Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Journey To Acne-Free Skin: The First Step

Recently I posted this photo on my Instagram, and I received comments on how flawless I am. Do not get me wrong, I am happy that my makeup application have improved that I can really hide my imperfections, but I felt that I am fooling other people, especially myself. That is when I decided enough is enough, I need to do something to make my skin clearer.

I used to have clearer skin before (I used to be thinner too! Hahaha!) but I have suffered acne since I started college. Blame it to stress, hormones, etc. but most of us suffered in acne during our teenage years.
Photos taken 4-5 years ago, no edits.

I am now turning 24, and it seems that my acne just took a turn for the worst. If you have been reading my blog since I started it a year ago, you know this. It is one of my insecurities (aside from my weight and my teeth) and although I can go out in the public without any makeup on, it really affects my confidence.

I was using the Queen Essential's Local Obagi Set and it was able to control my breakouts for 3 weeks, but then I started to get breakouts again. I am not sure why my skin is flaring up, but I still continue to use it even though I suspect my skin became immune to it. Their Acne Lemon Soap helps to dry my pimples fast though. Then I decided that I need to make a move, I cannot let acne define me. That is when I know I have to make the first step, and decided consult a professional.

So yesterday I went to Let's Face It Ever Commonwealth branch to consult a dermatologist. Ofcourse we discussed the history of my acne, what I tried, what I am currently using, etc. I told her that I tried Salicylic Acid and it didn't work, Benzoyl Peroxide in a form of acne wash and it dried out my skin so bad it became more oily. She then diagnosed that I have combination skin, that my T-Zone is super oily and my cheeks are dry, that is why most of my flare ups are on that area.

We also discussed the products I am currently using, and she said that the Obagi Set was not really targeted for acne, that it is more for exfoliating and lightening acne scars. So she asked me stop using it first, that we need to heal my acne first before treating acne scars.

I also asked her that I suspect it is due to hormones, since I have irregular menstruation. She then said hormonal acne is much worse than what I have, but we will look further into it if her prescription will not work for the first 2 weeks. She said that it may be due to comodones, or dirt/bacteria on my skin but she said I do not need to get facial cleaning yet, she wanted to see how my skin will react to my medication first.

She then discussed that aside from topical lotions, creams or gels, we also need to treat the acne from the inside. So she prescribed me to take oral antibiotics, which is Doxycycline.
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. It fights bacteria in the body and is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as acne, blemishes, bumps, and acne-like lesions caused by rosacea. I have to take this twice a day after meals/in a full stomach.

We also have to redo my whole skincare regimen. She prescribed me to use Glycolic Acid Soap. Glycolic acid is the most effective kind of sugarcane-derived Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). We all know that  AHA is effective in acne treatment, but the derivative Glycolic Acid is the most ideal for Asian skin. The brand she suggested is Teranex, which is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and perfume-free. I should use this twice a day as well, morning and night.
The next step is the MD Therapy Acne Control Lotion which is a topical treatment for acne. It contains Erythromycin and Benzoyl Peroxide to fight acne bacteria. I also have to use this twice a day on my face, chest, nape and back which also has acne.

Then lastly she prescribed me the Epiduo Anti-Acne Gel, which I will use at night only 15 minutes after the lotion and on acne areas on my face (which is basically my entire face). It also contains Benzoyl Peroxide and Adapalene, which has retinoid-like activity that acts in the treatment of acne.

She also injected the three large acne that I have on my face. As I am writing this, the acne has already dried up, but that injection is the most painful thing I have ever experienced! She said I can still wear makeup though, that I just have to make sure that I clean it really well. She advised that I use water-based makeup removers instead of oil-based ones, because it is much gentler for my skin.

I will have to go back for follow up after 2 weeks to see if there are any changes on my skin, so I decided to update you guys on this. I am, again, showing my bare face so we can keep track of the changes:
I am really hopeful that this time, I will be able to treat my acne. I know that I have to take care of my skin, and that I have to lose weight too and eat more healthy food.

This is a long post I know, but I encourage others to take their own first step against fighting acne too. Know that when you do this, you are doing it for yourself and yourself only. This is something that I am doing for myself, not because I don't want to be judged and laughed at, but because I want to be more confident and more comfortable in my own skin.

