I am the most basic of chicks. I consider it normal to re-watch a Sex and the City episode I saw a week earlier. I make weekly (okay, twice weekly) trips to Sephora and the local fro-yo place. I spend way too much money on subtle highlights. The TV is always set to E! and I have a wedding board on Pinterest.
Basic! Basic! Basic!
A couple of years ago I was stricken (yes, that dramatically) with a seriously desperate case of severe hormonal cystic acne. This is when I realized good skin is a beauty basic. It didn’t matter how great of a hair day I was having or how perfect my eye make-up was when I had marbles of puss in my chin. Lovely imagery, I know. For four months I cried daily at the sudden change in my appearance. Forget socializing…or at least socializing well. I could barely make eye contact with people. My self-esteem was shot.
Every time I see a girl with acne I wonder if it would be hurtful to tell her about the regimen my godsend dermatologist and I developed to banish my pizza face. I always decide to keep my mouth shut, but I really hope those girls come across this site and take my advice.
If you are suffering from moderate acne to I-can’t-leave-the-house-without-crying acne and you have a dermatologist ready with a Rx pad, take the following steps:
1) At the drug store – Buy 10% Benzoyl Peroxide PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash. I’m not a huge fan of drying B.P. topicals (I’m talking to you Proactiv), but this wash can solve problems by itself. Use in the morning and night. The instructions say massage into skin for two minutes, but that’ll be a bit drying so try for 45 seconds. In the morning I will mix this with a gentle cream cleanser to add moisture.
2) At the pharmacy (This is what the derm will need to provide you with and, of course, the final recommendation will be up to them) – 100 Mg Doxycycline Hyclate (antibiotic). I take one at bedtime, however I used to take a higher dosage at the beginning of the regimen. Low-dose Tri-Sprintec birth control is a must for hormonal acne. Beware: Skin may get worse for about 2 months before it gets better, but when it gets better…it gets BETTER!! I added 50 MG Spironolactone two years into the regimen and this is the miracle drug which downgraded my mild/moderate acne to nonexistent. Added plus, this blood-pressure lowering diuretic made me loose ten pounds.
Topicals: Massage a quarter-sized amount of 1% Clindamycin Phosphate Topical Lotion after washing your face in the a.m. Massage a dime-sized amount of .025% Tretinoin Gel (aka Retin-A) on before bed. Yes, it will sting a bit, but the few seconds of discomfort is worth whole days of clear skin.
3) At Sephora (or Amazon, etc.) – Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil slathered on 20 minutes after Clindamycin in the a.m.. Don’t be scared of putting CERTAIN kinds of oils on this face. This oil doesn’t make you breakout, in fact, it prevents breakouts. It makes your skin soft, moisturized, and fades acne marks. I adore their new version of this, the Maracuja Bronzing Serum, which will give you a subtle summer glow. Follow that with cold pressed marula oil. There’s a $90 fancy brand at Sephora, but I got mine for $12 on Amazon.
Within four months, you’ll be completely clear. Follow these basic steps, be a basic beotch, and finally obtain the basis of beauty.