lucette to help regulate my hormones and Epiduo, an acne treatment cream. Epiduo contains 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide and 0.1% adapalene. Both those chemicals together target the spots on my skin and those forming underneath. The adapalene, according to my Doctor, also irritates the skin and makes it quite sensitive to the sun. I try to keep out of the sun where I can and wear plenty of SPF.

After speaking to another doctor two months later, he prescribed me with a course of antibiotics called Lymecycline. From what I know, these are only prescribed to those suffering from acne. I’m only on day 8 so I’ll share another update when I finish the course.

Love, Aoife xo