6 Months of Skin Progress + 7 Changes That I've Made
October 2014 - April 2015

Being a bit sentimenal today; that quote is my absolute favorite quote for many many years and I write it in my calendar every time I get a new one. Facing problems rather than running away is just who I am and the base for this post. You have probably seen it already on my social media feed; but I totally forgot to post it on my blog! So in case social media isn't up your alley - here's what you missed :3 I did upload a skin progress picture a few days ago to show the progress I have made with my skin in the past half year. Honestly - I didn't think my skin had improved that much! If you look in the mirror daily, it is hard to keep track of improvements. That's why I always take pictures a few weeks apart, to be able to actually compare and see if what I'm doing is working or not. I was randomly browing old posts of  mine and was shocked to see just how bad my skin really was. I mean, I know it was really bad but since my skin has improved a lot, it was quite a shock to see myself like that. I certainly don't miss those painful times! I am hoping this post inspires anyone who is suffering from similar skin conditions and to remain always optimistic - you can do it! It might take a while and it might not be visible to you yet, but it can be done. :)

Now, I am slightly optimistic here as I still don't know what exactly caused that bad acne in me. It was very likely a combination of being stressed out, living far away from home all by myself, a new environment, water that my skin hated, air pollution and wrong skincare. Looking at the list, I can't even be mad with my skin. I am in no ways acne-free yet and I still get pimples but it is a thousand times better than when I started out about half a year ago. I remember how desperate I was to get rid of that terrible skin of mine and how it shattered a good chunk of my self-worth as I didn't exactly feel pretty. Keep on reading if you want to see my skin at its lowest point and what kind of changes I made that helped along the way. [Caution: Nasty images of cystic acne beyond this point.]

My skin at it's lowest point: October 2014 - December 2014

As I mentioned before, I am still not sure what exactly caused this bad cystic acne when I was living in Korea. My skin was acting up quite a bit when I was still living in Japan but it was nothing compared to when I moved to Korea. I am to this day convinced that something was weird with the water (it had a milky color and I had quite some hair loss going on while I lived there..) and that the crazy air pollution was something my skin couldn't handle well at all (I looked it up when I came back; Seoul has an air pollution index of 150 - 250 when Berlin has an average index of 30. Let that sink in for a second.) The heavy drinking culture in Korea didn't help much either as I have never been fond of strong alcoholic beverages. 

To keep it short; the exact reason for my acne has yet to be discovered. Although I still have a lot of hyperpigmentation, you can see that the overall texture of my skin changed completely - I am pain-free and totally comfortable going out without make-up which was long time almost impossible for me as it made me extremely uncomfortable. So what cleared up my acne? If you're looking for a single solution: There isn't one. Instead, small changes that I made added up to each other and it took me a while to figure out exactly what my skin wanted. Even if you have set-backs (I had many, believe me.) always try to be optimistic as that alone can have a positive impact on your skin condition. I hope this post will be helpful for anyone who has to suffer like I did and get inspired by any of the tips that helped me clear up my skin for the first time in years. :)

#1 Having a professional skin analysis done at the derm and discovering that I was treating my skin completely wrong - instead of oily skin I actually have dry skin (without any symptoms of dry skin, yes, that happens..) and dehydrated my skin big time by treating it with harsh acne medicine.

#2 Hence, completely changing my skincare routine from acne treaments and little to no hydration (my skin always felt greasy when I used moisturizers) to a multi-step routine with only little oil (derm said my skin is lacking hydration but my oil levels are top notch) and several thin, watery-like essences to give my skin proper hydration. As soon as I changed my routine my acne calmed down a lot and actually had time to heal as it wasn't busy keeping the hydration levels up all by itself.

#3 Discovering the COSRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol - this is a wonder in a bottle for me. This calmed down my acne like no tomorrow and I still use it daily to this day.

#4 Getting regular treatments from a medical esthetician who extracts my clogged pores which can't turn into pimples if they're gone. Win-win. My skin is also a lot smoother afterwards! :3

#5 Cutting out cow milk out of my diet - I have never liked cow milk anyways so I resorted to soy milk for the most part. I am not insanely strict about it but I feel as if my skin was less inflamed when I didn't consume cow milk anymore.

#6 Eating more healthy - I am in no way someone who can proudly say to always eat clean or something. However, I am implementing more fruit and vegetables and a little bit less meat and sugar in my diet which makes me feel better in my body and that also shows on my skin.

#7 Realizing that mineral oil in foundations cause even more acne for me, so I got rid of all the foundations that contain mineral oil.

These are all the changes that I can think of! Remeber, everyone's skin is different and what worked for me, sadly, doesn't have to work for you. (And as I said, I am still struggling and the road to clear skin is still long.) A healthy lifestyle is always a good idea when suffering from certain skin conditions but also other factors such as stress, sadness or other psychological conditions might favor the acne - this was certainly the case as I just wasn't very happy in Korea. (long story.) If this post is helpful for even one person than I am already happy! :) If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments!

Good night! (It's 1:12 AM here. Have to get up early, sweet dreams!)
Lots of love,


Labels: , , ,

oh, hello there. i'm yasuhiro mochizuki and i'm the cool kid who made this layout. i'd rather you not attempt to take this code and alter it or take this code, strip it down, and use it as a base code. if you really need a base code that badly, feel free to send me an email with what type of base code you need and we can talk about it. that said, i can't take credit for absolutely everything here. so here are all the dope resources i used here: all of the fonts used in this layout can be credited to google fonts save for calibri, which is a system font. the social media sidebar links were created using an icon font from we ♡ icon fonts. most scripts used can be found through a good google search, except for the script that gives the page it's tabs; i don't remember whether i hand coded that or if i found it through another blogger. if you're privy, you can find me predominantly on twitter and occasionally on my blog. toodles!