My Skin Journey After Coming Off Acne Meds.

My Skin Journey After Coming Off Acne Meds.

Hi my loves! I hope you’ve had a great week so far. This week I’ve been busy with work and I’ve caught up with family which has been lovely; and because I’ve been so busy this past week I’ve been making sure that I’m making a few minutes each day (minimum) to practice some self care so I don’t feel too overwhelmed and exhausted.

One thing I’ve been doing for my selfcare is my skincare routine, which I’ve recently switched up a bit after binge watching Skincare with Hyram on YouTube! In switching up my skincare routine and products I started reflecting on how my skin has changed over the last few years, and let me tell you, it’s been a ride.

So, today I’m going to be telling, and mostly showing you, my skin journey to how I got to where I am now!

And with that said, let’s jump into it!

Let me take you back to this time last year, where I decided after much deliberation that I wanted to come off the medication I was on for my acne and for contraception. The reasoning behind this was purely for the fact that the pill I was on (an extremely high dose of co-cyprindiol) made me feel low, tired and started giving me migranes.

When I was taking this medication my skin was clear and felt great. (You can see another skin history post from that time here).

I was hoping that my body would be able to cope and wouldn’t erupt when I came off of the pill, but boy oh boy was I wrong.

For reference, here’s my skin whilst I was on the pill:

My Skin Today

Here’s my skin on the day I decided to finally give up the medication:

Skin Before Acne

I had the odd pimple now and again but I was extremely happy with how my skin looked without makeup on; but I just couldn’t justify taking a pill that made my mood low that came with loads of other side effects just for clear skin. So, I stopped taking it.

After a few months, my skin seemed fine still, which I now realise must’ve been due to my body having so many hormones etc in it from the taking the pill for over 4 years! Here’s my skin in October and November:

Not bad at all right!

Well, Christmas went by and here we are in January, and as you can see, my skin has started to get a few more spots:

Here’s February:

Then in March, I had my worst skin I have ever had in my life. So bad in fact, that I did not want to go out, and refused to leave the house without makeup on other than for work. The first photo is on the 15th March, and then the other two are literally from 2 days later!

My face was painful to touch, and nothing I did was helping it, and I was beginning to think that I should just bite the bullet and go back on the pill again. But, nevertheless, I persevered! I started using an Adapalene Retinol cream nightly, which got my skin to this point:

If you’ve read my review of the Carbon Theory Soap Bar then you’ll have seen the above and below photos before!

Here’s after using the soap bar after a few weeks/months:

And as you can see, the soap bar seemed to work a bit of magic! It was at this point that I’ve really delved into my skincare routine and am beginning to make my skincare routine a real habit that I actually remember to do every morning and night.

Here’s my skin in April:

And then May:

And the we get to June:

And finally, here we are today:

As you can see, my skin is still far from perfect. However, I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in it and I’m not afraid to do photoshoots without covering my discolouration, roseacea, spots and scars up!

Since switching up my skincare routine and makeup products, I now no longer wear foundation or bb cream because I’m trying to love my skin as it is, and I often forget that my skin without makeup isn’t that bad anymore! It’s been a learning curve and shaving my head has also helped with this because there’s no hair to hide behind!

Also, side note: I’ve decided to grow my hair back out long and curly (like the previous photos!)! I loved it that length, and I can’t wait for my hair to be the healthiest it’s ever been! After a few months my hair is already beginning to curl like it did when it was longer so I’m looking forward to seeing how curl it’ll get since there’s no heat damage this time round!

And that my friends, is my skin journey from the past year. It’s certainly had some pretty bad moments, but I feel like I’m in a place now where my skin will only get better over more time. I also read somewhere that after being on the pill for such a long time, it can take around 2 years for you hormone levels to go back to normal and your skin to regulate itself again. So I guess I’ll be doing an update and where my skin is at in a 2021!!

Well, that’s all from me today my lovelies! What’s a skincare product you can’t live without? For me it’s definitely my cleanser and SPF! Let me know in the comments!

Have a great weekend my loves!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature
My skin journey

I Tried Carbon Theory’s Soap Bar!

I Tried Carbon Theory’s Soap Bar!

Hello my lovelies! I hope you’ve had a great week and you’re settling into a new routine. Over at my house I think I’ve finally settled into a steady routine and everything is beginning to feel normal now, which feels weird to say. One thing I’ve noticed from staying home a lot is that my skin has started clearing up a little, and i think that could be down to three different things; less pollution in the air and staying indoors, using my adapalene cream and from trying out Carbon Theory’s acne soap bar!

Carbon Theory Review

*little disclaimer – this post is by no means sponsored by Carbon Theory and I am not affiliated with them in any way, I just saw the ad for the soap bar with the claims of clearing up acne so thought I’d buy and try it so you don’t have to! Also, this review is simply my opinion on the product and what may or may not work for me could be completely different for someone else.

