Skincare: An introduction to my skin type history!

I haven’t yet written many posts on skincare yet, but I have a few posts planned on my favourite skincare products/what I’m using at the moment, but before I can start telling you about that, I really need to tell you a little about my skin and its history!  After all, we all have different skin types and what’s suited to me, may not particularly suit you, so this will be a brief history on my skin type.
Ages 1-14 – Perfect skin, never had any problems!
Ages 15-17 – Good skin, but had the occasional spot.  Didn’t use many facial products apart from spot creams, I never took my make-up off but somehow my skin was lovely!  I guess my skin was kind of dry as well, it was never oily.
Age 18 – Took a turn for the worse.  I just started getting into skincare and I wanted Clinique’s Three Step Regime for my 19th Birthday.  I went to the counter with my Mum, got matched up and bought the regime for around £70.  Two weeks later, my skin was the worst it had ever been in my life.  I can’t describe how bad it got, my skin was red, irritated and full of spots.  I stopped using the products immediately.
Ages 19-20½ – Worst skin ever.  I was covered in red pimples and spots.  I had big spots, under the skin that had about another three spots inside.  How is that even possible?  I had just started my foundation course in art, and the following year started my photography degree and I feel like I became a shell of myself.  I wasn’t confident, I felt disgusting and was so upset that my lovely skin was now ruined because of Clinique – the spots never went after I stopped using it, they just got worse.  I still loved make-up and skincare so I was always trying to find something to take my spots down, I used Bio-oil for a good six months to no avail, I used an Aloe skincare range, I tried lots of products.  Wearing make-up really accentuated my terrible skin, but obviously that meant I just wore more.  I also had really terrible dry skin this whole time, meaning my skin was flaky as well as spotty and I always needed moisturizer to help.
Christmas Eve 2008 – I decided I had had enough and at 6pm Christmas eve I trotted down to my GP and demanded help.  He was stunned at how terrible my skin was and said that I should never have waited so long.  He was pretty shocked at how disgusting my skin was and prescribed me with the antibiotic Doxycycline. 
January – March 2009 I was on Doxycycline for three months and although it helped slightly, my skin was still bad.  I lost a few spots but my skin was still red and grose.
March – June 2009 – GP then prescribed me Minocycline, another antibiotic to help clear skin.  This pill saved me!  Wonder product, cleared my skin up within three months.  Finally my skin was back to normal.  I had never been so happy.
July 2009 – Went back to GP to get more Minocycline because I was worried that once I stopped taking it, my skin would get terrible again, but for some reason they prescribed me Oxytetracycline. I took this for a week but it made me really ill, sick ill, so I stopped!
August 2009 – Present Day (Oct 2010) (Ages 21-22) – Very happy with my skin.  It isn’t perfect by any account, I still get spots, especially when I am stressed, or if I start dating (I always get spots when I meet guys! Haha!) but after all I’ve been through I am just SO grateful that it is relatively back to normal.  Nowadays if I get a spot I don’t panic, I just try to cover it well and I try not to touch it at all.
My Skin Type – I’ll be honest and admit that although I work part time as a skin-care consultant and can easily tell what other people’s skin types are, I’m really not sure what my own skin type is!  My skin has started producing more oil since stopping the pills which I’m happy about, but my skin also always feel tight after washing.  So I guess that gives me combination skin? Except I’m also acne prone and also get irritated skin with certain products, so its sensitive as well.  Basically I have every skin type going? Weird.  If any one is similar, do let me know!
Pictures –
When I started taking Doxycycline, I started taking a picture of myself everyday on a film camera, as a project to see if my skin got any better.  I gave up after two weeks when I wasn’t seeing results but was left with a reminder of how bad my skin once was.  Whenever I feel down about my skin I look at these images and instantly feel better.  Bear in mind, my skin was worse than this – I had already started taking pills at this point –
1    Untitled Scary huh! (I’d never normally have shown these images, and feel quite conscious about showing them to everyone online so please be nice!!)
Fast forward five months – (May/June 2009)
kelseys bday 117  JULY,AUGUST 003
Fast forward another two months (August 2009) 
21ST BDAY! 053
My 21st Birthday, with my parents and clear skin!!!
(You can see my skin as it is now in my recent foundation post – HERE!!)
There you go, my skin history!  Sorry it was slightly wordy, but I felt I needed to let you girls know 1) What my skin is like for future reference, once I start reviewing products and 2) That if you have crappy skin, then don’t worry, you can overcome it and it will always get better!! I’m so much happier in general now that my skin is better.  One things for sure, I am NEVER using a Clinique product again as I feel that that is what started the whole ordeal. 
My next skincare post will be on what I have been using for the past two years to keep my skin in check, so stay tuned for that! 
Has anyone else been through a terrible acne phase?  What got rid of it?



