Yay, the first Blog Party content post! Today we’re talking about our skin concerns and how to manage them. Right at the top of my blog I have a page that talks about my Skin Type, Concerns and Shade, but the information is really minimal. So I’m really glad to be able to elaborate on those a little bit more in this post!
Disclaimer: The products and Methods discussed have given me the best results but may not be suitable for everyone.
Closed Comedones (CCs)
What they are: Tiny whiteheads that do not come to a head and cannot be squeezed.
Of all my skin concerns, these bothered me the most. They were mostly on my forehead and no matter what I would do they never seemed to shift.
What I tried that did not work: Increasingly strong AHAs and BHAs.
In treating acne, chemical exfoliation is the go to solution for a lot of people and so I spent a lot of time and effort testing pH, researching % to make sure the products I used were at their maximum efficacy. It took a long time (some months) for me to realise that my skin did not respond to ‘effective’ chemical exfoliators, but instead was all about that weak pH & % life. I’m not alone! Jude from Fifty Shades of Snail and Angela from Beauty and the Cat are living that weak exfoliation life with me, there is safety in numbers.
No matter how high I would push the percentage the exfoliators I could never get consistent results. I remember researching at home peels of 20%, feeling really uncomfortable and realising that if I felt so uneasy I should probably try a different approach.
What I tried that did work: Cutting out SLS & Benzoyl Peroxide.
Cutting out SLS from all products that came into contact with my skin was probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my skin. Until that point I had been focused on adding more products, or increasing percentages that I hadn’t really thought about taking things out. Within a week, my skin became clearer, I stopped getting horrible angry acne on my chin and my CCs started to clear.
Then I went on vacation to the US and the situation became super dire. The increase in heat meant more sweat, more shine and more acne. I remember scanning the beauty aisle in Target, picking things that I couldn’t find at home and hoping they helped. Overnight (and I mean this), overnight my skin began to improve. By the end of my vacation I realised that Benzoyl Peroxide (which you cannot get over the counter in the UK) was the one ingredient I had been missing from my skincare routine. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I bought four tubes of the stuff. The Cleanser/Mask I saw in Ghana and picked it up for funsies. 10/10 will buy again, it is amazing.
This actually kick started my skincare quest, the dreaded shine. My skin felt and looked like a bowl of grease. Snuggling people meant I left a patch of oil on their clothes, makeup slid off my face and my angry pimples looked angrier. Sigh.
What I tried that did not work: Not moisturising, astringent toners, harsh scrubs, scrubs in general, heavy powder and lots of mattifying products.
What I tried that did work: Being gentle, oil cleansing, pudding consistency moisturisers, Hyaluronic Acid lotions and layering light products.
Growing up skincare felt like the start of a battle to beat my skin into submission. The goal was not to sweet talk it, but to attack on all fronts (cleansing, toning and moisturising) with the utmost aggression. Clearly my skin was not a fan of the nuke it from orbit strategy.
Oil cleansing was the first thing I did to stay the oil, but I think the best thing I did was to figure out which kind of moisturiser my skin liked best. I didn’t realise there could be different consistencies from the sudocrem/E45 style moisturisers that I was used to. Once I discovered pudding style moisturisers and the idea of layering light moisturisers and hydration boosters the game changed for me. I stopped trying to starve my skin of moisture and instead focused on layering light products onto my skin, building up hydration slowly, giving my skin time to absorb it. The gentle and slow approach really makes all the difference for me.
Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
What this is: Temporary pigmentation of the skin following an acne breakout.
While I no longer have the painful pimples of yesteryear, I’m left with reminders that they once graced my face in the form of darker patches on my skin. I don’t love it, especially as Benzoyl Peroxide can make it worse, but the acne free skin that I have now kind of makes up for it.
What I tried that did not work: Lots and lots of things.
What I tried that did work: Sunscreen, licorice root, and azelaic acid.
This was the least of my concerns, and so I didn’t really spend a lot of time taking pictures focusing on it. The patch that bothers me the most is on my right cheek, but either it’s been slowly fading, or I’m not bothered by it anymore, I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that my skin overall looks smother and even which I attribute to diligent daily skincare useage, products high in licorice root and more recently azelaic acid.
Hopefully that was an interesting read for you, and maybe it’s given you ideas about your skin concerns and how to manage them. To read how the others manage their skincare, check out their posts!
- Sophie from MapleTreeBlog
- Michele from Beautyfindsforme
- Julie from PDXBeautiful
- Amy from PeepingPomeranian
- Laven from Berries in the Snow