The following blog post was written by my sweet friend, Hannah Morris. Like most young women, Hannah struggled with insecurities regarding skin and hormonal acne and in today’s blog she shares the products that helped her skin clear up and her journey to finding inner confidence!
Skincare for years has been a sensitive subject for me. My freshman year of high school is when I first started to get acne. Pimples started to pop up for me but no one else around me seemed to be having the same problem. I felt super self-conscious so I began wearing face makeup to cover up these “imperfections.”
All throughout high school, my acne got worse and the people around me got to keep their clear, smooth skin. I was told many times that as I get older, I will “grow out” of my acne. That is not what happened.
During my junior and senior years, my acne was the worst it had ever been and it felt like nothing was working. I used countless acne systems, every face wash and pimple cream at the drugstore and even splurged on the expensive skincare products from Mario Badescu and Dr. Dennis Gross.
On top of my skin getting bad, I would also pick at my skin until it bled as an anxious habit. My skin was a mess of hormonal cystic acne, dry skin and scabs. Many times, I would go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and cry because I felt so bad about my skin. I was sure everyone I would talk to in person would only be able to look at my acne.
During my senior year, I got on birth control and specifically asked for a brand that would clear my skin because I saw many people online whose skin improved because of birth control. I really wanted to go on Accutane but my mom was scared for me to go through the side effects so it never happened. I’m glad I never did though because even though most of the time my acne looked bad, I personally didn’t feel like it was to the point to go through the many side effects of Accutane that some people experience. Birth control helped, but I was still having consistent acne.
Going into college, I decided to completely change up my skincare and go to a mostly natural skincare routine because I had read how much “better” a natural skincare routine is for you. I used products like African black soap, witch hazel and natural facial oils. My skin liked this for a bit and I was convinced this is what my skin needed to get better.
After a while, my skin plateaued and these products stopped working as well and I got incredibly frustrated. For years throughout my skincare journey, I was trying different products from all across the beauty market, just to get let down time after time and not see consistent results. After my freshman year of college, I gave up on putting so much effort into my skin. I did my skincare but didn’t expect drastic changes and relied on makeup to just cover everything up.
This past year, I started to experience negative self-perception surrounding my skin a lot more than usual. It was affecting me every day [like how I felt in high school] because I didn’t want to leave my room without makeup. I kept feeling like I was too old to have acne this bad and wondering when I would “grow out” of it like I had always thought was supposed to happen.
During winter finals, I was using anything to avoid finals work [as per usual] and I had come across yet another video about Curology. This product is popularly advertised by Internet influencers in a way that reminded me of a lot of Proactive.
I have always been skeptical of Curology because 1) these influencers are paid to talk about it, so who knows if this is actually how they feel about it and 2) a lot of these influencers already had clear skin so of course it’s working for them, their skin was clear to begin with!
Despite being skeptical, I was still intrigued because the brand pairs you with a dermatologist [which I always wanted to go to in high school but never did] and the first month is free. I put the search on hold to actually work on finals and it wasn’t until January when I finally made the jump because “new year, new me” you know?
During the month leading up to actually signing up for Curology, I fell in love with educating myself about skincare. I watched a lot of YouTube videos from Skincare by Hyram, a skincare specialist YouTuber and read blog post after blog post about all things skincare.
During these few months, I learned a lot about skincare ingredients and which work best for different skin issues and learned how to pinpoint what ingredients I needed to help with my problem areas. My Curology skin survey and dermatologist also helped me pinpoint my skin problems and what ingredients would help me.
From my own research, I had found that Niacinamide was an ingredient that would likely work well for my problem areas which were acne and acne marks. My Curology treatment is a mix of 4% Niacinamide, 1% Clindamycin and 4% Azelaic Acid which all work together to treat my hormonal acne.
I knew going into this new treatment that my skin would not get better overnight as I learned to be patient with my skin over the last month. I started mid- to late January and my skin got a lot better with each week. I am still using the Curology products which we curated specifically for my skin type and my skin has been consistently clear and has looked better than it ever has.
I still get pimples every now and again but that is natural! I don’t expect my skin to be perfectly clear anymore and I’m actually really happy with where it is right now. I have imperfections still but that’s natural! That happens to your skin and I have honestly found the beauty in that.
After the first few months of using Curology, I stopped using their face wash and moisturizer to save money. They are good products but they are also very simple and I realized I could find something similar at the drugstore for cheaper.
My skincare routine currently consists of a gentle face wash, my Curology treatment and a simple moisturizer. One problem I still face that I am working on is the texture of my skin and the random rough patches around my chin and cheeks. I am still learning how to properly take care of it, but my current favorite product to use for it is a chemical exfoliant [I am using the Ordinary BHA + AHA peel and I love it!].
A few takeaways learned from my skincare journey:
Not everyone’s skin is the same: A big frustration of mine was comparing my skin to others. I would follow the routine of friends and influencers who had beautiful skin. I would get so upset when the routines that gave them clear skin wouldn’t work for me. Within the last year, I have learned there is no one perfect skincare routine. Everyone’s skin is different, therefore everyone is going to have different routines that work for them.
Pay attention to ingredients: It is so important to educate yourself on what ingredients do what for your skin and what ingredients you should avoid. It’s important for you to know what your skincare products consist of so you know what products would work for you and what ones wouldn’t.
Be kind and consistent with your skin: Be gentle, be patient and always do your routine! Scrubbing aggressively won’t make your acne disappear. Washing your face 3 times a day won’t either. Create a routine and stick to it! Let your skin breathe, embrace your imperfections, and give your skin time to get better. Good skin doesn’t happen overnight. For some it takes months and for most, good skin doesn’t come naturally. It takes a good, consistent routine and education on your skin’s needs!