  1. October 22, 2010 / 2:05 pm

    Well done for sharing this and posting your photos. Acne is such a horrible thing and can change your whole persona for the worse. I had terrible skin when i was younger. The doctor put me on the pill Dianette which really cleared it up. I still get spots around the time of the month but its much much better. It's such an uphill struggle though trying to get clear skin so i really feel your pain. Great post xx

  2. October 22, 2010 / 2:22 pm

    same as feona, thanks for sharing this!
    The clinique skincare seems to ruin everyones skin! They seriously need to realise that.
    Its such a shame that just a few products could of caused such uproar to your skin:/
    I'm glad everythings back on track:)

  3. October 22, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    aww katie i admire you for posting those pics good on ya 🙂 i remeber one time my skin was really bad in school (looked like i had chicken box lol)i wanted to go home cos i felt too ugly to be in school lol i had no confidence like you so went tto the nurse to see if i cn go home cos i was *cough* ill. but just shows when you have those good skin days just feel better in yourself 🙂

  4. October 22, 2010 / 2:30 pm

    ohh and i forgot to say tha when i was using the 3 step Clinique skincare it made my skin really bad too xxx

  5. October 22, 2010 / 2:45 pm

    The pill has solved all of my acne problems, and I har reaaaaaaaaally bad acne in my teens -_-

  6. October 22, 2010 / 2:45 pm

    thanks so much for sharing your honesty will mean a lot to people suffering too. I had clear skiin up until a couple of months ago and now riddled with these big under skin whitehead types, it is all lumpy and horrible and I am usch a picker so now need to do something about it. doctors it is for me.

    Looking forward to hearing about the skincare.


  7. October 22, 2010 / 2:47 pm

    oh my gosh – thanks for sharing this katie! i can't believe how much your skin has improved! i mean, look at your blog header! acne is such a terrible affliction – it really can break you down mentally, i'm lucky enough never to have suffered from it (my uncle had it so bad his skin looks like he has been in a fire – and he's now in his late 40s). luckily what you have done has worked for you.

    have a good weekend –
    adele xx

    ps, you really look like pixie lott in that 21st birthday pic!

  8. October 22, 2010 / 3:02 pm

    Wow! How much your skin has changed is unbelievable! Well done on showing it to everyone, it must of been hard but it may help someone who is going through the same thing.
    I'm pretty lucky that I don't suffer with Acne, I just get the odd spot. Though more recently I seem to get a few more (like 2-3 instead of 1). I now use tea tree oil – the spot stick thing from Superdrug? Lol. It's done wonders! xx
    PS…I don't even really know what my skin is like either, I think it's combination coz I do get a little oily on the t-zone and chin but also do get that tight feeling after I wash my face

  9. October 22, 2010 / 3:21 pm

    I am a fairly new reader to your blog, and I am such a huge fan of you now for posting this. I have deal with terrible acne for a long time, and it is nice to see someone who really struggled and won. I am waiting to find out what you are using!!

