My Long Battle w Acne Is being Tipped in My Direction...Fingers Crossed

Helllu Pussycats!

I like to think of myself as open minded about a lot of things but when it
 comes to products I will use on my face these days I am the furthest 
thing from adventurous. I have been dealing w acne in various forms
and in various degrees of "horribleness" since I was 12. I have tried 
many bottles and tubes with claims that were blatantly false
and in some cases, borderline ridiculous.

Anyone who has suffered from acne knows that great feeling of potential when you
 purchase a new product. Then, there is that heart sinking feeling you get when you
 realize that the promises made were not to be realized
After loads of money, wasted time and an unfortunate lack of self esteem I came
to the realization a few years ago that I need to make changes in how I
approached my skin care. I needed to listen less to marketers and more to 
my own body. 

One great challenge for me was to give up on "conventional" ideas about acne
and skin treatment. Cortisone shots, horribly drying creams and 
terrible antibiotics had to be a thing of the past. They didn't work in the
long term. They may have had some short term success but at what cost?
It was time to be brave and try a few new things.
More natural and less chemicals was my new mantra. What did I have to lose?
Still, I was terrified as I threw out my Aveeno face scrub.

( Can I just mention that for those of us w bad skin trying something 
new on our faces can be like going a first date. It seems like a good idea, 
exciting, fun and new. But in reality, it is scary as hell! You have no
idea what you are going to get, if it will work out and what the result
will be. You don't really know if the two sides can get along and if there
 will be baggage. New is terrifying b/c it can takes weeks to undo any 
damage that might be done. That is a fact. Bravery is required)

This was my before picture.

I realize I that there are people out there that have worse acne
then this. I understand that it can always be worse and my heart goes out
 to the women who deal with severe acne because it is devastating.
That is why I am sharing. I hope that in some way sharing my story and experience
 can be of some help to someone. Acne really takes a toll on your self esteem.
If something that I do helps and brings a wee bit of relief to another
acne suffer...then it was well worth the share!

This was last February and it wasn't the worst day I had that month
but it was the worst that I was willing to share online. 
I was nervous enough sharing this photo, let alone anything worse!
 It was scary to show the world how bad my skin could look. I spent so much time
 piling on the make up trying to hide the blemishes not show how bad they were!
I had to constantly remind myself that my acne wasn't my fault and I 
hadn't done anything wrong. So hard NOT to blame yourself!!
Time to stop worrying so much and take action.

I wasn't 100% sure where to start but I knew that the health food
store would a good place to start asking questions and doing some research.
I explained to the gal there what I was doing and why.

She showed me a few things and we talked about options I could start with.
I took the plunge with Derma E products and it was indeed a good, safe place to start.
I found the cleanser to be gentle and the vitamin e cream was very soothing.
Ok....*phew* my face didn't get worse and nothing bad happened.
To be honest, from there I took it slow and didn't try a whole lot
of new products at once. I kept things fairly mild and tried to go
at my skin care from a "healing place" instead of a "scrubbing/harsh place".

It has been about a year since I started on my journey to help heal and
soothe my face and I have to say, that I am very happy with the results.
It has been a long year with ups and downs of course but overall I
really feel like I have made progress.
This is the post I wrote as I begun the process of trying to figure
out what on earth I was doing...cause I really had no idea
what I was doing ;) Hahaha!!

The good news is that my patience and bravery seems to be paying off because
something good is happening and my skin looks the best it has in years!
 Each day that I continue to see a mostly clear face in the mirror and it
makes me so happy that I took the chance and changed my approach.

This is all I use now on my face now with the addition of honey.

Here is a synopsis of things I have been doing differently in the last 12 months:

#1. Derma E cleanser using only baking soda occasionally as an exfoliate

#2. Handmade charcoal cold press soap from Spoiled Rotten
--->I switch it up my other cleanser every other month.
So, one month with the Derma E milk cleanser the next the charcoal
I think my skin gets complacent with one cleanser so this keeps
my skin from getting used to one cleanser. It is a working theory ;)

#3. Rose water that I bought at an Asian supermarket or
Thayers rose petal and witch hazel toner. Again, I switch these monthly.

#4. Freshly squeezed lemon juice (keep in the fridge) applied as a toner
after I wash with the cleanser.

#5. I used honey for spot treatments. Yep! Just honey...unfiltered organic honey.
I put some on the blemish and leave it there for a couple of hours during the day
or at night after my bath and I leave it on all night.

