Spironolactone 3month and Beyond Update!

It has truly been the longest three months of my life. Be sure to check out my previous post  on my One month update to see just how far I have come.

In all honestly I regret ever going on this medication. If I could go back, I would slap myself because looking back, my skin was never really that bad. Be sure to check out some of my older posts to see what I am talking about.

The past three months have been a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I experienced one hell of an initial breakout within the first week of starting this medication and was left dealing with it for the next two months. It was not until around the three month mark that the persistent cysts (caused by going on this medication) stopped popping up. Now that I am almost nearing the four month mark I am just dealing with a few small white heads here and there and lots of scarring.

December: Here is what my skin looked like after the TCA Peel. I probably will not be doing that again.

After this, I realized that I was doing too much to my skin all the time so I decided to back off and literally do nothing to it anymore.

January: Things were starting to calm down so I decided to go back for my second micro-needling.

 

February: After a few months of putting nothing on my skin it started to calm down  A LOT.

 

March: Around this time I dropped down to 25 mg of Spiro and still am doing nothing but washing my face once a day.

 

My final Spiro Update:

Personally, I would not recommend this drug unless you have been diagnosed with PCOS or hormonal acne. This drug caused my skin to get much worse than it ever was and I am still to this day dealing with some of the scarring from it. It has been quite a journey. I am now taking 25 mg of spiro every 3 or 4 days because I am working to come off of the drug. I have also stopped taking birth control and my skin seems to be doing fine besides the occasional bump…which I can deal with. Please feel free to message me with any questions. I will be writing another general update soon with more current pictures. Most likely this will be done before the end of August since I am doing another microneedling in a few weeks. 🙂

 

XO

JEN

 

 

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TCA Peel Recovery: Days 2-4

Be sure to check out my previous post first!

This post is going to focus on my face in the first few days after receiving my first TCA peel.


 

The morning after my peel, my skin looked pretty normal. Not very red, just slightly pink and I could tell that it was going to start changing colors throughout the day.

These pictures were taken two days after the peel (11-22-15). My skin is much redder and almost brown in some places like around my eyes. It felt very tight when I woke up and started to look a little leathery in some places. A few little whiteheads popped up (which apparently are normal) and there is slight flaking around my mouth.

 

These pictures were taken three days after my peel (11-23-15). The skin around my nose, mouth and chin were starting to peel quite a bit in large sheets. I ended up having to use a clean pair of nail scissors to trim off the hanging pieces. My skin here is very taunt feeling and extremely leathery looking.

 

These pictures were taken today four days after my peel (11-24-15 Today!). The skin on my nose is almost all peeled off, and a good portion of the skin on the upper half of my chin has also peeled. The peeling is starting to make its way onto my cheeks and some skin by my right eye in the picture is starting to flake off. So far my forehead has not peeled yet. It will probably be last. Last night I noticed there was some water trapped between the dead layer of skin on my forehead and the new skin. Very strange phenomenon. Can’t wait for the peeling to stop, I am starting to get restless inside my house and I am sick of everything sticking to the Aquafor on my face!

Stay tuned for more updates!

XO

JEN

My First TCA Peel Experience

So about two weeks ago I started my journey to clear up the remaining stubborn spots and scars on my face after what has felt like the longest two months of my life fighting a never ending battle with a horrible cystic acne outbreak. Be sure to catch up on what happened during this time:

Just a few days ago, I went in for my first TCA chemical peel. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, but my excitement and desire for some relief overpowered any nerves I was feeling.

Prior to this peel, I was suffering from stubborn cystic like spots on the lower half of my face, and overall bumpy/uneven texture to my face, and lots of PIH and rolling acne scars. Here are some pictures of my face pre-peel.

