Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My Struggle with Acne (And My Current Skincare Routine)


Okay... this is a scary photo to put up on the internet (lol) but I think the photo on the left really shows my skin during some of my worst struggles with acne. (Neither of the photos above have been re-touched, however I am wearing makeup in the photo on the right.) The photo on the left was taken after my freshman year of college during probably my most "insecure" phase. I had clear skin for most of my life, until college. After freshman year, painful cysts began popping up all over my chin and cheeks - I don't think I've ever felt worse about myself than while this was happening! Makeup couldn't cover them up, even though I tried (I wasn't very skilled with makeup, though) and I felt so incredibly self-conscious, like I couldn't walk into a room without feeling like everyone was staring at my chin/pimples. I couldn't make eye contact with people, and my acne was something I thought about and worried about constantly. I started taking prescription antibiotics, tried several different topical treatments, and even had cortisone injections into the more painful cysts, but nothing seemed to work very well (I finally resorted to using Proactiv and it worked okay - but more about that later). I remember feeling absolutely miserable and honestly worthless - all because of my skin.

So, the point of all this is to tell you that after many years I finally have figured out a skincare routine that works for my skin. Up until a few months ago I was still struggling with acne, particularly on my chin and jawline. (To clarify, I always get a few pimples during "that time of the month," but the acne on my chin and lower cheeks was constant.) To sum it up, I started washing my face with oil (yes, OIL) and my skin has almost totally cleared up. Ask my mom - she has seen me without makeup and she agrees that my skin looks a lot different!! The same skincare routine doesn't work for everyone, but I wanted to share mine just in case it may work for you. Also FYI, this post is not sponsored by any company or brand - I'm sharing my honest opinions with you all!


Without further ado, here are the skincare products and routine that I've found work best for me:

Step One: I use this product to cleanse my face every night, and it was the biggest game changer for me - I almost completely contribute my clear skin to this product. It is actually a cleansing oil, which did not make a lick of sense to me. You would naturally think that oil is the cause of the acne, so why in the world would you apply more oil to your face?!? (Trust me I had the same thoughts.) Oil is actually really, really good for your skin and really good for acne... and no, it doesn't lead to more breakouts. Oil dissolves impurities, moisturizes your skin and is also one of the best makeup removers out there. Swear - you massage it into dry skin and it removes all makeup, even eye makeup. Plus the smell is heavenly (I feel like I'm at a spa when I use it!)

Step Two: I use this moisturizer after washing my face, mainly because it was recommended to go with the cleanser. It has a weird consistency - it looks like a gel but acts like a cream. What I love most about it is that it's super lightweight and hydrates my skin without leaving my face feeling slick or oily.

Step Three: I apply this acne treatment on my chin and forehead (my main acne problem areas) to prevent future breakouts. I used Proactiv's three step treatment for years and years in college and after college and although it worked better than any other products I had used, it didn't completely clear my acne and my skin became really dry and thin from using these products. About a year ago I had a professional facial and the esthetician told me the Proactiv was thinning the skin on my forehead and cheeks. It is true that my face was constantly peeling from being so dry! Anyway, I will never use the face wash again - now I just use the Pore Targeting Treatment on problem areas - out of all three products in their system, I think this one works the best for acne and is fine to use in small amounts.

Step Four: Get lots of sleep & drink lots of water!!!! Growing up, I had no idea how big of a role water and sleep played in my skin's health. In college I hardly ever drank water (and definitely didn't get much sleep) and it definitely could have contributed to my acne. Now that I'm older I try to take better care of myself by getting at least seven hours of sleep a night and by drinking water throughout the day.

In the morning I don't do much to my face - I have been applying this self tanner in the mornings because it gives you a subtle glow and also provides SPF.  It's great if you want a natural looking tan on your face or you are trying to make a spray tan last longer. Other than that I don't do anything else to my face in the morning!

Anddd that is pretty much it for my skincare routine! I am someone who thinks that simple is best, and now that I've found a routine that really works for me, I don't want to complicate it by adding unnecessary products into the mix. Like I said before, I didn't start using this combination of products until about a month ago, and I noticed an almost immediate change in my skin when I did. I know it won't work for everyone, but it is definitely worth a shot, especially the oil cleanser. For any of you girls (or guys!) who suffer from acne, I truly am sorry and know how it feels - I promise that it will get better and although it may feel like the most important thing to you right now, it's not. I was very insecure and unhappy with myself almost all of my college years, but I realize now that every single person has insecurities and things they don't like about themselves. Looking back, I learned so much about myself during those hard times.

