Showing posts with label acne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label acne. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Vitamin Supplements for Acne

Vitamin Supplements for Acne Treatment

During my pursuing of a cure for my acne, I dabbled in the obsessive and excessive taking of vitamin supplements. I probably spent nearly £100 on Holland and Barratt pills and at one point had to invest in a bigger pill box - I was taking that many supplements.

I heard about these as a cure through forums, research and online investigations. Whilst I will say that none of these worked for or against me in terms of my skin and my acne, many people have found great results with this form of treatment. Just make sure that you consult with your doctor (who will probably not advocate them but also will not be likely to tell you categorically not to).

Everyone's skin is different and thus, there are many different solutions for different people. I'm posting this to offer an option, not a be all and end all solution.

Since we have no idea what really goes on when making these supplements, I'm going to make a wild claim that getting these vitamins from a healthy diet will be much 'healthier' than popping pills. My reasons for taking these supplements were that I wanted to attack my body with healthy vitamins from all angles so I combined the two.

*Disclaimer* I'm not a nutritionist or a scientist so these are not facts, just my opinions.
 C, D3,, evening primrose oil,  clear skin tablets, v

The following is a list of the supplements I've had experience with and their supposed benefits:

Vitamin A: Retin A (topical retinoid) and Roaccutane (or Accutane) are derivatives of vitamin A and are frequently hailed as the most effective treatments of acne. This vitamin protes cellular production and tissue growth and repair.

Since I couldn't afford to eat much red meat, I decided to start taking Vitamin A supplements. I was taking 32,000IU a day - far more than the recommended amount. I experienced no negative effects on this dosage but only continued with this for 3 months due to disappointing results.

Natural sources of Vitamin A are: red meats, eggs yolks, oily fish and leaft vegetables such as spinnach and kale.

Vitamin B: I took B3, B5 (pantathenic acid) and a B complex (not all at the same time) These are meant to reduce stress, improve the metabolism and improve circulation. I can't exactly remember how this links to acne, it's just something I was recommended. The pantothenic acid B5 is meant to improve our ability to absorb vitamin D (I'll get to that later)

I can't remember how much of this I was taking and I never documented my dosage but I know that it was costing me a LOT of money... I was taking 500ml of the Patntothenic Acid B5

Natural sources of vitamin B are: liver (disgusting) and salmon, vegetables, eggs and meat (I think that all foods are a source of vitamins, I may get bored of writing the same thing soon...)

Zinc: I started on 25mg and upped to 50mg eventually. I was recommended this by a beautician who told me she'd cured her acne this way. Obviously I am a sucker for supplements so I immediately went out and stocked up. It's meant to improve the appearence of scars and enhance wound healing. I'll therefore assume that it improves new skin cell production.

I believed in this remedy so whole heartedly that I only just finished using up my stocks. As with all these supplements, it made no difference to my moderate acne... But it's definitely a scientifically recognised treatment for acne.

Natural soures are: eggs, wholegrains and nuts.

Niacin: Niacin is known for its ability to promote blood circulation; it opens up the capiliaries and allows blood to flow more easily through them. This causes a 'flush'; a visable sign of the improved blood flow. The flush isn't dangerous.

I started my dose on 100mg and experienced no flush. The next day I doubled this dose and found that my face, neck and back were very red and flushed; not dissimilar to an unattractive rash. It tingled a little and made my ears feel really hot. It lasted for about 20 minutes, sometimes longer which was embarrassing if I took my pills before I left for work and arrived at the office looking like I'd run there from Africa.

I have no idea where a natural source is for this. Lots of really good results recorded about this vitamin, if you can deal with the flush! (There are non-flushing versions available but I always thought that the flush was a sure sign that the pills were working)

Vitamin E: I was taking 400mg for this, plus bursting capsules and using the oil topically to treat my dry spotty skin. It's meant to be an antioxident and enhances cell repair (I feel like I'm repeating myself now...)

I remember my mum giving me these as well as fish oil tablets when I was doing my GCSES. She assumed that these pills would suddenly replenish the information I lost by skiving lessons in favour of snogging my teenage boyfriend for antisocial, grade affecting periods of time. I digress...

