Battle of the face. #ThanksalotPCOS

If I could go back and do anything over in my adult life, it would be being more determined at finding a skin care routine that works for my face. Instead? I just settled, bounced around, for years.

Because of my PCOS, my early adult years were suddenly plagued with breakouts. My teen years? Beautiful skin. Only ever splashed water on my face here and there, never lotioned… I got payback, big time, around 19 years old.

Along my jaw and just under my jaw, and along the side of my face. It was constant. I tried everything. All of the cleaners readily available on the shelves of drug stores, a prescription from my dermatologist at the time. None of it worked. Some, even made the issue worse. Bigger breakouts. Oilier skin.

I even tried ProActive at one point in my 20s. Which promptly caught my face on fire and it took two months of a cream treatment from my derm to fix.

During my pregnancy, my face calmed down. I still broke out, but I had more periods between each breakout to give what was there a chance to, well, go away.

Each breakout left me with a mess of dark spots. Each breakout, once healed, sent me to YouTube for makeup tutorials on how to hide the damage done. Each breakout reminded me at how terrible I was at applying makeup.

Post pregnancy, hormones-a-ragin’… my face became a mess. Even more than ever before. I struggled to find something that worked. I struggled to not fall back into my patterns from before. I was finally ready to do something and stick with it (I do it with everything else in my life, why am I so terrible at my face?!)

Persistence has paid off.

My skin has looked the best it has looked in 15 years, and it’s getting better every week. I have quite a combination of skin care to thank for that.

Firstly, I tried a few different cleansers from Rodan and Fields. Each would work amazingly at first, but then my face would start to break out again.

Then, with the arrival of my first FitFabFun box, I got the O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel for your face.

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Karuna masks and dr. brandt microdermabrasion from the Spring FabFitFun box

Then, I started to dabble in those creepy looking “I’m going to cut your face off” paper masks.

I broke out my Neutrogena exfoliator thingie next.

I started experimenting with my accrual of facial products. One night a week washing with R+F’s Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash (careful not to get it on my nose ring because it turns the stone black). Two days a week washing with their Reverse Deep Exfoliating Wash. Two days a week using Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion (another great find courtesy of FFF). And every three or four days, between all of them, using the O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel. In the mornings, just across my forehead, the sides of my face and along my jaw, I used my Neutrogena exfoliator. Just a quick, light hit. Three days a week, I use a facial mask that either detoxifies and hydrates, or brightens and hydrates (usually the brand Soo AE from WalMart, but I absolutely loved the Karuna masks I got from FFF) and every single night before bed, I slather my face in Garnier Skinactive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream.

Something interesting has happened since I nailed down this routine. I’ve stopped breaking out. My skin is bright and refreshed. Even some of the fine lines that started to appear in the past two or three years have started to fade.

Sure, this routine is a little time consuming, and it can be hard to remember what I’ve done the day before when I’m getting ready to tackle my face routine. But it’s been worth it. Two entirely clear months. My damaged spots from acne are starting to fade now too, so that’s even better.

This summer may need a bit of adjusting with how much time I spend outside between work and life in general, but I’ll tweak what needs to be tweaked and if it adds more time? It adds more time. After over a decade of terrible skin, and the lack of determination to put in the effort to actually do something about it, looking in the mirror has sucked and really played havoc on my self-esteem.

Not anymore. I’m doing it. I’m enjoying it (my son’s reactions to those masks are quite hilarious). I’m not letting PCOS win anymore. I’m taking care of my skin the way I should have long ago, and it’s kicking ass.

[Hey! You there! Wanna save on your first FabFitFun box and discover some pretty fantastic products (like the great skincare products I’ve gotten)? Click HERE to save $10!]

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Photographer. Writer. Fit mom. Athlete. Trainer/Coach. Nutritionist. Heavy lifter. Yogi. Pit bull mom. Outdoor enthusiast. Food lover. 1st Phorm Legionnaire.

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