My Acne Journey (and product review)

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne usually appears on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Effective treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to crop up. (source: Mayo Clinic)

My problem with acne started when I hit puberty, which was sometime around high school. Mine was a serious case of cystic acne which persisted up to now.

I’ve been to many dermatologists and I’ve spent a small fortune trying to keep my acne under control. I’ve also tried many products, unfortunately not all products worked well for me.

Acne has many causes and mine is due to hormonal imbalance. I underwent an ultrasound to rule out polycystic ovaries. My ultrasound came out negative. My gynecologist then started me on oral contraceptive pills, Diane-35. I started taking it when I was in 3rd year high school. Together with the skin treatments I had with my dermatologist, my skin cleared up and my face was smooth for a time.

However when I entered college, I stopped taking the pills and visiting my doctors due to financial constraints. My pimples flared up once more. The added stress from studying also contributed to the relapse of my acne problem. My pimples persisted until I graduated and landed a job in a hospital.

By then, my cystic acne has reached epic proportions. I am not exaggerating, I had at least five big clumps of pimples in a day. It was painful and embarrassing especially for me who works in the healthcare setting. I was so ashamed of myself that I often wear masks to hide my pimples. Some of my patients would even comment about it. It hurt me when people notice and point out my acne, as if I wasn’t aware of how severe the problem was. I hated it. I hated myself.

When I finally had enough money for treatments, I went back to my doctors. My gynecologist started me on oral contraceptive pills again, this time Yazmin, which is of the same components as Diane-35 but at a lesser dose. Then I went back to my dermatologist and she started me on oral antibiotics. For six months I was almost pimple-free with only the occasional pimple sprouting whenever I have my monthly period.

However, my skin decided to be a major bitch and my cystic acne recurred. I figured it was because of the constant stress I experience, what with me working in crazy shifts in the hospital and studying for my master’s degree–all at the same time. Regardless, my face was covered in unsightly bumps once more and after months of suffering, I made a visit to my doctors again. My derma started me on antibiotics again and my gyne shifted my OCP into Diane-35 again. They advised me to lose weight (because I was gaining too much, a side effect of the pills and because I binge-eat when I’m stressed out at work) and lessen stress in my life. Easier said than done, but I tried.

Fast forward to the present and my acne still hasn’t gone away. I am tired of going back and forth to my doctors, of having my skin pricked every two weeks and spending (roughly) 8,000 every month all for the sake of my face. So out of desperation, I tried Belo AcnePro. 

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L-R: Belo AcnePro Soap, Belo AcnePro Toner and Belo AcnePro Pimple Gel. The entire set cost 285Php

I’ve read positive reviews about the products and I also did my own research about Dr. Vicki Belo. It’s not really in my nature to randomly try out facial products but I’m a little desperate by now. I’ve been to a lot of doctors and hospitals and facial centers have grown rich because of me (haha) but I still don’t have the skin I want. I know, I know, I should accept myself and my flaws blah blah… but if you could see my face– wait, let me show you:P_20160902_182824

This is what I looked like prior to the start of the treatment. Zits every where, scars galore. I’ve learned to live with it but there are times when I get a little depressed with how I look.

So I tried the Belo Acnepro products. It promised clear skin just after 7 days. I was skeptical, I mean this product can clear up 25 years’ worth of zits in just 7 days? Come on. But I decided to give it a shot and this is how  I looked like after 2 days:

p_20160904_131950It didn’t clear up my scars but it dried my pimples in just 2 days. The acne gel stings a little but the soap and toner are gentle enough. My mom also noted that I seemed fairer. It’s not that much visible, but I think she’s right. I wash my face with the soap 3-4 days depending on the oiliness of my face, while I use the toner and acne gel in the morning and at night. The products are all fragrance-free and I did not develop any allergic reaction to it. After 7 days, this is what my face looks like:

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The ugly red spot on my cheek is the dried up pimple. It’s a little big and bothersome but can be easily remedied by couple of peeling sessions with my dermatologist. I noticed that I have less pimples now and that some old scars along my chin have diminished as well (but still a far cry from being gone lol).

After 2 weeks of continued use:

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Although the lighting’s a little dark, there’s a difference from the first time I used the product. The active pimples on my cheek and chin had dried, leaving only dark spots that are manageable with concealer and make-up magic (lol). I also rarely get breakouts now compared before (although that’s in part with my change in diet and sleeping patterns).

All in all, the Belo AcnePro line is effective in keeping my pimples in check. It delivers its promise of quickly drying up pimples and controlling acne! It’s also affordable and easily available in drugstores and beauty bars.

So for those who want to try, I recommend Belo AcnePro! (Wow, endorser? Lol.)

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