ACNE GIRL

So a lot of people have asked me to do skin blog to tell them how I have a ‘good skin’. Well theoretically ‘good skin’ is defined as clear, healthy skin – fairness creams toe an entirely different line though- but for me a ‘good skin’ is the one you feel comfortable with. Deep words? Wait until I tell you whole story.
I had fairly a clear skin until I was 18, the age most people are getting done with their teenage bursts of pimples and warts, and their skin starts clearing up. I had always felt lucky to have skipped this phase.  So about that time I moved to Delhi from Dehradun for work. The change of city, the harsh temperatures, and the paucity of home-cooked made my skin break out for the first time.
This was to be the beginning of a decade long struggle.
I had developed acute acne, a condition because resulting from hormonal imbalance. I reached a stage where my face was full of puss which would hurt and bleed constantly. I had always been a confident kid but my self-esteem took a major battering. Everywhere I would go people would pick me out of the crowd and try selling me products. It took me a lot of time to realize they were playing on insecurity to push their products. Far from curing it, they made me more conscious of the way I looked. I found myself asking if I needed those products and I gave in a lot of times and bought products that only made it worse. There was a time I heard my crush say to a guy friend of his, ‘How could someone kiss that face?’ Younger me didn’t know any better and I blamed myself for my face and promptly bought more products.
Over the years, I have taken some desperate measures to tackle my acne problem. From home remedies to Homeopathy, from Roaccutane to laser treatments. I’m here to share what really worked for me and what didn’t, I hope someone can benefit from this. But do read this with the knowledge that you’re beautiful the way you are, that clearer skin will most probably not lead to a happier tomorrow, and that you are going to do this for yourself, not for a boy or a girl or people around you. In my case, things really started working when I was trying things without worrying whether it would work or not.

What didn’t work.

ROACCUTANE
Accutane is a controlled drug which is needs to be prescribed by skin doctors. Before prescribing this drug you must conduct a liver functioning test and one after using it, this might give you a picture on how severe this drug must be. This drug could have other side effects which can lead to loss of eyesight, depression and liver failure. Now that I think of it I feel I must have been really desperate to take such chances with my health. Soon after having the drug for three months I suffered from depression. I had to immediately stop the dose and get aid. I absolutely do not recommend this.

SALCALIC PEELS
When I went to the clinic to get these done I was promised so much that I shelled out of money immediately. How it works is that the salicylic acid enters your skin and fights with the acne. There is a range of products available with the acid on the shelf to fight these zits. Honestly, after good eight sessions my skin didn’t see any improvement. Instead now my acne got worse. Lesson learned – not everything that’s expensive and is explained well works.

CLEAN AND CLEAR
Most people swear by this product. Unfortunately, I didn’t do anything for me. What it did do was to make my skin really dry and sketchy. I think what it does is it extracts all the oil from the tropical layer which subdues the visibility of acne for a few hours. But it certainly didn’t cure the acne.

TURMERIC AND YOGURT MASK
I have great belief in our home remedies and what is easier than a turmeric-besan pack. Well it might work for some people but it didn’t for me. In some cases, it does smoothen the skin. Turmeric has antioxidants which helps in heeling the acne. However my acne turned yellow and blazed hot and bled. As if they were angry from this intervention.

CYSTIC OVARIES AND BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
One in five women have cystic ovaries. I suffered from the cystic ovaries which causes cystic acne. Having found the reason the immediate action is to go contraceptive pills. I thought this will be it! I’m going to lose my acne overnight! I tried Yasmin and Dianne with devastating effects. The first caused depression and the other one resulted in weight gain. Each is to its own and this might work for you but I would rather stab myself in the eye than use them again. Contraceptive pills should be used what they are made for.

What Worked-

PROACTIV
Right after the great disappointment with the chemical peels someone suggested me to try the range. People usually have mixed reviews about Proactiv, it was surely a blessing for me. I used the range for good two years. Each one of their products in salicylic range worked miracles for me. So far this has been the most amazing thing I have ever used for zits.

FOOD AND ALLERGY TEST
A lot of could have food allergies that causes/aggravates the acne and the allergies not severe enough to be tested. Sometimes it’s the wheat allergy or one could be lactose intolerant. It can be really useful.  Hence, it is a very a good idea to get one of these tests done not just for the skin but for overall health. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you found out you could keep off a certain food and not get acne ever?

DOXYCILLIN
The drug is majorly for malaria which is majorly an antibiotic. In my case I used it with the Proactive occasionally, and it has worked wonderfully. The most terrifying acne I had battled against for long have not come back.

WORKOUT
The fight with acne can be very disappointing and takes a toll on you. Loving one-self gets harder. Since my skin wasn’t getting any better I started working out more on my body, trying to get as fit and as healthy I could get. I didn’t help with the acne at all but it made me a happier person. I liked what I saw in the mirror, I was happy to see how long I could run, and I was a fish in the pool. Of course, the sweat from the workout helps open up the pores and clears the dirt from inside.

NON COMODOGENIC
In my line of work it is essential to wear make-up for long hours on the flights. This dehydrates the skin and clogs the pores even further. It is very important to pick ‘non-comodogenic’ makeup, creams, sunscreens and everything that you put on your face. Think of it as a suction pump. They feed off everything that sticks to the sebum. So obviously this wasn’t a cure but it doesn’t aggravate your acne when you wear makeup.

MICRODERMABRASION
Once my acne cleared up because of the things that worked for me, I found the acne marks left behind by the bajillion acne which had squatted on my face. To get rid of them, I did a few sessions of Microdermabrasion which is basically peeling off the skin with a diamond tip. The results are immediate. I don’t recommend this to anyone with active acne. Wait for your skin to clear up before going for this!

DERMAPEN
It is a needling treatment which helps make your pores small. It helped me clear my marks. Though the treatment causes swelling which lasts about four to five days and the skin is left with a brown crust like the one you get after a bruised injury. To begin with I was scared that I would be left with the bruises but soon after the first sitting I realized that it eventually does clear up. Again this is for people whose acne has cleared up. 

So these are all things I have tried for my acne in the past ten years. Some have worked, some haven’t. What has worked the most is though telling myself that I have acne, the acne doesn’t have me, that it changes nothing, and that my happiness doesn’t lie in clearing them. That’s the reason during the latter part of my journey I was never disappointed when something didn’t work. I just tried the next thing. And for months I would do nothing about it.

In conclusion, if something works for you, great, if something doesn’t, nothing changes!