How I Cleared My Acne

I was inspired to write this post because someone on Tumblr recently put a message in my ask box saying "Your skin looks great!!! What do you use?" And I answered as I usually do for those types of questions with a list of the products I use. But, that kind of surprised me that someone would think to ask me that. Because I have struggled with acne since high school. Like most teenagers, it probably started in about eighth grade. And it reached it's worst point during my junior year of high school. I still deal with it today at age 22, so I can't say I entirely "fixed" my acne, but I definitely decreased it. So I thought I would use this post to share my skin story, and I'm listing some of the products I have used that have helped me along the way.

Here is a progression of completely unedited photos of how my skin was in high school

 Sophomore year: I think January 2010, this is a super bright photo, but there was some acne there, and braces that I liked to hide.

Early junior year: I think September of 2010, when it first started to become a problem (and I clearly didn't think doing anything to my eyebrows was necessary)

 The worst it ever was: I think March of 2011, about halfway through junior year. I think within a week or so of these photos being taken, my mom and I thought it was a good idea to seek help from a dermatologist.

About 6 weeks after I started taking acne medications: April 2011, this was from Junior Prom

August of 2011: about 5 months after I started the medications

So the short answer to the question "How did you clear your acne?" is I went to the dermatologist and she prescribed me with exactly what I needed.

About a year or so before my skin reached the worst point, I used lots of different scrubs, face washes, spot treatments, etc. that said they were supposed to help with acne, but I never really saw any results. I think it got as bad as it did for a number of reasons: besides the fact that it just happens to most people in high school and a lot of people in my family had also had acne issues. Once it started getting bad, I used a lot of oily makeup in attempt to cover it up, and I was in ballet 20+ hours a week and I sweat a lot around my face. My hair was also really greasy and when it wasn't up for dance, it was all in my face, I had an awful diet (I still kinda do), and was not getting enough sleep.

My solution ended up being prescription Epiduo topical gel and the antibiotic Minocycline. I'm not saying this is the perfect fix, and that if you have acne that you need prescriptions. And this post is not sponsored, I'm just saying this was my skin solution. I know a lot of people who saw the same results from just a good cleanser, or even need other harsh prescriptions like Accutane. Through college it worked the same as it did in high school, but it wasn't keeping my skin quite as clear as it used to. So about 6 months ago I added a second topical gel, Aczone which has also worked so well for me!

I never really experienced any bad side effects from any of these medication except for when I started on them my skin dried out a lot, which I was told it would. I had to go put lotion on my face in between classes it was so flaky, dry. But after about 6 or 8 weeks, I started seeing some major improvements. I also cut out all products that weren't oil-free including moisturizer, foundation,  and concealer. My dermatologist also recommended to avoid any products that were grainy, I don't really remember why it's bad for acne, but it helped!
So in conclusion, acne hasn't really been much of an issue for me since I was about 18, but I definitely still get the occasional breakout!

So along with the prescriptions: here are some of the acne friendly products I have used that have improved my skin within the last few years. So if any of my readers are struggling with acne, I would recommend using these oil-free products to help deal with it, maybe before you look into taking acne prescriptions. Again, I'm not saying they are the perfect solution, they are just what have worked for me, and I hope could help you too!

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cleanser

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion (my dermatologist's favorite)
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer
DDF Ultra Lite Moisturizing Dew (my favorite for under makeup)

Foundations and BB Cream:
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear foundation (oil free version)
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation
Dr. Jart Dis A Pore BB Cream (what I use now)

Tarte Amazonian Clay Concealer
CoverGirl + Olay Stick Concealer 

There's also plenty of little things that help with acne too like don't touch your face a lot, shower with water that isn't too hot, don't pop your zits, try not to have your hair on your face, change your pillowcases often, and drink a lot of water!

P.S. I made a blog snapchat, add me: caralinastyle

Thanks for reading!

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