My Journey to Clear Skin

July 16, 2016


Hey guys! So today I've got quite the lengthy post prepared since I'm going to be talking about a topic I'm sure most of us already struggle (or at some point, strugglED) with, and that topic is ACNE! 

I know that based on my person experience, dealing with an onslaught of unexpected breakouts can be frustrating, stressful, and it definitely takes a toll on your self-confidence. I've personally struggled with my skin not too long after I first hit puberty (so from about the age of 11), all throughout middle school and most of high school (I would say I fluctuated between having mild to moderate acne). At first I only had the occasional hormonal breakout, but as I got older, my skin began fluctuating between being clear (for the most part) or having numerous groupings of inflamed bumps mostly concentrated on my cheeks and chin. 

Along the way, I have tried ENDLESS natural remedies, almost every drugstore soap/cream, countless high end skincare systems and literally nothing seemed to work for my skin!! :(  But within the past 2 years (rough approximation) I have discovered some amazing products and I've made some very crucial changes in my diet, and I AM FINALLY SEEING RESULTS! :) For the first time, in a VERY LONG TIME, I can finally say that I am so happy with my skin, and I have never been more comfortable going out in public with not a single stitch of makeup on and I DO NOT feel as though I need to slap on some makeup to look normal, or beautiful. 

I have come to a point where I can finally say that I do love the skin that I'm in and I truly hope that to whomever is reading this and feeling absolutely hopeless, DON'T! Know that there are so many people in the world feeling exactly what you are feeling right now, and while my skin wasn't the absolute worst it could've been (I know a lot of people suffer with much more severe cases of acne), I still understand exactly how you're feeling. 

My skin is by no means perfect, but considering where I started, I've come a long way and that's good enough for me! :)  Along the way I had my own inner demons to deal with, and I know this may be a hard pill to swallow, but I've honestly learned to not care what people may think of my bare skin and I managed to find my self-confidence again throughout all of this, and I think that is the most important thing. Before you look to fix the exterior, take some time and work on piecing together the bits of you that may have been chipped away on your darkest days and I promise you, things can only get better from there! :)

So enough of my rambling. I've done a video talking a bit about how I cleared up my skin (it will be linked at the very end of this post), and I thought I should add all the extra bits and bobs in the form of a blog post; so here we are. I'll try to keep everything from this point on, as concise as possible, probably reverting to lists and bullet points so that I get all the important bits taken care of and I also don't want to bore you too much.  So let's just get on with it then! 

MY SKIN TYPE

- VERY Oily
- Acne Prone
- Sensitive 

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR OVERALL CLEARER/HEALTHIER SKIN

○ Cleanse 2x daily (once in the morning & once at night)
○ Use a toner after cleansing to maintain skin's pH
○ ALWAYS use SPF for daytime. SPF = less dark marks because the Sun darkens acne scars/hyper-pigmentation 
○ Do not assume that > $$ for a product = better results
○ Avoid dairy if possible or lessen consumption
○ Lessen consumption of fatty/greasy foods
○ "Listen to your skin"- pay attention to products/ingredients your skin responds positively/negatively to
○ Avoid piling on the makeup if you are breaking out
○ Popping pimples = scars & spreading bacteria, which =  > pimples
○ If you ignore the previous tip, then be sure to NOT USE YOUR FINGERS. Fingers = increased risk of scarring/damaged skin. Use Q-tips and ONLY on whiteheads. Be sure to also disinfect the area.
○ Give products TIME! It takes an average of 6 weeks to see if a product works. If there is no improvement after 6 weeks of use, it may be time to try something new.
○ H2O is your best friend!
○ Spot treat pimples EARLY! Get them before the mountain forms!
○ ALWAYS use recommended doses! Overuse = excess drying or chemical burns


PRODUCTS THAT HAVE CHANGED MY SKIN

- approx. $9.17
- Gently cleanses
- Calms redness
- Replenishes the skin with ceramides 
- Ceramides hold skin cells together within the top layer of your skin, forming a protective layer that plumps the skin, while also retaining moisture. 
- Loss of ceramide molecules = loss in suppleness & smoothness of the skin

- approx. $17.00
- For spot treatment
- Fast acting
- Best use at night before bed
- Can dry out skin. Be sure to moisturise after use.
- Active ingredients ~ salicylic acid, calamine, camphor, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, & talc
- Salicylic Acid (aka Beta Hydroxy Acid) penetrates pores to alleviate congestion that leads to breakouts.
- Calamine is soothing and cooling for sunburned or irritated skin and it also alleviates itching.
- Camphor is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- Zinc Oxide provides UVA & UVB protections, and it is also has antibacterial, antiseptic, & astringent properties.
- Titanium Dioxide protects against UVA & UVB rays.
- Talc is simply an oil absorbing agent.

- approx. $7.62
- Formulated w/ maximum strength Benzoyl Peroxide (10%)
- Benzoyl Peroxide is a topical antiseptic. It can clear acne fast and also act as an anti-inflammatory agent. 
- Wear SPF during the day w/ this product because it increases sensitivity to the Sun.
- Skin may become dry 

- approx. $49.50/1.0 fl oz | $78.00/1.7 fl oz | $132.00/3.4 fl oz
- Helps prevent future dark spots/discoloration
- Active ingredients ~ Activated C, white birch extract, peony extract
- Activated C  penetrates the skin rapidly to attack deep-set dark spots.
- White Birch Extract restores hydration and nutrients to the dermis & epidermis layers of skin. It also increases skin elasticity levels & collagen production resulting in restored skin density, volume & thickness.
- Peony Extract facilitates the reversal of discoloration for skin clarity.
- I personally have not seen the most dramatic results using this, but having a serum to help fade acne scarring can be very useful. But don't feel as though this specific one is the be-all-end-all.

RETIN-A (0.1%) 
- CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USE OF THIS PRODUCT!!
- depending on region, you will need a prescription to obtain this
- Retin-A (tretinoin) is a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself.
- Reduces the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration
- Can smooth rough facial skin
- Retin-A makes skin VERY sensitive to sunlight, so it should only be used at night and follow up with wearing SPF the next day/during the day in general.
- Do not use on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin
- Avoid using in wounds or on areas of eczema
-  It may take weeks or months of use before you notice improvement in your skin
- If you are using Retin-A to treat acne, your condition may get slightly worse for a short time when you first start using the medication.
- When applying it, keep the medication away from the corners of the nose, mouth, eyes
- Overuse may result in SEVERE burning, stinging, irritation, severe redness, blistering, peeling, or crusting of the skin.
- MILD peeling, redness, dryness, stinging are common side effects
- STOP USE IMMEDIATELY if side effects are severe and consult a medial professional!!



*Also, I am clearly NOT a medical professional! I am only sharing what has worked for my skin and just because something has worked for me DOES NOT mean it is guaranteed to work for you. Please keep this in mind! *


INSTAGRAM @HANNAHRAMESAR

© The Ra Diaries . Design by Hannah Ra | Coded by FCD.