Check out "My Acne Story" video; which includes the products I recommend, and my own experience of battling with acne :)
You've probably read my old post 'My Acne Story' but I wanted to make a fresher and updated post about it, especially because I was on the BBC about it. There are some questions which people have been asking me too, so I'm going to answer them all here :)
First thing's first:
I am no stranger to acne at all, I have had it since I was around 13/14, and it does run in my family (as my family members have suffered from it, along with many of my relatives). However, I've had my highs and lows with acne.
During 2009, I had a bit of a rough breakout on the left of my face, and it was around my cheek, chin and forehead. But mostly on my cheek. And one night, I ended up getting a dust allergy - so my skin had little red bumps along my cheekbone area? I still don't know what caused it - and it remained there for a few days.
I went to the doctors, hoping that he would give me some allergy medicine. Instead, he gave me a prescription for Acne medicine : Isotrexin and a course of tablets called Erythromycin - I usually get prescribed this if I have a chest infection too..
So I had completed my first course of tablets, and I was applying this medicine on my affected areas twice a day. Isotrexin has a bit of Vitamin A in it too, which is obviously good for the skin.
And the results were great, although my skin became dry and rough, but I wasn't allowed to moisturise. I don't know why, but my doctor told me not to moisturise until my acne is completely gone.
Long story short, this didn't completely get rid of my acne.
It worked, but it stopped working and my acne came back over the months.
And then in the summer of 2011, I got the worst breakout I had ever gotten before.
Literally every area of my skin was either red, dry, sore, full of acne, you name it! And it was a nightmare.
What wasn't fully said in the BBC clip:
My skin was completely covered, and it honestly felt like my skin wasn't ever going to get better. It was a hassle putting on makeup, just to go to the shops, it was like I couldn't show my bare face in public otherwise it would be bringing on attention to my acne.
Even looking in the mirror was quite a dreading feeling, I'd wake up in the morning and be like, "Omg when is my skin going to get better?" and I'd tried a number of products. From natural face masks, to topical creams, to taking things out of my diet.
I felt like I'd lost hope.
(This was a little better to how to was in the summer of '11.. this was only a few months after it had calmed down)
Then a few months ago (around August) I had an epiphany..- no really! Hahahahaa!
Well, my mum had been going on for AGES about this cream that my brother used when his skin was like mine, and it completely cleared up his skin!
And I thought I'd go and try it... What did I have to lose?
PanOxyl 10% Aqua Gel:
This gel is like... (I'm trying to describe it in a way that isn't so technical). It's basically a gel which gets rid of acne by creating oxygen around the inflamed area - because bacteria can't survive in areas where there is oxygen. And this cream has a bleaching agent in it too, so it will lighten your skin in the areas you apply it.
I applied it for the first time, and omg, my face went red.
There's quite a few side effects to this cream when you first start using it, like redness, tightness, very dry skin (you just need to keep moisturising!) but when your skin becomes really dry - like a crocodilly, yep! - it will peel. It's unsightly, trust me. But when your skin peels off, you have your fresh layer beneath it, and ta dah! You have no blemishes there or acne.
These side effects only last for around 2 or 3 weeks, then afterwards your skin will no longer react to it like that and you'll be able to use it in the morning and before applying makeup.
So... how has my skin benefited from it?
This is my skin now (well.. a week ago!) I guess it's not bad for a no makeup photo.
Well... I only have on eyeliner in that pic, but no other makeup whatsoever :D
As you can see, I still have my acne scarring on my cheeks, but no major cysts or redness! And that is because I have been using the PanOxyl 10% cream :)
I really do recommend trying it, because it's the best product I've got my hands on!
Questions you all have been emailing me:
What is the cream and how much does it cost?
The cream is PanOxyl, and you can get it in different strengths. 1%, 5% and 10% - 10% being the strongest. So if you have the occasional pimple, then I would recommend the 1% or 5% depending on how big/ how many you get.
It costs less than £5, and you DON'T need a prescription for it at all. I bought mine from the Tesco Pharmacy and they gave me the 10% one (maybe because they saw my skin and saw how bad it was haha).
What makeup do you use now?
Well, when you use PanOxyl, it states that you should use a non-greasy makeup.
But I've completely switched from thick foundations/concealers to gel based makeup. E.g Maybelline's 'Fit Me' foundation and the Bourjois 'Healthy Mix Serum/Gel Foundation' as those are more thin, and are suited to oily skin types!
I've found that when I use thicker makeup like my MAC concealer - I LOVE it - but I found that if I wear it for a long time, I end up getting a smell break out, which is annoying :(
Any advice for someone suffering from acne?
Despite you having acne, remember to MOISTURISE! You might think "Oh, my skin is already oily, why do I need to moisturise?" I used to think the same thing.
But, you MUST moisturise no matter your skin type. As adding moisture to your skin, will stop your skin creating it's own moisture - and your skin's extra moisture is what causes acne breakouts!
That is one thing tat is really important, so find a good oil free moisturiser e.g Boot's Botanics Oil Free moisturiser :)
My FULL Coverage Makeup Tutorial :)
I hope all of this helps!
If you have any more questions, feel free to email me, or leave me a comment below! :)