Kristine is a teacher, blogger and YouTuber from the Philippines.
She originally wanted to be a make-up / beauty blogger until she got the horrible acne breakout that changed her, and her perspectives on life.
Please tell us about yourself
My name is Kristine.
I am 26 years old and I work as a full-time Teacher.
I also blog about fashion and beauty related topics, and upload videos on YouTube.
When did you start getting acne? How did you feel about it? How did people around you (friends & family) react?
I am not the type of person with perfect skin. I started noticing some zits on my face when I entered college about 10 years ago.
But it was nothing serious. I would get some spots on my face and then after a couple of days, the zits would dry up and disappear.
Not until February of 2012. I started noticing some cystic acne growing on my temples and jaw area.
I was not alarmed at first, because I thought it was the usual pimples I get from time to time. Until it got so worse day by day.
Each day, some 5 or more cystic acne would grow on my face… Until my face was covered entirely with acne with puss in no less that 2 months.
At the peak of the breakout was my 26th birthday. I felt so ugly and horrible. I felt so helpless and didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror, I didn’t want to wash my face because it was too painful to bear.
I lost confidence and didn’t want to mingle, go out and even fix myself.
I got different reactions from people. But that’s also when I learned so many lessons. I found out who my real friends are, those who were still willing to look at me, talk to me and those who cheered me up and told me they see right through my face.
They told me they see what’s inside me and not what’s on the outer layer. My family was so concerned and tried to help me in so many ways. My mom was the most concerned out of all the people.
However, there were those people who ridiculed me and looked at me like I had some disease. I clearly remember one person told me she didn’t want to get close to me because she might also get my acne!
Because the acne got so worse, I had to go out of the house wearing face mask. People who don’t know me would stare at me on the street or on the train.
I felt so bad and felt like giving up. I cried myself to sleep each night.
Overcoming acne: What have you done to get rid of acne? Did you follow a particular treatment?
I did so many things to get rid of my acne.
I went to a facial center here in the Philippines and they helped me clear my skin.
I found a good doctor from that clinic and she was the doctor that helped me from day 1 until the day my skin finally got better.
I really advise getting a doctor you trust and someone you are comfortable with. Someone you think can take care of your skin and help you get it better.
I took 15 300mg capsules of Tetralysal antibiotic for 15 days consecutive, and another 15 capsules for 1 month, which I took every other day.
When I was over the antibiotic, I took Diane 35, which is a hormonal pill. It is similar to Jasmine pill in the US.
It also helped that I went to the facial clinic once every two weeks for about 6 months to extract the puss and acne. It was painful, but I also had pimple injection. They use Kanolone, which is an anti-inflamatory fluid that kills viruses and bacteria causing acne.
Water therapy is very important. I took 8 glasses of water using a really tall glass.
It is very important to be patient and let your skin breath when you have acne breakout. Trying to cover the acne will only make things worse. I did not wear make-up during those months, particularly foundation and powder. The only thing I applied on my face were eyeliner and mascara.
Keep everything away from your face. Hair, pillow, nails, cellular phone, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste. Those are some of the possible factors causing your acne to breakout even more.
The results: How long did it take to get rid of acne? Did you have any side effects?
After strictly following the routine for 6 months, I noticed that my skin started clearing up in August-September of 2012.
The only side effects to the acne extraction and pimple injection were the scars it left on my skin. It left really dark and deep scars. As for the pills, I only took them for 2 months, and noticed that I ate more and was a bit moody during those months.
As for emotional side effects, I learned to be humble and how to appreciate people from the inside and not from the outside. It may sound cliche to most readers, but it really is true. When all we see is beauty, we sometimes tend to get shallow.
Before the acne breakout, I was too materialistic, I laughed at people sometimes and noticed what was wrong in them. After the breakout, I learned how to be humble.
I learned that clothes, shoes and accessories don’t make a woman. People will not sincerely like you for what you look outside, but those who truly value and appreciate you will always, always look at you in the inside.
How do you feel after successfully fighting acne? How do people react when they see you now?
Everyone compliments me when they see me. They noticed the change in my skin, and how I look so much fresher, and how my aura has become so positive!
I smile often now and have regained my confidence. I started fixing myself again. Looking at myself in the mirror is now a joy, since I see my smile and not the acne.
I feel that it was a lesson learned. I learned that I was strong for being able to go out of the house, continue with my life and face the world while looking like that.
At first I was very very afraid because I didn’t know how people would react. Would they hate me? Would they tell me I looked horrible?
But no, I got overwhelming support. And what’s even better is that I get messages from people around the world saying how my video / blog has helped them!
Your advice to others: What should people do to prevent acne? How should acne be treated?
Anything too much is bad. I wore make up a lot, and I stayed up late a lot.
If its not necessary, let your skin breath once in a while. Go for a light make up or better yet, no make up sometimes. It lets your skin breath and regenerate.
Staying up until 3am was one of the big factors that caused my acne. I blog, so the only time I get to do it is when I get home from the office. Try to avoid staying up late.
It also really helps to eat right and eat healthy. I ate a lot of fruits during the acne breakout. I ate a lot of fruits rich in Vitamin C and anti oxidants like orange, watermelon and pineapple.
Anything else you would like to share with the readers?
I just want to say that no matter how hopeless you think your situation is right now, always think that there is still a solution.
I kept one quote in my mind and I am sharing it with you now:
“Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not yet alright, then it is not yet the end.”
Keep positive and think positive. Smile, because you are beautiful.
With some patience and determination, trust me, one day you are going to get healed too!