How Agent G Cured Facial Acne: 3 Pimple-free Beauty Secrets!

Published on Oct 23, 2012

More than 10 years.

That's approx the number of years I've been battling my second toughest beauty problem: ACNE. People always say, "Acne goes away once you reach adulthood". LIES! Apparently, one in five women is still plagued with acne after reaching adulthood. In fact, I bet that the figure is even higher in humid countries like Singapore. "Why are you so bothered?" You probably won't ask that question if you remember

Superman
  • the times your cystic acne flares up so bad the day before major events, you know that you've got to pile on heaps of concealer and foundation to cover up
  • the days your mommy, siblings and even partner asks, "What's happening to your face?"
  • your crush tells you "Sorry, your face looks too much like the surface of Mars. Come and find me only after you've gotten your face fixed. Muahahaha"

  One day, I told myself - enough is enough! No more of these embarrassing, self-imploding acne. *mentally squeezes them all out of my face* Acne witch-hunting starts NOW. [divider]  

What in the world causes these hateful bumps on my face??

  1. Clogged pores: Some sunscreens, cosmetics and even hair styling products can trap oil at different parts of your face, which ultimately clogs pores and result in redness, pus and blackheads. Your hairstyle can exacerbate that; fringes and bangs can cause these hair products to constantly be in contact with the face, leading to acne. Of course, hygiene is one big factor. Not removing makeup cleanly is always a recipe for morning acne. Finally, dry skin also clogs pores with excessive dead skin cells!
  2. Irritation: Some people's skin are more sensitive than others. This means that harsher facial products e.g. facial wash and facial hair removal procedures e.g. threading can cause the skin to swell, sending bacteria and dead skin cells deeper into the pores, leading to acne. Changing facial products also causes irritation as the skin needs to get used to the new ingredients and preservatives. Note that even harsh anti-blemish products can irritate. Sometimes, changes in environment e.g. moving from a place with high humidity to low humidity or vice versa can also irritate the face.
  3. Changes in hormonal levels: Of all the three factors, the key culprit for acne is CHANGE IN HORMONES. The truth is: if your body is strong and healthy, your immunity will help combat against bacteria trapped on your face and fight clogged pores with minimal irritation. You might still have acne once in a while if you have clogged pores and irritation but really, the type of acne experienced wouldn't be the persistently cystic ones if your body is perfectly healthy and hormones stable. So, acne is actually a SIGNAL your body is sending. You might be experiencing a time of high stress, indulged in unhealthy diets and continually engaged in bad life habits (sleeping late). Acne is therefore a type of protest your body is making to tell you to STOP! Stop whatever you are doing to harm yourself!

Are you really serious about curing acne? The steps I took did not cost thousands of dollars. But sometimes, the perseverance, patience and willingness to try can be tougher than just spending the money! Just like we need to exercise to lose weight, acne requires us to change our mindset and life habits to get to where we want to be.

Taking shortcuts... just isn't always the best way.

acne

If you are ready, here we go: Agent G's top 3 most effective Acne Treatments.

#1: Back to the basics!


Cleansing

If you haven't done so already, educate yourself on the basics on keeping your face clean and glowing daily.

  1. Cleanse your face twice a day with lukewarm water: Cold water doesn't dissolve dirt and cleans as well while hot water dries and damages skin over time. Don't cleanse excessively as it will irritate the skin.
  2. Remove all makeup before going to bed or applying any mask/night moisturizer to avoid clogged pores
  3. Use a toner after cleansing your face to remove all remaining dirt and tighten pores
  4. Exfoliate once to three times a week depending on how sensitive your skin is and the environment you are in. Just like trees shedding  leaves, an average adult shed up to 50,000 dead skin cells per minute. Exfoliation helps by removing dead skin cells from surface of the body which could otherwise clog pores. That's why cleansing and exfoliation are often the first steps when you go to a salon for facials. If like the rest of us, you cannot afford the time or money for a facial 2 times a week, you can also exfoliate at home using facial scrubs .  The general rule is to exfoliate the face twice a week but your needs might require an exception. People with sensitive skin should reduce the frequency for exfoliation while people living in warmer climates or oilier skin might need to exfoliate more often.
  5. Hydrate your skin by applying moisturizer to avoid excessively dry and flaky skin

Following these steps religiously will likely reduce clogged pores significantly... if nothing else goes wrong.

#2: Gentle... please!


If you have acne regularly, chances are, you have sensitive irritable skin!

This is the case particularly when you often have

  • bumps on the skin e.g. pustules
  • skin redness, looking like you are blushing most of the time
  • dry flaky skin

When you confirm with your dermatologist that you indeed have sensitive skin, the first five steps of maintaining your skin is no longer enough! What can you do instead?

STOP!

Stop all facial products/cosmetics that you are using. Examine them and eliminate those with:

  • alcohol
  • fragrance/deodorant
  • antibacterial agents
  • parabens (preservatives)
  • artificial colouring and preservatives
  • silicone
  • talcum

As these ingredients could cause allergic reactions in some people, try to avoid them if you have sensitive skin.

In your search to revamp your facial product range, look out for the words,

  • non-comedogenic
  • soap-free
  • fragrance-free
  • alcohol-free
  • paraben-free

Still, it is not easy to find products like that. 2 brands that can help you kickstart the search are:

avene
cetaphil

These two brands have helped tremendously in calming my skin down and hopefully, you will find it useful too.

#3: Get your balance back!


Whether or not you followed all the tips above strictly, you might still notice your acne problem worsening

  • right before a major exam, presentation, important day at work
  • a few days before your menstrual period
  • after a chocolate binge

Yup. That was what happened to me.

Despite seeing an improvement after adopting gentle facial products, I still see at least 3 or more pimples popping up throughout the month and another 2-3 more during the above periods.

Yah yah. I know stress, diet and menstrual cycle changes affect my hormone level, which then may influence acne.

BUT HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

I can't not feel stressed over my exam. I can't stop my menstrual cycle. and sometimes, I just can't control my diet!

What do you expect me to do?

Because of that initial thinking, I gave up on doing anything about it, using Nixoderm which surprisingly worked really well for me.

nixoderm

UNTIL ONE DAY... I was introduced to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

According to a certified TCM doctor and now my favourite acupuncturist, I'm "heaty" (and many other things). I might be able to control my level of stress, menstrual cycle and all but there are Chinese Herbs I can take to regulate my hormones!

Specifically, I was recommended to take ba zhen or in mandarin, 八珍.

(I googled ba zhen and found that many women in the past and even women today are using it to regulate menstruation and solve their female issues!)

Still, I started to sweat when I think of Chinese Medicine... bitter messy herbs to brew?

Luckily, I found 八珍 (ba zhen) in capsule form manufactured by a Singapore company called Tong Jum Chew or Nature's Green.

ba zhen

After 2 weeks of taking it, my usual acne cleared up miraculously... and somehow, they did not return after!

ah... a MIRACLE!

For someone who has been looking for the cure all her life,  this is just... God's greatest gift!

I wasn't asked to advertise for Nature's Green and I'm not a Chinese doctor. But I just couldn't help sharing after experiencing the transformation offered by 八珍 - more energy, controlled acne and fewer menstrual issues!  八珍 is merely a herbal supplement (like vitamins) and not a medicine so it can be purchased over the counter.  Still, it might be advisable to consult your local chinese doctor to see if 八珍 is suitable for you.

People often try to solve the symptom, not the cause because the symptom is often much more tangible and easier to gloss over than the underlying cause that affects us. Acne is one such symptom.

Listen to your body, find the cause and you might one day thank God that pimple appeared in your life.

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