I still keep a stock of these; I use them in manicures for moisturising my cuticles, I take them now and again for essentially no reason and I use them as an intensive moisturising mask when in the bath.

Natural sources of this are: nuts and broccoli (YES! I love brocolli. A florret a day keeps the acne away)

Vitamin D(3): Again, vitamin D helps acne by improving cell production and repair. It also helps with reducing scarring. I was specifically taking D3 for my skin.

Since I don't see much sun living in England, and I tend to wear SPF 50 on my face to prevent aging, I wanted to top up my vitamin D intake to help my acne. I know that lots of people use sunbeds to help with acne but I didn't really want to for the reason stated above. I started on 1000IU and increased until I was taking 4000IU. No difference to note with the increased dosage apart from it was more expensive.

Natural sources of this are: the sun, and milk.

Evening Primrose Oil: I started taking this to calm my PMS and menstrual cramps. As acne can often be hormonal, I assumed that this may help with my skin. I applied it topically to calm redness and took orally to help rejuvinate my skin. It also helps with improving hydration of skin.

I can't remembe how much I was taking, I found vitamin E capsule oil a better moisturiser for my skin topically.

Vitamin C: I have taken vitamin C supplements for as long as I can remember... My mum used to buy the chewy gummy ones that I'd blatently overdose on due to the deliciousness. I take these in the winter to prevent colds. Benefits for skin are that they boost the ammune system and (you guessed it), help skin and cell repair.

And for any pirates and sailors reading this, it also prevents scurvy.

Natural sources are: Citrus fruits and brightly coloured vegetables.

I still take these. I rarely have colds so that is either a result of a childhood of casual hygene and a resulting increased immunity... or that vitamin C tablets have more benefits other than being a delicious morning treat.

Hopefully this has been helpful? Probably not, it's all very vague and probably inaccurate. Let me know if you have tried any vitamin supplements to help acne and your results!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Top Twelve Tips for Combating Acne

Top Twelve Tips for Combating Acne : How to Get Rid of Spots

*Disclamer* I'm not a dermatologist or an expert, these are merely the tips and tricks I learnt during my fight against spots and acne. These hints may be obvious, or useless! For me, the only thing that helped was a prescribed topical. However, these tips certainly help for healthier skin and a healthier body and may well help you.

Drink lots of water! 
Don't go overboard, obviously. I used to drink a pink of water every other hour during office hours PLUS tea and coffee and evening drinks. I must have been consuming more than a gallon a day. I pretty much constantly needed a piss. 

Eight glasses a day is really vague, not everyone has the same size glasses scientist dummy! I would say 2 litres a day is plenty. Stay away from sugary drinks and alcohol (I should take that advice I'm such a ginner), not just because they dehydrate your skin but also because they're pretty bad for your body as a whole. 

Get Eight Hours Sleep
Body needs its rest. Will also help with stress levels. Stress can often be a contributor to skin problems, if you're well rested you're less likely to sweat the small stuff. 

Change your pillows and sheets 
At least every fortnight, better still every week. I used to have major grumpines with my partner about his laundry habits. Now I just take clean pillow cases round when I stay over. Pillows can harbour lots of germs so wash them occasionally too

Clean your phones
Where does your mobile go? Pocket, bottom of bag, tables, the floor...? And you press that thing against your face?! It's disgusting when you think about what grime must be on your phone... Just use a wet wipe to give it a clean every now and then. That goes for land lines as well. 

Don't touch your face
And if you have to, wash your hands first. Think about where your hands have been, handling money (that's been handled by god knows how many people first), stroking your pet (my dog rolled in fox shit last week but that's a whole nother absolutely traumatising story), opening a public bathroom door... 

Now I don't want to go Harold Hughes on you but if you're having problems with your skin, it's probably a bit sensitive so I'd advise treating your skin very delicately.

Also... DON'T pick your skin. That includes squeezing. No matter how tempting it might be, it will almost always look worse afterwards. It will just spread the bacteria and make your skin inflamed. Don't do it. I'm serious. 

Eat six a day
Try to make sure they're mainly vegetables; fruit contains a lot of sugar which is bad for your teeth. Spinach is great for iron, tomatoes for antioxidents, broccoli is f*cking delicious... If you want to look great on the outside a good start is to enrich your body from the inside. 

