Spironolactone for Hormonal Acne | 30 Day Update

And so goes the ongoing story of a girl in her mid-twenties who just can’t get her f*#king skin to cooperate. Listen, it’s an uphill battle. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We will get there and we will prevail eventually. But it’s going to take time. That’s the harsh reality of conquering hormonal acne. It creeps up on you quickly, but takes time to mend.

There are a multitude of reasons why you could have developed hormonal acne: hormone imbalance, gut issues, stress, food intolerance, and the list goes on. Thus being so, there is a varying list of remedies to help improve your skin. On the long list are some prescription options – two of them being Tretinoin and Clindamycin (which I have been prescribed now for 10 months).

Another item on the list of prescriptions that has been proven (in small dosage) to control acne: spironolactone.

Spironolactone is a medicine typically used to treat high blood pressure. Ironically, in lower doses, it can block the male hormones in our bodies which are known to cause oily skin and clogged pores. It is also a diuretic, which means it will make you pee a lot, so it’s important to consult your dermatologist and primary care doctor if you are interested in seeing if this is the right medication for you. Pro tip: drink a shit ton of water to ensure you are maintaining your hydration properly.

With all of this being said, here is a history of my skin issues and how Clindamycin and Tretinoin have come in to save the day. If you’re more of a video person, you’ll enjoy this version. They are nothing short of miracle workers.

HOWEVER, my skin is still not in check. Though exceedingly less than before, I still suffer from under-the-skin painful bumps. My skin is still blotchy and red, and my acne still gets rather enflamed. Essentially, I haven’t rid of it yet. This leads me to my new prescription (recommended by my dermatologist): spironolactone.

Disclaimer: I have read in several blog posts/articles that major changes on spironolactone aren’t seen until month 3 and on. However, I wanna give y’all the tea on how it’s affecting my skin in the first month. Enjoy!

Here is my 30 day skin diary after starting spironolactone.

After 1 week on spironolactone:

I have noticed an increase in breakouts and the intensity of them. Prior to starting this medication, my acne was maintainable with the occasional painful hormonal blemish. When it did flare up, it was concentrated. This week I have spots in new locations. Less than ideal, obviously. Also v painful. Alas, I read that this was happen so I am gritting my teeth and baring through it.

After 2 weeks on spironolactone:

This week I’m having the same issue, just trying to stick it out. Beauty is pain and beauty takes time, so I need to be patient. If I can achieve crystal clear skin in the long-term, I’ll suffer in the short-term. I have a couple new spots that are large and painful. Otherwise, I don’t notice much difference in my skin (as far as oil production).
*Interesting to note that I got a blemish on my back this week, which is very rare for me. I wonder if there is a purging stage to this and that’s what brought it to the surface.

After 3 weeks on spironolactone:

Not much has changed in my skin this week. MAYBE, if anything, I notice I am a little more on the dry side (typically, I am v oily and have a shiny t-zone by noon). No more large breakouts, but my skin isn’t calm. I have some redness and small blemishes, more than typically. I shall check in next week!

After 4 weeks on spironolactone:

Wowwwww my skin is fucked HAHAHAHA – all we can do is laugh really, am I right? Listen, we will prevail. It’s all trial and error and if I didn’t document this then I’d be suffering ALONE. I just stole a peek at my skin in the bathroom at work, and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. It’s patchy, flaky, dry skin season bitchessss.
Again, obviously not happy about it.
However, I can see it through for the long run gain. Here’s hoping my 3 month progress report shows a bit more clarity (in my skin & goals for this medication).

My final wrap up

So that’s THAT. Fun stuff. Not gonna lie, I’m ending this a little bitter. It’s a bummer to not see results after a month on a new medication, which is seemingly making my skin worse. But I will say, everything I’ve read said things start to improve around that 3 month marker. I am hanging in there and believing in that 3 month revolutionary morning I wake up with crystal clear skin. Lol. Okay, a little over-dramatic as far as expectations are concerned, but that’s what I’m known for.

Signing off with dry, flaky skin. Cheers to the 3 month check-in which will *hopefully* bring more positivity. Here’s an adorable photo of myself to boost morale. Cheers.

Xoxo,
KS Loves

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5 AFFORDABLE products to heal acne scarring

“I just want to go to work without a face of foundation.”
Same, sis.

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At some point or another we’ve all been there. Acne scarring. The spawn of Satan.

Whether you’re cursed with hormonal cystic acne under your jaw, or pesky pimples you just can’t help but squeeze, your skin can get damaged.

They always said, “Don’t pop it! It will be way worse for you in the long run,” but who listens? We’ve all picked at our skin at least once. Some of us more than others (lol) and that’s why I’m coming to the rescue with FIVE relatively affordable products that penetrate deep to renew the surface of your skin and bring forward a fresh face.