 

So, my esthetician used a 20% TCA solution on my face and was planning on doing three layers. Moments after she started to apply the first layer, it started to burn...and this burning sensation only continued to increase as she went along. She told me I got a partial frost immediately and after the second layer I had a full frost. She did not due a third coat due to this, and I am grateful because it was starting to feel like she was applying the solution with a blow torch rather than a brush. After a few minutes (it really felt like hours) she neutralized it by pressing a wet cloth onto my face. It felt like I had third degree burns and she was stabbing by face with a million needles every time she touched me. My face felt white-hot. Almost so hot it felt cold. My eyes were literally crying and felt like they had rolled into the back of my head. I thought I was going to pass out…and I typically have a pretty high pain tolerance. LOL Finally, after probably 10 minutes under a high powered fan I was able to open my eyes and the burning sensation started to decrease.  Here are some pictures of my face immediately after.

 

Afterwards, she put a nice layer of Aquafor on my face and I felt a million times better. We discussed my post-peel care instructions and I was given some special cleanser, moisturizer, and various antibiotics. I had been taking Cipro for the past three days since this particular office requires their TCA peel patients to be on this antibiotic for three days prior. This helps with those who are prone to cold sores (thankfully I’m not). I was also given a Methylprednisolone pak to take to help with swelling over the next few days.

My face a few hours after…

Stay tuned for more posts documenting my TCA peel recovery journey!

 

XO

JEN

My Micro-needling Experience

So a few weeks ago I was at my wits end and desperate for any kind of relief for my skin. It had gotten to the point where nothing was working and the active spots on my face had decided to take up permanent resident. It was like I was loosing a never ending battle and I was waving my white flag.  So in an attempt to try and fix my ruined face, I called up my old esthetician looking for answers.


 

Here is a picture of my face on 11-14. Few spots around my chin that just would not quite along with plenty of scarring and hyper-pigmentation to go along with it. (Excuse my ridiculous looking eyebrows).


 

So after much research and many phone calls later, we decided that microneedling would be the best treatment idea for my poor skin.

If you read my latest posts about my Spironolactone journey or my experience with essential oils, than you would know that my skin condition was basically self-inflicted. The breakouts that occurred from these two “treatments” resulted in a mess on my face and some minor scarring I needed to get rid of ASAP. After much research, I learned that for shallow acne scarring micro-needling was probably the cheapest and best way to go.

Essentially what micro-needling does, is re-traumatize the skin so that there is an increase of blood flow to the area. Typically acne scars are not seen as an injury to the skin so micro-needling (also called collagen induction therapy) punctures the skin with a bunch of little tiny needles to create a controlled injury which in return triggers the body to fill these microscopic wounds by producing new collagen and elastin; allowing for an improvement in skin texture, firmness, as well as a reduction in scars and pore size.


So this process started off with me coming into the office 30 min prior to the treatment to have my face be slathered in numbing cream. She started off with a lower needle setting and did three passes over my entire face, starting with my left cheek. She first went horizontal, diagonal and then vertical, stopping along the way to linger on spots she wanted to treat a little more aggressively. She called this “stamping.” Overall, this treatment was not as painful as I was expecting. By the third pass, it felt like sandpaper was being rubbed lightly on my face. But when she stamped on more tender spots, that was probably the most painful part of the entire experience.

It is essential to start with a lower needle setting because each person’s skin reacts differently. Some swell considerably, other bruise, and some may just turn extremely red and get a little dry and flaky (like me). This procedure was done using Hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that is found naturally in the human body and actually makes up the structural component of our skin. It retains moisture like no ones business as well as helps strengthen the skin barrier to assist in the healing process. I was directed to use this on my face 1-2 times a day for 2-3 days post treatment.

Here is a picture of my face post treatment…


 

The next day, my face was considerably lighter. The redness of my scars had decreased immensely and I actually walked outside without makeup. It was amazing. I was still a little pink, but overall my face looked pretty dang good. Sadly, I did not take any pictures of this….and it only lasted for the first 48 hours 😦

My treatment was done on a Saturday…and by Tuesday my skin was starting to revert back to its old ways. I felt like the micro-needling caused a few linger spots to resurface (hopefully for the last time) and a bunch of little red spots to form on my cheeks in an area that I knew was already a little bumpy and congested.

