Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Journey With Acne

As you guys can see from the post title, I'm gonna share about my journey and experience in dealing with acne. How I use to look like, how my skin condition use to be, my skin problem and how I deal and struggle with acne. So beware I think it's gonna be a pretty long post and lots and lots of photos.

At young I never had any skin problem, even when I'm in junior and senior high school I almost never use moisturizer. Just sunblock and I even often forget to put in on. I don't put up any make-up whatsoever on my face, my usual routine are I wake up - take a bath - change clothes - put on sunblock (if I remember) - put some lipbalm - spritz some body mist - go to school.

Aside from the occasional acne that comes when I have my monthly period I don't really have acne problem.  My skin is pretty normal too, not oily and not dry so I never bother to put on any moisturizer. I'd rather save my money to buy manga he he he (I'm an otaku!! >.<)

I started to get self conscious about beauty stuff at 17 I guess, it's my 3rd year in high school when I started to use moisturizer, sunblock, and some compact powder more regularly. But still... there's nothing wrong with my skin.

At my University days I get more and more conscious about my skin and appearance so I started to wear some mascara and lip gloss to campus. But my skin is pretty much still okay and normal. 

Me 2008
This photo is taken in 2008, I think it was a few months before I graduate. As you can see my skin look pretty normal. I don't alter this photo in any way whatsoever. I just put on compact powder and lip gloss, I don't even put any other stuff like eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, foundation and blusher. In fact I don't own any!! I just use what my mom have at the time hehehe...

January 2009
After I graduate I cut my hair real short as a good luck charm he he he... I don't put any make-up on in this photo. I think this was taken at my family friend home in Malang before I went to Jogjakarta for my master degree.

April 2009
This is taken 4 months after I went to Jogjakarta for my master degree. I only put on some compact powder and lip balm in this picture, but at that time my skin was actually getting more oily and I started to get pimples every now and then. I just thought that it was my body adapting to the new environment.

June 2009

Just two months after the last picture you guy can see that my cheek and forehead had a lot if redness, pimples and blemishes. GAAHHHH!!!! By this time my T-Zone is getting more and more oily and my U-Zone is getting more and more dry to the point that my skin in the U-Zone or jawline is chapped. I have to use two different moisturizer for that area. *sighh..... I think I'm not suited to live in Jogjakarta. Oh.. Yeah almost forget at this time my hair falls more often than usual too and I'm having backne (back acne) ALL THE TIME!!! They just never gone!! I mean they are big and red and stings!!

Luckily my dad is a dermatologist so I can save money for the acne but I can't really treat it since I can't come home often to consult with my dad and have him to look at my skin. Plus I don't really wanna go to a local dermatologist since I'm saving money and don't wanna to bother my dad at the time. (Big Mistake)

Because I don't wanna consult to a local dermatologist my dad suggest that I take Zinc supplement and antibiotics that I take twice daily to suppress those nasty acne. It kinda helps, but if I forgot to take the antibiotic the acne comes in a nasty way!! 

June 2010
This was taken at June 2010, my skin is pretty good because I just come back from holiday and getting treatment from my dad. I look pretty happy because my acne is gone and take some picture to celebrate myself, but boy if I only knew what was coming.

BTW about the treatment from my dad, the treatment is he give me vitamin C injection and also inject my acne with some medicine which HURTS LIKE A B#*@H!! I mean... Come on..!! You have acne all over your face!! So he has to inject it ONE BY ONE!! OMIGOD it felt like a torture!! But by tomorrow all that swearing and cursing turns to praising since those acne are GONE!! I mean the big, red and stinging acne are gone!!




Because when I'm back to Jogjakarta again those acne are welcoming me again.... Those nasty, itchy, big, red ACNE!! Since I can't come home often to get those free treatment my skin are getting more and more worse. It became more dull, those acne are getting red and itchy and I have a lot of redness on my face. To top it off the usual "free" acne cream from my dad isn't working anymore and I have to change prescription.

March 2011
This picture looks pretty nice but I actually had a huge cover up!! But you can still actually see the huge pimple on my chin.

March 2011

This is what my skin actually looks like, I only use compact powder so you can see the blemishes on my cheeks, chin and forehead. I'm actually super tired in this photo, I have baggy eyes and black circles. But this  is my skin at its best condition. It's getting downhill from this point onward... 

Since I don't wan't to depend on those antibiotics to suppress my acne I started to stop using those but still takes the Zinc supplement since it helps to dries acne and help with hair and nail growth. As you can guess my skin is getting more and more dull, the acne are hideous and itchy and the redness.. OMG the redness goes all over my face since those redness surrounds the acne which surrounds my face. Kinda like a vicious circle.

