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Member Since 26 Jun 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 24 2014 01:47 PM

Topics I've Started

My Battle Of Acne To Redness (Picture Story)

14 July 2013 - 10:05 PM

Hello! For the last 3 years or so I have searched online for answers about why my skin was so red. Could it be from my acne? Could I have rosacea before I was even 30? Would it ever go away? Who else had this kind of redness that I did? I am here to post my progress, and maybe be of some kind of reference or guidance to someone else who is searching for answers, sees my skin, and can relate. I had always had some kind of acne since I was about 11. I never did NOT have some kind of blemish on my face since puberty. I think I have a lot more "good skin" pictures than bad skin pictures because you know, who is going to want to take pictures on a bad skin day? I would spend a lot of time in the mirror inspecting my face on those days but I did not hope to remember it. My acne was fairly mild but persistent through high school and college. There were probably some weeks that were closer to moderate. I'll begin my picture story of progress here, at my high school graduation.


Yep, that's me. With makeup and all, my acne and textured skin still showed through despite my efforts. My skin was also super oily, shiny, and out of balance while I used benzoyl peroxide and other acne things every AM and PM religiously. It may not look bad at all by itself but next to friends whose skin was much brighter and clearer, my skin looked rough. The next picture is an example except I did cut out my friend for privacy reasons. Point is, my face did not photograph well in artificial light. It is also pretty red here.


And sometimes I would have much better skin days but then have a couple super red, ouchy blemishes that would always take multiple days to go away. I also had a really bumpy forehead. Obviously felt good enough with makeup to take this silly picture that day lol.


And in college I ditched the acne products and switched to more natural products that did not really fight acne per say but it just helped skin be healthier. I had some really nice days where WITH makeup my skin looked great in natural light.


I LOVED this picture for a really long time. I felt so good about it.

Finally, when I was actually doing the Oil Cleansing Method, I realized one day that my skin was a lot smoother and clearer. I would still get those painful under-the-skin pimples and tiny whiteheads. But for the most part I realized I had a lot more good days than bad. I had a lot of redmarks and stuff but when there was plenty of natural light, the light diffused my skin tone and revealed much healthier looking skin. All of the following pictures are WITHOUT any makeup.


So exciting! Except in more dull, inside light, this is what my skin was more like.



Luckily since the texture of my skin was so improved, all my makeup had to do was even out my skin tone. I had no idea why my face had become so red over the years, even though I wasn't actively breaking out anymore. It was so frustrating and if I did go out without makeup, people always assumed that I was sunburned!! I hated when they'd actually comment about it or ask "have you been out in the sun?", and I shamefully went along with it anyway. I wasn't going to tell them that my skin was just like that. I thought I looked sick because of the color difference around my eyes and the rest of my skin; it was ridiculous. The above pictures were taken last year.


Continued in next post...

Now jump forward to this year. Still continuing a more natural and gentle skincare routine like the one I have in my signature:


 I heard taking pictures in the car is one of the best places to get true light especially when experimenting with make-up foundation shades. So I like taking pics in my car to compare. This pic was a week and a half ago and since I have started using tea tree oil, my skin texture and redness continue to improve. I started tea tree oil mid June.



Seems I have too many images in this thread? I will attach the last three pics and just know I am referring to them in the order they show below as attached files.


The first one below is exciting for me and is what kind of inspired me to write this at all. This pic was taken today, no makeup, and in similar light to the super obviously red skin/white under eyes taken a year ago.


The color difference is certainly not as abrupt between my eyes and rest of face although my face still has a red tint to it. From the side with this dull light it is obviously reddish but my skin in super smooth and no active breakouts at all: Yay


And then the 3rd one was taken in natural light from a window, again no makeup.


My chin insists to always be red and if I do get breakouts that is usually where they occur. But from this year to last year I am very pleased to see the difference and I hope my redness continues to subside. I honestly thought it might be this way forever and now I have hope! Since using a drop of tea tree oil with my toner AM and PM, I have seen the most DRAMATIC change since last year and in very little time (improvement within days). Both in texture and a reduce in redness.

My face is also more balanced, never dry, never over oily, and is not nearly as shiny or dull at the end of the day. I just try to treat my skin good and it has taken multiple YEARS since my persistent acne but I hope to someday have skin that I dreamed to always have. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below about anything!

When Someone Tells You "you Don't Have Acne," You Have Finally Beat The 10-...

06 April 2012 - 05:28 PM

I have struggled with mild to moderate acne since puberty and I am now 24. I've had everything: whiteheads, blackheads, zits, cysts, redness, ugly skin, dry skin, and oily skin. During the spring before I got married, I tried some really cheap makeup that caused one of the worst breakouts I had ever had. It was that awful breakout that motivated me to find a better way to obtain the clear, beautiful, acne-free face I had always wanted, especially right before my wedding that summer. Since I was 12, I had been using Walmart cleansers with SA and creams with BP morning and night. Somtimes I'd even use more BP cream mid-day. I tried ProActive for a while and when that didn't work I was given a Rx for Differin while using the Cetephil sensitive cleanser and moisturizer. It didn't seem like anything was working any better, so Walmart cleansers and creams it was.

