My Journey to Clear Skin: Day and Night Routine

Hello Kara,

So I’ve been struggling with “hormonal acne” for about a year and a half now. For a long time, I blamed products and bed sheets and detergent, not understanding what acne is. I never struggled with acne growing up, so when deep, cystic acne started popping up on my cheeks, chin, jawline and neck, I basically just started banging my head against the wall.

I finally scheduled a trip to the dermatologist after my cousin and aunt told me that I REALLY needed to go (not being mean – they just have wisdom). Just before my appointment, however, I got that cold of death – and my doctor put me on an antibiotic to see if we could get it cleared up in time for me to go to Canada (nope) – but it did clear up my acne a lot!

I’m still struggling with it quite a bit and there are days where I’m really down about it (because clear skin is what I’m used to and love). BUT. Yesterday I completed a week without makeup (I wore makeup last 9/9/14) and here is what I’m doing (with the help of my dermatologist) to clear up my skin.


This is both my night and day routine.

Step 1: (turn the page) Wash your face. My dermatologist recommended that I use a glycolic cleanser morning and night. I like the brand Mario Badescu and that bottle was only $15.00. And I have a feeling that it’s going to take me forever to use it up. All pluses. I use my Clarisonic at night with the cleanser – but I can’t do it for a whole minute because my face is too sensitive.

Step 2: I take Lush’s Tea Tree Water on a cotton pad, about 7-12 squirts (gross), and wipe that shit all over my face. You can also spray this stuff on. Same diff.

Step 3: I take a pearl sized amount of this outrageously-expensive-if-you-don’t-have-insurance cream ($740.00 PUT YOUR FACE AWAY) and massage it into my forehead, cheeks and chin – staying away from my eye area and nose. I take about half a pea’s size and massage that into my neck as well. This is the product that was prescribed to me by my dermatologist. I was very nervous to take this stuff – as I’m allergic to Sulfa and Sulfa is a main ingredient – but I tested it out on my wrist and it seems that I’m fine using it as a topical cream. It’s always a good idea if you have sensitive skin or any kind of allergy (really, it’s a good practice even if you have steel for a face) to test a new product on your wrist. You never know what will cause an allergic reaction.

Note about the do-you-need-a-loan-for-this? cream: It can be super drying, and you only need a pea/pearl sized amount FOR YOUR WHOLE FACE. Make sure you moisture afterwards too. Not moisturizing can make the problem a lot worse.

Step 4: Wash your hands because you don’t want any of the jesus-christ-are-you-freaking-kidding-me? cream to mix with this next part. Take a… what’s smaller than a pea? I googled “tiny things” and here’s my standard of measurement…


Take a tiny octopus’s head amount of your eye cream onto your ring finger (ring finger is important – when you’re working around your eyes, always use your ring finger as it’s the most delicate of ya fingers) and GENTLY massage it the black areas in the picture below. Connect the black lines like it’s a C shape.

Step 4 1/2: Try to look as tired as possible so people at your work will take pitty on you and send you home to go to bed. Laugh maniacally.


Step 5: Massage 4-5 drops of your favorite beauty oil on your face. Now, my dermatologist told me not to use oils – but I love this stuff. I will buy something non-oily if I don’t see an improvement in a month or so – but for now I’m going to use this up.

Step 6: On days where I wash my hair (1-2 times a week), I also use this mask. It’s a lactic acid mask and it helps exfoliate the skin in a non-abrasive way. I worry about using my Clarisonic to exfoliate, because my skin is so sensitive, so I might start using this mask only. We shall see.

Anyways, after eight days of not wearing makeup and following this routine, THIS is what my face looks like.


There’s a lot of scaring, and most of the bumps that I have now are pretty deep under the skin still. However, my forehead is pretty clear and that is a victory!

I will keep you updated on my “clear skin journey” as it moves along.

Products mentioned in this post: Clarisonic Plus, Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, Lush Cosmetics Tea Tree Water, Aczone, First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream, Josie Maran Argon Oil Light, Demalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant.

To the furthest star and back,

P.S. IS IT JUST ME OR IS TODAY A MISERABLE DAY? I don’t understand how my klutz levels have been turned to max – but I DON’T APPRECIATE IT.


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