A Lush Haul

It’s been a good couple years since I last purchased anything from Lush. Not sure why because Lush is by far my favorite cosmetics store! I’ve never really had a nice bathtub where I could relax in and take a bubble bath, but recently we redid our bathroom/tub and I thought this would be the perfect time to pick up some bath bombs! Lush also has some amazing skin care products, and if you know me at all you’ll know I’m a sucker for skincare!

 

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This adorable bath bomb is called “Rocket Science”. I was drawn to its shape and sparkles for sure! It creates streams of hot pink & yellow, with a touch of shimmer to the bath water.  It’s uplifting, refreshing and makes your skin feel super cleansed and soft! This lil guy is also vegan! Check it out here!

This one was on display at the time, and caught my attention! The Guardian Of The Forest bath bomb, this one is new to lush and has a fresh, woody aroma! It made me feel squeaky clean too! When I dropped it in the water it created beautiful shades of yellow and green, leaving the water a dark green color once it was dissolved. Made me feel like I was swimming in a lake or some sort of forest stream haha! Check it out here!

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IMG_33271   The last bomb I purchased, which I still have yet to try is called Avobath! Out of the three this one smells the best, I can’t wait to give this one a try! As you can probably tell by the name it contains fresh avocado as well as olive oil and lemon grass! It’s supposed to leave skin feeling hydrated, nourished and soothed.  Check it out here!

Last, I wanted to pick up their cleanser called Herbalism. This cleanser was one of my favorites in the past and it had been a couple years since I last purchased it! It’s great for people with acne/oily/combo skin. I still use my Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Cleanser which I made a post about here , but Herbalism is great to use twice a week in my routine for a nice gentle exfoliation! It contains ground almonds, rosemary, and rice bran to absorb excess oil. I love the natural scent it has and the bright green color! Check it out here!

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My Skincare Routine 2018

Now that my skin has been pretty clear of acne and crazy rosacea flare ups, I try to keep my skincare routine pretty basic and minimal. I find that with my skin personally, the more products I use, the more my skin breaks out and goes out of whack. Remember that everyone’s skin and body is different, so something that works for me may not work for you!

 

MORNING ROUTINE

1.  Water

In the morning the first thing I will do is rinse my face with just water. No cleansers or anything crazy just water to rinse away any serums or moisturizers I slept in the night before. I find that in the morning a cleanser is unnecessary when I haven’t worn makeup or done anything to make my skin super dirty. Remember less is more!

2. Serum or Moisturizer

 

After rinsing my face with water, I like to apply a light serum or moisturizer next which will be the only step before I apply my makeup for the day. I’m a huge fan of the Skin Deva 100% Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It’s lightweight, doesn’t cause breakouts under my makeup, and makes my skin super soft and hydrated!

If my skin is feeling dryer than usual (I have pretty oily skin so this isn’t often) I will opt for a moisturizer instead. I tend to lean more towards serums though because I find that they aren’t greasy under my makeup and never cause me to breakout. However, one that I’ve been loving, which is nice when I want to feel super hydrated is the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. I love it because it has great ingredients, and the packaging is super sanitary. Also a little bit goes a long way so I only use half a pump!

 

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

1. Cleanser

Now before I cleanse my face I ALWAYS first remove my makeup using makeup removal wipes. My favorites are the Clean & Clear wipes, and the Neutrogena makeup removal wipes in the light blue or purple packaging. Next I go in with my cleanser to remove anything I may have missed with the wipes. I’m not too picky when it comes to face cleansers, it just needs to be fragrance free and super gentle (no exfoliating beads!). The one that I have been currently LOVING is The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser. Its simple and gets the job done. I’m not a big fan of tea tree oil scents but this one isn’t super over powering and it definitely keeps my smaller on the surface acne under control.

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2. Masks

I try to do a face mask 3-4 times per week. This is something that if I don’t do it makes me feel a little guilty and I can definitely tell my skin gets more dull without them. As I’ve said in the past I struggle a lot with acne scars, hyper pigmentation and uneven skin tone so face masks make a huge difference! My absolute holy grail face mask is the Mario Badescu Whitening Mask. I’ve been repurchasing this for I wanna say five years or so, it’s a product that I feel always needs to be in my skincare collection. It’s a reasonable price, smells amazing, and really helps lighten any acne scars! Sometimes I’ll even spot treat and sleep with this mask on as well. A little bit definitely goes a long way with this product.

