Before beauty school I had great skin. During beauty school I was stressed, drinking 3 cups of coffee a day, not sleeping & my whole life was reflected on my face. When you are stressed your body releases hormones which can increase the amount & type of oil that is produced in your pores (a.k.a follicles) and it can clog them, prohibiting oxygen to enter and kill/ stabilize existing bacteria.
What also increased it, was the fact that I was STRESSING over the fact that STRESS was destroying my skin. It was like a cycle I couldn’t get out of. I wasn’t so insecure to the point that I couldn’t leave the house, but it was a hard time adjusting. I had to stop everything I was doing and figure out exactly how to get back on track and get my skin healthy again.
Since I just graduated and skin care is my future career path, I had to figure out on my own how to overcome my acne. I figured if I can’t help myself with my own skin care challenges, why should I be helping others? It was also kind of funny that I went to school for skin care and by the time I graduated I was actually FORCED to take better care of my skin.
So on to my journey. On the first day of beauty school we got a boat load of goodies, which included professional skin care products from Dermalogica.
Dermalogica carries some of the best products money can buy (if your money can buy them because they are EXPENSIVE). They spend time researching ingredients and creating the best products and practices for healthy skin. I love them. HOWEVER, my routine used to consist of clean and clear daily makeup remover wipes and Shea butter, so switching to a full on 5-7 step morning & night routine was a bit of a shock to my skin. Due to the daily facials given to me my classmates for the 6 months I was in school, on top of the stress of home and work– my skin started to get pretty irritated and I started getting acne. This caused me to randomly touch my face more and more, which is a big NO NO! (There is so much bacteria on your fingers and under your finger nails, it could actually make your acne worse).
I started doing what every one should do morning and night (according to Dermalogica) which is: Precleanse, double cleanse, exfoliate, (mask 2-3 times a week), moisturize, tone, and maybe apply a sunscreen if it’s daytime or an eye cream at night.
After I started doing this routine RELIGIOUSLY, my acne got worse. Come to find out, my special cleansing gel was drying out my skin and breaking down the protective barrier which invited more bacteria, creating more acne. I COULDN’T CATCH A BREAK! Even when I stopped using Dermalogica all together, the acne just increased. I tried using just the cleanser, then the cleanser and spot treatments of sulfur or salicylic acid, then the cleanser and the mask. Nothing worked. Then one day I bought Benzoyl Peroxide from Walgreens. WALGREENS, OF ALL PLACES SAVED MY SKIN! For about seven dollars too!
Benzoyl peroxide increases cell turn over, acts as a peeling agent and is an antibacterial, specifically to the P. acnes that are found in your hair follicles that multiply with the loss of oxygen (clogged pores + p.acne bacteria = ACNE!). In just one week I saw a drastic change. It dried up my acne, and even in the second week I can see it lightening up my post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (scarring from acne).
I used the benzoyl peroxide at night (after cleansing), and in the morning I washed with Dermalogica Precleanse. Sometimes If my skin felt extra dry I used Dermalogica Ultra Calming cleanser, and I used a TINY BIT of vitamin E oil in the morning for moisture. My skin is finally getting back to normal.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME:
Daily Microfoliant (although it works if I use it less than 3 times a week)
Washing my face in the shower (It helps to wipe your face clean of the residue and water before applying another product, and don’t use hot water it can dry out your skin)
Being optimistic and hoping my skin will just bounce back to normal on it’s own.
I know it’s cliche but good skin starts from the inside out, so eating healthy, DRINKING LOTS OF WATER, sleeping, and finding ways to DE-stress will probably be your best bet. Once you have those down I’m sure the rest of you journey to acne free skin will be easy as pie. =) GOOD LUCK! Any questions on skin care feel free to ask!
*What may work for me may not work for you, so don’t be afraid to take a risk or two.