My skin has been a mess since I hit puberty. I’m freaking in my late 20’s and still haven’t got this stuff sorted out. So I’m hoping that putting this out in the public I’m gonna figure it out.

Education on Acne

I like to read up on Acne so Imma put up everything I learned here. But in reality, if you’re more an actions person, in my opinion all you need is a gentle cleanser and Paula’s Choice.

But if you like to know what’s happening behind the scenes and want to know what more you can do. Then stick around and we can talk about it. Just like every other post on this blog this may be like my hundredth time rewriting this.

With the subreddit /r/skincareaddiction and bare YouTube channels theres so many more resources to actually help you get through all this. And I’ve tried my best to filter through all the marketing lingo to get me to actually understand what acne is and what to do to treat it. So I’ll try to consolidate the most helpful information I found here.


What is Acne

Acne is chronic inflammation of our pores

But do you know what a pore is? Me neither. I was shocked to find out that it’s just your fricken hair follicles (Thank you ASAP Science for clearing that up). People talk about pores and tings but at the end of the day, pimples are just clogged hair follicles that get inflamed. Marketing hype will confuse the heck out of you, so I think it’s helpful to just think of it as a natural reaction and your body is just trying to do whatever that will help protect your body. And with this piece of knowledge, we’ll be able to declare actionable steps moving forward.

So Why is Our Skin Doing This?

So, now that we know pores are just hair follicles, underneath that our skin naturally produces oils called “sebum”. Why does it do that? Well, it helps keep our body and hair moisturized. So that’s at a regular time of our skin. But if our “pores” (hair follicles) get clogged (usually dead skin cells and oils), the sebum we usually produced to keep ourselves moisturized starts getting trapped by that clog-age. and as result, the pore (hair follicle) gets inflamed and enlarged.

Clogged Pores equals Pimples

So now that the skin has a bunch of dead skin cells and the pore is enlarged, its gonna start attracting bacteria cause that’s what it eats (dead skin cells and sebum). Bacteria can lead to infection so our bodies try to protect us by getting our immune system to send blood and white blood cells to clear up the infection.

Types of Pimples

Eventually after the white blood cells clear everything up. all the dead cells (white blood cells included) create a puss-filled pimple. If it stays under the skin its called a white head. But if it pops through, oxygen mixes with the melanin in the mixture and turns it black. Hence, blackhead.

  • Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
  • Blackheads (open plugged pores)
  • Small red, tender bumps (papules)
  • Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
  • Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)
  • Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic lesions)
  • From MayoClinic

So odds are you’ve probably encountered at least one of these types of pimples. And while it usually feels like you’re fighting a losing battle. Just know that it is possible. My favourite place to visit is Reddit’s /r/SkincareAddiction, because there will always be someone to be able to help you out there or just be with you for the journey.


My Acne Journey

My Pimples and Tings

So my acne has been pretty bad ever since I hit puberty and I never had the commitment to actually try long enough to get rid of it. I’ve tried almost every type of topical treatment but without the ability to remain consistent and the education of why I would do anything, nothing really worked for me.

While I feel like I have tried everything I think my biggest flaw was giving up too early. If I were to give myself some advice to follow through with back in the day is:

Advice For Myself

The best skincare routine is the the one you can stay consistent with.

Most mandem just wash they face with soap and water and their skin all looks pretty clear. For most guys one soap for everything really does seems to work. But for the rest of us, pimples are a natural part of life and I would like to think that your body will usually sort it out for you. However, in my experience once we start introducing chemicals (I’m talking from personal experience, so I have no scientific evidence for this statement) it’ll start messing with your skin. I think once you start messing with the pH balance of your skin there’s going to be a lot of correction/over-correction with more chemicals and more products.

Explore Your Skin

That being said I think because of this there’s not going to be a one cure-all solution. I don’t think this will work for everyone but I do think this is something everyone should try.

I’m sure it’s in Reddit somewhere, but I read something that recommends if our skin has been freaking out from an overuse of products the best thing to do is to basically go on a product diet (aka don’t really use anything except for water and introduce each product slowly to figure out your actual skin type and what not.

For reference my skin type is usually oily.

So lets get into the products I chose:


My Simplified Acne Routine

So the main thing with routines is I get overwhelmed by them. lol. If you browse the internet there is going to be soo many things that you can do but if I could boil it down to golden rule you need three things.

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

But because I seemed to need something extra my routine has four steps. After trying so many products I’ve noticed that there needs to be particular things that helps me keep them as a habit.


Cleanser

Neutrogena – Ultra Gentle Cleanser (Foaming Formula)

This cleanser is blessed 🙏!!!

Honestly, this cleanser helps me make this whole routine a habit. I’m hella lazy and don’t even want to have to do this in the first place. But I think it’s the foaming factor of the cleanser that helps me stay consistent. (There’s a book called the power of habit that explains that the foaming piece of toothpaste helps us keep brushing our teeth a habit, or the foaming part of shampoo that helps and I think that’s relevant to the face wash for me).


Exfoliant

Paula’s Choice – 2% BHA Exfoliant

This is the magic right here.

When I Used Paula’s BHA Exfoliant. I saw changes for:

  • Oil skin (1 week)
  • Acne (2-3 Months)

Moisturizer

Cetaphil – Face & Body Gentle Moisturizer [All-Skin Types]

Being an oily person I didn’t think I needed to moisturize but when you use some chemicals like the exfoliant its important to regulate your pH level of your skin. So always make sure you moisturize.


Sunscreen

Glossier – Invisible Screen (Daily Sunscreen +)

I’ve done everything they tell you not to do and now I know why. use sunscreen so you don’t scar up. But also cause its better for your skin health.


Reference Links on Acne

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGvx4gl3D7w
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfwpbl1v4q4
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/SkincareAddiction/wiki/index
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/SkincareAddiction/wiki/acne
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047

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