I'm 21 and I think it's been almost 8 years since I've left the house without make-up.
My acne started when I was 13. I actually remember being the only girl in my year who wore foundation. How embarrassing is that? Later in high school more girls wore foundation, but there was a year or two where I was the only one.
There was even a time where a teacher tried to make me to go the bathroom to wash off my foundation (I only wore foundation and powder for oiliness, no mascara etc.) because in my school girls weren't allowed to wear make-up - I left and walked home. She didn't even take me aside, she shouted in front of the whole class for me to go take off my make-up. It still makes me fume to this day - How could a 40+ year old woman pick on a 13 year old like that?
Anyway, that's kind of off-topic, but I guess it's a good introduction to how the past 8 years have gone.
I guess looking at it realistically, I only had really bad skin between 13-16, but it's never fully gone away. Not enough for me to leave the house without make-up on and a full make-up bag with me. I've tried various antibiotics (none of them did a thing), benzoyl peroxide, prescribed topical treatments, birth control - None of them did much, except for the benzoyl peroxide - But that comes with it's own host of issues.
I've had something of a love-hate relationship with benzoyl peroxide - It would work, but made my skin red and dry (and every woman knows what foundation looks like on flaky skin. Urgh) so as soon as it would make me clear enough, I would stop using it. Then the acne would come back. Then I'd use it for a little while again. Then stop. And so on.
About a year ago I was prescribed Yaz to try combat my acne. It helped ever-so-slightly, but I was nowhere near clear. This year I went back to my dermatologist (in tears, I'm embarrassed to say) and she recommended Accutane. I didn't want to try something so drastic just yet, so instead she prescribed me Diane-35 (which, through Googling, seems to come with it's own array of issues).
The first two weeks were hell, my skin broke out in places its never broken out before (my cheeks and jaw), and furthermore it was cystic acne, which was something I got extremely rarely. I was truly ready to stop - But hey, I had spent money on it and needed to not get pregnant (ha!), so I figured I would just last for ONE month then switch back to Yaz. I'd rather go back to bad skin than worse skin.
It's been 2 weeks now and I can see a slight improvement.
For the first time since I can remember my forehead is almost completely smooth (I usually have lots of tiny bumps)
My face is noticeably less oily
Right now, I have three almost-healed cysts on my cheekbone (all which started with Diane-35), one almost-healed one on my jaw. And one just starting to form on my cheek (hello you little b---tard. I see you). Added to that, I have three pimples on my chin and two by my lip (which are luckily almost invisible with make-up on).
So some areas of my face are improving, some got worse (but are getting better). The only real irritation right now is the cyst forming on my cheek. Beyond frustrating, and it hurts like hell!
This topic is mainly for me to rant and rave, hopefully it will help someone else.
Lemon juice (Leave it on for 15 minutes while I get dressed)
Exfoliate (only if my skin is too dry and flaky for make-up) with sugar and honey (I'm not organic, I'm cheap)
Pond's vanishing cream
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Foundation
MAC Studio Fix powder
Afternoon (or the second I get home):
Remove make-up (Johnson & Johnson Cleansing Wipes)
Night (after showering):
I used to keep the benzoyl peroxide on overnight, but I HATE how it dries out my skin and makes it flaky. So I'm trying to experiement to see whether keeping it on for a few hours then putting almond oil on will combat the dryness and redness. I literally cannot put make-up on if I've used benzoyl peroxide on the night before, and I believe I've stressed how much I cannot be seen in public without make-up on! (That sounds dramatic, but damn, it's the truth).
So how am I feeling right now?
Optimistic. I thought my skin would get A LOT worse, but the major problems (cystic acne) seem to have come and gone. Hopefully. I don't think I can deal with another cystic acne breakout - Especially when they are purplish, can't even hide that with make-up!
I'm really happy with how smooth my right cheek and forehead look, but frustrated with the cystic acne marks on my left cheek and jaw (two VERY visible ones, two are flat and easy to hide).
The pimples around my chin/mouth area aren't a HUGE bother - To some people they might be, but I've been dealing with acne in that area forever so it's not a big difference.
I really just want my skin to clear up enough so that I can start treatments to get rid of the pigmentation. I'm lucky in that I don't have much scarring (only tiny scars on the insides of my cheeks - Still not sure if those are scars or just pores ha!), but I do have a lot of reddish and purplish marks.
I really want to be able to wake up next to my boyfriend and lie in bed talking to him instead of running to the bathroom to check my skin (and if it's bad, putting on make-up).
So here's to the first post of a new chapter