Acne Story Accutane and Veganism (Part 1)
Today I’m going to tell you about what I've learned in my decades of acne prone skin. I've never really shared my acne story. So, this text will be exactly that. It's going to be a full rundown of my acne, my acne scarring and everything in between. So, I can explain exactly what's worked and how I'm, finally, having clear skin.
So, I started at high school feeling pretty happy, carefree, and confident in my own skin. When the first spots arrived, I got quite excited, actually, about them, because I felt a fully-fledged teenager. I felt it was a coming-of-age and the next chapter of my life. But the novelty of that very rapidly wore off, when a year later I had an oily spotty mess.
My first kind of attack was Oxley on the spot that paired with the Clearasil face wash. I honestly thought all of my problems were going to be solved. But things got just worse. So, once I tried that for a little while without much success, I begged my mom to take me to the doctors. I was about 15, and I've already been teased multiple times about my skin at school. And also at this point I was being hiding behind layers of Maybelline and most foundation, straightening my head to death to distract from my face. Who remembers that Maybelline foundation? I feel every girl at school had it.
So, at the first appointment I got prescribed Benzoyl Peroxide. And that just burnt my face and didn't work. I wasn't really instructed on how to use it properly. I think at the second appointment I got prescribed Lymecycline that didn't work. Then I got prescribed Minocycline, and that also didn't work. I should also add that my acne wasn't cystic. It was just surface pimples in my t-zone, probably, quite typically with teenagers.
When I was 16, I went back to the doctors, because I was still really fed up with my skin. Some of my friends had this perfect pore-less face. So, I went back and asked if there's anything else I could try. The doctor prescribed me Dianette, which is a combination birth control pill, which essentially targets your androgens and your testosterone. I didn't know this at the time. I just took the pill thinking that this was going to be my answer to clear skin.
I took this pill for about a year. And my skin started to look much better. It was looking better, and it was still oily. I was still powdering my face every hour. But the actual texture of my skin had improved dramatically. I would say that I was confident, because, when you feel good within your own skin, then your confidence dramatically rises.
I was down back for my prescription every three months. Then, after a year the doctor told me that I couldn't stay on this pill, because there were some side effects in terms of blood clots, and it wasn't a safe pill to stay on for the long term. So, he prescribed me Yasmin.
Switching pills to me really didn't seem a big deal. I just thought they all did the same. I didn't really understand how they worked within the body. And I just assumed that most acne could be solved with topical skincare. I knew that it was something related internally, but I thought that I didn't really have much success with antibiotics. Potentially, the pill is helping, but maybe it's just because I'm getting older. I was about 17-18, when I went on Yasmin.
I just assumed that I was getting to an age, where my acne was subsiding, so switching pills didn't seem a big deal. Then, within a few months on Yasmin I experienced my first cyst. I remember that day so well. I think I was about 17-18, and I did not know what was going on with my skin. I, actually, just wanted to die! I was really embarrassed. I did the worst thing possible as well. I took a needle to the cyst.
You can only imagine the amount of damage across my skin. It looked 10 times worse. It was horrible. Don't do that if you ever have a cyst. Please, be careful, do not squeeze. It do not pick, it does make the situation worse. I wish I'd let my lesson from that very first cyst, but I still tried to get rid of them, anyway.
This felt like a pretty tough year, because I wasn’t getting self-conscious about my skin. I couldn't figure out, why I was breaking out this often. It was one or two cysts around my chin, maybe, my jaw-line as well. So, it wasn't hugely affecting my life. My confidence was really suffering because of it.
I remember this one time, when I was on holiday. I was in Greece with a ton of my friends. I remember there was this boy that I fancied, and I remember that one of the other boys pointed out my skin in front of him. It, literally, broke my heart. I was crippled with embarrassment. I went home and cried. It just felt the most embarrassing thing in the entire world at the time.
This did a fire in me. At home after the holiday I made a research about my skincare routine. I took it to the next level. I was working out what the active ingredients are to fight acne, and what I could do to put together a strong routine. I was doing a good routine. I took it very seriously after this.
The first thing I did was having Glycolic Peel. So, this was the day, when the internet shopping was coming up that shows my age. I remember begging my mom for her credit card details. So, I could order Glycolic Peel. It came in a really little set, where you would apply this Glycolic Peel once a day over the course of five days. And, honestly, I just sat at home, looking like a reptile. I just worked from home and didn't leave my bedroom.
The next thing I found was the Steam. It opens up your pores. And I believed that this was the answer to clear skin for a really long time. I used that every single day. I took my makeup off and then steamed my face.
I'd also learned that salicylic acid was the best ingredient for my skin at the time. I remember buying this Neutrogena spot control face wash. I remember buying the toner the moisturizer. And I took an interest in those active ingredients. I knew that salicylic acid was the way for, because it works so well.
I then went off to university, so that distracted me. I was still keeping up with this kind of steam with my face every night, using salicylic acid. I felt that was the best way to control my skin. I never felt confident. I never went out without any makeup on. But I genuinely felt better about my skin, as there wasn't a full face of acne. And my oil control was still a problem, but somewhat under control. I also had learned how to apply makeup a lot better at this point. So, things had improved.
So, this story takes a turn, when I turned about 26 yeah. I think it was a few months after to 26. I moved out to my friends. And I knew that this wasn't a teenage problem anymore, this was something internal that I really wanted to solve. I decided to have a huge lifestyle change in 2015. I've been reading so much about different bloggers, people in YouTube going vegan and having the best skin of their life.
I decided to do the same. I went vegan, started doing yoga, quit the pill and ditched my beloved salicylic acid for something natural. I also ended a pretty long-term relationship and alienated myself for my friends. I decided to become vegan, doing yoga and loving all-natural or clean eating person, who didn't drink or go out or see anybody and quite lonely, to be honest. Then, the next month hit and my skin wasn’t better. If I ever thought I had acne before this point, then I was in for a serious lesson.
I just went into serious isolation mode. I was trying everything. All I was doing all day was researching how to get rid of acne. I started taking extra block and magnesium, and vitamins, because I read that the pill deprives you from vitamin B. I took probiotics or apple cider vinegar in the morning. I was taking vitamin E, vitamin C, every supplement. I was taking it, because I was desperate to get rid of my acne.
Then I took this two-week juice cleanse with different herbs, and I decided to do that as well, which then led me down the path of becoming fat vegan, because that would cure all acne and balance all your hormones. So, I went down that path as well. I decided that every breakfast would be a smoothie. I got personal trainers and I could become fitter, because I thought that was the answer, too.
Honestly, I became obsessed depressed because of that. I cancelled all plans always. I cancelled a holiday. I canceled work events that were really important. And my friends would invite me out, and I just got this fear and this anxiety of going out, and just not feeling myself, and wondering if people would judge me because of my skin. That was taking over my life.