Acne and Aging: The Struggle is Real
Before we get started sharing the deets on my daily skincare routine, let's rewind and let me give you the backstory on my skin journey thus far. I have struggled with acne since middle school (both on my face and back.) For YEARS, I tried all of the Neutrogena products and ProActiv, and every other drugstore face wash but none of them worked. It wasn't until I was 29 (I'm 35 now) that I decided to go see a dermatologist to get this problem under control. I was immediately placed on Accutane for six months, and let me tell you I couldn't have been more excited! I have heard numerous success stories from people who had taken this and their acne never returned. This was it, I was finally going to be free from the cysts that kept popping up week after week. While I was on it, my skin looked great and my confidence sky rocketed. I was kicking myself for not doing this sooner. Now fast forward six months. My treatment plan was complete, and guess what happened one month later. Yep, it was BACK!! My skin was breaking out just as bad if not worse than ever. I seriously wanted to cry. If this miracle pill that people swore by didn't work, what would??? After about a year, my acne changed. I still suffered from cystic acne in certain areas, but now I also small red bumps all over my cheeks.
While on a bachelorette trip in 2016, one of the girls I was with told me how she used castor oil in order to clear up her acne. At this point I was desperate, so why not give it a shot. The above photos were taken in December of 2016 30 days apart. I couldn't believe how much my skin had cleared up! Needless to say, this when my obsession with oils and serums began. For the next couple years I tried a mix of vitamin C serums, rose hip oil, and whatever else I could get my hands on at TJ Maxx. I did see results with all of these products, but this past year is when I really started to invest in my skin.
Now my skin is not perfect by any means. I still have the occasional breakout, ugly blackheads, and a lot of redness around my nose, but my skin overall has never looked better! It is so much smoother, looks brighter, and I actually feel confident going in public without make up. So here's what my daily skin care regimen currently looks like:
1) My face cleanser: Kate Somerville Exfolikate
I decided to give this a try when another blogger friend was doing a collaboration with the brand. I started out by purchasing the travel kit and it was such a great decision. Skincare can be expensive, and this allowed me to get enough product to last me about two months and see if I actually liked it without breaking the bank. The kit comes with three products, but I only continued to purchase the cleanser after the travel kit was finished.
My boss actually introduced me to this product. For weeks she asked me if I had tried the sample she gave me. Finally after trying it, I realized why she was so adamant about me using it! It is like having a new layer of skin exposed after one use. It also smells SO GOOD! I probably use this twice a week. This is also why I only continued to buy the cleanser from Kate Somerville. I think this is the better exfoliating treatment for me.
I've only been using this for two weeks, but WOW I am obsessed. It instantly cleared up the blemishes on my face, and I'm also using it to try and clear up the acne on my back (before and after pics coming soon.) It's so good even Gil went to Whole Foods and snagged a bottle of his own after seeing my results. Currently I'm using this twice a day.
This one is an INVESTMENT, and if you ever told me that my cheap ass would spend this on a face serum, I would have told you you were crazy. My first bottle was gifted to me, but after seeing the results in the texture and overall look of my skin I started budgeting for bottle number 2. There is actually a test using an apple that you can google that will explain the benefits way better than I can. The one downfall of this product besides the price is it smells like hot dog juice. If you can get past the smell, you're golden.
Apparently this is a dupe for a Drunk Elephant peel. This product has also contributed a great deal to the texture of my skin. Anytime you can see and feel immediate results after one use, I'm in. It looks like you're applying blood to your face, but the baby soft skin you have after is worth looking crazy for 10 minutes. Oh, and did I mention it's less than $8?!?!
This is a new product for me, but it is definitely worth the hype! This is the mask you hear about where people combine it with apple cider vinegar to get max results. I used this in combination with the blemish clearing serum to wipe out 4 blemishes on my forehead FAST! This mask came highly recommended from most of you, so if you don't know about it..now you do!
If you're not familiar with dermaplaning, it's basically shaving your face with a small razor to remove dead skin cells and peach fuzz. I'm here to tell you that there is no need to worry you will NOT cut yourself and NO your hair will not grow back thick or dark. I only do this about once a month or if I have an event where I want my make up to look flawless. If you haven't noticed by now, all of the products I lean towards are ones that help create a smooth texture. A smooth finish makes your skin appear fresh and youthful, and you can create a glow by applying the serum of your choice right before bed!
So there you have it! Remember, I am no way a skin expert and this is just what has worked for me. Everyone's skin is different, but I hope some of you find your own success with some of these products. If you try any of them out, I would love for you to share your results (good or bad) with me!