#6. I use a homemade moisturizer from Erzulie Natural Cosmetics that
I found on Etsy. I did some reading up on ingredients that I wanted to see
in my moisturizer. I thought, if I was going to make my own moisturizer
what would I put in it?? What did I NOT want in it??
Armed with what I thought would be the best ingredients, I did a search for
some reputable homemade skin care lines.  I chose the Ultra Hydration Lotion.
The reviews were good and I thought.....
"Well, I've used a lot worse things on my face. How bad can trying
a complete unknown be?"--> I was glad I did! I really like it.
Super moisturizing but not heavy. I used it all winter and spring but switched
 back to the Derma E moisturizer for the summer because it is a lighter cream.
The Ultra Hydration isn't greasy or thick or smelly. It is absorbed
very well and really feels good on my face. I have had no adverse
reactions to any of her products and I have gone back and purchased a few :)

#7. I take a 25mg zinc supplement everyday.
I am no expert but I have used zinc in the past and it has helped.
I stopped for a long time because it made my stomach upset but
I have since gone back to it and now know better and take it with dinner.

#8. Instead of rinsing my cleanser off by splashing it off with warm water in the sink,
 I have been wiping it off with a washcloth. I think this way, I really get all the soap off.
I had a feeling that I wasn't completely rinsing it all away with just the water.
I had a running theory that I wasn't rising my face thoroughly and leftover
cleanser was clogging up my pores. Again, it was just a hunch and I was trying to
problem solve the best I could and fix what mistakes I thought I might be making.
I use a fresh washcloth every time. I also like that the washcloth can act as a
a bit of an exfoliant. I pat dry with a clean hand towel that I only use for my face.

#9. Now that winter is almost here, my face will get a bit drier so I will go
back to oil cleansing 3 times a week as well.

I never did give up other cleansers and use the oil cleansing full time.
I did use it about 3 times a week at night before bed and found it
very soothing and helped with the weird spotty dryness.
I didn't re-wash my face the day after I used this before bed.
I just wiped my face with the toner and applied moisturizer.
I didn't want to over wash...which I used to always do and that is killer on the skin.

#10. I have started making a yogurt and fresh fruit smoothie 3-4 times a week.
I am not a fan of yogurt and most fruit makes my stomach hurt
so the idea of mixing them seemed most undesirable to me.
I was hoping for more of a "cheese-potatoes-lots of starch* solution Hahah! ;)
However....*throws up hands* what can I say??
You do what you have to do and to be honest, they are pretty tasty when done right.
My stomach is happier AND so it seems, is my face :)

Lastly, I have been power walking again. I haven't done much
exercise in the last couple of years. I try and then get bored and lazy.
My waistline and face paid the price.
I got myself a used treadmill and made a promise to get on it 5 times
a week. If I am on it 20 minutes or is something and something is
better than nothing. I watch TV while I walk and before I know it
45 minutes has zoomed by and I feel quite proud of myself  :)
I am not sure if I have lost any weight but I feel better.
Better face and better disposition is a win win for sure!
Not to mention the cute new running shoes I treated myself with ;)
Hahahahah! I needed to motivate myself somehow!!

Now for the "after" photos.
I used some mineral makeup to help reduce a wee bit of redness and I am looking
much better than I did a year ago. The best part is that my face FEELS so much better.
The redness has gone down. I still get small blemishes but I haven't had any
hard cystic blemishes since end of last winter. The blemishes that I do
get are manageable and most only last about 7-10 days.
I think about half of those are hormonal and I can live with that.
It is SO nice to have a face that doesn't hurt!
 I am happy to look better but I am even happier to feel better- Hurrah!!

So there you have it. So far so good!
I am thrilled with the progress I have made over these
last few months. I am really glad that I took the plunge, did my research
 and made the switch to much better and healthier products.
Fingers crossed that this clear skin will continue for me.

I hope there is some helpful stuff in there for you Pussycats that also
have acne issues. There is no magic cure and certainly no magic acne potion.
I have learned that the hard way for sure! I hate that I fell for all the hype from marketers
promising me clear beautiful skin that would never come.
I am very happy however that I finally got frustrated enough to put a stop to it.

My hope is that by sharing my new routine and the products I am using
will also help you on your path to better, healthier and soothed skin.
My wish is that we all can make positive changes in our lives that make us
feel good about ourselves and help us to live a fulfilled and happy life :)

Next Monday I will start a series of posts sharing some of the make up
products I have been using and had success with.

Take Care Pussycats!! Luv Weezi xoxo

BTW- I purchased these products on my own. I am not affiliated in any
way with any of these companies. I am just one gal problem solving her own
acne issues the best way she can. I have no acne or skin care expertise, just
my own experiences with product trial and error.

Please do not try and sell me stuff or solicit your product here.
This blog is for me to share my expediences only.
Any attempt in solicitation will be blocked and banned, just so you know. 


Loey said...

Awesome tips, Lisa! So happy for you progress :) I find Timeless Prescription line of skin care pretty helpful with my skin. I tend to get underlying toxins in the sane couple of places on my face and this tends to help keep it in control.
I'm also super psyched that you included a healthy diet and exercise as tips to heal their skin because people tend to forget that.

Lisa Weezi Gaverluk said...

Thanx Loey! I really appreciate your kind words :)
I too have recurring blemishes in the exact same place. Will look into your recommendation for sure.
All the best and thanx for writing! Lisa :)