SKINCARE.

March 25th, 2016

This is me this morning, with no makeup.

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Necklace: Jenny Bird

I’ve been asked plenty of times to talk about my skincare routine, but never did for a few reasons that I will explain in this blog post. The picture up here hasn’t been retouched so you can see me and my uneven skin complexion (although the light definitely reduces the redness). I’m pretty comfortable with showing my skin now, but it wasn’t always like that, and to be completely honest, some days I still don’t feel like showing my bare skin when I’m outside.

I have been dealing with mild acne for many years now, and today I want to share some of the things I’ve learned and the products I use. During the past two weeks my skin has been acting up (it’s starting to clear up now), because after 9 months of being on birth control, I suddenly stopped and my skin reacted accordingly. This is why I felt like it was a good time for me to share my experiences, and show you how my skin naturally looks like without any “help” or medications.

So before I talk about actual products, let me give you some information: during my teen years I had some periods of mild acne, nothing very noticeable, which eventually stopped once I reached my twenties. For about a year my skin was lovely, no breakouts, not oily and not dry either.

When I moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, for work, something changed: I woke up, one morning, thinking that I had some kind of allergic reaction – small red and itchy bumps all over my face. I decided to give it a few days, but those tiny spots became much bigger, painful, and even cysts formed. In a week, my skin was a mess: not really knowing much about acne and what products to use, I went to the super market and bought all the things I could find, trying out way too many things at once, causing my skin to get more irritated and overall worsening the situation.

My skin was peeling, bleeding, while being oily and painful. I never felt more embarrassed in my entire life, and so I closed myself inside my room for about two weeks. Then it was time for me to go back home, in Italy, and when I showed my mom how bad the situation was, she promptly helped by giving me iron, vitamins and told me not to worry and just take some time off and relax.

That made a big change, and in another few weeks my skin started to clear up: it stopped producing spots, and it left me with marks and a few little scars, that with time luckily disappeared. I was happy that things were getting better, but after months my complexion was getting really oily and uneven.

In this period I tried almost anything, from working out, eating a very clean diet, using only natural products as skincare, to stronger treatments available like “Exposed” and the “Clinique Acne Solution” (to name some). Trust me, I tried so many different things, hoping they would make a difference. I even kept a journal in which I wrote daily to track any progress.

I gave it time, but at one point I just wasn’t happy with it anymore. I made the decision to see a dermatologist, which helped me a lot in terms of understanding what condition I had and what products I should use in my skin and what not to. She told me I had mild cystic acne, that could hopefully be cured by taking antibiotics and a topic treatment.

These two combined (Tetralysal and Epiduo) gave me amazing results very quickly: my skin had no redness, no spots what so ever. The only thing I couldn’t get rid of was the oiliness, but that didn’t bother me all that much. After doing my 3 months as suggested using these products, I had to take a break. A month later, I was dealing with acne again.

My dermatologist prescribed me more antibiotics, but the problem is that you can’t just keep taking them forever: I needed something that wouldn’t cause side-effects on the long term, but that would still be effective.

That’s when I started to look into birth control, having heard that it does work for some people when it comes to curing acne. I went to the doctor and asked for it; I was explained how there are different ones available and what they do, but wanting the pill mainly for obtaining a better skin, she suggested I would take Dianette. She informed me it’s a strong pill and could give me severe side-effects, but I should try it for 3 months and take it from there.

And so I did, and at the beginning, it was incredible. My skin stopped being oily, it looked wonderful, no acne. I was incredibly happy to have found something like this, because it also, obviously, made my periods regular and less painful, while helping with my skin problems. I kept checking in with my doctor as I was taking it, but failed to notice one thing: I started feeling nauseous after a few hours from taking it, every night; and any time I would stop a week to allow my period to come, I would have terrible nausea. I never connected the fact that the pill might have been the cause of this, mainly because I travel a lot and I always thought it was just due to the jet lag and stress.

