Regardless of your age acne can completely tear away any confidence you may have. As a teenager I had the odd monthly outbreak but it eventually faded away around the age of fifteen. I never imagined that I'd be suffering from acne as an adult and I never knew how tough it would be to get it under control. When I was a teenager I believed that eating junk and poor skincare was what caused acne to break out, fat in so fat out basically. I remember seeing others with acne and thinking 'why don't they just wash more or take care of their skin', I was so naive.
So how exactly do you get rid of acne? Well that all depends on your cause to be honest. Acne can be caused by hormones, incorrect grooming, allergies and medical conditions. My case was a mixture of them all and I tried anything and everything that was suppose to 'cure' acne. Most just stripped the skin, others left horrendous marks or worsened the conditions. Many were just overly hyped brands and left a hefty dent in my purse. The only thing I did find in the beginning to work was antibiotics but then the relief was only temporary, as soon as the antibiotics stopped the boils, pimples and carbuncles would return leaving me feeling so deflated. I realised I had to find some other way to get control over my skin without relying on the antibiotics.
Acne is made up of four features which includes increased seborrhoea (oil) which is stimulated by androgen's, hyperkeratinization which is a buildup of dead skin cells within the hair follicle due to the keratin not leaving the follicle, obstruction of the hair follicle and then inflammation due to the increase of bacteria such as propionibacterium acne. it's important to ensure you take care of your skin to stop the buildup of oils and bacteria as well as reducing any scarring - hormones play a huge part so tackling the cause of the hormonal irregularities is important in beating the acne beast and then changing your lifestyle is a must because that last thing anyone wants once they get it under control is to find it rears it's ugly head again.
Having trialled and reviewed so many products, diets, lotions and potions it's fair to say I've become a bit of an acne snob. Most overly-hyped products didn't make a dent in my condition and I found that stripping back my skincare routine to the very basics was enough to make the biggest change. In the morning I'd wash with a wet sponge, really ensuring I'd washed thoroughly. I didn't use soaps, cleansers, toners or any 'product' as most were playing a huge part in washing away good bacterias which would then lead to my skin over producing oils to compensate.
After washing with water, I'd apply a good cream. Even with boils and pimples you still need hydration because the skin can become blocked due to being dehydrated even if it doesn't look or feel that way. At night I followed a similar routine except I applied a mask that doubled as a gentle scrub to really pull out the crap from my pores that build up during the day and then applied more cream to hydrate. After work I always take my makeup off with water and a sponge and that-is-it because I want to allow my skin to breathe and heal.
It's taken a while to curb the outbreaks - but - I've finally gotten to the stage where I'm almost clear. I doubt I'll ever go back to a product laden and fussy skincare routine purely because I know that played a huge part in worsening the condition overall. As for my diet I prefer to eat real foods where possible. I eat good chocolate in moderation, I drink good coffee in moderation, I eat butter daily and always a spoonful over any veggies I have (vegetables are fat soluble) and I eat meats, potatoes and other hearty, filling foods. Digestion is the bodies HQ, if that's out of whack then everything else is including your hormones so changing your eating habits is the first thing you can do to mend your acne.
Here's what products I use daily.
Supplements that I use include:
Diindolylmethane || This can be found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower and it works by balancing estrogen's and estrogen metabolism. Estrogen and DiiM look similar at molecular level and both are poorly soluble in water. When you take DiiM with food it encourages it's own metabolism which then promotes healthy estrogen metabolism which is exactly what's needed if you suffer from estrogen dominance, PMS, Perimenopause, actual menopause and yes... acne.
DiiM's also recommended for those who have a higher risk of breast cancer, DiiM helps to reduce 16-hydroxy estrogens which is the bad estrogen as it acts like a 'super estrogen'. This naughty estrogen if left to build up can result in mutations, growths, increased risk of breast cancer, estrogen dominant obesity, estrogen dominance as a whole (pesky and hard to control let me tell you that) and Insulin resistance and no-one wants that as it's an entirely different beast.
I use the Swanson Ultra branded capsules which contain 100mg of DiiM and I take one per day although the bottle states you can take between one and three, I believe you should start slow and work your way up so your body adjusts. I would feel happy recommending these as normally I'm quite sensitive to supplements and prescription medications but I had absolutely no negative side effects from these what-so-ever.
In the morning I use:
Skin Shop's Silver Cream || This cream contains colloidal silver which is antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory - in other words it's perfect for acne, spots and slow healing skin. It's so gentle once applied and is more lotion like than cream like. This works in perfect harmony with the Salcura also as I tend to apply them every other day just to keep my skin flora balanced and in harmony.
Salcura Zeoderm (zeolite) || The active ingredient is zeolite which is a micronised volcanic rock and is beneficial because it's a major antioxidant, glucose absorbent, hydrophilic (draws water to itself) and is antibacterial. This cream lasts all day and works as a great skin base, especially if you're planning on wearing makeup - because it's thicker than other lotions and creams or at least has a waxy-velvety feel once applied. I only apply this every second day as I don't want to put my skin out of balance.
Night time I use:
Boots Tea Tree, Witch Hazel and Charcoal Face Mask || This is absolutely incredible! If you've ever tried Glamglow and felt it's amazing but pricey benefits then you'll be glad to know the amazing ingredient in Glamglow is in this product - and - it's about £45 cheaper. Activated charcoal is super absorbent and works by pulling out the oil, debris and toxins from your pores. It's gentle on the skin and really works. I apply the mask, wash my hair and once the mask has dried in I dampen it then using circular motions wash it off as a scrub.
Skin Shop's Silver Cream || As above.
I know it's not the most exciting skincare routine but it works. If you have sensitive skin or allergies also then rest assured you should be fine with this routine too.