Love, Family & Food

Love, Family & Food

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Acne Story & Updated Natural Skin Care Routine



Hi. This is going to be a long blog post about my acne and how I improve it. I’ve read quite a number of stories from people who shared their experiences on battling their acne, what they have done to improve their skin condition, and also read a lot on DIY remedies to heal their skin. In this blog post, I’m going to share some of my own experiences and what I have gone through to improve my skin.
Just a little bit of my skin background first; I have oily/ combination and acne prone skin. I started to have acne when I was in secondary school at the age of 17. That time, I was depressed and stressed with my own skin condition. I envied my classmates who have flawless and spotless skin. I cried and I dare not take any pictures as the acne was all over my face. My face was bumpy, red and painful. Do not believe me? Take a look at the picture below. Scary isn’t it?


I was very sad with my skin condition and I had begged my mother to bring me to see a skin specialist. I’ve seen dermatologist, Dr. Henry Foong in Ipoh. I was given some skin care products and also antibiotic for my acne. My mother had spent over RM1000 for a few consultations with the dermatologist. My skin had improved after that but then, it came to a point when I started to wonder, do I have to rely on the antibiotic for clear skin? I’d started to default the appointment and medication. My skin condition turned back to square one; acne came out again. I knew the drug is not a long term solution and thus, I’d decided to go for another alternative, which is visiting a beautician. 

The beautician I visited was my classmate’s aunty. She’s really good. The facial session had helped my skin to improve a lot after that. She had also introduced some oil balancing cleanser, antibacterial toner and blackhead serum. The serum is not working for me, it did not help with my blackheads as all and it made my nose super oily. But the cleanser and toner were really good. I’ve used the same cleanser all the way to university life when I was 19 years old. After the cleanser finished, the beautician had changed my cleanser to a normal skin cleanser as she said my oily skin had normalised. This cleanser was not that good as it made my skin drier and tight. At this period in university, I had started to try on MANY types of products. Yep. All sorts of drug store products, from Garnier, Clearasil, Oxy, Neutrogena, Simple, Nano White, Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel, St. Ives Scrub, Naruko, Olay, Himalaya, Hada Labo and etc. You name it!
Out of all these products, Garnier’s night cream, Simple’s toner, Aloe Vera Gel, St. Ives Scrub and Himalaya’s Neem Mask were good products that I’m still using now.  From university life till now, my skin condition was ‘on-and-off’, sometimes clear, sometimes bad. So, I’m not very sure is it the products causing it, or is it my hormone. 

Anyway, I had started to use Grapeseed oil as part of my skin care routine early of this year, but I had stopped using it after the oil had finished. Back then, my skin was at the best state, clear, smooth and glow from within. See my face in the picture below. 

 

But, as the oil had finished, I was ‘itchy’ and switched to Juju Aquamoist product. I bought the whole set from groupon at RM100 for 5 items knowing that it’s cheap. The product was really hydrating and calming. But, after using for around 2 weeks, my skin started to break out crazily…! OMG! Yes, crazily. I had acne everywhere on my skin… and my beautician had a long time extracting all the white heads and cysts. Yes. It’s cystic acne everywhere. I was very sad and cried on the spot. My beautician was concerned also that I used concealer to cover the acne marks and redness. She had asked me to stop concealing the acne. Let my skin heal itself. I could not take it at all. 

The next day, I had wore a face mask to cover my skin (as if I’m sick) for I was afraid my colleague will be asking me what happened to my clear face. They do not know all these while I use make up to fake my clear skin. I had told my beautician about using grapeseed oil for removing make up and as my moisturizer previously. They had commented my skin was glowing back then. So, they had asked me to try to use back my grapeseed oil to see if the skin is better.

 I had started back my grapeseed oil as makeup remover and also moisturizer, so far, it had helped my complexion a lot and the scars had faded dramatically. I still have to use some concealer for obvious scars but those light scars, I had left them naked. 

At the same time, I had started back on my Himalaya Neem Face Pack for spot treatment at night before sleep. I am determined to go natural with my skin care now. I’m going to omit those chemical cleansers and creams once and for all. I’ve decided to start of a new DIY skin care regime for my skin. 

Make up remover = Castor oil (1/3) + Grapeseed oil (2/3) blend
Cleanser = Honey/aloe (morning), Oatmeal (Night)
Toner = Rose & green tea toner
Moisturizer = QV lotion + Sunscreen (Day), Grapeseed oil (Night)
Eye serum = Few drops of Grapeseed oil/Rosehip Oil
Spot treatment & Mask = Himalaya Neem Mask
Scrub = St. Ives Blemish Control Scrub/ DIY Sugar Scrub
Eyelash serum = Apply castor oil to eyelash in the morning and before sleep using mascara applicator

I will start and stick to this natural skin care regime from today and follow up to see if my skin condition will be better with this natural skin care routine. During the day when I have to go for work, I will still wear some concealer for my acne marks but I’m using it with limitation; just a small dot on the scar and use my finger to smudge the concealer around the scars. I will ensure the first thing I do after I come back from work is to remove all the make up with my DIY makeup remover (castor oil & grapeseed oil). These oils work wonder on my skin, they remove all traces of make up from my face. I will use about 2 pumps of the oil, gentle rub it between my palms and then rub it all over my face. Using circular motions, I massage the oil over my face about 2-3 minutes. Then, using a clean tissue paper, I gently wipe off all the excess oil with make up from my face. Sometimes, if I had worn heavier make up with foundation, I will do this process twice to ensure all make up is removed. Then, I will cleanser my face with my DIY honey & aloe vera cleanser. This cleanser is to remove the excess oil which the tissue paper did not take off. After cleansing, I will quickly rub on 2-3 drops of grapeseed oil as my face moisturizer.  