For the first time ever, I came across products while searching online that had natural ingredients that had the same purpose as the 2% SA and 10% BP products I was using. I also came across natural remedies like masks, honey and sugar scrubs, and started using freshly squeezed lemon juice (mixed with water) to help decrease redness and acne marks. I also read up on the comedogenicy of common commercial ingredients and got familiar with the ones to avoid and the ones that were okay so I could avoid any harsh or irritating ingredients.

I watched tons of youtube reviews on natural products and came across a review for a website called Best Bath Store. They have an acne bar, toner, gel, and moisturizer that are all mostly oil based, 100% natural, and very FEW ingredients. The website lists all ingredients and tells the benefits/purpose of each one. It felt sooo weird to not use benzoyl peroxide or anything "medicated" because I thought I depended on them to keep my acne maintained, but guess what! My acne certainly did not get worse, that bad breakout had cleared up, and my skin felt healthier!

Because I couldn't help myself and had always "overloaded" on products anyway (NOT good!), I also got into Burt's Bee's and tried the Tomato Complexion soap which I think has been discontinued now. I traded off between the tomoato soap and best bath store bar as cleansers, and still kept doing everything else best bath store twice a day so it looked like this:

Best Bath Store (BBS) Acne Bar
BBS Acne Gel
BBS moisturizer

Burt's Bees Tomoato Soap
BBS Toner
BBS Moisturizer
2-3 times a week I would use the BBS Dead Sea Mask

That is the routine I was using when my wedding came around and -  with makeup of course - my face looked awesome! There were some pictures where you could still see that my face wasn't glorious. Some redness came through and my skin didn't look completely smooth but most pictures came out great. I don't know how much "editing" my photographer did either.

I stuck with this routine for a long time and I would say I had very mild acne. Not horrible but I always had a few pimples, always. The redness was still a problem and I still felt like I either had really dry skin or really oily skin. Never felt comfortable! Then, another discovery:

The Oil Cleansing Method
Upon reading about it, I thought it was brilliant and made perfect since. I added it to my regimen Summer 2011, and since it is so deep cleaning, it was suggested to only cleanse at night. I think minimizing the frequency of cleansing alone was one of the best things I did. I believe now that the less you do to control your skin and the more you can leave it alone, your skin will finally take care of itself again. My older brother was NEVER as persistent or anal about acne as I was even though his acne was worse than mine sometimes. He has good skin now without doing much of anything.

Currently, this is what I use and have had the best skin I can remember since I was 11. Now, I know OCM doesn't work for everyone and I don't know why I am so lucky. Maybe it is because I had been using oil based products before this and so my skin was slowly introduced before being bombarded with straight oils...I don't know. Anyway....

Spritz with Rosewater

I use my OCM mixture to remove eye make-up.

Every other day:
OCM mixture - 20% Castor Oil; 30% Grapeseed Oil; 60% Sunflower Oil
In the shower I massage this mixture on my face, let it sit while I do something else, then at the end I steam with a clean washcloth. I massage again for a minute, steam another time, and then wipe it of gently. Before getting out, I turn the water to a cooler temperature and rinse my face once more.

When not using OCM, I cleanse with Burt's Bee's Orange Essence Facial Cleanser (also oil based)

After cleansing:
Moisturize - I'll either use BBS moisturizer or a small dab of my OCM mixture if I don't feel I need more moisture

3X's a week I'll use a honey mask and then add sugar for a natural scrub before rinsing off

My skin is the healthiest it has felt and I have found my "normal skin." I am never really dry nor oily. My skin is softer and on good weeks it is REALLY good! I also like that the regimen is non-complicated and not very time consuming at all so that I am not obsessing over my skin trying to take care of it all the time. I was working an outside job the summer I started this and I didn't wear make-up because it was hot and would all come off anyway. I was talking to one of my co-workers towards the end of the summer about skin care. She used ProActive and so we were talking about having acne and she said "What? You don't have acne!"

It took someone to say that to me to know that I finally found something that worked! I had been so used to being a girl with acne for over 10 years and now I finally look into the mirror and most days I realize I don't have a single new pimple! I still get tiny whiteheads time to time but they are those kind that are there at night and then gone in the morning. No cysts or major breakouts. Now that my face is clear from most active acne, the aftermath of the last 10 years is left. Red marks and the redness they left are really my biggest battle. I use a tiny bit of Everyday Minerals powder with a brush to even out the redness of my cheeks compared to around my eyes and that's all it takes to make my skin look normal. I'm hoping that keeping my skin healthy and not interferring so much will fix this with more time. Also, I haven't bought any new products since last summer because the oils last SO LONG!

If you haven't found something that works for you, I encourage you to try more natural products, or at LEAST try washing once a day and try not to interfere so much with your skin's natural system. Most cleansers strip your skin of even its natural protective barrier trying to clean EVERYTHING off, and it takes 12 hours for it to return so your facial skin is always defenseless against acne-causing bacteria if you cleanse morning and night. Facial skin is such delicate skin. I know we hate acne but we don't have to punish our skin for it. Bottom line is that I think I made my skin worse by putting all the stuff on it that I did so often. I wish I had found another way like this sooner!