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My Skin Transformation & How I Got Here: A Makeup Artist Discusses Her Skincare Journey

Hey beauties! Welcome back to Creative Contour By Carla™! Today, I want to discuss my own personal skincare journey the overall transformation I've seen. Now here's the kicker... I didn't take photos along my journey, because I am still in the midst of it. But if I was smart... well I would have, ha ha! So, I'll try my best to use photos I have of myself so I can explain things! But, I want to remind you all that I am a working makeup artist, so I am sharing my experience to help you understand that these things take time, but they can work! The first thing I learned was to have a lot of patience during my skincare journey!

Let's start with a fairly accurate "before" photo:

sideview of face

Phew, that's quite the breakout! This photo is circa 2021 or so. I want to be upfront with you all when I say this: I've had acne like this my entire life. I'm now in my 30's, and have finally found a routine that is overall helpful, after literally 2 decades of hard work and effort. I want to say that this is very difficult to process and that putting myself out there like this is definitely scary. But it's necessary to understand that skincare and especially acne care, takes a very long time to really get and maintain results. This is about lifestyle choices.

Now that I got that out of the way, let me talk about some of the things I did in order to heal my acne. I had to do work mentally, internally, and externally to get my skin to improve from the above photo.

Mental Health

Beauties, when I say this, really listen to me. My mental health affected my acne more than I ever understood. Until I started my personal healing journey and worked hard on my mental health, I did not see a single result on healing acne.

I had to do a lot of inner work, and even hired a therapist to help me sort through a lot of the things I was carrying mentally. This work included gaining confidence and healing my completely shattered self esteem. It took the entirety of 2023 to heal these parts of myself. And while we are never fully healed, healing these parts really took a huge toll on my acne and how it showed up in my body.

Truthfully, I found that releasing a lot of the pain I lived with really helped my acne clear up quite a bit!

I also want to say that finding healthy, healing coping mechanisms for my lifestyle also really helps maintain less acne. It sounds crazy when you first think about it, but it really does help in the long run.


Beauties, when I tell you that diet really affects you internally and externally, I am serious. What we put into our bodies will affect our skin directly. Acneic reactions also come from gut issues. I had to learn what foods were triggering my acne responses (hello vitamin c of all kinds), and how to find a balance within my diet to help my skin.

I also make sure to balance out the foods I love with foods that help acne, and heal my body in the ways I need to!

posing for a photo holding a piece of paper

This photo is such a great representation of the result I saw from just changing those two above aspects! Beauties, I am soooo serious when I say that internal and external are related! Now, I do have foundation on in this photo, but not enough to the point where if you really look at my skin, you can see a few spots showing that are healing. The reason I am using this photo is because it is more recent, circa summer 2023. And again, yes, I do have foundation on, but you can really see an improvement in overall texture, and also you don't see as many spots sitting underneath the makeup. Because yes, you will see raised pimples underneath makeup. Nothing can change that type of texture, especially not makeup.

Staying Hydrated

Still internal factors here, beauties. But this one is one of the things I forever preach about: staying hydrated. But, normally I am discussing how this benefits your makeup! When we choose water over other drink options, we really do help the body flush out nastiness. We also help our skin stay quenched internally. When we are dehydrated, our skin may lash out. Especially if your skin is finicky like mine! Once I chose water over other drinks and really focused on my hydration overall, I noticed an improvement in my skin.

Now, let's get into those external factors!

Personal Hygiene and Cleanliness

How I maintain personal hygiene really does affect my acne. This has been a life long study for me, and I've got a great personal hygiene routine, and try my best to maintain a life full of cleanliness. Obviously personal hygiene affects a number of things, but it really does affect acne. Making sure I am washing my face with clean hands is the best method to maintaining clearer skin. (I can't believe I really have to write this, but please wash your hands!)

When it comes to overall cleanliness in my lifestyle, that takes a few forms. Clean bedsheets and pillowcases, not touching my face as much, cleaning my glasses, and other high touch surfaces. They sound so silly when thinking about acne, but this is a contributing factor. In addition to clean pillowcases weekly, I also found that wrapping my hair before bed really improved my skin overall. I admit that I am forever a cold person, so covering my head to sleep was for warmth purposes, but better skin was an added benefit! I do use a satin bonnet, and I find that it really helps! It prevents the oils in my hair from reaching my pores.

Skincare Routine

Okay, okay, okay, beauties. Now onto the goods!!! So what is my skincare routine like? Outside of lifestyle choices, I have a fairly simple, yet detailed skincare routine. If you've seen my social media or previous blog posts, you'll know that I use a high frequency machine to help cleanse my pores. This really helps to get deep inside after cleansing. You'll also see that I am a religious exfoliator. For my skin, 2 times per week is enough! Washing my face thoroughly with clean hands every night before bed. Moisturizing every night before bed. Moisturizer and sunscreen every morning.

I also am experimenting with a microneedle derma roller and retinol. I am still navigating this part of the journey, but am seeing some results. I want to say that if you want to venture out into using the microneedle derma roller, please make sure you are cleansing it before and after use with 70% alcohol. You need to make sure the alcohol fully evaporates to get the best clean on the tool. I will say that with my current schedule (phew, is a girl busy!), that using the microneedle derma roller one time per week is really beneficial on my skin.

To the retinol: I am definitely still navigating this side of my routine. I've been using the over the counter retinols, and they do work a little bit. They aren't that great overall. I am going to look into having a facial and finding a professional grade over the counter retinol first, before going to my doctor, because I did not like the purging aspect of prescription retinol. Especially since my skin really has improved since that first photo at the beginning of this blog post. Once I have more information, I will write an update.

Phew, beauties! I really did write quite a bit here. This is definitely a lot of information, I will definitely be writing a follow up blog because I want to share more results as I see them! But this is part of my skin transformation, I hope you all found this helpful so far! Stay tuned for more!

Lots of love, lipstick, and patience during my acne care journey,


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