April 14, 2015

How I Cleared My Acne

This post has been long requested, but I just haven't been able to find it in me to bring to broadcast. Acne is an awkward subject - it's identifiable with our "awkward" years and our "awkward" school pictures and things like that. I think it's beautiful that we wear so many of our emotions and times of trial on our skin, but I am not a fan of acne. Who is? So this is a story that's a little hard to tell, but, as always, I hope the content is helpful. All pictures are my own, and I would appreciate if they stayed here - thanks ya'll!

My annoying battle with acne was an embarrassingly long road. I developed a bit of acne at an early age (maybe 6th grade or so), and fell in love with my favorite concealer (Almay Clear Complexion concealer) at about the same time. Every morning, my foundation routine would take about 25 minutes, and then I still had to put on that crazy too-dark eyeshadow and some glitter of course. I remember crawling out of bed at 5:15 just to have enough time to cover everything up. When I look back at pictures, I definitely shouldn't have tried to conceal so much because the cakey look wasn't cute. But this story is about acne and not my poor makeup application during those awkward years. I digress.

I tried everything. That's what they say in stories like this right? Clean&Clear broke me out more. My face got used to Neutrogena. Epiduo burned my skin and flared up my acne even more. Aaaand I'm pretty sure Proactiv only works on Adam Levine.

Let me take a moment here to say, everyone is different. Everyone's skin is different. It's a beautiful thing really. I know people who remember to wash their face twice in a month and have a perfect complexion. Then there's Demi Lovato and Hayden Panetierre - one splash of water over a coat of Nuetrogena Morning Burst and they're golden. Some people get acne in middle school, and some don't get it until after they can buy their own drinks. So my story is what (finally) worked for me. I would encourage you to try my tips, but just know everyone is different.

I knew a couple people who took Accutane and I was amazed at the results.

Whoa, I'm going to stop again. Accutane is some tough stuff. Like, your face falls off. I'm only exaggerating a little. Your skin gets dry, your lips get chapped, the works. I may sound crazy, but IT WAS WORTH IT. Even though a lady stopped me in an In-n-Out bathroom to ask if I was ok because my face looked like a moldy strawberry it was WORTH IT. I'm exaggerating a little again.

Here's the breakdown:

You take Accutane every day for anywhere from 4-9 months (just depends on your case). First, your face gets red. Then, it peels. You can wear makeup, sweat, whatever, but you will always look like you're a bit sunburned. Mosturizer is your friend and oily make up products are not.
 Your skin will get dry everywhere.

Let me say that again, everywhere.  Comes with the territory.

Now here's the funny part: I hate medicine. Not "hate", but I just don't like relying on medication. Personal preference, but I know this can be the same mindset of some.

My mantra: You gotta do what you gotta do. The fact that my face was always in pain from my acne meant I needed to do something about it, and Accutane was the answer I found. I definitely don't regret it.

It's (kinda) a lot of work to remember to take it every day. If you put it right next to where you charge your phone, you'll be less likely to forget.

Accutane isn't all that I did though. I significantly noticed a change when I switched up my diet. When I ate more plant-based foods, my skin cleared up a bit. As I'm sure you know, water is the best medicine as well, so lots of that, too! I also always took makeup off to workout (I'm bad at this now, but my skin is better, so I have a bit of leeway.) I also tried to have some no-makeup days filled with errands, tea, and Netflix to let my skin have a break.

Oh ok the absolute worst part about Accutane for me was how sun sensitive it made me. When you take it, you can't really lay out and tan anymore. I'm pretty sure tanning beds are a no. I'm a fan of laying by my pool on summer days and I was able to do so a couple times, but I put a towel over my face. I blame Accutane for why I'm so white right now. Again, worth it, but that part was hard for me.

Don't read this post and think you have to go on Accutane. There are SO many other things that may work for you. After all, Accutane can be costly and it is definitely a commitment. (There's blood tests you have to do every month to stay on it.)

Once again...guess what I'm gonna say...worth it.

before using Accutane - June 2014

started accutane July 2014 - facial redness and oily skin (not pictured: mega-peeling) My skin cleared up slowly over the next few months, but I always had red cheeks, chapped lips, and very dry skin.

after 4 months of Accutane 
I do get occasional zits or "friends that weren't invited to the party" as I like to call them. I also have quite a few acne scars I'm in the process of correcting.

Here are some of my top tips to help acne:

*Next time you need a refill on your foundation, look into getting something more breathable for your skin or a Dermatologist approved brand. My dermatologist office actually sells a makeup line that doesn't clog pores and contains sunscreen. Do a search in your area, or maybe try something from Neutrogena or Aveeno.

*Drink more water. Because this wouldn't be a Cristina on Campus blog post if I didn't say that.

*Take cleansing cloths or spray bottles to the gym with you to get all that yuck off your face after a workout.

*I've heard great things about the clairsonic!

*Treat yourself to a facial! I went a couple times to a place near my house, and loved how much it helped my skin. I find that there's always a lot of Groupons for facials, so be on the look out for some deals to get that cost down.

*Green smoothies are delicious and can help fight acne

*Don't touch your face!

*Wash your pillow covers often.

Thank ya'll for taking the time to read, and if you have any questions, you can find me at cristinaoncampus@gmail.com!



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