Do you struggle with acne? Sis, me too.
Talking about my experience with acne is super hard for me. I’ve struggled with my skin since I was in junior high and maybe you can relate. No seriously – I have done THREE rounds of Accutane and I feel like I’ve tried just about everything on the market as far as skincare products.
It all started in middle school during my awkward years of life. Long story short, after trying basically every drugstore acne product on the market, my mom took me to the dermatologist. I was prescribed many different topical creams and antibiotic pills to try and eliminate my cystic acne.
I wasn’t seeing any results and when things got worse in high school I really thought it had to be hormonal, but even when I got on the birth control pill I was still experiencing painful breakouts on my face and back. Let me just say, going to school some days was the biggest struggle of my life, especially when I had friends complaining about the tiniest zit on their face. Most of my friends had really clear skin so it was a very difficult journey to go through alone.
What I Tried
- Almost every drugstore brand…
- Epiduo – (adapalene/benzyl peroxide gel)
- Retin-A (tretinoin cream)
- Differin – (adapalene gel)
- Tazorac Cream
- Doxycycline (oral antibiotic)
- Tetracycline (oral antibiotic)
- Even more I can’t remember
Near the end of my senior year of high school my dermatologist told me that if I wanted to ever have clear skin that I would NEED to go on Accutane, which has a lot of negative side effects. I cried and told him no, but I eventually swallowed my pride. To be on this drug required a super long process. I had to go to the dermatologist for pregnancy tests and blood work each month. You also have to answer a series of questions on a site called iPledge that basically makes sure you know that you absolutely cannot get pregnant on this drug. If you don’t sign that the pharmacy won’t give you your prescription.
The first time I took this drug my dermatologist didn’t give me that many instructions other than to take the pill. My skin became a little better after a few months, but when I moved away to college I had to stop the drug after some time. Drinking on the drug can highly damage your liver. I will be honest, I did drink on the drug for a couple of months and my blood work did show my liver function was getting worse. So that is a big no go.
When I transferred schools and moved back home I got on the drug again but with a different dermatologist. This time the drug worked. I had clear skin for about a year. But it didn’t stay. What the doctor told me to do differently this time was make sure to intake 50 grams of fat (based on my body weight) immediately after taking the drug. Apparently the fat has a way of absorbing the drug, therefore making it work quicker. Basically, I ate a lot of peanut butter and avocados.
I decided to get back on the drug my senior year of college when my stress levels were out of control and you could see it on my face. At this point I tried it out again for a few months, but it wasn’t working even with absorbing the fat and the appointments were beginning to be devastating to my mental health. Especially the first month. For some reason, when you first start the drug your skin breaks out before it clears up. This time my skin did not clear up. Not only was it not working, but this drug made my skin SO uncomfortably dry. There is really no winning because I either had horrible acne or horribly dry skin and sometimes both.
So on that note – I barely left my house (even wearing makeup) besides for class because of the insane insecurity and anxiety that my acne caused me. I was so fixated on my pimples that I was convinced that they were all anyone ever noticed about me.
How It Cleared Up
Once I stopped accutane for good I decided to live a different lifestyle. I got rid of all stress in my life and adapted a good skin care routine, trying out a few different brands.
I first tried TULA Skincare which is a probiotic skincare line. I noticed some results, but wasn’t impressed with the price point. I was using the Purifying Cleanser and the Acne Clearing + Tone Corrective Gel. I was still breaking out while using these products.
After that I tried Rodan + Fields Spotless Regimen, which worked fairly well for me. My face stopped breaking out as much and I was able to find confidence to leave the house again, but I still had to wear makeup. I was still getting active pimples, just not as many.
About a month ago I started using Arbonne’s Healthy Skin Elixir Collagen Builder – which has literally done wonders to my skin. I haven’t experienced a single breakout and my acne scars have lightened up so much I barely notice them anymore!!! This product was a literal blessing for me. I go out of the house without any makeup on now! I also use the RE9 Advanced Prepwork Micellar Water to clean off all my makeup each night. I cleanse my face with Arbonne’s Deep Pore Acne Cleanser and then moisturize using Arbonne’s Bio-Hydra Liquid Serum.
Be sure to reach out to me if you want to invest in a skincare routine that will work for you. I highly recommend using one of Arbonne’s vegan skincare lines because everything is completely non-toxic and cruelty free. I plan to test out more of Arbonne’s skincare products in the future, especially because my acne is completely gone now!!! I never thought I would be able to say that one day.
Disclaimer: along with these products I have been doing Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living Challenge and I believe that eliminating toxins has been a huge help to my better looking skin.