Admit it, we all want to go to work/school without foundation – that’s the end goal. At least for me, it is a 2019 resolution LMAO

It pains me to even include a ‘before’ photo when my acne was active, red, and inflamed, but would this blog post hit home if I didn’t also show you my ‘after’ (which is really just my current skin status)? Probably not

Alas, here are the comparisons over the past 8 months.

August 2018

 

October 2018

 

March 2019

Okay, great, now that we’re past that. HERE is how I’ve healed my acne scarring.
Pssst – if you want to know how I cleared my acne, that full story-time is here on the blog, and also in this video.

The Ordinary rosehip seed oil – priced at $9.80

lrm_export_193894709444326_20190403_2009237954469464881425726208.jpeg– my absolute FAVORITE drugstore-priced hyper-pigmentation cure-all
This shit is magic. It has helped lighten my dark spots tremendously. I first heard about this product from Thataylaa, as she used it on her post-accutane journey to heal her scarring. When I heard it was under $10 – SOLD!
PROS
– nourishes the skin and is intensely hydrating
– relatively scentless (what little scent is has is not irritating)
– lightens dark pigmentation (leftover from acne scarring)
– organic and natural
– extremely affordable HEYOOOO
CONS
– I would recommend applying at least 30 mins before laying down for bed, as it doesn’t sink into the skin immediately (don’t want you to ruin your pillowcase)

Mario Badescu whitening maskpriced at $24.00

Contains kojic acid and extracts of licorice root, mulberry, and grapeseed to help maximize its brightening potential on your skin.

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Farmacy bright-on vitamin c face maskpriced at $38.00 – the most expen$ive, I know (but the mask above can be used instead)

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Contains vitamin c and fruit-derived AHAs to target brightening in your skincare.

I love BOTH of these face masks. They are my ride-or-die’s and I have repurchased each of them. I discovered the Mario Badescu mask in a trio kit for Christmas a couple years back. Similarly, I discovered the Farmacy mask in a Boxycharm. You never know what you’re going to fall in love with.I use both of these masks on my scarring interchangeably. I do not favor one over the other, but will say that at 2 oz of product (vs. 1.7 oz) and less $$, the Mario Badescu mask is more bang for your buck.

Pixi glow tonic tonerpriced at $15.00

This toner is a godsend. I noticed immediate results within a week of using. It smoothed the texture of my skin, and has noticeably calmed my redness + brightened my complexion.Unfortunately, when it comes to clearing cystic acne, this did not do the trick for me. HOWEVER – it’s worked miracles for evening my discoloration to get me back to that flawless base I was striving for ;)I kept a sort of “skin diary” when I first started using this and recorded my observations after 4 weeks use.

Tretinoin (topical Accutane)

lrm_export_193899588931114_20190403_2009286753632884032350483694.jpeg*prescription from my primary care doctor – price can range based on your insurance (pro tip: ask your doc if you can get a generic version, this is what I did to cut the cost into 1/3)

This is going to be my holy grail. I know that’s annoying, considering it’s a prescription. But hear me out.This is the main rock star when it came to clearing my cystic acne. Completely rid me of those pesky under-the-skin blemishes that just wouldn’t quit at closing time. lol. Furthermore, once my acne was cleared, I continued to use Tretinoin (still do).

Tretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that can be applied topically to treat acne. This shit will fucking BLAST the blemishes off your face. It’ll take awhile for the purging to settle down, but once it does, you’ll have brand new skin.
PS – My doc told me it’s one of the hottest items on the market for anti-aging.

I kept a “skin diary” when I first started this as well if you’re interested in the side effects.
Keep in mind: you must first consult your doctor about your skin concerns to see if Tretinoin is a good fit for you. You are also not supposed to use this if you are pregnant or trying to bake a baby in your oven (I didn’t want to forget to caution you!)

SO THAT’S EVERYTHING. What are your thoughts? Do you use some of the same products? Are you thinking of testing out any of these? This has been my ritual routine for 8+ months now and I have seen tremendous results. Thank you for reading along!

Xoxo,
KS Loves red lips isolated in white

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30 Days on the Keto Diet: 5 Changes in my Body

“I’m going Keto, hold the Guido – any Jersey Shore fans present?”

SO I MADE IT A MONTH WITHOUT PASTA oh my lanta I never thought I’d see the day. 30 days. No pasta, no rice, no bread, none of that. It feels pretty damn good, I gotta say.

Why did I begin keto? I have three reasons:

  1. I wanted to begin putting good/fresh ingredients into my body – I am coming up on 26 and ya girl has been bloated for months.
  2. I wanted to see if I felt a difference – in my mind, body, and appearance.
  3. Someone was willing to commit alongside me – thank you to the fiancé and my best work buddy, Abby.

So those are my reasons for starting. Were there a few weeks of adjustment? Yes, definitely. You are cutting out carbs and sugar and eating more fresh *not packaged* food. Your body is gonna be like, “dude, wtf.”

