As most of you know, I suffer from adult hormonal acne. So in case you aren’t clear on what that is, I experience breakouts on my chin when “my time of the month” is coming, and sometimes throughout the month as well.
I still haven’t found a way to completely eradicate these breakouts, but I’ve found a few ways to minimize them throughout the month and help speed up the healing process. I’ll enlighten you with my newest discoveries so that if you suffer from this type of acne as I do, you might be able to find a kernel of information that could be helpful/useful to you.
New developments on my face
About a month ago, I had probably what I will classify as the worst breakout of my life (not counting my wedding stress-induced acne). I had about 4 big, throbbing (ew) cystic pimples appear on my face in a matter of hours, plus my usual hormonal breakouts, plus a bunch of under the skin bumps around my jaw that were already there. My whole face hurt. I didn’t like it.
This was on a Friday afternoon, and luckily, I had booked a facial for that evening earlier in the week. The facialist kept asking me ‘what happened to you this week?’ Well,
1)I didn’t sleep well all week
2)I had an exam Wednesday night
3)Plus I think my body was thinking it was my time of the month
All in all, a really bad combo for my already acne-prone skin.
New products I am using
So, she stuck some needles in my face to extract the pimples (v painful btw) and then did her Jet Peel business on my face. I looked rough that night, but wayyy better than I had earlier that afternoon. She recommended I purchase Yon-Ka’s Emulsion Pure, a natural, pearlescent fluid made of essential oils that you apply to your face via a compress for about 10 mins a few times a day. This product really helps ease the pain of the pimples, bring down the size and redness, and help them disappear, without burning and drying out the skin.
Over the weekend, things started to clear up, but my usual pimples and under the skin bumps persisted in making me obsess over my skin.
So, after reading some more blog posts about people raving over La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo, I decided I would use up some Optimum points and go for it. What did I have to lose? I was basically getting the product for free anyways.
And my oh my, am I glad I impulse purchased this product. I bought this product on Thursday and it is now Monday and my pimples are pretty much totally gone, as are the under the skin bumps (and believe me, this wasn’t because of my diet–I ate homemade chocolate chip cookies and marshmallows all weekend).
It doesn’t ravage the skin like other spot treatments. It’s not really “drying out the pimple” aka drying out your face and making big crusty spots. It just makes them disappear.
Then, to put the cherry on top, I received Vichy’s new LiftActiv Advanced Concentrate last week (not out yet), which is essentially a retinol cream containing their new LR2412 + LHA formula. If you remember, Dr. Sapra told us the benefits that retinol can have on aging skin, and even how it can help acne-prone skin. When my time of the month was coming again, and my skin was starting to flare up, I started using this in the morning. It really makes pimples disappear. N.B. If you start using a retinol product, you MUST use a sunscreen. More updates on this product in another post.
New things I am doing
Since sleep really affects hormones and my breakouts, I have decided as a sort of New Years’ resolution (even though I hate doing those) that I will try to get to bed on time during the work week so that I can regulate my breakouts. More sleep=less pimples.
I have also started changing my pillowcase up a few times a week. I mean, it kind of makes sense. Any sweat, dead skin flakes, leftover makeup (though there shouldn’t be any of this), whatever gets on that thing every night and then you smush your face on it for like (optimistically) 8 hours. No wonder you might get a few breakouts if that’s on your face every night.
After getting a bit freaked out about using the Clarisonic, I now use it a few times a week. I have also incorporated a scrub a few nights a week as per a facialist’s suggestion to decongest the skin. I was super wary about using a scrub, but I think that if you find a good one that has circular beads, not jagged apricot kernels, it can be safe. So that’s that.
New treatments I have tried
This week I had my first Photofacial at the Oakville Beauty Institute, which was a combo of a 25% glycolic peel and IPL (laser). IPL can be used for anti-aging, hair removal and acne. The laser has a heated pulse that works down into the deeper layers of skin to kill the bacteria. I absolutely loved this facial and found it to be really effective at killing off my remaining acne. I will definitely be doing this treatment again to eliminate all of the acne.
What I have continued doing
1)I am still double-cleansing at night
-Essential for getting in there and removing sunscreen and dirt of the day.
2)I am still taking a probiotic
-I think that these are really helping with my digestion, plus, whatever is going on in your gut shows up on your face
3)I am still using a sunscreen
-Though some might think it can clog the pores, if you invest in a good one, you will be fine as long as you double cleanse at night. Also, if you are using acne products or retinol, you really need to be using one to properly protect the skin.