Updated: May 5, 2020
Before we get there let's talk about how I came across these products.
For years I've struggled with acne, dry skin, rosacea, and dermatitis. Throughout middle school and high school I went to multiple dermatologists looking for an answer to my skin issues. Each time I was given a different product or pill to add into my skin care regime. It became difficult to discern which products or medications were making a difference (or making things worse) and ultimately I ended up frustrated with little improvement.
In college I relied on the birth control pill and a general skin care routine (cleanse, toner, and moisturizer) to keep my acne at bay. Unfortunately this routine was no match for the unexpected long-term antibiotics I was put on for Lymes disease. After stopping 7 months of two antibiotics I started seeing tiny red bumps all over my forehead. The little bumps itched and felt hot throughout the day especially towards the end of the day. I found that the bumps would flare up with exercise and feel extra itchy. Again I went down the rabbit hole of dermatologist visits and was told it was acne fueled by an overgrowth of yeast (likely a reaction from stopping the antibiotics). At the time I was not aware that these bumps would be sticking around for about 3 years.
Since the bumps showed up I have managed them with different products ranging from all-natural skin care lines to prescription creams. I also found a birth control pill that seemed to reduce the flare ups and itchiness. While I was able to keep things "under control" I was frustrated that I had not found an answer to these rash-like symptoms.
In September 2019, I decided to yet again start investigating what could be off in my skin. This time around I was more determined than ever that a solution was possible. I found a dermatoligist that took time to listen to my skin care journey, assess my skin, and provide a comprehensive plan.
Everyone's skin is unique and I can't say this will work for you or anyone else out there but this is the skin care plan and products that eliminated the bumps and restored my skin. I started taking a low-dose of Doxycycline and Spironolactane as well as using a Ketoconozole shampoo for cleansing (switched off with the Aloe Gel Cleanser from Naturopathica) followed by Clindamycin cream at night and Soolantra cream in the morning. For a moisturizer I used Hydraing B5 Gel from Skin Ceuticals. I followed this protocol for three months straight and saw my derm once a month to check progress.
I was amazed to see that after a month of following this regimen my skin had already improved significantly. I was advised to continue the treatment until the bumps, itchiness, and redness had completely subsidided. After 3 months I stopped taking the Doxycycline and was worried that the bumps could come back like last time. My derm said that if I stuck to the routine and continued with the Spironolactane it was likely the results would stick.
The derm recommended I start using Differin Gel at night twice a week to keep my skin acne-free. Otherwise I continued the other products as well as the Spironolactane. I am happy to report that my skin has stayed clear and soft since then. For the mean time I plan to stay with this routine but would like to stop taking the Spironolactane in the near future. I'm hopeful that consistency of products and a balanced diet will support clearer skin and I won't have to take any pills.
While there's no doubt this protocol is not for everyone, here are the products that I use consistently on a daily basis that have transformed my skin.