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skincare helper

My Experiences With Hyperpigmentation And Post-Acne Discolorations

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I am a darker skin person (somewhere between types 4 and 5). This is what I learned about acne and post acne discolorations:

First of all, if you get acne/bumps, find out the cause. Many times the cause is the skin or hair care products you use. It could also be because of something you eat - a food or supplement. It could be a maintenance routine like shaving or waxing.

When you have acne, try dropping all topicals for a while except like a standard sunscreen and face wash/soap that you know have never caused you problems. This will help you find out the cause. That is when I found out that my pimples came from dairy and supplements. Now don't get me wrong, the wrong kind of topical has definitely broken me out too (which is why traditionally I had always stuck to standards in skin care) but my acne issues mainly started when my butter consumption went up (for some reason I never had had much butter before) and taking large antioxidant dose pills. I also cannot tolerate typical American (as compared to say Indian, which never broken me out as a kid) milk very well, unless in small amounts. Other oily foods and oils never caused me pimples like butter, and my American milk allergy is not too bad, so it is incredible how I have an allergy to butter only.

Solving my pimples without finding out the internal cause, I used products that definitely caused more acne. Very heavy honey masks, lots of oil. It is only when I dropped to a simple standard sunscreen (Neutrogena, Olay) and face wash (Olay, Dove) that I found out butter and my antioxidant pills triggered the issues.

Now that this is out of the way, I want to share my solutions for hyperpigmentation and erythema on my skin after much suffering and trial and error:

1) whenever I get any damage on my skin, unless it is deep and could potentially scar (indents, ghostly white lines, etc), I should not put anything on it. In case it is a deep cut, something like cerave in a tub will prevent scarring.

2) acids and retinol do not suit me. Period. My skin gets too red, I get broken veins and the cosmetic damage from acne and wounds last much longer if I use these things.

3) my skin really knows how to do its thing. But it is much fastest and more efficient with it if I do not burden it with acid and retinol topicals. Anything that causes my skin to go red should not be used, period. Reddening will delay healing of the cosmetic damage.

4) at this rate not sure what could be too greasy for my skin, I refuse to even use a simple non-reddening moisturizer. My skin knows what to do.

5) if you need to heal your skin fast, focus on good foods first even more than supplements (though always take a basic mineral/vitamin supplement - they cannot hurt as an insurance and they have solved problems I have had). If you are vegetarian you may be Shortchanging yourself. When I started taking eggs my white hairs started turning black. Soy protein powder never did this, and in fact made me bloat and increased the number of white hairs.

So basically, keep a topical approach that is gentle to the skin. Don't redden the skin. When the skin reddens, it gets the signal to produce more pigment and erythema and this delays healing! Eat plenty of protein and take a basic mineral/vitamin supplement. Look into other supplements and their dosages your body can tolerate - for instance, I can tolerate antioxidant pills like lutein, lycopene, etc and I have benefited from them, but not at the high levels I was using (20-40 mg each was too much, 2-4 mg each caused no problem).

I know how much it sucks to not feel as pretty because of your face, but find other ways to get that buzz. Girls, if your hair is short grow it out - you will really enjoy it and many men will notice your hair much more than your face. Wear nice pretty clothes - clothes can make much more of an impression than nails (I myself have never been a manicure person).

Good luck.

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Thank you for posting your own personal experiences with acne! I think everyone is different when it comes to what works for them. I am glad you found something that works for you!

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