(and here are the results)
So today is supposed to be a ‘day off’ but every single time I’m supposed to be taking it easy, I want to write a blog post or update my new Fashion Insta. I guess it’s because I’m so passionate about these things! Posting about beauty and fashion is fun for me, and I love writing these posts, so I really hope you enjoy!
So. At some point in September 2018 last year I started the pill. Being married to a woman it obviously wasn’t for contraceptive purposes. As you guys know, I suffer terribly from migraines, so I was advised to take a hormonal pill non stop, that would potentially stop my periods and thus stop my migraines. It didn’t work.
Then, around March 2019, Rose and I filmed THIS video where we went to a fertility clinic to look into starting a family. They told us the first thing we had to do was take fertility tests and I couldn’t be on the pill whilst we took them. So I came off the pill.
I hate to be dramatic but wait, no, actually I don’t. The results were DEVASTATING.
Coming off the pill totally and utterly FUCKED me and not in the good way. It fucked with my emotions, it fucked with my body, but mostly it just fucked with my skin. It fucked with my skin A LOT.
Its target area was my jawline. Stopping the pill gifted me with irregular, weird periods and cystic, painful acne on my jawline. I was really angry, angry that I have migraines in the first place, angry that it didn’t help, and angry that it brought with it fresh problems.
I didn’t take photos of it at it’s worst, I guess I just felt so incredibly down and shit about the whole thing. I think what made it hard for me was that I’d never really suffered from acne before. I was fairly lucky and just got the odd spot every now and then. But roll on 2019 and I had acne, braces and was taking driving lessons. I was reliving my teenage years, but only the sucky bits and none of the fun stuff; like recklessly dating everyone and having free time.
Don’t worry, there are pictures to come though, you’ve got to see some results.
I spent a lot of time on these sites and immediately started learning stuff I’d never heard of before in my life, and I was daunted and frightened by how little I know about my own skin.
I learned that you aren’t supposed to exfoliate your skin with a physical exfoliator (like those little beads that are now banned for clogging up our ocean). The Reddit thread had a particular vendetta against St Ives Face Scrub, a vendetta that I was eager to join as I have a lot of pent up anger and frustration in me and St Ives was an easy target.
I learned that you have to smother yourself in suncream EVERY SINGLE DAY even when you LIVE IN ENGLAND AND IT RAINS CONSTANTLY AND YOU DON’T EVER GO OUTSIDE.
But most importantly I learned about The Ordinary Products. Now this post isn’t sponsored but I’d happily take that coin. I’m just genuinely discussing a company that helped me on my journey to recovery.
Everyone in the thread went on and on and ON about T.O products so I went to investigate what all the fuss was about. Basically, they are very cheap products, usually £5 or under, and they contain typically one key ingredient that is highly concentrated. So, for example, say your skin concern was ageing, you’d usually go out and buy an anti-wrinkle cream full of a multitude of ingredients for a pretty hefty whack. The Ordinary claims to give you the main ingredient for your issue, at a highly concentrated level and will get you the results you need without the bullshit.
Finally, I saw a ray of hope.
The only thing is they have an endless list of products with very chemically, sciencey type names and it can be really daunting and confusing working out how to begin. But after hours of online shopping and reading the website, I started off using about three products. I got Azelaic Acid as a chemical exfoliator (no physical ones remember) concentrated rosehip oil to add to my moisturiser, and niacinamide, which was for my spots and no, I still can’t pronounce it.
My skin IMMEDIATELY started clearing up. I was still getting hormonal spots around my jawline, but they were much, much smaller, and they were starting to go away. NOW I will show you a picture. Here is a raw, unfiltered, unedited, photo of my nasty skin in bad lighting.
Yes, this is me, feeling particularly sorry for myself, with greasy hair and a post-migraine low.
But my skin continued to get better. What helped for me particularly was the rosehip oil as I have very dry skin, and it gave me that coveted dewy, shiny, healthy glow. I loved it. Here’s a photo of half of my face after I just oiled up. Why half of my face you ask? Because I was pulling a weird face so I cut it in half. Enjoy.
As you can hopefully see, the quality of my skin was getting much, much better.
I was still getting the occasional spot though, so I continued to read up, and read that you can overload your skin with too many products. It recommended to try to strip it back and really reduce the amount you put on your skin. I also realised that I’d been being very aggressive with my skin. I’d heard about double cleansing, so when I had makeup on I would just wash my face, then again, then again, until all my makeup was off.
My friend recommended that I take off my makeup with something very gentle and non-stingy, like micellar water. Now, I’d heard about micellar water but because it had the word WATER in the name, I just thought it was a useless product and I could just use water. How wrong I was.
So, with my new routine I would wipe off my makeup with Micellar water. Then I switched my face wash to a really gentle, hydrating CeraVE cleanser and started to have days where I simply washed with CeraVE then moisturised with rosehip oil mixed into my CereVE moisturiser.
Then I dropped the rosehip oil down to every other day. Then I stopped.
Then I started only washing my face at night. In the morning I would just run hot water over a clean face cloth or flannel and wipe over my skin. Then I stopped washing my face with any facewash completely, and doing the flannel routine morning AND night.
My skin LOVED IT. Here’s a photo I took the other day.
As you can see, it’s unedited, first thing in the morning, in natural light. (Check out those glasses marks on the side of my nose!) I don’t think I’m looking too shabby! I also used a free app called Trove Skin App which reminded me to take regular photos and make a note of any new products I used, to see if I could see progress or my skin getting worse. It really helped me!
So, now what I am left with is a minimalist routine, which is very fitting seeing as I am slowly becoming a minimalist. I tend not to wash my face or use products apart from occasionally when I feel I need to. I didn’t intend for this to happen, my only aim was to clear my skin. But am I happy that I now only use a few, inexpensive products every once in a while? YES! Am I happy that my bathroom is easier to clean and I buy and use less stuff? YES YES YES.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it could have been somewhat helpful for you. If you have any problems with your skin, I urge you to find a community online. With Reddit, facebook and my app, I felt less alone, less overwhelmed, and managed to find a solution to my problem!