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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INFLUENSTER | HYALURONIC SERUM | REVIEW

“You’re telling me you can get free stuff sent to you?
Just by rating makeup you’ve already used? Sold.”

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HEY THERE FAM, what’s up?! Who missed my blogging voice? No one? Anyone? Okay cool I didn’t hear any opposition so here I am with an unsolicited review of my INFLUENSTER item I received this month.

I am not sure that there is a “magic number” to receive your first complimentary box from Influenster, but here are my current stats on my profile, if it helps:

IMPACT SCORE: 3613
REVIEWS: 31
BADGES: 2
FOLLOWERS: 5
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1

As you can tell, I’m not “super” popular on the app or that active, for that matter. But I definitely did put in the time to review as many products at a time I could and am familiar with. Think of every product you put on your face daily – maybe you use foundation, or just concealer and some bronzer as eyeshadow? Head over to their website, create a FREE account, and review those products!

It also doesn’t stop at makeup, you can review skincare, shower body washes/hair products, and the list goes on.

For this review, I’ve tested out the Jane Iredale Hyaluronic Serum for several weeks now, and have come up with a conclusion. Before I tell you if I like it, let me tell you the BENEFITS of incorporating a facial serum into your skincare routine.

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To set the stage, here is the order of nighttime skincare layering that I do (with loads of internet research under my belt lol)

  1. Pre-cleanse (I use Clinique take the day off cleansing balm)
  2. Facial Cleanser (my tried and true is the Philosophy purity cleanser)
  3. Toner (Pixi Glow tonic)
  4. SERUM (Jane Iredale hyaluronic serum)
  5. Night cream (recently I’ve been rotating through rosehip seed oil and this aloe & green tea moisturizer)

Serums are great because you can customize it to your skin needs. They tend to have a higher concentration of ingredients to target your concerns.
Acne scarring? Try a vitamin c serum.
Dry skin? Hyaluronic serum to the rescue. And so on.
I like to experiment with serums because my skin has ever-changing needs, as does everyone’s. I think I notice the biggest difference in my skin when I incorporate a serum. Not to mention you lock in that serum-goodness with your nighttime moisturizer and it sinks into your skin all night.

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With all that being said: I like it, but I can’t say I’m in love with it. Here’s why.

PROS:

  • thick consistency, and definitely feels tacky to the touch once you’ve applied (some might not like this if you are immediately laying down for bed, but I prefer it as it coats my face)
  • hydrating – I can feel it on my skin the next morning as I wash my face
  • a little goes a long way – you don’t feel skimped when applying this serum and it spreads far
  • scentless

CONS:

  • price tag – this serum will cost you $52.00

I like this serum, I really do. But for FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS??? Nada. I can’t compete with that. But you know who can? Brands like Mario Badescu, Neutrogena, + others. What happens when I run out of this, do I search my pockets for half a hundred dollars? UNLIKELY.

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If price is not an issue for you, you may fall in love with this serum. It’s hydrating, scentless, has a non-greasy formula, and competes very well for a hyaluronic serum on the market. I simply cannot bring myself to recommend a $50 product when I know you can get something similar for half the price tag (hello, Neutrogena hydro boost serum) *cough cough*

What are your thoughts on serums? Do you have one incorporated into your skincare routine? If so, do you use it morning and/or night?

Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you to Influenster for sending this item complimentary for me to try out! All thoughts are my own and any information I provide has research and/or experience behind it.

Xoxo,
KS Loves red lips isolated in white

I love to meet new people!
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Pixi Glow Tonic: 4 Week Diary

“Follow me throughout four weeks of testing out this drugstore cult-favorite.”

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I decided to keep a sort of diary detailing my experience with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I wanted to see what all the hype was about – and I am also looking for a miracle with my skin. A miracle that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars.

Pixi Glow Tonic does contain AHAs, which are known for speeding up the rate at which your skin cells turnover to reveal new skin underneath. This might sound harsh, but the glow tonic is gentle enough for every-day use and works to bring hydration back into your skin, while balancing your skin to reveal a brighter complexion.

Here is a summary of my skin issues:

  • combination/oily skin- I get a very shiny t-zone after 4-5 hours of wearing makeup
  • currently I am suffering with persistent chin breakouts (which leads to acne scarring)
  • otherwise, the rest of my face is pretty clear

AFTER ONE WEEK OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

I’m not noticing a any difference. In fact, my skin might be “purging,”** as I am noticing an increase of breakouts along my jawline and under my chin. Mainly the deep-rooted, hormonal type of breakout. I am also noticing a few outlying blemishes (outside my chin zone), but nothing too unreasonable that I can’t cover up with foundation/concealer.

As of week one, I definitely don’t see an improvement. My t-zone is still oily by mid-afternoon, and my blemishes are still present + a few new visitors. I’m hoping that I’m purging, but I won’t know for another few weeks.

**I’ve read that purging may occur when using a product that has AHAs in it, if you’ve never used one that contained AHAs previously. I have not. Purging is the surfacing of breakouts that were already there, but now speeding up the turnover process, therefore bringing them to the skin level. This is not to be confused with a reaction to the product, which can also cause breakouts (though more severly to my understanding), and if you do not notice an improvement in skin within 4-6 weeks, you are supposed to discontinue use of that product – bc girl, it’s not helping.

AFTER TWO WEEKS OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

At the end of week two, I’m still feeling hopeful of this product. I’m standing on the sidelines as a cheerleader for my skincare routine.

