About a year ago, I remember scrolling through Pinterest and seeing girls wearing cinnamon masks and putting lemons all over their faces. In an effort to be more organic, I thought it was a good idea to follow these girls. I ended up ditching all my Neutrogena and started to use yogurt masks every day.
I thought I was doing my skin a favor but I ended up ruining it. My skin became really shiny which I thought was a good thing but it was a sign that I was overexfoliating.
I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. And for the first time, when I was 20, I experienced my first bout of hormonal acne which was all over my jaw and chin.
I made a couple mistakes:
1. I thought Pinterest was a good place to get skincare advice. Seriously though, go to a dermatologist that is covered by your insurance plan. Otherwise, putting lemons on your face which can be too acidic can burn you or worse, make your skin too photosensitive to light causing more damage.
2. I wish I had visited the dermatologist sooner. I thought I could cure my own hormonal acne when hormonal acne is something you really can’t treat without a topical from a dermatologist. Organic remedies can be good for some people but when you’re getting severe acne, it’s time to use actual medicine.
3. Although I’m all for organic products and natural skincare, everyone’s skin is different and your form of acne might not be best be treated through this means. I tried Zinc tablets, putting lemons on my face, yogurt masks, turmeric masks, icing my face. They helped temporarily but they never reduced the crux of the problem. Remember that you want to treat your acne, first. That’s the most important thing.
4. It’s okay to not use natural skincare products and go to a derm to treat your skin problems. I used to feel guilty for not following the organic trend but in reality, I just really really wanted good skin.
5. Most Neutrogena and Clean and Clear products have way too much alcohol and might be drying out your skin instead of helping it. I’ve stuck with Cerave and it has done me wonders! It’s slightly more $$$ but CVS has coupons and it’s worth it.
6. If you have oily skin like I do, use a foaming face wash instead of a creamy one. If you have dry skin, use a creamy face wash.
7. Good skincare all comes down to habits. Treat it like a marathon and not a sprint.
8. Be patient with your progress. Although you will see change in a month. I made the most changes after 3 months.
9. Don’t throw all the skincare products your derm gave you all at once. Introduce them slowly and see how your skin reacts. I started using an AHA for months before going on a retinoid so my skin isn’t sensitive to me using both but in the beginning just using an AHA would sting my skin.
10. Being the girl who used to have friends over and wear facial masks seemed more fun than putting on a bunch of meds from your derm but at the end of the day, skincare is about one goal: having healthy, clear skin.
11. Looking at other people’s skincare routines can be daunting especially if you’re new to this but each step serves a function.
Here is my morning routine for hormonal acne and the hyperpigmentation I was suffering from:
1. Wash face with Cerave foaming facial cleanser
2. Apply aczone (got this from my derm). Wait a minute to let dry.
3. Apply AHA from Walgreens (10% glycolic acid). Wait a minute to let dry.
4. Apply Cerave PM moisturizer (I use the PM one bc I like the texture and doesn’t leave my face too goopy). Also it has niacinamide which helps lighten the skin with hyperpigmentation.
5. Apply Neutrogena Clear Face sunscreen
Here is my evening routine:
1. Wash face with Cerave foaming facial cleanser.
2. Apply aczone.
3. Apply tazorac (a retinoid) which helps even out your skin tone, gets rid of any hyperpigmentation, and keeps acne at bay.
I hope this helps anyone who is interested in improving their skin. About seven months ago, I had the worst hyperpigmentation and I would get 3-4 cystic pimples every time I was on my period. This year, I’m spending about $250 on skincare a year but that isn’t so much more than the Average American woman who spends about $215 a year on makeup. Personally, I love putting in time to have clear skin which looks good whether you have makeup or not.
Remember, that clear skin is achievable! Sure, you won’t look like a perfectly contoured celebrity but there is no excuse for not having good, clear skin.