After a little help from Aquafor, they were considerably less red and more smooth to the touch by Thursday.

In order to be proactive to help with my skin condition, my esthetician thought it would be best to incorporate a series of chemical peels in with a series of micro-needling. Since our skin takes around 28-30 days to rejuvenate itself, the results of micro-needling can be seen over the course of a few weeks. Some even say you can see the improvements and benefits a little with each passing day. So, in order to tackle this issue from all angles, I am going with her treatment plan of a combination of needling and peels. Stay tuned to see an update on my skin in my next post about my TCA peel!!

 

XO

JEN

 

The Start of my Spironolactone Journey…One Month Update!

If you read my latest post on my dreadful experience with essential oils, you know that my skin was destroyed and I was left in a even bigger mess because of it all. Be sure to check out My Horrifying Experience with Essential Oils first, or if you are considering switching up your skincare routine!


So I started Spironolactone (Spiro) 25 mg daily on 10-6-15. Saying I was nervous was an understatement. Prior to starting, I had been speaking to another girl who was just a few weeks into her second round of Spiro. She had great success on the drug the first time around, but the second time around things were taking a little bit longer to heal. I was even more freaked out after hearing this. I did not think my skin could get any worse than it already was and I was freaking out.

These pictures were taken just a few short days before starting the medication. I was healing from a severe allergic reaction and I was hoping and praying Spiro would be my quick and easy solution to my problem…

I began with 25mg daily for one week before I moved up to 25mg twice a day. But within just a few days of starting my 25mg dose my skin started to change….

Within three or four days of starting the medication, my skin started to break out…and bad. I had never seen my face look like this before. It was red, inflamed, tender, p a i n f u l beyond belief, and so soooo so swollen. I was beside myself. I missed a day of my internship because lets be real…makeup was not going to cover the insane amount of redness.

Over the course of the month of October, my face continued to explode with spots. I felt hopeless beyond belief and spent a lot of my time crying and icing my aching face. I know there is a lot of controversy about the initial breakout period caused by Spiro, but I believe it to be true. I even spoke to my derm’s office staff who agreed that typically any type of new treatment will cause the skin to push everything out. If you go back and compare any of my recent pictures posted you will see a consistent pattern of the spots. Many of the spots that expolded on my face had already been there from when my skin reacted to the essential oils…but were only lying “dormant” due to the Predisone I took, as well as the Desonate gel that reduced the inflammation. I knew that someday they would come back to a head before they would completely clear…and that day had come.

10-18-15.
10-18-15.

My skin suddenly went from being average oily to extremely d r y, painful, AND f l a k y. It was literally peeling off in sheets, and it seemed like new layers of dead skin was forming over each spot daily. Putting on makeup was a hassle because moisturizer burned, but makeup does NOT cover dry and flaking skin well at all… and it didn’t help that I was using a mattifying foundation.  These spots continued to heal and pop right back up. It was like my skin was pushing everything to the very surface of my skin. Nothing looked good, and me being a chronic picker, was miserable.

Sometimes picking is like a release for all the anger, tension, and frustration I am feeling. As you can tell, I really did a number on my face in these pictures.

10-22-15. I bawled my eyes out for a solid two hours after this picking session.

10-30-15. I spent the day outdoors, so most of this redness is caused by sensitive skin from doxycycline and retin-a.

Besides the extreme dryness, there were a few other symptoms I noticed after beginning this medication. One of these included intense dehydration. I have been drinking nearly a gallon of water per day because I am always thirsty. It started off subtle. I wouldn’t realize I was thirsty until I took a sip of water…but after that one sip I would proceed to chug a liter of water without stopping. I still need to carry water with me everywhere I go. For my internship I sat in on some court sessions for a few hours last week and I wasn’t allowed to bring my water inside… no joke I almost died of dehydration. It was brutal.

