My Skincare Routine

As I mentioned on my Instagram yesterday, I'm going to share with you my skin story. This is one of my more personal posts. Anyone who has suffered from acne knows how difficult it can be. You're desperate for answers and for some miracle to stop the breakouts and completely clear your skin. The problem is that often times the cause is not so obvious and therefore the treatment isn't so easy to find.  The following is my story. 

In November, 2016, I woke up to a complete breakout on my chin, unlike anything I had ever seen before. But before I go into detail, let me back up a bit. I've been on birth control since I was around 14 or 15 (I went on it early as I was irregular). From that time until November, 2016, I had only been on two brands of birth control. The first was Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. Since it was my first and only pill I had ever been on, I thought the excruciating PMS stomach aches were normal (not to mention my mood swings). When I switched doctors at the age of 22, my new doctor (and my favorite person ever) suggested I try a new pill. That is when I went on Alesse. The stomach aches completely disappeared and so did my excuse for my mood swings ;). The pill worked wonders for me (Disclaimer: everyone reacts differently to different pills. What works for one person may not for another).

Anyway, when I moved to LA I discovered that Alesse isn't sold in the US, only the generic version is. So I continued getting my pill in Canada. Finally, after nearly 3 years of getting my mom to bring 6 months worth at a time, I decided to try the generic version. I thought since it was the same active ingredients, what's the harm? Wow, was I wrong. 

I always had pretty good skin. I would have the occasional breakout here and there, but nothing that required me to invest in high quality skincare or a good facial. So when I broke out on my chin in November, 2016, I convinced myself I was so stressed, my body was reacting in that way. The problem was, it continued to get worse and worse. I ended up having to go to the dermotologist 3 times to get cortisone shots! And no matter what I did, or what I used on my face, it continued to get worse. I tried new cleansers, face creams, you name it.  After two months of this (and countless cancelled photo shoots for She Went West), I decided enough is enough. I was going back on Alesse. 

Luckily, it also coincided with my appointment with Shani Darden. If you are not familiar with Shani, she is an INCREDIBLE esthetician. Her practice is also impossible to get into (but don't worry I'm going to share the products she recommends below). I got in through a connection and made an apt in June for January. The appointment came at the perfect time. In June, my skin was fine (like I mentioned above, I've always had pretty good skin- not perfect but not bad). By January I was in desperate need for anything that would help. I explained my story and how I had just switched back to my old pill. She worked wonders and put me on a regime that would help stop the breakouts and minimize the acne scars.  

Within a few weeks of going back on my original pill and using Shani's skin-care routine my skin went back to normal. I will never take clear skin for granted again. The products I use are mostly from a brand called IS Clinical. If you've never heard of IS Clinical before, google it. So many people swear by it, like Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Marianna Hewitt. If it's good enough for them it's good enough for me! 

The products are not too expensive and a little goes a long way. The serums last me anywhere from 4-6 months. If you're looking to invest in only one product, I would suggest the active serum. But if you want an entire new routine, I highly recommend the following. 

1) Wash my face with IS Clinical Complex Cleanser (gentle yet effective)
2) Apply IS Clinical Pro Heal Serum (this is great to hydrate skin and minimize acne scars)
3) Apply IS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion* (very hydrating)
4) Apply IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex Cream (the best under eye cream I've ever tried since it's so gentle)

1) Use makeup remover (I tend to buy cheap ones at target)
2) Wash my face with IS Clinical Complex Cleanser
3) Apply IS Clinical Active Serum (if you have acne this is the one product I suggest purchasing ASAP- it seriously is a miracle)**
4) Apply IS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion
5) Apply IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex Cream
6) Apply IS Clinical Neckperfect Complex
7) Apply lip balm and hand cream (can't fall asleep without it)

* Don't forget sunscreen in the AM (my foundation I currently use has SPF 30)
**I alternate using Active Serum and Shani's Retinol Reform, which is very gently and gives your skin such a glow (also amazing for anti-aging benefits)
*** You should exfoliate once a week

Photography by Felicia Lasala

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