Skin. / by Thea Gajic

I've decided to write about skin because when mine decided to tantrum I searched and searched the internet for cures. Despite the endless Google pages on combatting troubled skin, nothing really seemed to work.
After studying my skin I realised I was suffering from 'comedogenic acne' which turned out to be the question with the least answers (typical). You can tell you have comedogenic acne if there aren't any telltale signs as to why you're getting spots i.e they aren't a reaction to product, diet, hormones, cleanliness etc.
You can't seem to predict a pattern aka WHY ARE THEY HERE, I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M DOING WRONG. Another major clue is if you have skin coloured bumps on your face whose appearance worsen with makeup. These are closed comedones aka super clogged pores aka motherfucking bitches.
You might know what caused yours but I had no idea - I had been using the same products and routine for ages and all of a sudden they appeared. I did have a spell of stressful months so perhaps that's what did it.

Below is a list of products I've used that have helped clear up my skin - I am no skin expert - this is just what has worked for me and most things won't break your pocket!

Anyway onto the action.

1) I'm starting with the mental because a lot of what makes troubled skin so troubling is how it effects your self-confidence, self-love and mental wellbeing. It was very stressful for me to feel prisoner in my own skin. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. So one day, after I was fed up of covering my face with my hands and clothing, I though fuck it, let me just post a picture. I uploaded the below picture to Instagram and I honestly felt the weight lift. It's very moving how much support you get from friends and strangers - more so it makes you realise you're not alone in your skin stress and you are, of course, still divine and beautiful. My mind thanked me. Following my IG post, I was approached by a brilliant photographer who asked me to model for her book on acne which was the ultimate self-image liberation. 

*I know my skin isn't at all the worst out there but it was a lot worse than shown in the below pic. I only raised enough don'tgiveafuck attitude half way through my clear skin journey.*

Pic on the left was taken in November. Pic on the right is me Today.

Washing:

2) La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish Kit : £25
- I used this until the products ran out (I think it's about a months supply) It is veryyyy drying but definitely kickstarted my routine effectively. I saw a difference and wanted to re-up on the kit as recommended by the brand but it's about £25 so I didn't buy it again for financial reasons lol. I do think if I had bought it again, it would have pretty much cleared everything up but I'm cheap and on a long ting so nevermind.
*follow instructions on kit* 
*E45 is a good combat cream for dryness*
http://www.boots.com/la-roche-posay-effaclar-3-step-anti-blemish-system-10181409

3) Shea Moisture African Black Soap
- I used this and only this for the remainder of my journey and I'm still using it. I will probably continue to use it forever more. It can be a bit drying at first but your skin gets used to it and it's got Shea Butter in it so it's not too bad. I used this with a soft facial sponge morning and night. I put my clarisonic down while my skin was really bad, as harsh exfoliation can irritate your skin and make it worse. 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shea-moisture-Organic-African-Butter/dp/B005C2N8IC

4) Brown Sugar and Honey Scrub : £2
- I make this homemade scrub and use it 1-2 times a week for exfoliation. Be gentle at first. Listen to your skin.
https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/brown---demerara-sugar/sainsburys-fairtrade-dark-soft-brown-sugar-500g

Post Washing:

5) Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner : £6.50
- Every morning and night
https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/range/view-all/tea-tree-skin-clearing-mattifying-toner/p/p000521

6) Sudocrem : £3
- The cream of all creams, the MVP, the magician, the babe, the healer. Ever finished a tub of Sudocrem and not had a child? No? Meet me, I have. I bought a brand new tub of Sudocrem the other day because I had RUN OUT. What a madness. How does one even finish a tub of Sudocrem? That is how much I swear by this, that is how much of a bang out I am. 
- I apply Sudocrem most nights or just wear it during the day if I'm staying at home. It works most times but best when spots or marks are a day or two old. It's also great if you've popped one and need the open skin to heal. It reduces redness and kills things in its path. It's also good for burns or after you've got your eyebrows done and need to cool the skin lol
http://www.boots.com/sudocrem-antiseptic-healing-cream-125g-10006321

7) Mario Badescu Drying Cream : £16
- Mario Badescu products have really impressed me so far. This little tub of dryness is excellent for new breakouts or (like Sudocrem) helping to eradicate them a few days later. Use carefully and sparingly as the tub is small and there's less in it than there appears to be. It's also SUPER DRYING which is no surprise because that's what they called it so try not to use it every day. It's tempting because it works but I alternate between this and Sudocrem. Also be careful not to use it on certain bigger spots because you can dry them out before they come to head and then the stuff will stay under your skin, trapped, unhappy, annoying you even more. Timing is crucial with Drying Cream. You'll have to judge it yourself though, I'm no time expert. 
https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/en-gb/shop/mario-badescu-acne-drying-cream

Bonus for the ballers:

8) Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil : £34-£68
- I read wonderful, extraordinary things about this here oil. But it was far out of reach because of it's price tag. Mum came thru on Christmas though and my dreams came true! (shoutout Mum) I've only been using it since December but it's definitely giving my skin a luxurious boost as it comes to the end of it's healing period. It's hydrating, smooth, peaceful, calming lol. It's meant to be excellent for you skin while it's at its worst but I can't speak on that as I only got my hands on it as my skin got better. If I could have afforded it earlier, I defo would have purchased. It's made my purge once at the beginning but it was worth it. 
https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/sunday-riley-u-f-o-ultra-clarifying-face-oil.html

Makeup
- As you probably know, Makeup can be a massive trigger for blocked pores and skin troubles. I don't wear a lot of it and all I wear is: 
Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue : Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30
Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer

In general, try to look for and use products that have 'non-comedogenic' written on them as this means they basically won't clog your pores. 

I hope this was helpful! Feel free to hit me up with any further questions x

Stay shining, stay happy, stay undefeated. You are glory.