I’m not sure you are aware of it, but my biggest fear is to vomit. I can’t deal with it, it scares me so much, even just the idea of it.

And so 3 weeks ago, for the first time in 9 years, I did vomit. And I realised that my body couldn’t handle the pill anymore. I stopped taking it instantly and decided to take a break from it for a month. I’m going back to my doctor in a week to switch to a different one, hoping that it will be less strong but still cure my acne. If you are in the same situation and know about a pill that gets the job done, do let me know, so I can ask my doctor about it!

But for now, I would like to share with you the products I love to use, and sorry for taking so long to get to this point.

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In the morning, I wash my face with just cold water. I apply this Lush eye cream, which is one of the best I’ve ever owned as it doesn’t irritate my eyes (the skin around them is very sensitive, and this doesn’t give me any problems) and then I apply my cucumber lotion by Boots, which is much lighter than a moisturiser, and it’s actually very cheap and a tube of this has lasted me such a long time.

 

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In the evening I make sure I clean my skin really well, no make up residue allowed. I put a few drops of Bioderma on 3 different cotton pads – two for my eyes and one for the rest of the face – and remove everything. I wash my face with warm water and use a towel to pat it dry. I then apply this Tarte eye cream, which gives me more moisture compared to the one I use in the morning; move onto oil, currently the Black Pomegranate one from Skin Food; and finally apply a layer of moisturiser by Nars.

 

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Once or twice a week I will pamper my skin, starting with a scrub – either the one from Vasanti if I want something very fine, or the one from Skin Food if I really need something strong to get rid of dead skin – and then move onto a face mask: my two favourite ones are the ones shown below. I will use the Garnier one if I’m having breakouts and oily skin, because it does miracles to my skin (I have been using it for years and also works great as a spot treatment); instead I will go for some Manuka Honey if I notice that my skin is starting to get a few spots or is dryer than usual, as not only it makes my skin feel super soft after, but it also calms any irritation and kills bacteria.

One thing I can’t forget is to apply a spot treatment at night, when needed, and for the past 6 months I have been using Evanhealy, which isn’t too strong and does a good job.

 

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That’s all for my skincare, I hope this can help someone because I sure know how difficult it is trying to find things that work. Obviously, everyone has a different skin type and products that work for me might not be good for you, but being asked to talk about this topic for a long time, I wanted to take my time and really explain as much as I could about my situation.

Do you deal with acne? Or any other skin conditions? If you do, make sure you share in the comments what helps you, so that we can all help each other out!

Either way, one thing that helped me feeling confident even if my skin isn’t looking too great, is to remember that we are always more critical about ourselves, and something that might seem awful for us, might not even be noticed by others. So instead of stopping yourself from going out because you feel a bit self-conscious, forget about it, smile and enjoy your day. It’s worth it!

 

Marzia.

207 thoughts on “SKINCARE.

  1. Jess

    Hi Marzia,

    I also have quite oily skin and suffer from a form of mild acne. I went to the doctors and tried a 3 month course of antibiotics which really didn’t help much at all. I’ve also tried Dianette (also for 3 months) however it didn’t seem to help much either and also caused me to have a really low mood. I’ve recently returned to a combined contraceptive pill called ‘Alenvona’ which is proving to be really good; it seems to calm my skin down quite a lot and, as far as I’m aware, I don’t suffer from any side effects either. I’m really content with this pill and therefore I’d definitely recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda (@mandy_luvy)

    Aw Marzia I wish I could give you a hug after reading your story! I had almost the same experience and got told to go on the pill to help with my skin and periods and it was probably the worst thing I could do. It was so sad because my skin would get more perfect for a little while but then get bad again and I’d stay inside for a while. I think what’s really been helping me is taking probiotics instead! You can buy pill versions at whole foods or drink/eat them naturally in yogurt (alpro is the best and non-dairy!!) It’ll help your body fight off the bad bacteria or unbalanced hormones that are causing the acne. It probably won’t work for everyone but I just wanted to share what helped me, and hopefully will help anyone reading this! 🙂 Stay strong!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. arlenesalazar

    Hi Marzia,

    I just want to share my own experiences with you.

