So I've been off my Clarisonic for..this is probably my 5th day. At first, like I said, it seemed to be a good thing. However, I am going through a pretty bad breakout right now but I have no idea if it's from the Clarisonic or not. I have four pimples on my forehead (two new, two healing) and four on my right side all along my smile line. Then I have two clogged pores on the left side of my mouth. The new pimples that are forming are very small, yet irritating, and they are all RIGHT NEXT to the pimples I got the other week. I tried to keep my hands off, but perhaps I picked or scraped at dry skin. That'll often cause a second pimple right next door to the first. So I'm a bit frustrated right now. I just finished putting my makeup on and I did notice one thing. My foundation is not as seamless and smooth as before. That must be because I've stopped the Clarisonic, which took away a form of exfoliation. I'm not happy about that so I'm thinking of ways to get good exfoliation back into my routine. I like my glycolic acid night cream well enough and I don't want to give up on it yet, not since it's been two months and I've nearly completed a jar. I'll continue using that but I don't feel it's strong enough for my skin. My skin handles chemical exfoliation like a champ. I'm not afraid to get a little rough with it. So I was thinking I'll continue with my normal makeup remover then, instead of the clarisonic, I'll use my 15% Salicylic Acid cleanser that I love so much. However, I'm going to use it as a face mask. I've done this before with excellent results. Every other night perhaps? I don't want to over do it. One thing I HATE is flaky, dry skin. Another note, I just realized I can actually slightly feel my foundation on my face today. Like it's actually sitting on top of my skin instead of melting into it like usual. I definitely need more exfoliation.
I went ahead and decided to ditch the Clarisonic for a week or so. It's nearly been two months and there's no real evidence of it doing anything! I don't feel it's helped with redness, scars, breakouts or anything. Well, it does remove makeup like a boss, but so does my homemade makeup remover. The breakout I got this week consists of one pretty large pimple on my forehead that is simply big and red. No head yet. I also have two red pimples on my right jaw and one small, inflamed clogged pore near my nose, also on my right side. These are the types of pimples I remember complaining about every time I started using the Clarisonic. Also, any type of manual exfoliation such as scrubs, wash cloths, the baby brush method, they ALL make me breakout! Chemical exfoliation however, is like heaven on my skin. Since the Clarisonic is a form of manual exfoliation, I tend to think it is a bit too harsh for my skin at this present time. So, this is my second night I've gone through my routine without my clarisonic. Honestly, redness has gone down. However! I've also made a slight alteration. Usually I'll remove all my makeup with my Olive Oil makeup remover then double cleanse with a separate, store bought cleanser with my Clarisonic. So, I've ditched the Clarisonic and changed my cleanser to my Oxy Maximum 10% benzoyle peroxide face wash. This stuff has worked well for me in the past and it was just sitting amongst a pile of other face washes I have, so I decided to try it again. As I remember, that also has helped with red marks in the past. So I think the combination of this great cleanser plus being gentler on my skin (no Mia) has had a positive impact on my skin. The breakouts have been kept to a minimum and I think they will be healing within a few days. They don't really bother me right now. Oh! One more important thing to note. I'm going to start using my Dermaroller in place of my Clarisonic to start really healing up those scars. So, current, slightly modified routine: Remove makeup with Olive Oil Double Cleanse with Oxy Maximum face wash Pat dry then roll skin (avoiding breakouts!) with derma roller (3-5 days a week) Apply homemade moisturizer (Tamanu oil, Lavender, Tea tree and Frankinsence) Apply Reviva 10% Glycolic Acid night cream All done! I'll just rinse my face with water in the morning. Along with the birth control, I believe this will have my skin looking beautiful by summer time. It's been nearly two months now and I've had major improvement. So thankful
