Today, I was going to post how I clean my make-up brushes, as it's probably a bit different to a lot of how you do it, as I do it in a way that completely disinfects them because of my past troubles with acne. It takes all day and is a bit of a process, so it wont be ready to post until tomorrow - and I suppose talking about my skin problems first seems like the most logical thing to do. So if you're interested in the make-up brush cleaning post, come back and check out the post tomorrow!
Firstly I want to start by saying, that in general terms I'm pretty easy-going but there are certain things that get me really riled. And one that is definitely up there in making me crazy - verging on psychotic - is when people say they have acne when they CLEARLY don't. Love, you're having a bit of a hormonal breakout because it's your time of the month or you've reacted to a product - don't claim you have a physically and mentally scarring skin condition, lest I slap you around the face and really give you something to moan about. Maybe it's because these people don't actually know what acne is, but it is honestly so irritating, especially because I've suffered acne for years. A few of my regular readers may not have noticed that I suffer from acne, but to be honest, it's only because I've got pretty skilled at covering my breakouts, and over the summer when I started my blog, my skin was pretty well managed and my breakouts weren't bad at all. But, right now my skin is soooo bad. I haven't had a breakout as bad as this in years - hence the severe lack of my face in posts over the last week or so. I come under the moderate - severe acne bracket, and this is because of the type of spots I get. I don't just get a little collection of red bumps, I get massive pustules and cysts deep down in the layers of my skin which are extremely painful (I hope you're not eating while reading this - well you wont be now!). You're not supposed to squeeze spots because it scars - we all know this, but I do. I treat my acne like wounds, and in wound care, generally, you want to remove the infection and treat the tissues underneath to kill the bacteria and let the healthy tissues heal and regenerate themselves. And through the many years of suffering with acne, I've found methods and products that work for me so that I don't scar, and that treat existing scars I've had since I was younger - but I suppose how I treat my spots is a completely different post, otherwise I'll be here all day.
I started to suffer from acne like most people, and that was when I hit puberty. That's usually what it's like for everyone - and if not it's during some other massive hormonal change, like pregnancy or menopause. So that was when I was 11/12 and I was noticing I was getting really big horrible spots. I think I noticed it more because my spots weren't anything like the spots my big sister got. I tried my best to look after it but I didn't really know what I was doing, it just got progressively worse - and anyway, acne can't be controlled by skincare alone (something that should maybe make you be able to tell the difference between acne and normal spots?). Eventually when I was about 14/15 I went to the doctor with my mum and was given your kind of bog-standard basic antibiotic for acne, but it just simply didn't work. Using antibiotics showed the tiniest result and it only lasted for about a week, of when my spots healed a bit, but were never completely gone, and by the time they were healing up new ones were coming anyway. So the results were pretty poor - but I continued to take antibiotics for around 4 years - and it doesn't take a genius to know that taking antibiotics for that amount of time, that weren't really doing anything is not good, but my GP was a bit disinterested. It wasn't until I was brave enough to go to my GP with no makeup on did I eventually get referred to a dermatologist; apparently taking my word for it about how bad it was and how painful it was wasn't good enough (I HATE my GP by the way he's awful - most GPs in general are something that also riles me - but that's another rant for another post!). After being assessed by a dermatologist, it was decided that I would go on a tablet called Roaccutane. When you're on it you have to be closely monitored because it's quite toxic, as in it affects your liver so you can't drink alcohol at all and it can cause hormonal and mood changes and things. But generally I was fine while I was on it, I was a bit moody and found everyone annoying but that's about it! My skin was super sensitive when I was on it too, because it completely strips the skin and it was suffering from dry cracked skin on my hands, shins and all over my face - particularly my lips. It's quite a process being on Roaccutane - but it worked! That was the most important thing for me really. I was on the treatment for 3 months, and I was told that it was very likely that I would need another round in the future.
Acne is incurable, until you grow out if it - IF you grow out of it. My skin has stayed "good" for around 2 years now, with the odd hormonal spot which was easily managed with skincare. But I'm starting to think that this breakout is the sign that it's coming back with a vengeance - over the last few months I've noticed my back has felt oily again, and I've been getting a few spots there, so I had the joy of having spots all over my face and my back. Bacne, mmm. I used to have to get my mum to put foundation and concealer on my back when I was going out so I didn't have to wear polo-neck dresses - and I really don't want to go back to that. But right now I'm doing everything I can to sort myself out. I'm using a home-made honey mask plus eating honey every morning in my porridge - honey is a natural antibacterial agent and it's used a lot in wound care, that's why it's so good for your bad skin! I'm also drinking green-tea over my normal tea and I've started taking my vitamins again. I take Vitamin C, Fish oil, Zinc and Evening Primrose oil - all of which are really good for your skin. And I've been trying some products that I've seen bloggers like for breakouts. I recently got the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo cream because Ruth from a model recommends says she really likes it. With putting these steps in place I have noticed that a lot of my spots are healing, but I've still got a few buggers that just wont, but I'm very impatient so maybe that's why. Y'know it's ironic as well that stress aggravates acne, but when I have a breakout it makes me really stressed - vicious cycle! Ah well we'll see how it goes, but I've been talking to my mum and we think it's time to give the dermatologist a ring - it may be time for round 2!