Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Skin Today.


Mamas, raise your hand if you've experienced skin issues either during pregnancy or after! I'm willing to bet that a good portion of you have a hand up right now...and I'm right there with you. I didn't have any major problems after Henry, although it did take me awhile to deal with my hormones regulating postpartum. I had minor breakouts here and there, but with Charlie it was a whole different ballgame. At the beginning of my pregnancy with him I swore I was having a girl because of the initial breakouts I experienced. My face was clear and perfect with Henry, so I figured it must be because I was growing a little girl this time around, and had different hormones coursing through my body! I was obviously wrong, but luckily halfway through that pregnancy my skin cleared back up and all was well again.

Fast forward to a year later. Charlie stopped breastfeeding right at his first birthday this past August and I started breaking out soon after. And this time it was pretty bad! I tried all sorts of things- over the counter medication, random natural remedies, essential oils...and nothing helped. My diet is already pretty clean so I knew that wasn't the problem, but I still tried cutting out dairy, sugar, you name it. I finally decided to "give in" and visit the dermatologist after it didn't get any better after trying so many things (and making it even worse), and I'm so glad I did.

She put me on two different medications, which I still use now. Aczone in the morning, then Aczone again at night with Retin-A Micro over it. The first five months were horrible. The medicine made me break out even more, and I felt so embarrassed- there I was, 32 years old and dealing with the skin of a teenager. But with the encouragement of my doctor, along with the numerous online reviews that said to stick with it even when it gets bad during the purging stage, I did...and months later I'm finally clear.

The biggest problem for me was on the sides of my face, and those areas took the longest to clear. Although my skin is clear, I'm still left with red pigmentation marks there (look closely and you can see them in the photo above) but those are thankfully fading too.

I know that in the span of things, acne isn't something to lose sleep over, but it still affected my self esteem so much. I felt so sad waking up and knowing I would have to deal with another bad skin day, and there were so many times, especially during the beginning stages of taking the medicine, that I just wanted to cancel any plans I had and avoid being in public. That might sound silly, but unless you've experienced problematic skin you might not understand.

Anyway, I wanted to share this with you guys in case there's someone out there dealing with similar issues. I know that many people like to go the natural route, but sometimes you just have to go the medicine route too. In my case I'm SO thankful I did, and I highly recommend both medications.

And in case you're wondering, here are the products I use daily (and have forever!): face wash, lotion, eye cream, foundation, concealer, mascara, lip balm, blush, and highlighter.

Before you go, I would love to hear if you experienced any postpartum skin issues and what helped! Thanks for reading. xoxo

26 comments:

  1. I had THE WORST skin after my third baby, so bad that I would cry every single time I looked in the mirror. I totally get what you're saying. I tried the Roaccutane route for about 6 months and it helped but now, just 6 months after stopping the Roaccutane, the problem skin is back. I need to go to my dermie and ask about this medication! Thank you! (This is a little before and after post on the Roaccutane journey I went on - https://alfinos.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/my-roaccutane-journey-the-end-result/)

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    1. Girl, I totally know how you feel. It's the most upsetting thing. Totally ask your doc about these meds- they have worked wonders for me! <3

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  2. Your skin looks so dewy and fresh-faced it's hard to imagine you've ever had problems. I'm currently 9 months pregnant with my first pregnancy (2 days to go...eek) and had a lot of problems in the early months but its mostly cleared up now. I just sat it out at the time but it's really great to know there are other remedies - I hadn't even realised that postpartum could hold more skin joys in store so thanks for the heads up and sorry I don't have any advice of my own to impart.

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    1. Oh thank you! I do have on a bit of makeup in this photo, without the makeup you can see more of the red marks leftover from the acne. And isn't it crazy how our hormones go so wacky? I never knew either.