    I had breakouts when I was in my teenage years and stopped when I reached 19. And then my breakouts came back December of year 2014. At first it was just mild pimples in the forehead, so I was able to tolerate it for almost a year. Then December of year 2015, that’s when my pimples became worst that they started coming out in my cheeks.

    That was when I panicked and decided to consult a derma last January 16, 2016. He gave me prescriptions of Tetralysal (300mg) and his own cream (that I forgot the name, sorry). And he asked me to use Celeteque Acne Solutions facial wash. I tried using Celeteque for about 2 weeks, and when I didn’t saw any improvements, I researched on the internet about what other doctors prescribed to their patients. That’s when I found out about Ivory.

    My skin went very dry when I started using Ivory, so I started using Honey every night to moisturize my skin.
    Then I kept on taking Tetralysal everyday for almost 2 months. By the way, my derma doctor and I see each other every 2 weeks so he can see improvements if there is any. Last March 3, during my check-up he noticed that my breakouts are not the worst anymore, so he then prescribed me to drink Tetralysal every other day.

    I tried using lemon on my face when I run out of Honey. I feel a stinging sensation whenever I put lemon on my face every night, but just a mild one and I can tolerate it. And I’m still using lemon until now.

    Then last March 31, he then limited my intake again to only twice a week.

    I haven’t got any breakout since the first week of March. I don’t know if it is because of the Ivory soap, or the honey, or the lemon, or because I stopped eating banana(even though it is my favorite), or maybe because I stopped eating too much bread.

    Now I’m in the process of peeling(since March 31) the scars that my previous breakouts left on my skin. My derma doctor also prescribed me his own cream. I’m not doing a “whole face” process. I decided to just apply the cream on the scars. The cream made the scars more red and visible, but I do not worry to much because I think that’s part of the peeling process.

    I will see my derma doctor again this April 14 and hopefully my skin is better.

    Like

  4. Arlene

    This was really nice to read! I love your blog posts!

    I have mild acne that seems to never go away, and if it does, I’ll get acne scars.. I haven’t found anything that works for me. I gave up for awhile and just washed my face with cold and warm water and covered my acne with makeup. I started pretending like I didn’t care about it and I started to actually not care.
    Senior year comes and my acne gets really really bad. Classmates and even my friends(for some reason) ALWAYS point them out, sometimes even laugh at their placement. This made me really self conscious.
    I spent a bunch of money on acne products, but I felt like all the chemicals made it worse..
    Still at a loss for what to do..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura

    I think it is so nice that you share your story with us, Marzia!
    I have had acne since I was about 11 years old. In the beginning I did not mind about it that much. I began to wash my face two times a day, and it was fine for a while. But then I started developing acne on my shoulders, and it could be very painful. So I went to a doctor, and he prescribed an antibiotic meant to slow down the production of sebum and oils. The acne on my shoulders has now disappeared, but so has most of the acne on my face too. I’ve realised that this has actually made me a more happy and confident person, even though I didn’t think initially there was a problem.
    I honestly don’t think that someone is less of a person if they have acne, and I couldn’t be happier for people who have no problem whatsoever with acne that the may have. But if acne is something that bothers you, then you should feel free to do something about it, if it makes you happier.

