My Skincare Journey Pt. 1


I have shared skincare posts on the blog before and lightly touched on how I started using more of a Korean skincare routine, but I decided you all deserved a post dedicated to the "WHY" behind my skincare routine and the journey I have been on to understand and clear my skin!

Recently I was talking to a girl on Instagram about skincare/my struggle with acne and she said "Partly the reason I started following you was because I was like 'hey, shes a blogger and she doesn't have perfect skin either!' I've struggled with acne for years and it was refreshing to stumble upon your page." I can't tell you how encouraging that comment was to me! I always try to be authentic, and sharing my skin struggles is one of the ways that I show my imperfections and insecurities. 
I think sometimes there is a mindset developed around bloggers that they are perfect....they have a perfect life, perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect teeth, skin. etc (I know I can tend to think that about other bloggers I follow). However, in reality is that isn't always the case, I have my rough patches, I drink to much coffee and tea and don't have pearly white teeth, my makeup is hardly flawless, I can't go days without washing my hair and only using dry shampoo (like some people), and my skin is a whole other story (hence this post). 

Since I have talked a bit about my skincare change before, I am going to do more of an overview in this post on my recent skincare journey. I am 22 and have been struggling with acne since I was about 13 years old, so if you do the math that means I have had imperfect/breakout prone skin for 10 years. Furthermore, I feel like every time I read a post about someones problematic acne prone skin, I always find out that what they mean is they get 2-3 pimples when their diet or hormones are off.....that is not the case for me! When I hear people complaining about the pimple on their cheek I always think to myself "you have no clue what I would give for just one pimple" (anyone else with me on this)? Acne is no joke, but there is a difference between a few pimples here and there and full breakouts on your cheeks and chin! So when I say I struggle with imperfect/breakout prone skin it means that I have scaring, redness, and get 2-5 pimples (or more) in a typical breakout (including blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic acne)....

You may be reading this and thinking "But if you just tried __________ " or if you would just do " _______" your skin would get better....... I've heard every version of people's suggestions, I've tried a lot of them, and some I have avoided because I didn't feel they were right for me. However, I have come to realize that every person's skin is different, as are their breakouts (as is the case for me)! For some, topical creams work miracles, or others (like me) they only help for a short time. Thus, I have had to learn not to judge other's skin in the basis of my own and hope that others would have the same courteousness towards me:)

While there have been highs and low in my breakouts over the years, I have come to a point where enough is enough! This doesn't mean that I have reverted to getting over the counter prescriptions and medication for my acne, because in the long run I won't want to be on those forever and when you stop your skin usually freaks out (plus I hate putting chemicals into my body)! I have done the topical medication route (when I was in high school), and I have to say that while it helped in some regards, I was always left feeling worse about my skin because my skin just didn't feel healthy (anyone else feel that way)! My skin was often dry, flaky, red, and irritated, talk about trying to wear makeup on uber dry skin (it doesn't work well), but also not wanting to go out with your skin red and dry (the struggles). Thus, over the last couple of years I have taken a different approach, one that focuses on making my skin feel healthy and happy, and while I am still working through acne, my skin has never felt this good. 

My Skincare Journey:
If you remember This Post, I talked about how I had started using a Korean skincare method with multiple steps, gentle cleansers, essence, serums, and face oil. While my routine and the products I use have changed slightly since that post, the idea is still the same. I want my skin to be happy, feel healthy, moisturized, bouncy, and glowy, despite my breakouts, and it is finally getting there! 
However, since the beginning of this year I realized that healthy and happy skin doesn't just happen from the outside, it starts from the inside out. Deep down over the years, I think I have always known that I needed to change things in my lifestyle and my diet to help my skin, but I didn't want to give up all the foods I like.......let's be honest, all the foods I LOVE are the worst foods for my skin!!! Topically taking care of my skin just isn't enough, and I have been on a journey to really understand my skin, figure out what things really cause my face to break out, learn what the different breakout areas on my face mean, and fight the acne battle from inside, as well as topically. 
I will say, learning about my skin and coming to understand it has been enlightening. My breakouts make more since now! In the past I would always wonder "Why am I getting a breakout on my chin?" and now I know it is due to hormones (sometimes cause by an imbalance due to diet or due to my period). Or "Why am I getting a breakout on my cheek?" well now I know it is probably because of the pint of ice cream I ate......so yeah, it's not fun, but it isn't a mystery anymore. If you are curious as to what I mean, I have put a diagram below to illustrate what different breakout regions of the face mean:


This Diagram is helpful too because it tells you what you need to change:



When I started doing more research to learn about my skin and breakouts I came to realize my breakouts were caused by 3 major things (as noted by the diagrams):
My breakouts were caused by stress, my diet, lack of water, sometimes (possibly) lack of sleep, and hormones (oddly enough though hormonal acne can actually be triggered by diet, because fatty foods elevate the levels of testosterone in your body which causes your hormones to be off, causing a hormonal breakout due to your diet....so diet is a huge part of healthy skin). Basically A LOT of factors contribute to my acne, so trying to manage breakouts means managing many aspects of my life and it can get overwhelming.

When I started understanding my breakouts and my skin, everything that was happening made more since. However, understanding your skin might take a bit of scientific study and experimentation of avoiding things to see if your skin gets better and then adding them back in to see if they trigger breakouts. I actually started to learn more about my skin over Lent because my sister and I gave up sweets and started avoiding dairy (drinking almond milk instead). Throughout those weeks my skin started to clear up and I wasn't seeing nearly as many breakouts (hardly any). It felt great to see my skin improve and not worry that I would wake up with a breakout in the morning. However, after lent ended I didn't really stay on the "no sugar" plan and after easter candy, sweets, and a week of an unbalanced diet I saw my skin go back to what it used to be. I then realized that I knew what I needed to change and actually needed to make improvements to change it for real this time!
With that I made a "Skincare Resolution" (noted in the chart below) and over the next few weeks will be sharing more of the details on every aspect of this journey (this means unflattering pictures, facts, struggles, you name it) !

 

Do you struggle with acne?
Can you relate to my skincare story? 
What causes your breakouts?
Is there anything specific you would like to see me talk about in this series? 

-Madison

6 comments

  1. I can totally relate to this!! My face is pretty much the same as yours. Ahh I get so upset when I read posts about acne from people that only get 1 or 2 pimples at a time. But diet and taking care of my skin in the way that works for me have been game changers! Can't wait to read more!

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    1. So glad to know you can relate to a lot of this Allison!
      -M

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  2. Madison, you rock! I love that you share this stuff. Fantastic, in depth post.

    -Jacqueline
    http://www.jackieomy.com

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    1. Thank you so much for such a sweet comment! Glad you enjoyed this post:)
      -M

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  3. I love this! I'm one of those who is always messaging you to tell you how I love your authenticity! lol I really do, though. It's rare in the blogging world! And yeah, if people could only stop thinking that bloggers are perfect...haha!

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    1. I remember our messages, and I think you were the one that I mentioned in this post? Authenticity is so important to me, so to know that is how I am perceived is so important:) Loved reading your comment!
      -M

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