Friday, 17 January 2014

My Skin Story

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be telling you my skin story! This post will include my bare face, gross photos of acne, and a lot of talking. So if you're not up for that, feel free to skip this post!

I decided to make this post because I've been testing skincare for about 6 months! I thought it would be useful for you guys to see what my skin is like and what I'm looking for in my skincare, so that my skincare reviews will make more sense.

What's my skin type? 
  • Combination skin, with an oily T-Zone and dry cheeks. 
  • Prone to blackheads and have large pores. 
  • Lots of acne scars and hyper-pigmentation.
  • Hormonal breakouts and mild cystic acne 
  • Allergic reactions (possibly Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, and Steareth 20)
  • Fine lines, wrinkles and redness

What am I looking for in my skincare regime?
  • Acne treatment
  • Allergies
  • Whitening/Brightening
  • Anti-Aging

Acne
As a teenager I was never plagued by pimples and zits, however, blackheads and enlarged pores have always been an issue for me. I was on the contraceptive pill at a fairly young age for extreme PMS, which was very successful until my second year on university when i ran into problems with migraines and visual disturbances, and had to come off it. Ever since I stopped that pill, my skin has gone from; oh yeah, pretty good, to, ohmygod what happened to your face

My main problem is my chin. I get a few pimples on my forehead and cheeks (never really my nose, that's where the blackheads dominate) but my chin is really just a landmine. This photo shows my chin on a really good day. There are like, 3 small pimples, sure, but what we're really looking at there is the scarring. The cystic pimples scar the worst, even if they don't come to head they still leave a huge hyper-pigmented scar. 

I try not to take photos on days where my skin is absolutely disgusting, because it means a lot less work editing the photos afterwards, and it just makes me feel sad to look at my skin in such a bad state. I can't show you how bad it gets, but it does get pretty bad, so finding skincare that helps me banish the acne is always first on my list!



Allergies
One morning, after having a lovely calming face mask the night before, I woke up to find my chin covered in small pus filled bubbles like this. (Enlarge if you're brave)
 
It took me months to figure out that it was caused by a skincare allergy (although it really should have been obvious). I suspect that I'm allergic to Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, and Steareth 20, which are common acne triggers. I first noticed the disgusting chin allergy after I was using one of my favorite face masks. After I took off the face mask and let the serum absorb into my skin, I found that my chin was SUPER itchy, so instead of being intellegant and washing the serum off, I scratched at it with my long nails. In the morning I found that the places I scratched (aka: everywhere) had erupted into tiny yellow pus bubbles, and I cried for hours. 

The first time it happened was the worst, (the above photo is pretty mild, I don't want to make you guys vomit) and it was all over my chin. It was so itchy, painful and humiliating for a grown up 20 something year old to have! It took 3 weeks for the allergy to go away. If you want to read a similar story, but on a horrifyingly large scale, check out BunBunMakeuptips Facial Story. (WARNING this post is incredibly graphic)


Whitening / Brightening
Many people are quite disgusted when I say that I use Whitening skincare. This is a common misconception where people think I want to bleach my skin to make myself look whiter! Whitening skincare actually brightens your complexion, and lighten scars and hyper-pigmentation. I do not bleach my skin.

Also, I'm not a vampire! My pale skin comes from my fathers English heritage, and my warm/yellow tone comes from my mothers tanned Olive skin. If I tanned for long enough, I would have Olive skin too! So why don't I "just get a tan" instead of complaining about not being able to find pale foundations? Four Reasons.

1 - Tanning darkens scars and hyper-pigmentation. No thank you!

2 - I have a facial birthmark that tans faster than my face. I take great pains to make sure that it's hidden 99% of the time, like leaving my hair down and taking photos from one side only etc. If you guys are curious I can make a separate post about it, but for now I'll just leave it here.

