One of the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is look in the mirror and evaluate my skin. I’m mostly looking for one thing – new acne.
Recently, I’ve been pretty happy with what I see. For the first time in a long time, my skin is doing ok. And it kind of freaks me out. I’m so happy my skin is finally calming down, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. That’s what almost 20 years of dealing with acne will do to you!
Anyways, I want to share more about what I’m attributing to this recent positive phenomenon.
The first thing is undoubtedly my dairy-free experiment. I can’t wait to share more about how it’s going (coming soon!). While travelling a few weeks from the end of November through the beginning of December, I didn’t stick to my goal of staying away from dairy. It was partly circumstance and mostly my own doing! But I’m back to it…with lots of lessons learned.
I believe the second factor that’s helping my skin is a new simplified moisturizing routine.
Before I share more, here are a few things to know:
- After going to a dermatologist, I took antibiotics for four months and used Tazorac gel for almost nine months.
- The pills and topical creams/lotions/gels worked for a couple of months (it got worse before it got better).
- In October, a few months after I was off the antibiotics, I noticed that even with Tazorac my skin was still breaking out.
That’s when my experiment loving self started doing some research. Both my cousin and countless articles on the internet suggested jojoba oil as a great option for people with acne-prone skin because it’s the closest to human sebum (it tricks our skin into thinking it’s producing enough oil, balancing oil-production), it’s non-comedogenic, it’s loaded with vitamin E and other useful things, etc.
And so I thought – let me try this!
My nighttime routine consisted of 4-5 drops of jojoba oil applied to my entire face and a pea-sized amount of Tazorac applied on the affected area. During the day, I used Trader Joe’s Nourish moisturizer and a very small amount of the Tazorac.
As the weather started to change (yes, even down here in Miami), I started getting dry patches on my skin. This led to severe peeling, aggravated skin, and more acne.
After my trip to DC, when my skin was at it’s worst, I made the decision to stop using Tazorac cold turkey. In it’s place, I decided to give tea tree oil another chance. However, instead of applying it directly to my skin, which I think caused more harm than good, I now mix it in with the Jojoba oil and my daytime moisturizer.
So this is what my new routine looks like…
- Daytime: one pump of Trader Joe’s Nourish moisturizer + two drops of tea tree oil mixed together and applied to the entire face (being extra careful around the eyes)
- Nighttime: five drops of jojoba oil + three to four drops of tea tree oil mixed together and applied to the entire face (again, being extra careful around the eyes)
It’s hard to explain in words what a difference this change has made. In a nutshell, my skin is less oily during the day, breakouts are at a minimum (and the ones that pop up every now and then go way more quickly than they ever have before), and during a time of month when things are usually super bad, my skin is calmer than ever.
Like I said, I’m kind of freaking out!
I honestly can’t say if this tweak would’ve made a huge difference had I not given up dairy, but I’m happy to report that together these changes are making a huge difference.
The one thing I’ve learned on my journey is that everyone is different. What works for me may not work for the next person (as evident by my ACV disaster). With that being said, I’ll share my progress over the next few months with the hope that my story may help someone else! If anyone knows how painful (in so many ways) acne is, it’s me!
Here’s to clearer skin (fingers crossed)!
Do you suffer from acne? What does your skincare routine look like?