t’s been a looooooong week! Saturdays are usually my day off, but I ended up teaching 4 classes this morning. I ended up taking a nap with my son this afternoon.
Today I wanted to post on a subject that is close to my heart– Acne. I started getting acne when I was around 16 and it was really, really bad. So bad, that my mom, whose usually way of dealing with problems associated with puberty is avoidance, looked at my face and would say “your poor skin would you like to go to the doctor?”
Up until that point I had been using the typically teenage over the counter stuff– clearasil, clean and clear, nutrogena– that kind of thing. The doctor gave me a prescription for Tazorac but also told me that if that didn’t work, proactiv actually worked well for many of her patients. Tazorac is a retinoid, which works by speeding up the process of cell renewal. Unfortunately for me, this showed up on my face as red, flaky skin and the acne still didn’t go away. I gave it a few months but the side effects never resolved and my self esteem disintegrated in the process. I finally gave up on the Tazorac and my mom never offered another doctor’s appointment so I found an off-brand version of proactiv (Klear Action) which worked pretty well for me. As I got my skin back, my confidence grew. I still had some breakouts but it wasn’t like the full blown disaster that it was before.
Using Klear Action my skin was pretty ok until I finished college and got engaged. Not sure if the stress or poor eating habits got to me, but I started having constant break outs again. It came to a head (white head lol) when I went to a engagement event and just felt so ugly at a time when you are supposed to feel wonderful. I confessed to my fiance how bad I felt about my skin and he offered to help me pay for what ever I needed to get my skin clear. A friend had suggested accutane and so I went to her dermatologist to try it. If you haven’t heard of accutane it is a very high dose of Vitamin A. There is some controversy surrounding accutane because it can lead to birth defects and has been linked to depression and suicide. To be on accutane, you are required to take a monthly blood and pregnancy test. I took the risk and it was so worth it. I literally had no more break outs. NONE. It was a miracale. The only side effect I experienced was extremely chapped lips, which was easily combated with some vaseline.
Accutane is supposed to permanently change your oil glands so that once you stop your treatment (usually six months) you don’t have to use it again. That was true –until I got pregnant. I guess the changes in my hormones reset my oil glands and I was back to getting acne break outs. Not a lot– but enough to be annoying and slightly demoralizing. I decided to go back to using proactiv, which has worked ok, but I recently decided to change to argan oil.
My issue with proactiv is that my skin is like a moody teenager–sometimes and oil slick, sometimes dry and flaky, sometimes both at the same time. Although the break outs are mostly gone on proactiv, it is not the miracle solution that accutane was. When I heard about argan oil as a treatment for acne, I was intrigued. Something about spreading oil all over my face makes me cringe, but the logic that drying out your skin causes it to produce more oil to compensate, does make sense to me.
I started my Argan treatment about 2 months ago. I still used proactiv, but I would put a layer of Josie Maran’s argan oil as my moisturizer in the morning. I really noticed a difference right away, my skin looked smoother, less flaky, and some small lines I had on my forehead started to disappear. I also started breaking out less!
I recently decided to switch over to Argan oil only. I still wash my face with the proactiv solution, and use the toner, but the only treatment I put on my face is the argan oil. It has only been a few days, but I am already happy with the results. My skin is so much softer, less flaky and I haven’t had a breakout in a while.
I would definitely recommend argan oil to anyone struggling with acne. Just make sure you get 100% argan oil (Josie Maran is a good brand but there are less expensive ones on amazon).
Have you tried argan oil? Have you struggled with acne? What worked for you?
After 3 weeks of just using argan oil, my skin developed small red zits. I decided to go back to using it in combination with Proactiv and I am happy with the results so far. Unfortunately, Argan oil was not the miracle solution I had hoped it would be.