3 - One time at the beach, I was very badly burnt on the tops of my shoulders. My back was protected by my hair and my face was away from the sun, so I was very fortunate that it was only my shoulders that were burnt. It's the worst burn I've ever had, my shoulders bubbled and blisters in the most horrifyingly disgusting way and it was the most pain I'd ever had from sunburn. I was left with freckle covered shoulders (which I think are actually pretty cute now thankfully) and an obsession with sunscreen on my shoulders. Unfortunately this didn't spur on an obsession for sunscreen for my face, so whenever my body saw the sunlight, my shoulders were protected by sunscreen, neck and chest was protected by hair, but my face was left to fend for itself.   
That, resulted in this. My face is a totally different colour from my neck, chest and shoulders. It's crazy, and it makes it hard to get Foundation and BB Creams to match, because they have to be quite full coverage to cover the redness and tan. Now I'm religiously using facial sunscreen, and am looking for brightening skincare to undo the damage I've already done. If I could go back in time, slap myself and then tell myself to wear sunscreen everyday, I would.

4 - I like being pale! 


 Anti-Aging
Excess sun damage results in a sped up process of aging, and I'm not keen on that. I would rather use Anti-Aging skincare before I get substantial wrinkles and fine lines. Once the wrinkles set in, it's much harder to fix, than it is to prevent.

At the end of the day, I can buy as much expensive makeup as I want, but if the skin underneath hasn't been taken care of, then it's never going to look good. Here is un-edited proof of lovely makeup on bad skin. Don't judge me too harshly.
I'm not ashamed of how I look without makeup. I'm making this post for the benefit of my followers who may have the same problems as I do, and as a preface to further skincare reviews that I will be doing, so that I can reference back to this post.

Everyone has problems and nobody is perfect, so if you feel like you want to judge me for the way I look, take a look at yourself first, and make sure that there's nothing that you feel insecure about too. 

*PHEW* If you guys got to the end of this, I have a huge hug and a hi-five for you! If you have any product recommendations for me, I would absolutely love to hear them!

34 comments:

  1. I have been working out more intensely and have been breaking out (they are weird clogged with oil bumps that are under the skin but they are not pimples. I don't know what they are called). So I feel the pain on adjusting to the change.

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    1. It sucks right :S Good luck with your skin changes! (:

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  2. Oh I have had some awful experience with my skin believe me! -_- But it has definitely improved since I decided to stop focusing on makeup and start focusing on healing my skin. My skin is still not perfect of course, but it is a lot better than it used to be. I also noticed that it improved a lot when I started drinking a lot more water and took care of what I eat. :)

    www.amiciarai.com

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    1. Drinking water is so so important, but something I always seem to forget *_* I'm glad your skin is getting better! Perhaps I should try a different diet too!

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  3. I've actually wondered some of the things you answered but asking would be rude and it's a personal choice anyway but thank you for clearing those things up. I like pale skin too. If I could be legit pale like you I would be in a heart beat! But that's because I like gothy style clothes. For me though, when my skin is lighter my acne scars are more apparent. I've noticed since I started using whitening products (not with the intention of whitening, they're just in everything Korean) my skin looks an unhealthy shade since I'm supposed to be tan by ethnicity and my acne scars have been healing really badly as well. I thought Korean products were supposed to fix that! Ugh. Anyway, I think you look great pale. Have you also looked into a lactose or gluten intolerance/allergy? I've heard that some people who break out on their chin in pustules like that usually have one of those intolerances. At least you didn't have that horrible experience poor bunbun had >..> I'm glad Korean products are working for you <3 I consider them a miracle mostly myself.

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    1. Honestly, if you have any questions ask away! I have very little shame (online anyway!) ;)

      It's hard to find any Korean products without whitening products! But they are just such gorgeous products that you wanna use them anyway ><

      It's a good thought, but i've been tested for Lactose and Gluten allergies (One brother is Gluten intolerant and my sister has a Lactose allergy) but I'm clean! I'm still trying to figure out the allergy, but NOT scratching seems to be the best thing so far ><

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  4. Oh I've been in the "why don't you get tanned" situation. I am actually sick of ignorant people who would question someone's skin tone. When I have to go to the beach or out under the sun for long time I am even starting to panic. Every attempt to get even slightly darker in the past resulted in horrible sunburns. Plus sun protection is the best anti-age cream you can ever find.

    I only get pimples on my chin when I touch my face with dirty fingers. I am not sure why it's only there because even if my fingers are not clean and I touch my cheeks or forehead nothing happens.

    Korean products are magical for me! I have loved almost everything I have tried so far. I would lie if I say I had any serious skin problems in the past but ever since I started using mostly Korean skincare my face is perfect nearly all the time. Plus their variety of BB creams for pale skin is amazing!

