Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m sure you all have been dying to see how my Acne journey ended. Well as promised, I’m delivering the second part of my acne journey as promised (read part one here ).
AUGUST 2017- SEPTEMBER 2017
Following up from where I stopped , this was when the cystic acne cleared and I was left with regular pimples and lots of scars and sunburns to take care of. I continued to drink my healing juices and I also ended my internship that month (August) which was super stressful. I think being able to rest also contributed in calming down my acne. So stress also plays a huge role in the appearance of your skin. I begun to use the Murad post acne spot lightening gel which has an active ingredient of medical grade hydroquinone 2% and I used it every evening. I also purchased the Murad clarifying toner to help control oil and further clear the skin. It’s active ingredient is witch hazel. I used my Murad sunscreen religiously and stopped using my Zo medical peel because it expired that month. There was a lot of scars I was working with so I didn’t see any ground breaking results in the first few weeks.
By the end of the month, I began to hear about The Ordinary products so I purchased the ordinary AHA + BHA peel and the Alpha Arbutin serum from Beauty Frenzy shop. I combined this with my Murad products but I got a facial done before using them.
I however broke out from the facial as my skin was still quite sensitive. It wasn’t anything serious or cystic though. I got some tips from my very awesome skin formulator at the time Naomi of The Skin Apothecary to help with the reaction. She asked me to spray cold rose water on my face and it helped calm the inflammation. I also used my Benzoyl Peroxide and tea tree oil.
Through out the month of September, my face just gradually got clearer.
I began to use zinc supplements and this really helped reduce my acne. I talked all about that in my Acne Army post. I continued to use the Sebamed clear face bar which also helped reduce my break outs. I also bought the Isis Pharma Teen derm Gel cleanser, which was super effective in killing pimples. Sometimes, however, it came on too strong pairing it up with my new routine of many drying products causing my face to over produce oil. I began to use both the cleanser and the Murad toner more sparingly as they were the culprits. Especially the urad toner which was alcohol based (hell no). I had also resumed use of my Skin Apothecary black soap so all of that was too much for my skin to handle.
I also bought a higher spf sunscreen which was the neutrogena clear face sunscreen lotion which was spf 55.
It wasn’t heavy at all, didn’t break me out and helped me to prevent further sunburns. I used it on days I wasn’t wearing makeup or using powder alone and I used the murad oil mattifie sunscreen spf 15 when I was doing full face makeup as a makeup base and for days that were not so sunny. Another thing that helped was letting my face breathe more. I still had acne pigmentation but the arbutin and hydroquinone were already kicking in so I started to move around more without makeup. I would use my absolute favorite powder to cover up and protect a bit. The Maybelline clear smooth all in one powder with spf 25.
It’s non-comodegenic, lightweight and mattifying. I still use it up until now. Another makeup that didn’t irritate my skin and really helped was the Zaron Cream to Powder foundation. It felt just like I was wearing my skin and still had a lot of coverage. All through my cycle I stuck to it for those days I had to wear makeup. It’s way better than most of these full coverage liquid foundations that you might be tempted to use because of spots but end up clogging your pores. When I want that full coverage liquid foundation, Revlon was my go to. It contains spf and is oil free. But in general, makeup was kept minimal and primer eliminated even as we speak so keep that in mind if you’re trying to break out of acne.
This was when I saw visible changes from all my spot treatments. I could comfortably walk around with no makeup and didn’t have to use a corrector before applying foundation. I had also been using the cookieskin nourishing whitening cream which also helped with evening out my skin tone.
My skin was in a way better place. I also noticed how my face was so darkened from all the inflammation and it didnt blend with the rest of my skin. I used to lament to Naomi alot that she shd give me lightening cream for my face but she just told me to wait it out that it would return to it’s original color.
I also began to use the Queen Helene mint Julep masque which really helped fight oil and break outs. It is a clay based masque but doesn’t feel as drying and I still loved the results despite my bad ordeal with clay masks in the past.
I was mobilized for my nysc that month also and I knew from research how acids, spot lighteners and sun don’t agree. So I left my serums and peel at home and went for my 3weeks orientation camp at oyo state armed with my sebamed soap, black soap, mint julep masque which I used once a week and the almighty aloe vera gel. I also didn’t leave out the most important SUNSCREEN! I really got to see the potency of aloe gel during this time.
I would use it after the day’s activities in the sun as a calming masque and slowly I began to notide how fast it killed pimples and just generally controlled breakouts. I decided to keep it in my routine ever since then. Infact, when I got back home, I decided to add it to my honeyricci turmeric face scrub formula.
DECEMBER 2017 to JANUARY 2018
The weather also became cooler and drier from the through to december and january so I didn’t sweat or produce much oil and it gave room for even better recovery.
I began to use the ordinary glycolic acid toner in December and it really did wonders for the texture of my skin. I also began to use Azelaic acid also from The Ordinary which is a great plant derived ingredient for hyperpigmentation.
I stuck to my rules, kept using my ordinary products and maintained great skin health.
Sometime in March I got a big scare when cysts began to develop on my skin all of a sudden.
I wasted NO time. I grabbed my doxycycline, went on it for two weeks straight. I used my benzoyl peroxide and bought another bottle of my Zinc picolinate supplement and the episode subsided real quick.
I continued to use my Honeyricci Face Scrub and formed a stable skincare routine which I have shared some months back (see routine post and video here ). I developed some new spots from the benzoyl peroxide scarring. I later learned when I went to L’Okoye skincare academy that Benzoyl peroxide and Retin A are not advisable acne treatments for African skin due to the hyperpigmentation they leave behind. I have stuck to tea tree oil and aloe vera gel as spot treatments and they work really well for me leaving minor to zero scars.
So in summary, effective treatments for my acne scars were the Murad Post Acne Spot Lightening Gel paired with The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin serum and The Ordinary AHA +BHA Peel. The Ordinary Glycolic acid toner, Honey Ricci Turmeric Face Scrub and Azeliac acid helped to further clear out my skin. I have included other products in my routine which I have shared and even have an updated routine I’m going to be sharing soon.
The journey wasn’t easy at all. It was expensive, depressing but the key thing was how I was able to learn and how I didn’t give up on my skin. I also had to exercise lots of patience and give my products time to work. You noticed that visible difference in the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation came within a space of 2-3months and that was just the beginning. Those who are fond of throwing away products after two days of not seeing results need to take note. Consistency is always key also. I was religiously using these products day and night and it still took time to see visible results not to talk of if I wasn’t consistent. Discipline is also key.
So, my dear friends, this has been my skin journey. I hope I have been able to inspire someone and you all learned from mine the way I did because this condition was what lead me to my chosen career path today. Me being a beauty consultant and entrepreneur came as a result of what happened to me. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons.
Watch my YouTube video below for the summary
Thanks to all those that supported me in one way or the other in this skin journey. FRANKLIN, VINCENT, EMMANUEL, NAOMI, HABIBA, ZAINAB, MRS LESLIE and others. I love you all.
You know I’m awesome, xoxo.