Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

I used to suffer from extremely dry flakey skin since I was young. When I was around 17 years old, I started developing acne and an oily T-zone and I lived in my foundations and concealers. I'm strongly assuming the acne developed because I was on contraceptive pills to regulate my cycles (taking those pills was the worst decision & I will update you guys about my experience). 

The acne progressed over 2-3 months until I would have at least 3-4 huge pimples at a time, little bumps on my forehead and acne-scarring. I wasted a lot of money trying out new products claiming to be good for the skin (Garnier, Clearasil, Clean & Clear, you name it) that never worked and I couldn't understand why. So I started researching about acne, how it was formed, etc.

So where was I going wrong? 

We all want a moisturiser  with a pleasant smell because who WOULD want to put foul chemically smells on our faces? However, I promise you guys it's not the way. The smell of a product should not determine whether you buy it or not as it doesn't determine how good the product is. In fact, adding fragrance to a product is just another unnecessary ingredient which is probably causing more damage, especially for sensitive skin.


Most of us won't trust a product as much if it breaks us out within the first two days; however alternating between different products often won't give us the results we are looking for. To test the effectiveness of a product, I've learnt that you must give it time (at least a week) before you make your final judgement. If you see that the product is breaking you out mildly, take a break from it and try again in the holidays when you don't have to be out and about everyday. However if you are getting heavy breakouts from a new product, it's best to stop altogether.

I had always imaged GP's as the solution to anything. However, as the patient, we also need to be aware of the ingredients or effects of a prescribed product and decide for ourselves whether it is worth using the product. GP's are here to provide quick effective solutions to a large number of patients on a daily basis, they will not take the time to assess your individual needs. I have had some good GP's in the past; however, I have mostly had worst experiences. Many people get prescribed contraception pills to clear their acne; however it is such a strong product with many possible long-term side effects and risks which could be avoided. Furthermore, once you finish the course of tablets, your acne is most likely to come back. Prescription products may be effective but only if you are educated about the doses, risks, aftercare and all that jazz.

Google Images (click for source)

Products including comedogenic ingredients aggravate acne and also cause lots of blackheads. Google 'Comedogenic Ingredients' and you'll be sure to find a huge list of ingredients which are used in our everyday toiletries.

I love the way my skin feels soft and plump after a good exfoliation but at what cost? Rubbing harsh grains on to sensitive and acne-prone skin will provoke pimples on the outer AND inner surface of our skin. It's like boucing a ball - the harder you bounce it, the harder it bounces back in all sorts of directions (if that makes sense). Exfoliating is beneficial so those with sensitive or acne-prone skin should use alternatives such as pore strips, a gentle exfoliator or a warm face cloth. Let your skin steam in the shower and rub the cloth in circular motions gently around the areas required. Rinse with cold water after to close your pores.

Google Images (click for source)


What goes into our bodies is equally if not more important than what goes onto our skin. Moisturisers will penetrate through one or two layers of skin, however what we consume takes it a whole lot further. If you're a sucker for junk food like me, at least increase your daily water intake, take a bottle with you wherever you go or dilute fizzy drinks/squash with water to ensure you're drinking as much as you can. Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you're probably already dehydrated? 


It's a never ending cycle of torture. We get spots, we wear foundation, we get more spots from wearing foundation... It's so hard to leave the house without makeup when going to school or work on a daily basis. So set yourself a target. Go bare face during the summer holidays, Easter holidays, weekends or whenever you can. Trust me, letting your skin breathe does have its benefits. Also ensure you are taking your makeup off properly. I'm extremely lazy when I'm getting ready for bed and I often find myself reaching for the wipes but we all know... it's never enough!

There are so many other factors which contribute to skin problems (hygiene, the environment, constantly touching your face throughout the day, etc.). Granted some of us don't have the flawless face or the money to invest in one but all we need is the right guidance and a few changes.

(P.S. Just a disclaimer - I am not a professional and the information in this post is from previous experience)

This is the clearest photo I could find around a month or two after my acne started improving.
However as you can see, there are still loads of dry and flakey acne scars and also little bumps and spots which took a couple more weeks to clear up.
Foundation - Mac Face & Body C6

This was taken a while after (eurgh I hate my frown lines). My forehead cleared up quite well considering, however my cheeks
still had some scarring from when I'd been picking up my spots.
Foundation - Mac Face & Body C5

Do you guys have any tips or experiences to share?
Keeks xx

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