Liyana
Modest Style Blogger
Maximalist at heart, minimalist by experiment
Disniac + Colour chaser

Why I Stopped Blogging About Beauty

Aside from style, I have a firm interest in makeup and beauty, hence, enjoy blogging about them as well. Those two topics have been absent from this little virtual space for some time now, however. Outfit posts have always been the focal point of this blog so I'm guessing not many of my readers notice the absence, but I feel like I should explain anyway why I stopped blogging about beauty.

If you visit the "Beauty" category in this blog, you'd notice an abundance of beauty posts in 2017. Growing up, I had oily-combination skin that experienced the occasional breakouts but since it was relatively un-sensitive, I was able to experiment with different products (reasonably so).

I caught the K-beauty bug at one point and even found a set of products to make up their infamous 7-to-10 (!) steps skincare routine that work for me. My skin looked smoother and healthier than it ever was.

Selfie taken in late 2017 when my skin was relatively unproblematic

Until that all changed, slowly. It started with one huge bumpy zit on the chin but I thought, eh, that'll go away soon. It did, but not before it was replaced by about three new bumps, and those three were replaced with new ones not long after.

Then the acne started popping up around other areas of my face, multiple swellings at a time. Not only were they often painful, but also — and this is hard to say out loud — they made me feel ugly.

I always refrained from using the word "ugly" because it's such a negative word, so the fact that I was made to feel that way was disheartening.

It affected my confidence greatly. I started relying heavily on makeup bases — at times, I refused to leave the house without applying concealer — but makeup is always going to be a temporary solution.

I knew I had to tackle the root of the problem, so after much Googling I learned of the culprit: hormonal acne.

Earlier this year during a particularly bad round of breakouts. I have good makeup days and bad makeup days. Loved the eye makeup here but the base didn't cover my spots as well as I had hoped — plus this photo was taken in lighting that highlighted the worst of it!

Hormonal acne is not an uncommon problem among women in their late 20s and above. It's usually the result of sebum overproduction and generally affects the lower part of the face, especially the chin, mouth and jawline areas.

Aside from totally abandoning my K-beauty routine for acne-targeted products, I tried altering my diet to see if my acne was triggered by food, including reducing my dairy intake and cutting out chocolate (man, was that hard) but the breakout remained persistent.

The worst of the breakouts? Mountainous bumps deeper in the skin that do not come to a head, making them harder to treat.

Mid 2018 when I had at least FIVE major breakouts on my chin and jawline.
I layered my foundation A LOT and piled on the concealer but this was a particularly good makeup day for me  thankfully, because I had to attend a wedding + some Eid open houses!

Until today I still don't know what triggered the hormonal acne breakout in the first place but a good guess would be simply an aging effect. My acne problem is not resolved but it is somewhat under control now; bumps still pop up but they're smaller and less frequent.

I recently found acne-targeted products that work better on me, plus I am less worried about leaving the house without concealer on. With plenty of scarring in the process of healing, I still have major skin insecurity though, albeit a lot less worse than before.

Breakouts might be superficial but like it or not, it could very much relate to mental health for some people as it causes distress and affects self-esteem.

I stopped blogging about beauty because I didn't want to talk about something I was insecure about, and partly because I'd feel like a fraud if I dole out skincare advice. But from this experience (and after a lot of Googling) I realised there are people out there who share the same story as I do and could actually benefit from knowing how I deal with my acne issue.

I'm looking forward to writing a couple of posts on the products I've tried and maybe even write a post on what makeup I use to cover up my spots, and hope my acne story could help with theirs.

Also: I'm also hoping to visit a dermatologist who can help diagnose my breakout more accurately. But all in all, reading online accounts of others who go through the same thing as I do has helped me tremendously.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •

Does your skin suffer from hormonal acne?
If so, how do you deal with it?

Please, share ANY tip that you have because it would be much, much appreciated, especially as I still need help in battling my skin issue.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •

Thank you for reading this post, beauties, talk soon 


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Comments

  1. My heart breaks to hear you thinking of yourself as ugly because of skin issues. I DO however remember those breakouts and all of the accompanying self-esteem plunges that went with them. Talking about them here on your blog is brave and also wise because MANY women struggle with these same skin problems. At 67 I still get a big ol' nasty zit every once in awhile!

    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL LIYANA! AND! You're going to be thankful for that oily, sebum producing, skin of yours as you age because YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE FAR FEWER WRINKLES than your dry skinned, currently clearer skinned girlfriends!! YAHOO!!!!

    Wear sunscreen and sunglasses and hold your lovely head high my sweet young friend!

