Two months ago there was a question posted in an online beauty community group in which I was a part of. The question was, “What is your skin condition during the quarantine? Was it better or worse?” It was difficult for me to answer because my skin condition in the early days of the quarantine was worse. And like everyone else, struggling during the time of the pandemic is hard, so having a skin problem adds up to my stress and worry.
Last month, I posted in my Instagram stories a quick snapshot of my skincare journey from late March to June. Let me tell you upfront that I am in no way a skin expert or someone who can remedy or solve problems of other people’s skin concerns. Allow me to share with you my skincare journey especially when I had an awful episode of acne earlier this year.
Late March 2020
The early signs of my skin problem started around November 2019 last year. I noticed that I have acne and bumps on the side of my face. I wasn’t sure if it was because of a certain makeup product that I was using at that time, so initially, I thought it can be remedied by my skincare routine. However, as months pass by I noticed that my acne keeps on appearing on the sides of my face. And then late in March, I was more alarmed when I confirmed that my acne problem became more persistent.
1st week of April 2020
By the start of April, I’ve decided to stop using the skincare products that were in my rotation. To add, the city in which I am living in was placed in an enhanced community quarantine or total lockdown. Most of the stores and online shops were closed and unable to deliver products that I can use to remedy my skin problem. One of the good things about being a hoarder is that I have other skincare products that I can readily use. I decided to open and use my Blemish Rescue Series from Fresh Formula in high hopes that it will solve my acne breakouts.
2nd week of April 2020
I did notice some improvements a week after using the Blemish Rescue Series. Some of my acne has dried up but it left dark spots and marks on my face (as you can see in the photo). At the same time, I suffered from extreme dryness and patchiness around the nose and lip area. I suspect it was the Blemish Doctor Anti-Acne Facial Toner that caused dryness on my face because it contains witch hazel extract. I’ve used toners with witch hazel extract ingredient in the past and I’ve observed how it dries up my face. On the other hand, I found that the Doctor Clear Overnight Repair Cream was effective because it directly addresses my acne concern.
And while I thought that my skincare routine was resolving my acne, I continue seeing bumps and breakouts on the sides of my face. I wasn’t really sure if I was purging or not, but I really felt frustrated and hopeless at this point. I felt so hopeless that I was telling my boyfriend and my sister (via video chat) on how stressed I am with my skin problem. It was then they suggested that I should seek consultation from an expert, specifically from a dermatologist.
3rd week of April 2020
I still did not see any improvements in my skin condition. I initially planned to visit a dermatologist as soon as quarantine will be over. Unfortunately, the quarantine was extended and I couldn’t visit a skin clinic for consultation. I asked around and even posted in the online beauty community for referrals on online consultation with a dermatologist. And by fate, someone from the online beauty community referred The Skin Wellness Dermatology and Laser Clinic. I sent them a message and they instructed me to follow their online consultation process. The consultation happened via Viber and they sent me a couple of questions regarding my skin condition. Days after, they provided me a personal prescription which includes antibiotic and topical medicine. They also curated a skincare routine in which I need to follow:
- Doxycycline Capsule – in which I was required to take for 14 days (2 capsules in a day). It helps treat moderate to severe inflammatory acne.
- Lactic Acid Soap – as a facial wash to address my acne, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and other skin problems that contribute to my dull and uneven complexion.
- A-Toner – aims to gently exfoliate the skin to reduce acne and lightens skin due to blemishes. It also helps hydrate skin and prevents further flaking.
- Retinoic Acid – this is a type of retinoid that easily addresses acne and skin problems. Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A in which they are considered as antioxidants. It helps in making skin cells healthier by exfoliating when used in the right amount or dosage.
- Zinclaire Gel – Zinc is an essential mineral that helps the body inside and out. This is also an anti-inflammatory in which it is helpful to combat acne.
4th week of April 2020
1st week of May 2020
I followed my derma’s instructions on antibiotic and topical medicines for the next 2 weeks. Lo and behold, I’ve seen improvements on my skin! My acne dried up and my breakouts have lessened. I’ve also noticed how my skin gradually clears up especially from the time that I had an awful skin condition from the 3rd week of April.
Last week of May 2020
By end of May, I have minimal acne and a few dark spots and blemishes. I still continued using the products that my dermatologist have recommended. ☺️
Lessons Learned and Tips that I can share
Even if my skin problems have lessened I still make sure to be careful and vigilant when it comes to my food diet, supplement intake, and skincare products that I use. I’m not sure if it’s because of my age or my hormones, but having awful acne and breakout wasn’t really my problem when I was younger. Having experienced this, I learned that skin problems can happen to anyone and it can become a serious issue when not addressed or remedied right away. I learned that I need to be more careful when it comes to my routine or products that I use. Here are some tips that I can share when it comes to skincare:
- Know your skin condition and skin type: This will help you proceed on which products you are allowed to use or you’re prohibited in using. If unsure, please make time to consult with an expert or dermatologist.
- Know what ingredients are best for you: Before, I’m a skeptic when it comes to using products that contain acids such as lactic acid, retinol, and others. Going through this process I learned that if you diligently use the right skin ingredient, it will work well on you. Of course, research and consulting with an expert is important. If you’re not up for any risk, don’t proceed with using a specific ingredient in which you have no idea what it is or what it’s for. Remember, wrong use of ingredients may cause severe damage on your skin.
- Don’t skip skincare: By hook or by crook, never ever dare to miss your skincare routine. Believe me, start from your teen years and be consistent up to your 20s. You will thank me when you listen to my advice.
The internet is at your disposal to conduct your research and study on which skincare fits you. Here are some links that helped me address my acne episode:
- r/beautytalkph – It’s an online Filipino community in Reddit that talks about beauty (makeup, skincare, etc.) A ton of Redditors can help you if you have any questions on skincare or if you like any recommendations on products that you can use.
- helloavabeauty – It’s an AI-powered personal skincare consultant based in the US but they post very informative details and tips on skincare and ingredients. I even bookmark and screencap some of their content because it is super helpful!
- Project Vanity – Another online Filipino beauty community and their content is very helpful and insightful as well. They provide skincare reviews and post topics regarding skin condition or problems such as acne, etc. They also have an online community in Facebook.
And that is it! Here’s a latest photo of me early in July. 🥰 I feel more confident now that my acne problems have gone away. My skin condition is still a work in progress but I’m happy that I was able to get past my acne episode. Remember, skincare is self care! Take care of yourself so that your older self will thank you later. 😍 Until then, xo! 😘