my skin story

So if you're like me, you love reading about other people's skin care routines. I am always so curious to see what products people use, what works, what doesn't work, and what budget friendly finds are out there. Something else that I like reading about is their personal journey with their skin. You can find out if they've always had great skin, if they've struggled, if they don't care too much about it. I think hearing the background story of people's skin is extremely important. So, that's where I'll start. With my skin story. 

During middle school and early high school zits weren't something I really had to worry about. I can't even remember if my parents even bought me face wash. But junior year of high school. Oh man. That's when I got hit hard with bad skin. I'm talking adolescent acne at it's finest. And the thing about acne in high school is you feel like you're the only one with it! I expected all of my friends to have it and I remember sometimes they would get a zit or two but I felt like no one had it nearly as bad as I did. I struggled to find products that worked and to make matters worse I would cake on foundation. Which in turn would make me break out more. Near the end of my junior year I remember begging my Mom to buy me Proactiv. It was really expensive but she knew I was desperate and wanted to help so she bought me some. In a matter of weeks my skin totally cleared up and I felt like a new person. I wasn't embarrassed to talk to people, I didn't feel the need to put on three layers of foundation, and I didn't avoid the camera. Just in time for senior year (which is the most important year ever, right) and the start of college.

During college my skin wasn't horrible but it definitely wasn't perfect. A few times when it got to be frustrating I went into a dermatologist. I took some medication orally (I can't remember what it's called now!) and used a topical cream, Tretinoin, that was supposed to support the oral medication. This little duo would work for a few months but would totally dry out my skin. And then if I tried to wear makeup it would get really flaky, which was no fun and kinda gross.

My last semester of college (does this acne ever go away??) I got a cystic pimple. I totally freaked out. It was huge and not going away. I didn't know that it was not the type of zit you wanted to mess with, so I messed with it and it left me with a lovely scar. And then I freaked out even more!! Even though I had had acne for years I never got a scar. I cried about it, a lot. And then I started researching acne scar treatments. Anything really expensive was out of the question and I was too embarrassed to ask someone how I would go about fixing it. I finally texted a friend who had struggled with acne and she said facials really helped clear up her skin and even out her tone. But guess what? She was working at a salon at the time and got a major discount. So then I started looking up spas nearby. I lived in Provo, Utah at the time which as many know is the beauty school capitol. I started going to Aveda and guys, I was so scared to let someone see me without makeup. But the girl who gave me a facial was so nice! She didn't make me feel embarrassed about my skin at all and even pointed out the positive things about it! I went there for a few months and then moved back to CA.

In California I was really nervous to go without my weekly facials. And with planning a wedding I was beyond stressed. My skin did okay but I got a few more really bad zits which left me with some red marks. I completely freaked out because I was getting married soon and my soon to be husband would have to see me sans-makeup like all the time! I was looking up topical treatments to treat dark spots or for my red marks and I came across Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright which is a skin tone correcting serum. I went in and they happily gave me a two week sample. Just two weeks later tons of my red spots were fading, it was beyond amazing!!! Seriously, I'm not kidding this stuff is like magic in a bottle! I have never believed in a product like I do this one. Please, if you are looking for something to help with evening out your skin tone try this! Anyways, over a period of about eight weeks my skin was improving leaps and bounds.

Fast forward to the week of my wedding, let's just say I broke out a ton...thank goodness for makeup and Photoshop! However, after getting married my skin has been better than ever (knock on wood!) I haven't even worn foundation or any sort of face makeup since my wedding day! I obviously use concealer when I do get a zit but being able to go without makeup is the most freeing and wonderful feeling. I know I definitely would not have been able to go without makeup a few years ago so being able to now is something I don't take for granted. And remember this is all subjective. Try not to be too hard on yourself, I know I am! My skin is never going to be perfectly flawless and some might think I have imperfect skin but I have definitely accepted it and have grown to love it again.

And without further adieu here are the products and the skin care routine that are tried and true in my book. Plus a few tips!

get on my face

Skin Care Routine:
Step 1: Cleanse with step 1 Purifying Cleanser from Acne Free Clear Skin System.
Step 2: Use a large cotton ball to apply Renewing Toner from the Acne Free System.
Step 3: Apply Mega-Bright Serum. One to two small pumps is more than enough.
Step 4: Rub Repair Lotion from Acne Free System to entire face.
Step 5: Spot treat with Benzoyl Peroxide. 

Tips and Tricks:
- Give each new product you try a fair shot. Use is for 3-4 weeks and give it enough time to work.
- Use a clean wash cloth or towel when washing your face.
- Change pillow case every few days.
- Don't pop them! Number one thing that has helped me avoid hyperpigmentation. Wait it out! 
- Try to use mineral based or light weight makeup to avoid further breakouts.
- Look at active ingredients. You can usually find the same product at a better price if you shop around a little.
- Wash your face day and night...I sometimes struggle with the night one! ;)
- Two words: Asprin Masks! Seriously life changing! Keep reading for more deets!
- Drink lots of water.
- Take a multivitamin.

Products I Use:
Found at Target, Walmart, and in most drugstores. I also use the knock off store brands and they are usually around $10!!
Pricey but worth every penny! The only beauty product I splurge on!!
Any spot treatment with 10% benzoyl peroxide will work, you can get this one for just under $7.
You can read more about this in an article from the Beauty Department. This home remedy seriously works for me every time! I use it multiple times a week. It is extremely cheap too!!!

I congratulate all who read this whole post, it was a long one. And this is one of those posts where if even one person benefits from what I've said or uses a products and finds that it works for them then I would be so happy! I encourage you to email me or comment if you have any questions. Also, please let me know if you have any products that I must have! Thanks for reading, my regularly scheduled outfit post will be back tomorrow.

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  1. I love reading skin stories too, and yours is great! I totally have to try some of your reccomended products!

  2. Oh my gosh, I've had SOOOO many problems with my skin. I'd say it got the worst after I used Pro-Activ (it ruined my skin and I am sooo mad). I finally got tired of dealing with it on my own so I went to the dermatologist. I tried a bunch of different combinations of oral and topical treatments.

    I'm finally using one that's ok...I still have scarring and break-outs every so often. It's the scarring that's the worst. I wish it would go away! That's awesome that your skin is clearing up. Hopefully mine will one day too!

  3. I may have to try these products! I have had problems with my face since I was a kid too! It sucks!

  4. So great! Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you for linking up with Style Sessions!

    Lauren xx