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DISCLAIMER: the following post shares my own personal experience with adult acne. I share what is currently working for me and am in no position to offer these experiences as professional advice to heal skin issues.
To say that my struggles with acne have been mostly annoying would be such an understatement. Growing up, I never suffered from any type of skin issues (maybe a pimple here and there, but nothing major). Dealing with adult, hormonal acne has been one of the hardest things I have ever have to face. It all started after having my son in 2017, pregnancy brought on some unwanted breakouts. My skin didn’t get really bad until about two and a half years postpartum. The acne gradually began to get worse and worse and suddenly I no longer was able to manage it. The breakouts and inflammation took over my entire face and I slowly felt my confidence slip away as I hid behind the camera, gobbed on makeup whenever I’d go out to see friends, etc. It was painful and exhausting, I tried a few different brands of skin care, started doing masks, spent endless hours googling “the answer to my problem” which led me to grow more frustrated.
There were times that it seemed like the flareups were going away, but just as soon as they began to subside, they returned with full force. I am not sure how or why I went so long without consulting a dermatologist. I had it in my head that I waned to overcome this obstacle on my own, holistically and as naturally as possible. It was back in September, 2020 that I finally decided to go visit a professional, just to get an opinion. I was so glad that I went in because I learned about an alternative skin care routine that would help prevent future flareups and hopefully clear up my skin a bit. I was a little bit disappointed that I was going to stop using my favorite nontoxic skincare brand, but I needed to see if making the switch would really make a difference. I began using VaniCream Gentle Facial Wash and CeraVe Daily SPD Facial Moisturizer. The dermatologist suggested I stick with these two products to cleanse my face, she also suggested I stop using toner and any product that contained any type of oil. I still use my Cocokind Vitamin C serum each night.
In about a week and a half I noticed that my skin was beginning to calm down. I was so excited to see the flareups happening less and less. I stuck with my new skincare routine, washing my face morning and night, and sometimes even in the middle of the day (depending if I wore makeup or had my face mask on for a long period of time while out running errands). I want to also share that I was prescribed an oral and topical acne medication (antibiotic), but I decided against it, for now. There were a few other things I wanted to try before resorting to medication. I really got serious about cutting out dairy, gluten and sugars. The same week I went to go see the dermatologist I made an appointment to go see my Chinese Herbal Doctor (Ali Optimal Wellness in Los Angeles). This was my last attempt at healing my acne naturally. I am SO happy and so glad that I decided to visit my herbalist because it has made the biggest difference for me. It took a couple of weeks but my skin has made a complete 180 degree turn. Flareups are almost non-existent and happen only occasionally now. I’ve gone to two appointments with him so far and not only is he helping me with my adult acne, we are working at stabilizing my hormone imbalances, improving my immunity and regulating my overall health.
It’s been about 3 months since I started taking my herbs every single day. It’s been about 3 months since I have seriously began avoiding dairy and gluten (I will say I am not yet 100% DF and GF but I have made really incredible progress). I am still working on my sugar consumption, I mean, it’s officially Holiday season so it’s been a bit difficult lol. It has been so nice finally grasping some control over my skin health and I am so happy with where I am at right now. With that said, I now struggle with the damage that is so obviously showing on my face. The redness and fresh scars still make me a bit self conscious and I still don’t feel 100% comfortable. This journey has been a long and difficult one, but I am confident that I am on the right path towards healing.
BELOW IS MY MOST RECENT PHOTO: You can still see a lot of redness but my skin has smoothed out a lot!