Growing up, my skin was never great. I have extremely acne-prone skin and a big ass forehead, meaning more room for pimples (lol). For years, I tried so many different products on my skin hoping they would cure the ugly cystic pimples appearing on my face every day. However, within the past two years, I finally got my skin under control and it was actually easier than I thought. See below for all the steps I took to finally clear up my skin that you can do too!
For reference, I have combination skin and throughout the years my cystic acne has mainly affected my forehead and cheeks.
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Simplifying Your Skincare Regimen
If you’re obsessed with skincare, I understand why you could potentially have mounds of products in your bathroom. You rotate products throughout the week, each with their own purpose. I found that eliminating any unnecessary steps in my skincare routine dramatically changed my skin. I went from using a ton of different cleansers, masks, spot treatments, etc to a very simplified routine (at least in my eyes). Therefore, I highly recommend you do the same. Your skin deserves a break, honestly.
Also, I want to make it super clear that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg for clear skin. Sure, if something works for you then by all means continue with it. But I’ve found a lot of drugstore/affordable products work super well for me. Spending less money on skincare means spending more money on…food, clothes, alcohol, therapy, etc. Ya know?
See below for what my routine consists of now that I’ve simplified my regimen.
Stop Trying So Many Products
I am beyond guilty of rotating skincare products way too often throughout my routine. From what I’ve learned throughout the years, your skin needs time to adjust to new products which is why it’s so important to find something that checks all the boxes and then give it some time to do its job.
We all want our acne to go away as fast a possible. But that is simply not realistic. Research some products and give them a try for a few months because you say NOPE and move onto the next product. Unless you have an immediate negative reaction or result, then you need to chill and give it some time.
Also, I’d like to shoutout my sister for being the one to tell me this for YEARS. And I never listened. But I hear you now, sis. Love you. If you’re reading this, give Nolan a little kiss for me, please.
Avoid Picking Your Skin
I am not a sicko who watches Dr. Pimple Popper (no shade if you like that though), but boy do I LOVE popping pimples. Especially cystic pimples (if you know, you know). But the most important thing I did to clear up my skin was to stop picking it. Cause let’s be honest, you’re not helping yourself at all if you pick your face.
I finally started practicing some self-control and unless I felt it was absolutely necessary, I stopped picking my pimples. And I noticed a huge difference in my skin in just days. I challenge you to give it a try! Habits are hard to break but once you stop doing it for a while, you will get used to it. Promise.
Talk To Your Doctor About Tretinoin
The main thing that changed my skin was an actual prescription from my doctor. She prescribed me Tretinoin around 3 years ago and holy shit, it changed my life honestly. BUT, I’m a dumbass and was applying it wrong for a while so I didn’t see results until about a year ago.
Tretinoin comes in a cream or gel form and changes the production of your skin oil, resulting in less acne. It takes quite a few weeks to see results, but it’s worth it. If you use Tretinoin, make sure you read the directions for how to apply it. For my routine, I will wash my face at night and then wait 15 minutes for my skin to completely dry. Then, I’ll apply the cream and wait for another 15 before I put my moisturizer on.
Also, from what my doctor told me, Tretinoin is often used to prevent and treat wrinkles (which you can’t get as a prescription). So using this product is a win-win no matter what.
Change Your Pillow Case
I actually started doing this recently and I’ve already noticed a huge difference in my skin. From what I know, cystic acne is brought on by a lot of internal factors (diet, stress, etc), but this is the one thing I changed externally that made a difference.
Change your pillowcase. It’s that simple. Your pillowcase collects so much dirt and dust and shit that you’re laying on for hours every night. Therefore, I recommend changing it every few days and I promise you’ll see a difference in your skin. Especially if you get acne on your cheeks!
And Something Everyone Recommends That I Did Not Do…
Cutting out dairy. Couldn’t do it. Will never do it. Ever.
After doing a ton of research about cystic acne, I found one of the most common things people cut out of the diet to help their skin is dairy. My friend Katelyn did it as well and her skin cleared up greatly. But, if we’re being honest, I love cheese way too much to cut it out of my diet. I don’t eat anything else with dairy besides cheese, so in reality, I’m not consuming a ton. But I have noticed that when I eat a ton of cheese, my skin will act up and I’ll break out badly.
Luckily I recently lost a lot of weight and my diet now consists of fresh fruits, veggies, and a lot of other nondairy items so I don’t have to worry about this a ton. But on the rare occasion when I have a few slices of a cheese pizza, I know my face is not going to look good in the morning. But that is the price I’m willing to pay.
Let’s Wrap It Up
All in all, the above worked for me when clearing my skin. It may or may not work for you, but I say give it a shot. What do you have to lose?
Like everything in life, you need to be consistent in order to see results. As I mentioned, things will not change overnight. And if they do, you’re a witch. What I’m trying to say is that if you put the effort into changing your routine, your lifestyle, and maybe your diet, you will notice a difference in your skin.
I’d love to hear about your skincare regimens! Whether you are where you want to be or if you’re just starting your journey, I’m open to any suggestions from you all! Just send me a message here.