What years of battling acne has taught me

As you all may or may not know, I’ve had some struggles with my skin in the past. And when I say some struggles, I mean a lot. I’m grateful for it because I’ve learned a lot.

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As you all may or may not know, I’ve had some struggles with my skin in the past. And when I say some struggles, I mean a lot. I’ve had issues with everything from oiliness and texture to scars and redness. There’s always been one underlying issue that’s been my biggest concern – acne.

If you’ve suffered from acne, you know the anxiety about breakouts right before school pictures and even the physical pain of it. I had a mixture of whiteheads, blackheads and painful, red bumps. The worst thing is that the red bumps weren’t constrained to a particular area of my face. They would appear on my forehead, cheeks and even my chin. All I wanted was clear skin.

I was tired of caking on foundation to hide the angry, red craters. I was tired of the concerned comments from friends and family, telling me that it was because of my makeup. I was tired of waking up from the pain of rolling onto one in the middle of the night. (This was the worst.)

I tried product after product, flooding my skin with every ingredient that magazines told me would “cure” my acne. There was charcoal, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Oh my!

That was my first mistake.

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I didn’t take the time to really get to know my skin and understand what it wanted. Instead, I wanted a quick fix and would put ten products on my skin right after each other. When something was causing bad reactions to my skin, I couldn’t pinpoint the culprit because I was using so many. Similarly, when something was working, I didn’t know if my skin was reacting well to the salicylic acid or the willow bark extract. While I knew this, I couldn’t stop.

I watched all the YouTube videos. I read all the magazines. I was under the impression that I was basically an expert, based on things that worked for other people’s skin.

That was my second mistake.

Everything changed about a couple months ago when I decided I wanted to stop making mistakes. While I did learn some things about my skin, I have to say that I still breakout sometimes. However, I am at a point where I just go out with a bit of concealer, which is something I was never comfortable doing before, which is what prompted me to write this.

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What may work for your favorite beauty guru might not work for you
Lord knows I’m still trying to figure this one out. Let’s face it, if Desi Perkins says something cleared her skin, there’s a 99.9% chance that I’m going to try it. Why? Let’s forget that she has beautiful skin for a moment. She’s someone that I look up to a lot because she knows what ingredients and products work for her. However, me and Desi have very different skin types so what may be a miracle product for her might not do the same for me.

Learn what your skin likes
Does your skin like witch hazel? What about charcoal? The only way to find out is to test it out. Testing out products will help you get a grasp of which ingredients actually work for your skin. From there, you’ll get a better understanding of which products in the store are worth your money. Just make sure you take time in between to know what in particular is working.

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Change your pillowcases
Okay, this is one tip that I’m sure will help everyone on their skin journey. Your pillowcase has so many germs and oils from your face and your hair, which can be causing your breakouts. That’s why you should make it a goal to wash your pillowcases and change them out once a week, especially if you have oily skin.

You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck
For all the girls obsessed with beauty like me, I’m going to reiterate it. You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck to have good skin. Yes, there are a lot of high-end products that work wonders, but there are also some really good items at the drugstore that might work for your skin as well.

Samples are your friends
I am a firm believer that you should always try before you buy! Maybe it’s my unjustifiable aversion to returning skincare, but I always like to ask for a sample of a moisturizer or mask when I can get one. This way if you do end up wanting something that has a higher price tag, you won’t have to worry about having to return it if it doesn’t work for you.

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Do you have any skincare tips? Let’s have a conversation in the comments section below! I’d love to get some tips from you or see if we have anything in common when it comes to taking care of our skin.

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