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What you can expect:
The brutal truth of me, without all the sugary coating.
Here I am just me, UNCUT and UNEDITED.
I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dealing with Acne

There are MANY types of acne out there, but for now I just want to talk about the way I deal with MINE, because, well that's all I know. Maybe it will help you. I have oily/combination skin, which means I am either overrun by oil, or I have oily skin in some places and dry skin in others. Let's not talk about how frustrating that is, especially now that I'm turning thirty this year and STILL have to deal with it. We'll just jump into what works to keep it manageable. 

8 Steps to Keep Acne Under Control:

1.   Wash your face. I can't tell you what cleanser will be best, that's just far too personal. That's like me picking your husband for you. But I've read that you should rotate through a couple of different cleansers every few weeks, as your body can build up resistance if you use just one all the time. Some people recommend washing your face in the morning with an exfoliant and washing with a cream or gel cleanser at night. Whatever works for you, just be sure you do it EVERY DAY. If you don't have time to wash your face at night, at least use an astringent or a cleansing pad really quickly before bed.


2.   Change your pillow case, like, all the time. It's not just me, this article from Huffington Post says so (and many others). It's collecting all the bacteria from your face, your hair, whatever else, and you're just rubbing your face on it all night long every night. Wash that thing every couple of days. Ew


3.   Benzoyl Peroxide.
No, it does NOT need to be name brand! Look at the ingredient list. They are all identical. The only difference you will see is in the percentage, and my rule of thumb is buy the strongest one I can find. (10% is the highest I've seen in drug stores.) 

I have occasionally even found this at the dollar store. If you happen to see it there, pick up as many as you can manage, because this will save you $5-8 per tube! You would find it with the medicines and topical treatments. 

Tip: Keep a tube of this in each of your bathrooms, in your makeup bag, and next to your bed at night. If it's all over the house you will not forget to use it. Whenever you notice a zit coming on (assuming you haven't put your makeup on yet), put some on. (If you have sensitive skin, don't do this very often.) 

If you have found that Benzoyl Peroxide isn't doing the trick, it might be that Salicylic Acid is better for your skin. Try them both at separate times (like for a week at a time) so you know which one works best for you. I find that Benzoyl Peroxide works better for me, but when my acne is really bad, I will combine the two by using Oxy pads (yeah, like a teenager). The two different creams have different purposes, which you can read about here, and that's why you can use them together if you need to. Just be aware, if you have trouble with dry skin, you will not want to use both. It will dry out your face in no time (which is what I need, but you may not).


4.   Drink tons of water. I'm not even kidding, every time you are sitting still, there should be a glass of water in front of you. Bottled water, warm water, cold water, lemon water... whatEVER it takes for you to drink it, drink it. Drink as much as you can. If you're not needing to pee every fifteen minutes, you aren't drinking enough for your skin to stay healthy. I am terrible at this, but I know it's true, so I will try harder to practice what I preach. There are even apps you can get that will send a notification to your phone each time you should be drinking a glass of water throughout the day.

5.   I know you don't want to hear this. Neither do I. But I have to say it. It's your diet. When I eat food that's bad for me, especially greasy or sugary food, it shows up on my face no more than two days later. It is literally written all over my face that I have been cheating on my "diet" (by diet I mean eating healthy, not cutting calories).  Try it. Go without grease and sugar for a couple of weeks, and watch your skin clear up. Then eat a pizza and a milkshake. I dare you. 

(I am eating a piece of pizza as I write this. Nobody's perfect.)


6.   CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES!!!!!  I'm sorry I had to yell at you just now. But seriously, they are full of bacteria, and you're just rubbing them all over your face. I'll give you a moment to process that image. 

Yeah.

If you aren't sure how to go about washing your brushes, this pin I found on Pinterest will guide you through. All you need is some dish soap and some vinegar. Some people put olive oil in theirs to make sure the brushes stay soft, but like I said, my face doesn't need ANY extra oil on it, so I skip that step. Just be sure to dry your brushes FLAT on a paper towel. Some people will tell you to hang them to dry, but I've heard this makes the bristles fall out. Note: There are different kinds of brushes. Find out before you wash if you have synthetic brushes or real animal hair. (I prefer synthetic myself.)


7.   Wash your hands a lot. Whether intentional or subconscious, you are touching your face many more times each day than you think you are. Wash your hands all the time so that when you DO touch your face, it's less likely to cause a breakout.


8.   Be patient with your skin. If you are a woman, your skin naturally produces more oil before your period. This is JUST THE WAY IT GOES. You'll have your acne all under control and suddenly it's worse again. If this is the case, it's probably hormones. Even if you don't have a period, your body is going through the hormonal cycle anyway. Wait it out, but in the mean time I recommend e.l.f. zit zapper. I believe it's made of salicylic acid and witch hazel, but I'm not entirely sure. 


9. Watch what kind of makeup you put on your face. Even if it says OIL FREE, it may be causing more damage than good. Use a foundation and concealer that you KNOW won't make you break out. You already know what I'm going to say: for me, this is mineral makeup (see my post about that here). When I say I have tried everything else, I am not exaggerating. This is like choosing cleanser; no one can tell you which is right for you, but if you are not having luck with liquid foundation, try mineral makeup. It might do the trick like it did for me.  If all else fails, SEE YOUR DOCTOR. If your doctor doesn't know what to do about it, SEE A DIFFERENT DOCTOR. My appointment is tomorrow; I'll let y'all know how it goes. 

Do you have anything to add? What works for you? Please comment so other people can learn from your experience! 

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