Acne Products and Remedies I’ve Tried

In my last post about acne I touched a little bit on products I’ve used and reactions I’ve gotten from them.  I didn’t just do chemical, I also tried some natural remedies, but nothing really helped. I did a round of whole 30, tried cutting sugar out of my diet and certain foods that I felt were problematic, nothing worked because food was not what was causing me to breakout! I even drank a cup of water  with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar every morning which was the most nauseating way to start the day but I did it anyway because it “was supposed to help”. I also tried using essential oils like rose hip oil and tea tree oil which I’ll talk about later in this post.

One product that I used that dried out my skin really bad was alba Botanica spot treatment I got from the skincare isle at Target. I used the set, the cleanser, acne dote and the spot treatment. I have very oily skin, so for a product to try out my skin to a point where it was pealing off is nearly impossible. Even after moisturizer it was so dry. The spot treatment gel gave me a horrible rash on my face. Maybe for some people it work, but for me it did not.

                 

Another product is used that gave me a chemical reaction was Murad from Sephora. This was recommended to me by a friend who struggled with acne too. She told me that it worked really well for her, so I decided to give it a try. I had the worst rash on my face!! It was like the one I got from alba pot treatment, but ten times worse. My face was so inflamed and itchy, I had little blisters and bubbles on my face for days. It took almost a whole week to heal.

An acne product that actually helped me for a little while was the Mario Badescu drying lotion. I got mine from Ulta. it helped a lot at first, but after using it for a while I felt like it was not doing anything so I stopped using it. It never gave me a reaction, but I think when my skin got used to the formula, and it just stopped working.

On the more natural side, I tried to used essential oils. I paired tea tree oil and rosehip. Rosehip was for my scars and tea tree was for the breakouts. Like I mentioned before I have really oily skin, so putting oil on my skin every night was not helping that whatsoever. Also a lot of people, like me actually breakout from rosehip oil, because if you have oily skin it can clog your pores. So I stuck to tea tree oil. Tea tree helped a lot as a spot treatment, but after I started my antibiotics, I started getting burns from tea tree oil. I used it almost every night for months, and never deluded it with water because my skin was able to tolerate the strength of it, but all of  sudden it started burning my skin, and leaving burn scars. I had a really bad reaction from it, to where it literally burned my skin off on the right side of my face and to this day you can see the scar. It’s not supper obvious anymore and kind of faded into my skin, but it’s there.

   
And of course the number one product for a quick spot treatment I would recommend  is Differen gel. I still get occasional breakouts here and there, and this spot treatment saves my butt every time I need a zit gone.

 

Obviously I’m not a doctor and everyone has different skin and skin types, and things that worked for me might not work for someone else, and not everyone will have the same reactions to the same things, but these are just some of the things that I have tried.

My only advice is, to listen to your body. If you know a certain food is causing you to breakout don’t eat it as hard as it is. Or if your skin is sensitive to a certain makeup or skincare product(s) then it’s probably best to try something else. Personally I breakout from Too Faced products regardless, because they used coconut extract which I am allergic to.

So all I am going to say is listen to your body, and try to find the root of the problem and most of all don’t be ashamed if you have acne, it will get better! I hope this helps anyone who is struggling with acne!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

How I Got Rid of My Acne

 

Acne is a pain in the butt!! If you have ever struggled with it at any point of your life you know what I mean. It puts your self-esteem down so low and makes you feel like you have no control over your skin. It physically hurts, and finding a way to control it or to make peace with the fact that you have it is also such a challenge.

As teenager I had a few breakouts here and there, it would get really bad around my cycles which is totally normal. But I didn’t have full-blown acne until I was 17. It started getting bad around mid December, I want to say about in January is when it HIT me! It felt like I woke up one morning and I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror. I felt like it was me, but not me. I didn’t want to go anywhere, or talk to anyone, I just felt so miserable. The worst part is I had no idea what was causing it! I felt like I had no control and that’s what scared me the most. For months I tried to cover it with makeup and tried finding products that would help control it, but it felt like it just got worse. Some products did help for a little bit, and some gave me allergic reactions.

I felt like the ugliest person EVER! I couldn’t go out in public without makeup because I felt like people were looking at me. I had customers at work ask me about my acne and if I’ve tried this natural remedy, or if I’d tried eliminating foods or if I’d consider taking Actuate. I was so annoyed of everyone telling me what helped them, and telling me things I should try. It irritated me so bad because anything I did try would inflame my face so much more and my skin was always so irritated.

