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Dienstag, 1. Oktober 2013

My struggle with acne Part 1 - How I lost all my self-confidence

My background - When my acne started

When I was a teenager I never used to have acne. That's probably because at the age of 16, I started to use the birth control pill.
It all started when I was around 20 years old. At that time I quit using the birth control pill.
At first I only had a few pimples on my cheek and T-zone. I tried different drugstore anti-acne products, but they didn't work.

Meeting the dermatologist

I decided to go meet a dermatologist. It was around November 2011.
I explained to her, that I wanted to get rid of those pimples.
I asked her, if the wrong nutrition can be a cause of acne. She explained to me that she don't think that nutrition is a cause of my acne.
She gave me some creams for my breakouts. (Differin and Acne-mycin)
I applied them like she told me to do. And after about 2 months I still couldn't see any progress. I decided to meet her again. She gave me another cream. (Epiduo)
After using this product along with the Acne-mycin, my skin started to get reeeeeeeally dry, itchy and red. I had to stop using the products because my entire face was burning every time I applied them.

I went to see her again. AGAIN she gave me a cream against dryness. I really started to get annoyed by her!! I felt like she didn't even care about my feeling. Just giving me one cream after another. On top of that they weren't even improving my skin.
She told me, that it would need some time for the products to be effective. It could go up to 6 months.
I was expecting her to give me some hormones as a treatment, but she was against it.
I never went to meet her again. I just felt like this was a waste of money.

How I got interested in Skincare

I stopped using those products that she gave me, because I felt like my skin was suffering because of them.
During the time I was visiting the dermatologist, I made researches on internet about acne.
I don't remember how, but I found on Youtube a beauty-guru called bubzbeauty. I got addicted to her videos and got interested in the products she used. For the first time I started to try out asian products.
I also started to have a daily skin care routine, which I never had before. When I was a teenager I only used cleansing milk and a toner. My mom told me back then, that cleansing foams, gels and cream would only dry out my skin. Sometimes I would use a face cream, but I just picked them randomly without knowing, if they really were good for my skin type.

My first fix skin care routine
  • Laneige Multicleanser: This is by faaaaaar my favorite cleanser. I still use it now.
  • Juju Aquamoist Whitening lotion: Back then I wasn't really convinced about this product, but two years later after trying different types of toners, I would say that this is a great product for sensitive skin.
  • Laneige Balancing Emulsion for combination to oily skin: I love the watery consistency of this product. I really like it. In general Laneige has amazing products.

Clinique 3-Step Systeme

My skin calmed down after quitting to use the products my dermatologist gave me.
Some time later I started again to have a lot of breakout due to stress.
It was right before Summer 2012 when someone suggested me to try the 3-Step Systeme from Clinique. I purchased the sample packaging.

  • Cleansing soap: I wasn't really impressed. I had the feeling I have to apply a lot of product for it to be effective. Compared to the Laneige, it felt like applying only water on the face.
  • Toner: You could definitely tell that there is a lot of alcohol inside. I wasn't really impressed about it, felt like it was drying out my skin too much.
  • Dramatically different moisturizing Gel: OMG I fell in looove with this product. It totally controlled my oiliness throughout the entire day. Love, love, love!!!!

While testing this product my skin broke out a lot more then usual. I thought this was because the products are being effective and dragging all the bad stuff out of my skin.
After the sample packaging was finished, I only decided to repurchase the moisturizing gel.
The breakouts didn't recover and my skin even started to get red. I went to the Clinique store and the lady suggested me to try the anti-blemish 3-step system. The outcome was a disaster. --> check out my Anti-blemish review

First I was using instead of the Anti-blemish solutions moisturizer the Dramatically different moisturizing gel.

After a few weeks I started to mix the moisturizers together.

As I realised my skin was reacting badly against the alcohol-based toner, I exchanged it with The Body Shop's Seaweed Clarifying Toner. (It's for sensitive skin)

In the end I also changed the Anti-Blemish Solutions moisturizer with The Body Shop's Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. Which I was using in the evening.

My skin never looked soooo bad as during the time I was using Clinique. From desperation I tried sooo many products at the same time that my skin was exhausted.

Beside my skin care routine I was using several anti-acne spot treatments.

Attention: With this I don't want to say that Clinique is a bad product. It just didn't work for me!! There must probably be something inside those products that I'm allergic or that are just too strong for me.

For example I realised that alcohol-based products are too harsh for me. I can't use any product that contain alcohol, it doesn't matter what brand it is.

New Year - My decision to change

Right after 2013 started I made up my mind. I stopped using too many products at the same time. I started to do new researches on internet, changed my eating habit and started to do more exercises.