So, within a single day of using straight rose hip seed oil on my skin I got a breakout. I did more research and found that that oil is actually not recommended for acne-prone skin, though it is excellent for scars. So, I am not currently using that oil anymore. Also, I've changed my carrier oil to Tamanu Oil. It's supposedly one of the top oils for curing skin issues, everything from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to acne. I've been using that for 4 days now. Obviously, I have not noticed a difference. I mix Lavender, tea tree and frankinsence in my Tamanu oil and apply about a nickel size to my face each night. I'm going to start applying it in the morning as well. The breakout I mentioned cleared with excessive use of tea tree oil, but I find I'm breaking out again. One scar has re-inflamed. I have a good mid-sized one on my right jaw and about three clogged pores on the left side of my nose. I've been taking birth control for several months now and am pretty shocked that my skin isn't pimple-free. The last two times I've taken, it cleared at month three. Now it's been nearly six months. So, it makes me wonder if it simply has stopped working (which would mean my skin regimen IS working) or that something I'm using is making me break out despite the BC. And part of my wonders if it's the clarisonic. But I don't want to stop using it either. I'm scared that if I stop using it, I'll break out more because maybe it's actually helping. But if I don't stop using it, maybe I'll continue to break out! I'll give it a couple more months.... So, still using olive oil to wash makeup off alongside a double cleanse with my Clarisonic. I follow this with a mixture of Tamanu oil, lavender, frankinsence and tea tree. Once that sinks in I apply my Reviva 10% Glycolic Acid cream. And voila! All done.
As far as acne goes, my face is extremely tolerable. I almost always have one or two small whiteheads on my face but they generally go away within a few days on their own and are easily coverable with makeup. I'm very pleased with my progress and will continue my regimen. My face is wonderfully smooth and soft. It is balanced, never feeling too tight or too oily. My makeup blends into my face easily and, with a single layer of foundation, I quite enjoy my complexion. My real enemy now is hundreds of post acne marks. They just cover my face and are the only reason I am still wearing a full-coverage foundation right now. I am still removing makeup with olive oil and my clarisonic. I no longer get unusual breakouts from my clarisonic. I feel it helps greatly with keeping my pores clean and my face soft. My pores seem slightly less visible but are still quite large around my nose. Overall, I really enjoy my clarisonic. I'm so happy to say that. I've had it for years and never had the guts to continue through the initial breakouts. I do believe it to be a wonderful part of my skin care. I'm also still using my Reviva 10% glycolic acid cream at night only. I never miss a night with this stuff. It no longer itches, just stings very lightly for just a moment. It sinks into my skin quicker now than it did before, which is nice. I feel it has reduced some minor lines I have on my forehead from my constant eyebrow-raising. It also helps heal small acne. Half the time I can put this over a small whitehead and it will have disappeared by morning. This is also helping with the smoothness of my face and, in the long run, will help even out my complexion. That sure will take a while though. Now, you may wonder about my homemade oil moisturizer. I have been using it nightly, however, I just don't feel it has been doing much for my skin. It is a wonderful hydrator and definitely keeps my skin balanced after all that exfoliation, but I feel it has so much more potential that is not being tapped into. From the get-go, I was doubtful about diluting the essential oils in so much of a carrier oil. I've used essential oils directly on my skin before with no adverse reactions. In fact, I find when I use straight tea tree oil, my oilies are reduced, acne is reduced and it is even wonderful for my acne marks! However, it was so diluted in my grapeseed oil, I felt I wasn't reaping any benefits. So, starting tonight, I ditched my carrier oil. Straight from the bottle, I poured four drops of rose hip seed oil, three drops of lavender oil, about 5 drops tea tree and 1 drop frankinsence onto my palm and rubbed it into my face. No stinging, no reaction. I just soaked right into my skin and it feels great! I think that's how I'll be using them from now on. I'll let you know how it goes