I tried taking sugar out of my diet and eating better but it still didn’t work. I even went on Whole 30 but still saw no change. So after months of battling with acne, I decided to see a dermatologist. When he looked at my face he automatically saw by the type of breakouts I had. Right away he was able to see that it wasn’t from food or from any products I was using, but that it was from a bacterial build up in my gut. So the solution that we came up with was a very safe antibiotic. The antibiotic I took was called Minocycline. I was  supposed to take them for two months. I didn’t even finish the full course of treatment because in a little over a month into taking the pills, it was almost all gone.

I know what your thinking, and yes I thought a lot about what could happen if I took pills. I was so scared that they could be hormonal or that I could get really bad side effects from them. Taking pills for two months is risky so yes I did think a lot about what it meant and what could happen. I was really unsure whether taking the antibiotics was really a good idea, and if it was as safe as my doctor told me it was. I’ve heard all the horror stories about people taking medication for acne and how they either got fat or it got way worse than it was before. But being the person that I am my only solution was to pray that these pills would help my acne go away. After I prayed about it, I had a really good feeling that these pills were safe so I began my treatment course. About two weeks in I saw that my face was starting to clear up. It felt so good to see results so soon.

Along with the antibiotics my doctor prescribed me, he also recommended a spot treatment called Differen Gel. It used to only be by prescription, but now its available over the counter. I got mine from Amazon which I’ll link for anyone who would like to get it, but I also saw it at Target and at Fred Myers. It’s supper cheap and works so well. I was really nervous at first to use it because any spot treat t I’ve ever tried has given me a reaction, but this one surprisingly didn’t. I didn’t know this at first but it does take a little while of using it to start working on your skin but once it does, a zit that would take at least a week to go away would disappear within a day or two.

Another thing my dermatologist recommended for me was a cleanser that I was already using for about 2 years. It’s the Cetaphil gentle cleanser. Also available just about at any of your local drugstore or online. I usually get mine from Costco, it comes with two full-sized bottles that last me months and one travel size bottle I like to keep in my  toiletries bag.

Having gone through this, I promise I am not trying to push any products and thing that helped me on anyone! I know all too well how annoying it is when people “give you advice” on what you should try. I wanted to share my journey and experience with acne. Acne is no joke! I was not really aware of it until I got it, and I don’t think I ever would have understood what anyone who was close to me having acne was going through till I was faced with this problem myself.

My choice of treatment was a very controversial option, especially in my family. All of my sisters are really for the neuropathic way of treatment, so when I told them about my choice of using antibiotics they did freak out a little bit, but at the end of the day, it’s my body and I will choose what goes in and out.

Would I recommend this course of treatment for anyone? YES I would because in my personal experience, I got positive results. BUT clearly I am not a doctor and this treatment may not be for everyone. I am not going to pretend like there were no side effects to taking antibiotics for 2 months, because there was! When I got prescribed the antibiotics my doctor told me that my skin will be more sensitive especially to burns. Another things that I now have a very weak immune system. I got sick with a cold in mid September, and didn’t fully recover till about the end of October. I had to take Vitamin D, Zinc and probiotics to boost my immune system to help me get better.

If I were to do it all over again I would do it differently. I would take a probiotic while taking antibiotics because antibiotics not only kill your bad bacteria but they also kill the good ones. Sense I’m lactose intolerant I can’t have yogurt or any kefir which are both high in probiotics, so I have to take capsules.

People may say that my way of getting rid of acne is cheating or whatever, but if you wake up every morning dreading to go anywhere because you have acne, you’ll do anything to make it go away. Proverbs 3:15 says “She is more precious then rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her”.  Having acne I did not feel like I was more precious than anything. I felt the complete opposite. And makeup can only do so much to cover it up.

 

Where to get Differen Gel

Amazon

Target

Fred Meyer

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you had a good holiday season! It’s so crazy to think that the holidays have come and gone, and that we are already in a new year.  This past month was so crazy and chaotic. My birthday was the 1st of December, and it felt like as soon as that passed the rest of the month flew by in fast motion.

With a new year here, I have new goals. This past year was honestly one of the worst years I’ve had. I went through a lot of family stuff, and just personal battles that I’m not quite ready to talk about. But with this new year I’m feeling really good! I normally don’t do new years resolution, but this year I’m changing things up and I have created 3 new years resolutions for myself….

         1. Read the Bible from cover to cover

         2. Do BBG from start to finish (full 12 week program)

         3. Make more time for my blog

These are my 3 main goals for the year. They may not be supper exiting or glamorous, but these are personal aspects of my life that I really want to see myself thriving in.

