Sunday, 28 April 2013

Skincare Woes

Since I was 12 i've had an ongoing battle with acne. Throughout secondary school it would really get me down, I felt that I was the only person who looked terrible without makeup on so i'd slather on layers of foundation which just looked caked on. I tried Chinese Herbal medicine, antibiotics from the doctor, several creams/lotions and nothing seemed to work or even help a small bit. Other people would say 'you'll grow out of it, it's just teenage spots' or  'you can't even see them' (blatant lies). Once I reached 18 the acne on my back and chest disappeared but I still had facial acne all over and it would be cystic acne, blackheads and whiteheads. I'd given up hope of being able to get lovely clear skin so i'd just try to cover it up by wearing thick foundation and fake tan...only making it worse by living the uni lifestyle (plenty of drink and takeaways). I wish I had took a photo of my skin so I could compare it what it looks like now, but there was no way i'd let a camera in my face as I was so self conscious at the time. I think growing up my acne really did affect my confidence, I was always quiet and did not like any attention on me. I didn't allow anybody to touch my face (at all) and still don't to some extent which is why i've never had my makeup done by someone else or had a facial. Although my skin is much clearer now (I only suffer with a few mild blemishes) I still have that fear of someone else touching my skin - in my mind I feel like any contact will result in a breakout.
My clearer skin came as a result of Roaccutane when I was 22 after trying various other prescriptive antibiotics / the pill. My dermatologist at the hospital prescibed me Roaccutane for 6 months. I'm not going to go into this drug because I really wouldn't want to recommend it to anyone, it's VERY strong with so many negative side affects and don't even mention the monthly blood tests. If you think it may be suitable for you, speak to your doctor or if you want to know more just send me a message on twitter @robynmm8.
The point of this post was to give some hints and tips about the things that work for me that help in preventing breakouts. My skin isn't totally clear so i'd happily accept any of your suggestions, especially in terms of products (moisturisers in particular)! I did a post about my dietary skincare saviours previously, you can have a read here.

The four things pictured above I feel are vital in helping to control my acne (along with fish oil tablets which I discussed in yesterdays post). I drink at least a litre of fizzy sparkling water a day (I should drink more I know) I now prefer it to still water as it helps to fill me up. I have replaced my morning coffee with a morning green tea (doesn't quite sound the same does it?), but I honestly prefer drinking this now as I think i've just got used to it. I like the green tea with lemon as it seems to help more with clearing my skin, I can definitely tell a difference in my skin when I drink alot of this. Clarins Gentle Exfoliator (review here) is what I use as my nightly toner which aids in helping congested parts of my skin. Lastly, Hydraluron prevents my skin drying out too much it gives some nourishment before I apply my moisturiser which I feel helps to control my blemishes. If I didn't do/use one of these four things my skin would definitely notice. Other things I do which help include;
Drinking less booze
Washing my pillow cases at least once a week
Using a clean fresh flannel every time I cleanse my face
I try to give my face a foundation free day once a week
Scouring Caroline Hirons blog regularly for hints and tips
Eating alot of salmon and taking fish oil supplements
Eating less dairy / sugar (so hypocritical as I sit here stuffing my face with chocolate hobnobs)

There a few things which I plan to do which I think might help further; including taking a probiotic every morning, buy a decent moisturiser (open for suggestions?), taking vitamin D tablets, microdermabrasion?!.... i'm not sure if they will do any good but if I try them i'll let you know. If you must cover your skin with foundation I find the best one in terms of coverage is Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation as it doesn't feel heavy but still covers every little blemish, other foundations i've tried just don't compare.
Do you have any tips for helping to control acne? I would love some more tried and tested product recommendations? 

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