How I Treated And Got Rid Of My Acne
Acne is not a fun process to go through. I should know, I had dealt with it for a very long time. I know what it feels like to wake up everyone morning hoping to see an improvement on my face and getting disappointed.
I always thought pimples was something you went through as a teen. Boy was I was wrong! You can get them at any age. And I'm not talking about the occasional one or two little zits!
But after many years of trying many different acne products, I finally came to realize out what I was doing wrong.
I am going to share with you how I controlled and got rid of my acne. I'm not going to lie. I still may get the occasional one or two pimples around my menstrual cycle (which is completely normal) but that is it. Hopefully this can help others as well.
Do Not Pop Your Pimples!
Something I learned the hard way!
Yup, we hear it all the time but never seem to understand what is the big deal with popping a pimple. Well, let me tell you an interesting story that may have you thinking twice before popping that pimple.
I started getting pimples around 13 years old, but they were small and would only appear in one section of my face. First they would appear on my forehead, then they would go away and appear on my chin. This continued for a year or so. Around 17 years old, I started to get pimples again. This time on my cheeks. One day someone told me to pop them. That it will "help" the pimple go away faster.
And so I listened.....big mistake! Two or three days later I had gotten more zits and they weren't like the ones I was used to getting. Nope, these were much bigger. Cysts, to be exact.
What happens is, when you squeeze a pimple, you are actually pushing the bacteria deeper into your skin. Causing more zits to develop. And what's worst, it can cause bigger pimples and even leave you with scars.
Do You Pop Your Pimples?
Do You Pop Your Pimples?
You Are What You Eat?
What you eat does have a lot to do with how your skin looks. Well at least it does with me. I noticed my skin would break out whenever I would eat out (fast food). Eating sweets and fried food didn't help either. It may have to do with the fact that our bodies push some of our toxins through our skin.
So what changes have I made to my diet? For starters, I now eat as little sugar as possible. I satisfy my sweet tooth with fruits instead. Strawberries, bananas and papaya are my favorite.
I try to avoid fast food at all cost. But if I do happen to eat out, I try to order the healthiest food on the menu. Grilled, skinless chicken sandwiches are my favorite. No mayo, of course! Nothing fried or buttered either.
I also eat more vegetables, chicken and fish during the week. I noticed a big improvement in my complexion because of this.
Berries Are Great Antioxidants
I buy a lot of frozen fruits from the supermarket. They are cheaper and make delicious smoothies. Berries are my top favorite. They not only taste great, they are also high in antioxidants. Which is great for the skin!
Water, Water and More Water
Growing up, the only water I ever remember enjoying was either mixed with sugar or came directly from a water fountain. I really hated drinking water.
When I first started to drink water, I could not stand the taste. But after a while, it actually starts to taste good.
I now enjoy drinking lots of water. I drink about 8 glasses or more a day. Water helps your skin tremendously because it flushes out toxins from our bodies.
**Make sure to invest in a good water filter.
Do You Drink Water?
Do You Drink Water?
My Skin Type
I have combination skin. It is oily on my forehead, nose and chin area. But, I am dry around my cheeks. My skin is also a little sensitive. Because of this, I have to be very careful not to purchase anything too over-drying or oily.
What's Your Skin Type?
What's Your Skin Type?
My Best Acne Face Wash
I wash my face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. When it comes to acne face washes, I have always been a big fan of Neutrogena. I find there products to be less irritating for my skin.
I first started using their Oil-Free Acne Wash (orange pump bottle). Used it for a year or two, loved it. Wasn't that drying or irritating.
Then I decided switch to use the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser (green pump bottle). Another great product. I loved the fact that it contained aloe vera and chamomile. It was less drying for me than the Oil-Free Acne Wash.
One day I went to the store to buy a new bottle and they were sold out. So I decided to try the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser (green tube) since it also contained aloe vera and chamomile. This face wash had a creamy feel to it. I felt like I was washing my face with lotion and not soap (which is a good thing). It was very gentle to my skin and not oily at all. I loved it! Haven't gone to another face wash ever since.
All three of the acne washes below contain 2% salicylic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful acne medication. Because my skin is so sensitive, I can only use a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide.
Once again, Neutrogena has come to my rescue. I use their on the spot acne treatment that only contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. I apply it directly on my pimples or a little where I usually tend to break out.
This product can be used 1-3 times a day. But as I stated before, my skin is a little sensitive and somewhat dry in some areas. That is why I only use it twice a day. In the morning and before going to bed. But if I wore powder foundation that day, I only apply it to my pimples once at night, to prevent dryness.
I have used acne products in the past that contained high concentration of Benzole Peroxide, like 5%. I don't think I ever got to 10%. The high doses of benzoyl peroxide dried my face really bad and even caused my skin to peel, making my acne worst.
If you are thinking of giving benzoyl peroxide a try, I would highly recommend you start with a low concentration first and maybe work your way up. Just my opinion.
Other Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Products
These are other Benzoyl Peroxide products (2.5%) that I have never tried before but they got pretty good reviews on Amazon.
The Million Dollar Question, "Do I Moisturize?"
And the answer is (drum roll please)...... YES, ABSOLUTELY!! But I didn't at first because like many of you, I was afraid that it would make my acne worst.
There was a time in my life where my skin had gotten very dry because I had gone overboard with the Benzoyle Peroxide cream (I used more than recommended, shame on me). Because of the dryness, my acne had gotten worst. Your skin produces more oil when it is dry, which can lead to pimples. I desperately needed to bring moisture back to my skin. I took the big leap and gave moisturizing a try.
My mom was around 52 at the time and had been using Olay Complete (a.k.a Oil of Olay ) for many years. Her skin was and still is amazing. She looks way younger than her actual age. One of the main reasons why I wanted to give this brand a try.
Some of the benefits of Oil of Olay Complete: Non-Comedogenic (won't clog pores), 100% Oil Free, 100% PABA free and it is Dermatologically Tested. It also contains a UV Skin Shield UVA/UVB Protection SPF 15. Formulated with Antioxidant vitamins E & C.
Having acne skin, I knew it was very important for me to purchase a moisturizer that was oil free and non comedogenic. That is why I knew this brand was for me. I have been using it for years and It never caused me to break out.
The skin on my face looks a million times better. It is no longer dry. It even looks softer and more radiant. Glad I took that big leap.
Do YOU Moisturize?
Do YOU Moisturize?
My Favorite Alcohol-Free Acne Pads
I always loved using astringents and acne pads. It gets rid of any dirt left behind after I wash my face. Unfortunately, as I said before, my skin is a little sensitive and can get dry if I use too many acne products at the same time. These products usually contain alcohol. And we all know that alcohol tends to have a drying affect. I did come across an alcohol-free astringent a couple of years ago that did not dry my face and helped control my acne. Unfortunately, whenever something works for me, it gets discontinued. Arrrggghhh!
But I was later recommended the Stridex Alchool-Free Essential With Vitamins (yes, you read right, VITAMINS). I hesitated at first until I read it was alcohol-free and only had a low percentage of salicylic acid (1.0%). I swiped the pad across my face and it honestly felt as though I was putting nothing on my face. No irritation whatsoever. And so I decided to use this product immediately after washing my face at night and I did see an improvement in my face within a week. I still use these pads today, but only at night, after washing my face. I tried using it more than once a day and my face felt a little dry. Once a day works great for me. Very happy with this product. Hopefully it will never get discontinued!!