When I read the bible consecutively and really study what I’m reading and take notes, I start to see progress in my relationship with  God. I can see how reading His word and applying it to my everyday life changes the way I look at things. I start seeing changes in how patient I can be, and how calm I am in the middle of a crisis. But the second I start to get lazy or tired I see all the progress I made slowly go to waste and the relationship I worked so hard to build with God slowly start to weaken along with my patients.

I’ve done BBG (Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines) workout program before, and honestly I did see results. The program is 12 weeks long, but I only made it to week 9. My goal this year is to finish BBG and maybe even do BBG stronger. I HATED working out, but after doing Kayla’s program I slowly began to love it. I love the feeling of knowing that I’m taking care of my body and actually getting results.

And finally one of my goals this year is to make more time to blog. I LOVE this blog so much it’s truly my outlet, but I was so busy with school, new years stuff, and the holidays, so I wasn’t really able post a lot, but now that that’s all over I will hopefully have a lot more time to put into the blog and create more posts that will be fun, and helpful for y’all!!

         So stay tuned, 2018 is going to be full of new fun and helpful content! 🙂

2017

Dear 2017,

Wow what a year you were… you broke me down, you shattered me into so many prices, you left me feeling alone, hurt, venerable, damaged.  You showed me sides of myself that I never knew even existed.  You made me feel week and turned my whole world up side down at times. But, with all of that you made me stronger, a fighter, a warrior and most of all you taught me how to forgive, to respect, and to accept myself. You taught me to love the people closest to me even when they hurt me. You taught me to guard my heart and to have faith like I have never had before. You taught me that even through the hardest, most destructive storms, the sun comes out and everything starts to get better. Through the darkest times I was able to see that small light at the end of each trial that gave me hope to keep pushing through.

2017, you are forever going to be engraved into my memory. I will never forget the things I went through this past year, but because of all of it, something much bigger was born. Something greater then I could ever even imagine. You gave me hope. Hope that this next year will be better. That this new year will be full of joy and full of happiness. No matter how hard you hit me I came out stronger, bolder. I took the negativity you handed me, and made it into something positive. When you tore me down, the grace of God built me back up and He mended me.

The lessons you taught me this past year will forever be a part of me. And all thanks to you I found the courage to finally publish this blog and share my life with the world. To be completely honest, I have no idea what this new year holds, but I know who holds it. Whatever 2018 throws at me, I’ll be stronger!

So heres to a new year, a bank page, a fresh start!

 

 

The Perfect Holiday look

I never honestly considered myself good at makeup. I liked playing with it, and watching YouTube videos/ tutorials of girls doing it, but I never actually thought I’d be good at it.

My best friend had a company christmas party which she won the employee of the year award at!!  They had a fancy dinner party, so I offered to do her makeup. Like I said before I’m not all that good at doing makeup, but I was actually  really satisfied with how it turned out, so I really wanted to share it with all of y’all. And it’s honestly such a good holiday look that will be PERFECT for your next party!

Here’s the list of the products I used along with links to get them:

FACE: N7 primer    BB cream Revlon Foundation   it cosmetics Concealer                              tarte glow pro palette (for contour, bronzer and hi-light)

 tarte contour palette (blush)

EYES: Urban decay eyeshadow primer   MAC Eyeshadow  brows

LIPS: bellapierre kiss proof lip creme lipstick

This look is so simple, yet so elegant! I absolutely love the MAC eyeshadow palette, ever sense I got it I have been OBSESSED! Personally I think that on me purples and burgundy make my eyes pop so having these colors in this palette make me love it that much more.

Also the Bellapierre lipstick is a must-have. I got a set a while ago and love how long they last. They don’t smudge and they last for hours.

 

Happy Birthday MAMA💛

November is a busy time of year. As soon as Halloween is over the holidays kick off in full swing. Hallmark starts playing their Christmas movies all day and radio stations start playing Christmas music. And the holiday countdown begins. In my family it’s not just the holidays that keep us busy, it’s also the birthdays. My sisters is November 18th, my moms is the 27th and mine is December 1st.

Out of all of theses birthdays (including my own) my favorite one to celebrate is my mom’s. My mom is the most amazing, humble person you will ever meet. She has the kindest most devoted heart. Her life revolves around her  kids and grandkids. She’s your go-to person for just about anything. Her wisdom is really just beyond measures. She always gives me pep talks about life and how to apply my faith to every aspect of my life. If I am going through something and need someone to talk to she’s usually the first I go to for advice.  Her strength inspires me to be better, to want more out of life, and to always stay humble.

