Break Out of the Breakout Cycle
In about freshman year of high school I began to struggle with acne. My skin is normal (not dry or oily) and very sensitive- meaning I could accidentally scratch my face with a nail and it would stay red all day.
For me, it was a never-ending cycle: acne, touch it, cover it, breakout (repeat) up until recently. I get it, because I have been there too, and it was one of my biggest insecurities. How can you breakup with your breakouts?
In order to understand the solutions, we should understand the problem. let’s get scientific- Acne and breakouts are common amongst teens and young adults due to an increase of hormones, specifically androgens which cause the skin’s oil glands to get larger and make more sebum. But don’t fret, there are still things that you can do about it!
These are the methods I used to help clear my skin and I hope that you find them helpful for yourself as well:
Here’s how I cleared my skin-
- I stopped wearing makeup/make sure to take it off, not at night but as soon as you’re back home!– At first this was difficult for me because I was insecure to leave my house, let alone room, without makeup on. After all, I had things I was trying to cover up for a reason. I pushed through my discomfort and sure enough it really helped my skin and preventing acne. Makeup can clog pores, even if its “acne friendly”. It’s super important to remove any makeup that you may have worn throughout the day immediately when returning home. There’s no need to be wearing a full face of skin products to just scroll through Instagram on your bed – let your skin breathe! If you can get lazy like me, invest in makeup remover wipes!
- I stopped touching my breakouts– I am not a certified dermatologist or facialist so just because they know how to extract, doesn’t mean I do! I agree, it can be hard to resist the urge, but it’s worth it. When popping a pimple, one tears the skin, and actually pushes bacteria and oil deeper into the skin. Ever noticed that second pimple has formed right next to the first? That is due to bacteria and oil that can spread, leading to more acne. Lastly, it can scar – which is much harder to get rid later down the line.
- I stuck to my skincare routine strictly-(products are named later in this post!)
-I wash my face twice a day: morning and night- morning with a cream cleanser and night with an exfoliating cleanser
-Not sure if anyone else feels this way too but often times when I was my face at night with water it can wake me up, which is the opposite of what I want! So, it would lead to me dreading washing my face at night or simply skipping out on it (whether I had makeup on or not). So, to avoid this I began to use a micellar cleansing water. Simply shake the bottle, use a cotton pad, and apply all over the face to remove all makeup – both for the eyes and skin.
-apply moisturizer- morning with a light moisturizer containing SPF and night with a thicker overnight moisturizer
-I apply topical gel at night on any problem spots (prescribed by the dermatologist)
- I saw a dermatologist-I had gone to see several dermatologists over the years, but I finally found one that suited my needs perfectly and was on the ball with her recommendations. She prescribed me “Doxycycline” which is an antibiotic known to help with acne which I took twice a day. She also prescribed me topical gel (similar to those found at the drug store), spoke to me about my routine, and recommended extractions and peels.
-The extractionswere somewhat painful but bearable (see, these are the okay kind of extractions I’m talking about! Not leaning over your bathroom mirror post shower). They left me very red and with noticeable dots on my forehead for days which was frustrating to me because they weren’t pimples, they were just little bumps. This may not be the case for others but as I mentioned in the beginning, I have very sensitive skin. However, after the few days had past my skin was noticeably clearer without “little bumps” as it had before.
-Right after the extractions I headed to the back room for a glycolic peel. Not sure if anyone else here reads their products or if it’s just me, but many acne products actually contain glycolic acid, which is why the name may sound familiar. The peel is used to target problem areas and remove layers of breakout causing dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells.
-The esthetician prepared the gel with a percentage of the chemicals that she felt was suited best for me and my needs (for each person it is different). I came in without makeup, but she cleaned my skin to prepare, and she then applied the solution to my face and left it on for two full minutes. Those two minutes felt like a lifetime. My skin felt like it was burning off from the inside out and I felt super uncomfortable. In fact, she gave me a handheld fan to use towards my face to ease the discomfort and constantly had me rate my discomfort from 1-10. She took off the peel with a damp wash cloth and the process was over.
-About a week or so later I began to see results -my skin was softer, smoother, glowier, and any ‘scars’ I had (not pock-marks but discoloration) had begun to fade.
I am still taking my doxycycline twice a day, keeping up with my skin care routine, and seeing my dermatologist for check ins and am planning on going in for about 1-2 more peels. Don’t get me wrong, my skin isn’t perfect still – and I still do break out, It just appears and feels a whole lot healthier than it once did.
The products I Use:
Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes- Great for removing makeup or just cleaning skin when feeling lazy.
Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser– for the morning. This cleanser is cream based which is amazing for my sensitive skin.
Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub-This face wash is perfect for me because it still exfoliates but again, isn’t too harsh on my skin.
Clarisonic-I have a love hate relationship with this guy. I use it from time to time when I need a deep exfoliation but I find it to be harsh on my skin for every day use. I have yet to try one of the softer brush heads which I may give a try.
Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water-I like the Garnier brand but Simple makes one too which I am sure is amazing as well!
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion –for spot treatment. This stuff is a miracle worker I tell you. I can go to sleep at night with a breakout, wake up the next morning and it is completely gone. I have not found another product that works better than this guy. In fact, I recommended it to my friend, Alanna Barak Gerber (@theskinwhiz on insta) who is a Dermatologist Physician Assistant and she loved and approved of it as well! How to apply: Do not shake and let the layers separate. Stick a Q tip in the bottle directly through both layers and apply to needed areas.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask-This is a mint clay facial mask which I have sworn by since high school. It is amazing to shrink and calm any redness, irritation, or active breakouts and isn’t too harsh on my skin. One thing to be careful about is taking off the mask at the proper time, which I believe is about 10 minutes however I always end up rereading the instructions each time. https://www.amazon.com/QUEEN-HELENE-Masque-Mint-Julep/dp/B0014272VI
-Doxycyclin Medication– from Dermatologist
I hope this post was helpful for some of you and if you try any of it out or have any questions please feel free to DM me! @simply.rosey on Instagram.