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    1. Korean products are the best for pale BB Creams! Those pale girl problems are so familiar! Going to the beach with a hat, glasses, sunscreen, tanning shirt, umbrella and people look at you like your crazy! O_o

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  5. Wow! Firstly I have to say you are really brave because I don't think I could post picture of my pimples online... I actually have really same type of problems too! Maybe little less though! I get pimples to my chin and cheeks when I stress! I have oily Tzone too but I have a oily+dry(+Full of blackheads) nose(do you know how hard it is to take care of it>< ?). I would like to ask you, do you have any good tips for oily skin? :( Oh and I use rice water to my skin to make it whiter! :) I think it does work!! If you haven't tried it you should!! :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! ^^ Hmm my best advice for oily skin is to moisturize, because it's possible that the oil is coming from dehydrated skin! Oooh rice water! I'd love to give that a go, thanks for the recommendation! (:

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  6. You're amazing. <3 No one is going to judge you here!
    Though I'm not much of a scaredy cat when it comes to things like this, I think you're really brave to show your readers that even a perfect girl like you has insane acne problems. I don't think I'd even be able to post a picture of my face with bad acne on my blog.

    I've found that making sure you drink 8 cups of water a day really helps regulate your oil output. Plus, taking pills such as fish oil pills and eating nuts have also helped me. Many people lack omega-3 fats which help keep inflammation and hormones under control. *^*
    Also, blotting sheets. Always necessary if you have an oily nose/t-zone. 8D It feel disgusting to know you have a slimy nose and actually be able to feel the oils-

    Thank you for sharing. Keep up the good work on fighting your acne! <3

    http://pandagin.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you for your super kind words and encouragement! I never really considered my diet, but perhaps tweaking a couple of things (coughsugarconsumptioncough) would be good for my skin! Thanks for the advice! (:

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    2. It could be sugar. My causin had severe acne since always, when she was about 28 a doctor told her she was allergic to sugar, and after she eliminated it completly from her diet, her skin became so pretty without any make up.

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  7. Oh my! You should reaaally try to narrow down the list of allergenic products! I totally agree with you, skincare should be priorityzed over makeup.

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    1. I knowiknowiknowiknow >< There's no test that the dermatologist can do for me so it's a little like a really scary trial and error for the allergies :S

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  8. Dear Becca,

    I woke up with an allergy similar to yours today :'( My face was itchy so I scratched at it, and I woke up with these small pus-filled bumps. How did you take care of it? Did you wear makeup at all when you had it?

    http://www.seiyuna.com/

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    1. Hi sweetie, I'm so so sorry this happened to you! :C

      I switched to really natural skincare (no acne washes or harsh chemicals) and made face masks out of yoghurt, honey and oats to stop the itching and calm the redness every night.

      Definitely do NOT poke, scratch or pop the little bumps, try not to touch them at all! I wore a light BB cream when I absolutely had to go out of the house, a couple of times I just wore a half-face mask (doctor or dentist type of mask) and pretended that I was sick so I wouldn't have to put anything on it.

      Once the little bumps pop (best to let them do it on their own) I had little scabs for a couple of weeks. It didn't scar very much at all for me, but I found if I tried to pop them that they took longer to heal. The puss look isn't nice, but if it heals faster that's better right! ♥

      I really hope it gets better soon! Send me an email if you have any other questions (I reply quicker through email!) ♥♥

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  9. U look beautiful in pale! I have acne-prone skin since 10 years now which caused scars and I still get break outs all the time. I decided to go through treatments from Fairview clinic , Toronto to try and figure out what would work best on my skin. I'M SO discouraged because I have used every acne wash you can imagine, and never see results. So I bought 2 microdermabraison treatments and a package of 6 peels. Combination of Salicylic & Glycolic. My skin is glowing! Literally.

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    1. Thank you honey! :D I had a little sample of a Microdermabrasion and it made my skin feel so nice, but I've never tried peels, they sound so intense! I will do some research on the salicylic and Glycolic peels, thanks for the recommendation! ^^

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  10. You're so brave to post this! and you look lovely pale! Don't bother even justifying your choice to those people who don't know what they're talking about!
    I've found that the 3M acne patches help a lot when I'm breaking out - they reduce my scarring and hyperpigmentation and lately I've been finding that they're also helping with my stubborn white heads. It also reduces irritation as I don't use harsh acne treatments on my skin any more to deal with pimples/clogged pores!