October 2011

October 2011
Dear GOD!! Take a look at that!! The downhill of not taking those antibiotics. The acne cream isn't working at all... The acne just keep on coming... My dad's usual acne cream is too harsh for my skin and the other acne cream prescriptions are useless... But on January 2011 my little brother is continuing his study as a medical doctor to become a dermatologist, and he suggest that I use tretinoin to treat my acne problem. My father afraid that it will be too much for my skin but I thought what the hell... I've already become like this, one or two more skin problem won't matter anymore.

My brother suggest that I take 0.025% of tretinoin and bought me Vitacid (review here and here). He warns me that this stuff will give me purging, which means I'm gonna have more and more acne before my face heals. But I just don't give a care anymore and just gonna take a plunge....

There are several other things that he warns me about this product besides purging:
- do not use it with any other acne products,
- do not wear it at day because contraindication problem
- do not forget to wear sunblock
- use it as thinly as possible all over your face

You know when he warns me about the purging problem I only take it lightly since I though what's the worse that could happen right?? I felt like I wanna slap myself when I think about it now... The pictures below are my purging only after a few days I started using Vitacid.

October 2011

October 2011

October 2011

October 2011

Those white thingy that you see on my cheek is actually my chapped skin!! The purging is reallll baddd... I have acne on my cheek, chin, forehead, brow, jaw and even hairline. 

November 2011

This is one month after I started using tretinoin, I still have acne but my skin condition is started to change. My T-Zone is getting drier but my dry U-Zone is like a desert!! It's super duper dry!! My usual moisturizer and facial aren't working anymore and tretinoin irritates my skin too. Around this time I started to find more natural ways to help heals my acne along with tretinoin and find another facial wash and moisturizer that doesn't irritate my face more and helps to reduce tretinoin irritating effect.

I can't use facial wash because it stings, I can't use cleansing milk because it stings even more. By this time I heard about cleansing oil and started to use Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil  (review here) that helps a lot because it doesn't irritate my face and to moisturize my face I started using Egyptian Magic Cream (review here).

Extra Picture of Me and My Brother

Here's an extra photo of me and my brother. Yeahh he has acne problems too and super lazy!! But he takes care of me hehehe... We're going to Solo by Prameks (Prambanan Ekspress) in this photo, it's out first time. He stops to Jogja first from Surabaya because he doesn't want me to take the train alone to Solo. *so sweet!!! You guys still can see my acne and blemishes right?? But the redness is covered by the sunlight hehehe...

November 2011
This picture is taken about a week after the last photo. EMC do wonders for my skin, my T-Zone is moisture enough and my U-Zone isn't dry and chapped anymore. You can see that my acne are reduce greatly but I still have to deal with the blemish marks and redness. At this time I also started to increase the tretinoin dose to 0.05% because I think my skin is starting to adapt to tretinoin and thankfully the 0.05% works better than the 0.025% and I bought the 0.1% tretinoin too in case a big acne pops up I will dab the acne with this cream.

November 2011
This photo was taken about two weeks after the photo before, my acne is mostly gone but I still have to deal with the redness. To deal with the leftover problems I've started to try those natural products that I've browse before but still do not dare to try it. These are what I found:
- honey, cinnamon and nutmeg mask (review here)
- yoghurt and honey mask (review here)
- saripohatji (review here)

Most of them are mask and they really helps me to calm the redness and acne.

November 2011
This photo was taken two days after the last one. The redness is become much much better although I still have some acne here and there. Just zap it with the 0.1% and they will gone. Unfortunately I still have problem with backne (back acne) and I can't really put tretinoin on my back by myself can't I? So I search some more natural remedies for backne and find that ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) is great for your backne and your face acne. So I put some ACV on a spritz bottle and spray it on my back every morning and evening. The smell is unbearable but I get used to it eventually.

I can't really show you the picture of my back though but it's basically the same with my face, only instead of using tretinoin I put ACV on my back and let it dry. After about a month or so my back is getting smoother and has less acne, only about one or two pimples and since I'm getting a success with my backne I try using ACV as a facial toner on my face. I have two toner recipe that I search online:
1. ACV and rose water toner (recipe here)
2. ACV and green tea toner (recipe here)

This toner works really well with my skin and help me to heal existing acne and prevent those nasty acne from coming back. Besides as a toner, I also use ACV for my hair, facial mask and tonic. I post about it here.

