MY SKIN STORY | PART 1

My story begins in my teens - I was blessed with beautiful skin. Porcelain-like, it looked like it had a mocha-colored, milky visage without a blemish in sight.

Dearest you,

Welcome! I can’t believe you’re finally here, reading this story I've written just for you. I wanted to write to you and spill the tea on my skin because if you’re going to trust me, I need to open up, right? And I’m certain that you’re tired of seeing social posts of influencers posing with a small jar of cream with the hashtag #ad weaved into the caption, but I promise you - this post will be different. Yes, I’m a beauty blogger. Yes, I create sponsored content. But no - I don’t partner with just ANY brand - and when it comes to skincare, this little lady is on a STRICT REGIME. Why? Well, I’ll take you on my bumpy ride and tell you the story of my skin, as a preface to the posts to come that will empower you with education to think differently about your skin concerns, and choose a skincare brand wisely - informed, and capable.

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17 year old Maria - despite poorly colour-matched Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse and a lack of understanding of eyebrows, I was blessed with a clear complexion.

17 year old Maria - despite poorly colour-matched Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse and a lack of understanding of eyebrows, I was blessed with a clear complexion.

My story begins in my teens - I was blessed with beautiful skin. Porcelain-like, it looked like it had a mocha-colored, milky visage without a blemish in sight. Being a young teen without so much as a pimple, naturally, I took advantage of my unblemished skin.. I would sleep with a face full of makeup after a night of drinking & dancing almost every weekend, and not wash it off till I woke up the next day, hungover around midday. I indulged my love of all things sugary, fried and salty – eating 6 potato cakes in one hit and washing it down with a can of coke. When people would ask me how often I would drink water, I used to love their reaction when I’d tell them ‘Oh, once every couple of days …’ (such an attention-seeker) – but it was true. I would rarely drink water, and loved my soft drink. I took my fast metabolism and clear skin for granted. Fast forward into my 20’s, I first started having problems with my once unblemished skin when I was 23. I started to notice periodic breakouts that would come and go consistently on my cheeks and chin, so I blindly purchased a few Mario Badescu & REN skincare products (from memory it was a cleanser and a toner) and began using them.

Unfortunately, it made my skin break out on my cheeks even MORE. Thinking this was a transient ‘purge’ stage, I prayed for clearing, but the breakouts persisted. I stopped using these products and the breakouts subsided but it left visible red blemishes that had an ‘under-the-skin’ appearance for months to follow. That was 2015 - they never subsided. Fast forward 3 years, and over the course of this year, my skin started to give me hell. I got off the contraceptive pill (I rarely remembered to take it and I didn’t want it messing with my hormones any longer) and I suffered from severe Vitamin D, B12 & Iron deficiencies, to the point that I had anemia. I felt like my hair started falling, and my skin suffered too.

What was once under the skin breakouts soon turned into red visible pimples on my chin and jawline, and on my cheeks. I resorted to a blood test which confirmed the above deficiencies, but also highlighted that I had a hormone imbalance. My doctor recommended I tried to ensure I was getting sufficient rest, exercise and sleep, and to review my diet – all which can contribute to the imbalance.

My skin as at July ‘18.

My skin as at July ‘18.

This is where I decided to take action – but blindly. I rationalised to increase my daily water intake, got on Vitamin D, B12 and Iron supplements, researched and implemented a green smoothie full of iron, protein, energy rich ingredients to help boost my immunity and began investigating other alternative skincare options. But how do you know where to start when you don’t know the first thing about skin care for newly troubled skin? And what do you do when you don’t even know what is WRONG with your skin? I took a punt on a new brand called Raww Cosmetics . As someone who was not educated on skincare, seeing the words “organic” and “superfood” in their branding made me feel a sense of trust in the product. I associated those words with the assumption that the product was natural and gentle, and mistakenly assumed it would be fine for my skin. I decided to try their “Activate-ME Face Moisturiser”, in conjunction with QV’s Gentle Cleanser which I had been using for years. However months in, I noticed that my skin was still angry, breaking out, and growing bumpier in texture. 

Mayra Puma (@skinbymjp) - Licensed Aesthetician from Chicago, Illinois (informally known as my Skin Saviour and a success story of sliding into DM’s).

Mayra Puma (@skinbymjp) - Licensed Aesthetician from Chicago, Illinois (informally known as my Skin Saviour and a success story of sliding into DM’s).

Cue: Mayra from @skinbymjp. A licenced aesthetician, Mayra is my Skin Guardian Angel from Chicago. See, I would put up IG stories discussing my skin and Mayra was kind enough to slide into my DM’s in August ‘18 where she expressed her desire to help and offer advice where possible. She began by asking what my symptoms were and then asked what products I was using currently. She looked at their ingredients, assessed their safety, and how likely they were to cause acne or irritate the skin. Unfortunately, she reported that the QV Gentle Cleanser contained Sodium Laureth Sulfate, a highly comedogenic ingredient and one commonly found in products due to its low cost. As for the Raww Cosmetics moisturiser, it contained high concentrations of Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, another culprit that causes acne. I was mortified but also relieved. So I asked her to recommend a brand that I could make the switch to. She mentioned she had tried, sampled and LOVED a professional skincare line based out of Australia, great for people dealing with acne or skin sensitivity. She then personally reached out to the CEO and passed on my details to her. As far as over the counter options from specialty retailers like Sephora went, those she researched still contained irritants. However, that didn’t matter, as the CEO of the aforementioned skincare line then reached out to me personally, and advised that she had clinics based in Australia and Melbourne specifically where I could get assessed and treated.

 

My skin as at November ‘18.

My skin as at November ‘18.

So how did I go from red, bumpy, congested skin to a clear, glowing complexion in 2 months? Well there is a simple equation.

Sufficient Education + Experienced Professionals + Will To Change = Improvement.

My skin was about to change the day I received that email from that invested, brilliant CEO. She referred me to a highly experienced Skin Therapist based RIGHT HERE in Melbourne. I was willing to change and willing to learn. And I know you are too, that’s why you’ve gotten to this point in the article. So in my next post, I’ll tell you who you need to know, what I needed to do and what you need to know to inform and empower you to heal your skin.

Subscribe below & I’ll write you soon. Until then, I can’t wait.

All my love,

MT x