POLL: Can AMBI’s mark minimizer reduce my dark spot?

Yes, I said it. I have dark spots. Do I really need to remind you about the most recent one?

Yeah. Hmm mmm…it’s a dark spot in the middle…of my forehead. But AMBI’s Even and Clear Targeted Mark Minimizer (say that 3x fast) looks promising.

After all, it SAYS that it’ll reduce dark marks and discolorations. According to the website, I’ll see results in as little as 2 weeks. Alrighty then, AMBI. We shall see. It retails for under $13 and I’ve got high hopes.

Places your bets, lovelies. Will AMBI help to fade my dark spot a bit? Or will it be just as dark in 2 weeks?

[polldaddy poll=4805407]

 

Acne Sucks: Alba Botanica Natural ACNEdote Deep Pore Wash

Welp…it looks like I’m having another one. And it’s bad. I’m assuming it’s just my skin wanting to attack me for whatever reason. I’ve been drinking my daily 64 oz of water and taking my daily vitamins. Then again, my dermatologist has prescribed me a new cream and perhaps my skin is having a reaction to that.

So I stopped using it and switched over to Alba Botanica’s Natural ACNEdote Deep Pore Wash.

An all natural acne cleanser? So up my alley!
It’s not every day that you’ll run into an acne cleanser that DOES NOT contain harsh ingredients. Which is kinda loco because if your face is already breaking out like mad, the last thing you need are unnecessary and super harsh ingredients. Especially if your skin is sensitive.

But leave it to Alba Botanica to change the game. Please oh please, darlings…tell me you’re familiar with this brand. If you’re like me, you may have passed them by in Whole Foods or your favorite health food store. But girlfriend, the next time you are mindlessly shopping, check them out!

My skin has been absolutely loving the wash. Check out what it does NOT have.

The fact that it doesn’t have any artificial fragrances has me dancin’ in the streets. Since it contains willow bark extract, (which is a natural source of Salicylic Acid) it has a natural and earthy smell that I find pleasant and not too overwhelming.

It also contains lemon balm and parsley extracts. Those kiddos act as natural oil blotters…which, I love! So yep…to my sista girls with oily skin, this wash may be up your alley as it cleanses your skin thoroughly but doesn’t over-strip it. It’s like the perfect balance. Yin and yang, homies.

I’m also digging the consistency of the wash. It reminds me of castile soap in that it feels water-based. But it doesn’t have the richest lather. Which definitely isn’t a flaw in my book.

Has this dramatically changed my skin and cleared up my acne over night? Nope. But then again, what does? When you suffer from acne, you know you have to be patient. Has it kept the oily pores at bay while thoroughly cleansing my skin to prevent more pimples? Yeppers! And for that I will forever love and shout to the rooftops about the awesomemess of this cleanser.

And it’s only $9.95 for a 6 oz bottle. Not bad at ‘tal. The ACNEdote line also has a scrub, moisturizer, gel and astringent. I am so on it.

Any Alba Botanica fans? The lip balms look dreamy. I think I’ll scoop one up the next time I’m in Whole Foods attempting to say no to the vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Which, by the way, I always fail at. Womp!

Peace, love and healthy skin!

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

Acne Sucks: Keep those make-up brushes clean!

It’s one of those things that, we SHOULD know. I mean…it makes sense. Dirty brushes on a clean face equals pimples galore, right?

Right.

Don’t forget to clean your make-up brushes on a regular, ladies. This is a task that I have never really been good at, but I’m getting better. In between clean-ups, I like to use baby wipes or make-up wipes.

Just a quick gentle swipe on the brushes and viola!

I like to do a deep cleaning of the brushes at least once or week or so.

I gently massage baby shampoo in the bristles, rinse and lay them out to dry.

 
 

How often do you clean your make-up brushes? Do you find that when you don’t your acne is worst?

Acne Sucks: Guest Post on her fight against acne

Hey y’all….so I’ve found that a lot of my great advice about clear and healthy skin has come from not my dermatologist but from the rest of you! Check out some tips that reader Noorie from Atlanta is sharing with us. Feel free to add!

As someone who’s been suffering from acne for almost a decade, here are my top tips:

*A few things I’ve noticed and picked up over the years about foundation and acne:

-It’s “ok” to use as long as you take it off as soon as you get home. Not a good thing to leave on from morning to night like I did while on a recent vacation. It’s just… bad and will cause break outs.

-It’s pretty harmless if you use much lighter coverage foundations. One I used to have was Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Foundation (see above) and L’oreal True Match: both very runny and not as thick as let’s say Revlon Colorstay. Concealer is a MUCH better idea for covering imperfections and will covers up any brown spots better.

