I know I've mentioned being acne-prone before, but I'm not sure how in depth I've gotten. When I was nearing the end of high school, I started suffering from painful cystic acne. I bounced around a few dermatologists over the next couple of years, but my acne ended up so bad that I went on Accutane when I was 19. I was seeing a dermatologist who was pretty young and listened to me, but I was having to go in at least once a month to get my cysts injected with steroids to bring them down.
I'll never forget the day I showed up to the office, in tears, with what can only be described as a unicorn horn growing out of my forehead, and begged him to help me. We had discussed Accutane before, but I wasn't convinced and my mom had major reservations about my starting it. Long story short, he convinced me to try it, but also made me promise to go see my Ob-Gyn to see if we could figure out what was causing it. I did go see my gyno, who diagnosed me with PCOS and prescribed birth control to control my hormones. After three months of Accutane, my skin was pristine, and the birth control helped me have minimal breakouts.
Fast forward a few years, we decided we were ready to start trying for a baby, and I got off birth control. My skin went wild. Obviously, my issue is majorly hormonal and in large part due to my PCOS. During pregnancy my skin was pretty clear, but postpartum and during my 21 months of nursing, it was horrible. I went to a dermatologist here and there but never with much regularity, and usually when I needed a shot for a cyst.
Back in December, I went to see a dermatologist whose office I had been visiting for years, but had never seen him. He recommended a 10% benzoyl peroxide wash and a facial. Under my insurance (United), facials for acne treatment are covered at 100%.
So the first part of my skincare routine is now a monthly facial at the dermatologist's office. I typically go a week after my cycle to extract any pimples and also get injections for any cysts I may have.
My daily skincare routine is actually fairly simple. I still get breakouts, especially right around my period, but there are far fewer cysts than there ever have been.
I use the 10% BP Wash once a day, typically when I shower. If I don't shower first thing in the morning, I will just rinse my face with water. If I am wearing makeup, I make sure it comes off before bed, always. I use Garnier's Micellar Water. This stuff is awesome and gets everything off your face, without leaving it feeling stripped and dry.
I moisturize every morning and every night. I use this Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Creme.
Once, maybe twice a week, I use Murad's Skin Smoothing Polish after I wash my face.
Sunscreen. I cannot stress this enough. Living in South Florida, I know way too many people who have had scares with skin cancer, and aside from a few years in my youth when I thought being tan was equal to being gorgeous, I have spent the rest of my years covering up my skin, even to the point where I have been made fun of at the beach! (Side note: at the beach, I wear full coverage sunscreen, makeup over that, and a hat, and I try to stay under an umbrella for a good majority of the day.) For everyday, I use a tinted moisturizer with SPF 20.
For an extra treat, I really love Sephora's face masks. I typically buy 2 or 3 that I feel could address different issues I have, and keep them on hand for when I feel like my skin needs some extra TLC.
I also try to let my skin "breathe" a couple days a week, which means no makeup (yikes!). I never would have done this when I was working, but now I can. What I did do when I was working was wash my face as soon as I got home from work so my skin had a little break for a few hours.
And there you have it, friends. How I keep my acne under control!