After years of writing online, a couple of books that detail some of the more personal parts of my life, going viral, doing Facebook Lives, and everything in between, I’ve still never beenas vulnerable online as I’m about to be. This articleis about to be the scariest thing I’ve ever posted, the most raw, the most honest, and reveal my maybe, number insecurity to the masses.
I am about to show you all pictures of myself with no makeup, no filters, and no retouching.
Talking about skincare, beauty regimes, and makeup in general is something that is either SUPER fun for you, or something you completely dread.
For me, I was in the latter half for a long time.
And that, friends,is because since I was about 12/13, I have had really terrible, awful, no good, very bad skin.
My first memory of acne is when I was about 12. I was in a school play and my mom was helping me apply my makeup prior to the show starting and I had a massive, angry zit right on the bridge of my nose. Now to me, this was slightly embarrassing, but I was a preteen and a tomboy and frankly, didn’t really care. But then, all of a sudden, my mom started to squeeze my nose between her two index fingers.
“What are you doing?!” I remember yanking back and looking at my throbbing nose in the mirror.
“You have a pimple,” my mom explained calmly, tissue in one hand and a makeup spongein the other. “I’m trying to get it to pop so it won’t be as big.”
What followed for the next 15 years was an all out battle between me, myself, and my skin. To give you an idea of what I’m working with, this is me:
A photo posted by Kendra Syrdal (@kendrasyrdal) on
I am super pale, have pores that suck everything up, have oily to combination skin with bouts of eczema, breakout like crazy from certain types of makeup and skincare lines, breakout during my period, am working on my struggles with dermatillomania and anxiety, wear makeup almost every day out of insecurity, and lemme tell you! It’s been a
I have tried l i t e r a l l y everything.
Proactiv? Tried it. It took a layer off of my skin and I looked like I had suffered a chemical burn.
Birth control? Tried it. It did nothing for my skin but did kill my sex drive and make me gain 10 pounds.
Regular facials? Tried it. They absolutely are lovely and therapeutic and help but they’re expensive and not regularly maintainable.
Every drugstore product under the sun? TRIED EM TRIED EM TRIED EM.
At this point I bet you’re probably wondering,
And fair question, bud! I But for as shitty as my skin was, it was never cystic (thank gawd), and never bad enough that I reached the point of wanting to pump my body full of medicine for something that arguably could be cured with the right skincare regime. There are crazy side effects with medication, and if they could be ultimatelyavoidable, I would very much like to avoid them.
So! That brings us here.
In 2017 I set out to actually, for the first time in over a decade, really truly take care of my skin. I consulted with my friend Cristina (a literal goddess with no visible pores who also has a great Twitter account – follow her), a super sweet lady at the downtown Seattle Sephora named Eileen, and some lovely people at Sunday Riley who had some great suggestions. And with that dove headfirst into the skincare swimming pool.
And here’s how it’s going and what I’ve been using.
Buckle up kids, it’s going to be a bumpy (pun intended) ride.
Now that you’ve read for almost 2000 words, you’ve earned these. Here’s how using all of the aforementioned products and seriously overhauling my skincare routine actually went.
Here’s a TLDR recap of my routine:
Morning: Cleanse with Fresh’s Soy Cleanser Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Clinique Pep-Start (I’m stillsearching for a day moisturizer I like. Will report back.)
Evening: Cleanse with Origins Checks and Balances Cleanse with Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip during a breakout Use some sort of mask from either Origins, Lush, or TonyMoly Sunday Riley’s Luna
Please be kind.
First Week of December, 2016.
One week into using the regime.
As you can plainly see, the right side of my face was having a FIT. I had a couple of things batting against me. Travel (I had just spent a week in LA with my best friend), a bad highlighter (fuck you NYX’s cream highlighter. you’re hateful.), and stress (hi work and the holidays). But basically, I was breaking out horribly. I cried about it this week; I remember. This was my “purge” week with skincare. And it REALLY SUCKED. I felt like everything that was hibernating underneath my skin was coming out and it was coming out ANGRY. I honestly almost gave up after a week because I was so frustrated, but I powered through.
Second Week of December, 2016.
Yep. This is after just two weeks using those products. This is partly why I really didn’t want to go to a dermatologist. I knew that my problems, as annoying and frustrating and self-esteem killing as they were/are, were not medication worthy. A good routine made that much of a difference in two weeks. You can see some residual redness on one side of my face from the initial reaction of Good Genes – that’s how sensitive my skin is if you were curious.
Third Week of December, 2016.
This will account for the first of many selfies in this hoodie. I love to wear this hoodie in bed. It’s stupid cozy. I’m wearing that hoodie writing this. ANYWAY. As you can see on the upper part of my right cheek there’s a little dick of a zit popping out (and my hair looks awful) but for the most part, so far so good. My skin is still prone to redness and it’s not my favorite thing in the world, but it’s way better than it was. You’re also seeing that my pore size is getting smaller and are less prominent, which I’m 10010% okay with.
Fourth Week of December, 2016.
This was actually the day after New Year’s Eve and I’m SUPER HUNGOVER! (Also look at my roots. Dear. God.) So I was feeling puffy, dehydrated, a little let down, and sort of just crusty. Thus the last selfie. That being said, I do feel like the lines in my forehead have gone done, and the over all texture of my skin was improving. Even after I abused my body with a ton of champagne and beer pong to ring in the new year.
First Week of January, 2017.
There wasn’t a ton of visible difference in my skin this week but I could feel something evil and hateful brewing underneath and I was scared. Which leads us to…
Second Week of January, 2017.
I broke out like crazy!!!!1! And I was really upset. I felt like after weeks of being diligent and drinking more water and spending all of this money on skincare it was for NOTHING. That I was still going to breakout no matter what I tried and that I would never have skin. It was really frustrating and humiliating and humanizing and all of these adjectives. But really? It just made me feel like this.