All right, on to it!
I've always had combination, acne-prone, dull, dehydrated and easily scarred skin. On top of that, I am also relatively fair skinned.
Growing up with acne prone skin was bad. But having awful scars that took forever to heal on fair skin was the biggest horror.
Surprisingly, I almost never get big pulsating pimples. It was all the small little pimples that never seem to 'mature' and my itchy fingers that did me in. The epidermis layer of my skin is relatively thin so sometimes, just squeezing whiteheads alone can cause it to bleed or scar =(
In my attempts to salvage, I turned to harsh products like Benzoyl Peroxide (who hadn't?), Tea Tree Oil, strong facial scrub, acid peeling and etc. None of them were really lasting. Of course, I paid my fair dues to saloons after saloons in an attempt to fix my skin but with little cash to spare, I found it hard to maintain this lifestyle.
Don't ask me why I didn't turn to a dermatologist. I think I was just afraid of the unknown =\
It was a constant struggle to keep my face clear and nothing works until B’liv Blackhead Sebum Gel (formerly called Cellnique) came along. It saved my world and for a short while, my face was totally cleared.
Then, I believe I was using Olay's moisturising facial foam. And with the recommendation of a friend, I turned to DIY oil cleanser. It was a blend of Jojoba, Grapeseed and Castor Oil.
Photo credits Wellnessmama
It was supposed to deeply cleanse and moisturise my skin. Maybe it did but I honestly couldn't tell. But it didn't give me any trouble either so I just continued using. Until one day, a few pimple popped out and said friend recommend me to apply the cleansing oil onto my pimples to help heal it. I went to bed with dabs of the oil on the pimples.
I bet you're face palming now.
Yes, as you expected, the condition worsened. As it appears, my friend might have been talking about using the castor oil only and Silly me used the entire 'jojoba x grapeseed x castor oil' Concoction -__-||| Naturally, the grease made the pimple worse and it spread the germs to other parts of my face.
And then it was all downhill from there.
My life went back to the usual roller coaster struggle to keep my skin condition in check and Cellnique didn't work as miraculously anymore. I was constantly trying out new products and ways to help my skin.
Things sort of floated until 2 years ago where I met with the worse condition my face ever had.
I remember it was after my Kagamine Rin “Regret message” shoot by the beach (not above photo). After a long day of exposure to the sun and sea breeze, my face finally broke down and gave me a sudden skin allergy reaction.
My face swelled, was red with raised bumps and was itchy as can be!
After that day, my skin felt so hurt and painful! It rejected pretty much every skincare product I use, even those that I've been using all along! I believe during that period and prior to it, I was using ZA's deep hydrating gel. I believe this product is currently discontinued, never seemed to find it in the stores anymore.
It was a very sad skin period for me. I can apply something on my skin and it would immediately tell me whether this product has ingredients that was reactive or not.
My skin was extremely delicate and sensitive. On top of that, it was also super dry! It was so dry and flaky that I could just dab water on my face and rub dead skin off ! Serums, gels, creams all didn't work!
Eventually I turned to a doctor (Polyclinic first) who prescribed me skin moisturizing cream and antiseptic cream. Then to another popular skin doctor many of my friends recommended. The doctor prescribed me 10 items to be used on my skin and advised me to focus on healing the dryness first.
I was hardworking and religiously dedicated at least 15 minutes(day & night) to applying skincare products everyday. Thankfully, the products did eventually heal the direct skin problem. But my skin condition became awfully dry after that. For someone who had previously only dared to use Gel based moisturizers, I now survive on creams. Not lotions but CREAMS!
Rosken’s Dry Skin Cream was one of the product that proved very useful then. I would still recommend their product to friends with dry skin. This is a very affordable product that moisturizes very well.
After the whole incident though, I did realise that the allergy reaction wasn't a sudden occurrence but rather, a gradual build up. I was so used to thinking that because my skin had pimples, I should use products to get rid of it. Because I have scars, I should work on making the scars disappear without thinking about the core of my skin's need.
Photo credits Foodembrace.
Meaning to say, the excessive use of Oatmeal mask was sucking hydration out from my skin and probably making it loses it's balance.
I eventually found Bionike’s Defence Rosys and my skin started picking up. Of course, it wasn't just with the use of one product but a change in a few couple on top of acquiring a new lifestyle.
Because this entry is getting too long, I'll talk about the individual products/methods in a review next time.Unfortunately for me, my skin still continud to suffer from occasional relapses whenever I used the wrong type of skincare or failed to notice the subtle changes in my skin in time. So it is a continuous job making sure my skin is happy xD
The final ending to this long entry is that we should all learn to understand how our skin works.
Different treatment will work differently for each person and the same person can have different skin quality at different times. The biggest mistake I made was thinking just because I’ve been using this product or method for a while, nothing bad will happen.
Understand that our skin can change due to climate and stress so be observant about it and be open to changing your skincare routine when you need to. Some skin care products/methods works great on the first trial but doesn't work well for our skin in the long run.
I'm still learning to work with my skin and it's far from perfect. But at least it is healthier now. xD