It's been two weeks to the day since my last entry, so I guess that makes today the one month mark! Yay! Acne has definitely improved. I was even clear for a few days but have just begun a new breakout. Mild, yet irritating. Forehead is clear, 1 pimple on my hairline on the right side, 1 healing pimple on my chin and 2 pimples by my nose on my left side. These two pimples, which would be small on their own, are forming 1 large pimple. I hate when that happens. I'm applying heat to try to coax a head out of them so I can clean them out before christmas. Other than that, my skin is very smooth and soft. Makeup goes on very well and stays on all day. Oil production is balanced. I still have loads of hyperpigmentation but with all the exfoliation I'm doing, I can see them fading slowly but surely. I am not using my kojic acid soap daily as after a few days it was making my face rather tight-feeling and caused my glycolic acid cream to really sting! I didn't want to over-exfoliate so I only use that every so often now. Nothing much to report here. But acne is getting better. I'll have little waves of breakouts but they seem to become smaller and smaller which is great. The glycolic acid doesn't itch anymore, which I'm thankful for. It will cause a slight sting (which I prefer over the itch) but only lasts 30 seconds. I still can't be seen without makeup, as the hyperpigmentation alone is aweful, but give it just a few months and I think I'll be looking at a brand new face. I really do believe that. On another note, I am proud of myself for one thing. I have finally come to peace with my acne. Though it has been at it's worst the past few months, I no longer slink into depression or cancel plans because I can't bear to look another in the eye. I've really come to the realization that no one else cares if I have acne. Acne doesn't affect how other people treat me, my friends and family love me just the same. My husband loves me just the same. The acne can only affect me and my attitude. And when I let myself become upset about it, then I become ugly. But when I let myself feel beautiful, then I am. Acne no longer controls my mood or emotions. I think that was the bigger battle won and I'm proud of myself for that.
If ya'll haven't seen the new Disney movie, Frozen, yet, go now! It's amazing. I say this because the title to my post is in reference to one of their songs haha. Anyways! This is the third blog I've started regarding my acne. If you want a full back story, read my two other blogs and you'll get all caught up. But this isn't to inform anyone, simply to help me keep track of any progress. You see, I've realized that the one thing I haven't tried for my acne is to STICK WITH A REGIMEN. For real, if a product doesn't give results in a week or two, it has become habit to toss it in the trash and move on to the next thing. Well, I'm starting to realize that it just doesn't work that way. It can take months and months for results to become apparent and my impatience is keeping me from my dream skin. I've come up with a regimen I really like and truly think will work. Of course, I always truly think everything will work. Here's my plan so far.: Wash makeup off with Extra Virgin Olive Oil mixed with Polysorbate-20. I love washing with oils and have been experimenting with them on and off for two years now. The oil cleansing method (which includes castor oil) causes the ABSOLUTE WORST breakouts ever. Twice I've tried it and twice it has given me a severe acne rash that has lasted for a minimum of three months. So, never again will castor oil touch my face. However, I have tried multiple other oils and essential oils with absolutely no problems. So I use olive oil to remove my makeup because I need a good amount each night to effectively slather all over my face, and olive oil is least expensive. Of course, I use a high quality kind. So I'm using olive oil to remove my makeup and the added polysorbate acts as an emulsifier which ensures that all traces of dirt, makeup and oil is washed off when I mix it with water. Without the emulsifier, the olive oil would be nearly impossible to wash off without a bit of effort (repetitive steaming and wiping). I find this to be a much easier, effective and time-effecient method. After washing my makeup off I usually double cleanse with a second, actual cleanser. This second cleanser is for treatment purposes only. Once my skin is better, I will probably exclude a cleanser as I am trying to keep my skin care organic. For the time being, I am using a 15% salicylic acid cleanser, a African Black Soap, or a new soap I am getting in the mail today which is made with Kojic Acid. The kojic acid soap I'll start to use nightly as it has been reviewed as being extremely effective at fading hyperpigmentation as well as helping treat breakouts. My hyperpigmentation is BAD. The OCM breakouts leave me scared scared scared. Now, with this second cleanse I use my Clarisonic Mia. I got my Clarisonic years ago thinking it would be the end to all my skin problems. However, when it started to make me break out in places I generally don't break out, I shunned it. I've tried it multiple times since then but the increased breakouts always scarred me away. Now, I'm willing it give it at least a month. With the