How I Went From Acne / Blemish Skin To Clear Complexion

I've loved makeup as far back as I can remember. From intense smokey eyes to chunky glitter and full coverage foundation, let's say I've experimented with just about every single makeup style and trend possible.

Back in my early twenties and college days, I had acne prone skin and there was always at least one breakout on my face. And, if you've seen some of my old YT vids, you might recall these breakouts. Call it stress, hormones or whatever, I just never dealt with it and wasn't serious about skincare at all.

Here's everything I've learned over the years about skincare and how I've managed to keep my complexion clear and prevent breakouts from happening. 

REMOVE MAKEUP AT THE END OF THE DAY:

If there's anything I've learnt, it's that you absolutely need to remove makeup at the end of the day. I was that gal who'd get lazy and would be like, well, it's just one night, what's the worse that could happen? Then it slowly led to 2 nights and 3 nights ...and, well, you get the point.

And, even when I was removing makeup, I wasn't doing it properly and I also wasn't using the correct products for my (dry) skin type. In fact, I didn't even have a proper skincare routine at the time which I so regret now but am at least glad I eventually figured it out.

So, back to what I was doing WRONG. Honestly, everything. Beginning with the makeup application, I wasn't even properly creating the canvas and skin barrier which I should've. This, is the thing I focus on now more than any other step. Next, at the end of the day, all I would use is bar soap (I know, so cringey) or generic face cleanser - both of which basically didn't do anything. I actually believed this one-step is all I needed for my face to be cleansed! I can't even believe that I'm typing this now!!!! 

via GIPHY

WHAT DO I DO DIFFERENTLY NOW?

Well, I actually have what I would call a skincare regimen and I choose products based on what my skin needs and wants. How do I know this? Well, when you use a product, you'll know if it's actually good for you and if it's actually working like it claims to do. I look at the ingredients and try to understand which ingredients work for me or against my skin type. If your skin gets irritated, breaks out, is inflamed - it's simple, discontinue use.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ASTRINGENT VS TONER:

One of the very first targeted skincare product that I ever purchased was astringent which was recommended to me by my threading esthetician. This was one of my holy grail products at the time and I immediately recommended it to everybody. If you suffer from oily skin or even an oily T-Zone or have acne or are trying to get rid of a pimple asap - then you NEED astringent in your life. Astringent is basically stronger than toner and it deep cleans pores and tightens skin. If you have acne, get astringent. If you just have just oily skin and no acne, toner should work just fine. Toner clears away dead skin cells, helps with uneven skin tone and helps unclog pores - it basically revitalizes your skin with everyday use. I actually don't use either now because I have dry skin and don't have acne anymore. But I do use rosewater which has similar anti-aging astringent-like properties and on the plus side, it's extremely moisturizing!

OIL BLOTTING SHEETS VS RE-POWDERING:

Something that I was doing which was beneficial for my skin at that time was using oil blotting sheets. If you have long work days, get an oily t-zone, these are absolutely essential! Instead of re-powdering your face to absorb excess oil, use blotting sheets. They'll remove oil, won't disturb your makeup finish and you won't have to cake on another layer of makeup (which isn't good for you skin, anyway). I also don't do this anymore because my skin is just so dry now. If you have dry skin and are seeing a semi-oily t-zone try patting (not rubbing) a soft tissue on the oily parts, this usually does the trick. And if you absolutely need to re-powder, only do it as needed; no need to retouch the entire face!

CLEANSING THOROUGHLY:

Next, I have a rather intense cleansing routine now. I choose the double cleansing method which I would actually say is actually a triple cleansing method, LOL. Actually, I didn't even realize it was called this. I'd been doing this for years and everyone I told about my routine was like, really, that many steps? As long as I know it's working for me, I don't care how long it takes because it's that important to me and is now a priority.

See, skincare and makeup application go hand-in-hand and this took me many, many years of trial and error to realize this. Like I've said here, it's allowed me to embrace my skin and wear less makeup which is a win-win for me. Also, I enjoy this little pampering sesh and it's literally the only time I get to myself at the end of the day.

My intensive makeup removal cleansing routine has most definitely played a crucial role in the shape of what my skin looks like today. I wouldn't say it's perfect, but it's blemish and no longer acne prone (#knockonwood) and it's in a lot better shape then it once was. I mean I was wearing layers upon layers of makeup and not properly removing it and was doing this nearly every single day. So that takes me to the next thing which I've learned...

DO NOT WEAR MAKEUP EVERY SINGLE DAY:

This was absolutely the most hardest thing for me. In my twenties,  I was that gal that would wear a hoodie and sunglasses if I ever had to step out the door without any makeup (which was very, very rare!) I would make it an extra effort to wake up at least 20-30 minutes earlier every day just to wear makeup. There's nothing wrong with that but it's not good for your skin, either. So wear makeup only when you need it, which is what I do now, and OMG, once you start to do that, you will never want to wear makeup again (at least not regularly)!

I've really started embracing this habit just after my son was born so I would say like three to four years ago. One, I just didn't prioritize ME anymore and didn't have an ounce of energy in my bones to do it. Two, as soon as I got over the self-esteem part and no longer worrying about what people are thinking about me, it was a piece of cake!

Next, your pores need to breathe. We hear that so often but sometimes don't actually think about what this really means. When you wear makeup all the time, coat it on in layers and then don't remove it properly - well, this is a viscous cycle and your skin will suffer from it and your pores will get accumulated dirt, makeup and oil in the long run. Along with those annoying little blackheads. Now, I rarely wear makeup these days and it's all about the skincare for me, but when I do, I'll go full glam.

Finally, I've learned so many tips and tricks just with skincare such as how to look radiant and have a glowing complexion with how you apply your skincare products. People have actually told me that I look younger without makeup LOL which is actually true for everybody I think. Because makeup actually does age you a lot, especially with heavily lined eyes, contouring, etc.

I hope this post helped and that you've learned something new.

I'd love to know what skincare tips you all have picked up over the years! Is there anything that's changed with your routine? Comment below.

XOXO, Mandy

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