If anyone has tried these products, I'd love to hear your take!
xoxo

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44 comments:

  1. Can't wait to try this out - I've had bad skin my whole life but I've been stuck using harsh prescription remedies. Excited to try something new
    Christina :: Simple and Delish

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  2. Congratulations - your skin looks wonderful now!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  3. great tips!
    http://killthemwithchic.com/

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  4. As someone who has always struggled with acne, I really appreciate you sharing this post. I've found that my Clarisonic has really made a difference in my skin. I'm tempted to try the oil, but I have the same fears that you did about breaking out even more!

    Ellen | A Pop of Pink

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  5. Using an oil cleanser definitely sounds counterintuitive, but I am super-curious about it now! Thanks for sharing these products!

    Fizz and Frosting

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  6. Wow, I would have never thought to use an oil cleanser! I feel like I've tried everything and now I want to look into this! Who knows, it might work for me too! Thanks for sharing!

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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  7. Your skin looks amazing! I have also struggled with acne since high school, but I've never tried an oil before. I'm a little curious now!

    Libby
    Stylin' Iowan Blog

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  8. Your skin looks flawless! I would love to try these products<3

    Shall We Sasa

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  9. Yes! Oil cleansing was a game changer for me too. I absolutely love it. On days when I feel like I need a little extra cleansing, I follow the oil with a gentle cream cleanser (the one from Yes to Carrots is awesome). That can also help ease anyone into oil cleansing who may be a little skeptical! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Yes! Oil cleansing has been a game changer for me too! For those who are a little skeptical, I'd recommend following the oil with a gentle cream cleanser (the Yes to Carrots one is great!) because it helps makes your skin feel extra clean without drying it out.

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  11. Do you do this morning and night or just at night? I know you mentioned that you apply that natural glow in the mornings so I didn't know if you just do that on an unwashed face?

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  12. This was such a great post and kudos to you for putting yourself out there. I know firsthand how embarrassing acne can be. The products I think helped my skin the most was the clarisonic, oil based cleansers (I love the Bobbi Brown one), exfoliating regularly, and face masks a couple times a week.

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  13. Wow, who knew that you could cleanse with oil? Never tried that before. Your skin looks amazing now!



    How Gorgeous

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  14. Wow, who knew that you could cleanse with oil? Never tried that before. Your skin looks amazing now!



    How Gorgeous

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  15. Your skin looks beautiful!!!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

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  16. Looks great! Cleansing oil is key for me too.

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  17. That's crazy what that oil has done. You look amazing! And those tassel earrings! Oh my goodness.

    Meg

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  18. Aw so happy that you've found your solution! I'm sorry you had to go through all of that but thank you for sharing!

    Xo
    Sara Kate Styling

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  19. I didn't knew that you had acne or still have it because I think your skin looks amazing! I have some problem with it and I'm always looking for new things to try. I will definitely try this cleansing oil!

    http://sequinsinpink.blogspot.com

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  20. Your skin is flawless. So going to check these products out.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing. It is so great that you put yourself out there and that you let people know that it will get better. You are very brave and kind person to do that. I used Proactiv for years but it dried my skin out so much and honestly stopped working after a while. I can honestly say that after I stopped using it my skin got better. I will have to check out the products that you are using though, they sound great!

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  22. Your skin looks beautiful now!

    Her Heartland Soul
    herheartlandsoul.com

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  23. I just started using bare minerals skin care products and love them so much! I've been using the clay camelion, then the serum then the moisterizer. Such great products!! Glad you found something that works for you. Your skin looks radiant! Xo

    @stylemelauren
    http://www.stylemelauren.com

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  24. Yes! I love this, not to mention how brave you are for sharing! This is totally intimate and a little out there, but have you ever looked into PCOS? I know a few women who struggle with it and their acne looks similar to yours. It's usually the worst along the jawline and chin. It looks like it's improved a lot, so I may be completely off base. Just a thought!

    @alisonrebeccamartin
    http://southerngloss.com

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  25. What a great post! Oil is actually pretty good for your skin because sometimes our skin is so dry that it irritates and causes those breakouts. I myself struggled with acne after college and it was so strange because up to that point I could count in one hand how many breakouts I had. Last year I came across this post in the Liz Marie blog and it was a game changer. My skin completely cleared out within less than 2 months. Coconut oil and oatmeal are a few of the things she used and totally work.