    Like

  6. Lucia

    Ciao Marzia 🙂

    I was a bit surprised after reading your post because I didnt really expect that you also had problem with acne. I mean its such a relatable topic for many of us. Those days that I thought I wouldnt leave home to school or night out because of my skin were the worst :/. Fortunately its a lot better now, almost perfect skin but it took me a long time to understand why I had problems. The key here is to realise that whats on your skin is only a reflection of whats going on inside, in other words your body is trying to tell you that something needs to be changed about your lifestyle choices because you body is trying to clean itself through your skin. No cream can solve this unfortunately. I know you mentioned in your post that you tried having a strict diet but you didnt really describe what kind of diet so I can only guess. Plus eating pills and antibiotics is also so difficult for your body to deal with, but I understand that it is a possible solution when you dont know what esle to do.
    Not sure if you even see this but if you are interested I can tell you more, because I truly believe it would help you a lot as it really helped my and my friend (she had one of the worst acnes).

    Have a nice day Marzia, your blog is amazing. 🙂

    Like

  7. Silvia

    Ciao Marzia!
    Mi dispiace di sentirti parlare di questi problemi, non avrei mai immaginato!
    Soprattutto per il vomito, anche la mia migliore amica ha questa fobia e posso capire quanto possa diventare pesante in certe situazioni.
    Comunque, ti volevo raccontare la mia esperienza con acne/pillola, sperando ti possa essere utile:
    Dai 13 ai 16 anni ho sofferto di acne(nulla di tragico), pelle grassa e capelli crespi e oleosi.
    Oltre a tutto questo c’erano anche dolori per il ciclo che mi tenevano inchiodata al letto 3 giorni ogni mese.
    Ho tentato qualsiasi tipo di prodotto ma nulla ha funzionato.
    Quindi ho deciso di cominciare a prendere la pillola. La mia ginecologa mi ha consigliato Yaz(dovrebbe essere abbastanza leggera) e mi ci sono subito trovata benissimo. Nel giro di un paio di mesi la mia pelle è diventata assolutamente perfetta, i capelli tornati “normali” e un ciclo che dura due giorni e è come se non ci fosse.
    Ormai sono 4 anni che la prendo e non ho mai avuto alcun tipo di effetto collaterale.
    Ogni persona ottiene effetti diversi dalla stessa pillola, quindi tutto quello che ti posso suggerire è di provarne altre se con una non ti trovi bene! Ce ne sono talmente tante… e non c’è veramente nessuna legge su quale potrebbe fare al caso tuo. Io sono stata fortunata e mi sono trovata subito bene, ma ho delle amiche che ne hanno provate 2 o 3 prima di trovare quella perfetta per loro!
    Quindi, semplicemente… GOOD LUCK!

    Like

  8. Maeva

    Hi Marzia!

    My Mum just found an amazing and natural product. It’s called Nigella oil and you can apply it on the skin or drink it. We have been using it for a few days now and the skin is already looking better. Pores are smaller, the skin is less shiny but mosturized and we have less pimples.

    Apparently, Egyptians pharoah used to have it 3000 years ago. You can look it up on the internet, it cures a lot of things. Also, we bought it in a pharmacy.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Maeva

    Like

  9. Julia

    Thanks so much for sharing your skincare story! I also went off birth control recently and now am trying to sort out my skin, so this is really helpful.

    By the way, vomiting is also my biggest fear and the basis of my anxiety/panic disorder. Did vomiting make you less afraid of it after such a long time? I also haven’t in at least 8 years and panic whenever I feel nauseated. If you ever need to talk to someone about emetophobia, I’m all ears! ❤

    Like

  10. Gabrielle Nina Smith

    Hi Marzia! I think you should really try taking a probiotic! It is so beneficial to your body-especially after all of the antibiotics and birth control you’ve taken. Whenever you take antibiotics or any kind of medication, it will kill the bad bacteria AND good bacteria in your gut unfortunately. The probiotic basically repopulates your stomach with the good bacteria. Since all breakouts have to do with overactive sebum glands-hence your oily skin (and using a bunch of topical treatments that strips away your skins natural moisture has caused your face to produce even more oil unfortunately. It’s a catch 22!) The probiotic will help balance out everything on the inside. I’ve been taking a probiotic from Plexus and it really has done wonders for my skin because it gets to the root of the problem. I really think it will help!

