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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

All Acne Problems - Sorted!

Hey everyone!
I've been meaning to write this post for a long time. I've also been hoping to have the chance to!

I had bad skin and acne problems starting from when I was around 9-13. I can remember everything clearly still, I know now what I did wrong and how I fixed my problem. I developed around 2 years before anyone else in my class, so I honestly had nobody to talk to about my skin, growth spurts, hormones etc. It was a difficult time as other complications arose during this phase. Luckily, things slowed down in high school and I had a real chance to be happy and to get my skin in order for good!

I read so many posts about acne prior to this, and barely any helped. I decided, as a 'survivor' myself, to let you know how I got rid of my spots for good!

Incidentally, it runs in the family. My Dad is in his 40s and still has spots. You might be thinking, spots only happen in teenagers, there's no way a 40 year old man could suffer the same, but it's true!
Acne is caused by

A) Pubescent hormones
B) Oily/Greasy skin
C) An allergic reaction/Outside irritations

Let's start off with some ways to deal with pubescent hormones. My skin was caused by all three of the above, so it is likely yours will be from any 1, 2 or 3 of these reasons.

I'll structure this like so: 

How to deal with Pubescent Hormones
How to deal with Oily/Greasy skin
How to spot/deal with outside irritations  
My steps - How I got rid of my acne
Products that work/don't work
General Notes from whole post

Pubescent Hormones

This cause is the most likely. around 80% of teenagers suffer from spots or acne. The Problem: No matter how many creams you slap on your skin, they keep coming back. Your internal hormones are most active as a teenager, about it's safe to say 100% of teenagers feel the effect of them. It could be strong feelings, mood swings, tiredness/hyper energetic, etc etc. One of the biggest results of these hormones is acne.

What can you do?

  • Just for girls - Taking birth control pills can actually help reduce acne, help with pain or heaviness with periods, and also acts as an effective contraception from pregnancy. Not to mention, scientists have proved that taking the birth control pill can reduce three types of cancers by 50%! (Not sure which three, but heard it in P.S.E video earlier)
  • For all - Taking lymecycline 408g, (or something similar), prescribed by your doctor. I am lucky enough to like in the UK, where medicine is free. I was also given a cream, Duac, I will talk more about later on!
  • Keeping face generally clean, wiping off makeup, washing face at least twice a day etc, can stop acne coming back often!
Oily/Greasy Skin

The natural state of your skin can be a big problem. Some have very dry skin, and if combined with acne, can be unsightly. However, if acne is dried out, the spots can be reduced in size and will eventually disappear, therefore, oily skin is a much bigger problem. 
Oily skin is a problem for me. Many times a week, I'm told I need to redo my powder or use blotting sheets.
The oils in your skin will infiltrate the spots, anything oily or full of bacteria will only make your skin much worse.

What can you do?

  • Wear very light makeup, oily skin is easier to deal with and in general, makeup will irritate your acne. The first step I took proved this, I will explain later. At the moment, I use Clinique Almost Powder, Shade 01. Although it's called 'Almost Powder' I use it as light as a powder and nothing else.
  • Do Not Use Soap If you did as much research as I when I was trying to find out how to help out my oily skin, you'll have seen this millions of times. Try using a facial cleanser instead, also, it helps if you don't rub your face with the towel and pat it dry instead. 
  • I've found that splashing my face with cold water helps. Usually if I've taken off my makeup, a splash of cold water can help to smooth your skin and especially if your acne is painful or aching, the cold water will numb it. 
  • DO NOT Touch your face. Keep your hands, hair and everything else out the way. I promise this was actually one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things I had to do.

Outside Irritations/Reactions

For me, I had a reaction often to my bed covers. I also had reactions from soaps and clearasil cleansers.
Irritations are fairly easy to handle, what the annoying thing to do is to try and spot them. (it's a pun) ;)
Here are some tips to spotting and dealing with various irritants:
  • Change your fabric conditioner, wash your bedsheets, etc. My problem was the bed sheets weren't washed often enough, but at one point the stuff my mum uses to wash my clothes and bedsheets was irritating my skin.
  • Change your makeup brands, a problem I noticed literally about 2 days ago, was I was using an old powder. It made my skin break out severely and I had a few big spots, and underneath were tiny bumps over a few different patches of my skin. Make sure to 1. Wash your makeup brushes 2. Don't use the same foundation or powder for more than 4 months-ish and 3. Remove it properly
  • Try changing things like your soap or anything that you use on your face. I found that a Clearasil product, designed to get rid of acne, was causing about half the problem a few years back. So even things that are supposed to help, can take a turn for the worse. 

My Steps - How I Got Rid Of My Acne

For me, my acne was a small problem at first, that just got worse and worse. I felt so bad about myself for years, I had trouble talking to people in fear of them seeing my skin. Even as it got better, it was still pretty bad, that's when I started to take action. Here's a timeline of my acne:

9 Years old - Developed acne
                     Touched face too often 
                      Used products, many didn't ever work
                     Used a thick foundation to try and hide them 
10 Years old - Acne worsens
                       Bed Sheets begin to irritate skin 
                       Someone says my face 'looks like a volcano site'
11 Years old - Stress/other problems worsen skin 
                        Soap and Clearasil irritate skin, breaking out further
12 Years old - Into High school 
                       My best friend (Hey Kerry;)) labels me as 'spotty'
                       I meet a few friends with the same problem 
13 Years old - I decide to get rid of it  
October 2011 - Begin Clinique 'Anti-Blemish' skin set
                          Stop wearing foundation completely
                          First prescription on Duac and Lymecycline
January 2012 - Beginning to see results
June 2012 - First day of clear skin 
September 2012 - Off medication 
October 2012 - No longer needing Clinique sets

I also have some pictures of my 'transformation' 

There aren't many however, I didn't keep the pictures of when it was really bad.

December 2011                     

August 2012

As you can see, the pictures are very different!:)

Products That Work/Don't Work 

For me these are the products that worked:

Oxy 10 (Over the counter)
Duac (Prescribed)
Lymecycline (Prescribed Pills)
Nuetrogena Visibly Clear 8 Hours Acne Treatment
Clinique Anti-Blemish Skin Care Set (Cleanser, Toner, Moisturiser)
Clinique Spot Gel

Products that didn't work:

Clearasil (All Products)
Any shop brand's own (I tried a few)
Nuetrogena Visibly Clear Daily Scrub
Boots Skin Clear Rapid Action Gel
Clean & Clear Products


Basically, it took around 6 months for my treatments to start working, but I saw the benefits very quickly after they did! My spots hardly ever come back now!
My friends and family have all told me how much clearer and better I look now! Make sure you are very patient with your treatments, because I was impatient I'd make rash decisions and give up on some products too quickly, I haven't listed the products I did that with here just in case they were to work in the future.
My friend Eilidh is the one who recommended the Clinique set!
My Mum was the one who recommended I visit the doctors to get a professional opinion, they doctors are very helpful with skin, if you are patient (another pun) they will definitely go away eventually with help from a doctor!

Notes (Summary of tips)

* Be Patient with products
* Visit the doctors for the best help
* Try using Lymecycline or Birth Control pills
* Drink plenty of fluids
* Do Not touch your face
* Check your acne isn't cause by something external
* Wear light or no makeup
* Do not wear old makeup
* Clean your makeup brushes (Fairy Liquid and Hot water)
* Keep face clean

Thank you very much for reading my post:)

Until next time!

- Lisa xx

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