#8 – How I cleared up my skin

Hey you!

*Said in the most bogan accent ever* How are ya mate?

It’s almost been a solid week since my last blog post. Did you miss me? 🙈🙉🙊  I’ve come to the realisation that setting myself up for daily blogging was way too ambitious / wasn’t going to happen. So I’ve set myself a new goal: weekly blogging! 🙌

Today’s topic is all to do with beauty, skincare and specifically clearing up troubled skin! 

First of all, I’d like to start with a few ‘before’ shots of what my skin used to look like roughly 1.5 years ago to offer you hope. That this can be fixed and your skin will begin to glow radiantly in due time.

As you can see, I had butt tonnes of congestion in certain areas, namely, my forehead, cheeks and chin. 

My skin never used to be like this. Ever since I was a child to about 3rd year uni I was known for my perfect ‘Korean’ skin. If I was having a bad skin day, I’d be complaining about a single pimple that had sprouted. But I noticed my skin progressively starting to get worse one day, starting with persistent bumps all over my forehead, which then evolved to small oil plugs all over my skin – the kind where you squeezed and hardened oil plugs would pop out. Yes, icky, I KNOW. Areas that were squeezed would then become infected and pussy, and develop into a full blown pimple.

I freaked out. My skin was never this bad before. My self esteem plummeted and I wanted to avoid social interactions and taking photos at all costs. 

But what had caused all of this? Was it my diet?  Was it hormonal? Was I going through my pimple phase laster than everyone else? Was it my skincare routine?

I guess it was a vicious cycle. Because my skin was blemished, I tried to cover it up with makeup, but makeup clogs up the pores and doesn’t give it a chance to breathe! What other choice did I have though? I had red marks all over my face and I wanted them to fade as soon as possible or mask them…

I tried to treat my skin by investing a truckload of “anti-blemish” skincare, face washes and topical treatments. Anything with tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid went straight into my cart and I LOADED it onto my skin. This was a huge mistake. 

Here’s what my skincare routine used to be like:

(1) Apply Korean oil based BB cream 
(2) Apply MAC powder
(3) Apply eyeshadow makeup as per usual
(4) Melt makeup off by using coconut oil
(5) Use Garnier Micellar water on a cotton pad to wipe off excess
(6) Washed with a blemish removing face wash
(7) Applied vitamin C serum from some fancy skincare brand
(8) Used Aesop Mandarin serum
(9) Used Kiehl’s midnight oil
(10) Insert a few other steps (Can’t remember lol)
(11) Treated all problem areas with a topical treatment

In a nut shell, my skincare routine had about 10+ different steps which was totally unnecessarily, and in hindsight suffocating my skin with oils and chemicals. 

My skin had reached its worst point, and I was frustrated that absolutely NOTHING was helping. So I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist and what he told me next was MIND BLOWING!

My derm told me the following:

  • My skin was troubled due to being severely aggravated by products which were unfit for my skin 
  • I was loading my skin with excess facial oils when none of this was necessary – our skin produces natural oils and these natural oils are more than enough to keep our face hydrated, any expensive “facial oil” is a gimmick. He told me to go OIL-FREE for everything
  • Using coconut oil as a preliminary step to wiping my makeup off was a big no-no. The oils when melted would infuse with the dirty crusty makeup, creating a highly contaminated mixture of gunk that would get trapped in my pores and exacerbate my skin problem
  • The next one is by far the biggest offender: I was using expired/ out of date makeup!! Makeup generally has a shelf life of 12-24months. I was using stuff that was 24+months. ABSOLUTELY HORRID. To think that I was smearing expired product and leaving that on my face for 8+ hours is truly horrific.
  • Simplify my skincare routine and use gentle products. He recommended Cetaphil moisturiser and Cetaphil gentle cleanser. All the acne-targeting products were far too harsh for my skin and were making my skin weaker.
My derm also prescribed me antibiotics to kill all the acne causing bacteria beneath my skin. I was placed on this drug for a period of 5 months (and I had to take them daily). It’s a loading drug and only starts to take into affect after 5 months of being on the drug. To think that this was going to take me a full 5 months to heal was a little disheartening but I was determined.
I took his advice on board and invested in entirely new make up (all OIL FREE – I’m happy to do a post on my everyday makeup products if you’d like) and entirely new skincare.
Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion, Trilogy Balancing Face Lotion, Trilogy Night Cream with Gingko Extract, Trilogy Balancing Gel Cleanser, Trilogy Gentle Facial Exfoliant

Currently for daytime: I mix a blob of Cetaphil into my Trilogy Balancing Face Lotion and I apply that all over my face
For night time: I do the same by mixing a blob of Cetaphil into my Trilogy into my night cream
I cleanse: with the Balancing Gel Cleanser & exfoliate 1-2 times a week

I no longer use coconut oil to melt my make up off. Instead I use face wipes from Swisspers. I DO however use coconut oil for hair masks (as my hair is dry and damaged from all the hair dye). I wash this out using mr Redwin Coal Tar Shampoo to soothe my itchy scalp!

I’m currently dealing with the pimple scars and pigmentation by using prescription retinoids from the same derm. I’ve come a long long way and extremely happy with the results thus far.

I hope that helped fam!

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