  10. October 22, 2010 / 3:28 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey to clear skin!:D

    I was lucky enough as a teenager but I know how acne can affect someone's confidence. My sister had a huge breakout last year, it did give her some issues. The dermatologist gave her medicine and it worked.

    Have a great weekend!:D

    ***** Marie *****

  11. October 22, 2010 / 4:21 pm

    I had terrible acne in middle school and part of high school as well. I was put on a pill (benzene?) that REALLY helped. Now I'm on the OTHER pill (birth control) and I really think that makes a difference as well. Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. October 22, 2010 / 6:24 pm

    Great post! Clinique made my skin worse when I was younger, awful products, so harsh! I now only use karin herzog oxygen face creams, saved my skin!

  13. October 22, 2010 / 6:33 pm

    your skin looks amazing now!

    i also suffered with bad skin, for eight long years and the only thing that eventually got rid of it, was roaccutane! it was a difficult drug to be on, but it was worth it in the end!

    i tried clinque when i was 15, and i hated it. it made my skin worse and was incredibly harsh. never again!

  14. October 22, 2010 / 8:17 pm

    Great post! I perfect skin until I was 18 and the for some reason I got awful awful acne. It completely destroyed my confidence and I just remember going to the doctors and crying. I was on anti-biotics for a few months until I went on Dianette for a year or so. My skin cleared up so much, I couldn't believe it! xo

  15. October 22, 2010 / 8:52 pm

    such a good post babe, pat on the back for having the courage to show your pictures! My skin got so bad last year, it was horrendous & it really does knock your confidence. Glad your happy now 🙂 xx

  16. October 22, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    What a brave post – well done. FYI, if you still suffer from time to time I would highly recommend Vichy's new range of skincare products, the Normaderm range. The moisturiser is especially good, and I have the facewash too. It helps to fight spots and shrink pores, and I've had real results from it after three weeks of use. Several people have said how clear and bright my skin looks.

  17. October 22, 2010 / 10:43 pm

    Feeeeeona – I've heard so many good things about Dianette and a friend has been on it for years too and her skin is perfect! Thank you so much for the sweet comments!

    M – I know, its so so harsh I don't know why no body else is talking about how bad it is. 🙂 xoxox

    Samiebbz – Thank you so much! I know how bad it makes you feel, but yeah it definitley makes you realise how grateful you should be when your skin is nice! xxox

    Gaby – I should have gone on the pill when i first started getting bad skin really!!

    Beautyh2T – I definitley recomend going to the doctors. Just take all your makeup off before you go and show him how unhappy you are with it and he will give you stuff! I hope it all clears up soon for you. Its such a pain and a get down but you'll feel so much happier when its all gone!!

    Thomas England – I know, its improved so well, I'm so grateful! Your so very lucky to have good skin!! And thank you for the Pixie Lott compliment, I love her look! XXx

  18. October 22, 2010 / 10:57 pm

    Makeup Addict – Yeah it sounds like you have combination skin, its really annoying huh!! I would love to use tea tree sticks but it dries my skin out too much 🙁 xoxx

    Cosmetic Aficiando – Thank you SO much, thats very sweet of you to say.I will get my 'what I'm using' post up within the next week, although its actually quite boring!! xoxo

    Marie – Glad your sister has it sorted aswell now, its terrible!! Have a lovely weekend yourself 🙂 xoxox

    DontCallMejessie – So glad it made a difference to you! I didn't realise how many people were in the same situation!! xxx

    Style Frost – I'm thinking of writing to Clinique to tell them how bad and harsh their products are! Terrible! I've never heard of that skincare range but I'll check it out!! xoxoxx

    Bina – I've heard lots of good and bad about roaccutane, but it sounds like it really makes a difference so its fab that it worked for you. Cliniques skincare is just terrible, never again! x0xx0

    Jennie – Thanks Jennie! It totally destroys any self confidence, huh! I think I'm still trying to get myself back to normal even know when meeting new people etc. Your skin always looks lovely on your blog, happy it worked out well for you too 🙂 xxxoxo

