I Ditched My Dermatologist. Here’s What Happened:

lisa opie lisa opie lisa opie lisa opie lisa opie lisa opie face lis aopie 2015 lis aopie photoAll the way through my teen years and early twenties, I had PERFECT. I mean, PERFECT smooth skin on my face (I’m talking Shiseido ad status!). I didn’t know what foundation was, I didn’t know what face makeup was for, but I would always be asked what foundation I was wearing- in which I would respond and say, “None! This is my skin.”

Then one day, about a year and a half ago, out of no where, I  started noticing tons of tiny, colorless bumps all over my forehead. I didn’t think twice about it. It could have been a bad brow wax or hormones. It happens. But they didn’t go away.

After about 3 frustrating months of trying overpriced Sephora products and pounding on makeup to conceal the bumps, I decided I had to go see a dermatologist. Living in South Florida, I guess we can say we’re blessed to have access to some of the best dermatologists around. I don’t mess around when it comes to my skin so I went one of the “top rated” ones. She took a look at my forehead and said that I have mild acne and closed comodones. She suggested I either try Accutane, or she can give me some topical prescription products. I went with the topical products: benzoyl peroxide and hydrocortisone.

Fast forward 4 weeks. Yes, FOUR. WEEKS. After applying 3 types of benzoyl peroxide and a hydrocortisone lotion to my face twice a day for 4 weeks, the bumps cleared up. I had to apply these products to my face twice a day, every day, and NEVER miss a day. If I missed an application for a day or two, the bumps would come right back and guess what? It would take another 2-4 weeks for those new bumps to go away.

This was my miserable routine to keep my skin clear for about a year. It wasn’t until I started noticing my skin creasing and looking thinner that I thought twice about these products. I started researching benzoyl peroxide. Nothing fishy there. I looked up hydrocortisone. Apparently, you are not supposed to use it for more than 2 weeks, and on top of that, according to Dr. Bailey Skin Care, there are side effects associated with the use of hydrocortisone for an extended period of time. The one that spooked me the most was this one:

Steroid atrophy: All cortisone topical medicines, even low-potency ones like Locoid, will eventually thin the skin. It’s called steroid trophy. It is reversible at first, but eventually the thinning can become permanent. Steroid atrophy of the skin is seen as skin wrinkling, “broken capillaries,” and skin weakness. On non-facial areas you can also see striae (stretch marks) as well.

After reading that and several articles about the damage that hydrocortisone can do to your skin, I threw away the hydrocortisone and started looking up ways to reverse the damage (full on panic mode). This is how I discovered my #1 skin saving product. UREA CREAM. I ordered this product in a heartbeat after reading this article on the benefits of urea. Click on the photo below to read more about urea cream: 

click to read more about the benefits of urea

I did tons of research on urea and purchased this cream through Aim 2 Health:

urea cream acne solution closed comodones review photo

I apply this cream to my face and neck after washing my face ONLY at night, and I saw dramatic results in less than 3 days. My bumps were gone and my skin was smooth and hydrated. This is truly the holy grail cream for my acne. If you were to try one thing to fix your problem skin, I STRONGLY recommend urea.

Let’t talk about face wash. 

Earlier this year, I was telling my esthetician in New York (it’s been my second home lately) about the problems I was having with the tiny bumps on my skin. She recommended I try a gentle, daily exfoliant and told me about Dermalogica’s daily microfoliant. It’s very pricy but it lasts for long time (I’m not even halfway through mine), and it is a powder that your use with water to remove dead skin and dirt from your face. It’s very gentle and I use it twice daily to exfoliate my face. This has done incredible things for my skin and I’ll definitely be purchasing this again when I run out!

dermalogica acne review

About once or twice a week, I also use Boscia’s Detoxifying Black Cleanser for a deep clean. It’s a warming cleanser and I’m not sure if it makes a huge difference on my face, but I’ve gotten 3 deluxe samples from Sephora through my VIB Rouge purchases and I’m still working through them. I love the warming feeling of the product but I’m not sure it this is something I can’t live without and I don’t know if I would purchase it if I ran out.

boscia black cleanser review

Toner:

During a routine eyelash refill, my esthetician, Ellie, told me about witch hazel and how it works well to clear skin and open up your pores. I needed a good toner and I decided to give it a try. I purchased my witch hazel at my local Whole Foods. You can purchase witch hazel online here.

thayers witch hazel face acne review

I apply this to my face with a cotton pad after I wash my face.

Spot Treatment: 

Sometimes we get those giant, painful red pimples and we need a spot treatment. What works best for me is Tea Tree Oil. I learned about this from my room mate at Miss Florida USA. When you have a tough pimple, take a Q-Tip and wet it and then add a drop of tea tree oil to the Q-Tip and dab it on your pimple as needed until it goes away. I usually apply it at night and by morning it’s dried out and significantly smaller.

tea tree oil organic desert essence review

That’s it! This is my current skincare routine that I swear by and it has made such an incredible improvement in my skin! I hope that if you try any of these products, they work for you too. What is your skincare routine? Let us know in the comments section below so that we can try it out!

lisa opie lis aopie lisa opie lisa opie phptp lisa opie image lisa opie style lisa opie style blog
Finally, I’m loving my skin again and it id not take a dermatologist to get my skin back on track!

As always, I appreciate likes, shares, and comments 🙂

Just an FYI: I purchased ALL products mentioned in this article at full price from their respective websites and I did not receive ANY product for free to review it, and I was not compensated in any way to review these products. I just want all of us to have awesome skin because we deserve it. This applies to all of the products mentioned in this article. Disclaimer-What works for me may not work for you. This is a blog post about the changes I made in my skin routine that worked to clear my acne and closed comodones. 

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Lisa Opie

Lisa Opie is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and is the founder of Lady Code. Lisa loves to write about fashion, beauty, and travel. Although her main focus is Lady Code, she is also the creator and designer of Vizcaya Swimwear. Keep up with Lisa on Instagram: @Lisa_Opie

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