23 Jun B/A Photos: A Beauty Editor’s Personal Struggle With Acne: 9 EveryDay Best Tips To Keep Your Pimples, Breakouts Under Control
Welcome to June, beauties! And even though we’re enjoying the first summer month with some overdue outdoor activities, you might be noticing some more breakouts as you’re peddling your bike or taking a break from your hike! Lucky for you, June is also Acne Awareness Month! Make sure to check in with the BeautyStat.com Blog as we bring you a series of acne-related articles all month long!
The reason I became a full-time beauty writer is because I have struggled for a long time with adult acne and the low self-esteem that it can cause. My story begins in the fall of 2009 when at 25-years-old, I noticed my face started breaking out like crazy. Up until this point, I probably got a pimple once a month and pretty much used the same Origins face wash year after year. But in October of 2009, my battle with adult acne began and it’s still an ongoing struggle.
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When my face began breaking out, I didn’t immediately go to the doctor because I figured it was a phase that would pass on its own. In the meantime, I just “upgraded” my skincare regimen to include a few acne care products by Origins. In the spring of 2010 I finally made my way to a dermatologist and he gave me 10 shots of cortisone in my face and a prescription for Doryx and Retin-A.
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For a while, my skin calmed down, but over the years, it’s been an up and down journey. When I started working as a full-time beauty editor in 2011, my job required me to try various skincare products and regimens. It was truly my dream job, but it was also taxing on my acne-prone skin. In the Spring of 2012, I visited a new dermatologist and continued my Retin-A treatments. Then, in the Summer of 2013, I visited yet another derm to start a new regimen when the breakouts returned.
I still break out, and some months it’s worse than others. (I have three pimples on my chin and one on my right cheek as I type this. #wompwomp) My dermatologist prescribed the following items for my acne:
1. Acanya Gel: This is prescription strength benzoyl peroxide which is an antibacterial gel that helps dry up pimples. Acanya also contains clindamycin phosphate, which is a topical antibiotic.
2. Retin-A: This is a retinoid which helps to unclog pores and speed up skin cell turnover.
3. Differin: This is also a retinoid, but it’s milder than Retin-A.
4. Aczone: This is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory gel to calm the redness and swelling from pimples.
Note: Benzoyl peroxide has been shown to deactivate retinoids, so I don’t layer Acanya with the Retin-A or Differin.
Here is what I’ve discovered helps keep my skin under control:
1. I must get sleep. Whenever I’m running on fumes, my skin goes haywire.
2. Water, water, water! I chug at least 4 quarts of water per day.
3. Exercise. Sweat is usually a trigger for acne-prone skin, but for me, when I workout, my skin is happy.
4. Being consistent. I still get asked to review skincare products, and I do, but I’m cautious about throwing off my routine. Right now, I’m using the Obagi 360 kit and my skin loves it.
5. I do not — I repeat, DO NOT— pick at pimples! Anytime I get a blemish, I leave it alone. There are some cases where a small bump will be bright white and I feel comfortable using a sterilized whitehead tool to gently release the pus. But I do not make that a habit.
If you struggle with adult acne, here is my advice:
1. You must see a dermatologist. Most visits are fully covered by your insurance, but the cortisone shots may not be (mine were only partially covered since it’s considered “cosmetic”). Talk to a professional about a plan that’s right for you.
2. Lay off the heavy makeup. I know you will want to cover up your blemishes, but some of the chemicals can do more harm than good, especially if you’re wearing heavy concealers and foundations every day. Lightweight tinted moisturizers worked really well for me when I was trying to clear up my skin. I love Cosmedicine Honest Skin or Origins A Perfect World BB Creme.
3. Monitor your diet. My #1 acne trigger food is meat. Animals have hormones, and, since acne breakouts are triggered by hormonal fluctuations, my body can’t handle meat every day. I eat meat once or twice a week and sometimes less frequently than that. Figure out what your trigger foods are and limit your intake of them.
4. Be patient and remember your beauty comes from within. You have to be kind to your skin during this time of transition. Your healing process will be filled with trial-and-error, and over time, what worked once, may no longer be effective later on. Remember that your true beauty comes from within! There were days where I would decline invitations to beauty events for work because I was ashamed to be a beauty editor with terrible skin. I felt like a walking oxymoron! I had to realize that my personal struggles actually gave me a personal testimony and made me relate more to my readers. I also had to remember that my skin is not who I am. I am still a great person even with the breakouts.
Always remember that you’re not alone in your adult acne journey. With the right treatments and outlook, you can journey back to healthy, happy and clear skin!
You can purchase all reviewed and mentioned items using our site, www.BeautyStat.com!
Do you have a similar acne story? What do you think of Nicole’s tips?
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– Nicole Marie Melton | Follow Nicole on Twitter @NicoleMMelton
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