    PeachyKeen – Thank you!! I'd like to think of myself as being courageous! Haha! Is your skin alright now?I hope so! xoxox

    LauraElizabeth – Haaayyy Laura!! I'm def gonna check that skincare range out! I crave comments like that about my skin but never get them, even now ahah!! Am gonna google it now!! xoxox

  19. October 23, 2010 / 5:37 am

    Thank you for posting this! It gives me some hope 🙂 I've struggled for years and years but fear going on prescription oral medication for fear of side effects. Did you deal with any side effects? You're still pretty even with the old acne photos 🙂

  20. October 23, 2010 / 7:37 am

    your post was sooo brave, they put me on dianette to clear my skin and it helped a lot, but its pretty dangerous because of how strong it is.

    i used to use clinique face wash and city block tinted moisturiser but stopped because i was trying to scale back how much i spent on skincare and since ive stopped my skins been a lot better. now i use either boots or superdrug (depending who has 2-4-1 cos they're exactly the same) tea tree foaming wash which is really really nice and makes you feel superly clean and stila illuminating tinted moisturiser with a bit of l'oreal infallible mixed in and my skin is so much better. blooming clinique!


  21. October 24, 2010 / 9:27 pm

    Great post – I never really had much problems with my skin which was lucky but whenever I used Simple products, I get lots of spots!

    Also the Clinique 3 steps is just another marketing way to get people buying more Clinique products!

    You are gorgeous! xxx

  22. October 25, 2010 / 5:03 pm

    wow what a terrific improvement! I have never had skin problems, but my boyfriend had bad hormonal acne. He was put on pills and his skin cleared up after a few months. the way your skin looks makes such an impact on your self esteem.
    your skin looks beautiful now 🙂
    thanks for sharing!

  23. October 26, 2010 / 5:32 pm

    Very inspiring and brave post.

    Your skin looks amazing,
    I've never had terrible acne, but I've had terrible uneven complexion as a result of it.

    Although my skin has improved…I'm still struggling with discoloration.

    Can't wait to see your next post!

  24. October 28, 2010 / 3:00 pm

    i know this is gonna sound emotional but im so happy for you! i developed acne when i was 16 and it totally took all my confidence! skin is alot better now though but to me it looks patchy and uneven, is there anything you use to help this?

  25. October 30, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! I've literally just stopped by your blog for the first time and am so glad I did. I'm suffering from acne for the first time (I'm 20)and it's got me so depressed, I lost pretty much all my confidence. I'm really glad you've posted this as it can feel so lonely sometimes. I'm now using the Freederm products which is helping a little but it's an uphill struggle, nice to know people have got through it! xx

  26. October 31, 2010 / 1:17 pm

    My skin was terrible too when I was about 13-15 years old and it really made me lose all my self-confidence. It gradually got better though and when I was eighteen, a schoolmate (girl) told me I had really good skin! That made me feel really happy after all the years of crappy skin. Also, you look stunning in your 21st birthday picture!

  27. November 27, 2010 / 9:04 pm

    I'm glad your skin is back to normal now. The clinique three step system saved the skin on my face from eczema like patches, rashes and flakies. I adore it. One of lushes cleansers filled me with pain and soreness though. Guess it's just finding what works for you!

