Skincare SOS



The Dream: Perfect Skin
The Dream: Perfect Skin


It’s Week 8, and it’s very possible that some of us are still getting over the gorge fest that was Christmas and New Year. Maybe you’ve signed up to the York Sport Village (first month free if you apply for 7 months, guys) or maybe you’ve decided that you want to become a vegan.




We all know that our healthy and balanced diets suffer greatly in times of celebration. Normally, as you would expect to ensue here in a lifestyle article, there would be talk of ‘detox’and liberating the body of all its toxins. However, I want to talk about something that afflicts both sexes and doesn’t always manage to defend itself against a capricious appetite.

The Reality: Acne a la Cameron D
The Reality: Acne a la Cameron D




Some weeks ago, I felt a sudden urge to divulge my own personal experiences after feeling somewhat betrayed by the NHS. Okay, perhaps not the NHS on the whole, but definitely certain individuals. Why the delay? Essay deadlines, duh…


For the ladies, it is a well known fact that if you have already tried to rearrange your diet, get more sleep or plaster your face with expensive creams, the go-to solution is the pill. Wipes away your pimples in no time because it rebalances your hormones. I have to add here the fact that my GP suspected that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome), which meant that the pill was my only option as I was prone to imbalanced hormones anyway. She turned out to be right. After feeling incredibly bloated with what felt like a tank of water in my stomach, the doctor roamed around with the little detector and found an abnormally large cyst in one ovary. Apparently most of us have PCOS but we just don’t know it, because there are no serious side effects. If anything, it may mean that you get more acne, hence my GP’s recommendation to get a test done.


Given the knowledge that I definitely had a mild form of PCOS, I decided to take the pill. I was very hesitant at first after hearing about the mood swings my sister had experienced whilst she was on it. Though, after years of acne struggle, I was hopeful that this may be the last hurdle.


The first pill I took for 3 months was Celeste. Within the first few weeks I could already see an improvement. Brighter skin and less of those annoying breakouts. However, the honeymoon period didn’t last for long. Soon I was getting severe cystic acne that was sore, as well as puss-filled volcanoes. I say volcanoes because once they popped, you couldn’t stop the bleeding of puss. Before this article deters you from reading any further, I can now insert the good news that I decided to change pill and things did get better. I was on Dianette for 6 months, and my skin cleared up a lot more. Only, residual effects of the previous episode started to surface on my skin like small craters that were actually scars.


You might be wondering what’s the big deal. I took the pill and it improved my breakouts. However, you have to remind yourself that I was on the pill for almost a year at this point and scars weren’t the only issue. During that period of time I felt more sensitive, stressed, I was over-thinking everything and I was easily irritated. The bizarre thing is that I was totally convinced that this wasn’t the case, and yet I knew deep down there had been a change.


Dianette: The Controversial Contraceptive Pill
Dianette: The Controversial Contraceptive Pill

When I started to realise that Dianette was beginning to have no effect on my remaining acne, plus the fact that I was a tad annoying for those closest to me; I felt like it was time to quit the pill. I could no longer see the point of feeling down just for the sake of better skin. After time had passed being pill-free, I noticed that mild acne was threatening to come back and this was very distressing.


Then the alternative plan of seeing a dermatologist became a necessity. There really was no other option left. I knew it would be costly, but what else could I consider? Feeling excited on my way to my booked dermatological consultation, I was optimistic about the outcome. However, a certain conversation made me want to scream.


Dermatologist: So, what method did you try before to get rid of your acne.

Me: The pill, and some fancy creams.

Dermatologist: The pill?

Me: Yes

Dermatologist: Well, that explains it. The pill only suppresses your acne, it doesn’t get rid of it.

Me: (silence)


Although I was happy to be finally getting the right information, I was nevertheless furious. I wondered why on earth do general practitioners think they can advise patients on what they are clueless about? My GP’s misunderstanding cost me facial scarring, mood swings, and not to mention the current expense of seeing the dermatologist every few weeks to try and repair the damage that the pill caused in the first place.


After coming to terms with the fact that dermatology was the only way forward, I gave up on dwelling on what had happened. So far, things are going much better. It’s a slow and costly process, but it is worth it.


Before the guys reading this think I have only given the ladies worthwhile advice on what to do when it comes to acne, stop right there. Soon before breaking my dermatological virginity, I tried a product from Dr Perricone called ‘Skin Clear Dietary Supplements’ as attempt to help my hormones and inner organs with a more natural and healthy solution. The result was phenomenal and completely unexpected. Breakouts had vanished within a month of taking the vitamins and omegas. Now, all the dermatologist has to do is tackle the layers of acne beneath the surface of the skin.


The Answer?
The Answer?

Of course, I want to stress the fact that everyone’s experience is different with the pill or acne. However, after a very long battle with it myself, I felt like my side of the story could present a different perspective which could help others. I’ve walked past so many different people on campus who are evidently still suffering from acne and I can’t help but think they have also been told the wrong information.