So, with the increased water intake comes the need to pee every 10 minutes…and I am not joking. You can literally find me running to the bathroom every 10-15 min. This makes sitting through class, running errands, and daily activities a little difficult. This medication is a diuretic, so for some people the loss of water can also result in some weight loss. I have avoided mirrors like the plague, and I don’t have a scale so I am not quite sure if I have lost any weight yet…but I wouldn’t be surprised if I have with the amount of times I pee in a day.

Some of the other symptoms I have noticed have been lowered blood pressure. I already have pretty low bp and since this medication is intended for those with high bp, it lowers mine even more. I have been monitoring mine and things seem to still be in the safe zone, but I know that I cannot increase my dosage any more because that could cause my blood pressure to drop even more.

This medication is also potassium sparing meaning that while on it, I must monitor my potassium intake to prevent it from getting too high.

So, it has been a little over a month since I have started taking this medication. Sometimes it feels like I am taking one step forward and two steps back. It is really hard to tell if my skis in improving and I try not to tell myself it is because it seems like every time I do, it takes a turn for the worse again. I have noticed that there are a few more nodulocystic spots on my chin that just won’t quit. If I do happen to pop them, they literally explode with puss and dark red blood. It is fascinating and disgusting to see the amount of blood that can come out of one spot. I know I shouldn’t pick either, but I have had a least four of these “blood/purple” pimples on my face. They appear soft to the touch, and when popped they sometimes refill back up within the week. It is so frustrating. I spoke to my dermatologist and she suggested that I buy some over the counter hydrocortisone cream to apply to these areas for a few days at a time. It seems to have helped some, but I am scared of the effects that hydrocortisone can have on the skin. Granted, I did use Desonate gel which is a corticosteroid for three weeks, but I am still weary. I think I might use it for a few days, then take a break before using it again. It has helped a lot with the redness as well. I use the Cortisone-10 ointment. I chose the ointment version because after much research, ointment is better for dry skin (which I now have), it absorbs faster, and it was the only one that had the purest ingredients. All of the creams had added oils, and vitamins that ultimately distracted from the main ingredient which is hydrocortisone 1%.

With the hydrocortisone, I have also been using Eucerin Aquafor healing ointment. This stuff is AMAZING! It helps with redness from hyperpigmentation, but I have noticed that if I use too much I think it starts to form some clogged pores. Granted, I have been seeing more “sebum plugs” on my face since I think the medication is still pushing everything out, but sometimes I feel like the Aquafor makes these a little worse so I try not to use it too often and when I do, I try to place it directly on small spots.

So, about these sebum plugs/blackheads. I have never really had too much of a problem with blackheads, but when I push on them, this t h i c k plug of sebum pops out. They tend to be a clearish yellow color, not really black, but some are a little dark in color. Strange.

That is basically it for my one month update. I haven’t taken any more pictures since the 30th because sometimes they are depressing to look at. Hoping that this next month brings significant improvement and clarity!

XO

My Horrifying Experience with Essential Oils

So in this post I want to address my drastic switch from using chemicals to using nothing but essential oils. After exhausting my skin on Retin-a, I decided to invest in an up and coming natural skin care company that boasted about curing all types of acne. All I had to do was purchase the 100% all-natural soap and essential oil blend and within 8-12 weeks my skin should be cured of all acne. I was so excited but never once did I think about the intense impact this change would have on my skin. Within 24 hours of using the essential oils, my skin was purging. I know there is a lot of myths around “purging” and what exactly it is, but this blend had some oils in it (that after weeks of extensive research) I found out really heal from  deep dermis and stimulate cell-turnover, production, and everything you would ever want in a skin care item. So, this instant change in my skin freaked me out to say the least because I was getting white heads (not my normal type of acne) in places I never break out.

Fast forward through the next couple of weeks, my skin only got worse and worse. In my mind, this was the “purging” taking place. And while this might have been true to some extent, I should have been paying closer attention to what my skin was trying to tell me. The change that I saw in my skin over the course of just 3 weeks really forced me to take a step back and re-evaluate everything I had ever thought about my acne.


