SKIN SERIES #1: My Journey
Hello WONDERFUL PEOPLE!
First off- thank you for your patience. I know I have been that awfully annoying person on socials lately plugging all these things that I can’t tell you about- but it’s finally here!!
Welcome to my SKIN SERIES: a 4 part blog post that covers EVERYTHING I could possibly share about skin. I know what you’re thinking… “four parts for goodness sake Kasia” but seriously it’s going to be amazing and I have so much to tell you.
Part 1 will cover my journey. It’ll outline the acne phases I went through, what I’ve done so far and where my skin is at today. Stay tuned, keep reading.
Part 2 (the best) will talk to you a bit about what I’ve done to treat my acne. I want to cover EVERYTHING in this one. From treatments that did nothing all the way through to what I swear by.
Part 3 will talk products. I’ll outline my routine, what works for me and then even talk a bit about what you could use- no matter your budget, skin type, time restraints or age.
The final part, number 4, will break down some common myths and misconceptions about SKIN. I’m organising a chat with one or two industry experts, and would LOVE to hear what you want answered. No question is too silly- but part four won’t happen without you. Please leave your questions down below or if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, email me here.
Now: if you begin reading this and Deja Vu hits rapidly, you aren’t imagining things. I touched on this topic back in Oct 2017 on my old blog, but would love for you to keep reading anyway, as I expand a little more.
Both my parents grew up with acne- Dad’s during his teenage years and Mum’s returned through her pregnancies and only really let off after she turned 40. Up until pretty much the DAY I started high school, I was totally spot free.
In 2011 my skin progressively got worse and worse. It began like it always does, got a few spots round my time of the month and then they’d retreat, but mine stayed put and eventually I had a full face of cystic acne. I think the hardest part here was most of my friends were yet to hit this problem- everyone has skin issues in their teens, its the joys of hormones, but mine came super early (and then played a nasty game of hide and seek…)
After a couple of months of trying to fix it with new skincare, topical ointments and the suchlike Mum and I decided we needed to take action. I was blessed, Mum had also been through the same issues, so totally felt my pain and didn’t want me to end up with scarring like she had, so we got me straight into medical-grade skincare, facial procedures, skincare plans, eating regimes, everything under the GODDAMN SUN, but nothing seemed to work.
A lot of money was spent, a lot of tears were shed, and a lot of dreams crushed *warning: I am super dramatic*.
But in all seriousness, acne ruled my life for a good 4 and a half years. It knocked confidence, it was all I could focus on and it really got me down. I’m slightly lucky, slightly mad that this all happened during a time of RETROCam for iPhone so none of my 2011 photos show anything at all, totally covered in a yellow, god-awful filter.
Once I was old enough to accept the fact that it simply wasn’t going away, I looked into hormonal contraceptives, antibiotics, topical creams, drugs like roaccutane and the such-like. I had semi-successful stints with a prescription antibiotic, Doxycycline, however the acne reappeared as my body got used to the pill. The above photo, if you’re finished wetting yourself at how WEIRD I was, was from 2014, after my first round of antibiotics. The worst stint I had was my topical one- this involved lots of creams, some of which burnt, that dried my skin out to the point of (what seemed like) NO return. This attempt also left me with some pretty nasty scarring.
In mid-2015, I moved medical practices so my needs (& wants) were better understood around my skin. My OG doctor from the baby days had retired and its fair to say a ‘superficial’ want for nice skin was just too hard for some people to grasp. I had tried to explain to multiple doctors that I was willing to try anything, but it wasn’t well received. I was super lucky to be well looked after by my new doctor and she got me started on a new prescription that worked for me and had no nasty side-effects. It took about 9 months to notice major changes from this but once I did, I haven’t stopped. For the purpose of this blog post (and to save my DM’s) the pill I’m on is Ginet. It’s a hormonal contraceptive and is DEFINITELY not for everyone. I have had a lot of responses from people this hasn’t worked for- so please consult your doctor. I wish I was smart enough to be one but alas, I am not.
By the beginning of my first year out of school, my skin was on the mend. The pill had made a difference, and I’d touched on a lot of other steps in my daily routine that I’d read about online.
I started by re-hauling my skincare routine. I had tried a LOT of brands at this point, and their high prices seemed to be the only common denominator. I cut everything back, and focused on products that would do their job and nothing more, while I let the pill work it’s magic.
I also *tried* to minimise my dairy intake. This was hard, I am a super fan of a Redcliffs Dairy Thickshake, and Whittakers is my weakness. I just made sure I wasn’t eating half a pound of cheese at every sitting- but it’s up in the air whether this plan actually made it past the draft phase.
I UPPED my water intake- like a LOT. I also had started working in a mall at this point, which is awfully dry and desperately gross. I drink roughly 2 litres of water on a bad day now, and everything has thanked me for it.
I also thought a lot about what was going on internally- in hindsight, I wish I saw a naturopath. I wish someone had taught me what I know today, and I wish I was aware that a lot of this is gut problems and hormonal imbalances. I swore by Evening Primrose Capsules, but I wish I’d done more research into probiotics, food that alters hormones and minerals I could be increasing.
By this point I had started investing some time and money into fixing the problem at the source. The main issue I had round this time was my scarring. It was in clusters around my ears/chin in particular, and resembled shallow pits, or slightly larger pores. The right side of my face was significantly worse, due to it being the side I sleep on, so my acne was far more common here. I’m not going to lie, my scarring was definitely the worst part of this whole ordeal, mainly due to my heavy involvement within the beauty industry. You’ll read more about this all in part 2.
I still won’t tell you I have perfect skin. Because I do not. HOWEVER, I am so much more confident in it, because I know that it literally does nothing to define me. As cringe as those flashback photos are, they are still lil ol me, and I’m still as happy as anything. I love the photos from my 18th birthday just as much as I love the photos from my 21st, and I think that’s a message that needs to be spread. Believe me when I tell you I know how you feel- and I know how down it can make you. But when we’re taking more photos than ever, we need to pay more attention to the sparkles in our eyes and the width of our smile- skin is a phase, and it’s something we can always work on.
I’m also very aware that I owe a lot of this to a pill- which to be honest, I’m not sure I want to be on anymore. As I get older I think a lot more about what I’m putting into my body, and altering my hormones is getting kinda scary.. so I’ll be off it one day (hopefully soon) and I’m shit scared of what that might bring. But hopefully, with the knowlege I have now, I can target the problem a little more naturally, and be able to report back to you all too!
Catch you in Part 2, hit me with all your treatment questions,
In love & skin,