Acne Regret #1: Overdoing it with actives and prescriptions

Over the past decade I’ve made a number of regrettable decisions when it comes to treating my acne, and I wanted to share these regrets in a series of posts for all my of acneic friends out there!

I used to blast my skin with every sort of active ingredient and prescription ointment known to humankind because I was so frustrated with the negative feedback I received about the way my acne looked, and the physical irritation of cystic acne was no joy either. Because of this, my skin barrier was super fragile and my skin became quite dehydrated, red, and sad. My skin never had a moment to breathe and repair itself, and it showed. •

In a bout of desperate online searching I came across @liahyoo ‘s video “Clear Acne without Acne Treatment: Minimal Acne Skincare Routine”, and it entirely changed the way I viewed and treated my skin. Following Liah’s instructions I tried downsizing my skincare routine to just a cleanser, toner, hydrating product, and sunscreen for a number of weeks to see what would happen.

This little skin rest gave my skin barrier a chance to chill the hell out, and my skin became less irritated and dehydrated. Only after a long break using just the basics did I begin to gradually (VERY gradually) incorporate AHAs and retinol back into my routine. Even now that my skin is relatively clear, I still revert back to my barebones routine of @tatcha Deep Cleanse, @herbivorebotanicals Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Green Tea Toner, @zoskinhealth Rozatrol Normalizing Serum for red, sensitized skin, and whatever sunscreen isn’t breaking me out at the moment.

If you’re in the same boat I was, or are overwhelmed by the hoard of skincare products in your bathroom cabinet, sometimes it’s nice to just press pause and keep it simple for a bit. It’s been a long, LONG process but I’ve finally gotten my skin to a point where it doesn’t physically irritate me, I have minimal breakouts, and my redness is at a fairly manageable, healthy level.

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