      Lots of love to you! :)

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  3. Before I had my son my skin was AWFUL I had to use the strongest over the counter face washes out there and even had a prescription. As soon as I got into my second trimester with my son my skin cleared up completely and was smooth like it never had been before. I had some breakouts around the time he was born and then again when I got my period for the first time after having him. But in between all of that I had the clearest skin ever. It's awesome ha

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    1. Yay Abby! That is AWESOME and I hope when we have another baby my skin stays clear like that! :)

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  4. I had the worst skin (acne and overall redness) after having my daughter last May. I tried tons and tons of OTC products, but none of them worked. My husband repeatedly told me to go to the dermatologist, but honestly I've tried a lot of Rx's in the past for acne, and they all burn my skin. I ended up splurging on MAC foundation and concealer, and I am the laziest when it comes to makeup. So I would end up not even using those things and hope no one would stare at my terrible skin, and hope that they would just stare at my beautiful newborn. And they did! My husband and I will start trying for baby #2 when he returns from this deployment, and I really hope to just get the pregnancy "glow" and even after, but even if it happens again, I know having terrible skin for a few months is totally worth a new baby. I will still be extremely self-conscious, but I know it will eventually go away like it did this last time. (I already have a foundation picked out to try if I do get the terrible acne, red face again though!)

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    1. Sending you good skin vibes for that healthy glow! And send some back my way too, for my next pregnancy whenever that happens! ;)

      Thanks for reading, Ashley! :)

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  5. I am in my third trimester and my back ache is horrible! I am hoping it clears up when baby is here. If not I will be sure to check out your picks!!

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    1. I hope it totally clears up too! But yay for 3rd trimester...your little one is almost here! <3

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  6. hello! i have never ever heard of any baby weaning himself from breast at one year old. i myself am a mother of two and all of my firends struggle with weaning at 2. anyhow, how on earth did you do it? or you didn't nurse on demand so you vut out the feedings? and how did you deal with night weaning?
    we are all desperate here; haven't slept for years so any advice would be good. again, never ever have i heard such a thing...thanks!! lola

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    1. Hi Lola! :)

      I don't know what advice to give because both of my boys just stopped! They seriously just pushed my boob away and never went back. It was very heartbreaking for me both times. :( I'm trying to think back, and by that point we were down to just a feeding during the day and before bed, so it wasn't as much as before anyway. Gradually slowed then suddenly stopped! I wish I could help more!

      xoxo

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  7. I had horrible skin issues pre- and postpartum. Before I was pregnant, I had very sensitive skin loaded in hormonal acne. I did all kinds of medicines that semi worked but never fully "solved" the problem. Then, when I was pregnant, my skin was PERFECT! Within a month of having my son, I broke out like I was a teen again. My hormones were all over the place and since I couldn't use most medicinal solutions (I was nursing), I really felt like I just had to "sit there and take it." Once I stopped nursing, I tried to go on medicine from the dermatologist, but for some reason, my skin had become even more sensitive with all of my changes and every single medicine was too harsh on my face. Again, I was super frustrated. I finally started reading about how very sensitive skin needed very little treatment and to start oil cleansing and using any product that has only natural ingredients. Once I took that route, the results were astonishing. Its like my skin was begging me for so long to "stop trying so hard." And, since I was oil cleansing, it was teaching my face to stop over-producing, while now has led to my skin not breaking out. Its crazy to look at the amount of money I spent on acne medicine over the years to the very little I spend now. I simply use an oil cleanser, my own homemade toner (vinegar/water mixture), vitamin C, and a simple noncomedogenic moisturizer.

    I feel your frustration! Hang in there :)

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    1. Hi Sherri!

      Thanks for this awesome note. I have been interested in the OCM for so long but I'm scared to try it! Maybe I'll give it a whirl...I'll keep you posted! :)

      xo

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  8. I'm so familiar with hormonal acne and envy the ladies that have never had to deal with it. It really affects your self-esteem and as someone who considers themselves to be a pretty positive, happy person, it can be really depressing. My acne started in my early twenties (right after I left the teen years behind me...what?) when I got married and started changing up my birth control. Being young and recently married, I didn't even want my husband to look at me. I saw a dermatologist and the topical solutions she prescribed worked like a charm. And quickly too! My skin was flawless for many years until I stopped taking my birth control to conceive our first child. Hello pizza face! It was awful. I saw a dermatologist again and since I was trying to conceive she said "come back and see me after you're done breastfeeding." What?? That could be years! Luckily it died down about halfway through my actual pregnancy, but it pick right back up and then some about 3 months postpartum. I agree with the feeling of not wanting to go out and feeling the need to cancel plans. You feel like all anyone will see is your terrible skin. After about 6 months, it died down again but didn't really clear up. I finally started trying to profile my skin type and realized that I have very sensitive skin. I had been exfoliating and switching from one failed cleanser to the next on a regular basis, which was WAY too much for my face. I'm now pregnant with my second and while I have spots to deal with, it's not chronic like it was before. I now use Alaffia cleanser and toner and Korres moisturizer. They are free of harsh chemicals and vegan to boot! My skin is happier and I'm working to balance my skin's natural oils rather than fighting them. Topical meds can be great, but I highly recommend trying to profile your unique skin type and read up on how to best balance this very important asset!

