My Skincare Journey… Acne, Peels, Microneedling, The Works [Part 1]

Let’s all begin with a deep breath. ~*Ahhhh*~

I want to start off with a disclaimer: “I am by no means a skin expert, but I pretend to be one on social media.” (says Isaac, speaking as me) LOLZ.

Jokes. But really, I want to share my skincare journey with you because… #1] I think it’s interesting, + #2] I hope I can help you stop picking your face — if you are a picker like I was! + #3] To give you the ins + outs of all your burning skincare questions…

Let’s dive in!

I never washed my face. Literally, never. I never took my makeup off. Literally, never. The horror! I wish I could turn back time. Whenever I showered + decided to spontaneously wash my face, I used St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Yikes. PSA — if you are using St. Ives Apricot Scrub, stop immediately.

I remember always having one or two pimples on my cheeks that would pop up in the same place every time — nothing severe. However, whenever they’d come up… I’d pick at them, + now, I have a few permenant indents in my cheeks to prove it.

There was one summer, where I broke out in little bumps everywhere on my forehead. Looking back, it was probably a reaction to something — but I thought for sure I was developing acne + immediately freaked out. I remember seeing ads for Proactiv, + begging my mom to buy it for me… + she said no.

I was a swimmer growing up, so I’d get extremely dry skin in the winter from the mix of the cold + chlorene. I would put Vaseline on my face almost every night it the winter. Eeeek. In the summer, I’d lay out for hours + hours… dreaming of being a bronze babe. I used the “tanning lotions” instead of sunscreen, + would constantly would have burnt cheeks. ALSO. I got really into the tanning bed during the winter my senior year ; (.

Clearly, I didn’t think much about my skin… other than wanting it to get tanner + tanner.

Tanning — Freshman year, I was still into the tanning bed. Thankfully, by sophomore year I realized how damaging it is, + I haven’t been in a tanning bed since. During my senior year, I realized that getting a spray tan makes you tan way faster… so I utilized those before big events when needed. Don’t get me wrong — I still laid out during spring breaks + summer, but I didn’t have the same “I need to get as tan as possible” mentality as I did in high school.

Acne — I “hung up my towel” [aka quit swimming] midway through sophomore year. This may sound crazy… but I think I finally went through puberty after quitting swimming — in one month, I jumped two bra sizes! Literally! I also finally started getting my periods. Previously, I had only gotten my periods 2–3 times per year… but they were finally starting to be consistently. ++ what also comes with hormone changes ACNE!

It’s funny because looking back through photos, I barely see any acne [maybe it’s because of makeup?] + my mom shares that I really only had one or two zits… BUT, regardless, I freaked out + told my mom that we had to immediately book a dermatology appointment when I got home from break.

The doctor prescribed me Differin + to be honest, I don’t think I used it much. I still didn’t wash my face. + I don’t remember any sort of cleanser in the shower… if anything, I probably graduated from St. Ives to Neutrogena. I’m not sure! All in all, I still didn’t care too much about my skin.

I GRADUATED! Time to be an adult, right? I vividly remember when my mentality towards skincare shifted. I was a year or two out of college, + I was buying new makeup products at Von Maur + the specialist at Chanel asked me if I wanted a free makeover. Of course I did!

She used products that I had never even heard of before — toners + serums + eye moisturizers… the works! All through the process, she talked to me about how it’s so important to value your skin now — that now is the time to invest in everything anti-aging!

I told her that I had no idea what I was doing + that I was all ears! I knew Chanel was an expensive brand… so in my mind, expensive = it works! [I cringe that I used to think that…]. My skin + makeup also felt fabulous after the makeover… so I was sold. I left buying Chanel’s face wash, serum + the thickest of thick moisturizer.

That’s when the trouble began…

Instagram beauty influencers started coming out of the wood work + I dived into it all. The beauty products looked SO PRETTY, + the influencers had such beautiful skin… so it must work, right?

While I was consistent with my Chanel products still, I started introducing various serums + face masks + eye gels. Nothing that I want to call out, because none of it worked. One thing I will say is that many of the serums I tried had coconut oil as the first or second ingredient [not good for my skin]. ieieieieie.

Anways. 2–3 years after my skincare discovery, I started getting facials at Soho on a regular basis [hi Ashley!]. I wouldn’t say my skin was terrible, but it was so clogged. Even Ashley was confused. After a couple treatments, she finally asked — what exactly do you put on your face, be specific! I told her everything… finally we discovered the culprit: “ELISABETH! THE MOISTURIZER THAT YOU USE IS LITERALLY FOR 80 YEAR OLDS!”


The thickest of thick moisturizer from Chanel that I was using [hydra beauty creme riche… which by the way is 87 freaking dollars, ugh] is for people with thin, aged skin — NOT, for people who have oily, young skin. I was basically putting on a thick layer to my already oily skin… no wonder it was so clogged!

It’s crazy to think that that ONE LADY who sold me those Chanel products years ago had such an affect on me + my skin. Shame on her for selling something to a 22 year old that is clearly not supposed to be on my face… + shame on me for not giving her words a second thought [+ for believing that more expensive products means that it’s better!]. All in all, it’s a lesson + a good one. I am now very skeptical about most skincare products! ; )

Ashley recommended that I get a chemical peel around the same time that I interviewed Kate on the podcast who mentioned her skincare guru Tara. I was intrigued…


Can you spot my ONE MASSIVE pimple on my cheek?! Lol, it was ruthless! Ps — for those of you who remember the elisabeth + kara photo shoots, you are a part of my OG fam ❤ I swear that we would have been youtube stars.
To give you an idea of my skin color difference from winter [featuring the razer phone, HEY!] to the summer… + how burnt my cheeks would get!
This is how I spent my summers… for YEARS + YEARS + YEARS + YEARS!

Rooting for you!

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