14 Mar 2017

my skin journey and my current skincare routine

Since my late teens, I've suffered from skin problems. It was never full blown acne but there were always a few blemishes, my pores were very visible and my skin would be greasy enough to fry eggs on by midday. It affected my confidence a lot and last year, I finally managed to get things under control.

My Skin Complaints

It all started with assessing my skin problems. For most of my life, I thought my skin was oily and as a result, would use products that dried my skin out... Only for more oil to come through. It wasn't until last summer when I thought 'hang on a minute, could it just be dehydrated...?!' did I entertain the idea of a moisturiser for normal skin.

Now, my main complaints are:
- blemishes when stressed/hormonal
- hyperpigmentation after a spot disappears
- patchy redness (not sure of the cause at the moment! Don't think it's rosacea, just think my skin is more sensitive than originally thought).

The Beginning

At first, my routine consisted of water, a cleanser, benzoyl peroxide, a cream targeted at one of my complaints (blemishes in this case) and a sunscreen. I know benzoyl peroxide isn't the best thing to use on skin but it seems to work ok for me. At the moment, it is a targeted blemish treatment rather than an all-over one. With this three stage routine, my skin was oily and dull so I knew something had to change. This led to me writing down my first list of skin complaints that needed tackling.

Targeting The Complaints

For each of my complaints, I researched ingredients that would tackle them. For example, I started using acids to make my skin less dull and also help with the congestion I had at the time. Because of this, my skin's moisture barrier had to be protected so that's why ceramides were sought out and added to my routine.

My recommendation for those of you who are into researching, Reddit's Asian Beauty is a great place to start. The emphasis there is more on the ingredients list rather than the brand name or price. I've found some products which have worked amazingly for me at a lowish price point this way.

The things I ended up adding to my routine (and keeping) are acids or 'actives' as they are sometimes called, The Ordinary's Niacinamide and ceramides. Niacinamide features in two of the routine's products and ceramides are in two also.

The Sucker Punch

For me, the sucker punch was going back onto the combined contraceptive pill. A lot of the blemishes I get during the month are due to the fluctuations in hormone levels (I kept a blemish diary for a bit and figured this out!) and this has eliminated about 90% of the blemishes that used to surface. They don't help with stress breakouts or ones caused by eating poorly but the effect it has on the skin and the regulation of periods mean that the pill has been a game changer for both myself and my skin.

So this is a somewhat brief overview of my skin's journey and it still isn't perfect. However, I'm happy with the direction things are heading and my next goal is to whittle down my routine to only a few essential products. To do this, I'm eliminating steps to see if they make a difference.

Do you have a skin journey to share?

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