Shortly after I turned 36, all hell broke loose on my chin. What had previously been the clearest part of my face was suddenly a pimple farm. And they were the painful pimples, too! A mix of tiny bumps that seemed to never go away and big ol’ painful zits that felt like they had 100-year-old roots.
I went to the dermatologist, tried antibiotics and different prescription topical meds, but nothing really helped. Not enough.
Eventually, though, I discovered a few things that did work. It took a while, some experimenting with my diet and lots of weeding through ineffective products, but over the past year, my chin’s improved a lot.
Here’s what helped turn the tides against my hormonal chin acne!
1. Creating a skincare cocktail by combining and layering different products
I had hoped to find one magic bullet, but it turned out that the best thing for my combination oily/dry skin was a cocktail of different over-the-counter products.
It took a lot of trial and error to find the right combination of products for me. My skin seems to respond best to benzoyl peroxide, antioxidants and exfoliating acids. That may not be the case for you, but in the hopes that it is, the products I’ve had the most success with are…
- Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac Clearing Face Lotion ($39), a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion that absorbs quickly, layers well underneath makeup and doesn’t have that funky benzoyl peroxide scent. I’ve tried a bunch of BP lotions before, and this was the one that made the biggest difference for me.
- Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($153), an antioxidant serum with Vitamins C, E and ferulic acid (an antioxidant). Designed to bolster skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays and to stimulate collagen production, it really helped reduce the flakiness and post-acne discoloration I was seeing.
- Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ($105). This lightly hydrating serum contains unneutralized lactic acid and seems to improve the smoothness and texture of the skin around my chin.
- Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne Control Daily Scrub ($8). I keep this cleanser, which contains beta hydroxy acid (or BHA), in my shower and use it every morning.
2. Diet — dairy and sugar
Another big, albeit difficult, thing that seems to have helped get my breakouts under control was laying off dairy and refined sugar. I’d heard from friends that this could make a huge difference, and despite my deep and abiding love for yogurt, milk and ice cream, I’d reached a point where I was desperate to try anything.
I started with baby steps — replacing the sugar and milk in my coffee with almond milk, eating less yogurt throughout the week…and not eating so much cheese and ice cream.
Dude, it was hard!
It took a while to see a difference, but I stuck to it, and with my other efforts, after six months my chin was already much better.
I’ve also noticed a few other things that absolutely have an impact on my skin, like the amount of water I’m drinking and fresh fruits and veggies I’m eating. If I’m not drinking enough water and getting enough fruit and veggies throughout the day, my skin pays the price.
3. Hands off!
Last, but not least, keeping my hands away from my zits.
It’s so hard for me to resist the temptation to pick at my pimples. I know, I know… But gah! It’s so hard. When I squeeze it always makes things worse.
Truth be told, to took a while to break this habit. I had to avoid looking closely at my chin in the mirror right before bed, which is when I was most likely to pick and pop, or when I was feeling stressed.
Sometimes, I used good ol’ fashioned bribery on myself, like if didn’t touch my face for ‘X’ number of days, I would reward myself with some makeup or a pair of shoes.
Whatever it takes!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
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