My Skin Care Journey

Dear Acne,

If you’re going to live on my face, I need to see some rent. Let me be honest with you all and say I’ve never had great skin. For all those who have experienced acne we understand the battle all too well, my friend. Having to deal with the onslaught of unexpected breakouts can be stressful and frustrating and not to mention can have a toll on one’s self-confidence. There was a time I used to be so unhappy with my skin that I just wanted to cover every blemish and spot with anything I could find, and it really started to impact my self-esteem negatively.

When I was younger, I didn’t really think too much about my skin. It wasn’t until the age of 12 that I can distinctly remember noticing these bumps and dark patches appearing on my chin, cheeks, and forehead. I remember them being quite deep, nodular, and even painful to touch. Reflecting about how my skin was in high school, I felt quite embarrassed to show my natural skin with these red bumps sticking so clearly out. I used to try hiding my blemishes with anything I could find, including subtly using my hands or books to cover them. I also went down that rabbit hole where I started comparing my skin to others, because I began noticing that my breakouts were a bit more severe, and this made me feel insecure about my-self and put me in the mindset that something was wrong with my skin.

At this point, I started experimenting with a bunch of different products, trying out “at home hacks” and frequently washing my face, which just completely stripped my skin barrier and disrupted the natural pH levels of my skin. This left me feeling extremely dry and irritated

– this is the biggest mistake!

When a cleanser contains unnecessary surfactants and foaming agents that can be quite aggressive and stripping on the barrier. This can over dry the skin causing the sebaceous glands to work on overdrive to produce excess oil/sebum as it tries to recover your barrier to its normal state, thus leading to even more breakouts! Yikes. (We’ll have a deeper look into cleansers in the upcoming posts)

An ideal cleanser for acne skin should be:

✨ Non-comedogenic

✨ Non- acnegenic

✨ Non-irritating

✨ Fragrance & soap free

When I began my course, I came to a better understanding of how the skin functions, the cellular turn over process, the stages of wound healing and how ingredients work in a cellular level. I decided it was time to chuck these conventional products outside the window (before I was using Sukin and Clearasil- which I discovered to be stripping) and bring my skin care routine right back to the basics. I started by incorporating a gentle soap free cleanser, using active ingredients that worked with my skin, a moisturiser that’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, avoid picking at all costs, staying hydrated and most importantly using an SPF daily!

Over the last 4 years I have dedicated my blood sweat and tears to learning about skincare, and I can safely say that even though I experience a few brake-outs here and there (mainly maskne 😷 and hormonal) I’m happy with the progress. Everything that I have learned from my course, skin experts, evidence-based research and personally trying a variety of products and treatments, has given me so much knowledge and I hope that through these posts I can help many of you feel empowered and educated throughout your skin journey. The biological way you’re wired and the way your skin looks/doesn’t look isn’t something to be ashamed about. Everyone has their own stories and experiences and they can be a huge resource for you! And then you can be a huge resource for others who will come after you! Remember that you are not alone in this and to love your skin each step of the way!

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips, tricks, or survival stories about acne! Until next time my skin lovers.

~ D

A bit about me…

Hello to all my skincare lovers and enthusiasts out there! My name is Dileesha and I’m here to talk to you all about skin. I am a fourth-year student studying the Bachelors of Dermal Science (Health Sciences) at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. My dream goal is to graduate as a Dermal Clinician and someday have my own business.

I come from a Sri Lankan background, and I love sharing parts of my culture with others. I moved to Australia in 2004, and I absolutely enjoy the amount of multiculturalism and diversity that Melbourne has to offer. Growing up in a catholic background has shaped my beliefs and values in kindness, patience, compassion, and forgiveness towards others and has taught me that a little bit of faith and trust can make all things possible.

I am a bubble tea lover (Honestly can’t get enough 😅) and I also enjoy letting my creative side run free whether it’s drawing, painting, crafting or simply if it’s just being that little bit ✨extra✨. I have a love for adventure and the great outdoors, and I have a dream to travel someday.

At this point I’m sure most of you are wondering what Dermal Science is about? Well, I’m here to tell you all about it! Usually when I tell someone that I’m studying The Bachelors of Dermal Sciences I get asked the question, “What exactly is that?” Through reflecting on these conversations, I came to a realisation of how unique my course is.

Many people believe that I’m either studying to become either an advanced beauty therapist or a dermatologist (My little sister calls me Miss skin Dr. 😂 she’s still too young to understand ). Unlike a dermatologist we are unable to prescribe medications, diagnose conditions or perform surgical treatments. Our scope of practice specialises around the anatomy and physiology of the integumentary system (our glorious skin) which is in-fact the largest organ in our body!

We focus more about laser physics, chemistry behind products and ingredients and how they work on a cellular level. A holistic approach is taken through patient education, therapeutic interventions and performing advanced clinical treatments including laser and light-based treatments, resurfacing procedures, lymphatic treatments, and scar management.  

Why I chose my course?

I have always had an interest in learning more about the skin from my own experiences growing up. Finding out about this degree really sparked up an interest in me and I was immediately drawn to the science, cosmeceutical, and therapeutic aspects (Getting free treatments is an added bonus! 😉) . I want to be able to provide education to others and help raise awareness that all skin types are different, and we must look to normalising skin conditions to enhance body positivity. I also want to be able educate others on the importance of sun protection and assist with early identification of skin cancer, which is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia.

As I’m currently on my final year I have chosen to create this Blog to give a little something back to the community by sharing my knowledge and experience on what I have learnt throughout my course. This is free information you guys and I’m so excited to share all my skin care secrets with you! I’ll be conducting evidence based current research, so you don’t have to. My focus topics will be based around specifically Acne Vulgaris with relevance to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, I’ll be delving into the causes, pathophysiology, skin care products and treatments options. Please also let me know in the comments if there are any specific topics that interests you guys!

I’m also a huge advocate when it comes to recommending products for skin of colour. Having skin of colour my-self, growing up I’ve faced contentless horror stories of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and I can’t wait to take you all through this lovely skin journey and share my best kept secrets!

Your friendly neighborhood skin enthusiast,

~ D