12 June 2017


Acne was a topic that lack information on the radar of the Internet. When I suffer from acne 3 years back, I thought that I was the only one that went through such demoralised pain which led me to being self-deprecation with all the negative thoughts flowing over me and felt ugly physically. I wondered what was the actual cause of my acne. When I started to search this topic online, I couldn't find the cause for my acne specifically for my skin type (and I didn't know what was my skin type). So in desperation of curing my acne, I consulted the dermatologist which went really badly. I finally went to this facial place that was recommended by the hairdresser that my family went to often, that had helped me through this agony. Through the process of healing and advices I had been taught and researched on, I am here to share a few tips to speed up the recovery of your acne. Bear in mind that this may not work for everyone but pick the one that suits you most. I really hope you find this blogpost helpful as you're reading this because these tips has helped me a lot throughout my acne journey and I'm on my way to be healed completely.


1. KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE: Knowing your own skin type is really important to understand the root of the cause of your acne. In my case, I have a combination skin type. If you need any help to recognise your own skin type, go to a skin expert on the supermarket counter that you purchase your products before and ask them, for free. If you're sceptical of them, find a trusted, TRUSTED dermatologist to help you out so that they will give you an honest answer. The most common skin types are OILY, COMBINATION (oily combination for those living in moist climate; dry combination for those living in dry climate), and DRY. You may ask about sensitivity of acne skin- most of us who suffers from acne has sensitive skin. 

2. PRODUCT TYPE: When you figured out your skin type, let's move on to the types of textures of products in the market. When you walk in to a beauty store, you're bombarded with all the different brands and products and you have no idea which is best for you. First, I would like to discuss on the textures of product with your skin type. For OILY or COMBINATION skin, it is best to find a gel consistency of facial products (cleanser and moisturiser). This is because gel dissolves and dries quickly onto oily skin. Gel is water-based which makes it lightweight. For DRY skin, you may want to find a thicker consistency- liquid like facial cleanser that requires shaking to create bubbles; and cream for moisturiser.

3. INGREDIENTS IN PRODUCTS: The ingredients in the face product you use are important to know so that they don't irritate your skin. Bear in mind that when you have acne, do not use harsh ingredients or textures as they can further damage your problem skin. AVOID OR STOP USING FACE SCRUBS. Some people may say face scrubs can remove the dead cells of the acne but that's not true. Further scrubbing will irritate the acne and trigger them to become swollen and inflame even more. I tried that and my acne worsen. So, I advise you to stop scrubbing your face as your face is a gentle and delicate part of your body.

When you purchase products, don't restrain yourself to only look at the 'acne' labeled products as some of these products can be harmful or drying to your skin. Look for natural products or products that can combat acne as well. Products that contains ingredients like rosehip oil, tea tree oil, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) are great to combat acne. Before purchasing any products, look at the ingredient list behind the packaging.

Ingredients to avoid are such as dimenticone, silicone, alcohol, coconut oil, retinol, fragrance, benzoyl peroxide, parabens, etc (refer to acne.org or caryskincare for the lists of pore clogging ingredients) as these are all comedogenic- means these ingredients has high irritation that can promote further breakouts. 

Also, do look out for products that are labeled to be clinically proven, dermatologically proven or for sensitive skin. These labels proves that the product is safe to use especially for us with sensitive, acne skin. However, do look out for the ingredient list as well to justify the label. You don't have to have all the good ingredients mentioned in your products. If there are a few from the lists, it's good depending on your skin's need and sensitivity. For bad ingredients, avoid all if possible.

4. STEPS ON USING PRODUCTS: Trending Korean 10-step skincare can be quite confusing and burdensome to keep up everyday, especially when you're busy. Plus we do not know which products suits our skin best and can be very costly if it doesn't suit. For acne prone skin starter, I suggest the 4-step routine: cleanse, tone, healing lotion or liquid or cream and moisturiser. I used this routine everyday when I had acne and it helps a lot. The most important thing to note is to find the best effective healing lotion or cream to soothe and heal the active acne and dark spots. Extra step is to double cleanse which means that the cleanse routine is two times when you do use sunblock during the day. Double cleanse at night only. The double cleanse concept is to use oil base cleanser followed by the gel/foam cleanser. Oil based cleanser is to clear all the grease and residue of the sunblock from your skin, and gel/foam cleanser is to finally clean all the residue that are not being cleansed by the oil cleanser. You need a clean canvas for the toner. 


