I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a very long time now but I was just waiting for the right time and right now feels perfect. I was minding my own business yesterday when a lady walked across the other side of the room just to tell me I have such good skin and she proceeded to ask me what products I use. I never in a billion years thought that would happen to me so I just stood there and all I could say was “You know I’m wearing make-up right?” But I knew she had a point because my skin is the most clear its been in forever but when you’ve suffered from acne for so long you still hide behind the make up whether its a compliment or not .
I suffered from hormonal acne from grade 8 until third year of university so that’s about 8 years of my life gone to hundreds of products, two rounds to Roaccutane, facials, DIY acne cures, birth control pill, massages and thousands of rands spent on make up ( which I wore make up every.single.day to school in university).Babes I’ve done it all. I would wake up two hours before school just so I could bake my face with foundation and I know almost every commercial acne product and every over the counter stuff.
I know first hand how bad skin can mess with your self-esteem and make you want to hide. Mine got so bad that I could not look people in the eyes when they were talking to me or leave the house without makeup. Everyone around me had flawless clear skin and I just couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. There were so many nights I would cry myself. This is going to sound so ridiculous to someone but its also going to be very comforting to someone cried themselves to sleep last night. Having horrible skin sucks so lets not sugarcoat that shit.
I thought Roaccutane would be my saving grace and it was.. in the beginning. Roaccutane is a very powerful drug and it takes over your body. You have dry eyes 24/7, the driest lips 24/7, you’re always thirsty, your hair falls out, makes you VERY depressed and it gave me insomnia. So if you are thinking of going on this ‘magic pill’ just really do your research. Only after I went on it did I find articles about people who had committed suicide because of the drug and that it had been banned in some countries. It worked well but it didn’t get rid of the dark marks and after a few months the acne would be back and badder than ever.
Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist nor do I claim to be. I am not prescribing anything to anyone but I’m just sharing what worked for me. What worked for me might not work for you but that doesn’t mean you’re going to have acne forever. Find what works for you and your skin!
But here’s how I cleared 8 years of acne and hyper pigmentation (dark marks caused by picking at the skin)
Most important thing I did: I stopped touching and picking at my face. It’s a psychological fight because you think the more you pick, the clearer your skin will be but it just makes it a thousand times worse. I was a first class picker therefore I was left with elite dark scarring. Within days of not picking or touching my skin it became a lot better and less irradiated and inflamed. So if you take anything away from this its to STOP TOUCHING YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE.
I researched and researched and found three products that I started using that cleared my skin and changed my life.
- Cleanse: Benzac face wash
This was the cleanser I used because it was gentle and has active benzoyl peroxide which is great for fighting acne bacteria. The instructions say you must leave it on for 30 seconds but I would start with washing my face and massaging the benzac in, leave the face wash on for the duration of my shower and just before I exit I would rinse it off. This product is available at all leading pharmacies either in the facial products section or behind the counter in others and you don’t need a prescription for it.
- Acne treatment: Skinoren
This product has an active ingredient called Azelaic acid which penetrates the skin and stops the growth of bacteria that causes pimples and also simultaneously lightens dark marks. As magical as this product sounds I have to say that when you start using it, you will experience a burn on your face that is indescribable. The first week of using this product is absolute hell to be honest. There was one night I even washed my face because I could not take it. By the second week my skin was used to the product and the burn was gone. So if you’re going to try this product please be warned about how painful the first week is. I only used it on affected areas at night.
This product does not require a prescription and is available at all leading pharmacies. Ask the pharmacist for it.
- Moisturise: Jojoba oil
Who puts oil on oily skin? Same thing that I thought but this oil changed my life. Jojoba oil has a comedogenic rating of 0 therefore it will not clog your pores rather in penetrates the skin and hydrates the skin. My skin was glowing and super soft and hydrated. Because the skinoren is so harsh, you have to find something gentle that replenishs your skin. I would put the jojoba oil over the skinoren after 15 mins and also on the rest of my face. I got mine from Dischem (I actually used the Dischem brand cause it was the cheapest)
Side note: To exfoliate I would also use Garnier Pure Active Scrub which has 2% Salicylic acid which helps fades marks 3 times a week.Its important to exfoliate your skin as this removes dead cells and dead skin. But I’ve recently discovered the Deep Scrub from Neutrogena and its 1000% better.
I did this routine for 6 months and my skin cleared and I’ve never had a major breakout since then. I also drink about 1.7 litres of water a day and I know that has contributed to my skin clearing up. I also stopped sleeping with make up on regardless of tired/tipsy/drunk/motherless I was. I always wash my make up off.
With any skin regime you are not going to see results overnight and you have to be patient with your beautiful skin. It just requires consistency. My skin is still far from perfect but I’m much happier now than I was 8 months go.
I hope this blog helps someone and makes the whole struggle a lot easier.
-With love, Nollie.