The 4 Biggest Skincare Lessons I’ve Learned From Having ‘Problem’ Skin

March 5, 2019

Just like your personality, your skin is unique to you.

You may have dry skin, oily skin, normal skin, or even combination skin. I, for one, produce excessive amounts of oil and often hate my face for it.

Sometimes it looks like someone painted over my face with olive oil. Due to my oil slick of a face, I battled with cystic acne for most of high school and into university. Whenever I left the house, I made sure to cake on my makeup so that it wouldn’t slide off by mid-afternoon. However, doing so only made my skin more aggravated, and I usually paid the price (even more pimples?? Ugh).

I tried clarifying face masks, acne spot treatments, and I even went to the dermatologist to get something a little more powerful. Nothing I put on my face seemed to make any difference! In fact, every single acne-focused product that I used made my skin more and more unhappy.

So, after many years of struggling to clear up my skin, testing out what now seems to have been millions of products, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. Read on for 4 of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about skincare over the year from having ‘problem’ skin.

1. Be proactive

The thing that seems to have worked best for me is preventing further skincare concerns from even happening in the first place.  By getting to know yourself and your skin at an early age, you can get ahead of years worth of stress and damage. Remember when you were 16 and you felt like you were indestructible? It was as though you could endure any amount of sunburnt, dehydrated skin, and still bounce back from it a week later. You could use a random drugstore face wash that ultimately stripped your face of any and all moisture, and still look (relatively) fab when you got to school.

Turns out, those are the years that we should be the most careful because at that age we start to develop good skincare habits (and habits in general). If I had applied my daily SPF in place of 3 pounds worth of loose powder, I might have prevented some of the sun damage and acne scarring that has started to appear along my hairline and chin. The point is, by starting to take care of your skin as soon as possible, you can prevent that damage (and even skin cancer later on down the line) instead of having to reverse it.

Just like your personality, your skin is unique to you You may have dry skin, oily skin, normal skin, or even combination skin. I, for one, produce excessive amounts of oil and often hate my face for it. Sometimes it looks like someone painted over my face with olive oil. Due to my oil slick of a face, I battled with cystic acne for most of high school and into university. Whenever I left the house, I made sure to cake on my makeup so that it wouldn’t slide off by mid-afternoon.

However, doing so only made my skin more aggravated, and I usually paid the price (even more pimples?? Ugh). I tried clarifying face masks, acne spot treatments, and I even went to the dermatologist to get something a little more powerful. Nothing I put on my face seemed to make any difference! In fact, every single acne-focused product that I used made my skin more and more unhappy.

So, after many years of struggling to clear up my skin, testing out what now seems to have been millions of products, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. Read on for 4 of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about skincare over the year from having ‘problem’ skin.

2. Skincare starts from the inside

Health, Diet, Alzheimer's Disease, Wellbeing, Brain health

Another one of the lessons I have learned on my journey, and easily my most talked about, is that taking care of your skin starts from within. Literally, it starts from inside your body. As I said before, getting to know yourself and your skin is of the utmost importance. When you strengthen your relationship with your body, it will reveal to you what foods, drinks, supplements, and even beauty products just don’t work for you.

For example, I have noticed over the last few months that my body does not appreciate when I eat foods that have been deep fried. They cause major breakouts and sometimes even sluggishness or fatigue. This has also shown me that there is a direct link between what I put in my body and how my skin reacts to it.

However, if I could only recommend one skincare tip to people for the rest of my life, it would be to start taking probiotics. This one is really no secret, but these gut healthy friends have completely transformed my skin. Probiotics are live bacteria that boost your immune system and help prevent gut viruses and parasites. They have also been used for years to treat skin conditions like eczema and, you guessed it, acne! Find these microscopic superheroes in fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi, but you can also find them in pill form. Taking probiotics on a daily basis has allowed my skin to easily bounce back from eating piles of junk food (would not recommend) and keep me, well, regular.

3. Be patient, and consistent

Coming from me, this lesson is a big one. I am not known for my patience, but it is something I continue to work on. All these cosmetic companies promise us brilliant, luminous skin overnight, but that’s just not realistic. In an ideal world, you can put a face mask on for 20 minutes and your face will be instantly glowing (I wish).

Back in the real world, figuring out how to solve our skincare challenges takes time. Just as getting fit and healthy takes hard work and determination, clearing up acne, rosacea or dry skin flare-ups requires more than just one facial every 4 or 5 months. While I am proud to say that my skin is now clear (minus the one or two pizza-related pimples), it has taken me quite a long time and quite a lot of patience to get to where I am today. So, one of the major takeaways has been: GIVE. IT. TIME.

4. It’s okay to ask for help

The last thing I’ve learned from countless hours and dollars invested in my skin, is that it is okay to ask for help.  Finding the right products for your skin does not have to be a solo mission. You are NOT alone.

I bet that if you Googled your exact skincare concerns that you would find articles, videos, and even scientific research studies that can shed some light on your situation (and maybe even provide you with a solution). Make an appointment with your dermatologist, talk to the associate working at your fave beauty company, or have a conversation with your best friend, but keep in mind that what works best for one person may not work best for you. The journey to perfect skin may be everlasting, but it doesn’t have to be lonely!

Images via shutterstock and tumblr.


This article has been republished from A Girl In Progress with full permission. You can view the original article here.

If you liked this story, read more like it on A Girl In Progress:
How To Stop Your Skin Going Nuts When You Go Off The Pill 
Starting A New Skincare Regime? Do These 5 Things First 
7 Quick Beauty Fixes For The Busy Working Girl 

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