So if you guys don't already know, I have an ask.fm profile where I regularly reply to questions from anonymous people. The questions vary anywhere from what the meaning of life is, how I apply my makeup, or how often I workout (HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA never). One of the topics that people would repetitiously ask me about is my skincare. What I did to cure my acne, how I keep my skin clear and how to avoid future breakouts. Instead of continuously repeating my answers to these questions, I'm going to compile it all into one post to help everyone out yeah? :D
I was first diagnosed with acne (LOL) when I was about 15 years old. It started out with several colourless bumps protruding on my forehead. I think they were nothing but just whiteheads. Prior to this, I never had any issues with my complexion before, so naturally, I freaked out. My mom brought me to a dermatologist to get it checked out, and the doctor gave me some creams or whatever, I don't remember the details. If I knew what would happen next, I would've dropped those products right then and there, stormed out of the clinic, and thank the heavens for the disaster that I had just averted.
The dermatologist warned me that the creams would bring out all the dirty substances buried within my skin, so it would get bad before it got better. Well, it got bad alright. Really, really bad. I was hopeful for the first two weeks, red and inflamed pimples formed on my forehead but I kept reapplying the products, waiting for my skin to clear up. It never did. That was when my mom and I decided to ditch any treatments from derms and keep it simple with products from our local pharmacies.
It was an extremely long hunt until I finally found the right combination of products that worked for my skin. I went from dermatologist to dermatologist, I tried all sorts of different skincare brands from the high-end ones to the cheaper drugstore ones, I drank different pills, even changed my hairstyle around so that no hair would be in my face. After a few depressing months of hating my appearance and having zero self-esteem, my skin FINALLY began to get better.
This is my holy grail combo of products that healed my complexion:
Every morning and night, I would drink this pill from SariAyu. I'm not sure how influential this was in my skincare, but I'm including it here because it worked with the rest of the products. Ask your local pharmacy for this, they should have it stocked somewhere.
The brand that worked wonders for me is called Avène. It is a skincare brand from France and that's all I really know about it. It cures acne and is pretty affordable - perfect, right? I washed my face twice a day with Avène's facial wash, it's the one on the far left. It is non-abrasive, leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean, and doesn't have an offensive scent. After you wash your face, cleanse your face further with the toner. Pour several drops of the toner on a cotton pad and wipe thoroughly on the entirety of your face and neck. What this does is it cleans any remaining residue of dirt or makeup on the inner layers of your epidermis, it also seeps into your skin with its magical contents. I also used the spot treatment from this Cleanance line but that didn't do much for me. You can try the moisturizer and the other products because I don't remember what I tried out. The facial wash and toner are the only products that stuck, up till now. I still use these two products today marking... how many years of me being a loyal customer? Avène should sponsor me. *wink*
These products are available in Watsons.
Whenever I felt a zit about to arise, I would quickly apply spot cream before it had any chance to grow. Of course I also applied it on existing pimples. For the life of me I cannot remember the exact cream I used back then, but this is what I use now and it works very well. There's an OXY5 and an OXY10, I have both, but I prefer the one with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide because I'm badass like that. Just kidding. It works faster, and I find that it breaks apart the inflamed pore within one night's sleep and deflates the bump before it's had its chance to grow and ruin my weekend. Woohoo!
OXY5 and OXY10 is available in pharmacies in Singapore.
Are you ready for the holy grail of all holy grails? I put all my gratitude on this one item. I have reason to believe this is the one thing that contributed to my healing.
Ta-da!!! These orange pills helped me a TON in managing my skin while it was on its way to recovery. They are meant to reduce your oil production and in turn, reduce sebum production as well. Say goodbye to clogged pores! I had and still do have disgustingly oily skin, and I need to go through many means to keep my frying pan face at bay. When my skin was very bad back then, I drank a pill a day. Today, I keep it to about two pills every week. This is because the downside to it is that it does strip your skin of all its moisture. The skin on and around my lips began to crack, my nose was dry with flaky patches, and my cheeks were dehydrated. However, my forehead, which was my trouble spot, began to stop producing nasty, red, puss-filled, pimples. I don't know for sure what these pills are, I have been told that they work like Accutane, but I can't be sure that they are those drugs for real. Accutane pills look slightly more elongated, and the pills I take are completely circular. To get your hands on these pills, call Dr. Sunita in Sunter and ask her about the "orange acne pills that are round and small" hahahaha! I'm sure they know exactly what you're referring to. Here's the clinic's number: (021) 65307933
A huge misconception about oily skin is that we should do everything to keep our face as dry and as dehydrated as the Sahara desert. This is not true. We should never skip moisturizer because "our faces are oily enough." Instead, we should use a moisturizer that is light and absorbs into the skin. This is because we're trying to trick our skin into thinking that it has enough moisture, so more oil production isn't required. If we washed our faces five times a day and stripped our skin of the moisture that it needs, then the oil glands will produces more and more oil to make up for the loss of moisture on the complexion. Comprende? :D
With that being said, the moisturizer I use is Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, not the cream. The cream is for those with dry skin! This moisturizer is available in Sephora, or any shopping mall department store with a Clinique stand.
To wrap this post up, I would like to say that you should never, ever give up on the hope that one day you will get that awesome complexion you've always wanted to have! I held on to the hope that my complexion would one day be alright again, and that this was just a little blip down the road. I know how you feel because I've been there. I used to always cover my trouble spots up with hair (albeit I knew that it'd make situations even worse), a cap, or concealer. I felt so insecure and couldn't look anyone in the eyes because I always had a nagging feeling that they were staring at how ugly my pimples were. I avoided parties and social gatherings, felt apologetic about the way I looked to my boyfriend at the time, and was pretty much on the brink of depression. I would look at my friends and relatives and wondered if they knew how lucky they were to have such flawless skin. I didn't take any pictures for the whole year, I wish I did so I could share my full honest journey here with you guys today. But remember that sometimes, we are our biggest critics. The people that I thought were staring at my face weren't really staring at all, it was nothing but my colossal insecurity eating away at my confidence. How do I know this? Because when I bring up my phase of terrible skin to my friends, only one out of twenty remember it. Meaning the rest of the nineteen people never noticed what was secretly killing me inside. My skin isn't perfect to this day and I'm still experimenting with my own complexion to get it to its very prime. I get a pimple or a whitehead now and then, especially during that time of the month ladies, if you know what I mean. Beauty isn't only skin-deep guys, please remember that beauty is your choice. It shines from within. The brightest of smiles will conceal all the imperfections in the world :-)
This is what my skin looks like today :)