Back in October, I blogged about my experience with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and its effects on my skin. To sum it up, let’s say the experience was horrible…and painful. Because of a so called purging effect, my skin broke out more… and more…and more. After three and a half weeks of trying, I gave up. I was left with more pimples than I started with and quite a few more scars. I promised y’all an update on my new routine, and after 3.5 months, here it is.

Since the whole ACV fiasco, I’ve made quite a few changes to my skin care regimen. I no longer use homegrown products. Instead, I broke down and bought a three month supply of Proactiv. I say “broke down” because I was adamant about not using chemicals to treat my acne. I really wanted to go the natural route. But we know how that turned out. So in early November, I started using Proactiv. Given a little bit of time, I knew it would work on my skin. Back in high school, this stuff was the only thing that cleared up my acne. And I do plan to wean myself completely off of it sooner than later, but for now, I feel like I need to stick with what’s working.

So for about six weeks, I stuck with the 3 step Proactiv formula. And my skin slowly started to improve. Albeit, a lot slower than I had hoped. After seeing some positive changes, I decided to alter my routine a little bit. I still use the Proactiv cleanser in the morning, but at night, I use the Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean face wash (one of the best face washes I have ever tried) because it gets rid of all my makeup and leaves my skin super clean. I follow up both cleanings with the Proactiv Repairing Lotion where necessary. I also use the Proactiv Toner at night, as it helps to remove any residual traces of makeup.

In addition to this regular routine, I use the Clarisonic brush my mom bought me over Thanksgiving 2-3 times a week (usually at night). I’ll do a full review of the brush later, but after using it for a few months, I can definitely tell that my skin is a lot softer (less flakiness, rough spots, etc.). And it may be helping with the acne, but I want to give it more time before I say that with any degree of certainty.

jan 2013 021

Before I share how my skin has benefited from these changes, I should mention a few more things.

1. We bought a set of 12 pillowcases off of Amazon. Vishnu made a great point about how using the same pillowcase every night was probably a major contributor to my acne. Now I switch it out every night before going to sleep. So far so good.

2. When I started breaking out more so than usual, I touched my face a lot. I just couldn’t help it…there was so much going on. Now I do it less (almost never) and have noticed a major difference in how long the acne I do get sticks around.

3. And finally, I bought a new moisturizer that’s formulated to work with acne prone skin and acne medications. It also has the added benefit of SPF. I’ve been using it for 1.5 months and highly recommend it.

DERMACONTROL TM Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30

I am happy to say that all of these little changes have added up to a much clearer face. While I still get a few blemishes every now and then, I’m no longer getting a new pimple or two every day (yes, it was that bad).

And to be completely honest, I just feel a lot better about myself now that the acne has subsided. As silly as it may sound, this whole experience really started to affect my self-confidence (probably a topic for another day).

What’s next you ask? Well, if I continue to see improvements over the next few months, I want to find something to help with my scars. Will keep y’all posted.

By Parita

23 thoughts on “My New Skincare Routine”
  1. Fortunately acne has never really been a problem with me but I definitely can relate to feeling self-conscious about your appearance. It definitely does not sound silly as I’m sure 9/10 females can relate to some extent. Knocking on wood as I type but I am really glad that you’ve find something that is helping with your acne, P! If you do ever want to go down the natural route, I recently read that rubbing honey on your face twice a day and leaving it on for 15 minutes and then washing it of with warm water really helps with one’s complexion!

    1. I’ve been seeing a lot about the connection between honey and clear skin lately. Maybe I’ll try it out…maybe. Knowing my luck, it’ll have the opposite effect on my skin!

  2. I have wanted to try Proactiv but haven’t had a reason yet. I do use cetaphil as my daily face moisturizer. My skin is naturally oily in the t-zone, but nothing major, so I use the 7 day scrub from Clinique and that has worked wonders for me! Though a bit on the spendy side : I like it b/c their products are hypoallergenic. While I don’t think I have any allergies, I feel good knowing that if I did, this would be a good thing to use. V is right about the pillows! That can play a major factor – so it’s good you’re switching it out! I also use those clean & clear oil absorbing sheets which is AMAZING. I’m amazed, shocked and grossed out when I use once a day in the middle of the work day (like 1 or 2 p.m.) at how much gunk is on my face!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend Proactiv unless you really need it. However, if you want to look into a different face wash, I HIGHLY recommend Desert Essence. It’s free of all the bad stuff and really does a great job of getting all the gunk off. Love it!