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    1. Sarah thank you so much for this! I will def. do some research- I'm hoping that when I finally go off the meds my hormones have regulated but my biggest fear is that my skin will go haywire again!

      We will see! <3

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  9. I had really bad skin growing up, made so much worse by having no idea what to do about it and stripping my skin of oil everyday by washing, using an astringent, and no moisturizer. I even had it on my back. It was horrible. Then I went on birth control when I was 20 and it improved HUGELY. My face was still breaking out but not nearly as bad, and my back was clear. Fast forward some years and I went off birth control to get pregnant, and my skin flared up again a bit but got really, really clear during my pregnancy. I didn't wash my face for months; just splashed some water on it in the morning and I was good to go. But THIS pregnancy, it has been really bad. But I started using oil to wash my face and it's made the biggest difference! At night, I use a half and half mixture of EVOO and cold-pressed castor oil on my face to cleanse and remove makeup, then lay a hot towel on my face to steam and then wipe everything off. Spritz with some Simple toner and I finish with Yes to Blueberries eye cream and Yes to Carrots night cream. In the morning, I splash with cold water, spritz with toner again, and use a little bit of cold-pressed grapeseed oil as a moisturizer. Grapeseed oil is non-comedogenic and an astringent, so it's great for problem skin. Sometimes I'll use Aveeno tinted moisturizer over it. But if I'm getting lazy with my skin and it's breaking out, I can tell a huge difference the very next day that I go back to this routine. It's been great!

    Then for makeup, I use a L'oreal BB cream, a tiny bit of Bare Minerals, elf concealer, NARS blush, elf highlighter, Sonia Kashuk tinted brow gel, Benefit Bad Gal mascara, and eos lip balm. It sounds like a ton but it's a 5ish minute application!

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    1. Hi Sara!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a detailed comment- I loved reading it! I will absolutely check out the items your mentioned and let you know if they work for me! :) Thank you!

      xoxo

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  10. Thank you for sharing this! I've been struggling with breakouts since I got pregnant too.. first on my back/chest/neck and now it's moved up to my face! I'm 17 weeks with my first, so hoping it clears up soon and I get that "pregnancy glow" I've heard so much about. I definitely understand your feeling of just wanting to stay in and hide when the breakouts are at their worst, but alas, we can't always do that! I really appreciate this post.. it's honest and real and gives some hope for the future! As always, I love reading your words :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Erica! I bet it will clear up soon! Sending you some glowy vibes! ;)

      xoxo

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  11. I haven't had any postpartum acne, only during the first semester of pregnancy. What really helped was the Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar from Clinique!

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    1. Ooh, I've never heard of it! I will check it out. Thanks Elise. :)

      <3

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  12. I've been suffering all through my pregnancy with the worst breakouts... I keep dreading looking in the mirror when I wake up every morning. Thanks for this post. It is super helpful knowing I'm not alone with my skin issues :)

    Just found your blog - love it.

    Jonelle

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  13. hey lady!
    okay so question.. I follow you on snapchat �� and I LOVE your eyelashes! natural? or falsies? I've been trying out different fake ones and can't find ones I love for everyday use. if you do use falsies, which ones and also any tips on application? :)

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  14. This seems like the type of blog my wife would really like. She had skin problems when she was pregnant as well. More pimples and she also developed rosacea on her cheeks. The products she's been using lately, though, are really helping. She uses a Vitamin C serum that has some kind of acid in it, like Hya-something acid that she applies before using a face moisturizer.

    William Connors @ The Healing Station

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  15. What beautiful woman you are :)

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