January 2012
Yeah I know... You can still see my blemish marks and some redness. But my skin condition is actually never better!! My T-Zone isn't oily anymore and my U-Zone isn't super dry!! Although it still get a bit more oily in the T-Zone area than other area at my face but it is far better than few months ago. No more acne going back aside from those "monthly" period but it's only one or two and it heals quickly without leaving any new blemish marks.

February 2012
I actually cheated by putting bb cream in this photo but as you can see there's no pimple. Whhoopppsieee.. There's one in my chin.

April 2012
I use bb cream in this photo too... I have a few redness in my face after going out in the sun for too long and forgot to put on extra sunblock.

September 2012
This is my latest bare face, I actually gonna use this photo to make a review on The Skin Food Platinum Grape BB Cream. The huge spot on my forehead is actually a mosquito bite and not acne if you're wondering XP... My blemish marks is still visible and it's getting more and more clearer.

Finally... It's the end of my journey with acne...

I don't know if you or anyone is interested with my story but I just wanna share my experience here and if you're having acne problems like don't give up and keep trying. I find that a combination of chemical (man made) product and natural products do wonders for my skin and of course my wallet. He.. He.. He..

Oh.. one more note on tretinoin. I still use it but not like other people, in order to put it extra thin to my skin my brother recommended that I put tretinoin on a damp face. So after I put on my toner I don't wait for my face to dries but put the cream right away so I can put it in extra thin layer. By using this method I my skin doesn't irritate much and I can put my skin emulsion without using EMC anymore at day. 

Why I don't use it anymore? It's good for my skin but I have to wait several minutes for EMC to absorb to my skin, it doesn't matter at night since I'm going to bed, but at morning/day it's a bother to wait. Plus I have super long skin care routine at morning (facial wash - toner - serum/essence - emulsion - sunblock - bb cream - powder) and waiting for EMC to absorb will add more time for my prepping time. (>.<)

Thank you for reading this uber long post....

Do you have problem with acne too?
How do you handle it?

Thank's for coming by... 
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Hugs N' Kisses!!


  1. Sist, aku takjub sama hasil mukamu. Daan, foto wajah kamu pas msh jerawatan dibandingin sama sekarang tuh aluss banget lah pokoknyaa.. Hwaa.. Aku masih nunggu hasil nih pake tretinoin 0.05.. Selamat yaa, akhirnya bebass dari jerawat.. :)

  2. Makasih lady!! Nanti2 aku mau memakai jasamu buat bikin blog signature ahh...

  3. Hadeuh, hadeuh. Betul-betul tangguh, dirimu, nak!

    Terharu ih denger acne journeynya. Aku jg mo bikin tp acneku belom bebas tuntas. Masi meratapi acne scars dgn pori segede panci x_x

    Pengalaman orang beda2 ya~ Kalo kamu kan ACV + Tretinoin. Kalo aku Tretinoin + ... Ups! Tunggu saja tanggal mainnya di blog saya ahahahahaahahahahahaa *ditabok?* *tabokkkk*

  4. thanks for sharing!
    I have back acne too, I'll try using ACV..
    btw, what are your current treatment right now? what moisturizer, toner, cleanser, dll?

  5. maaf nih sist..
    kalau lubang bekas jerawat ngilanginnya pakai apa...?

  6. Setahu saya (berhubung bukan ahlinya) kalau lubang bekas jerawat tidak bisa pakai pengobatan biasa seperti salep atau krim, mungkin harus dilaser sepertinya. Saya juga ada kok sedikit lubang bekas jerawat, tapi tetap bersyukur karena setidaknya sudah tidak jerawatan lagi. Sebaiknya konsultasi Dokter Spesialis Kulit aja (SPKK)

  7. I've shared about my ACV toner in this post (two ACV toner recipe), for my current skin care regime it's still in my draft. I'm gonna share it soon!!