So you are not suppose to use anything else with these oils, but me being me, I couldn’t just follow the simple directions and I added in some of my own topical treatment. When I decided to completely use nothing but the oils, this is when things really got out of hand…

I reordered a new bottle of oils because I was running out and the creator decided to (without telling me) to up the amount of carrot seed oil in the mixture. Idk if it was a combination of the peppermint soap, the increased ratio of carrot seed oil to the other oil, or my overuse of the product…but my skin freaked out.

So I ended up giving in and called my dermatologist. My face had never looked like this before and it physically hurt. I could hardly open my mouth and popping ibuprofen had become a vital part of my nightly routine because my spots were starting to effect my sleep.

My dermatologist told me I was suffering from an allergic reaction and I walked out of her office with three things that day: Predisone, doxycycline, and desonate gel (to help with the severe itching). I also was given the bloodwork because I told my doctor I wanted to go on Spironolactone…but she told me I would have to wait until I cleared up my allergic reaction first.

Because I am a very impatient person (especially when it comes to my face) I decided that it would be a good idea to incorporate some topicals back into my routine. I decided to use aczone, retin-a micro and I even used a pumpkin mask….BIG MISTAKE. I ended up having to go back to the dermatologist because this is what happened…..

I was at my wits end. My bloodwork was good and I was cleared to go on Spironolactone, but my derm STILL wouldn’t give me the prescription because of my allergic reaction…I was more than pissed.

Just a few days after these last pictures were taken, my doctor finally called in my prescription for Spironolactone. I was nervous but SOOO excited. I will make an entirely separate post on that experience because it has been a wild ride so far.

XO

Dealing With Unrealistic Ideas of Perfection: Part 2

Picking up where I left off in Dealing With Unrealistic Ideas of Perfection: Part 1, I want to address my old skin care routine. I was using multiple forms of Retin-a which is a harsh chemical and encourages your skin to peel and shed off the outer layers to revel new clear skin….yeah, maybe if you have the patience to wait 3 months while your skin is red, raw and flaky, but ain’t nobody got time for thatI was using a drugstore Retin-a moisturizer as well as a 0.05% Retin-a cream. When used in moderation every other night, my skin looked pretty darn good…not perfect, but better than it had in a while. So, because I am so darn compulsive and impatient when it comes to my skin, I just HAD TO start using the products every night and instead of smoothing on a thin layer….I plopped on a thick glob like it was a regular old spot treatment from the drugstore.Yeah, that caused my skin to FREAK OUT. This only contributed to my anguish and frustration in the never ending battle with my skin.

After a few weeks of this ongoing fight, and one large self-inflicted pimple later…I was so done. I was at a loss of what I should be doing to my skin. I really do not like dermatologists, but I was so desparate that I wanted to call mine up and demand to be put on Accutane. Granted, I was being a little dramatic since I don’t think the state of my skin would have even qualified for a round of that drug…but I was willing to try anything even if it meant taking a medication that was known for its serious side effects.

But before I could dial my derm,  I stumbled upon an all natural skin care line while exploring the far corners of Instagram. I am choosing to leave this product unnamed for now, but it is essentially a line that is 100% all natural and holistic. I was so desperate that I figured turning away from Western medicine was the best choice for my skin…well I was wrong.

This particular line boasted of its success with curing people from their acne. All you had to do was purchase their all natural soap and essential oil blend each made with a unique and special formula of oils hand picked by the brands creator himself. I was sooo excited to be trying something like this. The few reviews that I could find raved about how great this product was and how it completely changed their lives.

