My skin has been through a LOT these past 8 months. I mean, literally more than anything altogether in my life. Add up all the skincare “problems” I’ve had in my 28 years and it doesn’t come close to what I’ve dealt with from December to now. Maybe that’s because I’ve never actually had a single problem with my skin until this past December. And that’s exactly why I’m making skincare posts a new series. I have a LOT to talk about and it’s going to take a lot more than one post.
Ok, let’s back up then fast forward. November 2015, one week before Thanksgiving I was PMSing HARDCORE. My skin was freaking out. Now, typically, I get 1-2 zits around my chin/jawline with every period…which I’m fine with as they vanish in a few days to one week. However, this November I got about 5 or 6. Ok…I figured it was the stress of the holidays.
Then my next period comes around in December, however all the pimples from the previous period were STILL THERE and now there’s TWICE as many. I had ELEVEN zits. Not just regular zits but massive, painful, swollen and irritated CYSTS. Cue frantic, desperate phone call to the supposed “best” dermatologist in Westchester. Well, two weeks until I could get in, SEVERAL HOURS of sitting in the waiting room (my phone battery actually died I was waiting so long) and FIVE minutes actually meeting with the doctor and I was sent on my way with a prescription to one of the harshest topicals (that experience will have its own post!) and no instructions on how to use it (I found my way thanks to Dr. Google and Acne.com). Anyway, when my acne returned a few months later I found a new and vastly different dermatologist in the city whom I ADORE and now my skin is on its way back to normal. I’ve actually seen my new dermatologist 4 or 5 times in the past few months because of his awesomely thorough, caring, understanding and ongoing treatment of my acne. Again, we’ll save his awesomeness for his own post.
So fast forward to today. My acne is hormonal so there’s only so much topical treatments can do (I refuse to take any hormone affecting pills) so I have to choose my cleansers wisely. Up until recently the prescription cream I had been using was incredibly harsh and burnt my skin (I had a clear but permanently red face, which sucked beyond belief) so I was a bit scared of exfoliaters. I KNEW I had to use one because dead skin cells that aren’t removed by exfoliation are one of the pore clogging culprits that cause acne. I used a daily cleanser that contains a VERY gentle exfoliater, one that was absorbed into my skin as opposed to one that is roughly abrasive as those burned like a mother.
However, I started to realize that this just wasn’t cutting it and I could tell my skin wasn’t exfoliated. I had been watching a YouTube video where a girl my age talked about how this cleanser from Lush saved her acne prone skin. The cleanser was called Dark Angels and a few weeks ago when I was in Lush buying som bath bombs I decided to ask for a sample. I used up the sample over the course of on week – the end of my PMS to the start of my period and I only got one small zit. The cleanser didn’t burn at all and actually it left my skin super soft and clear looking. I was hooked and as soon as the sample was done I got myself a full pot.
Dark Angels is a freaky deaky looking scrub. It is inky black and comes in a solid form as Lush doesn’t use water or liquids in their cleansers so they don’t have to add preservatives or other harsh chemicals. So the way you use this black magic is you scoop a small bit out of the pot and mix the smallest bit of water and rub it together in your hands until you’re left with a very black, grainy paste. Then you scrub your face in circular motions with it.
The scrub is made of mud, charcoal and black sugar which are the ingredients that give it its deep color, exfoliate and detoxify the skin. Then it also has avocado oil and glycerine in it which keep the scrub from being too harsh and also moisturize the skin. This is great for me since I’m combination/dry and most cleansers meant for acne prone skin tend to burn me and dry me out to the point of peeling. Not Dark Angels! This stuff is heaven sent! It’s been my most valued exfoliator and I wish I had started using it sooner. I use it every night for two weeks out of the month – the week before and week of my period when my hormones start attacking my skin. This has really kept my breakouts to the most bare minimum. Thanks to this I’ve been able to confidently skip makeup during my period!
If you struggle with hormonal acne or acne in general or even dull skin, I highly, highly, highly recommend this exfoliator! It’s also worth mentioning that I use this scrub as an exfoliator only so after scrubbing my face with Dark Angels, I rinse it off and wash my face a second time with my daily cleanser.