-I only use foundation on places where I need it, not all over my face like I see some make up guru’s and artists doing.

*DE from Beautylogic also gave rave reviews about the Clairsonic. I’ll have to try it out in the future too and soon Clumps Of Mascara will also be having a detailed review. <--coming soon at a theater near you!

*Another thing I’ve noticed/learned is that washing my face at night wasn’t always enough- especially if you sweat a lot or use make up. Here’s my night time routine:

*Living healthier (eating less processed foods and dairy), some exercise, enough fiber to keep you regular (oh yea! I went there) and water all help me feel and look better too. When I’m not excerisizing I notice my face breaks out a bit more. I’m not sure why. They say when you sweat, toxins are released thru the pores, which is what I’m thinking too.

*I have tried almost every single brand of acne products in the past. Gosh, how I remember standing in the skincare aisles, reading each product that claimed to have you acne free in days.

Now I know a bit better:
-Most acne products will do the same. Whether it’s gel cleansers and scrubs, pads, acne drying gels, etc. Some toners ARE better than others though and are less over drying and/or get deeper into the pores. You have to decide whether you prefer Benzoyle peroxide products or Salicylic.
-I highly recommend 3 step products to everyone. I used Proactive when I was 18, and my skin just cleared up in 2 weeks! My scars faded and everything, but sadly I don’t feel it has the same effect on me anymore. I’ve heard the same from other people who use it. It’s still worth a try though.

And if you don’t want to shell out the $40 there are tons of other great 3 step acne kits available in drugstores which also get the job done. I tried the one from Clearasil and I liked it. Neutrogena also has a good one. These kits are great because you get everything you need: a cleaners, toner and acne drying gel. The Clearasil one even comes with a spot treatment.

Feel free to provide any insight on your experiences with acne. A strong support system is SO key in fighting this monster.

Other Acne Sucks posts:
Acne Sucks: Part 1
Acne Sucks: The Stages
Acne Sucks: But does oil on the skin help?
Acne Sucks: Pimple Poppin’


(photo source)

Acne Sucks: Skin Updates


Hey y’all! It’s your favorite Pimple Poppin’ lady. I really shouldn’t even call myself that because poppin’ pimples really ain’t good. So disregard that. HA!

Anywhoovers, I was thinking that it was time to update y’all on my skin and its battle with acne. It has been doing A LOT better. I attribute it to many things but mostly to the Differin gel that my dermatologist prescribed. Even though my skin is acting all normal and whatnot, I fear the day I run out of this stuff. Lawd, let’s hope I can get it for life.

Daily pimples are no more. They just don’t pop up. And when they do, they are small and easy to tackle.

And I know I keep saying I’ll review it and I will but ohmigoodness….skin tone correctors are a must have for the woman of color battling hyperpigmentation. I’m almost positive that they would work well for anyone. Wow! I am amazed. Over time, it has literally erased some of my dark spots. See for yourself!


These photos are untouched. I am not wearing any foundation, correctors or blush in any of them. Well….I take that back. A closer look at the first photo shows a swatch on concealer. But never the mind. Can you see the difference?

I talked about my skincare routine via video and even showcased some new products that I can’t WAIT to review for y’all. To see what I’m talking about, you’ll have to listen to me ramble and act a mess.


Sooo, the skin is doing better. Hallelujah! Stretch marks? Whatever. Chubby tummy? I can deal. The inability to wear above the knee boots because I have fat knees (lmao)? Fine. But I will NOT let acne get the best of me. The fight is still on because my skin, at any moment, can turn against me.

Now it’s your turn! To my fellow acne fighters, what have you been using that’s been working wonders? Spill the beans, sisters!

Acne Sucks: Pimple Poppin’

It wouldn’t be an efficient “acne” series if I didn’t talk about poppin’ pimples.

That’s right, I said it. I know dermatologists and estheticians would tell you NOT to pop pimples but I do it anyway.

I’m such a rebel, right?

But don’t call me stupid just yet. There are methods to pimple popping. And they don’t work for ALL pimples. Shoot…they don’t even work for all skin types. Having said that, don’t let this post motivate you to go around popping pimples aimlessly. I am simply showing you what I do. It has been successful for me for quite some time but I don’t want any of y’all sending me hate mail if you end up with scars because my method didn’t work for you.

Mmmkay?

Meet the pimples’ best friend….