    Like

  11. Gracie Hurst

    Hi Marzia😊 I’ve suffered with bad acne for many years now and I’ve recently been taking tablets and applying cream for it from the doctors every day. The cream makes my skin all red and very sore and I’m peeling so bad! Can you suggest anything to soothe my skin, everything I’ve tried just stings😞 Much love, Gracie X

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vicky

    Hey Marzia!
    I know this is an old post (I’ve been stalking your blog, sorry not sorry) and that probably you already did it, but please try to not to use birth control pills. I had to use them for a long time because my periods were extremely long (I used to bleed for like a month) and it caused me a lot of health troubles: I gained a lot of weight, it raised my cholesterol, it made a mess of my white and red blood cells, my hormones just didn’t seem to function properly, etc. Because of that now I have a lot of problems with my ovaries and uterus, and I would hate seeing the same thing happen to you. Basically, they are a very dangerous thing, and no, Im not saying that all the birth control pills or all the bodies are the same, but you should be careful with it and try something else for your skin, something that doesn’t risk your health that much. Take care, love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. QuirkyKali

    Hey Marzia! I just started reading your blog (from the beginning) and am absolutely loving it. I too have had some issues over the past few years with acne, the overall appearance of my skin, and birth control. *hugs* I’m sorry you’ve been through it too!

    My mild cystic acne started when I moved to NYC for university and found out it was because I had begun too rough of a skin care routine while I was there. I had been using an exfoliating face wash every night and my skin had no time to regain its natural oils. A dermatologist there helped me come to that conclusion and had given me a topical gel that I honestly didn’t enjoy much but I was desperate. It was difficult having that condition and going to a fashion school at the same time. I felt really judged and forced to wear heavy makeup every day.

    After my time there I got on birth control (Previfem) and it was great! I didn’t experience any major side effects and my periods (that used to leave me bed-ridden and writhing in pain for 1-2 days) were much more manageable. It definitely started to help with my acne as well (along with easing up on the exfoliating thing).

    It’s been over almost a year since I started the birth control and still had some red spots from old cysts and wanted to get rid of them for my wedding (which is now only a month away!) so I decided to see a dermatologist again. She gave me a recommendation for a face cleanser and moisturizer and prescribed a lotion for the morning and topical gel for the night. They have been working pretty well but unfortunately have made my skin unbearably dry.

    So I decided to take a little break from using those prescriptions and now I only use coconut oil to wash the makeup off of my face at night and will rinse my face during my shower with water only. I have also made a homemade exfoliating scrub to use 2 or 3 times a week to help get rid of the flakiness (my makeup was clinging to it very badly). I used 2 cups brown sugar and 1 cup soft coconut oil. It’s been lasting me a really long time and not only scrubs away dead skin and leaves your face super soft and smelling nice, but also tastes like cookie dough so try not to eat it or you might eat all of it lol. That’s what I’ve been doing lately to help with my acne issues along with trying to get into the habit of washing my makeup brushes more regularly. I hope these help! Take care! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Vera

    I myself don’t struggle with acne this much, but there were a few really bad periods. What helped me the most was:
    1. Eating chia seeds. When I eat them everyday for breakfast (I always prepare the evening before I go to bed) a chia pudding, you know, a cup of chia seeds soaked for example in coconut milk. It really did miracles.

    2. Also eating avocados helped a lot. As often as possible. My favorite way of eating them is making a banana-avocado smoothie. It’s super delicious and it does have a good effect on my skin although I think chia seeds were even better.

    3. I use Nature Republic Aloe vera gel every morning and evening. It’s basically just light moisturizing gel, but my sking got a lot lot better. Way less redness and my skin has got quite smooth as well.

    4. Whenever I had a breakout I used teatree or lavender oil every day before going to bed. Really helpful as it has antibacterial effect. You don’t actually need to have it on your face whole night, you can just wipe it off after 15 minutes, but I recommend it.