 

Happy Birthday MAMACHKA!! We love you so much!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

The holiday season is officially here! The holiday season is my FAVORITE season of all. Theres something in the air that just makes you want to smile at strangers and spread the holiday cheer. The older I get the sooner it feels the holidays come!!

Thanksgiving to me, is a very special holiday. My whole family usually gathers together and we reflect on the year and all the things God has blessed us with. This Thanksgiving I’m most grateful for my parents. I’ve learned over this past year how strong they both are, and how they keep our whole family together. We have gone through some tough things as a family but no matter what by the grace of God, and my parents prayers everything works out. They are like the screw that holds everything in place. Their faith and encouragement inspires me to want more out of life, and to always seek the lord through any trial that I may face.

My family doesn’t necessarily have any “Thanksgiving traditions” but we always do the same thing, church in the morning, then we all get together. First we eat, then the guys stay at the table talking about cars, politics, etc… and the girls sit on the couch talking about babies,  newly discovered food recipes, and more about babies, and all the kids run around like wild animals on a sugar high. It’s just your typical Argirov family gathering!!

Here’s some of the details from our family Thanksgiving Lunch…

Setting the table is one of my favorite things to do for thanksgiving. Last year we had the same plate settings which I absolutely loved, and for the centerpieces I did bubble vases with a gold floating candle and cranberries, and some greens.

This year I wanted to go for a more traditional/rustic inspired look. So I kept the same plate settings, but for the centerpiece I knew that wanted to do a green garland. I was on a hunt for tiny orange and white pumpkins but couldn’t find them so I went with pinecones that sell HEAVENLY, leaves and wheat straws.  Overall I think it turned out really pretty, even though it wasn’t what I initially wanted.

Pumpkin Cupcakes 🎃

I made pumpkin cupcakes for my family last night, and boy were they a hit! For sure a new family favorite! Everyone in my family HATES pumpkin anything, like they won’t even try it. I am honestly the only one who loves pumpkin spiced stuff, so the fact that they loved the cupcakes tells you how good they really are! Because I am lactose intolerant and allergic to gluten I couldn’t have too much, but still enjoyed some! This of course is not my recipe, it’s by Martha Stewart, so all credit goes to her for this amazing recipe.

Because we all loved it so much I decided to post it for anyone who would like to try them. It is probably the easiest cupcake recipe I’ve ever came across.

What you will need: 

               

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. 3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

     

    Frosting: 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract Pinch of salt, 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese, vanilla and salt and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar gradually and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

I sprinkled some cinnamon on top, but you can decorate them with anything and they will still look supper cute!!

 This is literally the easiest and yummiest recipe I’ve found thus far!! I hope y’all enjoy them just as much as we did!
If you use this recipe tell me how you liked it!!

 

Weekly Devotional

Do you ever feel like God has a specific way of speaking to you? For me it’s through music. I can hear the same song a hundred  times and not really listen but then a part of the song stands out and I feel the voice of God speaking into my heart.

Last September I started my first year of college. I stressed out so much. It was so new to me. I felt like I was studying my butt off but still waste seeing the grades I wanted. I had 4 classes my first quarter and that was probable my first mistake because fresh into college not really knowing what to expect I had a full schedule. I felt like I was drowning. I especially had a hard time in Sociology. Everyone who took it told me how much they loved but when I was taking it I had a completely different experience. I had a horrible teacher. He was rude, and purposefully made the class challenging just because he could. There were so many days when I literally felt like I would just start crying because he made things so hard. I always got really good grade in school, but for some reason no matter how hard I tried all quarter I had a terrible grade in sociology.

  Toward the end of the quarter we had a test that went over all the content we had learned about all quarter. It wasn’t the final because for the final we had a project, but it was worth a lot of points. I studied harder for that test then any other test I’ve ever taken, and yet I got another really low score. As someone who has never gotten a grade lower then a B on anything before I freaked out! I was doing so bad in the class and nothing I was doing was working. I remember driving home one day from school so mad and upset. Everything was irritating me and I just felt like I couldn’t do anything right. Even though I had really good grades in my other classes, I blamed myself for struggling with this one. I just remember driving and talking to God. I was so annoyed at what was happening, that I just wanted to give up. and right in that moment a song came on the radio. The words were:

“If you could only let your guard down
You could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won’t let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won’t let you go
I won’t let you go”

I felt like in that moment God was telling me its okay to struggle and to feel like everything is falling apart, but hey I’m here! I realized that I wasn’t relying on God, I was tying to do everything on my own. Instead asking him for help I tried to do it all on my own and failed miserably! One of my favorite verses from proverbs is “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” This may be an overly repeated verse but it’s truly so meaningful!