Get outdoors
My mum was actually prescribed a UV face lamp for her acne in her 20s. I'm not sure what the science is behind that but vitamin D levels are generally quite low; people spend so much time in doors and wear very high SPFs when they are outside. Vitamin D tablets are a good substitute but I find that being outdoors adds to my well being which in turn can reduce stress.

Keep active
Again, keeping healthy inside and out aren't exactly going to go against you when trying to get your skin clear

Cleansing is a separate step from removing makeup
I am CONSTANTLY chastising my friends and sister for this. I definitely used to be an offender; I'd use a soap to clean my face and that's it. What I discovered that when I started using a toner following washing my face, there would always be a grimy makeupy dirty residue on the cotton wool pad showing that I wasn't cleaning my face effectively. 
So, even if you just use something cheap olive oil or baby oil, use a separate makeup remover BEFORE cleansing your face; it's a much more fail safe way of getting all the days grime off your face.

THEY HAVE NO PLACE IN YOUR FACIAL ROUTINE (in my humble opinion... I get a bit capslock happy when it comes to skin care). They don't do a good enough job on cleansing your precious skin and they are pften much more abrasive than your hands or a cotton pad and when your skin is sensitive, you don't want to be aggravating it. 

Clean your make up brushes
I used to never clean my brushes AND chuck them in my purse/handbag amongst all my other crap. How very naughty of me. Depending on your usage, I'd recommend cleaning your brushes every two weeks, and if you're taking them around in your bag, put them in a clean brush roll or cosmetic bag. 

Be patient
Something that my dermatologist told me is that skin is on a six week cycle. If you start doing something to treat your skin, you won't see the effects for up to six weeks. If you do anything to your skin, hang in there for the six weeks to find out if its effective or not. This is definitely the case with my skin and Epiduo... It just takes patience and staying positive, you will find the thing to help your skin eventually. In the mean time, deep breaths and keep smiling. 

*Other than the photos of myself, the other images are from multiple sources via google

Monday, 29 October 2012

Clinique Anti -Blemish / Acne Solutions Foundation Review

Clinique Anti Blemish / Acne Solutions Foundation Liquid Makeup Review 

I bought this foundation when I started getting acne; I wanted make up that would cover my existing spots without causing new break outs. As you can see from my photo, I repurchased... but in a different colour. I now mix the two together in varying quantities depending on my level of face tannage. 

Before - no make up

After - one thin layer of Clinique Acne Solutions Foundation

Coverage: High medium to full coverage. 

Finish: Very matte. Almost a powder finish.

Application: Buildable, easy to blend. It's not as fast drying as other full coverage foundations such as Revlon Colourstay so you can take your time a little more with the application. 

Durability: This lasts definitely around 8-9 hours. I've never worn it any longer than that but I have a feeling that with a good setting powder/spray it would last 10-12. With lighter foundations (Bourjouis Healthy Mix and BB creams) 
they tend to start to slide and become patchy after around 6-7 hours of wear. 

Ingredients: This contains 0.5% salicylic acid - the active ingredient which helps combat acne

Colour Range: I am not a big fan of the range, they certainly don't have a colour that matches me exactly hence having to mix two colours. I have it in 001 Fresh Alabaster and 004 Fresh Vanilla

Packaging: The bottle is plastic which I find a little bit disappointing for a HE foundation (usually they are in glass bottles which to me are a little more luxurious), it has a squeezy nozzle which makes it very easy to control the amount you use. As always from Clinque, the box it came in was gorgeous but alas, I never keep them or I'd end up hoarding a heap of useless boxes. 

Price: Boots RRP is £22 for 30ml. It's not the cheapest foundation but a little goes a long way so it's likely to last longer.

mixing two shades to match my skin tone 

Over all thoughts...
I would definitely recommend this for someone with oily skin... However, if you have skin that is on the dry side or are using a treatment such as Benzyl Peroxide or any other topical treatment that dries the skin out, this foundation may not be great for those areas. When I first started using Epiduo, my skin was dry and red raw, this foundation was flaking away like crazy paving. It was great for my t-zone and cheeks, but on my chin it looked terrible. 