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    1. It was sort of cathartic for me to post this online because a part of me felt like a fraud; I'm always putting up the nicest pictures that don't show my flaws. Which is sort of a point of my blog, but still! I do realise so many women struggle with the same issue but I want my readers to know I'm one of these women, too.

      I remember you telling me that oily skin have supreme benefits as it ages and I am totally still holding on to that, hahaha! Bieng as wrinkle-free as possible is a skin goal of anyone, I'm sure. I mind the oiliness so much lesser now, and thankfully my acne is under control currently. Hoping it doesn't flare up all over again ever again.

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  2. My heart breaks to hear you thinking of yourself as ugly because of skin issues. I DO however remember those breakouts and all of the accompanying self-esteem plunges that went with them. Talking about them here on your blog is brave and also wise because MANY women struggle with these same skin problems. At 67 I still get a big ol' nasty zit every once in awhile!

    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL LIYANA! AND! You're going to be thankful for that oily, sebum producing, skin of yours as you age because YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE FAR FEWER WRINKLES than your dry skinned, currently clearer skinned girlfriends!! YAHOO!!!!

    Wear sunscreen and sunglasses and hold your lovely head high my sweet young friend! Love, Jude

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  3. That last comment was me, your old pal Jude.

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  4. So glad you shared with us - it must have taken lots of courage to post this so honestly! It's amazing though, because absolutely it affects lots of us. I have found a few things with my skin:

    - My biggest break-out inducer is stress, partly because I play at my skin and touch it a lot when stressed. It's worse when I have a pimple and end up picking at it and turning it into an actual scab.. urgh.

    - Hormones are the next one, with specifically big under-the-skin bumps like you described, especially on my forehead for me.

    - Diet. Too much chocolate or processed foods or red meat cause break outs for me.

    I would LOVE to hear more about your routines and what works for you. I've managed OK but of course pimples are bound to happen. I'm OK with them unless they're like.. on the tip of my nose, or middle of my forehead, and thus very very very central and visible. That's when I get particularly self conscious.

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    1. I actually wish I have the courage to post a completely raw makeup-free photo of my skin - not sure if anyone wants to see that, of course, but I tried my best to be as honest as possible here and I am so thankful for your positive reaction to this post, Katia! <3

      First of all can I just say, you never seem to put a lot of makeup on in your photos (unlike me) and I've always thought your skin looks naturally great. But then I just realised, I don't think there's a single female friend of mine who never struggled with acne, no matter how great I think their skin looks like!

      Ugh, hormonal imbalance is the worst culprit, amirite? And it's weird how there are countless sources telling us not to touch our pimples, and yet we do it anyway. I can't help it though, there are times I defiantly stand in front of a mirror and think "I know better".

      I find only certain chocolates break me out (thank God) but I actually haven't paid much attention to the relation between my red meat consumption and my breakouts. I'm definitely going to watch out for that now!

      And yes, I totally get you, about feeling self-conscious. When a spot appears around the central, prominent area, it's like are they looking at my face or are they looking at my spots?

      There's nothing fancy about my routine AT ALL but I'm now using this Eucerin acne range and it is helping tons! Hoping to create a post on what I use very soon xo

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  5. Thank you for being so candid in sharing your skin journey so far, Liyana. Loved that you kept it real. I'm not a fan of makeup even though I love lipsticks but I really love seeing makeup applied on others especially when done with great care and respect to the natural beauty already present in each one of us. Like you, I had hormonal acne break outs too and it started in 2015. I realized that my skin needed tender care and was better left alone. Nowadays, my skin is so much healthier and is in balance. It's not perfect though but I focus on gentle skincare and that's it. Most of the time, I just use water to get my face cleaned up without stripping on the oils that make up the natural barrier. I recently started using Vitamin C Serum and it's a game changer! Such a simple thing and it has helped a lot with reducing my acne, helping it to surface and dry off and making my skin texture better. I do think less is more with skin care and I hope that you will share your journey with us! Remember, everyone's skin is different :) Also, nutrition is important too! Keep hydrated ;) xoxo

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    1. Thank you for this comment, Shanaz <3 Makeup has become even more important for my daily ongoing after this skin issue to be honest. I a however learning to function without it, though. It's the same like your skincare philosophy: less is more.

      I feel like I've dabbled in all of it; gentle skincare routine in which Cetaphil was the core, extreme multiple steps K-beauty routine, all of which yielded different but mostly good results - until this hormonal breakout, that is.

      I was in love with my vitamin C serum! I agree with you, vitamin C products are game-changers and everyone should try them. Unfortunately I can't fit any in my preventative routine now, but I'm hoping to go back to using my fave vit C serum someday.

      And hydration, ahhh, I am definitely not the best at this, I have to admit. I'm going to have to up my hydration game for sure!

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