  8. oke, makasih mba sekar...
    saya merasa terbantu bnget sama Blognya mba sekar.... ^^

  9. Sama-sama. Senang rasanya kalau bisa membantu...

  10. Nice post dear!!! Love how the treatment works on your face.
    Bisa merasakan paniknya berjerawat TT_TT
    Mari sama2 mempercantik diri ^^ lol

  11. Makasih... Aku udah comment tuh di FB tapi panjang bener yak.. Berasa curcol hihihi.

  12. aku jg lagi jerawatan..T___T
    semoga bisa cpt hilaaaang~

  13. Ahhhh *hugs *hugs..
    Semoga cepat sembuh dan jangan menyerah ya...

  14. Hallo kak, wahh ngeri banget ya. tapi sekarang cantik bangetttth, itu perawatan sampe bersih kaya gni habis berapa???? woowooww..... kak i give u an award!
    check here:

  15. Habisnya gag banyak kok sejak mulai jerawat (paling beli antibiotik itu tapi kustop minum2 obat), sama sisanya beli tretinoin, cuka apel, madu he he he. Aku juga nulis kan klo aku gag mau treatment dokter, tapi saking panjangnya curhatan jiwa ini..... Wah award apa? Ceki-ceki

  16. Hadeu pake diumpetin segala... Spy excited gitu ya penantian postnya...

  17. Hai sist..Wah salut deh, di foto terakhir skarang wajahnya alus bgt :) Aq jg ada jerawat sih..Kalo diliat dr foto tipe jerawatnya mirip sis gitu, ada di dahi sm pipi..Meski ga begitu banyak tp lumayan ganggu jg :( Pingin nyoba vitacid, tp takut jerawatnya tambah parah gitu. Ada tips perawatan ga sis buat kulit jerawatan?Combine apa ya biar ga ngefek di kulit? Thanks :)

  18. kondisi kulit beda-beda sih jadi gag bisa kasi tau bagus enggaknya, tapi kalau produk-produk yg sudah aku pakai bisa baca-baca post yang sebelumnya. Di post ini juga aku post kok selama memakai vitacid aku kombinasi dengan apa aja.

  19. wah hebat ya bisa sukses pakai tretinoinnya... :DD selain pakai treti, regime kmu pakai apa aja sai kl blh tau..kaya facial foal,moist,dll ??

  20. apa yg udah aku pake ada di post2 sebelumnya, tapi nanti kupost deh soal skin care routine.

  21. Saluuuuuttt..... sabar banget ya pake treti nya. Aq baru mulai lagi pake treti 2 mingguan ini, purging, kering serasa pengen lepas. okeehh, berarti ambil jeda untuk menenangkan si kulit yak, huff....

    kulitmu jadi awesome yaaaahhh :) semoga bisa menirumu

  22. Iya memang harus sabar dan tekun trus harus tebal muka juga karena pas purging ampun2an bikin malunya... (╥_╥)

  23. aku juga breakout gara2 bb cream ni sit, q pkenya HDI. Wlupun alami tpi gk cocok di aku. klo mens biasa 1-2, pas breakout kmrn itu sebanyak sista, tpi krn tanganq gatel jadi noda itemnya banyakan aq drpd foto2 diatas...huhu. udah ngalami purging (aku pakein tea tree oil sama correctivenya) sbgian masi meradang
    aq pke harus pake tretment apa ya sist, yg 1-2 bln memudar untuk nodanya, Makasi sarannya

    1. Untuk menghilangkan noda jerawat itu butuh waktu yang cukup lama dan kalau mau cepat setahu aku sih caranya via laser say. Selain itu untuk menghilangkan bekas jerawat harus dipastikan juga mukanya sudah bersih tuntas dari jerawat baru dilanjutkan dengan treatment untuk menghilangkan bekasnya.

  24. kalo sista ditotolin apa ya bwt bekasnya? gpp deh agk lamaan yg pnting bkn k dokter. thx

  25. oya bb cream yang aman buat wajah sensi / brjerawat apa ya?

    1. Tergantung jenis kulit dan cocok-cocokan tapi bisa coba cari bbc yang ada tulisan AC Control atau Anti-Trouble itu biasanya khusus untuk acne prone skin.

      Untuk bekas jerawat aku pake vitacid juga.

  26. Sis.
    Mnta email mu dong mau konsul nih jerawat ku juga parah bgt

  27. Mbak.
    Salam kenal aku robin.
    aku habis baca blog mbk yg tentang vitacid,duh aku kagum banget mbk muka mbk yg dri jrwatnya bnyak bisa jadi mulus gtu.
    Aku juga pake vitacid 0.1% ,1minggu kemaren ak pake 0.05% gak ada efeknya jadi aku naikin.
    Oh iya cuci muka yg mbak pake apa ya. Aku pake dettol jerawat makin tambah meradang.
    Di bales ya mbk.

    1. Itu kayaknya kamu iritasi sama dettolnya..
      Vitacid kan udah bikin kulit sensitif jangan ditambahin antiseptik lagi..
      Kok serem amat sih say wajahnya dikasi dettol?


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