My Skin Story: How I fixed my acne prone skin

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Teenage years…

It all began when I was just 12 years old. My skin started breaking out with tiny little bumps all over my forehead. I was a shy kid to begin with, so having to deal with bad skin on top of that was a nightmare. It continued this way throughout my early high school years; I tried everything: Chinese herbal treatment, topical acne creams from the dermatologist, prescribed antibiotics. But nothing made it go away. It wasn’t until my final year of high school that I decided to try Proactiv. It was the only thing that seemed to work!

University years…

The first year of university was a hard adjustment. With that, came my need to do well for the years to follow. With all of the pressure and stress, I stopped getting my period for 2 years straight! Because my hormones were no longer fluctuating, my skin was great, but obviously this was not healthy.

Working years…

When I got treatment from a great Chinese doctor, my period was back to somewhat normal, but my skin started going crazy. I was getting cystic pimples around my chin and cheek area usually around that time of the month. They were the type of stubborn pimples that were stuck under the skin. I was too old for this. As a teenager, yes, I could see it as a part of growing up, but as an adult this was too much.

Pregnancy…

Early pregnancy was awful. My skin broke out in tiny little bumps even on my chest area. I was like a teenager all over again. When I hit the second trimester, my skin was perfect though! No makeup needed and it was not oily at all – it was great! But of course, since this was all hormone related, it did not last.

Breastfeeding…

My skin was going kind of crazy with all of the hormonal changes. I had little bumps on my forehead and above my lip area. Then cystic pimples would appear from time to time and take forever to go away. Weaning my son and going back to work did not help the situation. I tried using Proactiv again, topical acne cream with antibiotics and benzyl peroxide, but it did not help. It was just drying out my skin and making me look like I had wrinkles! Because I’m no longer a teenager my skin is totally different. I needed to find another product other than benzyl peroxide that would work for skin at my age.

Finally…

I started using products containing salycilic acid and glycolic acid to unclog my pores and keep them unclogged to prevent future breakouts. This is what I have been doing for the past 6 months that has been working wonderfully – no breakouts at all and my skin is smoother than it’s ever been:

  1. Cleanse: Wash my face in the morning and night with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying foaming gel and Clarisonic Mia 2. At night, I use once without the clarisonic to wash off my makeup and then a second wash with the cleanser and Clarisonic. The cleasner is perfume free, paraben free and PH balanced. It’s meant for acne prone skin.
  2. Tone: A few times a week, when we eat rice for dinner, I take the water that was used to rinse the rice and pat it on my face a toner. According to my Chinese doctor, rice is great for cleansing.
  3. Treat: At night I use the new La Roche-Posay Derm AHA serum. It contains glycolic acid. It helps to gently exfoliate the skin but it’s very moisturizing. They don’t sell this at all Shoppers Drug Marts. I found it at the Woodbine and Major Mackenzie location.
  4. Moisturize: In the morning, I use La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat cream. It’s anti-shine and anti-enlarged pores. I use coconut oil as an eye cream. I warm it on my finger tips and dab under my eyes up to my temples.
  5. Mask: Occasionally, maybe once a week, I use the Avène Cleanance mask which contains salycilic acid and it’s also an exfoliator.
  6. Makeup: I still love the Skin79 Super Beblish Whitening BB cream. It stays on super well and it’s very moisturizing so no cake face! But because I want to use more paraben-free products, I save Skin79 for the weekends and use the La Roche-Posay CC Cream. It doesn’t work close to as well, but I will settle for this for the weekdays.

On top of topical products, I also make sure that I keep my inside clean:

  • I cut out refined sugars (I cheat maybe once a month and go to Demetres with my husband!)
  • I take magnesium at night – this helps to keep me regular 🙂 It relaxes the muscles and draws water to the intestines. It’s a mineral supplement and not at all a laxative. Keeping the toxins out of the body helps to keep the skin nice. I take the Sisu brand.
  • I drink coconut water every day. Keeps skin hydrated.
  • I eat nuts in the morning. Also great for skin. Brazil nuts are great for acne prone skin because it contains high amount of selenium (a very potent antioxidant). But don’t eat more than 2 a day.

This is what has worked for me! I hope this may help anyone who may be having the same struggles that I had had.

 

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2 comments
  1. I share your acne pain! I dealt with it starting at 12 years old as well. I was breaking out on my back too. Then you’re right, Proactiv really helped. I used that all throughout university. But afterwards when I moved to HK, it got worse from starting a new job and the general polluted air of HK. I was getting bumps on my neck too. Also, I didn’t want to use Proactiv continually since it seems like it’s full of harsh chemicals. So I started getting facials at Yves Rocher to deep clean my pores. It helped so much! I learned that my skin was crazy because it was actually really dehydrated and I thought it was oily. I was using all the wrong products. Afterwards, when my skinned settled, I decreased the frequency of the facials to maybe once a month. I still get cysts before my period and I use tea tree oil as spot treatment for those painful ones. It’s great! Anyway, hope you’re doing well!!

    • Hi Jenny! Ya skin is such a frustrating thing! As we get older our skin changes, so what worked before doesn’t work anymore. It’s such a struggle to find products and lifestyle adjustments that work for you. I tried tea tree oil before too but I found that it dried out the skin and made my cystic pimples stuck under there :(. Anyways, I hope that your skin doesn’t give you too much trouble! xo

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