I don’t really see an improvement, but my skin is not getting worse. To me, this is a good thing. I can’t expect results overnight, and since I’m not noticing an increase of breakouts, that tells me I’m not experiencing a reaction to this product. I do notice a redness to my face after completing my skincare routine, but nothing itchy or painful. Just kind of pink.

My nose is still shiny mid-day, so it hasn’t done anything for balancing my skin (nothing noticeable, at least).

AFTER THREE WEEKS OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

End of three weeks. Here’s the one improvement I’ve seen:

  • a decrease in the size of my blemishes

If I do get a pimple, it’s much smaller and more manageable. I am not getting the large, cystic-like acne that I typically deal with in my problem area. Therefore, my blemishes are less painful/prominent.

I still have a lot of scarring, but those seem to be lessening as well – as in getting smaller. Not fading in pigment, tho. If that makes sense. No improvements on my oil production, that’s still strong and heavy per usual. Lucky me.

AFTER FOUR WEEKS OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

Okay I think I’ve formed an opinion on this product, and I am deciding to keep it around. Here are the main take-a-ways I’d like to give you:

  • it’s not an absolute miracle worker (at least not for me), but it does drastically improve the texture and brightness of my skin
  • I notice a smoothness in my skin I’ve never felt before, and it’s refreshing to apply my nighttime skincare products (serum, moisturizer) on after this
  • while it didn’t help drastically with my chin breakouts, it certainly aids in keeping the rest of my face clear and bright

During the four weeks, I did not notice an improvement in oil-production in my t-zone, so that’s at least worth noting.

So that’s my month-long review of this product! I’m happy with the purchase, and would also consider this worth its price of $15.00. Ten fold. In fact, I think I’ll spend the $30 on the larger size. I can’t see myself not incorporating a toner into my skincare regimen now that I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin.

I hope this review may help someone looking into trying this product! I’d love to chat in the comments below if anyone is interested or has questions on how this product performs.

 

Xoxo,
KS Loves red lips isolated in white

I love to meet new people!
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Empties/Throw-A-Ways Part #3

“I must be using a lot of makeup to be on my third empties post.”

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What’s up, bloggers?! I’m back with another “empties” post detailing some products I have used up over the last couple months and my final thoughts/review of each one.

As always, the big question stands: Would I repurchase, yes or no?

See a product above you’ve been wondering about? Well, I’ve used the entire bottle so you can find my thorough review below.

First up, two mascaras:

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  • Too Faced Better Than Sex retailing for $23
    This mascara is phenomenal. Personally, I think $23 is a lot to pay for a mascara considering you have a dupe for this which is the L’Oreal Lash Paradise
    retailing for $9.99 at the drugstore. However, the Too Faced travel size of this mascara can last you a 1-2 months and only cost you $12. It has a fat wand that distributes mascara plentifully and creates full, butterfly-looking lashes.
    Would I repurchase? Yeah, probably. Depends on if I’m willing to drop a pretty penny when there are more affordable options out there. But, affordable options or not, this mascara is worth the money.

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  • The Balm Mad Lash retailing for $18
    I had such a love-hate relationship with this mascara.
    PERKS: it makes your lashes look nice and spider-y and distributes product v evenly, also adding length.
    CONS: I hate this wand, so much. I would say 4/5 times using this product left me with a clenched eye and mascara on my bottom lid from wincing after poking myself. It is so easy to touch this wand to your eyeball and doesn’t seem user friendly to me. It’s also very stiff, so on that 1/5 times I’d get it right, it would still scratch my lids in an uncomfortable way.
    Would I repurchase? No, and I wouldn’t recommend this to a friend either.

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Next, two foundations:

  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless retailing for $7.99
    This foundation lasted me a really long time, and I loved that about it. I also loved the staying power, coverage, and shade selection. Maybelline does such a great job at shade ranges, and I can appreciate that. The coverage on this foundation is surprisingly good, and can be built upon itself.
    It does dry kind of quickly, so I would work with half of my face at a time. It does give you a poreless and matte complexion, but I would still get a little greasy by that 3 o’clock hour at work.
    Would I repurchase? Yes, 100%.

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  • Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth retailing for $7.99
    I also really loved this foundation. For the dryer months (winter and when I’m dry in the summer from suntanning) this foundation is a lifesaver. The matte + poreless foundation would look dry on my skin if I didn’t have a solid moisturized base to my face. This, however, was smooth as could be even when I wasn’t working with a hydrated base.
    Would I repurchase? Yes, definitely.

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Lastly, two hair products:

  • Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo retailing for $5.99
    This dry shampoo was actually my first ever try at dry shampoo Image result for surprised emoji
    Crazy, I know. Now I can’t imagine a life without it.
    But it would good. Was it great? No. Did I find something better? Yes. Batiste takes the cake for the best affordable dry shampoo. The Not Your Mother’s wasn’t bad, it just didn’t perform as well as the Batiste ones I have since tried.
    Would I repurchase? Nah.

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  • Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo retailing for $28 (8.5 oz)
    This shampoo is so expensive, and I feel like I didn’t get the results I wanted for the price I paid. The thing that bothered me the most about this shampoo was the lack of suds to feel like my hair was thoroughly clean. I felt like I was using more than I needed to in order to clean my hair. With that being said, this shampoo lasted me a long time (roughly 8 months) so I’d say you get your money’s worth.
    Maybe the next time you’re at your salon you can ask them to use this in your hair and see what you think.
    Would I repurchase? No. Recently I’ve been loving (and have since repurchased) the Paul Mitchell Forever Blonde shampoo. More affordable and smells better/I see better results.

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So those are my empties! Is there anything here you agree with me about? Should I give something another try if I decided not to repurchase it? Let me know your thoughts below!

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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