  28. February 25, 2011 / 10:57 am

    Clinique 3 step worked wonders for me, I'm 29, but back in high school I was always trying to cover my chin cuz I had this bumps n a huge problem with blackheads n pores. In my adult years my skin got sensitive n I developed that painful red acne. U know why? My skin turns problematic everytime I turn my back on Clinique. In order to fix it I always go back to the counter, so I guess every skins just different. I'm really happy u found something that works for u. U r beautiful n Ur skin is too

  29. Nadia.
    January 19, 2012 / 9:33 am

    I was just browsing through your posts(I love your blog,btw,and I only found you yesterday!:P),and wanted to give you my thoughts about your skintype. I am not an aesthetician by any means,but I have read up a lot on skincare,so don't take this to be the absolute truth 🙂 The tightness of your skin often suggest a dehydrated state,so your skin needs water and not fat/oils to keep the moisture balanced. So,your skintype seems to be dehydrated combination skin. 🙂

  30. February 21, 2012 / 5:23 am

    i was also browsing about paula's choice products when i found your blog, and i have to say, the skin type you say that you have is exactly like mine! My skin also is acne-prone, with dry patches sometimes, sensitive, prone to flakiness (especially with a new product), and almost always feels tight after i wash my face. I also used to be a believer of clinique and used their products since i was 16 and it was perfect. At about 16~17 i started breaking out a lot and switched to their acne solutions line. At the beginning it was horrible, but it did eventually lead me to beautiful clear skin for about a year and a half. However, ever since last may of 2011, it stopped working as well and i started to break out again, accompanied with an unfathomable dryness, so very reluctantly, i stopped using it, except for the benzoyl clearing lotion. (I didnt want to go through the hunt of finding something again you see.) Till now, im still struggling to get my skin back under control. i've tries origins, etival, body shop teatree line, neostrata, but my skin is still suffering. i wouldnt say i have it as bad as you did in the pictures you showed, sorry if i offended you, but hey, at least you now have BEAUTIFUL skin while im still suffering. 🙂 im currently using Paula's CLEAR cleanser, the 2.5% salicylic toner, hydralight moisture infusion lotion, and cliniques benzoyl peroxide clearing lotion. its been about 2-3weeks, i havent seen clear skin yet and i have a lot of flakiness on my face. Im seriously stumped about what to do. Any advice to spare me?

  31. Anonymous
    April 4, 2012 / 8:22 pm

    I've suffered with acne for around 2-3 years. I have started La Roche Posay effaclar line but not sure whether to continue as my face is still having active breakouts! How long would you recommend to wait before seeing results with new skincare? Also what have you used for scars, my skin is so pale and I have bright red marks from spots! x

  32. April 22, 2012 / 11:19 pm

    Hi, I have a few recommendations for people with mild acne and a small budget. I have incredibly annoying skin: I have rosacea (and I'm only 22) and mild acne and sensitive and dry and oily skin. I used topical Benzoyl Peroxide and Retin-A gel when I was about 16-18 when my acne was worse and that was a massive mistake as it triggered my rosacea to get worse and caused hyperpigmentation on my very fair skin. After using bio-oil and many other moisturisers, Cetaphil was the only thing that didn't sting my skin. They're hypoallergenic and non-comdogenic which are the magic words!

    I use E45 moisturiser (also hypoallergenic and non-comdogenic) during the day as the cetaphil moisturiser is very thick and is difficult to apply makeup over. I use johnson's baby shampoo to remove my eye makeup (very gentle and recommended by a doctor to me) and use a johnson and johnson's oil-free scrub every few days to keep my skin fresh.

    I use freederm now, too, which has been great so far on stopping mild spots in their tracks. I use BareMinerals makeup (hypoallergenic to the best of my knowledge, and non-comedogenic) as I am pretty much allergic to liquid foundation now, and non-mineral powders (other high street brands have cashed in on the 'mineral' brand but are often just using it as a buzz word and are no different to ordinary powder makeup) make my skin flare up. I use only natural, hypoallergenic hair brushes to apply foundation as many synthetic brushes are bad for acne-prone skin! My skin hasn't looked this well since I was 12.

    Cetaphil is now available in Boots as well as Lloyds Pharmacy in the UK as is E45 lotion. Bareminerals is cheapest, brand-new, on I used to have a lot of trouble tracking them down for a decent price, so this is brilliant. I can only recommend these from my own experience, I'm no expert. I try and choose only the stuff which is basically as unlikely to cause allergic reactions as possible, because then it should be fine for me.