The moment I let God take over I actually did start doing better and I had peace in my heart that even though things might not be going completely as planned at the end of the day I was okay with whatever happened because God was in control! I was able to pass my class with a pretty good grade. But I couldn’t do it alone. Trusting that God will take care of our situation whatever it may be is SO HARD! But when you do, you feel so free. Don’t hesitate to ask God for help. He is always there no matter what your issue is he is always going to be there for you!

 

Hello FALL!

For some people fall is the best time of year. Something about the temperature dropping, trees turning colors, the leaves falling and the nonstop rain warms their hearts and puts a smile on their face. I am not one of those people. I love summer, my iced coffee, my sunnies, driving with rolled down windows in the evening feeling that warm breeze between your fingers as you let your arm sway out of the window driving into the summer sunset. But all good things come to an end. As sweet as summer was it is now time to welcome fall.

                               

Normally I get so depressed when fall rolls around just because I know that with it comes school and more responsibilities that you kind of just forget about. Summer for me is a time when I forget about everything and just live in the moment. Nothing else matters to me because I don’t really have anything to worry about. But once fall rolls around, everything goes back to normal and I’m in school, Sunday school, planning my work hours around school and planning my days around homework due dates. I find myself exhausted by 8:30 pm. The days get shorter, colder, gloomier, and a lot busier.

         

I always hung on to every last bit of summer I could hold onto. Every year I postponed taking out my sweaters and boots and putting my shorts and sandals away till the very last second that I could. It’s such a hard transition for me. I am not someone who likes change. I need everything to stay the same. when things start to change I feel a cloud of sadness and anxiety lingering over me. But not this year. This summer had some major hi-lights, but a lot more low-lights. So many negative things happen. Even though I had so much family in town, a house full of people who loved me and I loved so much, I felt so alone. I went through a phase where I was constantly feeling so down. In the beginning of summer I got some really bad news that left me  Feeling frigid inside. Like I had something so heavy on my chest. It was so hard for me to get on my knees everyday and pray. Or even open up my bible. After feeling like this for a while I opened up to a friend and told her about my situation and I left that conversation feeling worse than I was before. I felt so confused and  lost.

In that moment I realized that it didn’t madder what season it was, or who I talked to, what I really needed was God. No matter how hard it was I got myself to open my bible and pray about my situation and I tried putting everything in God’s hands as best as I could and let him guid me through everything. I felt so weak, so exposed and empty. It was the hardest thing I’ve gone through. But opening my bible my prayer was simple, but effective. It was so that I can find peace in my heart and for him to settle my sole. I was so tied of feeling empty and carrying this heavy burden around with me for so long, and in that moment a thought came into my head to open up to the book of Job. I began reading the book of Job and sure enough I did get that encouragement I was looking for.  After reading just the first 3 chapters I was reminded that my problems are so small and that God is so Great. He is so loving and so caring. he was able to take my brokenness and turn it into something good. This summer may have been difficult and I may have cried more tears than we had rain, but that’s okay. We all go through rough seasons in our lives and difficult times, but it’s the lessons that we learn from these times that make up who we are. the changes we go through might not be the easiest, but God gives us strength to keep pushing through and to rely on his guidance. Even though I’m not a fan of change, I know that it is good for me.

    

This Year I am looking forward to fall. It’s a new season, new beginning, and a fresh start. The worst is behind me, and the best is yet to come. This year I am actually looking forward to sweaters, boots and raincoats. As hard as it is for me to say but I am ready for gloomy fall days and it raining non stop here in the PNW. I never really did any exiting fall things in the past because I hated fall. But this year I decided to try something new. I went to the pumpkin patch and I enjoyed it so much. I even found a pink pumpkin!

                         

I had fun getting lost in corn maze and drinking fresh apple cider. The pumpkin patch we went to was so beautiful and had so may different activities. there was petting animals, a Christmas tree farm, and they even offered hay rides. There was even a pumpkin cannon which I am still so bummed that I  didn’t get to try. All these activities and more were all included in a really affordable price. The place is called Schilter Family Farm, in Olympia WA. If you’re in the area you have to checkout out it is amazing!

                         

 The arrival of fall also means the holidays are creeping up fast and boy do I love the holidays. Change sucks and it’s hard, but even though it is hard to accept it, but in the end there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

                                           

I hope that you enjoyed my post and that you found encouragement in some way!! Thanks for reading💛