5. AVOID DEEP FRY & SOUR FOOD: Deep fried food contains a large amount of oil and too much of oil can clog pores and causes the facial sebum to produce more oil which can cause acne to grow. So, cut down fast food and oily food. Try to eat more steam, stir fry, boil or baked technique of making food that require no/less oil. Sour food like sour candy and lemons can cause the acne scars or spots to slow down its healing process and sometimes it can worsen the wound.

6. CUT DOWN YOU SUGAR INTAKE: Sugar can cause blood sugar to rise which triggers the increase of insulin. Too much sugar in bloodstream can cause changes to your body which can lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells. It can also increase the production of oil glands. Source: WebMD So reduce the consumption of food that has high sugar level such as canned drinks, sweets, sweet chocolates, ice-cream, etc. Eat with a small amount. No sugar will harm your body as well. Eat in moderation.

7. DAIRY PRODUCTS: If you're milk intolerant like me, stop drinking dairy milk, butter or any animal sources of fat. This is only applicable if you're dairy intolerant or if you want to speed up your recovery. If you're not, then you can still consume dairy. Dairy products contains hormones that can changes the hormones in your body which leads to the production of hormone similar to insulin that can cause inflammatory. 

8. AVOID SEAFOOD: Except for fish. Other seafood like prawns, crabs, lobster, clam, mussels contain huge amount of iodine which can link to acne breakouts. Boiled eggs and cheese are high in iodine as well. Seafood can inflame your skin and clog pores. Minimise ( you can consume with small amount) the intake amount of iodine if possible.


9. CHANGE PILLOW CASES AND TOWELS WEEKLY/SEMIWEEKLY: Cleanliness is important when you have sensitive skin. You use your pillow and towel everyday which can accumulates all the dirts from the environment. When you wipe or sleep with your towel or pillow, dirt or germs can transfer to your face and inflame the current acne or even grow new pimples. Change them frequently to avoid any bacterias to live on your face.

10. CONSISTENT SLEEPING PATTERN: This is super important when you have acne. Some people suffers acne are due to the hormonal imbalance or the change of hormones. Do note that some acne causes are due to inheritance. Sleep early- the latest by 10pm and sleep at 10pm consistently everyday without fail. Then, you will see results. 

11. BE AWARE OF OTHER HEALTH ISSUES YOU HAVE: Our acne can be the causes of our other health issues like constipation, or gastric that appears on our face. Do watch out for your diet and your other health issues that might be the cause of your acne. Consult your doctor for further guide on your health issues and understand the effects of it. For example, I used to have gastric in my early years and I should avoid sour food, which can speed up my acne recovery.

12. EXERCISE REGULARLY: Exercise can help to excrete all the toxins in your body. So, besides taking care of your diet, do some workout to further aid in improving your skin condition. 

13. USE SUNBLOCK: I am guilty of not using sunblock because of my laziness. Don't follow me, please. Use your sunblock everyday, even if you're indoors the entire day. This can prevent any hyperpigmentation or wrinkles to appear on your skin. Damaged skin can cause skin cancer in the future. Fun fact: hyper pigmentation takes 20-30 years to be visible. So start protecting your face now. Warning: double cleanse if you use sunblock.

14. CLEANSE YOUR FACE TWICE A DAY: Yes. The environment that we are in today is never clean, even if you have trees around you because of the flumes from cars, shophouses or factories are in the air. Morning cleanse is to clean all the excessive oils and saliva from the night of sleeping (you never know if you sweat during the night) to keep your skin fresh. Night cleanse is to clear all the dirt  and oil throughout the day and prepare your face to get healing at night when sleeping.

