If you are someone who has acne you know, you get it. The hours spent on worrying about the acne, treating the acne, caring about what people think about your acne, they rack the heck up. As of today July 2nd, I am 8 months free of the birth control pill. For me, the acne didn’t come until 3 months off it, so I am at 5 months of having acne problems. It got really bad in May, so I had to do something harsh because waiting for it subside was not my mood at all. I just wanted it gone.
During quarantine I started eating meat again. I haven’t eaten meat since I was 18 years old, and I knew I would have some issues because I hadn’t used a lot of my carnivore digestive enzymes for a long time! Gut issues=acne. And I definitely have my fair share of gut issues, as most of us do at times. I think adding back red meat and chicken had a lot to do with the big acne flare up that came in May (see photos below). I might have told y’all this on Instagram on a story, but.. Guess what?! I am in a movie shooting August 24! I really don’t want to have my first movie experience and also have my beard of acne happening because the camera does not lie. So, I got in touch with my Derm when this flare happened and I started Tretinoin .025% (May 30). It literally wiped away layers of my skin and majority of my acne within 4 weeks. I was shocked at the results! I have used Tretinoin in the past, but I never stuck with it for a whole month. And so if you don’t want to get on medication and you don’t want to take birth control or pay for an expensive laser treatment, highly suggest trying Tretinoin. It is fairly simple, you put it on at night, every other night as it is irritating. And the only other protocol is protecting your skin during the day. While on any acne medication, we need one thing and one thing only… AN AMAZING MINERAL SUNSCREEN (my favorite is linked below, ELTA MD has no comparison, this stuff is heavenly sent!). And you need to put that sunscreen on everyday, 2-3 times a day. This is not the time to worry about makeup and looking good. Because your skin will not look GOOD on tretinoin, it will look red and dry and it will peel. I’m not even bothering with makeup.
ACNE Must- Haves:
- Tretinoin topical- You can get this from your dermatologist and it will cost you about $100. This stuff is strong and it absolutely works. Your skin will HATE it at first, expect that hate to last weeks and maybe even months. Because what is Tretinoin? It is an irritant and works by forcing new cell turnover, sloughing off your top layer of skin, and replacing it with new baby skin. You can’t get the process to happen without aggravating your skin, so know that when you look in the mirror and see a very scary and RED face, this is normal! The acne will peel off too, and it feels so good to not have to pick and poke and pop white heads because the tretinoin does this for you.
- Suntegrity Tinted Facial Sunscreen *no white cast* – I am not a fan of most sunscreens, especially chemical ones, because they are irritating those irritating ingredients that make it chemical, are straight up TOXIC. This is my absolute favorite sunscreen EVER MADE and I will sleep in this if I have to. I gift it to all the women in my life. It has moisturizing ingredients and works as a primer so you can wear it easily under your makeup.
- Suntribe Face and Body Sunscreen *white cast*– I found this from EWG SKIN. org, and it received their highest rating for being clean and non-irritating/non-toxic. It is a good price ($22) and the bottle size will last a decent amount of time. The ingredients are moisturizing and coral reef safe. The less ingredients, the better!
- Supergoop Unseen Face and Body Sunscreen (*no white cast*)- CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN! Made for little kids and adults, the ingredients are 100% good for your skin. I will list them so you can check for yourself 🙂
- THE NO LIST for ingredients in sunscreen (avoid the chemical sunscreens because they contain these listed below):
Any ingredients that are tested on animals and these SUNSCREEN ACTIVES: Oxybenzone, Para-Aminobenzoic acid (PABA), Anatase Titanium Dioxide, Octinoxate*, Octocrylene that is not Prop-65 compliant
- The other best tip I have when dealign with acne, is LESS is more. If you are using a chemical exfoliant like tretinoin or salicylic acid, you will have fresh baby skin and this skin will be sensitive AF. No need to add a bunch of acids and potent humectants and botanicals to your skin regime during the time you are treating acne. Wait until your skin barrier is stronger to use things like Vitamin C serum and basically any and all serums. One thing at a time- we got this!
- Oil cleansing- this is important too, because you are technically sloughing off your skin when treating acne, so there is no need for manual exfoliation or masks. Masks take off dead skin cells and so do those face washes with little beads, so if you do manual exfoliation paired with chemical exfoliation, you could damage your skin. And we don’t want that! For cleansing I use an oil based cleanser to clean off the sunscreen at night ( I do not wash with anything but water in the morning). I am allergic to parfum and fragrance so I found a FRAGRANCE and Essential oil FREE cleanser by Marie Veronique. She is incredible and her skincare brand is made for sensitive skin gals like myself. She used to be a physicist too, love a scientist skincare brand, and her and her daughter are so cute in their videos. Try out the travel size for $14 if you are interested! Ingredients:
- I then use OSMOSIS GENTLE cleanser at night only, which is my go to forever since it is gentle and clean ingredients. I don’t use this every night, because it does have potent ingredients like Lavender and Peppermint oil. This is an every other night cleanser during my baby skin face life, and if I am sweating all day, like I just was in Palm Springs, I will use it for sure after I oil cleanse first.
THIS WAS MY SKIN MAY 30:
This was my skin peeling off:
This was my skin by June 30 (4 weeks and when I went to Palm Springs for a birthday): The forehead cleared and the cheeks were peeling a lot, but they were flat and less red and inflamed because of the Tretinoin.