I found a bit of a miracle worker product which inspired this post, but I really wanted to share what I’ve been dealing with, why and what I did about it. I had acne has a teenager and have been prone to occasional breakouts throughout my 20s. But when you’re in your 30s and more used to focusing on dryness, pigmentation or fine lines, it can come as a real shock to get adult-onset acne. Over the past few months it got worse to the point it was affecting my self confidence and even my love of makeup, trying new products and beauty blogging itself.
I’ve written in more detail about the causes of adult acne as well as how to tackle adult acne with product recommendations. These are just some of the steps I personally followed when it all got too much for me to handle any more…
1) I started by sorting out my hormonal imbalance. There are certain contraceptive pills which are better at addressing the acne-causing hormonal imbalance than others. Stopping a form of contraceptive can cause your hormones to go haywire, so I went back on trusty Triphasil which has helped me in the past.
2) I started taking supplements, including a multivitamin, omega fatty acids and Dermagen (a skincare supplement made by Fusion Labs which you can check out here).
3) I added extra antioxidants. I read that vitamin E has an important role to play in preventing sebum oxidation, so I started using an antioxidant serum (Paula’s Choice) and the Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner daily, and using the Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-in Moisture Mask more often. I bought the Aqua Boost Sorbet from the same line but then discovered alcohol in the top three ingredients and promptly tossed it in my blog sale box.
5) I have always been wary of over-exfoliating because my skin’s natural barrier gets out of whack very easily and leads to more breakouts. However I really stepped up my exfoliation routine by using Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion which has an effective pH for salicylic acid to work properly. I have also been using Bioderma Sebium Global twice a day (see below) and have started incorporating Dermaceutic Mask 15, which at 15% glycolic acid, with salicylic acid and bentonite packs quite a punch. I will be doing a proper review of this soon, so look out for it if you’re interested in some serious cosmeceutical treatment. I also continued using my Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0.
My search for a product which would incorporate the exfoliation I needed as well as reduce inflammation led me to pick up Bioderma Sebium Global in the pharmacy one day, and this is the one product which I found to be a game-changer. All the waffle up till this point was just so that you can see that I’ve done a few things in conjunction, but to me this product has been the star of the show. There is no quick fix for acne, but I’ve been seeing steady improvements from week one with this. After the first day or two I had a huge reduction in redness and inflammation. Then new blemishes stopped popping up. And then the red marks left behind started fading much more quickly than usual. So what does it do?
Well, it basically does everything you need. It re-creates sebum close to that of healthy skin and protects it from oxidation (which is what causes pores to become blocked in the first place) while helping the exfoliation process, and mimics the effect of vitamin E, which stops the process of acne formation. It addresses the causes of acne as well as the symptoms, and covers most of the things I was looking to introduce in my routine. It contains AHAs and salicylic acid for exfoliation, as well as zinc gluconate which reduces inflammation and redness. If you are struggling with adult acne or frequent breakouts then I highly recommend you give this treatment a try. I use it twice a day with my serums, a light moisturiser and an SPF during the day (very important if you’re using an acne treatment!).
I didn’t really want to show everyone the state of my skin, but since recently embarking on the Kiehl’s challenge I reckoned I had better get used to it. I took the ‘before’ photo a while before my skin was at its worst (yes, it got even worse!), and the ‘after’ photo after using Sebium Global for about a week. It’s a work in progress as it cleared up hugely, then I had a new outbreak, as if everything lurking out of sight was coming to the surface. As I write this I feel that the worst is over and it’s a road to clearing up the last of the marks left behind.
Bioderma Sebium Global is available from selected pharmacies, Clicks, Dischem and Wellness Warehouse. I paid R195 at my local Pick ‘n Pay pharmacy and it has been the best money I’ve spent this month.