Picture yourself in a room full of people, say 1,000 and you went on stage and asked this question: “how many people will be happy to have acne?” How many people will put their hands up?! 1? 10? Or zero? I reckon we will get a big FAT ZERO.
No one is happy to have acne, no one wants acne. Acne just decided you’re the chosen one. I saw this tweet the other day, that made me chuckle: “Dear Pimples… If you’re not going to pay rent GET OFF MY FACE! Thank you”. My thoughts was hellllll yesss. Living on my face for free, who do you think you are!
Anyway, back to why I am writing this post. Obviously it’s not just to make you laugh (well I hope it has so far), it is to give you a little update about my acne, show you some photos and I’m going to throw in my tips on how to deal with acne. *Disclaimer* everyone deals with acne differently, so if you don’t agree with my tips then no sweat. Find ones that work for you!
So let’s get cracking…
It’s been nearly a year since I wrote my last acne update. You can read the last update here. (I think I should start writing quarterly updates, what do you think?)
For those of you that don’t know, I am taking Chinese medication for my acne. I decided to take a different route in dealing with my acne.
I really do wish this was a post that said “I cleared my acne!”, but not this time. But don’t despair there are some positives to the post!
I find with adult acne or even any type of acne, it really is a bitch. And something that doesn’t like to go away quickly. It also likes to make reappearances every now and again, just to remind you “hey, I’m still here!”
Back in September 2015, my skin was at its best. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen the photo I posted up. I didn’t have any active spots and the redness went down.
But that didn’t last for long. Literally lasted for about 1-2 weeks and I started getting spots again. Which is a bummer and the spots became more persistent. I then started to look at what else might be causing acne. Was it My diet? My skincare products? My lifestyle. At that time I was sure it definitely wasn’t skincare products, as I wasn’t using anything new.
I admit I didn’t have the best sleeping routine at that time. I was sleeping around 12 am each day, a lot of it was down to myself, coming home from fitness class and I will be just faffing around. (You will find a lot of the time, it’s yourself that puts all these blocks in your life). As for my diet, I would say it was good. I eat my greens and fruits. I cut out dairy as much as possible. I drink unsweetened almond milk and the only time I eat any dairy is when I have cakes or desserts, which wasn’t a daily thing. I’m always trying to limit myself to 2-3 times a month, but sometimes it can be more. I cut out on junk/fried food. Only time I will have any fried stuff is when I go out to eat, and I couldn’t say no to chips. Chips are my weakness.
But you’ve all heard the saying, you are what you eat. I know people that had or has acne, has changed their whole lifestyle on eating and cut out sugar and dairy completely. Now I have tried cutting out refined sugar completely, I lasted for about 2 weeks. I picked the worst month to go cold turkey, DECEMBER. I since haven’t got back to cutting out refined sugar again.
Below is a photo I took of my skin last week. As you can see, it’s not as good as it was back in September, but compared to 3 years ago when my acne was at it’s worse then its still a massive improvement.
Comparing from September to now, the redness around my mouth area has come back and I have more spots along the jawline. However when compared to my skin from last month, this isn’t so bad, but as always it could be better.
Now I do want to put a stop to getting more active spots, whilst its no where as big and as often before, it is still annoying I am getting them. If you’re an acne sufferer, you’re probably screaming at my screen, going ‘QUIT SUGAR + DAIRY!!!’
I’m going to be honest here, that I don’t think I can ever cut out cakes/pastries, as I have more of a sweet than savoury tooth. I’m no longer a fan of sweets and I don’t eat chocolates often. My Lindt Easter Bunny is still untouched. As for dairy, the only time I will consume milk is when I’m eating cakes/pastries. However I am going to put a quota as to how many times I’m allowed a sugar treat. From May (why May, I’m away towards end of April, so I want to enjoy myself and plus I’ve already gone over my sugar quota!), I’m only allowed to eat refined sugar treats twice a month, so thats cakes, biscuits, pastries and etc. For myself personally this is the best way forward, as I don’t believe I can ever cut it out completely and I’m not going to sit here and make you believe I can.
I have seen amazing skin results from people that have cut out dairy/sugar from their diet completely, and hats off to them. I’m not going to lie, it does push me to cut it out, but then I know if I go out to eat with friends or if I see my favourite dessert at work, there this part of me that’s is like EAT THE CAKE! So I think by setting myself a limit, in the long run I am cutting back on my consumption of dairy/sugar.
Now for my acne tips, and as I mentioned before, you may not agree with all these tips. If you don’t agree with them, no sweat, just find the ones right for you! So here they are:
1. Do NOT pick your spots
As tempting it may be, picking your spots will only make it worse. You can spread bacteria onto other areas of your face and picking spots will leave scars. Something I wish I knew when I was in my teens, I would of stopped picking my spots.
2. Stay clear from products containing SLS
When I was in my teens, I never knew that products containing SLS, will strip away all the natural oils in your skin, causing your skin to produce more oil. So find cleansers that are gentle and non foaming as chances are, these products will not contain SLS.
3. Use a white flannel to wipe off your cleanser
Rather than using your skin filled with water to clean off the cleanser, you a white flannel to remove it under running water. I found this method has helped with my acne as the flannel also acts as a exfoliator. However make sure you use a new one each day, to avoid any bacteria from spreading.
4. Always patch test new products and request for samples
With acne prone skin, its disheartening when you react to a product and even more disheartening when you paid full price for a product. My rule is when it comes to trying new skincare products is, if you can’t obtain a sample from the brand or in store, then don’t bother trying the product. Unless of course the store offers you a full refund if you react to the product.
5. Try to use skincare/makeup products that are non-comedogenic
I know how hard it is to find products suitable for acne prone skin, trust me I have lost count on the number of foundations I have tried. Remember to choose products that are non-comedogenic, meaning it is less likely to clog your pores and give you spots!
6. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each day
We all know that getting a decent amount of sleep is needed if you want healthy, slowly skin. I never believed it, but you try managing on 6 hours sleep a day, and your skin will pay for it.
7. Eat clean and healthy whenever possible
Yes diet does play a huge part with acne, so make sure you are eating your greens and fruit. Drinking at least 8 cups of water a day. Cutting back on fried/junk/oil foods, dairy and refined sugar goods. I believe in eating everything in moderation. Having a few chips every now and again, will not hurt. I found that the more I stressed about saying no to bad foods and feeling guilty when I did eat something bad, the worse it made my acne.
8. Lead a healthy active lifestyle
We all know that stress can lead to more spots, so find an exercise you enjoy doing that can help you relax and de-stress. For me, yoga is my number one exercise to de-stress my hectic, stressful life.
9. Don’t be embarrassed about having acne
Having acne is not nice, seeing other people with clear skin only makes you upset as to why you don’t have clear skin. But being embarrassed will not help you, I definitely felt a lot better when I accepted I have acne, and there nothing to be embarrassed about as half the time people do not even realise that you have acne.
10. Remember acne does not define the way you are
Not really a tip, but its my motto about acne. I preach this all the time! So remember acne certainly does not define the way you are. You are just as beautiful as the person next to you, don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not!
If you’re a fellow acne sufferer, I love to hear from you and how you deal with acne. Please feel free to comment below!
Do you suffer from acne? Do you agree with any of my tips?