What's Been Going on With My Skin

If you've been following along on Instagram stories, then you've been pretty up to date, but I wanted to talk through everything since I've seriously been bombarded with questions about it all. 

^Last month, below is this month

If you're not up to date, I saved a highlight on my IG page for you to watch but basically, the gist is that my skin is having a minor, major freakout attack... a month before my wedding. And I've been sharing the process and healing of it the past two weeks.

To backtrack, I had some acne in high school (who didn't), and it was basically all good until I turned 26 and everything seemed to change. Honestly, it was a really nice wakeup call because ever since I've been taking excellent care of my skin and immersing myself in all things skincare. 

So I turned 26, and my pimple here and there turned into a multiple, large and under the skin acne in my t-zone and temples. It wasn't anything absolutely horrible, but it was enough that I knew I had to do something to fix it. I was self-conscious about it and decided to follow the lead of Julia and go see someone in the city.

Long story very short: I found Bonnie, I've been getting facials once a month for the past two+ years, and she has totally changed my skin. Even for the main part of this year, we would talk about how good my skin looks and how the big acne spots have all but stopped. We were on the road to major success, and we weren't slowing down. 

A couple things about Bonnie (other than the fact that I love and highly recommend her): she books up fast and is highly sought after! So if you want to get in, book her early and often -- I usually book her for 6 months at a time, I have appointments scheduled until March! When I go, I get the signature facial. If you have more severe acne (which mine was never classified as) go with the deep cleaning option. We also do a peel and light therapy treatment as part of the facial. 

During our facial, we do extractions, which means cleaning out anything on top of or right under the skin that is infected or will become an issue in the future. This is pretty normal for facials and is why you should do one a week (minimum) before any event since you need time to heal. When it comes to extractions, it's normal to go in with "great skin" and come out with red spots that look like acne but are just open extractions. You'd be amazed at what's right under the surface of your skin just waiting to pop up.

The whole point of extractions is to get your pores cleaned out, so they don't become infected. Infected pores are commonly known as acne! So while it might be a little scary at first, the redness and overall look of your extractions are a small price to pay for great skin in the future. 

I documented this on stories, but after I get a facial my regular skincare routine changes from facewash, toner, serum, moisturizer to facewash, ice rolling, hydrogen peroxide, repair cream (made by Bonnie), moisturizer + sometimes vaseline due to the peel! Icing your face is the best thing you can do for your acne and extraction recovery. It helps reduce inflammation and redness, which is what makes any spots on your face so irritating! I usually ice on/off for 3 seconds at a time around my face for about an hour in total.

After that, we use hydrogen peroxide (HP) to help clean out and close any open wounds (should only be using this after extractions and if your dermatologist/esthetician recommends it). I usually do this after icing and take a Q-tip and dip it in HP and tap it on any open extractions. In the early stages of recovery, it definitely will sting a bit, but that's how you know it's really cleaning house. And for our final step before moisturizer, we rub in some repair cream. I'll let the HP sit for maybe 30 seconds before rubbing it in. You want to let it work its magic, but you definitely don't need to wait for it to dry!

I'll repeat that morning and night until I'm healed. What the extractions turn in to (after about 3 days for me) are scabs. They'll scab over, just like any other wound, and you wait for them to naturally fall off. This is VERY important because peeling them off before they're ready can lead to scarring. You want to practice self-control and just wait for them to come off in the shower or when you're washing your face. They WILL come off, I promise! 

And after they're all gone, you go back to your regular skincare routine and repeat again after you're next facial. 

SO that's what I've been doing the past two years. When I was working, I'd go on Mondays, so I'd have the week to recover before shooting on the weekends. I'm sure others would probably instead do Friday's, so they have the weekend to recover (I didn't mind going to work with extractions). Now I really just go whenever Bonnie can see me! I'm also very fortunate that I've been able to pop in between her appointments these past two weeks to figure out what the HECK is going on with my skin.

I think it started about a week before we went to Nantucket, so mid-late July and a rather large and annoying pimple popped up on my chin (my usual culprit for acne) and I really didn't think much of it. It happens and I just iced it to death hoping it would go away before our photoshoot in Nantucket. It kind of did, for the most part. Fast forward a week to Nantucket, and on the first night we were there I had one pop up on my cheek, and that was very much out of the ordinary. I again didn't think much of it and just iced where I could before our shoot. 

Then we come back from Nantucket, and both pimples have resided (no redness or swelling) but could still be felt under the skin if touched. I was going about my usual business until one LARGE spot appeared between my eyebrows... two days before our engagement shoot. That's when I realized something was up. I haven't had three spots of acne pop up around the same time in two years... what the heck was going on??

So I texted Bonnie, and we made a time to come in. We weren't able to extract because I didn't have enough time to recover before the shoot, so instead we zapped and peeled and iced, and light therapied the crap out of it (and the one near my eyebrows actually went away with no issue!). But it still left me with the question of what the heck was going on. Bonnie and I talked about what had changed in my diet/lifestyle/products as of late, and I was racking my brain trying to think of anything that could have been out of the ordinary. There was nothing!

But then it hit me: I've been loading up on protein as of late from my trainer's recommendations. Two scoops of whey protein close to every day for the past month... It was bad. Fun fact: whey is not good for your skin (especially if you're acne-prone like me)! So all those smoothies were festering below my skin and have now come to the surface. UGH. 

I made it through my engagement shoot without a hitch ;) but the next day I asked Bonnie to squeeze me in to do extractions. Oh boy... there was a lot under the surface. My cheeks and chin were a madhouse (another one popped up that morning on my chin), and I've been dealing with it since. Back to the current day (this all was last week), I had another one pop up yesterday, and my scabs fell off the bigger two on my chin, so we were able to open all three and clean them out some more. Now I have a fun little Bermuda Triangle on my skin! It's where acne comes to get lost...

ALL of this to say... what a mess lol. Ya girl has two great years of skin, but when she needs it the most, it's nowhere to be found. I'm not stressing over it though -- because that will only make it worse -- but more so just documenting the process so we can 1- all have a good laugh and 2- not feel so alone. Everyone gets acne, it's a not so fun part of life! But we're all in it together, so it's going to be ok.

I just felt that I share my good skin all the time with my makeup routines or no-makeup stories, it would only be fair to talk about the bad too. Especially so close to the wedding -- I have to show you the before so we can all enjoy the after!

Looking to this month, I just got a mini extraction clean out yesterday and hope to be scabbed over by Friday and repaired by Monday. We'll see where we are and be on the lookout for anything else coming up. Then mid-August I have a regularly scheduled facial so we'll extract one last time before the wedding. And finally, on the very last day, I have a bridal facial to get my glowing skin ready for the big day!!

If you want to read more about my skincare story (with some before pictures of going to Bonnie), you can check out THIS POST!

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