A Conversation with @tv.skinjournal About Finding Something That Works
Makeup artist and esthetician, Theresa, started the popular Instagram feed, @tv.skinjournal, to document her struggles finding effective acne solutions and to spread a message of positivity. Anyone who’s ever had acne, serious acne, knows that it takes an emotional toll. Theresa’s honest and quippy posts have been a bright spot for thousands navigating their own skincare journeys.
Four months into her treatment with Vivant products, Theresa joined Vivant in-house esthetician, Maryanne Goodman, on our IG Live to talk about how discovering Vivant products has changed the way she looks at skincare. Here are the highlights from their conversation.
Theresa: I started getting acne when I was like 13 or 14. In the beginning, it was just a breakout here and there, so it didn’t bother me that much. When I got into high school, and I was about 16, it started to get a bit worse, and I started to get a bit more insecure about it. It would leave a purple hue on my skin, and I felt like I always had to cover it up. So that’s when I really got into makeup. It was about that time I went to my first dermatologist appointment, and you know how that goes, they look at your skin, and then they give you a prescription.
The first time I went, they gave me oral antibiotics and then Epiduo, which is adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. It worked for about six months, and then my skin got even worse.
I went back to the dermatologist, and she gave me tretinoin. I was still 16 and was a bit young to start tretinoin because it’s so harsh. I was still taking oral antibiotics with the tretinoin. It worked for about a year. So now, I was around seventeen or eighteen, and I was in beauty school, so I had nice clear skin in beauty school. Then as soon as I got out of school, my skin freaked out again, and I was back to square one, and I thought, this is a never-ending cycle.
I was getting really frustrated, and my mental health was kind of down the drain cause my skin looked really bad. I was a licensed esthetician at this point, so I was like, ‘how is anyone going to trust me if I have bad skin?’ I had to cover the acne up even more to keep my reputation in a workplace where I was doing people’s facials and stuff.
And then I stopped going to the dermatologist and was like, ‘I need to figure this out myself and do my own research.’ So I did that for a while and was trying out different products here and there, and then I went on Differin. I started my Instagram while I was on Differin, which is the over-the-counter adapalene. This was about a year ago. I was on Differin, and it didn’t really do much. It kind of cleared up my acne a little bit, but I still had a lot of scarring. So I added benzoyl peroxide. I was kind of just layering a bunch of things to see what was going to work best for me. That didn’t work.
I started trying different skincare lines by people who reached out to me on IG. I was like, ‘one of these has to work.’
Fast forward to now, Vivant Skin Care. You guys loved my page and decided to help me out a little bit. You sent me the products, and I’m obsessed. I’ve seen a major difference. I got your whole regimen, and I instantly saw results within the first three to four weeks. I just kept to it. I started ignoring emails from other companies asking me to use their skincare because I really wanted to trust you guys and your products. Now, it’s been four months of using Vivant Skin Care and my skin’s looking good. You can still see some scarring, but it’s completely smooth on the right side. There’s still a little bit of texture, on the left side, but it’s going down slowly but surely.
Maryanne: Did you purge with the Vivant products? Some people get confused and think the products are making them break out. What was your experience with that?
Theresa: I definitely purged with the mandelic acid serum, which I was expecting because, with any acid, you’re expecting to purge a little bit. But I know the difference between breaking out and purging. It lasted about two weeks, so it wasn’t such a big deal.
Maryanne: At the beginning, you get more stuff, but it goes away really fast. It’s like the cycle of comedones is being cut short.
Do you have any recommendations for non-comedogenic makeup? I like the approach of no makeup so we can see the progress. Dr. Fulton would always make sure people did not have comedogenic ingredients in their products.
Theresa: I don’t really wear makeup as much as I used to just because I’m now so confident in myself that I don’t need makeup except on special occasions or if I’m creating content. But when I do wear makeup, I make sure I check the ingredient list for pore-cloggers. You can just go on Google and search for “pore-clogging ingredient list” and find them. And I also have one in my Instagram bio. I have a little pore-clogging ingredients list link where you can check your products. Because it really does make such a difference. If one of your products has even one pore-clogger in it, you should avoid it just to be safe. You don’t want to risk it. You’ll see progress a lot quicker if you just skip out on those.
Maryanne: Have you been using any of our vitamin A products?
Theresa: The Clear Body Therapy. The first few times I used it, it was a bit harsh, but at that point, I was washing it off after an hour just to get my skin used to it. Now I’m using it nightly, alternating nights with the BP 10% Gel Medication. And I really like it. I think it helped a lot with pigmentation, scarring, and texture. The BP I thought was interesting because I never felt one that was kind of gritty.
Maryanne: Formulation matters. It’s like the difference between having a burger at a fast-food place and having a burger at a steak house. You can have products that have a high percentage of acid, but it’s buffered, so it doesn’t have the same effectiveness. What advice do you have for people out there who are suffering from acne?
Theresa: It might some time and a lot of trial and error, but eventually, you will find what works right for you and your skin. Don’t let that get you down. Just keep pushing, and eventually, you’ll get where you want to be. And just stay confident. That’s basically it.
Maryanne: Anything else you want to tell us?
Theresa: I love Vivant products so much that I bought my mom a regimen, and she’s looking forward to trying them out.
THERESA'S FULL REGIMEN:
In the morning:
Mandelic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
3% Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Toner
15% Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Serum
Marine Skin Nourishment Cream
Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Wash
3% Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Toner
Clear Body Therapy alternating with BP 10% Gel Medication
Marine Skin Nourishment Cream