Now my skin is back to normal (for me that is still oily T-zone but no spots at the moment), I think this is fantastic coverage, it doesn't break me out at all, application is very easy and buildable. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

My battle against acne, my cure and my trauma.

My Battle Against Acne: 
My Cure and My Trauma 

This is my first blog post... It's a sensitive topic for me but I'm going to try and be as informative, honest and candid as possible.

Preparing to write this I collected together the many photos I took of my skin as I made my battle against acne. Looking at the photos made me feel quite emotional, my skin was bad but my self esteem was worse. I don't think that anyone who hasn't had acne can quite understand how those spots can make you feel. 

I'd never take it back though: I learned so much during my journey with acne. That's why I decided to start a blog. 

To put things into context, here is my skin during my fight. I never took a photo of my skin at its worst but I am forever grateful that I recorded every bit of my experience through treating it! 

2010 - taking antibiotics

And here is my skin today

October 2012 - no make up

The main aim of this post is to share my experiences in the hope that it might give hope to maybe someone. I relied on the internet, especially for advice and support so hopefully I can give something back. 

My story: 

I had clear skin throughout puberty, I had a crappy cleansing routine, would frequently sleep in my makeup, never drank enough water or had enough sleep and I still had clear skin. 

At about 19 I started getting a few spots around my mouth. It was while I was living in Australia, and I wasn't super bothered about it at the time. I was drinking a lot of beer and living a completely unhealthy life style so I wasn't too surprised.
When I came home to the UK my skin went insane. I had already begun to be much more vigilant with my skin care and it just got worse and worse. Eventually I ended up with 15-20 active spots on my chin, cheeks and sometimes forehead at all times along with giant cycts.  My skin was so messed up. 

Towards the end I'd only have four or five active spots, but the red scars looked nearly as bad in my eyes

Having really big sore spots made it hurt to smile and laugh. Not that I felt like doing that often anyway

What I Tried
  • At first I figured that my weight loss had triggered it (I gained two stone whilst living in Aus and lost three stone in two months very quickly on my return). So I gained weight. This didn't work. 
  • My friend's mom who is a doctor gave me some sample tubes of Duac which I used without result. 
  • I stopped wearing makeup. 
  • I drank 1.5 gallons of water a day
  • I went to my GP who prescribed me Duac again. And it didn't work. AGAIN!
  • My housemate used to have acne and had a massive stash of oxytetracycline which he gave me. I took this religiously, waiting the two hours before and after food etc. These didn't work either. 
  • Birth control- GP prescribed Dianette, despite me saying that I wanted Yasmin. I was only on Dianette for 2 weeks when I found it unbarable; I was an emotional wreck!
  • I decided that if my acne was hormonal, I'd better try and rid my body of any unnecessary hormones. I needed birth control so opted for the copper IUD coil. This made my periods very heavy and eventually my body rejected the coil. I was put on Yasmin which is fine ; it didn't clear my acne but it didn't cause it either. 
  • I used a range of supplements and holistic remedies after reading stories on the org: 
  • Vitamin A, B3 Niacin, B5, C, D3, E, evening primrose oil, zinc, clear skin tablets. My pill box was massive. But I didn't actually notice a difference in my skin. Just my bank balance. I was spending an unreasonable about on supplements! 
  • Holistic; egg white masks, lemon juice, ACV, asprin mask, honey mask, meditation!
  • Diet; I don't think that diet affects my acne. I went 6 months eating for my skin; no dairy, no sugar, no wheat or gluten, extra protein and fruit and veg, would eat avodacos, carrots, oily fish!¦ Lovely things but I found myself getting obsessive, I was afraid to eat dinner in restaurants, embarrassed to eat with other people. My weight was dropping again. 
  • I used teatree oil, teatree cream, witch hazel, hydrogen peroxide, sudocrem
  • High End Products; After some research online, I decided to buy Clinique's 3 Step Anti Blemish Solutions Regimen (CABS I'll call it for short). This was a moisturiser, a foaming cleanser, clarifying lotion, moisturiser and a spot treatment. Also bought the foundation. I used this to the letter for around 2 months but found no results. The clarifying lotion was very strong, the moisturiser was not moisturizing, the spot treatment was no better than a cheap brand products. I was disappointed. I switched to the bar soap to see if I had better results with that. 
  • Actually I have sent most of my Clinique things back; they reimbursed me the full amount! Very kind of them. From now on I will be more wary of the Clinique ladies; a lab coat does not a doctor make!

