My skin looks pretty clear now, but it’s only been that way for a few months. I struggled with terrible acne and breakouts for years, and no amount of dermatologist visits, perscription pills, topical creams, or over the counter cleansers seemed to work.
Everything I tried either had no effect, or broke me out even more. I even went on Accutane, the “miracle pill” for acne, when I was a junior in high school, but the only thing it did was give me extremely chapped lips. It got to a point where I wouldn’t even leave my house without foundation on, and I always made sure I had it with me because I would have to touch it up frequently.
After struggling with my skin for what seemed like an eternity, I finally found a skincare regimen that actually works for me. In the short amount of time that I’ve been doing this routine, my skin has almost completely cleared up, and I hardly ever get bad breakouts anymore.
On top of that, it’s soft and looks healthier and more vibrant than it ever has. People around me have noticed too, and since I’ve been getting so many questions about how I got my skin to clear up, I’m going to share my daily/nightly face routine. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, and different things work for different people, but if you have combination skin that gets pretty oily, like I do, you might want to look into some of these products. Even if you have a different type of skin, you might find out that some of these work for you too.
To give you an idea of what I was working with, the first picture below, unedited, is from 2015, and the second picture, also unedited, is from yesterday, March 29th 2017. In the first one, I’m definitely wearing makeup, and what you can see wasn’t even the worst of it, but the last picture is a completely naked face. Obviously, my skin still isn’t 100% flawless, but there’s still a huge difference between point A and point B, all because of this process.
The first time I ever really noticed a visible difference in my skin was after I started using breast milk soap. I know that sounds gross, but a woman’s breast milk is full of nutrients that help fight acne, rashes, and other skin issues.
In November 2015, I was at an event with several local vendors, and came I across this woman who made and sold breast milk soap. I too, thought it was weird at first, but after hearing this lady’s story and all of the health benefits of breast milk, it didn’t seem strange at all.
Her daughter, who was also at the booth, shared her story about struggling with acne and swore by her mom’s soap, and that swayed me a little more towards purchasing it. A small part of me wasn’t sure if it was a sales tactic or not, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.
Like with all of the other products I’ve tried, I expected it to take a couple months before anything happened, so when a noticeable amount of my acne cleared up in just a few weeks, I was shook. I still had a fair share of blemishes on my face, but the giant cluster in the middle of my cheek and all of my blackheads were gone, and it was definetly enough to boost my confidence. Other people started telling me how great my skin looked too, a complement I never thought I would get in my life. Ever.
This breast milk soap was really the turning point, and I want to reccomend it to EVERYONE, but unfortuently it’s really hard to find. When I ran out, I started to break out again, and I had to track this lady down to get more, because everywhere else I looked either gave a DIY reciepe with your own milk, or needed you to send some in yourself to get it made, so if you’re lactating, this could be a good option for you. I did, however, find an Etsy shop where anyone might be able to order it, but I would ask the seller directly if you’re interested. The woman who I bought it from has a thrift shop in Havana, Florida where she sells it, and if you want to know more about her, she did an interview here.
The breast milk soap left my face feeling soft and clean, but only for a couple of house. By mid-day, my face would feel a little oily again, especially if I was outside. It was like there was hidden layer of dirt under my skin that the soap couldn’t quite reach.
My pores would get HUGE too, so huge that I thought I had a disease the first I time I ever noticed. I was pretty insecure about it, so when I came across a “pore minimizing” toner at Lucky’s Market, I was eager to try it out.
On the other hand, I was a little iffy about using a toner because my experience with them in the past hasn’t been the best. All of the toners I’ve tried stung and irritated my face which caused me to break out more. I was told that it “it gets worse before it gets better,” but it NEVER GOT BETTER.
To my relief I had a much different expierience with this particular toner from Andalou. It doesn’t sting when I apply it, and it feels light, and not like I’m putting straight rubbing alcohol on my face. After wiping it on, my face feels cool and refreshed, and, it smells good, which is always a plus. It started having an effect on my face too, because that oily feeling I was experiening went away, and my face started feeling light, fresh, and clean ALL DAY. And the best part: my pores actually did shrinking size. Believe it or not, they used to be a lot bigger than what you can see in the recent picture of my face.
I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but Andalou uses fruit stem cell science in their products, because fruit stem cells are rich in protien and other nutrients that are great for your skin. Their products are also, vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, and non-GMO verified, can it get any better? On their website, there’s face, hair, and body products for all kinds of purposes and skin types too, such as brightening, age defying, moisturizing, and sensitivity.
Like everyone else, I still get stress and pms breakouts that I have to deal with, and like toners, I’ve used a lot of spot treatments that really didn’t do anything. When I picked up the Andalou toner, I also decided to try their blemish vanishing gel. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but I was once again surprised when I woke up to find that some incoming zits were gone after I had applied this serum on them the night before.
I only use this when I need to, unlike the soap and toner that I use every day, but when I do use it it does exactly what I need it to do. You know that toothpaste “home-ready” that’s supposed to make pimples dissapear overnight? Well this gel works just like that, or how that’s supposed to work.
There has been a couple of times where the spot I wanted gone looked worse after using the gel, but it did disapear not long after that, so I figured it was cleaning it out by bringing it to the surface.
The last step in my facial regimen is moisturizing. The moisturizer I’ve been using is also a Collagen-Elastin cream, which used for anti-aging and stronger skin.
There’s a lot of different brands with similar products, but the particular one I’ve been using is from one of my mom’s friend who makes it. It was actually a part of an orange facial peel kit, but I’ve just been using the moisturize step of it in my daily skin routine.
I’m not really sure if the collagen-elastin part of it has had any effect on my skin, probably because I don’t have to many wrinkles to worry about yet, but I have noticed that my skin does overall look healthier and younger, especially in pictures. However, that might be due to my overall skin routine and not just the cream.
It has a thick and slightly watery texture, and that’s not a bad thing, but I have to make sure that I don’t use too much or else my skin will feel kind of greasy. After all, less is more.
A few times a week, in between cleansing and toning, I’ll use a dead sea mud mask on my face for further rejuvenation. The dead sea is supposedly filled with minerals that help breakouts and make your skin look hydrated and healthy. Whenever I use it, my skin feels brand new, and it feels especially good when I use it after a few days of eating fried food, binge drinking alcohol, or accidentally skipping a couple of washes.
There’s a catch though: it smells horrendous, at least this brand does, as you can see from the container, but you only have to leave it on for 7 minutes max, so the benefits are worth it, at least to me. It also has this strange texture that is thick, watery, and very smooth, making it pretty messy. Since I get it all over the place when I apply it, I’ve been using it in the shower because it’s easier to wipe down a bathtub than a sink.
If you can set aside a few minutes and ignore a bad smell, then I highly recommend this mask. I’ve used similar masks, like Aztec Clay, and it had similar effects, but it was a pain because you have to mix it with apple cider vinegar and it was hard to apply and even messier than the dead sea mud mask. If and when you do decide to use a mask like this, don’t wear anything you wouldn’t want stained.
In short, my routine goes soap, toner, vanishing gel if needed, and then moisturizer. Whenever I use the face mask, I put it on in between the soap and toner, because you’re generally supposed to have a clean face when using masks.
As I mentioned in the beginning, my face still has some work to do, but what has cleared up so far has been life changing. I definitely feel comfortable going to the grocery store with no makeup, something that used to terrify me.
If any babe reading this is currently struggling with acne, I hope that you don’t give up, and find something that works for YOU.