      1. Desert Essence – check! I’ll have to check it out! I use those Clean & Clear oil absorbing sheets and I am both amazed and disgusted at the crap on my face by midday. Yuck!

  3. I’m glad you’re feeling better about your skin care. It’s a delicate balance finding things that work. My skin is really sensitive so any time I try a new product it’s kind of scary.

    1. I’m just so relieved that my breakouts finally cleared up. I never want to go back to that again, so I’m playing super close attention to everything that comes within inches of my face.

  4. so glad you have found success! You mention that you used it as a last resort, but were you scared to use proactiv? I have heard so many horror stories of what’s in it that i’ve always been kind of scared to try it. Although to be honest i’ve never done the research myself. I like that you balance it out with other products and don’t only use their products tho. So many people have had success with it so that sounds like a great compromise

    1. I’m looking to stop using Proactiv ASAP. Just want to give it a couple of more weeks. If you’re ever looking for a new face wash, I highly recommend Desert Essence. It’s amazing.

  5. Have you tried giving up milk? I met an accupuncturist a few months ago and she told me to try stopping milk and it has really helped me. I havent gone lactose free totally, but off things like milk, yogurt, cheese etc. I do not break out anymore. Its such a relief!
    Do post if you find something for scars though. All the best 🙂

    1. Hi there! So, I gave up dairy milk back in January 2012. And now, I only drink almond milk and found that it really does help keep my skin pretty clear. I still eat a little bit of other kinds of dairy (Greek yogurt and cheese) but nothing like the 3 glasses of milk I used to drink before! However, I truly think this incident was tied directly to the ACV! It just didn’t work for me. 🙁

  6. I am so glad to know that Proactive and other few products are working for you. I am on the same boat as you are but since giving up milk (both cow and soy), I have seen a drastic change in my skin and I dont breakout as often. I have tried proactive before but since my skin is very sensitive- it did not work for me. Now I am completely off the antibiotics and milk. Also, besides changing pillow cases regularly – I do not use hand towel to wipe my face instead I use Kleenex. It could be all up in my head but just like pillow theory – but I am pretty anal about using Kleenex. Its not silly of you to feel more confident because seriously, I feel less conscious when I have clear skin and much more confident. I have not found anything yet to get rid of scars yet either. If I do- will share with you Parita.

    1. I gave up dairy milk back in January 2012 and saw a huge improvement in my skin until this ACV incident. And now I, like you, use special towels for my face, change out my pillowcase daily, etc. Why us?! Could be worse I suppose. And don’t worry, I will definitely share what I do about my scars…if I have success.

  7. I am on the same boat as you are Parita but I am glad you have found products that are working for you 🙂 Since giving up milk (cows & soy), my skin has gotten much better and less breakouts. I am pretty anal about using Kleenex to wipe my face, goes along with the pillowcase theory and it seemed to help me. I havent found anything to get rid of scars yet either- will let you know if I come across one. And dont feel silly about whole self confidence and acne because I go through that every day- I feel great, confident and less conscious about myself when I have clear skin. Its totally natural 🙂

  8. Oh girl, can I ever relate to acne woes. I struggled with my skin A LOT when I was younger, and even now, it tends to like to break out every now and then – I’m actually currently dealing with some sort of strange rash/acne thing around my mouth and chin that’s really starting to irritate me. I’ve been using a Clarisonic for about a year now and have nothing but good things to say about it, and Proactiv is something that’s worked for me in the past as well, although it’s been a while since I’ve tried it out… maybe I should look back into it. One bad habit that I really need to stop, though? Touching my face! I know it makes breakouts so much worse, but sometimes it almost feels like I can’t help it! 😕

    1. I think 95% of my acne is caused by me touching my face so often!! I know this and still can’t stop. But lately, I’ve been making a more conscious effort to not do so and it’s made a HUGE difference. Breakouts that would usually last weeks are now disappearing in days. You can do it too, Amanda!!

