Girlllll, let me tell you. I rode the struggle bus for almost two years with cystic acne! My acne began when I was a teenager. I recall getting breakouts here and there, more consistently on the indentation of my nose. When I did break out they were big, it hurt and it lasted a while. Naturally, I was embarrassed so I popped them.

Then I got older and "popping" my acne away wasn't working like that anymore. By the time I was a sophomore in college my face was tender to touch. I had cystic acne all over my face. I had never experienced anything like this before, so it really took a toll on my confidence.

I tried every holistic remedy in the world. I soaked in all the criticism from friends, family, and strangers about how awful my skin was looking until finally, I went to a dermatologist. It took me 4 months to find something that began to work! The product I was prescribed wasn't the only thing that helped me achieve flawless skin though. Here are my tips and tricks to achieve flawless skin while treating cystic acne.

First off, you need a lot of patience! As I said, it took me a few months until I started to see minimal results, but it took me 3 more months on top of that to see better results. I didn't start to see massive results until almost 6 months later. It's definitely a journey! So, be kind to yourself and gentle to your skin.

Next, stick to a routine! Depending on what kind of skin you have, (combination, dry, or oily), your face, you'll need to cultivate your own routine, something that makes sense, that won't allow you to miss a morning and night face wash. Routines leave little room for excuses. You want flawless skin, don't you? Even if you're coming home half drunk at 2 am and want nothing more than to just hit your bed, you still need to wash your face. So, stick to it no matter what!

Enhance your diet. Cut down on the greasy fried foods. Deplete your fast food intake and most importantly, drink A LOT of water. It will help you flush out all the toxins building up in your body and keep your skin hydrated. Remember- be gentle to your skin.

Incorporate some exercise routines. It can be a brisk walk or an intense three day a week 45-minute workout. Just get moving! Exercise just benefits every aspect of your life. I found myself wearing less pore-clogging makeup since I knew I would be sweating it off soon after. With that being said, TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP BEFORE YOU SLEEP.

Most importantly- do your research. Not every face is the same. I used some holistic practices that other women with cystic acne had been using and it did nothing for me. It took some time but now, every morning I wash my face using PanOxyl 10% foaming wash and finish it off with an aloe vera gel as a moisturizer. Then, every night, I use a gentle cleanser that contains Benzoyl Peroxide, I exfoliate and then I finish off with some dabs of Adapalene on my face. For the last three years, I swear by my routines. I rarely get pimples to this day and am absolutely cystic acne free.