Long time readers know that I have acne-prone skin, and have battled with it throughout my adult life, with spouts of good skin, and spouts of bad skin. As anyone who has had acne can tell you, it’s an ailment that is more than skin deep. It affects your self esteem, your social life, and your wallet.
My most recent bout of acne was probably the worst I’ve seen since my high school days. Around Thanksgiving of last year, my skin broke out very badly. I’m not even exaggerating, every pore on my face was clogged. It was disgusting touching my face, because I couldn’t find a smooth spot on my face. I went to work and came home, praying that this would pass. It got to the point where I avoided meeting up with friends, and didn’t even want to chat with my boyfriend on Skype, because I just didn’t want anyone to see me.
My New Approach
Previously, I would run back to my dermatologist and he’d give me topical lotions or load me up on antibiotics. This time, I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to go back to my dermatologist and get medicine, and I wanted to have more control over my skin.
I was seeing my dermatologist for about 4 years, and my skin was continuing to get worse and worse last year. All the topical lotions were drying out my skin, and yet, my skin was super oily. My dermatologist kept advising me to stop using moisturizers since my skin was already so oily. And yet, my skin felt so tight – it was very frustrating.
I continued doing more research, reading blogs and especially found Lani’s Island – Holistic Skincare and Well-being and Meghan Telpner to be great resources. I also started seeing an esthetician recommended by a friend, and spent $$$ on facials and peels. With the encouragement from my esthetician and Mochimac, I went on a detox and completely change my diet. I also went to see an acupuncturist/Chinese medicine doctor.
I read even more beauty blogs and came across the beauty buster, Daniel Thompson, and went to see him and bought a bunch of products from him. More on him and his products on a separate post.
After about three months, I can say that my skin is in a much better place than when I first started. I still get a pimple here and there – but it is much more manageable now.
How Much I Spent
It was very painful tallying this all up, but in the midst of trying to heal my acne, please try to imagine my desperation. I made a lot of impulsive purchases based on a sale’s pitch, with the promise that this will finally be the product I’ve been searching for. And I hope that in sharing my experience, I can help even one person and avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made.
I want to do a separate review for the product or brands which I used since, it’s a lot of information to sum up here. But I would like to point out that the items I thought were really worth the money and made the biggest impact for me were:
It’s still a lot of money, but it’s almost half of what I spent in total. As you can see, I spent the most on services, and the rest was on products. I will post a separate review the Pure + Simple spa, and if anyone in the Toronto area is looking for an esthetican specializing in healing of acne, I highly recommend Aga at the King and Bathurst location. She was wonderful and a complete life saver for me.
Please note, I did not include the money I spent on food for my detox and diet overhaul. For a rule of thumb, I spend about $150 a month on groceries and that includes eating a lot of vegetables, organic meats, (almost) gluten free, and includes specialty groceries (i.e., almond milk, buckwheat, quinoa, etc).
Before and After
I debated if I should post up pictures, since I don’t like seeing my skin in this horrible state, and would much rather pretend it never happened. Alas, I think this is part of the process of accepting me for me, and loving myself, acne and all. I couldn’t bear to take photographs when skin was at its worse, but I my “before” picture was taken right after my first facial.
I tried to use the same lighting with flash for my progress photographs for comparison. As you can see in my “before” photograph, my skin is very much inflamed/irritated and very bumpy. In my “after” picture, my there is still some hyper pigmentation, but skin is a lot smoother and there are no more red bumps. All photographs are of my bare skin, so with a bit of mineral foundation and concealer, I feel much more confident in my skin now.
Even though this was a very painful process, it was a huge wake-up call from my body telling me to make some major changes in my life. I’m glad I made those changes, and I am also very thankful that I was in place financially to be able to spend the money that I needed to heal my acne.
Readers, do you suffer from acne, a skin condition, or another health issue? How does it affect you and how much have you spent to heal or address the symptoms?