  9. Hi, I clicked on your hyperlinks and I see that you were on the birth control pill for 12 years before stopping. I’ve been on Yasmine for about 3 years or so and am contemplating stopping. I’ve seen two dermatologists (with conflicting advice) and have researched quite a bit on forums. I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 months now and would love to have your feedback. Psychologically speaking, it’s like getting advice from someone who’s not a total stranger, kinda like a friend, you know what I mean?

    My question is in relation to any “side effects” you may/may not have had after stopping the BC pill. Did you experience any side effects like weight gain, water retention, bad breakouts, extremely irregular periods etc etc? From what I’ve gathered on forums, stopping any form of BC seems horrible, the minority seem to have suffered no side effects plus there’s the whole issue of going cold turkey vs “weaning off” the pill.

    1. Hi there! First off, thank you for reading. That means a lot!

      So, I was on BC from the age of 12 until the age of 24…mainly because of my wacky cycle. The unintended benefit for me was that it helped control the oil on my face and kept my acne at bay…for the most part. I still broke every now and then but it was something I could deal with. And of course, my cycles were completely normal during this time. So, for the past 5 years or so that I’ve been off, the only 2 side effects I’ve noticed are 1. that my skin is oiler and 2. I get my period every other month (sometimes every month – it just depends). My OBGYN said that this is fine since irregular periods are a part of my family history. And as far as my skin is concerned, there have been some rough patches which you probably read about in other posts. I will say though that switching over to non-dairy milk 100% has made a HUGE difference in my skin. While I still break out occassionally (well, before this ACV episode), it’s not as bad as it used to be. If you drink a lot of milk, I defintely recommend you make the switch.

      The reason I stopped taking the pill was because my mom really wanted me to. She was worried that I would have trouble getting pregnant in the future. The 24 year old me didn’t even think about that, but now, at the age of 29, I’m glad I went off the pill. While there is no real proof that it has any effect on a woman’s ability to get pregnant, I didn’t want to take any chances. You just never know. Time will tell (for me)…

      And you also mentioned gaining weight when stopping the pill. To be honest, I’ve pretty much been the same weight (give or take a couple of pounds) for the past 5 years. In fact, I was probably smaller at 24 when I first stopped than I am now. However, for the past 6 or 7 years, I’ve been working out consistenly about 4-5 times a week and eating what I consider to be a very healthy diet. And I have a good amount of self control (except when it comes to chocolate)! 🙂

      Sorry for the long winded answer. I hope this helps! And if you want to “talk” more, please feel free to email me!

  10. I really want to do a post on Acne because I believe it would help people. I had mild to moderate acne in my mid-20s and then my skin just started to clear up once i started losing weight. in your case, you are already pretty thin and fit. WHat did work was cutting down on carbs and sugar.. just until your skin stabilizes. That really worked for me. Also try the Neem Pills, they are from India, all natural, and they are suppose to clarify your blood. You can get this at the Indian store for like 5 bucks at the most. i ate 2 pills every night. and i saw a difference. Hope this helps. 🙂

    1. Funny you mention cutting down on sugar because that’s something I’ve been working on (for the past 2 weeks or so). Will definitely be blogging about it in the future. And I would try those pills, but knowing my luck, I’ll break out more. I know it!!

  11. I tried Proactive once and it made my skin worse, unfortunately. So now I stick with Cetaphil and I stay away from dairy and sugar. And I’m okay…I’m never going to have great skin I guess? But I’m at peace. 🙂

  12. Proactive didn’t work for me either. But I met a dermatologist and listened to everything he said and acne got under control. I try to stick to the products that work and not try new stuff. But lsat month I have been breaking out again and now I am worried (AGAIN!). I guess I will never win this war … lol

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