My Skincare Story

(Just A Bump In The Road) 

When I was little, I’m talking elementary school little, I always remember my dad reminding my younger sister and I to wash our faces with soap and water before bed every night. Soap meaning typical pump hand soap. Nothing special. My dad suffered from acne as a kid, and already knowing the implications he faced, didn’t want that for his two daughters and tried to be pro-active with us when we were young. If you’re prone to acne from genetics there’s no escaping it. (dun dun dun) ominous…

Fast forward to middle school, ugh middle school. The dreaded awkward years. And for me those awkward years were plagued with severely oily skin and ugly red blemishes appearing on my skin. My mom bought me OTC face washes and spot treatments, even my first makeup kit from Avon consisting of concealer and powder. But those bumps would not retreat. I was always an introverted kid, and these new horrendous blemishes made me even more self consciousness than I should have been. I became extremely jealous of all the other girls in my class. Why was their skin was so clear and mine wasn’t?? Life was unfair.

I begged my mom to take me to a dermatologist, even though everything about them is expensive. They first only suggested OTC face washes and creams to try. Then when those just plain ole didn’t work, they started me on prescription stuff. I remember using Differen and Duac gels in the morning and at night, but I believe I was still using OTC Cetaphil face wash. Throughout middle school and high school I used this same combo, and while it probably prevented my acne breakouts from getting worse, it definitely didn’t get better. I became heavily reliant on concealer for the blemishes and tinted powders to help control the oil.

When I started my freshman year of college I decided that I no longer wanted to spread harsh prescription chemicals all over my face. I wanted to try different OTC face washes and spot treatments. Boy was that a mistake. The worst acne I’ve ever had in my life was during my freshman year of college. I attribute this to not only going cold turkey off my prescription creams, but also the stress and the changes of my new college life in general. I was beyond embarrassed to be seen without makeup on, and I lived in a shared suite with 11 other girls so that was nearly impossible.

The summer after my freshman year of college I FINALLY stormed back to the dermatologist and they prescribed me a Sulfur based face wash. And wow that worked wonders!! My skin cleared up fantastically, I would only occasionally get a pimple here and there. I continued using this face wash for years, until suddenly this cleanser became almost $100 a bottle! Yikes! After years of using this, I let my last bottle run dry and decided yet again to stop with the harsh prescriptions and start using something sold at drugstores. Only this time, I was working full time and could actually afford to experiment. My face broke out detrimentally for about 6 months while I tried and cast aside different cleansers and creams. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser? Nope. Shea Moisture African Black Soap? Nope. And then FINALLY I bought First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay when they were having a sale, and to my surprise, it worked! I am so happy I finally found my holy grail cleanser and I will never use anything else as long as FAB continues to supply it! I also added moisturizer into my daily skincare routine. I had never before used moisturizer, because having naturally oily skin I thought it would only make it worse. After much research, turns out moisturizer is actually essential to a skincare routine because if your face is too dry, your skin will overcompensate and produce even more oils. Who would’ve thought!?

Living with acne can be severely detrimental to one’s self-esteem and social life. I hated looking at myself in the mirror each morning and I know I didn’t have it as worse as others. Luckily I never had to go on Accutane or other harsh acne pills. For those still struggling with acne, it takes a lot, a lot, a lot, of trial and error to find what works for you, but I’m here to tell you it’s out there!

My Skin Care Recommendations

(these work for me, but they may not work for you!)

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

First Aid Beauty Tinted Moisturizer

Neutrogena Spot Treatment

Mario Bedescu Drying Lotion (to leave on overnight for really bad spots)

Neutrogena Body Acne Cleanser

Neutrogena Makeup Wipes

Clairsonic Mia2 (expensive, so wait for a sale!)

Oh hey, thanks for making it all the way down to the bottom, I know this was a long one. I’d love to hear about your skincare story! If you have any product recommendations you swear by, leave them in the comments below!