Just a quick note about makeup; a lot of people are surprised when I say that I didn't really wear cosmetics the entire time I had spots. My reasoning for this is that I felt makeup would clog my pores and make matters worse (despite my derm reassuring me it wouldn't affect me). I also felt like makeup looked so bad over my ruined skin I thought I may as well not even try. 

It wasn't such a hard step though, I'd been living in Australia for over a year and didn't really wear make up even for a night out. You might think that's strange but I loved how laid back that was! 

I went to my GP and said that I needed to see a dermatologist. There didn’t seem to be an end in sight. It took 6 weeks to get an appointment and another month for that to happen!
My dermatologist is absolutely lovely. I broke down in tears when I was telling her about my struggles and she couldn’t have been kinder.

She prescribed Epiduo and Cetaphil moisturiser.
I went back for a second appointment with my photo skin diary and a list of questions, she said that Clinique products are too strong, that I need to treat my skin gently, not attack it. She recommended Simple products.

She also prescribed Tetralysal Lymecycline antibiotics. They taste like shit. After taste is awful, like old old shoes. 

Epiduo: started on June 24th

My derm told me to use this once a day, preferably at night.
I thought that I knew best and that using it twice a day would double my recovery time.
I was SOOOO wrong! My skin went insane. I was expecting some flaking but it just ruined my skin. It was bright red, unstoppably flakey ; if I tried to exfoliate it off it would become red raw and painful and flake all over again. It hurt to smile.
I stopped being an idiot and used as prescribed. It has been amazing. It took about 2 weeks of proper use to see results and around four mouths to get 100% clear. 
I've been using Epiduo for EXACTLY a year now! I couldn't recommend it enough, it's changed my life. I will probably use it every day for ever. 

The epiduo made my skin red raw... literally

Epiduo caused my skin to peel, scab and crack. Hottie

Over the past three years I’ve been at breaking point. I’ve shed many tears about my skin; literally looking in the mirror and sobbing.

Fighting acne is truly exhausting, it’s nothing you’ve done, it’s not your fault... And that makes it so much worse. If it’s not something I’m doing, then I can’t change it and it’s out of my control.
I’ve spent so much money on skin products; I prioritise my skin in my budget over having fun.

I used to sit in front of the mirror, painstakingly applying make up to cover my skin, but my skin was so sore and fragile, as soon as I moved my face it would crack. I'd cry and sob and end up cancelling. That would happen all the time. 

If I ever made it out, I'd constantly be checking my reflection to make sure my foundation wasn't flaking away... and if it was, I'd start peeling it off so I could put yet more on. Obviously it would look truly shit. My throat would contract, my breathing quickened and I felt like I'd have a panic attack. Thank god for gin :)

I used to select which side of people I would sit according to which side of my face was the best
It was ALWAYS on my mind, all consuming.

I wrote at the time: Over the last few months I have learnt not to look in the mirror so much, and when I do, I train my eyes not to go straight for the spots and scars and focus on my eyes. It really helps. Taking deep breaths can work wonders as well!


I am thankful every time I look in the mirror that my skin is now acne free. I actually quite enjoy showing off my before pictures in a weird way... 

I do still break out sometimes, it's usually when I go on holiday which I'll attribute to a change of routine, water and stress. I don't let it get me down though, I trust my epiduo to deal with it!

I'm not an expert so I can't give any real advice other than what I found personally helped me.

Everyone’s skin is different; what helps one person might not help another. It’s taken me quite a while to find something that works for me!

A website that was a great help to me was I had a lot of support from fellow acne sufferers, learnt a great deal about treatments and remedies and made some good friends. Having people with you who understand what you're going through when it comes to acne is really important.

My skin November 2011

Epiduo Gel

And just a couple more of my skin now (October 2012)

If anyone has any questions about the things I’ve tried then please leave a comment and I'll get back to you. If anyone would like to share their experiences I'd love to hear about them! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...