My complete experience with this product will be addressed in a later post, but the purpose of bringing up this product now is to mention that this product really stressed that vanity is a disorder….and to an extent I believe this to hold some truth. Society has done such a great job in teaching us that our flaws are horrible things that must be concealed and hidden away from the world. The media and large beauty corporations seem to thrive off of telling girls of all ages that they will not be accepted or loved if they are flawed…but that could not be farther from the truth. If I got anything from this product, it was the simple (yet difficult) lesson that part of the healing process starts from within. It is vital to step back and take a look at how you view yourself. It is so easy to bash your image when you look in the mirror and are repulsed by what you see. On the other hand, it is not so easy to love yourself during these moments. This is something that I struggle with on a daily basis, and I am not telling you it is easy to love yourself. I have read on so many websites and been told by so many people (actually just my mom LOL) that “your worth is not defined by the state of your skin. You are beautiful with or without your acne, scars, or rashes.”  But this is SOOO difficult for me to take to heart. I just laugh and think “you have no idea what it is like to look in the mirror and not recognize your own face…or to be repulsed by what you see…or to avoid looking in mirrors at all costs.” It is exhausting and I wish it was easier for me to just accept the status of my skin and move on with my life….but I can’t. Maybe that means I am vain, hypersensitive, or maybe it just means I want to look on the outside like how I feel on the inside. Whatever it means, I know that loving myself (flaws and all) is a process and a journey I want to take with anyone else who feels just as alone as I do! Feel free to comment and we can talk on a more personal level.

But for now, take the first step and make a promise to yourself that you will not continue to beat yourself up based on the status of your skin. It is tough now, but I promise it will only get better from here!

XO

Dealing With Unrealistic Ideas of Perfection: Part 1

For a minute I just want to address the idea of “perfection.” Today’s society has such a twisted idea of what perfection is and there is such an emphasis placed on being flawless. Perfection is something that is defined differently by everyone, but it’s something that can cause a lot of heartache if not “achieved”. For me, my idea of perfection is having clear flawless skin. In my mind, no matter how great your hair, body, outfit, or smile is, having crappy skin just cancels it all out. Granted this is my own personal opinion, but for me great skin equals a great appearance overall. I use to be able to go without styling my hair or doing my makeup and it didn’t matter to me because I use to have great skin….

Living the carefree life with clear skin
(On the left) Traveling and living the carefree life in El Salvador with clear skin.

When my acne started to come back, my self-esteem took a real hit. I have never been the most confident person, but acne only magnified my insecurities for me. Living with three other girls who had seemingly flawless skin was also another really hard thing to deal with. I use to hide in my room, too scared to come out and show them my face. I would go days without eating because I was so depressed and I didn’t want to go to the grocery store or even to my kitchen to prepare food.

I let my desire for perfection completely ruin my entire spring semester of my junior year. I spent almost every waking moment thinking about my skin and analyzing it closely in a little mirror. I use to pick at it with my super sharp and pointy tweezers and I wrecked havoc on my pores. I really do believe that there was a multitude of reasons behind why my acne was flaring up, but one of the main reasons was my obsession with it.

IMG_1590 (2)
I thanked God everyday for my clear skin because I knew what it was like to suffer from consistent breakouts. I never thought I would have to deal with the pain of acne again…

Over the past 6 months, I have started to really step back and take a look at how I handle my breakouts…and to be honest, it has not been easy. I do not have the answer of how to eliminate negative thoughts, but it is something that I am constantly working on. When I moved back home from school in May, I was dealing with a self-inflicted breakout that was causing me a lot of anguish. I was using harsh AHA products and my skin was raw, scabbed, puffy, and overall mangled because I couldn’t keep my hands off it.

This bump was caused by picking at a little tiny closed comedone and it swelled up and lasted for probably two months....all because I picked at a minuscule spot.
This bump was caused by picking at a little tiny milia and it swelled up and lasted for probably two months….all because I picked at a minuscule spot.

When I finally got home, I realized that I needed to keep my hands off my face because I would be returning to work in a few short days and I could not stand the thought of facing my coworkers with acne-ridden skin. I’m not saying that this caused me to stop picking…because it didn’t. Being at work all day for 46 hours a week only caused me to not think about my skin as much. Granted, working in a fast food restaurant kitchen didn’t help my current skin condition but it certainly caused me to not obsess as much as I was. Not only this, but being surrounded by people who genuinely cared about me regardless of the state my skin was really therapeutic. For the past 9 months at school I made friends, but no one could comfort me like the ones I had left behind at home.

