If you’ve been following along for a while, you know my struggle with hormonal acne. It was a huge issue growing up and didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin most of my teenage years.
As time went on, I thought I would grow out of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. The problem persisted through college. I eventually took it upon myself to see a dermatologist, and after trying several solutions, I found what worked for me.
It was a trial and error process…but overall a bliss.
This year, I decided not to see my dermatologist, and instead, try new products available to everyone. You have no idea how difficult this was for me, especially around August/September. Truth be told, I almost gave up. I hadn’t seen my face with bumps like the ones I had. It was so terrible that even Jose seemed concerned. (He usually doesn’t point out my pimples, haha.) I was embarrassed to say the least. I know these are minor things I shouldn’t be concerned about but it’s hard when you look in the mirror and you’re reminded of those ugly lingering bumps. LITERALLY. BUMPS. (Below are untouched photos taken in Sep. – the worst stage.)
Anyway, I am relieved to say there is a “happy” ending to this yearlong experiment. I was a little worried I wouldn’t share happy news by the end of the year.
Here’s a quick rundown of the products I used this year:
- Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
- Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
- The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash
- Neutrogena Naturals
- Differin Gel
- Dr. Organic
- Clarisonic Mia 2
At the beginning of the year, I tried Murad.
I thought Murad was too “soft” or “gentle” on my skin.
Let me explain where I am coming from.
I know it sounds strange…but I guess I was used to harsher cleansers (you know – the ones prescribed). Well, after my last facial appointment, I came around to the idea of using softer and gentler cleansers. The esthetician was so sweet and took her time educating me about my skin. The biggest takeaway was, we should be aiming to use ph balanced facial cleansers. I have yet to buy one since my acne has been under control ever since my facial appointment but it’s definitely on my list.
Going back to Murad – it was okay. I would probably try it one more time to really decide if it’s for me. I thought it was great when I wasn’t dealing with outbursts, I didn’t feel it was a preventative treatment since I definitely had minor breakouts, especially during my menstrual cycle. The little kit lasted about 30 days so I used it until it was completely gone.
The second acne kit I tried was AcneFree. I found this one to be the most effective on my skin type (normal to oily). I appreciated the results so much, I purchased it twice (at the beginning of the year and again in Sep). I still occasionally use it to prevent breakouts. When things got wild (let’s be real – when hell broke loose) a few months ago, I would apply the kit then would take turns using the Mario Badescu drying lotion and Differin Gel. This combination was a little painful at first (the Differin Gel was the main factor), but after a few weeks, I was okay. The discomfort was a burning sensation (and redness) on the skin, especially around the eyes even though I wasn’t applying it to the eye areas. It would last about 30 minutes to an hour. If you decide to try this combination, please please please use sunscreen and avoid the sun as much as possible. It also helped to wait a few minutes in between applying each product. (Ugh, just recalling this painful experience causes discomfort.)
I captured the below photos to share same week results using the AcneFree kit and Differin Gel. The swelling went down and these bad boys dried out.
Between spring/summer, I wasn’t having issues like in late August, September, and beginning of October. When I wasn’t having acne problems, I relied heavily on my Neutrogena and Tea Tree face cleansers. I definitely loved the tea tree cleanser over Neutrogena. It had a better feeling on the skin…it was refreshing. There’s an entire line available at The Body Shop – I would love to eventually try it since it focuses on skin clearing.
Once the skin cleared, I was selected for a Dr. Organic campaign. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Anyway, I was given the Aloe Vera Face Wash, Rose Restoring Scrub, and the Tea Tree Mask. So far, so good. My skin had not experienced a breakout until late last week – I think you may know why. It isn’t a terrible breakout though – not like the previous episodes described above. I plan on using these products until they run out so stay tuned for updates via IG stories.
Last but not least, my little gadgets – Clarisonic Mia and Foreo. I’ve used the Clarisonic for years now and I purchased the Foreo earlier this summer.
The only true thing to say about my Clarisonic is, I cannot live without it. If I forget to use it, I can tell a huge difference on my skin. The following may be gross but whatever – my skin and nose will start to form whiteheads. It’s pretty disgusting, haha. This is why I strongly believe my Clarisonic cleans deeper than my hands ever will. If you decide to try it, please give yourself grace at the beginning. I’ve heard of people trying it and giving up simply because they begin to breakout even worse. The truth is, those pimples are probably buried and they are being exposed with the Clarisonic. I would say to try it for at least 45 days before deciding if you love it or not.
Last note on the Clarisonic, I love to do “wipe tests” on my face. What does this mean? It means I love to take a cotton pad with Micellar water and wipe my entire face with it to see how much of my double wear foundation was actually removed. I’ve done comparison tests and I am certain my Clarisonic is way better than using my hands to wash my face. I should actually share this via IG stories soon.
Onto my Foreo…I still prefer my Clarisonic. However, I do prefer the Foreo to travel with because it’s way more compact. I’ve done the cotton pad micellar water test, and for sure, it cleanses better than my hands. I haven’t done a comparison test between Foreo and Clarisonic yet…I will try to do this sooner than later and document to share the results!
Well, that is all, my sweet friend. Thank you for your input on what to do, try, etc. It always feels good knowing I am not the only one dealing with acne. I don’t know if I’ll decide to see my dermatologist next year but will obviously share if I do. I love not relying on him, lol! I find myself leaning towards “greener” solutions more and more everyday.
3 thoughts on “My Acne Journey in 2019”
I definitely know this struggle all too well. Thank you for sharing your journey. I love that pink drying lotion for some of my acne overnight. I definitely have found that sticking to a consistent routine is what my skin thrives off.
Here is what I’ve found for my skin so far too http://mrselizabethann.com/adult-acne-101-what-i-am-doing-to-fight-it/
My favorite cleanser has become the dermologica clear start, it has some acid in it but it is not overly drying which a lot of things have been for me.
Have a great holiday season and I hope things keep getting better for you!
Thank you, Elizabeth! It sure is a struggle sometimes but I’m glad there has been a solution every time. Thank goodness! I’ll have to try the dermalogica skin care line again, I’ve tried one product and absolutely loved it! I think it was the face wash but came in powder form – almost smells like baby cereal formula? Lol weird, I know!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and wishing you a happy new year!