Hi guys! I’m going to be sharing with you my acne journey in this post. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Acne is a serious skin condition. I have suffered from it and it really affects you psychologically and should be taken more seriously than a common rash.
In the year of 2017, I battled with this condition for months on end. It was really depressing and expensive fro me. I tried several remedies to no avail. I was able to learn a lot and get to the bottom of my skin problems through medical intervention and some products, routines and many more that I would be sharing in this post.
It was a very lengthy process and it spanned for about 10 months. For this reason, i would be dividing the post into two parts.
For those who dont know, clearing acne comes in two stages.
- Putting a stop to the active acne cycle. Which simply means putting a stop to fresh break outs
- Treating acne scars or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The spots left behind from the break outs can the successfully be taken care of once it has been assured that break outs have come to a stop.
I would be talking about the first stage in this part.
My Acne journey began officially in February 2017 however there are a few occurrences that might have triggered it. So I like to take it way back to late 2016 when I began to use a steroidal cream on my face and I started religiously doing the wrong facial which ended up wreaking havoc on my skin.
My skin began to break out some time around September due to a hormonal flare and I used to go for a facial at Bismid but it only got worse. So i decided to start using The Skin Apothecary Liquid black gold and it really cleared my skin. By mid November, my skin was flawless.
I also began using fair and white gold face cream during this period and a physical sunscreen that I later found to be an adulterated product.
DECEMBER 2016- JANUARY 2017
Problems began when i got a fake tube of the cream and my skin began to develop patches and look bleached. I had several spots on my face and my skin was way lighter than it used to be. i wasn’t breaking out so I was happy about that. I kept on doing facials up until January/February when i began to develop cysts.
I began to break out on my forehead real bad. I thought it was an allergy, or that it was my hair products or wig causing it but the break outs didn’t stop. I was using another fair and white face cream then, the pink one. I continued with my monthly facials but my face only got worse over time. I tried The Pixi Glow Tonic this period but it only made me break out even more.
This was when my acne took the worst turn. My face was filled with pimples all over and i figured going for another facial was going to help. it didn’t. I didn’t realize that abrasion on an already inflamed skin did more harm than good and this Bismid facial is one that involves a lot of scrubbing and abrasion and the same routine was done for anyone that comes in. When deciding on doing a facial, finding more professional estheticians that treat the skin according to skin type and needs is very key but what did I know then.
I developed large papules and cysts and they were highly inflamed and bleeding. I used to do a lot of social media makeup tutorials (Check some out here) for beauty blogs then and I even got cyber bullied because of my bad skin then.
I decided to try high end product to see if it was gonna help. I purchased the Murad cleanser which I thought would help stop the break outs but there wasn’t any much change. The acne continued to spread. I stopped using my Skin Apothecary black soap and I began to do a lot of skincare research to find a remedy.
I consulted with my friend Dr Franklin and he told me it was Acne Vulgaris, he asked me to go do a hormone function test and told be to go on some Retinoids. I couldn’t get any of the Retinoids at the pharmacies so i went on to do the test but results came out normal.
A good friend of mine Vincent took me there, paid for the test and we went to pharmacies looking for retinoids. At a particular one we met this older pharmacist who told me to buy Clindamycin instead and assured me that my skin would clear up. I used oral and topical Clindamycin and while I was on the oral I saw some improvement but then the break outs begun again. I also decided to try another black soap and facial cream by Aisha cosmetics. It gave my skin this glowing effect, the black soap dried out some of the pimples and the night cream was even lightening my skin. The results were temporary as the cycle still continued.
Later that month i watched a skincare video on Naijabestmua snapchat by Habiba Akinmade also a blogger. She shared her acne journey and solutions.She went through almost exactly what I went through. She discussed how a dermatologist placed her on antibiotics and many medical grade products suitable for skin going through acne. That video changed my skin life yo. I decided to go see a dermatologist.
I was placed on RetinA, Doxycycline, Benzoyl peroxide and Loratindine and SebaMed clear face cleansing bar for acne prone skin. They were pretty strong and took their toll on my skin once i started using them.
My skin got really sensitive due to the Retin A. i also began to use a particular toner i saw in Habiba’s video but it only made my skin peel even more when paired with the retinA. it smoothened out my skin but my skin was super thin and dry. This month my skin got wayyy worse but it was really just the retinA increasing the cell turnover so it was basically my skin getting worse before it got better.
I was so frustrated and depressed. i was binging, cranky and just trying to hold on and be strong. I didn’t feel pretty at all. I had stopped using sunscreen because I thought it might be breaking me out once I found out it was fake. thankfully the weather wasn’t so sunny at the time but it really wasn’t advisable being on retinoids without sunscreen. My sister’s wedding was also this month so I was so stressed out and that didn’t help my condition at all.
I also bought the skin apothecary black soap back because I wanted to glow for my sister’s wedding. I used it sparingly on my face mainly on my body.
I continued on my retinA. I couldn’t get the oxy5 cream for a few weeks and had to use the drugs along with the retinA without oxy5. After much search, I found the maximum strength oxy10 and decided to just go for that. I also tried chemical exfoliation for the first time that month. I bought the invisapeel by ZO medical which i talked about in my Jumia Sale post.
It made my skin peel real bad and I once got burnt due to an awful combination of the peel with retinoids and The Skin Apothecary black soap which also contained chemical exfoliants. I didn’t use sunscreen also so it was a bad burn. I decided to buy the Murad oil mattifier which contains spf and used it as my daily moisturizer and makeup base. I also stopped using regular makeup primer because I found that it clogs the pores. Using the Murad moisturizer really helped my skin. The flaking reduced, minimal risk of sunburn and it contained ingredient that prevented acne also (read more here). My skin got better from then on.
I also tried taking some therapeutic juices I found in an ebook by a Herbalist and Holistic Living Educator I discovered on Twitter @akinolokun which really helped my skin. The Ebook contained many different recipes for different conditions. i mixed up some natural vegetables and fruits and drank them for about 2 weeks straight.
I also went on a ketogenic diet and slowly, the inflammation resolved. i decided to go on Docxycycline a second time. This time with all my topical treatments (retinoids and benzoyl peroxide) in full. I also started to take zinc supplements and vitamin C 100mg which really helped finally put a stop to the cycle.
Watch my video to see more info
That’s it for phase 1 guys, how I conquered the Acne cycle. My next post would focus more on the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
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