The only remaining evidence I have of this dark period in my life is a picture that someone tagged me in on Facebook, which I will post for your amusement.
This is actually pretty mild for how bad my skin used to break out. But alas, this is me about six or seven years ago with frizzy hair, an ill fitting bra and what appears to be a pimple mustache.
I eventually went to see a dermatologist, who prescribed me a topical cream and some anti-inflammatory medication. Also, he squeezed a lot of my blackheads out, which I couldn't believe people actually did for a living.
My skin slowly got better through High School, and now finishing up my second year of college I'm actually very happy with my complexion. Part of it was definitely finishing puberty, but I think a large portion of my skin success story was finding the right skin care products and routine.
Here's what my skin looks like now.
Obviously I have makeup on, but this photo isn't airbrushed at all. If you look closely you can still see some scarring on my chin from popping zits (don't pop them! I know it's strangely satisfying, but don't do it) other than some left over scarring though, I generally have smooth and even skin and rarely ever break out anymore. So, fret not my friends. It is well within your power to fix any skin problems you may have.
Here are the best tips for taking care of your skin that I've learned from my experiences:
1. Find Your Perfect Facial Cleanser
I highly suggest Lush's cleansers. I've used Dark Angels for years and I can't imagine life without it. There are different cleansers available for different skin types so there's something to suit everyone. I love their skin care products because they're all natural, you're not putting any icky chemicals on your face and believe me when I say you can tell the difference between natural products and the drug store bottled variety. It looks pricey, but in stores you can request a certain size or dollar amount to be weighed out for you. I usually get about $15 worth at a time, but it lasts me months.
2. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Seriously, moisturize constantly. At least twice a day, and especially before putting on makeup. It might take some experimenting to find the right moisturizer for you. I use Lacura which is super duper cheap, but I've had great results with it.
3. Always Take Off Your Makeup at Night
One of the cardinal sins of skin care is forgetting to take your makeup off before bed. DON'T. DO. THIS. Makeup clogs up your pores and interferes with your skin's natural rejuvenation process. Give your skin time to breath. I use Neutrogena cleansing towlettes. Wipes make taking your makeup off super easy, you can do it in front of the computer or TV. No excuses!
4. Try a Toner
I wouldn't say it's a necessity, but if you're really trying to take good care of your skin a toner can be very helpful. Again, I like to use Lush products for this. I'm currently using Breath of Fresh Air but when it runs out I think I'm going to try Tea Tree Water. Toner took a while to grow on me as a part of my routine, but I love getting out of the shower and spraying some on my face. It's nice and refreshing and make your skin feel nice and tight.
5. Use a Primer Under Foundation
Using a primer not only creates a smooth base for your foundation, it also creates a barrier between potentially pore-clogging makeup and your skin so you're less likely to break out. I suggest Smashbox Photon Finish Light or Too Faced Primed and Poreless.
6. See a Dermatologist
If you have a severe skin issue, see a dermatologist. Seeing one when I was younger didn't magically resolve my skin issues, but it definitely helped me reset some of the damage and give me another chance at having a good complexion.
Discovering what skin care products work for you can take some time, but once you develop your own routine it's entirely possible to get great skin.
Have you had any skin care success stories? Tell me in the comments!