Hey beauties! Today, I thought that I would do a blog post on how I cleared up my skin and show you the products that I’ve used to get my skin back to it’s normal, healthy state. Most people forget that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies. Not only does it protect us, but it helps keep us looking radiant, youthful and young.
Here’s a little back story: about a year and a half ago my skin broke out worse than it ever had. It was worse than the typical middle school pimples that I had back when I was what, like 13 years old. I was so devastated and embarrassed, and wouldn’t step foot outside without covering every square inch of my face with concealer. It took such a toll on me mentally and physically – these weren’t just any pimples. I seriously had between 5-6 large, cystic pimples on my forehead at any given time. This lasted for about 5 or so months.
I tried everything. Researched skin care every single day and watched YouTube videos any moment that I could. First, I cut out dairy from my diet (goodbye cheese and ice cream 😭), that didn’t help. Next, I took a probiotic thinking that what was going on with my skin was a result of bad bacteria build up in my gut – that didn’t work either. I doused my skin in tea tree oil and witch hazel, praying that it would work some miracle on me.
I vividly remember running across the street in college with a hood up. I went to this all-natural health food store that also sold healthy/vegan/organic/whatever-other-names-for-it-there-are products. I asked the lady working if she could give me everything she had for natural skin care – this was my last resort.
I bought a pimple popping kit on Amazon (sorry that sounds gross, lol), leaned my head over a boiling pot of water so the steam could open my pores, hung upside down for an hour to circulate blood, did 100 jumping jacks, spinned in circles, twirled my thumbs. Yadda, yadda, ya.
Eventually, I grew tired and defeated and called up my dermatologist. I went to a derm back in high school, was put on some sort of steroid/antibiotic (I don’t even remember what it was) and it really cleared up my skin. So I thought, hmm I’ll try that again what’s the harm. Well, after about a month of waiting for an appointment, it was finally my chance to see the dermatologist. I was in her office for all of about 5 minutes, she barely even analyzed my skin. Next thing I know, she wrote me a script for some steroid or antibiotic to take and another script for a topical treatment. I can’t even begin to explain how disappointed I was. Here I was, grasping for some sort of an answer or reassurance and I got nothing of the sort. When I got home, I researched the steroid that she gave me and read so many bad reviews. Everything from it making their acne worse, to crazy side effects like dizziness and red, irritated skin. Needless to say, I threw away the bottle and never took it.
It was at that moment that I decided that it was time to go to an esthetician. I wanted someone who knew skin, could really analyze what was going on and help me take better care of my skin. So, I called my local Hand & Stone at college and went in for my first ever facial. As a disclaimer, I will say that each individual’s experience and skin is different, I’m just letting you know what worked for me. Together, we came to the conclusion that I was improperly removing my make up and it was clogging my pores. I wasn’t getting all of the residue off, and my skin was so clogged because of this. She worked on my skin, removing the clogged pores and getting rid of any breakouts. I think that I went to her for about three or four sessions, each session my skin became clearer and clearer.
The esthetician combined with properly removing my makeup at night (which I detail below on how I do that) completely changed my skin. Oh, and by the way… DRINK WATER LADIES. Seriously, gulp that up. It keeps your skin revitalized and helps clear out toxins in your body, that will eventually come out on your skin.
Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser: ($4.99 Here)
This stuff is my savior. It removes everything, even the most caked on foundation. My freshman year roommate turned me onto this stuff years ago. I’ve always kept a tub of it in my shower, but I used to only use it to remove mascara. After this whole fiasco, and watching tons of YouTube videos of girls “double cleansing” their skin, I decided to try this out all over my face. GAME CHANGER. I put this cream cleanser all over my face, lips and eyes. Then, I run a washcloth underneath hot water for a few seconds, and drape it on my face. Next, I gently remove EVERYTHING (yes, I capitalized, underlined, bolded, and italicized that). Please, please if you don’t take anything away from this post please take away the fact that you must remove allllll of your makeup.
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash: ($4.69 Here)
I have been using this stuff for years. It’s the only face wash that I’ve used in probably 10+ years. Ever since I first went to a dermatologist, he told me to stop using all of those harsh chemical washes that they sell at the drugstore. All you need is a clean, clear soap – everything else actually hurts your skin. Most other face washes contain salicylic acid, a chemical that is meant to clear skin. However, this actually dries your skin out and you become immune to the positive implications of the medicine. Another good cleanser is the Cetaphil Skin Cleanser, it’s so gentle and essentially the same product as this Purpose face wash.
COSRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap ($19 on Amazon)
This was a product that I bought while my skin was breaking out. I wanted a moisturizer that was oil-free, and pretty simple. COSRX is a Korean Skin Care product – a huge trend in beauty these days. But in Korea, skin care has always been highly coveted and prioritized. This stuff is amazing – the smell, lightweight formula and non-greasy feel makes this stuff such a winner. It hasn’t broken me out, and replenishes my skin with the vital nutrients it needs.
Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence 100ml ($14 on Amazon)
One of the biggest problems that I had while my skin was breaking out was hyper-pigmentation. Basically, my skin was being scarred by the pimples after they would clear up. This was due to me popping them (don’t do that), or the fact that they were so swollen that the skin was stretching and getting red. This is another Korean Skin Care product, and if you’re not familiar with K-Beauty basically Essence’s are your “specialty treatments”. The products that you apply after your skin has been cleansed and moisturized – I put this on after my moisturizer and it helps any clearing blemishes not scar my skin.
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream ($52 at Ulta)
Alright, so I was basically conned into buying this by the Ulta lady 😐. Lol, not really but she told me that this stuff was amazing and I had no idea that it was $52. It’s the craziest texture, it’s super light weight and basically evaporates on your skin minutes after applying it. This stuff is my savior in the warmer months, because my skin gets oily in my t-zone. My skin is so balanced and evenly moisturized because of this stuff.
Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel (Prescription, Dermatologist).
This was seriously the only good thing that came out of me going to the dermatologist. This stuff is magical. I’m not a dermatologist, but if you’re struggling with your skin right now I really encourage you to talk to your doc about this stuff. It’s non-irritating and the only thing that can eliminate a pimple in 1-2 days.
Glam Glow SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment ($24 at Sephora)
Whenever I feel like my skin needs a little extra love and attention, I put this mud mask on. It dries almost instantly, and when it does dry you can see the ares of your face where the SUPERMUD is really going to work. It will come up with darker spots, for me it’s generally on my forehead and nose area. You quite literally see the toxins being pulled to the surface. If I feel a break out coming on, I’ll put this on as a spot treatment and then apply the Clindamycin gel. It’s quite the dynamic duo.
I hope that this post helped you guys. I know how disheartening it can to be to struggle with acne, blemishes and skin issues in your early 20’s. You feel like you’re the only one and every one else has clear skin because they went through their bout with bad skin in high school or middle school. Hang in there, and give some of these products a try. Remember, that beauty starts from within!