The keto diet works once your body enters ketosis. Your energy is then pulled from body fat as opposed to fast-burning sugar/carbs. That is the extent I know about that – I am not a dietician nor am I a keto expert. But yes, I’ve done the research on how to be healthy with this “diet.”
*The reason I don’t like calling it a diet is because it’s a healthier lifestyle and after a month of eating this way and the improvements I’ve seen, I’d like to incorporate the new way of looking at food into a daily mindset.

MY FIRST WEEK OF KETO:

This week was rough. I keep a “keto food diary” to track how I’m feeling, energy levels, and what I am eating so I can see what my body responds positively to. The first 4 days I hit a wall immediately after lunch. My mind was kind of hazy and it made it difficult to concentrate at work. I kept wanting to get up and walk around. Keeping with the diet, I kept up with my water consumption and felt worlds better by 3:00 pm. In fact, around this time each day I then felt super alert as if it were 9:00 am again.

Towards the second half of the week I was craving SWEETS so badly. To mediate this, my fiancé and I found a great keto lemon poppyseed muffin recipe (in case you’re interested). You can also make fat bombs to curb your sweet tooth, but we have yet to do so.

SECOND WEEK OF KETO:

This week was MUCH easier – like so much. I wasn’t craving as much sweets and found more joy in the fact I could eat bacon for breakfast. Now I am excited for my lunches and dinners because riced cauliflower is a treat to me (hello, such a good rice substitute!)

I’ve expanded my meats a little more and picked up some shrimp and salmon cause ya girl cannot live off of beef and chicken on a regular basis. The variety in the seafood helps to not feel “limited” as far as what you can eat.

The was the first time someone invited me out to eat so I kept it keto and went for a salad, swapped the crispy chicken for grilled and the sugary dressing for balsamic vinaigrette. It’s better than the honey mustard they were going to coat it in! Being at the restaurant did kind of stink as far as options: you essentially can’t have any appetizers and if I eat a sandwich without a bun and swap fries for broccoli I will be hungry in 30 mins.

I do notice a drastic difference in my hormonal breakouts, they are a lot smaller and fewer. I am also feeling much more energized and concentrated, not to mention sleeping like a ROCK.

THIRD WEEK OF KETO:

This week felt incredible – and I actually mean that. I am sleeping so well and that is lending me much more/higher quality energy throughout the day. I’m completely over those mid-afternoon fogs that initially took over my brain. I have felt much lighter and my tummy continues to flatten, as opposed to constantly feeling bloated and heavy.

I’ve noticed it’s been a bit labored during my aerobic workouts, but it’s nothing I can’t push myself through. Any time I go to the gym to lift weights (and by that I mean small dumbbell sets – c’mon, I am no gym rat), I feel great and very strong!

I can’t really comment on my skin this week because I recently started two topical gels and those are making my skin go a little wonky. I will update my overall thoughts on how my skin looks once the month is over.

FOURTH WEEK OF KETO:

I have felt fully healthy and energetic. My stomach is 75% flatter than it was when I started. I eat cheese, butter, heavy cream, soup, keto pizza and do not feel as if I crave carbs/sugar. I mean sure, I’d love a bowl of penne a la vodka – but, I’m not in need of it. I can pass and have some riced cauliflower. ya dig?

As promised, here are 5 changes I’ve noticed after 30 days on keto:
Weight – I lost 7 pounds
Skin – for the first week I noticed a HUGE difference in my skin. I typically deal with hormonal cystic acne under my jaw and I was barely getting any new blemishes – which was awesome. About a week and a half in, however, I started two topical gels. Therefore I feel I can only comment on what I noticed prior to starting those prescriptions
Concentration – INSANELY GOOD. I feel much less distracted at work and can spend hours in the morning/afternoon working productively on a given task
Energy – my energy levels are great and I am doing so much better getting myself to the gym. My workouts are stronger, and I’m seeing a difference in the tone of my body – it’s awesome
Cravings – The cravings get so much easier then further you get into keto. On day 30 it wasn’t difficult to say no to donuts, ice cream, and pizza at work parties (I know, INSANE)
Do I enjoy it and do I plan to continue the keto way of life?
I do really enjoy keto, and plan to maintain it for awhile longer. I think it’s a great way to kickstart a healthy lifestyle while reasonably eating better (I mean cheese, cheese, everything) know what I’m saying? Eventually I will re-introduce whole grain pasta and breads, but I now know I can eat much less of it.

And packaged food! You don’t need it! Skip those unnecessary carbs/sugar and make yourself some bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of a granola bar.

Just because I know people live for it, here is a photo of me day 1 versus day 30 – go easy on me as no one looks flattering at 7 am!
*Left is day 1 and right is day 30*

Have you tried keto? What are your thoughts? Are you interested in giving it a shot? I’m so curious if anyone else has given it a go!

Xoxo,
KS Loves

red lips isolated in white

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