15. SQUEEZING ACNE YOURSELF: Do not ever squeeze your acne by yourself. If you're not careful, the wrong method of squeezing can spread the bacteria to the other area on your face and acne will grow again. If you squeeze in the wrong direction, it can cause acne scars that appears to be curve in. Best to ask professionals to excrete it for you. However, if you're really in a rush for an event, then I suggest you use two tissue paper on the opposite of each finger, where the acne is in the middle, press then squeeze the gunk out. Use another tissue to wipe it clean, then proceed to clean your face and apply on any healing lotion or cream.

16. DRINK WATER: Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day (even better if you can track your weight to the amount of water you should drink per day-website). This is to hydrate your body and your skin. Plus your body is made up of mostly water, so you have to replenish the amount of water in your body. Your skin will feel supple as your organs works well to flush out the toxins from your body.

17. EAT MORE FRESH FRUITS & VEGETABLES: When your skin is somewhat being hurt and turns dull, vitamin C is crucial to replenish and restore new cells on your skin. Fruits and vegetables are great to detoxify your body which in turn will improve your skint texture as well. Avoid canned food as they contain preservatives and additives that can accumulates in your body and clog pores. So buy fresh food, if possible.


18. BE POSITIVE: I cannot emphasize this enough to anyone who suffers from acne. In my own experience, I was once negative, sad and has low-esteem, and even to the extent of hating myself when I look myself in the mirror. I hate to socialise or hang out with people because of my ugly face. I got nasty comments and questions about my look. Things got worse. However, with the support of God and my family, I discover the importance of positivity during this circumstance. When I started to think and believe that I can be healed, I truly DID (yes you heard that right!). Ignore the people that told you you're ugly, and those who hates your look. Forget them because you only need positive people in your life. Even when you have no friends, remember you have God and God can help you through as well. When you start to think bad about yourself, think of how happy and grateful you are because you have a normal body and mind to move and talk. Think of only lovely things. Say only positive and motivating words to yourself. This is the time when you should love and take care of your body the most. Treat this journey as an experience.

19. SAY THAT YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS!: Say to yourself aloud that you can do it!!! Loudly, in your room, everyday. Believe in yourself. Believe you can. Believe that one day will come. Believe you are beautiful. Indeed, you are what you believe. This is powerful, trust me. 


20. FIND SAFER OR NATURAL OPTION TO CURE: I understand that a lot of people who find nothing that can cure their acne goes for roacuttane. The risk of taking pills is rather high, as what I'd researched online. Some people regretted to go on roaccutane because it disturbs their monthly period cycle, emotions and textures of their skin. Going on pills is not guaranteed to be able to completely cure acne. I respect your decision if you want to (especially those who have severe cystic acne). However, for those who are still on the hunt to find better resolution to cure acne, let's put roaccutane as the last resort.  I was asked to take pills to cure my acne by a dermatologist without any further consultation or explanation, I felt so wrong and anxious, which led me to look up online about the pills and realised I should find other safer option before committing to those pills. 

A few of the safest/safer ways to cure acne are natural remedy or facial wash. I don't specifically recommend natural remedy as we all are not familiar with the effectiveness and chemical composition of natural resources unless you master very well on those things. You can try it out if you want to but it's best to go for a facial wash as those people are credited and certified to cure face problems. They understand your face condition better and are able to consult and recommend suitable products for your skin type. REMINDER: only go to a facial place that you trust and that has helped a lot of people previously. The most common facial wash processes are extraction or chemical peel. If they recommend other options, ask for more information and do further research on those online or in books before committing to it. 


Follow any of the steps above that you find could help fight acne. It's worth it when you see the results at the end. Do bear in mind that following these steps requires months to see the results. Patience is the key. I believe you can do it just as I did. All the best! Let me know in the comment box if this has helped you in any ways or if you want me to share more about acne. Do leave a few tips of yours, cuz I'd love to know ;)


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