So, before I get started with this review, I thought I’d give you some background info about me and my skin journey so far; if you’ve been with me for a while then you may have read my last post about my acne journey and how I managed to clear my skin of adult acne.

And, well.. a lot has happened since then.

For example, I have come off of what I was using as birth control and my acne treatment in one go. Why might you ask? Well because I was on something called co-cyprindol which is essentially 2000mg of oestrogen where women are supposed to have 20mg (at least that’s what my doctor told me) and like many medications, there were some pretty annoying side effects. For me, the acne pill I was on not only gave me migraines every now and again, but it also made me feel extremely low. And so, in August last year, I decided to stop taking it and pray that my skin would magically be fine and the acne would stay away.

Unfortunately for me, that did not happen. My mood was so much better, in fact I’m happier than I’ve ever been, but my skin decided to get angry with me straight away and just got worse and worse, until it was the worst it had ever been.

And that has led me just over a month or two ago, when I’d tried all sorts of skincare routines that were supposed to help and I was at the point of giving up or going back to the doctors to find some form of other treatments that wouldn’t effect my mood.. and then a certain pain in the butt called corona hit and I didn’t want to take up the nhs’ time with something like my skin when they’ve got bigger problems to deal with.

It was then that I was sent a link to Carbon Theory’s acne soap bar by my sister. I was a bit dubious at first because I didn’t think a bar of soap would do much for my skin, but for £6, what did I have to lose!

Here’s the day that I came off of my acne medication, the 10th August 2019.

Skin Before Acne

Then months later, we were here with my skin – 18th March 2020. Please excuse the facial expressions, it was very early that morning!

Once my soap bar arrived it’s safe to safe I was willing to try anything if there was a chance it would clear up my skin. Even if it entailed having slugs on my face. I would have done anything! So, here’s day one of trying out the soap bar along with my acne cream:

As you can see, we’re not in very good place skin-wise. You can also see that this was when I was slowly starting to shave my head! I started using the soap bar every morning and evening by lathering it up in my hands and leaving the suds on my face for thirty seconds before washing it off, like it was recommended on the packaging. It made my face feel tight and moisturised and clean which I liked (and still do).

So, onto where we were at at the end of week one:

So, as you can see, me face was pretty angry with me for trying something new, but that is to be expected when trying any new products on your skin. Especially for me, because I suffer with psoriasis and can sometimes get it on my face, so naturally any new products could trigger it if I’m not careful!

Here’s where we were at after two weeks:

As you can see, it looks like the soap bar with my adapalene cream appears to be doing something! It definitely seems to have taken down the redness on my cheeks and reduce the spots on my forehead.

Onto week three:

This week my skin didn’t like me that much and had another flare up again, with my skin being a bit red and a few old spots popping up that I thought were gone!

But nevertheless we persevered, and got to week four:

Week four and my skin started to clear up a bit more again, and the redness was once again starting to go down which was great! Another thing that I think has helped is that my hair is no longer all over my face, something I completely forgot about!

Onto week five:

It was this week that I was starting to finally see a difference on my right cheek which was one of the worst places my acne was. I also noticed that my skintone had started to even out a bit too!

Here’s where my skin was at just a few days ago!

So, here’s where we’re currently at, it’s safe to say my skin is loads better than it was when I started using Carbon Theory’s soap bar and my acne cream; and I think it’s been the combination of the two that has really helped. What’s left of my acne actually appears to be acne scars, with the odd new spot coming up every now and again, and when that happens I use some acne stickers from Starface which are brilliant at stopping you from popping, picking and scarring your face. Plus, they look cute too because you get little stars on your face!

Just for comparison, here’s before using the soap bar and after:

In conclusion, would I recommend Carbon Theory to someone wanting to reduce their acne? For sure. Even if it only helps a little bit, you can’t really go wrong for £6! Plus, it comes in a great resealable pocket which makes it great for travel and it keeps the soap from getting anything on it whilst it’s not being used. If I’m being honest, I really didn’t think that this would work, especially because it’s so cheap, but I’m certainly glad I tried it out because it’s going to be a permanent featured in my skincare routine!

Next up for my skin journey is a whole host of new products that I intent to slowly implement with the soap bar in order to help with my scarring, so be sure to stay tuned ready for that in a few more weeks or months! Have you got any staple skincare products you can’t live without? And have you tried this soap bar out for yourself? Let me know in the comments!!

Have a great weekend my lovelies, and stay safe!!

Lots of love,

Victoria Blog Signature
Carbon Theory Review Pin
My Acne Journey

My Acne Journey

Happy Saturday lovelies! So this week I’ve finally managed to sit down and write a post you’ve asked for a few times, my acne journey. Just putting this out there now, this is my journey with my skin and what has worked for me, this may work for you, this may not work for you; so please don’t assume all of the products I talk about in this post will or will not work for you. Also, I’m definitely not saying my skin is the worst ever or best, I’m just sharing my story.

