Like many of you I had a very hard time getting my skin back to normal after BC. I'd like to talk about my skin before BC, during and after. I got on ortho tri cyclen lo in June of 2012. I mainly got on it to keep my very mild breakouts under control. By mild I mean 2-3 a month. Now, many of you are thinking 2-3? Really? Yes. Here's the thing, whenever I broke out, it wasn't a simply whitehead. It was those deep under the skin pimples, or cysts as some call it. They would take FOREVER to come to a head, and when they did they were ugly, and big. Not to mention would leave a horrible mark afterwards which took weeks to fade. So I got on BC in order to prevent it all together. Biggest mistake I could of made. My skin went from pretty much clear to pimples coming up every day. I was on BC for 2 months. The first month was fine, I didn't break out, I thought I was in the clear, wrong oh! The second month came and I broke out horribly. It all started during the sugar pills. I knew ahead of time that my hormones were going out of whack and my body was just getting used to it. I stuck with it, hoping my body would adjust soon. At the time I was not in school so I figured it wasn't THAT bad. However it was summer, and my birthday month was hard to enjoy as I knew I was breaking out on my cheeks, jawline, places where I would NEVER break out, and it was hard to cover, not to mention I went from being confident, to shy. I became self conscious, I would make excuses to not go out because I didn't want to lather a pound of make up on to just go to a friends house. I can honestly say that my acne was not severe, it wasn't totally horrible. But being someone who had pretty okay skin(besides some hyper pigmentation) to mild-moderate acne, it took a huge toll on me. After 2 months I decided to call it quits. I know I had to let my body get used to it, but I just couldn't deal with it anymore. Plus, I realized BC wasn't something I wanted to be on long term, so I quit. Immediately I tried finding things to get back to normal, I stayed on the same skin care routine to see if that worked, nothing. I decided to order the acne.org system, tried it out, nothing. I used it for 2 months and saw no difference. I was still breaking out, not to mention my skin was just too dried out, and I realized the benzoil peroxide was causing my hyper pigmentation to last a lot longer. I'm not by no means saying the acne.org system is a bad system, while it may be awesome for some people, it may not work for others. It's worked wonders for other people and I'm happy for them, but I just didn't like it on my skin, personal opinion. I then tried tea tree oil, which was too irritating on my skin, however it's a GREAT spot treatment, but my skin always seemed red when using it. Now, I just use it a spot treatment for the rare pimple. Don't get me wrong, my skin was getting a little better, but I was still breaking out and my hyper pigmentation was looking worst than ever. I started researching african black soap. I looked at reviews, researched benefits and after being convinced I decided it wouldn't hurt. I ordered it and used it as soon as it came. I used it with my clarisonic which had been awesome for me pre BC. It worked! My skin wasn't breaking out anymore, it left my skin feeling clean and soft. However, it is a bit drying, nothing a good moisturizer can't fix. It's gentle, and natural and actually works! Plus I started seeing an improvement on my hyper pigmentation as well. After about 2 weeks of using it, my skin became less bumpy, it was feeling smoother and looking clear. I then added the PMD microderm, which is an at home microdermabrasion system. I bought it mainly to speed up the hyper pigmentation process, which were the main issue at this point. I would not recommend using the clarisonic or the pmd if you have acne, especially not the pmd. I had one pimple and accidentally went over it with the PMD and it left a burn, the spot burned and was ultra sensitive for days, bad idea! So I only suggest using this when you're clear. After 4 treatments, every 5 days, my skin is looking so much better! However at this point there was still some under the skin pimples, very small but I could definitely feel them and they were obvious in certain lighting. I didn't want to squeeze them, so I wanted to use something that just got rid of them. I was looking through my drawer and found a Benzoil peroxide from a company called revitol. The difference between this BP and others is that it has awesome ingredients other than chemicals. Aloe vera, with hazel, tea tree oil, lemon peel. So I used it just on those spots, within days, the bumps were gone! I mean gone! My skin is getting back to normal and I am so happy. I am aware this may not work for others, but I really wanted to share my experience with you guys, I believe it doesn't hurt to just share it. So here are my morning and night routines.
AM: Clarisonic with african black soap
moisturize with ponds moisturizer, clarant B,which is great at fading hyper pigmentation.
PM: Clarisonic w/ african black soap.
moisturizer with ponds clarant B
-revitol acne gel w/ benzoil peroxide(only on the last few bumps under the skin)
I may just keep using the benzoil peroxide to mantain super clear skin as i think this is one of the best BP's treatments, this baby is awesome!
I'm aware this may not work for everyone but I think it's VERY important to keep a simple skin care routine. When I was breaking out I was adding products for all different problems, hyperpigmentation, acne, bha's, etc. and I think I was just irratating my skin, making it break out more. My advice is to get clear, then start using other products to correct any problems. I know that this was alot to read and thank you if you made it this far. I'm crossing my fingers that my skin has officially became under control, and the products I'm using are going to keep working. *knock on wood. If you have any questions please don't be afraid to ask!