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3. Serum

After rinsing off my face mask, to complete my night routine I like to end with a nice serum that does some great work overnight. My night serums are the one thing that I constantly switch out because there are so many ones out there that I want to try. As of right now though I’ve been switching between two different ones. When my skin is feeling a little bumpy or just not 100% texture wise, I like to opt for the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. It has a 12% blend of AHA/BHA, that doesn’t irritate my rosacea either. With this product I only use half a pump, otherwise it can make your skin feel tacky and gross when sleeping with it on. It makes my skin feel incredibly soft in the morning and feeling back to normal! I’ve also heard amazing things about it improving skin texture and fine lines overtime.

When my skin is looking pretty damn good, and I just want something to help brighten my complexion and lighten up those acne scars, I love using my Skin Deva 20% Vitamin C+E + Ferulic Acid Serum. These vitamins are great for acne scars and brightening the skin, it also makes me face feel so soft and plump in the morning. I use about three drops on my entire face!

 

And that’s my daily routine! Super simple and straight forward. Skincare is one of my favorite obsessions, I’m always switching up my products and changing my routine. So if there’s a new product that I’m loving I’ll be sure to make a post about it!

My Acne Story

Before I begin this post, I first want to clarify that this isn’t a post about how I cleared my skin, what products I use in my skincare routine, or anything along those lines. I will do some posts on those topics later on. This is just my skin story. I’m writing this mostly for myself because it’s nice to see how far I’ve come, and it honestly just feels good to write about it. This will also probably be my longest post ever and I’m a pretty bad writer, so if you read the whole thing then thank you!!

Growing up I was never the girl with perfect skin, I started wearing foundation when I was 14. I had redness all around the center of my face and a little bit on my cheeks that I absolutely hated. At the time I never knew what it was, later I found out it was rosacea, but I always wondered why I had it and why no one else I went to school with seemed to have skin like mine. No one ever really made fun of me for it, at least not to my face, but I was still pretty insecure about it because it made me feel unattractive. I always thought to myself,  “if my skin wasn’t red maybe I’d be cute” or “I’ll never be attractive until my skin looks better”. This kinda stuck with me my whole life because no matter what I did my skin never got better, in fact it got much worse.

It was around the age of 17 when I started getting acne. It was never anything severe, just a pimple or two here and there but my skin was never completely flawless. Of course I was still struggling with rosacea and didn’t know what it was. Still no one really made fun of me for it, probably because I wore makeup to school everyday to cover it. I was about 17 or 18 when I developed this fear of going in public without face makeup. Still to this day (I’m almost 24) I have not once stepped foot in a public place with no makeup. And no I’m not proud of it and I wish I wasn’t like this, but my skin journey has definitely scarred me. Sometimes I think I have body dysmorphia but then again with having a youtube channel people would tell me how ugly I was almost everyday, which made me almost believe it.

This post isn’t supposed to be dark or depressing, but I’m here to share my journey which has been really difficult. In addition, just how it feels to deal with a public insecurity.

Now fast forward to about 3 years ago. I was 20 years old when I started my first year at college, this was when I really started partying. My friends and I would get wasted and binge drink every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. We never missed a weekend either, this continued for about 2 years straight. Because of this, I believe it caused my hormones to get a little out of control so I started developing very mild cystic acne on my chin. The type of acne that’s huge and under the skin, that hurts like a bitch but there’s nothing you can do about it because like I said, it’s under the skin. Because of this, I then decided to start birth control. My doctor told me it would balance out my hormones and make my acne go away, which it did for about 6 months until I went off of it (I can’t remember why exactly but I did). Since my body was trying to balance out it’s hormones without the birth control my skin went absolutely crazy. I started developing more cystic acne on my chin, and around my nose. Literally the worst places to have acne, dead in the center of my face. It would be so painful to the point where my face would swell. I remember waking up in the middle of the night almost everyday to take some ibuprofen because the pain was that unbearable. Then I’d wake up in the morning only to have  take more pain medication. I was unable to smile or show expression on my face because it was that painful and made my face look swollen and unproportional. 

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I started to get extremely depressed because I felt like I couldn’t do things that everyone else was doing. On the weekends my friends would try to convince me to go out drinking with them, and most of the time I would but I never really wanted to. I felt disgusting and embarrassed because I knew that’s what people were staring at when they looked at me. I would be getting ready for a night out and break down crying because I hated what I saw in the mirror. I hated that I had to hide behind a mask. And I hated that no one understood this pain or what I was going through. Makeup started to become a chore to me because it would take SO LONG to cover all the redness on my face and try to hide the texture, while making sure it didn’t look cakey and would stay on all day. I always wished that I could just walk out the door and save an extra 30 minutes of my time each morning like everyone else.

Eventually I was able to do a round of prednisone which cleared everything up for about six months or so, then of course the acne came back once again full force. This time it DESTROYED my chin leaving me with ugly hypertrophic scarring.

