Bye bye pimples.. my skincare routine 19 May 2015
I thought pimples were just a hormonal adolescent problem. Nope. I'm 24 and for the past 6-12 months I've had quite a few visits from Peter the Pimple and co. My skin was very clear from the ages 18-23 so this is a recent thing that I fortunately haven't had to deal with much. Even though popping pimples and hitting the mirror is quite satisfying I most definitely prefer clear skin (PS. Don't pop, your pimples will rupture and linger). Moving on, I've recently found a routine that is working so I thought I'd share! I'll talk (or type) you through everything I have tried.
Note: Everyone's skin is different and I recommend looking at all aspects of your health before jumping to medical treatments but this is just my opinion and I also completely understand how bad skin can make you feel :(. For teenagers going through hormonal changes just do the best you can. This blog is about my challenges with skin after that good old puberty stage. Or perhaps I'm going through puberty now.. WOOO where the boobs at!?
Since getting to the bottom of my chronic fatigue and learning how to manage my scoliosis with stretching and yoga I am a huge believer in symptoms being a way for the body to say 'HEY LISTEN UP!! Something is not working!!' So I tried tuning in to my body as much as possible first.
I love this one (I have posted it before)
I did not have cystic acne by any means but I did have constant pimples popping up on my forehead and chin - the 'T zone' I guess. You can have a look at things like skin maps to get a rough idea of what might be causing certain breakouts - here's an example I found in a Cosmo article (not saying this is a super reliable source but it's easy to follow.. look up more sources if this is something you're interested in).
My plan of attack (trial and error over the past 12 months)
I began monitoring and altering:
- Water consumption - upped my water intake a lot
- What I was eating - made sure I wasn't having too much dairy (I'm milk protein intolerant and thought that perhaps the little bits of dairy I was having could be a trigger)
- Sleeping pattern - I have been a night owl since launching Elle Fit Active so I tried to be asleep at least before midnight
I unfortunately had no real change in my skin/breakouts, so I put it down to stress which I attempted to consciously manage. The pimples started soon after launching my business (massive increase in workload) so I know this has been a big factor. (NOTE: I am still constantly working on healing myself from the inside out one step at a time but I wanted to try healing it from the outside too as my skincare routine was basically a face washer and water…)
- Hormone test to check levels were OK after going off the contraceptive pill - results were fine
- Visted a beautician and got a couple of Vitamin A peels + standard facials - no luck
- Saw a dermatologist and got some creams (Vitamin A and something else), skincare routine (cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising etc) and also an oral antibiotic to try and kick start the healing process - again no luck
- Tried a natural alternative and began applying organic virgin coconut oil to my face before bed each night - appeared to look better in the morning but skin worsened again throughout the day
I was getting pretty tired of feeling self conscious and uncomfortable without make up (I really dislike wearing make up so it's a pretty sucky feeling).
I recently saw my GP for a visit unrelated to my skin but thought I'd ask if she had any ideas - because I was all out!! I have been following the routine below and my skin is responding really well sooo a massive TOUCH WOOD and I shall update this post if there are any more bumps in the road (haaaha) but here it is:
AM and PM routine (i.e. twice daily)
- Soap free cleanser: I am using Nourish Naturals - Soap Free Wash for my face and body
- Toner with salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells (this sounds harsh but it's not.. more gentle than exfoliating beads which my skin doesn't respond well to): Clinique Anti-blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion
- Acne treatment topical solution (prescribed by GP - a topical antibiotic): The brand is ClindaTech and the bottle says it contains 'Clindamycin Hydrochloride 1%w/v'
After trying a bit of everything I wasn't so opposed to opting for a topical antibiotic because when you've tried your best and put up with pimples for a good year if something is going to work I think it deserves a high 5. Hopefully I can cut the antibiotic solution soon and maintain my skin with a normal routine. Even though I'm on this antibiotic at the moment I am still going to make sure my eating, sleeping, and water consumption is up to scratch (*try my best anyway).. and try to stress LESS! More yoga it is ;)
Shall keep you in the loop. Remember everyone is different, I just thought I'd share what I've tried so far.
I'd love to hear your skincare ideas in the comments :D I need all the help I can get with this - complete rookie.
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