Acne is the bane of my life. And by acne I don't mean 4-5 whiteheads around the time my period would be if I didn't have a Mirena. I mean massive, deep spots that take weeks to come to the surface. Swollen, painful deep spots. Beyond cystic acne. This is as well as the whiteheads.
I have honestly spent the last 10 years trying to a) work out the cause and b) work out how to deal with it.
Things I do know at this point:
1. My skin hates toner. Of any description.
2. My skin is sensitive, and not in the slightest bit oily. In fact, when I was a perfectly clear skinned teen my main problem was eczema and allergies. Nothing much has changed there.
3. Make up makes no difference to the condition of my skin as long as it is mineral oil free.
4. Luckily the majority of my face doesn't scar horribly.
5. My liver sometimes can be a little sluggish, particularly after I've had a lot of sugar.
6. I am lucky enough to not have a single wrinkle, and above my cheekbones my skin is amazing.
So currently my routine consists of the following products:
Naturderm botanics Eye Make Up Remover (in German)
Rhassoul clay (in German)
Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion
Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Oil Capsules
Lush Enchanted Eye Cream
Simple Spot Zapper Gel
Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask
and goes a little something like this....
I mix 1/2 a tsp of clay with 1 tsp warm water and leave to sit for 5 mins while I shower. Just before I step out of the shower I wet my face gently and apply the clay, massaging in thoroughly. I leave it on for 1 minute before rinsing off.
I then splash my face with cold water (it's very cold at the moment!), pat dry and apply my moisturiser. Then eye cream, and I dab Spot Zapper gel on any spots I do have.
First I mix up the same clay mix as the morning. Then I remove my make up with the eye make up remover. This is an oil product and removes everything easily and quickly. I remove the oil with cotton wool pads dampened with hot water. My skin prefers this to a face cloth as it isn't as harsh on my sensitive skin. I do have to keep going until the cotton pads are clear, but to be sure I usually go over with a hot damp flannel quickly (and gently) at the end.
Then I use the clay mix in the same way I do in the morning. Once that is rinsed off, I splash my face with cold water and pat slightly dry. I then apply 1 facial oil capsule. I finish off with eye cream and spot gel if required.
Once or twice a week I'll add a mask into the routine, either the Boots one listed above, or a mix of rhassoul clay, olive oil (or sometimes my make up remover oil) and a drop of lavender oil. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse off.
This seems to be working pretty well for me right now, with a noticeable calming of my skin within 3 days. My nose is the main indicator of how comfortable my skin is - when it is irritated it goes red. I have never been able to work out why my nose is red but just stopping the toner (natural, alcohol free, whatever) has stopped that completely.
I'm also taking a bunch of supplements, including quite a high strength daily dose of agnus castus to try and regulate my hormones. That will take a while to work, a month at least, and I'll be keeping a careful eye on my skin to see how it reacts.