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    1. Thank you sweetie! :D I've heard of the 3M Acne Patches, but they aren't available in New Zealand, (that I know of!) I might have to find some on Ebay! Thank you for your recommendation and kind words! (:

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  11. Hiii! I really admire how brave you are to post this *_* I don't think i would have been able to.... I never really struggled with acne my entire life until my first year of university, and my chin was a mess!! I recommend Ciracle Red Spot Cream to deal with scars and pimples ^^ It's like my HG product.....

    sentimental-circus.blogspot.com

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    1. Aw thank you! (: Ooooh I'll have to look that product up, thanks for the recommendation! :3

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  12. The products that have helped my breakouts the most are from Paula's Choice CLEAR line, they are available on paulaschoice.com and they have wonderful customer service. They also have good products for hyperpigmentation.

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    1. I totally want to try her products!! Hopefully they'll be the next line I pick up! (:

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  13. Honey, you are so pretty, even without make up. But your skin really like a punch in my eyes (sorry), i guess i have to tell you something:
    1. Please stop try to test out too many skin care and makeup. your skin is like having too much right now, what it need is a rest. not a mask, or toner, or cream bla bla, it just needs to breath! if you keep make up everyday, you have to use cleasing oil which irritate the skin. A lot of skin care you put on make it becomes more oily
    2. Korean products is good at packing, cute and lovely on photo, but not like that on your skin,, it hardly working on acne skin, maybe good for normal skin but your skin will be back to normal when you stop using the product. Actually, some good brands like SKII, Clinique...do much better for your skin. Saving you money on sth truly worthy! Maybe you can buy some samples, or watch youtube (michell phan recommend some good stuffs, just don't by her own line :))) for more product.

    And drinking a lot of water is a best tip i can tell you, pls remember that, you will have a better skin without a lot of hardwork.

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    1. Hello! While you are definitely entitled to your own opinion, it's a little rude to tell me that looking at my face makes you feel like being punched in the face. It's just like me telling you that your spelling and grammar makes me want to cry (sorry).

      1. Contrary to the common belief that I cake myself in creams, lotions and makeup everyday, I actually spend a lot of time without makeup. I probably only wear makeup 3 days a week and it's only for work. I also use organic skincare as my core skincare, (gentle and non irritating) and test out a one Korean skincare component once a week.

      2. Korean skincare is not just pretty packaging. Some of them are just as good as products from SKII and Clinique, and how do I know that? Because I've tried skincare products from those lines too.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog, but next time try not to be so offensive and ignorant. Nobody likes to be insulted, even if they're just people on the internet.

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  14. I have the same thing and it hurts so bad have you found anything that can stop this D:?

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    1. Hello sweet pea! Oh I'm so sorry you have to feel my pain as well!

      I use Rosehip oil to calm down my skin, but a lavender based product (LUSH Angels on bare skin is FANTASTIC) is brilliant to help calm the skin and stop the reaction.

      Try your best not to touch it, scratching will make it 100% worse, so cut your nails if you can. Try not to wear too much makeup, because some ingredients will aggravate the skin.

      Good luck! (:

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    2. thank you so much! I'll give it a try =)

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    3. No problem! Let me know how you go! (:

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  15. Hello!

    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for reviews online.

    I'm asian and I live in a very humid country so my face tends to get very very very oily. I want to share something with you. I do have the same problem with you, I tend to break out in the chin area. Later on I discovered that it was my toothpaste that was irritating my chin! I've tried tons of toothpaste, even salt based toothpaste that makes me want to throw up everytime I brush my teeth. After finding the right toothpaste, it's pretty much under control now. :)

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  16. Wow I'm impressed with your courage. There's ways to cure situations like this but first we need to find what is the underlying cause. Email me at celtic90210@gmail.com.

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  17. Hi Becca,

    I have been having this breakout for the third time (including today). It all started when I used beauty salon moisturizer and ever since then, my face is so sensitive to everything.

    Each time when I have this, I cured it by applying Nuxe Facial oil on the effected area. Slowly, the bumps will dries up and heal but I'm still unsure of what product I'm allergy to. I need to get to the root of this problem. Hope this help. Have a nice day

    Vivian

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