I know that I've written about my battle with my skin a few times over the last few years but for you new readers here's the skinny; I loathe my skin. Since I was 16 I've dealt with cystic acne and it's bad enough that it's annoying but not really serious enough that I can justify taking any serious measures. i.e. accutane. A few years back I stumbled upon this product and I really thought that it was the answer to my problem. Within DAYS it completely cleared my skin and so long as I didn't even look at anything with oil in the label I was in good shape. It worked amazingly well until one day it didn't. That was a few months ago, when for no reason at all my skin exploded and ever since then I have been on a real quest to try to figure out a long term solution. You can see by the post title that I actually was able to get things under control and as I write this I can say with certainty that this is the best my skin has looked in the last two decades. (insert hands to the sky emoji here) So what did I do? Read on to find out.
The first thing I did was go on a 2 month course of the antibiotic Doxycycline. A girlfriend of mine who also had on and off cystic acne was prescribed the treatment and she said it worked wonders. It took me about to weeks to notice a difference but man did I ever see results! I will say that I also changed my entire skincare routine around the same time, so I can't say whether it was solely the antibiotic that did the trick, but whatever the case the few cysts I had cleared right up and I haven't had one since. I would take two pills at night before bed and other than a mildly upset stomach when I woke up I faced no other side effects. The warning label did say that it would make my skin more sensitive to sun exposure so I was super careful about covering up or wearing sunscreen throughout my treatment. If I were to have another flare up I would absolutely get another prescription- it really seemed to work like a charm.
The second thing I did, which was equally as dramatic, was toss every anti-acne product that I had with the exception of this (for spot treatment only). After reading everything that I could find I came to believe that it was actually the overdrying from these products that was actually the root of ALL my skin issues. Ever since I was a teenager I have been slathering my face with benzoil peroxide and salicylic acid and in the end I still didn't have amazing skin AND my skin was so dry that it would continually produce (over-produce?) oil to combat the dryness. It was in the winter when each year things would feel out of control and I realize my skin was just craving moisture. So I looked at a bunch of products and decided to start with the more affordable options because at this point I wasn't really sold on anything. I jumped on the Glossier bandwagon as soon as they released their milk jelly cleanser and I now use their entire phase one (the Balm Dotcom only on my lips) and I haven't looked back. It's gentle, light, moisturizing, affordable and it smells amazing. In the morning I use the cleanser, followed by the face mist and then my beloved skinceuticals serum for UV protection followed by a small amount of priming moisturizer. At night I use the milk jelly cleanser, the face spay. the priming moisturizer with a few drops of (I really never thought I would say this) oil!!!!
That's right, the girl who religiously read every label to make sure there wasn't the slightest drop of oil in my product now lives for 5pm so I can wash my face and slather it in pure Argan oil. It immediately plumps my skin and just like when you are dying for a drink of water I can seriously feel my body thanking me for it. I no longer wake up with a sheen of oil on my face (overproduced by my own skin) but rather a nice feeling a moisture. Besides clearing up my skin the added bonus is that I've never looked younger. I thought the fine lines and wrinkles around my face were from aging but it turns out they were from dryness. I swear I was like a dehydrated mushroom and now I've been watered and am back to my best self. (I'm not going to lie to you, the 1couple of cc's of Botox that I get in my forehead every 4-6 months doesn't hurt either, but really the oil has been the most amazing thing I've ever done to turn back the clock). After the oil I use a few dabs of eye creme and if I happen to have a pimple a touch of this, but really that's it. It's a pretty uncomplicated routine and one that relatively isn't that expensive (the serum, oil, and eye cream need to be replaced about once a year, the others three times). Of course, I'm gunning to try micro-needeling or a photo facial to remove some of my old scarring, but honestly if my skin were to stay just as it is now I would be one very happy camper.
Below you can see the products that I cannot live with out, broken up by my am / pm routine. I'm sure that there are a few of you who have been dealing with the same issue for years and if you try it I hope you have the same results as I do. Now that I'm nearing 40 I can handle a few wrinkles but really, zits and wrinkles? Thankfully not any more.