Acne has been an ongoing topic here for many years now and I haven’t written a post on the subject in YEARS and it is high time I discuss what ACTUALLY worked for me* to get rid of that horrible cystic acne. Recently I have gotten compliments on my skin from complete random strangers so it got me thinking…I think my skin is finally clear and I have some really good tips to share that I wish I would have known about 10 years ago!
*I have to say this information is purely anecdotal and it’s just what worked for me personally. There are many causes of acne and everyone is different. This is just my story.
If you need more back story on my acne journey, you can read about it here.
Otherwise, here is a short summary:
At age 30 (9 years ago) I stopped taking birth control pills, got a copper IUD and started using Bare Minerals makeup all at the same time. I started to develop cystic acne. At first I blamed the makeup but the acne didn’t improve after I stopped using the bare minerals and over time it got worse and worse…and worse. I experimented with everything under the sun but nothing and I mean nothing worked. I eventually got the copper IUD out and thought the acne would just clear right up but it only marginally improved.
The acne got so bad that every day I would wake up to new clusters of deep cysts. They were obviously coming on WAY faster than they were going away and I started to get really depressed about this. At one point I thought I would need to break up with my boyfriend (now husband) because I couldn’t stand the thought of him seeing what my skin really looked like without concealer. Side note: he was obviously not bothered when he saw what I “really” looked like.
To keep this short I will just summarize by saying I tried EVERY REMEDY under the sun. I tried every medication except for accutane. I tried every type of skin care system, every supplement that could possibly help and even did some really strict diets and cleanses to try to clear it up. I tried lasers, acupuncture, clean pillowcases, facials and every random thing I read on the internet so trust me when I say I tried everything!
The good news is, none of that stuff worked which means supplements, medication and special diets are.not.needed!
So here is a list of what ultimately got rid of my cystic acne and got me to perfectly clear, smooth skin!!
- TWO MUST HAVE PRODUCTS TO KEEP THOSE SUCKERS COVERED 24/7
- These two products are the only things I absolutely swear by for getting rid of acne.
- Once I started keeping my spots covered at all times, even when I was home alone helped me a lot mentally. I used to obsess over my spots and check their progress every few minutes probably, looking to see if anything had changed. Is is better? Is it worse? I drove myself crazy! Once I started to keep them lightly covered with these two products I stopped obsessing as much.
- How to do it: After the nighttime skin care regimen take a Q-Tip and pull the tip apart a little bit to make a soft, fuzzy end. Dip that end in the blemish clearing powder and dab on to all the spots. Use a new Q-Tip each time to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- In the morning, to cover the spots, use the concealer stick and then, if necessary, dab on the blemish clearing powder as described above.
- This is the secret formula I tell you! These products don’t do anything to actually get rid of the cysts but they are soothing and will help with pain and the coverage will last all day.
- GET A REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER SYSTEM
- I know this one might seem a little extreme or out there or just plain expensive but I attribute 99% of my clear skin to switching to Reverse Osmosis water.
- I made this switch years ago and to this day I can tell when the filter needs to be changed. I am really that sensitive to it! I will get a couple cysts on my cheeks specifically and know the filter is due for a change. Change the filter and voila, skin is clear.
- AVOID WEARING MAKEUP
- I have noticed that any time I’ve thought I should take up wearing makeup my skin gets worse. I have tried many brands and of course I would wash my brushes, but for me, my skin just hates makeup and it needs to breathe. So, I just wear this tinted sunscreen and then use concealer as described above if needed.
- WATCH WHERE YOU REST YOUR HANDS
- I only recently noticed that I rest my chin on my hands when I work or read or whatever and I have noticed when I do that I get breakouts in that area. So, not a cause of cystic acne by any means but something to watch out for.
- STOP EATING CHOCOLATE?
- I put a question mark by that one because I’m not sure if it’s true or not. All I know is that I recently stopped eating chocolate and my skin has gotten next level clear. Prior to quitting chocolate I was eating quite a bit of chocolate every day. You know, good stuff like the 70% or higher vegan, organic kind. So maybe it’s not an issue for someone who just has the odd piece of chocolate here and there but I was probably eating 3 bars a week or more, ha!
- TREAT YOUR SKIN LIKE YOU LIKE IT
- Ok, here’s a hot tip: be gentle with your skin. Treat it as if it is very sensitive, because it is. I used to press my face so hard when I would wash it because I was secretly just feeling around for all the bumps and taking inventory and I thought more pressure was better. But then I went in for a facial one day and the esthetician used the lightest pressure when she touched my face and I just thought-Oh I need to do that. As a result, I obsessed less, put myself down less and just felt less bad about my acne in general.
- This tip also includes poking, prodding and picking. 3 of my favorite things, haha! But I started to notice that every time I picked at one cyst, 4-6 would come to it’s funeral which really made my problem much, much worse. To this day, if a cyst shows up my motto is: ignore it and it will go away. These are cysts. Picking and poking will only make them bigger and angrier. So leave them alone, let them run their course and try not to interfere.
- This also includes buying products suitable for sensitive skin. I always thought my skin was so gnarly and bad that I needed the harshest, toughest products but I’ve learned my skin does better with products for sensitive skin.
That’s about it! So it’s not a matter of getting a bunch of products or needing to do MORE to the skin, it’s really about a minimal routine, pure drinking water and keeping those cysts covered until they are all gone.
If you read the post I made a few years ago I thought my acne was hormonal, but after reading the Medical Medium’s books I think maybe my liver was full of hormonal birth control pills and copper from the IUD. Maybe that is why switching to R.O. water made such a difference. I have made several changes since I read all the Medical Medium books and I will list them below, but just know that my skin was really good BEFORE I implemented any of this MM stuff.
Changes I have made since reading all the Medical Medium books (not for acne, just for fun & general health).
- 32 ounces of lemon water first thing every morning
- 16 ounces of celery juice 30-60 minutes after the lemon water
- I do feel like this combo is boosting my skin health even more
- Switched back to a plant based diet about 5 months ago. I would say I have a mostly vegan diet but you know me, I can’t turn down a cookie even if it has eggs & butter in it so I can not claim to be vegan.
- Started eating A LOT more fruit. I love it!
I have a couple new recipes to share and lots of things to post but as usual, I’m just super slow to get any of this on here!
Bye for now!