I’m going to tell you all about how I went from trying to cover my acne with makeup to making changes to diminish my acne that have actually lasted..
Since about the age of 13, I’ve had acne in some way or another. Although it didn’t start horribly, it gradually worsened with time. Being the shy type of person I already was, having horrible acne was a nightmare. I found myself constantly battling with my inner self thinking, “What in the world have I done wrong”? I couldn’t understand why washing my face every morning and night and testing out different lotions and products wasn’t working for me.
Having lost much hope, I decided to confide in makeup. I would cover my flaws .. or at least try to.. I would get frustrated because I’d have these deep cystic acne spots and no amount of makeup I used would completely conceal them.
Roll forward about 10 years to where I was 23 (yes my skin was broken out that long.. crazy, I know) .. I decided I’d start researching why my skin might be doing what it’s doing and I see some YouTube videos that talk about hormonal acne. ( I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before. I mainly only broke out on my chin with the occasional spot on my nose or forehead.) They talked about how sometimes you have hormonal imbalances and that things like dairy and soy milk can mess with your skin. Dairy boosts male sex hormones called androgens which can make your skin want to produce acne and soy milk has things called isoflavones that are a plant estrogen and can have estrogen-like effects on your body.
Having read about dairy messing with my skin, I thought I’d try cutting it out for a few days and see what happens. This was extremely hard considering milk, cheese and most things dairy were a huge part of my diet! Once I had done that I realized that my skin had significantly cleared. I honestly couldn’t believe it.. I switched to drinking rice and almond milks which are pretty good. Besides that, I’ve made some little changes that have helped for sure. I do eat cheese sometimes because I haven’t found an alternative that I love for that.. but, hey, little changes — right? 🙂
Here’s some changes I made:
- I stopped eating/drinking dairy for the most part and changed to rice/almond milk. Yes, I have it every once in a while.. but not quite as often as I had been. I notice if haven’t had it in a while and then start consuming it again, my body and face will break out. No bueno. There are vegan alternatives to cheese such as Daiya that actually are pretty tasty and melt just like real cheese. You can find them in most grocery stores.
- I made sure to take my makeup off by washing my face day and night. This one is big. I make sure to go straight to the bathroom at night to remove my makeup before even hitting my bed. I find that if I lay down, I don’t want to get up.
- I used gentle face products. If your face is severely broken out — using harsh products can usually just inflame everything. I know that first hand. I have been using very mild cleansers and on days where my face seems a little dry I use an exfoliant. My face is a bit sensitive so using a million products can mess with my skin so I try to keep to a basic cleansing routine.
- I did a face peel once or twice a year. This is something not everyone has to or wants to do but getting a face peel can make your face look and feel rejuvenated. I started off with a 12.5% TCA peel which can reduce scarring, hyperpigmentation, and lines. Having had acne for as long as I have — scarring is pretty much inevitable.
- I didn’t mess with my acne. Messing with cystic acne is a no-no. It can make it flare up even more. Leave it be and put some ice on it to bring down the inflammation. I love using drying creams. 🙂
Now, I won’t say my face is perfectly clear, and I won’t say I do everything perfectly all the time but I would definitely say my face has cleared dramatically. If you think you may have hormonal acne I would definitely ask a dermatologist or research some remedies. These are some things that have worked for me and I hope they’ll help those that are reading. If you have any questions , I’ll be happy to answer them.