I decided to write down everything that I ate. Even if it's not proven that nutrition can cause acne. I still believe that it has an influences.
I even changed my eating habits. I used to eat a lot of chunk food throughout the day, like chocolate, sweets and salty food. I never ate breakfast before, but now I'm trying to eat every morning.
This way I won't get hungry until lunchtime. For dinner I try to only eat vegetables. Trying to stay away from heavy food.
I eat a lot more vegetables and fruits. They are a bit of a substitution for my sweets.
It's hard for me to not eat chocolate. I would say it's my addiction. I ate everyday chocolate. Now I'm trying to avoid it. Restricting it to once a week.

I try to drink at least 2 liter water or tea a day. Staying away from sugary drinks.


For exercises, I went once a week to Zumba until April. I need some sport where I have fun. Jogging is way too boring for me. The same goes for Fitness. I'm really lazy if it comes to sport. Not really talented in anything.
I'm trying to exercise at home for about an hour every day. With good music it work really well. =)

Beauty Products - New Skin Care

I started to use as less products as possible. I quit using any type of anti-acne products. Instead I'm going for oil-free moisturizing products.
I stopped using spot treatments. Instead I use natural products like, honey, oatmeal, cinnemon and olive oil to treat my acne.

Again I changed my skin care routine. From January until March I was trying different types of products to see what is the best for me. Here is how my skin care routine looked until March:

  • Laneige Multicleanser: Ou yesssss!!! I told you this is by far my favorite.
  • Home made honey and cinnamon mask: for reducing my redness and scarring
  • In the Mornings: Beautymate Purifying and Hydrating nano cream with SPF 15
  • In the Evenings: The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Night Cream

As you can see I wasn't applying any toner. I just wanted to use as less product as possible.

What happened to the Clinique Moisturizing gel that I was so in love with??

I went out of it and thinking about how long this product lasted me, I realized that I started to use this product at the time were my acne started to look bad. I never thought this product could be the reason for my breakouts. I never took it in consideration. Just to test it, I stopped using it.
Since I stopped using it, my skin complexion seemed to get better. I only had random pimples on my cheek and chin. The redness is slowly fading away. It's really hard for me to believe that this product can be a reason for those breakout.

April 2013 - I left for Japan

I was hoping for my skin to recuperate until April, but my skin was still really red and scarred. I had to apply a lot of make up to cover up everything.
Then it was time for me to leave.

In April I went to Tokyo and there I was testing out some new products.
My skin changed drastically in Japan.
There I found myself again. All that self-confidence that I was lacking came slowely back again.
I found products there that were good for my skin. They are still now healing what was destroyed in the past.
Now my skin looks that good that I'm not ashamed anymore to walk around without makeup. All the red spots have almost fade away.

I will write a second post about how I got clear skin in Japan.

What I have learnt...

Have control over your products

What I want to say with this post is that maybe the cause of breakouts could be something that we use or do in a daily basis and we are not even aware of that. Since I started to write down everything I feel like I have more control over it.
I also realized that not every product has to have salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in it.
Sometimes just keeping the face clean without putting too much on it is already enough. Less is more.
I try to keep everything clean that comes near my face. Just like cell phone and especially your hands!!!

Skin-appearence and Self-confidence - They are so close together!

It's been such a long time since I felt self-confident about my skin. I had such a hard time to cover up all those red spots and pimples. When I looked at the mirror I felt like crying. I asked myself why, why do I have to have those pimples? Why won't they go away? There were soo many days were I just wanted to give up.
But I gained strength thanks to that beauty-guru bubzbeauty.
She gave me strength to believe that I can overcome all this. That one day my face will look pimple free, spot free and that those stupid scars will slowly fade away.
I believe in that and I know I'm not the only one that's suffering from acne. I want say to you to never give up.
Don't let people influence you!! They laugh about your acne?? Well laugh back at them, because they're definitely not perfect either. Everyone has something to complain about. But just complaining and hoping for a miracle isn't the answer.
You want some results then you have to fight for it. I know it's not easy, but giving up is not the answer.

What I would do differently now:
  • The moment my acne became worse, I should have stopped using all the products.
  • I should have changed my dermatologist.
  • I shouldn't have used so many products at the same time.


  1. I'm pleased to see that you are well on your way to getting rid of your acne, and that you have some great tips to impart when it comes to dealing with this specific skin problem. Observing for ourselves what could be causing the breakouts is the starting point in fighting acne. Know them and get rid of them. It's the same for products you use. Don't just go out and buy every product you see. Rather, know your skin type and what would work for you best. And once you found the right products for you, stick to them and don't get easily swayed by new trends.
    George @ Amani MedSpa

    1. Looking back I believe I could have prevented a lot of damage. But what happened can't be erased and I learnt a lot during this time. It was important for me to share my experience with others, because acne is a big problem and it's not easy to deal with it.
      Thank you for reading my review =)