If you are suffering acne or has suffered before, please let me know what you did/currently doing to treat your acne. Did you go to a dermatologist too? What products did you use? How long did it took before your skin finally cleared up? I would appreciate it if you can share your stories too!

Thank you so much for reading loves, and I hope you can join me on this journey. I appreciate all your love and support! I will see you next time!

-- Maica :)


  1. MyMariaJune 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Been battling acne since I started puberty and until now that I'm well on my early 30s. My acne probs got alleviated before while I was in college when my doctor put me on the pill. It helped regulate my menses too since I got PCOS and irregular periods. When I stopped taking it 6 years later because I felt it was driving me crazy (more hormones?), my acne flared up and that's when my love affair with The Original Local Obagi started. It stopped my flare-ups in conjunction with taking Japanese beauty supplements and lots and lots of Vitamin C. The dilemma was it cost an arm and a leg to maintain and it wasn't very gastric-friendly with my ulcers and all, so eventually I had to stop everything and also because I got preggers and so many things aren't allowed when you're pregnant (like coffee and hair dyes! *rolls eyes*). So as soon as I stopped breastfeeding, which was just earlier this year, I got back on my Original Local Obagi and thank God my acne has finally stopped flaring up. Though I get 1 or 2 during that time of the month. Also I think juicing also contributed tremendously in clearing up my skin (and ahem, weight loss, too). Now I have an insane cleaning habit to keep dirt off my face and such... also I steer clear from makeup products that may irritate my skin (I'm referring to BB creams and other liquids/creams). My moisturizers are all oil-free and light ones and when I go out, I cannot be without my placenta cream (comes with the Original Local Obagi kit). I went to a derma I think once in my life but the medicines that were given to me and even the creams did not help so I stopped seeking professional help and opted to do my own research. Also I watch what I eat because when I eat chocolates, peanuts, or even anything that contains dairy, I break out.

    This whole adult acne issue actually was a blessing in disguise because if it weren't for all this, then I wouldn't have learnt to use appropriate products for my skin, apply makeup and conceal my blemishes properly, as well as change my lifestyle entirely. My mom's proven acne solution when she was younger is pretty simple and straightforward -- GO TO SLEEP. And well, I can't do that because of my job and all. ^_^ You're still very young, sis, and I wish you all the luck in overcoming this acne problem. If I may offer an advice (and hoping I don't sound like a mom), quit smoking since it is really bad for the skin and teeth. I smoked since I was 14 but I stopped completely at 28 and it's one of the best decisions I made in my life. I hope and pray that you can also find a regimen that works for you. Believe me, I know where you're coming from and I know how hard it can be. I'm here to offer you my full support on this journey! Good luck and God bless! :)

    MyMaria xx

  2. Girlonfireby SachieJune 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    hi sis... acne is also my biggest problem... i already tried going to dermatologist but it didnt help its just worsen because when they do facial to my face it literally leave marks on my face that causes it na magkroon ng butas s face q.. kyabwhen dping today isI use perla as my soap kc sbi nila ndi mtapang ang chemicals n halo dun.. medyo ng okai nman ung face q pero still there are acne in some parts lalo na s baba ng cheeks q.

  3. Genesis ChingJune 12, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    I also suffered from acne breakouts back when I was 3rd year HS.. nawala lang mga pimples ko nung ginamit ko ang Dr.Wong S. Sulfur soap :) it works like wonders saken :) minsan hiyangan lang talaga sa products yan eh :) I hope your skin will get better na <3

  4. maggylovesmakeupJune 12, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    hi have you tried using a natural remedy?? i was once have a problematic skin but only use a homemade remedy and its works really well on my skin it clears up my acne. :)

  5. Leilani SonzaJune 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    good luck! Please keep us posted!

  6. RaeJune 14, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Good luck Maica. Treating acne can be a lot of trial and error with topical meds and since there's no cure, unless our physiology changes, the treatment routine is forever. In my case, I'm always on tretinoin. I'm clear now, but I know that if I stop tretinoin and other topical products, my acne will come back again. I never experiment a lot on skin care anymore.