Hello there! I thought I'd start off my blog with an introduction into how I (unfortunately) got acne, and my experience thus far, with it.
I'm 1/4 Polish, and my mother and everyone I ever knew used to tell me how lucky I was to have inherited my father's clear, poreless Slavic skin. At 14, I thought nothing of these comments, 'clear skin's no big deal' I would say, but I think I speak for all of us when I say how wrong I was. I first starting showing signs of spots at around 15, which is fairly normal, I was a young girl experiencing adolescence. A few spots were to be expected, right? However, at that time I had become extremely stressed with school, friends, family, (boys too) and I didn't have any methods to relieve my stress, so two cystic spots appeared on my cheeks. Now if that happened to me now, I'd put some Benzoyl Peroxide on them for a few nights in a row, and hopefully they'd be gone, or at least reduced. However, at that time, I had no idea how to treat spots, so I just left them. It's worth noting that at this time in my life, I was starting to go out to parties with my friends, and we'd try some (revolting) alcohol on occasion. I personally believe that this terrible trio; Hormones, Stress and Alcohol was what initially started the acne, and I often find myself wanting to tell my 15 year old self to grab some BP, ditch the vodka and not stress over that one guy because he's really not worth it!
Sadly, life doesn't work that way, and although I've never been glad to have acne, I do try to look at positives in every situation, and acne has seriously opened up my eyes to how judgmental people can be just by appearance (I'll talk more about that later). So gradually, my skin started to worsen, the target areas for my acne (mostly cystic, a lot of whiteheads, once one spot had been taken care of, another one would pop up!) were both cheeks, one slightly worse than the other, and my chin (especially around that golden time of the month for us lucky ladies, yaaay!). I think those first two years of having acne were the worst, I tried TONS of topical treatments, mostly ones that aggravated my acne rather than soothed it. My GP put me on Erythromycin, which I believe helped decrease the severity of my acne, but only slightly, and I admittedly grew lazy with the routine and stopped using the drug.
I then tried to change my diet, tried to flush all the toxins out of my body, drank only superfood smoothies for 2 days (never had something so disgusting in my life), and needless to say, it didn't work. I also tried to use 'all natural' skincare products, and similar to changing my diet, there were very few positives to come out of that experience. I did however, manage to find a few diamonds whilst searching through the coal. I cut out mostly all dairy products from my life (Yet I still treat myself to some ice cream or a nibble of cheese once in a while), and I saw a noticeable difference, I believe being lactose free is what brought down the severity of my acne, and I feel better in myself aswell, as sometimes dairy can make you feel heavy, sluggish and bloated. For those of you that can't live without a bowl of cereal in the morning, Almond Milk is a great alternative. You can use Soya or whatever you feel comfortable with, but it's all about trial and error, and I found Almond works the best for me. As for my natural skincare phase, I discovered the benefits of Rose Hip and Jojoba Oil, as I had, and still have red marks/scars from previous spots (Yes, I'm guilty, I picked at a few, but who hasn't?), and whilst Jojoba Oil is very good at hydrating the skin, Rose Hip is great at fading that horrible red scarring that acne so kindly leaves behind as a present.
I'm 19 now, and I've nearly finished my 2nd week of The Regimen (I'll talk about that in my other blog posts). My acne has cleared up a lot in comparison to when I was 15, however it's nowhere near clear. You know, the clear that we all desperately want, and I honestly hope that we all find someday. I understand how tough it can be, there were days I just didn't want to get out of bed, purely because I didn't want to look at myself in the mirror to see the new spots that had formed overnight. Ooh speaking of night, I will say this, every time I had a good nights sleep and got in bed by 10PM, my skin would look 10x better than if I'd stayed up just a few hours longer, so if you can, do try the 'Baby Method' and get to sleep before 10, as I'm sure you all have heard before, it allows your skin cells more time to repair and rejuvenate etc etc (However it's 5:43 AM whilst I'm writing this right now, so I think Hypocrite of the Year award goes to..).
But seriously, I know how shit acne is, we all do, and I'm so sorry if any of you have been judged or mistreated because of this condition. I still find it hard to talk about with people I know, I don't really like addressing the issue because in all fairness, I don't like addressing that I have it in the first place. That might sound totally mad to some of you, but I think we can all agree it's something we'd rather not have. And let's not even get started on the 'Try washing your face' jokes (Quite ironic in all honesty considering we probably wash our faces more than those without acne). If you've got to the end of this, then well done, and thankyou for reading. I hope you know that you are loved and no matter how you may feel or what other people say, you are very beautiful inside and out, and I hope you never forget it. On the upside, if there is one, at least we know what a skincare routine is, unlike the 14 year old me's of the world! Stay strong m'lovelies, and let's beat it together