Having clear, flawless skin is every girl's dream, but it's not always a reality. Often times we are plagued with blemishes, pimples, whiteheads and horrid cystic acne and it seems like no matter how many things we apply to our face, it never seems to change.
I struggled with acne for a very long time. Growing up, I had a few pimples here and there, but when I was 20 my face started to break out horribly. I had giant, red, painful cystic acne along my cheeks, chin, mouth and jawline. I used to pile on makeup to hide it, but I was always very self conscious about it.
Over the years I tried everything I could to make it go away, but nothing really seemed to banish it for good. I picked at it (which is a BIG no-no) and I tried so many different products and some ended up making it worse and others didn't do much to help. I was left with lots of acne scars and hyper pigmentation.
When I was 24 years old I went to a facialist for the first time and I definitely regret waiting so long to see a professional. She looked at my skin, asked me a lot of different questions about what sort of products I was using, what kind of food I was eating, how often I wash my face, what kind of makeup I wore, etc. She was incredible. After my first session, I noticed within days that the cystic acne was completely gone, but there was still redness and blemishes where the cysts were and there were still some pimples on my face.
You know that phrase, "you are what you eat"? This couldn't be more true and she explained that to me. The things we put in our body truly do affect our skin. So when you aren't eating healthy and taking care of yourself, your skin will show it.
After seeing my facialist I took on a major lifestyle change and started doing more research about skin. I started looking at skin with a more "French" approach. French women are known for their beauty and flawless skin, so I started finding out why they have such incredible skin. French women are proactive about their skin, not reactive. They do what they can to prevent skin issues instead of waiting for a problem and simply trying to treat the issue. Instead of focusing on the problems, they adopt a healthy lifestyle and good habits to prevent problems from occurring in the first place, and it clearly seems to be working.
My facialist definitely backed that up by telling me the majority of my skin issues were caused by food. I have a dairy allergy, so when I eat dairy products, the area around my mouth, my cheeks and jawline tend to break out with painful cystic acne. I had no idea that what I was eating could cause such horrible problems for my skin, so I cut out dairy as much as I could.
I also found out that I have extremely sensitive skin and the acne products and moisturizers I was using were actually causing more issues. It was difficult to find products that didn't cause a bad reaction to my skin. I started looking for products that were safe for sensitive skin and didn't contain a lot of chemicals. My brother introduced me to Lush Cosmetics, and I fell in LOVE with that brand. My personal favorite product is Angels on Bare Skin. It's a "face wash" but it's not a traditional kind with soaps and suds. It's more of a clay scrub that contains almond, kaolin clay, and real lavender. To this day I haven't gotten a single breakout from using this face wash. (My other fav's I use: Ocean Salt, Dream Cream & Grease Lightning)
When I found the perfect face wash, I then began my hunt for an equally perfect moisturizer that wouldn't cause breakouts. Going back to my "French" approach, I went to France and found the most amazing brand: Le Petit Olivier. I bought the extreme hydration with olive oil moisturizer and decided to try it out. It worked perfectly for my skin and hasn't caused a single breakout. It really helps keep my skin hydrated and helped clear it up a bit. I still use it daily and even have 5 bottles, because if you're just a regular person like me, how often do you get to go to France? Currently this product is not sold in the US, so it can be difficult to come by if you don't actually go to France to buy it.
Keeping in tune with the French beauty approach, I stopped using a lot of different products on my face. Less is more for sure. I even stopped wearing makeup and decided to only wear moisturizer and go completely bare faced, even with my acne scars and hyper pigmentation. I was very uncomfortable at first, but the longer I went without, the more confident I became. All of these things seemed to be working. My LUSH products and French moisturizer weren't causing any reactions and were definitely making my skin look healthier and more hydrated, but I was still getting some breakouts and the hyper pigmentation wasn't going away.
That's when I discovered the be all end all for skincare: SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar.
This product is AH-MAZING. My brother introduced me to this product and sent me a soap bar to try out. I was very cautious and skeptical at first because I wasn't sure how my skin was going to react to a new product. He had been using his for about a week and his skin cleared up dramatically, so I figured I would just give it a try.
I'm really not exaggerating when I say this is like a miracle product. I was very surprised that it didn't cause my face to break out and the morning after using I could already see a difference. I had only been using it for a few days and my skin was the clearest it had been since I could remember and I almost cried. I even sent a picture to my brother and he told me that he hasn't seen my face that clear in years.
Why does this product work so well? Salicylic Acid and Sulfur soap provides keratolytic, antifungal, and antiseptic action, so it doesn't just work at the surface of your skin. Acne is sometimes caused by bacteria trapped in the skin, so it digs deep down and kills that bacteria, enabling your skin to heal and the blemishes to go away.
This bar isn't just meant for acne and can be used for a wide range of skin problems, such as rashes or fungal infections. People also use it all over their body, but I just use it on my face because it works so well. In my personal opinion, the only "bad" thing about this product is the smell. It definitely smells like sulfur and it takes some time to getting used to, but the results are absolutely worth a little bit of smell when washing your face. It also tends to be very drying, especially for someone like me with sensitive skin, so moisturizer is a MUST. But then again, who isn't using moisturizer these days?
I wish everyone knew about this product because it's truly incredible. If you have ever suffered from acne or still are, this is something I highly recommend and 100% support. It's also quite inexpensive, at $6.99 per bar & comes wrapped in plastic in side the box. You can purchase it here through my link.
If you're not convinced yet, just wait until you see my before and after photos. A fair warning, they are pretty horrid.
Pretty gruesome, huh? You'll be even more shocked at my after pics:
No photoshop, no editing, no makeup. These pictures are 100% my skin the way that it looks today. In fact, the picture of me at the pool was taken yesterday! My skin transformation has been truly incredible and has gotten rid of a lot of stress in my life. I only wish that I had discovered these things years ago to save myself from all the stress, depression and embarrassment of having terrible skin. Now I go every single day barefaced and I don't even remember the last time I wore any makeup! It saves a lot of time getting ready and it's such a relief to have no more worries about my skin.
Wanna get clear skin too? Here's what I did in a nutshell:
- Started seeing a facialist
- Stopped eating foods that weren't good for me and adopted a healthy lifestyle
- Adopted a "French" approach to beauty and stopped wearing products that were causing more issues. Started wearing less products
- Started using a safe face wash: LUSH
- Started using a French moisturizer: Le Petit Olivier
- Started using SAL3 Sulfur Bar
- Going completely barefaced every day and being confident in my skin!