Clarisonic use, I've noticed it has brought some under the skin pimples to a head faster, has made my skin very smooth and does help with the absorption of my moisturizer. Though it gives me little, hard bumps now, I believe in the long run it'll be one of the best devices for my skin. You should know that even if I don't double cleanse with an actual cleanser, I will still run my Clarisonic over my wet face. After I cleanse I pat my face until nearly dry and add 5 drops of my homemade moisturizer and work that into my face, being gentle. My moisturizer is a blend of oils including 3/4 grape seed, 1/4 apricot kernel, 20 drops of tea tree oil, 20 drops lavender oil, 15 drops rose hip seed oil and 15 drops frankincense oil. These measurements are per one ounce. The moisturizer does take several minutes to sink it but I believe it is because of the rose hip oil. Reviews said that, although it has many wonderful skin benefits, it is very thick and takes a while to absorb. I have used lavender, tea tree, grape seed and apricot oil for a long time now and they always sink in immediately. I wait for my moisturizer to sink it then finish my regimen with my Reviva 10% Glycolic Acid Cream. This stuff has amazing online reviews for everything from wrinkles and sun spots, acne and acne scars to brightening the skin and taking years off. It itches for a few minutes when I put it on and I HATE itching. Not bad but certainly noticeable. I try to take that as a sign that it is working and try to relax as it, too, sinks in. The glycolic acid adds nightly exfoliation, shrinking pores and keeping them clear of blockage and potential breakouts. I was going to get some more Retin-A from my derm but really wanted something natural and something I can use when I'm pregnant (just in case acne still plagues me then). That's how I found the Reviva brand. This cream is ALL NATURAL. It even has added essential oils for a soothing effect. I can use this stuff for the rest of my life if I want and is totally pregnancy safe. It also does the same job as Retin-A, such as increasing cell turnover time and encouraging the growth of new skin cells. So, that's it! I wash with Olive Oil and my Clarisonic, moisturize with a homemade oil blend and exfoliate/treat with glycolic acid. Some of you reading may be thinking, "Holy cow! That's waaay too much exfoliation! The Clarisonic, an exfoliating cleanser AND a glycolic acid cream?" Yes, that is a lot of exfoliation. But, trust me, I know my skin. When it comes to chemical exfoliation, my skin loves it. And since I started this regimen two weeks ago to the day, I have not experienced ANY dryness, flakiness or tightness. In fact, I literally feel like my pores are able to breathe. My face feels fresh, feels healthy and very balanced when normally I have quite oily skin. Not to mention my makeup goes on so much smoother and brighter. So, I've been on this regimen for two weeks. That's halfway to the one month mark where I'm hoping breakouts will start to be smaller and shorter. Right now I have numerous small, hard bumps that will not amount to anything. I also have two healing pimples on my right cheek as well as an active pimple on that side. My left one active pimple and a small cluster of healing ones. Chin and forehead are clear of pimples yet plagued by hyperpigmentation. It doesn't sound bad, but with all my dark marks, it looks like I have severe acne. Also, these pimples have been on my face forever. Some, literally, for months. But, they are on the slow road to healing which I'm thankful for. Any new pimples I get seem to be small. ABSOLUTELY smaller than what I was getting about a month ago. It is important to note that I am taking birth control and have been for 3 and 1/2 months. At the 3 month mark is when my face clears up from that. However, because of the OCM disaster, I am still dealing with that massive breakout. I know that birth control clears me so I'm sure that has something to do with my face beginning to heal up. You see, I plan on being on birth control for a few years and do rely on it to give me good skin. I'm doing this regimen, however, as an anti-acne AND an anti-aging skin care method. I'm in my early twenties so it's the perfect time to start. Also, because skin care regimens can take several months to work, I want to get it working now so that when I do go off birth control, I'll hopefully be covered. This skin care regimen is one I hope to follow for years to come. I believe it will help ward off any unwanted skin problems. It fights acne, hyperpigmentation, age spots, wrinkles, dullness and everything else. My goal is perfect skin. Not just ok skin or average skin. I want perfect skin. I'm not aiming for anything less than the best. I know I can get there.