This is a pimple extractor. And while it may look harmless, it really is a dangerous tool. If not used carefully, this extractor can cause scarring. It is really only supposed to be used by professionals. But I saw it at Sephora one fateful evening and decided to give it a whirl.

I’ll tell you one thing, this baby really should come with instructions because the first few times I used it, I scarred my skin. It was bad. It took months for those dark spots to go away.

But desperation will make you rather persistent. The next time around, I decided to do my research. I learned about the type of pimples I had. That gave me a better idea of how to treat them. This article gave me amazing insight. I learned that I had a type of pimple called papules. Despite ALWAYS having so many on my cheeks, they aren’t so difficult to get rid of since they have a whitehead.

And so the extractor came in handy.


The extractor gets out all of the nasty stuff out and I am left with the aftermath. Differin gel (prescribed by my dermatologist) overnight diminishes that and I am rarely left with a scar.

The extractor has changed my skin, y’all. I also use Q-Tips. They are better than the extractor because scarring almost never happens. By taking 2 Q-Tips, I’ll squeeze a pimple and watch the nasty nasty ooze on out.

Sounds gross, I know. But it works!

Remember my skin a few months ago? Inflammation was out of control. Every day I was popping a new pimple, healing a former pimple and trying to get rid of the scarring.


Now it’s lookin’ like this….

I’m rocking a little concealer and bronzer here but the pimples are under control. I still have some scarring but with the Origins Skin Tone Corrector I’m using (review coming soon!), I am confident that those will be disappearing soon.

Before popping pimples, I am always sure to steam my face (thanks Kelly!) and thoroughly wash my hands. I was hesitant about even doing a post on pimple poppin’ because I know that a lot of people are against it. But tell that to a person who has a dozen of them just chillin’ on their face. I think it’s best to inform yourself about how to take care of your skin and then do what you can to alleviate it. My dermatologist is cool and all but I don’t want to HAVE to go.

….not to mention, a lot of people don’t have health insurance to even be able to visit a derm so I think it’s best to learn how to take care of our skin the best way that we can.

With that said, if you are going to pop pimples, be careful. Be careful. Be careful.

If you have any tips on how to pop them, please share!

Acne Sucks, Part II: The Stages


Welcome back to another Acne Sucks post! Since the inaugural post I have gotten SO many emails regarding acne in general. Many of you shared your stories with me and I must say….it’s quite comforting knowing that I’m not the only one frustrated by adult acne.

In the midst of wallowing in my acne woes, I got to thinking how dealing with acne is such a chore. It’s more than just popping a pimple. I feel like I should put my pimples on payroll because I am CONSTANTLY working with them.

I came up with the four stages that I find myself dealing with.
Stage Uno (Spanish)

Prevention-In this stage I am doing all I can to stop acne before it even becomes a problem. This includes drinking water, keeping a balanced diet, making sure I’m not touching my face with dirty hands, etc. I drink a gallon of water a day and make sure that I am getting in fresh greens and fruits daily. Can’t forget my vitamins either! Of course I don’t do this solely to prevent acne but I know it doesn’t hurt.

Stage Deux (French)


Tackling-This is toughest stage because one wrong move can make the next two stages a nightmare. The tackling approach, as dramatic as it sounds, determines if your pimple will disappear like a thief in the night (robbing you of self-confidence) or if remnants of it will hang around for the next year or two or ten. I am currently using Differin, an acne gel that my dermatologist has prescribed me. Is it working? The inflammation in my skin is definitely down but I’m still tackling brand new pimples every morn. Boo.

Stage Drei (German)


Repairing-This is stage that can be the most frustrating. So you’re drinking more water and taking vitamins. You even manage to keep some of the pimples at bay. But what about those old battle wounds? You know….the pimples that left dark and red spots all over your face. They are like unwanted tattoos. And getting rid of them can seem impossible. I swear by cocoa butter. I have been using it for years and it has always been great at fading those dark spots. Lately, however, I’ve been dabbling around with skin tone correctors. I am still testing Origins but I LOVE Clinique’s. It is amazing. It works. It’s pricey but it really does work.

And lastly,

Stage apat (Tagalog)

Concealing-Ahhh yesss, where would I be without my trusty concealer? Concealing is a must for me. I choose not to wear foundation simply because of fear from breaking out all over but dapping a bit of my MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW45 works. I usually only apply it on my cheeks to cover those spots that are struggling to get through the previous stage.

I go through these stages each and every day. And sometimes more than once a day. It’s a mess, y’all….a hot mess.

But what choice do I have? Must.Have.Clear.Skin.

What stages do you go through? And even if you have crystal clear skin, feel free to chime in!

Until next time….