Below are pictures of my naked face with quite a number of acne scars on my chin and jaw line on 30th December 2015. The picture was taken fresh after removing make up and with grapeseed oil moisturizer. The acne marks on my cheeks had faded DRAMATICALLY…. Now only left the scars on the chin and jaw line.

     
I'm very lucky that my scars and acne are not that visible from far!

My Current Natural Skin Care Routine Previous skin care routine
Day Routine :
1) Cleanse my face with my aloe vera & honey cleanser
2) Tone with my rose  green tea toner
3) Moisturize with few drops of grapeseed oil + my sunscreen lotion for both face and neck. Apply a drop of grapeseed oil below my eyes for the wrinkles.
4) Treat acne with tea tree gel (Thursday Plantation)
5) Apply eyelash serum (castor oil) using mascare brush & Q-Tip. 
6) Simple makeup by concealing the acne marks, draw my brows and eye liner. Apply Vaseline on my lips to moisturize it.

Night Routine :
1) Cleanse my face with oatmeal
2) Tone with my rose green tea toner
3) Moisturize with few drops of grapeseed oil. Apply a drop of grapeseed oil below my eyes for the wrinkles.
4) Treat my acne with Himalaya Neem Face Pack.
5) Apply eyelash & eyebrow serum (castor oil) using mascare brush & Q-Tip.

Weekly Routine :
1) Scrub my face 3x a week with either honey sugar scrub or St. Ives Blemish Control Scrub
2) Apply a face mask 3x a week after scrub. My choice of mask: aloe vera gel mask, honey mask, Skin Food Rice Mask, Himalaya Neem Face Pack, Freeman Black Sugar mask, green pea mud mask, dead sea mud mask.

Now, I'm looking into customizing my own face oil blend. I had read Cruncy Betty's post on Simple Homemade 3-Ingredient Face Oil, so I thought of getting back my previously loved 'Rosehip Oil'. I should have another 15ml left but I had accidentally spilled it till zero left. Sobz. It's an expensive oil and I had wasted it. Crunchy Betty's facil oil blend will need 3/4 carrier oil, 1/4 nourishing oil & 7 drops of essential oil.

Thus, I think the best oil bled for me will be Grapeseed Oil (my favourite), Rosehip Oil &Lavender Oil. It was stated that both Rosehip Oil and Lavender Oil are great of acne prone and scarred skin. *fingers crossed, hopefully it works for my scars*

Oils are so expensive, especially nourishing and essential oils. They come in small amount and usually very expensive. It's not easy to get 'over the counter' and most of the time, I have to buy it online. I got both my castor oil and grapeseed oil from Natural Wellbeing Malaysia. Their products come in various volume and sizes and their products are not very expensive compared to other websites in Malaysia. I got some of my oils from Lelong as well when I see the price is not what I wanted! =P

 Ok. Let's have a look at my recent picture taken about 2 weeks ago.

 
 The skin is clearer with some scars only. ^^

For now, on and off I still get cystic acnes but it's not as crazy as before. Mostly the cystic acnes appeared along the jaw line on both sides. No idea why is that so. But, I just try to apply frequently the tea tree and lavender essential oil and rosehip oil. My skin care routine is very much the same but I have started to incorporate back my QV lotion blend with the face oil before applying to the skin. The lotion healps to heal the dried up acne scars and helps the 'dead skin' peeled off easily. Face is less patchy! Pray hard that the current routine will help my skin to be clear again like before!

Just to update,  I had changed my routine a bit as I tried for 1 month plus the previous natural skin care routine did not work well for my skin. I still suffer from breakouts again. I just recently discovered the root cause of my massive breakouts which I will share in another post. Thus, I has changed my skin care routine a bit to treat the problem:
  

My Current Natural Skin Care Routine My NEW Skin Care Routine
Day Routine :
1) Cleanse my face with myPhysiogel Gentle Cleanser
2) Tone with my rose green tea toner
3) Apply Snail Bee Essence from Benton + Hyaluronic Acid Serum from MingShuang
4) Moisturize with few drops of QV lotion + my sunscreen lotion for both face and neck. Apply a rosehip oil below my eyes for the wrinkles.
5) Treat acne with tea tree oil
6) Apply Dermatix Scar Cream (this is verrryyy good)
7) Apply eyelash serum (castor oil) using mascare brush/ Q-Tip. 
8) Simple makeup by concealing the acne marks, draw my brows and eye liner. Apply Vaseline on my lips to moisturize it.

Night Routine :
1) Cleanse my face with Snail Cleanser/ oatmeal
2) Tone with my rose green tea toner
3) Apply Snail Bee Essence from Benton + Hyaluronic Acid Serum from MingShuang
4) Warm a few drops of Rosehip oil and pressed in all over my face
5) Treat acne with tea tree oil
6) Apply Dermatix Scar Cream (this is verrryyy good)
7) Apply eyelash serum (castor oil) using mascare brush


Weekly Routine :
1) Scrub my face 3x a week with either honey sugar scrub or St. Ives Blemish Control Scrub or Peeling Gel
2) Apply a face mask 3x a week after scrub. My choice of mask: aloe vera gel mask, honey mask, Skin Food Rice Mask, Himalaya Neem Face Pack, Freeman Black Sugar mask, green pea mud mask, dead sea mud mask.
 
This was taken on 9th March 2016. As you can see, large cystic acne are not so prominent, but I still have lots of small white heads all over my face and I hope that this condition will improve soon..!

Wish me luck!
 

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