    Cetaphil is about £8.50 for either moisturiser or cleanser, but it lasts about 4-6 months depending on how much you use, and, trust me, a little goes a long way.

    E45 is about £3, found cheapest in bodycare or savers. I also found freederm in bodycare for £3.99 which is the cheapest I've come across.

    BareMinerals is about £18.50 a pot (8g) at its cheapest but lasts around 6 months. I had to buy their quality brushes too, but you can get them on ebay for less. On if you look carefully in the account stuff you can set it up so you receive 10% off a single family of products, so you can get a further discount if you make the effort.

    Hope I could help someone out!

  33. Anonymous
    August 10, 2012 / 4:37 pm

    hi Katie, i just found your blog recently and i gotta say- i cant stop reading it! i enjoy it very much, and since i started reading it from the newest posts i had no idea how many problems u had with your skin in the past, coz atm your skin is lovely! Now that i look at your pics where you were struggling with your skin, i can say that my face looks exactly te same like yours in your worst times..:( depressing, and i've been putting up with acne for 10 years now. But enough is enough, i've just been to skin clinic and started treatment. I got special creams,washing foam for my face, antybiotic (lymocycline) and i'm about to have 3 salicylic acid peels,followed by microdermabradion. Wow this will cost me fortune but no one who never suffered from acne will understand my determination to get rid of it. and now that I've seen your pics I do actually believe it is possible to get rid of bad acne! Funny thing about the skin type to-i think i have the same problem like you- oily at one point ( T zone mostly ) then dry after wash, or on my cheeks, and sensitive to sooo many products, so im scared to try new ones. Anyways, if you read this 😛 just wanted to say, well done for taking care of your skin, it looks great now, i wish mine was so clear and acne free..hopefully soon..
    keep up the good work on the blog, i love it! xxx

  34. September 17, 2012 / 5:56 pm

    Have just read this post after it was linked from your current skincare regime post. What I found interesting was that I too had a reaction after using the same products that affected you. I'll definitely be looking at what products you use in your current skincare regime post to see if they work for me too! xx

  35. September 17, 2012 / 7:14 pm

    I loved this post, I suffered with acne from the age of 7 (yes I know its truly ridiculous) and although now I am 18 and it has improved a lot, i still suffer with scars and with the occasional breakout. Although I know acne is no fun at all and I'm sorry you also suffered with it, its nice to hear someone voicing the same feelings as me, as often non-acne sufferers don't understand how much it affects your confidence, especially someone who now runs a successful beauty blog :)xxx

  36. Kelly
    September 19, 2012 / 12:37 pm

    This is the first time I've ever commented on your blog (which I love by the way) but I had to mention some Aloe Vera gel, it's from Forever Living and it's seriously amazing for spots. If applied it takes out the redness and tight feeling and either helps them come up (if they need to) or helps them down. It's great for burns and scraps too.

    I've found Kiehl's skin care to be my savour – I'm in love with it.

  37. January 25, 2013 / 5:15 pm

    I tried to comment on your skincare youtube video but it kept saying error so thought I'd try here 🙂
    I really admire girls like you who talk about their skin, I've had similar skin for ages and I'm 22.
    I love quinoderm too, shame its discolours my duvet cover!
    I've just started a skin-diary type blog (because i'm a bit scared to make youtube videos) and wondered if there are any side effects of using Minocycline?
    I was prescribed Dalacin T lotion and going to review it but would like to see what else is out there.

  38. May 22, 2013 / 10:10 pm

    Just reading your old blog post I'm new round here 🙂 really love your blog though I have so much to catch up on.

    I can 100% understand what you mean about clinique it did exactly the same to my skin when I was 15 it was just awful until I discovered Liz Earle. I really admire you for posting the pictures I have a few hidden away. I spent a fortune on microdermabrasion to try and help with the acne scars it kills your confidence.

    Dee x

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