My Skin Story


My skin and I have had a very strained relationship. If it were a real relationship, I probably would have broken up with my skin years ago. But unfortunately, I'm kind of stuck with it. So if you can't beat the enemy, might as well join them and learn how to live with them! I often get asked (by colleagues, friends, complete strangers!) about what I use as skincare, so I've decided to share an in depth look at my routine all week. First? It might be a good idea to learn about my skin and our history together. So here's my skin story.

- The Teenage Years - 

I struggled through horrendous acne throughout my teens, that really did a number on my self-esteem. Nothing would help my acne-ravaged skin, and an awful dermatologist didn't help either. She finally agreed to let me try a round of Accutane (which I still think is a miracle drug, just FYI). I did great with it, and only had dry skin as a side effect. My acne was gone! And then the Accutane stopped, and it all came rushing back and worse than before. Instead of doing another round of Accutane, my dermatologist insisted on trying every single topical cream and other pill out there, alllll over again.

I tried to establish a good and consistent skincare routine (read more about how to establish a skincare routine here). I tried Clear & Clear. Proactiv. Clinique. Nothing seemed to help. No matter how good I was at cleansing my skin and taking care of it, it didn't seem to matter. After a switch to another dermatologist, I was finally able to get Accutane for a second time. Like magic, all my acne disappear again. I started hormone therapy right away too, to help keep the acne at bay once the Accutane would be done. At this time, I also kicked my skincare routine into high gear and started getting really serious about everything I would put on my face.

- University Days - 

With the severe acne gone, University was a happier time. I still struggled with blemishes and breakouts, but nothing even close to my teens. I had good days, and bad days. I recall one really bad summer where I was working in a lab. No A/C. Pants + a lab coat. Goggles. Gloves. Bunsen burner. It was the perfect recipe for an awful breakout. This was the worst I'd had in a couple of years, and I got so freaked out that I tossed all my skincare and makeup out and started over.

This is the stage when makeup became my security blanket. I learned how to apply foundation like a pro, and conceal any spot that crept up. You'd never know there were layer upon layer of acne scaring under there!

- Working Girl - 

Surprisingly, my skin got consistently better ever since the laboratory fiasco of 2011. I got a little more daring with my skincare routine and tried and bunch of new products (always testing right below my jawline first of course). Hey, there have even been days when I've been brave enough to leave the house without any makeup on whatsoever. I learned how to deal with my oily skin, and manage it without suffocating it. Maybe my skin and I even developed something of a "working relationship" know, we sometimes disagree with our colleagues, but for the most part are content and get along.

- The Last 12 Months - 

My skin has changed again. I think it's part of getting older, and it will probably change again and go through another cycle in a couple of years. I still have oily skin, especially in the T-zone, that progresses throughout the day (powder is this girl's best friend). I still get the occasional blemish (but thankfully breakouts are extremely rare). But I've also noticed that my skin is dehydrated as of late. I've always gotten dry patches in the winter (especially when I'm sick), but I've never had dry skin before. The surprisingly part? I'm not particularly annoyed by it! I see it as a new challenge, and I've been able to try a host of new products as a result.

Stay tuned for skincare posts all week!


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