This was a constant cycle over the course of the summer. I would have really great skin days where all I was left to deal with was minor scarring. But then their would be those days that acne popped up (not from my picking) and I would hate my life all over again. I figured the best way to combat these skin conditions would be to constantly cover my skin in clay masks….yeah, it was not the greatest idea. But out of sight, out of mind. For me, if I didn’t see the spot I felt better and was less likely to pick at it. I think this really only made things worse.

6-7-15
I loved using clay masks to literally “mask” the unsightly pimples.

Again, my desire for perfection was so overwhelming and debilitating. I would watch T.V. shows and all I could stare at was the actors and actresses’s skin. I would spend hours searching on YouTube different acne make-up coverage videos just so I could feel less alone. I honestly hate makeup so these videos never did me any good. I believe they are only adding fuel to a fire that society has started by telling girls that not having clear skin is disgusting. I have such respect for those who are confident enough to walk around with acne. These are people who have enough confidence to know that they are not defined by their acne and that is something that I am struggling with coming to terms with. I posted a blog post a while back talking about how Your Acne Does Not Define You,  but it seems that having clear skin caused me to become blinded and vain.

It took a emotional break down on my part and a stern taking to from my mom that caused me to put my favorite clay mask to the back of my medicine cabinet. When I retired my use of masks, I decided that I needed to simplify my routine and the best way to do that was with a Retin-a moisturizer.  After the first use my skin was healing and I felt like I was on my way to clear skin.

This lasted for a little while and I literally loved living life. I had not really realized how much I was holding myself back until I realized how excited I got about life once my skin was clearing up. Granted I still had hyper-pigmentation, but I discovered a makeup product I did not mind wearing so it was literally effortless to cover them up.

It honestly was not until the Retin-a products stopped working (I really overused them) that I started to take a step back and look at my skin care regimen again. The products I were using were so harsh and I could not imagine how using them for the rest of my life could possibly be healthy for me externally and internally. This change in thought soon led me down the holistic and natural skincare road which turned out to be a very bumpy ride…

And the Torture Continues

So picking up where I left off on my last post, I was discussing my use of ZO Medical Skin products. Maybe I will do a review on these items some day…but basically all you need to know is that their exfoliating polish is THE BOMB!

 So, being back at school with new roommates, a new semester, all while feeling homesick, my introverted self began to take a toll. I had lost one of my favorite roommates/RA due to the psycho roommate getting her fired…so I had a foreign exchange student from Germany move in, as well as a brand new RA (that I was a little bitter towards). I do not take change well and it felt really weird moving back to my apartment to find two new girls living in it…it just did not sit right with me. So hiding away in my room I began to obsess over my skin. Like it was all I could think about. I did endless hours of research on different products, and medications all the while wondering why the heck my birth control decided to suddenly stop helping my skin…not only this, but I also spent hours closely analyzing my skin in a little compact mirror. This was probably where things started to go south.

I was never diagnosed with dermatillomania, but I definitely think I was (and still am to an extent) dealing with a minor form of it. Basically, if you do not know what dermatillomania is, it is a skin picking disorder also known as excoriation disorder which is an impulse control disorder characterized by the urge to pick at your skin. It can be caused by a variety of factors, but since I was never formally diagnosed I like to think my desire for perfection mixed with my anxiety resulted in one of the most depressing times in my life.

I am naturally a pimple picker so this onset of dermatillomania only made things a million times worse. I would literally sit at my desk and pick at pores that I thought had even the slightest potential to turn into something. I made a mess of my face and caused more than 90% of my acne. It was a never ending cycle. I turned to clay masks and harsh treatments to try and fix the damage I had caused to my skin…but it only made it worse.

Below I have posted two sets of pictures. The first (of me wearing a towel on my head) was taken 2/9 and the following of me in a white headband were taken about a week later.

This is literally all I have the energy to post today. Looking back on this and realizing that I have not come as far as I would have liked since these pictures were taken actually makes me feel pretty crappy so I am gonna sign off for the night.