So I started a genuine skincare regimen and this is what happened…

I am updating this post whenever I think of new information to add.

On the left: me four weeks ago

On the right: me a week ago

Diabetes has some irritating effects on your body. Well, auto-immune diseases have some irritating effects on your body. Your immune system is compromised leading to unpleasant things like psoriasis and acne. I have some hormonal problems at the moment and my acne was starting to irritate me. I’m not someone who’s concerned with how I look, I don’t enjoy spending precious time in front of the mirror and I am not knowledgeable on beauty things. But this acne all over my face (one week on my forehead, then the next week all over my chin and then the week after that on my nose) was making me feel uncomfortable at a time when I wasn’t feeling too good in my body because of the friggin diabetes management not going so well. I was using a lot of concealer to hide my acne and got the feeling that it would not go away if I kept putting stuff on it, but I also didn’t know what alternative there was. I had used Clearasil during puberty, but that would not be good for my adult combination skin with dry patches. So I did some research and found out that there are things called acids that you can use on your face to get rid of acne, uneven skintone, scars and whatnot. Basically the acid will remove dead skin and reveal newer skin while also stimulating the growth of new cells.

This is me before on thursday evening:

And this is me the friday morning after my first use of lactid acid:

Those pimples were gone.

This is after a week of lactid acid:

Obviously the word acid sounds bad for your skin and not everyone has a good reaction to it. It actually works by lowering the PH of your skin and the acid comes from natural stuff like milk (lactid acid) and sugarcane (glycolic acid). My skin is combination skin and I now think it’s not very sensitive as I didn’t have any reactions to the lactic acid at all. But you should test it before applying it all over your face and there are ways to tone it down (like using a moisturizer immediately after applying the acid).

As the brand (a Canadian brand called The Ordinary) I used is on the pretty cheap side, I could afford to experiment and started to switch it up at night. I now use vitamin C, retinol, glycolic acid and lactid acid alternately. Vitamin C is for your skintone, retinol promotes cell renewal, glycolic acid and lactic acid both get rid of dead skin and unclog your pores.

During the day I wear a combination of peptides and hyaluronic acid to keep my skin plump and promote cell renewal and finish it off with a moisturizer with a high SPF.

The Ordinary has some examples of regimens for different problems here.

If you want to try using products with resurfacing (as they are called) ingredients, look for ingredients like lactic acid and glycolic acid (these are also called AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acids), vitamin C or retinol (vitamin A). For extreme hydration try hyaluronic acid. There’s lots of brands out there and lots of places to buy. I buy from Cult Beauty, because they are a good option for someone living in Europe. If you’re American try Sephora. Both have lots of travel size options for trying out things.

Quick results: hyaluronic acid

Some of these take some time to show their benefits (think months), but two of them will show you very quick results: lactid acid and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid was the first thing I tried. As I said, I have never been into skincare and didn’t know anything about it. For fun I got myself a subscription box to beauty products (I have since canceled my subscription because there were so many products I’ll never use) and it was in one of the two boxes I got that they had put a serum with hyaluronic acid from the brand Evolve.

It’s pretty magical stuff. It immediately blurs your fine lines, pores look smaller and your skin just looks refreshed, all because of extreme hydration. It’s also pretty expensive I found when I wanted to get a new bottle. After that I tried to get my hands on the ordinary’s hyaluronic serum which is a lot cheaper, but also almost always out of stock. I was notified when it was back in stock, immediately put it in my shopping basket and when I wanted to pay, it was already sold out again. Reviews say it’s really good, but I can’t confirm it (yet). Then I got a large sample of Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic cloud cream which is amazing stuff, but also really expensive. Too expensive for me at least. In the end I cheated myself to a large bottle of hyaluronic acid courtesy of Garnier Moisture bomb hydrating mask. It’s a sheet mask with lots of serum. What I do is: I cut of a little corner off from the package and squeeze the serum into an empty bottle. You can still use the sheet mask after that. The serum Garnier uses is really good. It’s better than the Evolve one in my opinion and though it doesn’t last as long as the Peter Thomas Roth one (you’ll have to re-apply during the day) it is really cheap, usually somewhere on sale and does have the same immediate effect.

Glycolic acid side effect

Be aware that you might experience a break out after using something with resurfacing ingredients. This happened to me when I added glycolic acid. This usually means that your skin is purging and if you stick to your product the new pimples will dissappear again. This happens because the glycolic acid has the smallest molecules of the acids and is able to penetrate deeply into your skin while lactid acid remains at the surface. Your skin has a cycle of 4 to 6 weeks during which it will renew all skin layers completely. Glycolic acid speeds up that process and brings up every bit of gunk that was forming in your skin. It’s not pretty. I had been kind of spoiled when I used just the lactid acid, but I think it’s good that every last nasty bit of skin is being renewed now.

This photo was taken a week after I started glycolic acid. You can see that my chin has some pimples. I don’t want to be groce, but it’s a pretty groce process. Every blackhead, whitehead, papule, nodule and whatnot will appear at the surface of your skin.

Photo below is a close-up. I haven’t managed to get a really detailed photo, but I can tell you it’s bad, in the middle of my chin it’s all little bumps and nothing on my chin in smooth at the moment. I will post a photo when it has cleared up too.

This is a recent photo (wearing just mascara and lipstick):

Still some areas with uneven skintone (especially after catching some sun in summer), but overall pretty happy with my skin.

Vitamin C side effect

Another thing I wanted to add is this weird side effect of vitamin C: looking like you had a spraytan. It took me a while to figure out, but on days after my vitamin C serum my skin has an orange glow. This article explains why this happens and what you can do about it (basically tone your vitamin C down with another moisturizer). I started to layer my retinol in squalane over my vitamin C and though I still look like I had some sun it’s not as bad as the first time (pictured below). As a pale person the orange was looking really weird on my otherwise pale body.

Overall thoughts

This is kind of fun to do. I like the feeling of pampering myself. I love that the acne has gone and that, whenever a pimple appears, it’s gone pretty soon. It’s been great on wrinkles and fine lines too, though those aren’t really gone yet, you just don’t see them when my face is still fully hydrated. The photo above was taken about 15 minutes after putting on my morning things (toner-serum-SPF) and the light that day was particulary kind to my face. But what I like best is that I’ve basically stopped wearing make-up on my skin. It’s just mascara and a bit of lipstick and I’m happy.

5 thoughts on “So I started a genuine skincare regimen and this is what happened…

  1. Thank you so much for this. Your skin looks luminous. I have just started using Alpha-H. I’m at the break out stage right now, but here hoping things improve.

    1. God, I’m just getting out of the break out stage. I was so pleased with myself after four of weeks of lactid acid that I didn’t expect there would be so much more gunk in my skin! I started glycolic acid last week and the struggle is real! It is improving though and I hope it will for you too!

  2. I’ve been using lactic acid since reading your post and have just ordered another 2 items from the Ordinary to have a proper regimen (after researching my skin problems a bit more). I’ve already forgotten what I’ve ordered but there’s definitely that popular sold out product in the list (back in stock, yeah!)
    Thanks for experimenting and posting this in the 1st place!

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