    5. La roche-posay Effaclar Duo [+]
    It’s a anti-imperfections cream. Actually I’ve started using this one thing not so long ago but so far I’m really happy. It moisturizes my skin and leaves it super soft and smooth.

    Like

  15. liesbethschreurs

    Hi Marzia!

    I’ve been binge reading your blog posts today, that’s why I’m a bit late with this comment. But I wrote an article about this subject yesterday! Maybe it’ll help you as well 🙂 We’re the same age and I’ve been on the pill for over 8 years, it did wonders for my skin as well but it isn’t very healthy since it goes through your blood stream. I now switched to a coil but my skin wasn’t very happy with it. I’ve started with taking zinc tablets and switched up my routine. It’s starting to slowly get better. Since I’m not ready to have children I can’t imagine not taking birth control unfortunately. The struggles of being a girl right!

    Love you lots!

    Liesbeth

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hélène

    Hi Marzia !
    (first of all i need to apologize for my approximate english ^^)
    I know that the post is a bit old but if I can help …
    I am currently facing acne. I am 23 and at my age, acne is often due to hormone. I don’t smoke, I eat healthy and I wear no makeup at all.
    I have read in an other post that you have thin hair. My hair became thiner and thiner for 1 year (when i stopped my birth control pill). Plus my periods are really irregular. So I went to an endocrinologist to have a hormonal examination. We found that I produce to much male hormone (delta4 and testosterone). I need more test to be sure, but I will probably have a pill with progesterone (not a birth control pill). So if you have oily skin + acne + thin hair / lost hair + if you are a bit hairy (so glamourous !) a hormonal examination in the beginning of your natural period is a good test 😉

    I love your videos and posts, so inspiring,
    Stay as you are !

    Kiss from France

    Like

  17. depthsofmyskin

    Hi Marzia,

    I’ve been watching your videos for years now and love how you’ve grown as a YouTuber but also as a blogger! Your makeup and look is always so flawless and I had no idea about your skin troubles. Thank you for this post about your struggle with acne, it has really inspired us all and made me really be able to relate to you more as a person.

    I am creating a campaign to raise the awareness of skin issues in the community and would really love it if you checked out our blog.

    Xoxo Depths of My Skin

    https://depthsofmyskin.wordpress.com
    https://www.facebook.com/depthsofmyskin/

    Like

  18. Kymeliu

    Hi Marzia,

    Firstly, i’d like to say that you are very beautiful 😀 I have also had similar issues to you and I was out on antibiotics for 3 months, which I finished about a month or so ago now. Since I finished them I have had a few more pesky breakouts and the topic treatment i have been prescribed really irritates my skin, makes it all dry and itchy 😦 So that’s not ideal. Just trying to find a way to manage it without using harsh chemicals or medications really, I have found a couple ideas from reading this post so thanks! 😀 I just need to try a few out and hope it works on my skin. If anyone else has any other suggestions please let me know, this girl will try anything 😉

    Thanks!
    Kymeliu x

    https://kymeliu.wordpress.com

    Like

  19. meowdesign

    Hi Marzia!
    I have read this post 1 year ago and I took some advice from it that actually worked also for my skin! (for example the garnier product). Luckly/unluckly I was not in the same situatio I also tooked Dianette as a pill but it was jot necessary for me to stop! My skin was great! Now, however my doctor told me to stop using it, it is too strong and it quite tuined my leg (I have many.. capillari! I do not know how to traslate it..). of course my skin explode in redness irritation and acne! I am 27! wtf :/. I came back to this post to find help and I will try out some of the product you suggest, however I was wondering if after a year you have found a new skin care routine (I know that the pill didnt worked and it give you stomac problems.. 😦 ) Good luck with everything, I always read your post evenbtought I am not always much responsive! 😉 have a good day! -Martina

    Like

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