I started my skincare story last week and it became so long I thought it would be best to split it into 2 parts. If you haven't read part one, you can find it here.
So grab yourself a cuppa, we have skincare to talk about.
I was experiencing a particularly bad breakout and I read some reviews about Dermalogica's Medibac range for blemish prone skin, Dermalogica was a brand I was familiar with as they were the range of skincare my beauty college had used, and the tutors raved about them. They are not the cheapest brand but on the other hand they were much more affordable than creme de la mer, so I looked up some local stockists and went and got myself a trial pack from a local salon. The kit contained about 5 products from the range, hard for me to remember now as it was a few years ago, and the beauty therapist warned me to not dive straight in and use them all because it is quite harsh. She advised me to use the cleansing wash once very couple of days to get my skin used to it and increase slowly until I was using it twice a day. Being stubborn, and eager to get clearer skin, I ignored her and used it every morning as well as a couple of the other products in the kit and I had the worst reaction of my life to it!
My skin became red, sore and inflamed and the texture was awful I can't even really describe it. Parts of it were peeling off and it was so dry that I would slap on moisturiser like it was going out of fashion and my skin would just drink it up. I was horrified, and I couldn't even wear make-up over it because of the peeling, it looked terrible. I literally hid away at home, not wanting anyone to see me. I was booked into have my car MOT done so I had to brave the outside world and drive over to my parents without any make-up on for the first time in about 10 years, and I was so embarrassed by how my skin looked that I actually made my dad take my car over to the garage because I couldn't face the humiliation of having to talk to a stranger whilst looking like a burns victim!
Slowly the redness went down and the texture of my skin improved and I took the advice of the therapist and only used the wash sporadically for a while, it did help and my skin seemed a little clearer and incredibly soft, but there was still no way I could go without foundation to try and cover the few angry spots that still came up and would linger around for ages.
Eventually I plucked up the courage to go to my GP about it, I had always been too embarrassed to do this. It is soul destroying to struggle with bad skin and it knocks your confidence so much and the thought of having to discuss this with a stranger made me feel sick with nerves! I bit the bullet and the GP prescribed me a gel to apply at nights to the affected area, and it worked like a dream! After a few weeks not only were all of my spots gone and no new ones were appearing but it actually calmed down the redness and scars from past breakouts. Within a few months my skin was so good I no longer needed to use foundation any more and spots seemed like a thing of the past, so without any spots to apply the gel to I stopped using it.
My skin was fine for a long time before I hit a bad patch in my personal life and I started to break out again, and I was back on the foundation bandwagon, trying desperately to cover terrible breakouts once again. I had moved and wasn't registered with a local GP and was told that they already had too many patients so was unable to find a surgery to take me on, so with that and having a full time job I didn't have the time to get to my old GP within opening hours, and never replaced my prescription gel.
Then I became really ill with my IBD and anemia and for some reason my skin cleared up, I was too sick to apply foundation and to be honest didn't really care what I looked like whilst I was in hospital anyway. But it dawned on me I had nothing to worry about as my spots had disappeared, they didn't return until 4 months ago when I had a blood transfusion and became "healthy" again and my bad skin was back once more! So the struggle continues, and I can't really make sense of the whole being super ill but having great skin, and then being healthy and having terrible skin. You would think it would be the other way around wouldn't you?
After being given a £5 off voucher for the No 7 range by my mum, I decided on the hot cloth cleanser. I have been using it religiously since I bought it and it has helped my skin so much. I use it morning and night, and slowly it has improved my skin, it's far from perfect but it is doing well and it has restored my faith in skincare.
I will admit that I didn't think much of skincare products, because after all these years of having bad skin and trying product after product to get rid of the spots I had decided that a cleanser couldn't possibly help because it would be creamy and greasy and surely only aggravate the problem so I always settled for face washes of every type in a vain attempt to clear my skin. I also avoided mositurisers because even the ones that were meant for oily skin had always left my skin feeling and looking greasy and would make my spots worse.
You can see why I had no faith in skincare can't you, I tried all sorts of things to make my skin better. And because I was always so concerned with getting rid of the spots I never stopped to see if the products were helping my skin in any other way. This cleanser had made me realise the difference a good skincare routine can make, and although I will be paying a visit to the GP to get myself some more of my miracle gel, I will continue to invest in good skincare products now as well. The blogging community has opened my eyes to the little skincare treasures out there, and I am excited to try things now, as I am a believer in skin products, not just make-up!
I hope my story has helped and inspired you to invest in the best skincare you can afford, and also for any acne sufferers out there, please don't suffer in silence. If you haven't already, go and see your GP. You never know, they might be able to prescribe something that will help you, like they did with me. Don't give up if you haven't found your miracle product yet, push to be referred to a dermatolagist because they will have a better understanding and may be able to help you. If I have learnt anything from being so ill from my IBD it's that you don't get anything from the NHS unless you fight for it. If they can palm you off, they will. If you are not persistent with them then they may not help you. I was turned away 6 times from my GP and A&E with my illness, until I became too ill to even get out of bed and I was rushed to hospital! You know when something is wrong and there should be a Doctor out there somewhere that will be able to help you, even with a non life threatening problem like bad skin.
After a look on the Dermalogica site, this is the medibac kit that I purchased. Don't be put off of this range of products because of my reaction to them. They are extremely strong so you do need to let your skin get used to them first unlike I did. But I do believe that the products can help someone out there that is struggling with acne issues.
Check back next week for the final part of my skincare story.