Skin is such a personal thing because everyone’s skin is different and needs to be taken care of a certain way to suit that person. After all, skin care is very important since the skin is the largest organ in the body and protects us from so much. So why wouldn’t you want it looking it’s best!

Let’s get into this; so, my journey with my skin has been a long, stressful emotional journey and is by no means over yet. When I was younger I had little to no problems with my skin, being a carefree kid I never did anything to it and lucky for me, that was what worked. Then puberty hit, and again I was lucky enough to only suffer with a spot every now and again, nothing major.

I wish I had appreciated those day more now that I’m a bit older. Especially because as soon as I hit my 20s I developed adult acne, rosacea and my psoriasis began flaring up. Not great for someone who was already a little insecure because she wasn’t happy in her own skin anyway.

I’m now 22 and I’m happy to say that my skin (touch wood) is at a point where I’m reasonably happy with it, I still get the odd angry spot (or mountain/volcano/crater, you decide haha) ever so often but it’s ok.

For my skin to get where it is today, it took a lot of trial and error. To begin with a tried doing face masks about 3 times a week because I thought that maybe something was clogging up my pores and that they might make my skin less red and calm down a bit. For me, this didn’t work. That was when I bought the La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish Kit’ in the hopes that this would clear my skin up..long story short is that it made my skin a million times worse.

Which led to me deciding in February this year to finally decided to go to my doctors to get some medical help with my acne. So, here’s what my skin looked like before I did anything and after starting the ‘La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish Kit’; also, please excuse my facial expressions in these photos as you can imagine how having acne makes you feel as also, I took these before bed over several weeks to document my skin journey! (It took around 6 months from starting my acne journey to where I am now)

Also, just thought I’d mention that it was at this point that I decided to drink pretty much only water from then on; that was hard at first but after about 2 weeks of making myself do it, I didn’t need to force myself to drink water anymore! It just became routine.

My skin at the start
Here’s my skin before trying any treatment.

My skin after la roche
My skin after using ‘La Roche-Posay’ treatment for a week.

As you can imagine, after trying this acne skincare treatment for a week and my skin only getting worse and really irritated, I decided to stop it. Also, side note; I’m not saying that the ‘La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish Kit‘ is a bad product, it just didn’t work for me, you never know, it might work for you!

So, After this I decided that I was finished blindly trying to clear my skin up without really any knowledge on what was causing it. So off to the doctors I went! To begin with, I was prescribed a different contraceptive pill called Cerelle, because at the time I was taking the progesterone only pill which has no oestrogen. I was also prescribed an antibiotic topical treatment called ‘Zineryt (erythromycin, zinc acetate)’. I took this for about 2 1/2 months and here’s what happened!

My skinMy skinMy skinMy skinMy skin

So, after using the ‘Zineryt‘ topical cream for 2 1/2 months my skin was looking a lot better! And I was feeling a little better about my skin and appearance, which was when it stopped working. Which was a huge bummer!!

So back I went to the doctors again in the hopes that they can give me something really powerful to stop my skin re-erupting!! Which is when I was prescribed ‘Co-Cyprindiol’, ‘Adapalene’ and ‘Doxycycline’. I was lucky that I was prescribed this amount of stuff to tackle my skin at once, I will say that I was a little apprehensive about having to use ‘Co-Cyprindiol’ as this had to replace the pill that I was on because it’s so much oestrogen!! 2000mg to be exact and the doctor told me that you usually have about 20mg..

Also, this pill isn’t classed as a contraceptive pill as you can’t take it for long periods of time so all I was thinking is what happens if it works and they stop me taking it and my skin reverts??! The other medication I was prescribed was the topical cream – ‘Adapalene’ to apply every night before bed, the other medication I was prescribed was ‘Doxycycline’ which is another antibiotic that I have to take every morning with breakfast!

If any of you suffer or have suffered with acne then you know how anxious switching up your skincare and medication can be. Which is why when I switched to these new medications and my skin started reacting badly, I freaked out and called the doctor asking to be taken off them.

Lucky for me, the doctor told me I had to give the medication longer to work and to give it 3 months to see any effect on my skin; because after about 3/4 months of taking all these meds my skin started to clear up!!

My skinMy skinMy skinMy skinMy skinMy skinMy skin

I’m so so so glad I stuck with the medication, because after taking everything for a few months, the doctors allows me to continue all of these meds for longer than typically recommended because I wasn’t having any side effects and my body was reacting well.

Now, I’m on a lower dose of ‘Co-Cyprindiol’ in order to continue the treatment safely alongside the other meds. An important note with this is that I do have to go for regular check ups with these pills in order to stay on them. But this is just so the doctors know how my body is coping with the hormone levels.

