I've dealt with acne for what feels like my whole life at this point. I started breaking out around 15 or 16 years old, and haven't stopped since. Some seasons have been better or worse than others, but it's been consistent none the less.
I've tried everything: different birth controls, every topical gel or ointment a dermatologist can give, antibiotics, every product in the beauty aisle that is even remotely made for acne, and Accutane. None of it worked for me.
Nearing the end of college, I turned to my diet as a last resort. Let's be honest, who gives up food before exhausting every other option? I started a gluten-free diet and noticed a lot of improvement. Regardless of the backlash I got from people who believe gluten allergies and sensitivities don't exist, I stuck with it because it was working for me. Within weeks I began to have less severe & less acne all together, looked less "puffy," had little to no migraines where I used to have one every other week, and best of all, the stomach aches that made me want to crawl into fetal position and call it bedtime at 2pm are completely gone. Those aches would feel like something grabbed both ends of my intestines and tried to ring them out, and then tie them into a knot. Gluten-free was hugely helpful for me, for a while.
I don't remember the day it seemed to start getting worse again. If I think really hard about it, I would say it's been reappearing more since I moved to Florida 15 months ago.
I've spent the last year more insecure about my skin than I was in college, which I didn't think I could beat. I am a grown, married, active, drinks-water-like-a-fish, health-advocate for pete's sake, why is this happening?!
I hit the I'll-Try-Anything Phase again a couple months ago, and this is what I've learned...
Three Things That Really Change My Skin (Currently):
Like all new health/fitness/wellness things begin... I saw a friend's results. She has gorgeous skin, and talks about this line of skin care that compares to nothing else she's tried, and says it even helps her with hormonal acne. Honestly, I thought it was a load of crap, how can something that goes on your skin help with something that is going on inside your body? But, I've known this woman since I moved here, and I know her well enough to know she wouldn't BS everyone about this.
Since I was seeing all her posts about the products while I was in the I'll-Try-Anything Phase, I started to research this line that she wouldn't stop talking about. I took the skin type quiz and was a little freaked out at how perfectly the results defined my skin characteristics and patterns. There are nine skin types according to Renee, not the typical three. So I took the quiz a few times to try to trick the system, thinking it was just a good guess the first time.
I sat on it for a couple days, read every review of Renee Rouleau I could find, stalked their social media, took the skin type quiz a dozen more times, then finally put the products in my online cart. I didn't like the price, but I was desperate and called it my early birthday present.
In the same week, I got my first ever facial (microdermabrasion) before starting to use the products. I guess this is recommended so that the products are actually absorbed into my skin rather than sitting on top of dead skin. I'm not a professional, so don't take my word on that. If you need a local professional, I saw Jessica Salter at Fringe Skin Care Studio in Pace and loved it!
I've never had a skin care routine before, so I didn't know what to expect when my Renee Rouleau products arrived. But here's what still surprises me each day, nothing burns! I'm used to acne products feeling like they are lighting a match to all the evil pimples on my face, but this stuff is so soothing. I'm also insanely impressed that my skin isn't getting dry, brand new in my world of skin care. Lastly, yes, it works.
My skin is not flawless, but it's the clearest it has been in a long time! The little acne I am having is far less red, less irritated, and goes away so much quicker. I should also mention, I've only been using it for about three weeks at this point, so I'll have more updates to come!
I got the Essentials Line for my skin type, as well as the Anti-Bump Serum. If I go to bed with active blemishes, I'm not kidding, I wake up with ones that have lost their redness and sensitivity, and look like they skipped days in the process of disappearing.
I started using this product to take my makeup off, and again, it was a total surprise. This "water" takes off makeup better than any makeup-remover face wash or towelette I've ever used, and doesn't phase my skin a bit. It doesn't make me red right after, or dry later. It even takes off mascara almost instantly without feeling like I'm tugging at my eyelashes. I know I'm a newborn on the topic of skin care, but I'm impressed and relieved to have found something that is so gentle and effective.
3. Avoiding Dairy
I notice that my breakouts follow one of two patterns: my Menstrual Cycle and my Queso Cycle. *Sigh* I'll be honest, I'm not deeming myself dairy-free because acne seems to by my only side affect; I don't get any migraines, stomach aches, or notice any energy/performance/mood affect. I don't notice acne following consumption of all dairy products, but with cheeses, I do.
So, I've come to the following conclusion. If people would stop putting melted cheese in front of me, I might have flawless skin thanks to my Renee Rouleau line.
In all seriousness, to continue seeing results, I plan to be consistent with my new skin care routine, and continue learning more about what my skin does and doesn't like. I do plan to avoid dairy more and more, but I have no intentions of giving up a little queso here and there, sorry not sorry, skin!