I had a battle with adult acne for three years. To date, my skin has improved A LOT after 536784 times of trying different skin care routines and products. It was the most frustrating thing to deal with most especially when I tried all sorts of anti acne products and yet I didn’t see any improvement. As of late, I am only dealing with acne marks and sometimes one or two acne.
Skin Before Acne
I have never had a flawless perfect skin. However, acne was not a part of my story even during my teenage years. My skin was oily and I do have spider veins on both sides of my cheeks. But other than that my skin was pretty good. I could get one pimple when it’s the time of the month but that’s it. Also, even if I do get one I could easily tell what causes it. My skin was not sensitive at all. I mean, I could try all sorts of make-up or skincare but I will never get any reactions from it.
Skin During Acne
My hideous experience began May of 2017. It started with tiny bumps on my forehead. I thought I can clear it up through exfoliation like what I used to do. Guess what, I only made it worst. Those tiny bumps became acne and for some reason, I couldn’t do anything to stop them from spreading across my forehead. I tried everything out there— from the cheapest to the most expensive products you name it, but nothing seemed to work. So I stopped everything that I was using. I stopped putting makeup on an everyday basis. I did some research, applied what I learned and still, no improvement was palpable.
As hopeless as I was I consulted a dermatologist. I was under Clindamycin and Tazorac plus several visits for chemical peeling. I tried it for several months but my skin was at its worst state possible. It was very dehydrated, rough, dull and extremely sensitive.
Fast forward to my trip to California I noticed that I barely had acne on my forehead. It spread on the sides of cheeks though. I also had a lot of little bumps on those part of my face that clindamycin can’t even heal. That’s when I forgo everything. I accepted that I am going to deal with this for the rest of my life. It was truly depressing!
When I stopped everything, almost all of my pimples popped out. My skin was like a jackfruit, to say the least. So then I started to get back to my routine minus all the medications that were prescribed to me. After a week I noticed some difference— my acne started to heal and the texture of my skin got a little better. And I thought that it was caused by the newest addition on my routine— Cosrx Centella Blemish Ampoule. Finally, something is doing its job.
Because of the good effect of Centella on my skin, I decided to try products that contain Centella. Out of all the products that I have tried, I found the perfect one that works on my sensitive skin. I listed down below what is working on me.
Reason for Breaking Out
Also, I discovered that the reason I was breaking out was because I damaged my skin barrier through over exfoliation (I was using my clarisonic everyday! Stupid me, I know!). That’s the reason why everything that I applied on my skin was not working. Instead of using anti-acne medications, I opted to treat the cause rather than the symptom. My routine focuses on repairing my skin barrier or mostly skin healing. Only then I’ve seen so much improvement on my skin.
Here’s the routine that I follow:
- Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser – This has been my cleanser even before I had my skin nightmare but I stopped using it and started to use anti-acne cleansers (which did not help at all.) I have tried different kinds of cleansers before coming back to this one again. I went back to this because I realized that ceramides will improve my skin barrier.
- Dear Klairs, Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drops – This serum claims to provide cell renewal, and helps to prevent the early signs of aging. Since I concentrated on treating my forehead, it became dry, dull and it developed some fine lines too due to excessive dryness. So I was looking for something that can treat my dry skin and can also help to repair my skin barrier. The first time that I tried this I already noticed the difference— the fine lines on my skin were slowly fading and I noticed a more brighter and glowing skin. This is definitely a Holy Grail!
- A’PIEU – Madecassoside Cream – It targets hydration and mostly skin healing as well as improving the skin’s protective barrier. I use this mainly because its main ingredient is Centella Asiatica, which my skin loves so much. I was using this alone before I discovered the two Dear Klairs products to serve as my moisturizer. Since I started using this cream, I noticed that my acne became smaller and would not developed into a full blown acne. It helps to calm my skin and heal my acne faster. It absorbs easily on my skin and it doesn’t feel tacky at all. However, I noticed that the hydrating properties of this moisturizer is not enough during winter months. I still need another supplement to hydrate my skin especially during drier days.
- Dear Klairs, Midnight Blue Calming Cream– This is supposed to be a spot treatment but I use it all over my face because it works wonderfully. I cannot reiterate how this cream really changed my life! I think out of all the moisturizers out there this has to be my most favorite. It claims to calm sensitive skin as well as hydrate and relieve skin redness. I noticed the difference the very first time I used it. It feels like my skin is back to its normal state— soft, with good hydration and most importantly it became more clearer. I noticed that my bumps on my forehead were gone the day after I used it and my small pimples dried up as well. Their star ingredients are Guaiazulene and Centella Asiatica. This is a really good hydrating moisturizer on my dry skin and it also leaves a dewy, glass skin effect. Definitely a holy grail for me.
- The Beet Shield – This is the sunscreen that I use and I definitely love it. It doesn’t only gives me the protection that I need but it also hydrates my skin sans the white cast that most sunscreens have. Some of us always forget to apply sun protection on a daily basis but I believe that this is the most important step because it prevents sun damages. You can’t apply all the healing skincare that you have but then damage your skin again with sun exposure because you didn’t apply any protection. To tell you frankly, sunscreen is my skin’s best friend ever since I was in high school. My mom taught me at an early age to apply moisturizer and sunscreen and now that I am in my thirties I can’t thank her enough for teaching me to take care of my skin.
- Banila Co Clean it Zero – I usually double cleanse in the evening most especially if I put make up on. This way, all the gunk that got on my skin throughout the day will be surely gone. I like how this balm glide so smoothly on my skin and removes even my waterproof mascara.
- I follow the same step in the morning minus the sunscreen.
I have learned that dealing with acne takes a lot of patience, time and money. There’s no formula in dealing with it. It always depends on what your skin is telling you. As much as you want to rush and just pile everything on your face, you can’t find the right products unless you know what’s going on with your skin. It will always be a trial and error. It took me 3 years to finally heal my skin and others might take only a week. It’s different in every person so don’t give up on trying. I know I almost did but I am glad that I did not. I know how depressing it is and sometimes you hate the person that staring back at you when you look in the mirror but that’s the only person that will help you boost your confidence and self-esteem back again. This experience also taught me how to love my flaws. I was able to go out without make up on which is kind of ironic because I never did when I had a clear face. Now, I don’t care as much. I just want my skin to breathe and heal. It’s not perfect but I am happy with how it’s becoming.