I also use a microdermabrasion skin care machine once a week to exfoliate and remove any blackheads. I got my machine from amazon for £20 when it was on offer and it’s rechargeable so I haven’t got to worry about paying out for batteries. Here’s the link to the machine I use!

Microdermabrasion machine

And here is my skin now!

My Skin Today
As you can see from my face here, I’m a lot happier with my skin now than ever before!

I’m so much happier with my skin now then ever before, it’s something that I had struggled with for a while and it really got me down to the point where I didn’t feel comfortable going outside at times! And if you’ve ever suffered with acne or currently do, you know what it can feel like and what it can do to your mental health.

I know that with my acne journey I have been pretty lucky in being able to find a treatment that works for me and that not all people are as lucky as I have been. Moral of the story is that if you are struggling with acne or any skin issue, go see your GP because they will be able to help you; and if something isn’t working for you, keep going back and eventually you’ll find something that works. It just takes some trial and error.

Hope this helps any of you suffering with acne or skin issues!! Have a great weekend lovelies! Love,

Victoria Signature

Going Makeup Free

Going Makeup Free

Today’s blog post is all about my recent journey of not wearing makeup for a few months. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love wearing makeup and feel great in it and I think it looks amazing on other women and men. You’re all definitely more skilled than me!! And I still love watching makeup tutorials on YouTube and putting on a full face every now and again for special occasions or if I just feel like having a play. But recently I decided to stop wearing it all the time and go bare faced pretty much everyday.

For some people, going makeup free will seem like nothing, but for me this was quite big, partly because I suffer with acne and rosacea. So when I say that I’ve not been wearing makeup, I mean that I’ve gone from wearing heavy foundation, powders and concealers to wearing nothing on my skin on a daily basis. Now I only wear mascara and very thin eyeliner when I’m off out. It’s amazing how much time I have to spend on other things in the morning now!

After the initial few weeks, it’s been surprisingly easy, when I first started this it was for a few reasons:

  • I started a new acne treatment and wanted to get the best out of it. (update on that in a future post)
  • I wanted to feel better in my own skin and not feel like I need to wear it in order to feel pretty.
  • I wanted to be able to hug people without my face transferring everywhere..
  • I didn’t want to go around worrying if I’d smudged my face.
  • I wanted to be able to go to bed without having to think of taking my makeup off.

Week one was definitely the hardest, my acne was bad and all I wanted to do was cover it up. And because I’m so pale, my rosacea was really bad. Oh and I tend to go bright red easily so I was panicking about that.

I was so scared about what people would see and think that I did my best to avoid going out and only showed my face to the people I am closest to. And the funny thing was that when I went into work I got compliments about how bright and fresh faced I looked!! And no comments that I looked tired, ill or red or that my skin looked bad, but nice things that gave me so much motivation to go makeup free for the long run.

So.. that was about 3 and a half months ago, and part of the reason why I’m writing this now is because I’ve only just realised this week that I’ve not been thinking about putting makeup on to cover up my skin to go out at all!

I still love wearing makeup, and I wear it for special occasions, but only when I feel like it and can be bothered to put it on. One thing I’ve noticed from doing this is that my skin has definitely got better, whether that is a result from not wearing makeup or my acne treatments, or both, I’m not sure. My skin isn’t completely clear yet, and it’s still got a long way to go before it’s completely clear, but for now I don’t totally hate it (well.. at least on a good day). I’ll do a post about my acne pretty soon when I reach the end of my treatment.

Something I’ve noticed from going makeup free is that funnily enough, no one gives a shit. No one said anything horrible or made comments, I wasn’t stared at in the street and no children ran away from me screaming after seeing my face. All a bonus really haha..

If you’re thinking about going makeup free and you’re worried about what people will say, just know that it’s not as bad as you think, and it’s quite refreshing to have clean skin out and about. Also, if you aren’t sure you can go completely makeup free straight away, work your way up (or maybe down is more appropriate?) to it but gradually using thinner layers of makeup and cutting certain things out of your routine over a few days/weeks, whatever works for you!

What I think you should take away from this post is that you’re all beautiful in your own skin (mushy post alert!) and deserve to feel amazing in your own skin without having to worry about what anyone else thinks. And if you want to wear makeup then you should! And if you don’t want to wear makeup, then don’t wear makeup!! Do what makes you feel good, and that’s what’s important.

Don’t let anyone tell you you should wear makeup and don’t let anyone tell you you’re wearing too much makeup. And if they are saying you’re wearing too much then tell them that that’s good because you paid good money for that makeup so you’d better be able to see it! If someone tells you you should wear makeup then tell them that they should go fuck themselves because you don’t have to conform to their beauty standards!

I hope you all have a great weekend my lovelies!! Love,

Victoria x Blog Signature