    Here is the link if you guys want to check it out

    http://www.lizmarieblog.com/2014/01/natural-skin-care-routine/

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  26. Love reading what skin care products you use! Will have to look into them!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

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  27. do you find that you have any problems applying the Jergens on your face?? after your moisturizer? I use a Boscia brand with the face wash and its pretty good...but it seems like when i use the Jergens with said moisturizer the Jergens wipes right off???? So I really didnt know it was possible to correctly put on your face I guess???

    Http://k-g.us/

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    Replies
    1. Hey Keshia! I use the Jergens on my face in the morning, when there is no moisturizer on my face! (In fact, I use it instead of a moisturizer) I don't think I would apply it after a different moisturizer!

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  28. I didn't start getting ance until adulthood either! It's been stressing me out since I want to have clear skin for my wedding this summer so I'll definitely be looking into your recommendations!

    HashtagFabLife

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  29. Thank you for this post! I have had skin issues off and on my entire life and right now I am dealing with some pregnancy acne. I will have to look into some of these products. I too like Proactiv, but I hate how it dries out my skin and gives me red patches. :(

    Rachel
    Simply Rachel Nicole

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  30. I find that during the summer my skin looks amazing, but during the winter where I am cooped up inside, it gets worse. :(
    Kari
    www.sweetteasweetie.com

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  31. Caitlin thank you so much for your honesty and transparency in this post!! I love all your posts but telling us something so personal really took some courage and I commend you for that!!

    I'm so glad you found something that works for your skin. I struggle with combination skin and redness - thank goodness for makeup!

    Hugs!

    XO Christine
    New Post: http://www.mapleandmint.com/2016/03/wednesday-wishlist-sneakers.html
    @mapleandmint

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  32. I've never had bad skin until after college. I can't tell you how embarrassing it is being an adult with red bumps all over your face. I have read about oil but have been reluctant to try it. You may have just given me the push that I need to test this out. Thank you for being so brave to share your story.

    xo, Jill
    www.setforthinstyle.com

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  33. I started using oil to cleanse my face about a year ago and I agree it works wonders for your skin! You can also use mixtures of natural oils you can find at grocery stores or drugstores. This post tells you what oils to buy for your skin and how to mix them: http://www.crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method

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  34. Hey Caitlin!

    I'm pretty strict about my skincare too, and I'm interested by your regimen! Thanks for sharing!

    I'm curious if you have any specific reason for putting the targeted acne treatment on after your moisturizer? I use a similar product and I have always put it on after washing and before moisturizer based on some things that I've read, but I'm wondering if you had any guidance from your esthetician or anyone that led you to that order!

    Thank you!

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  35. Thank you so much for sharing your skincare routine! I know it has to be hard to share a photo that you feel insecure about. Acne sucks and pretty much everyone goes through a time in their lives when it happens. I used Proactiv in high school and it didn't really work for me. I now use Rodan+ Fields products which are made by the same doctors but have different ingredients. I find that they work WAY better for my skin plus they are all geared towards anti-aging, which I love. :)

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  36. thanks for sharing Caitlin, its nice to know other people have gone through the same struggles.

    www.vanitycapital.com

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  37. Hi Caitlin,
    I applaud you for posting your before and after pictures! I know it wasn't easy but you look AMAZING!! I use Rodan + Fields and love it so much that I am a consultant now. When you find something that works for you (especially when it comes to skincare), you can't help but want to share it with everyone!

    paulaledet.rf@gmail.com

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  38. Good for you for putting this out there! I think the acne struggle is so real for tons of girls (I know it is for me!) I need to try out some of these products. I feel like a a teenager right now!
    Xo, Tara
    http://brunette-ambitions.com

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  39. I think you look beautiful even in your worst days.I am happy you got over this struggle thou.
    http://dressmecasual.blogspot.com.eg/

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  40. I love your honestly and your earrings!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  41. I recently bought the oil cleanser, and omg thank you so so much! I already noticed a difference in one use!

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  42. Thanks for sharing! I definitely want to try the oil cleanser now!

    http://thegirlswhobrunch.com

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  43. We cannot avoid using skincare products completely, but the safest option when it comes to skincare products is to stay closer to natural skincare products and organic skincare products. Beauty and health tips

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