The Basic first thing to know: People need to realize that washing your face every morning and night really pays off. People with normal or dry skin can skip the morning wash but those with oily or acne prone skin simply can't. Excess oil and/or oil build up on the skin can and will lead to clogged pores that eventually will cause pimples. If you get nothing else from this blog post, please remember to wash a.m. and p.m. :)
- Another thing to know: There are 2 main over the counter acne ingredients that help treat and prevent acne..those being Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. The percentages range from 0.5% to 2% active ingredient. Now each of those ingredients work differently to treat and prevent acne. Salicylic Acid is the most commonly found ingredient over the counter and it works by causing the outer layers of the skin to shed quickly and opening up clogged pores. It also helps lower acne causing bacteria around the site of the break out to prevent additional spreading. Benzoyl Peroxide is another acne ingredient found in drugstore acne skincare but mostly in the commonly advertised Proactiv. Benzoyl Peroxide works really well for quickly clearing pores. It has a bleaching agent which helps lighten up acne marks and scars. Trust me, this is what I loved most from using Proactiv.
Acne can be caused by too much stress, hormonal changes, and not washing or caring properly for your skin. Over the years I have used so many acne fighting skincare products and have spent thousands of dollars. For what? Nothing!!! Every product I used only provided temporary relief for my acne. Let me continue this post but letting you all know my type of acne. I have cystic acne...the worst possible kind ever!! What is cystic acne? Basically it's a huge inflamed pimple full of bacteria and puss that is deeply rooted beneath all the layers of skin. When the bacteria underneath starts to getting warm, it multiples and spreads. If you have these...Do Not Pick! My cheek area is a major victim of cystic acne. I had perfect skin and received many compliments as you all can tell from my earlier 2010-2011 YouTube videos. Unfortunately, that didn't last long. Here I was faced with these huge, red, ugly and most importantly painful lesions. I felt and still do feel uncomfortable with my skin. I decided to try the oh so popular Proactiv. I was on Proactiv for 2 months before visiting my Dermatologist. I really liked the 3 step system, I mainly found that my nose, forehead and chin were much clearer than before. As for my cystic acne...well Proactiv isn't strong enough :( I did love how Proactiv lighten up my scars tremendously. I have a noticeable difference in the amount of visible scars. Was it worth it? Yes, to me it is. After all, Proactiv contains the most common over the counter acne ingredient....you got it! Benzoyl Peroxide.
Now about my visit, it's been 2 weeks. Not long, I know! I have been put on prescription strength oral and topical acne meds. Orally twice a day, I take an antibiotic known as Doxycycline. It works by killing any infections and acne causing bacteria lurking through my body.....gross! Then every night, I apply a topical acne cream called Tretenoin aka Retin-A. Retin-A is also used for fighting wrinkles. Now I have experienced most of the common side effects of this topical cream. Ladies, please make sure you all having protected sex as always. Simply put, if you are or think you might be pregnant...The Doctor will not prescribe you these meds. Pregnancy is not advised while on these meds, there may or may not be any side effects to the fetus. (I am NOT a Doctor, this is info you can get from any Dermatologist or the internet.)
After 2 weeks, I have noticed excessive peeling of my skin. Tretenoin is used to help your skin cells turnover rapidly causing severe shedding. Also I have experienced severe redness to the sites that receive this topical cream nightly. This is supposedly "normal". I also have a slight burning sensation when applying my Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer. These side effects should lessen after 4 weeks of use, fingers crossed haha!
- Wash A.M. and P.M. with acne face washes
- Apply daily and nightly an Oil Free moisturizer ( Cetaphil moisturizer is great)
- Use acne spot treatments on the first signs of redness and pimples (many found in drugstores)
- Do Not pick at them....I know it's hard This will spread acne to other places
- Exfoliate often throughout the week (Aveeno & Philosophy make good ones)
- Get facials a few times a year....it's costly but it can help
- Drink lots of water!
- Most importantly, please stick with it. It takes several weeks to see improvements.
I know this is a long blog post but I can only hope that you all find something useful out of this. If you all have any questions regarding acne or anything at all....please leave me comments on here or my channel. The link for my beauty channel will be below for your enjoyment. Stay positive throughout this process...and lets put our best skin forward this new year :) Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support.