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At this point I was a mess, and extra depressed because my 22nd birthday was coming up and I didn’t want to have to spend it alone inside my house. I ended up going back on birth control and my skin went back to being acne free but now I was left with scars on my face that I started to obsess over.

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Now jumping forward to about a year and a half ago. This had to be one of the darkest moments in my life. I’ve been through some pretty traumatic things in my life and never thought something as little as acne would make me want to kill myself.

At this point I was out of college and living back at home. I thought my skin was horrible before, I had no idea how horrible it was really about to become. In March of 2017 I decided to go off the pill. This time I knew my acne was caused by my hormones being unbalanced, so I was ready to deal with a bad breakout. My acne started coming back again in the same spots as usual, but this time it was a little different. I remember sleeping at my friends apartment up at college and waking up in the morning with these tiny red itchy bumps all over my face. I had no idea what it was. I thought maybe it was from drinking, or falling asleep with makeup on, maybe mites or something from the floor. I had no clue! A week went by and it got even worse.

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During this week I was supposed to start my new job. I was so excited because it was going to be my first job since leaving for college but of course by the time my first day came around my skin was HORRIBLE! I woke up in the morning and started getting ready for my first day at work. As I was putting on my makeup I broke down crying because I couldn’t cover it up. My face was so dry and itchy, and just burned. I felt like I hit rock bottom. I made an appointment right away with my dermatologist but I was so nervous to go in because I didn’t want people starring at me. This is what my skin looked like (shown below) the day of my appointment which was supposed to be my first day of work.

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I went to my appointment excited to finally have this fixed, but of course I ended up being misdiagnosed. This happened twice. Therefore, I took it upon myself to figure out what I had. After a couple days of researching I was almost positive I had a parasite called demodex found in people who have rosacea. For those of you who don’t know what demodex is, it’s a microscopic parasite that’s found on everyone’s face but can become over populated and feed off the oil on the skin. So for someone like me who has super oily acne prone skin, it was the perfect living situation for them.

I began researching ways to kill demodex, which apparently is extremely difficult. I tried literally everything that came up as a cure, but I had horrible luck. As days went by my skin kept getting worse and worse. My face started swelling, my nose pretty much doubled in size, my skin felt like it had a layer of thick itchy leather over it (below is when it was at it’s worst, super embarrassing). As you can probably imagine this was really difficult to live with. During this time I didn’t leave my house for two months straight, not even once. I wouldn’t even let my best friend stop by to say hello because I was so depressed. I spent almost every night crying, and when I would wake up in the morning and check to see if my skin cleared up I’d cry some more because it just kept getting worse. I turned around all the mirrors in my house because it got to the point where I couldn’t even look at myself. I wouldn’t go downstairs to eat unless I made sure my family wasn’t in the room. I literally wanted to die. It sounds so dramatic to want to kill yourself over something so small like acne but I was so low at this point. I dropped out of college, I didn’t have a job, my closest friend lived over an hour away, and I just felt like I had nothing and things weren’t getting better.

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In the end things did get better, they always do. After doing a ton of research I read about a product called Soolantra which must be prescribed by a doctor. I made another appointment and specifically asked for this product. About a month later everything started to clear up including my cystic acne, each week got better and better.

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As I’m writing this post today I can say that I have not had a cystic pimple or anything as horrific as this in over a year. I honestly can’t believe it.

As I wrap up this post, I just wanted to say that I would obviously never want to relive this situation again but at the same time I’m happy that I did. It made me realize a few things about myself and others. You never should judge a person by their apperance (kind of obvious) but still. We are who we are on the inside, and our appearance and the skin we were born in doesn’t change that. Everyone has their own struggles, physical or not, something that may seem small to you could be huge to another person so always be kind and watch what you say around others.

My skin is not perfect and never will be, but it’s come a long way.

One year ago vs today

 

An Introduction

I have spent majority of my life dealing with troubled skin, and not just your average acne spot here and there. I have gone from hell and back multiple times, having rosacea and severe cystic acne. It definitely has not been easy, and I’m still battling with it, finding confidence in myself everyday.

I’ve created this blog to share my personal experience with acne, different skin conditions, and my plans for the future. I want to share reviews of my favorite products/treatments, things that have worked for my skin and things that haven’t, from medications, to crazy diets and exhausting routines. Skincare has become such a huge and important thing in my life that I’ve decided to focus my education and career around it to help as many people as I can who are going through the same struggles I have.

Not only do I want this blog to focus on my skin journey and stories, but I also want to share some of my other interests like my love for beauty and improving my lifestyle.

My goal is to make this a positive place to visit that’s relatable yet inspiring.