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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Kicking Acne's Butt with Courthouse Clinics

WARNING: Be prepared to read a pretty hefty post here – and by hefty I mean of epic proportions. Continue...

You may remember a few months ago I wrote about actively making a change with my skin. No more waiting around trying every product on the market, wishfully thinking something would change, when we all knew it wouldn’t. I spoke about the potential of trying out some treatments, like skin peels or microdermabrasion – which, I’m sure you’ll agree is pretty damn scary actually. Do I really want to have my face peeled off? No I don’t. But what I do want is to feel happy and I’ve been learning that I’m the only person who can really change that.

Some sort of skin god must have heard my prayers as an email from a rather magnificent lady – Laura-Jane Williams landed in my inbox a few months later. Being a blogger I’m fortunate enough to be contacted by PR’s and brands alike with the view of striking up a relationship and potentially collaborating. There are so many that get it wrong, haven’t done their research and give the same spiel of how ‘wonderful’ they think you are. Not that you aren’t, but hey, I probably don’t want to review electric cigarettes on my fashion blog, y’know? Laura was certainly the opposite and if you want to find out why, just have a look at her blog here. I’m not shy to say that I’m obviously now in love with her, and I’m sure you will be too.

I digress (sort of), because Laura was contacting me about Courthouse Clinics and their acne guide - yep that’s right, an Acne Guide. Reading up on your health issues is a major thing in this day and age, you know the one, self diagnosis? But what is difficult to come across is something you can truly understand, find relatable and actually want to read more of – and that’s exactly what this guide did, it had me from beginning to end, crying with laughter and nodding my head in appreciation. You must go and read it! Just click here (and make sure you scroll down to about halfway) – when you’ve read it, come back here and we’ll continue.

Done? I know. It’s good right? After reading it I knew that I wanted Courthouse Clinics to be the people that helped me and my skin. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever read relating to acne issues, why? If not for the relaxed, abrupt and hilarious writing style that instantly puts you at ease; it’s for the insanely informative nature and the reassurance that something can actually be done – and of course, the positive message it sends: we should love ourselves!!Pimples or not, we deserve to feel wonderful and if Beyoncé champions it, then it’s gospel that we should be too.

So, like the guide promises I made my way to Courthouse Clinics for my free consultation. I felt sick on my journey down – having someone look at my naked face and tell me what’s wrong with it was daunting to say the least, but it was something I knew I needed to do. Situated on a quiet street in London I instantly felt calmer and on arrival, so welcomed. My consultant, Buntie, was the friendliest lady who sat me down and asked me how I was feeling and what my skin concerns were. We then went through a very detailed questionnaire so she could determine what my thoughts were on my acne and also to try and help discover what it actually was that was causing it. The word ‘hormones’ reared it’s ugly head and after seeing the panicked look on my face she reassured me that all I needed was a simple hormonal balance test – a what now? I didn’t even know that existed, but it’s something that you can have done at your local GP, taking blood samples basically just to see if there’s an imbalance causing your skin to go crazy. After that, Buntie told me that pretty much all my skincare was rubbish – which we laughed about – and that although there might be an imbalance in my hormone’s, causing my constant breakouts, the products I was using probably weren’t helping much with my oil control.
We removed my make-up to take a look at the damage we’d been talking about and it was clear that scarring was my main issue - apologies for the GROSS photo's but I wanted you to have a clear understanding of my skin and what we're trying to get rid of. (Only 4 of those 'spots' are actually live - the rest is scarring).
Buntie advised that I have the PIRORI Advanced AHA skin peel – a highly effective skin exfoliant that causes dead skin cells to peel and flake off (yummy), making room for healthier, new skin to grow. AHAs also work to stimulate collagen and elastin production helping to counteract signs of ageing beneath the skin. And although this peel isn’t hugely invasive, i.e. no actual skin peeling and minimal irritation – it is penetrating beneath the skin so it still requires some preparation...meaning you can’t just whack it all over your face, you’ve got to get it used to the AHAs first!
That’s when the new skincare came in...Buntie suggested hat I try out four new products, Vitage Revitalising Daily Cleanse and Vitage Skin Defence SPF 30 to help balance my skin and the PRIORI AHA Barrier Repair Complex and PRIORI AHA Perfection Gel to prepare my skin for the peel. I’m going to be doing a full, separate blog post on these because they’ve completely changed my life – I’m not bluffing – and deserve sole recognition! So, I’ll leave you in suspense regarding those babies, because, you know, I’m good like that ;)

Buntie then gave me a little facial, using all the products above and advising me along the way how I should be using them. She finished off with a mini PRIORI CoffeeBerry Natureceutical peel, to give me a taste of what a treatment might be like. This particular peel is less intense than the AHA, and has a high level of antioxidants, including plants enzymes, salicylic and malic acid to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles whilst also improving skin tone. It tingled and stung a teeny amount, but smelt lovely and felt reallllllly good.

My appointment had been early in the morning and by the time I’d got home from London almost 6 hours later, my skin was still completely free of excess oil and smooth as a babies bottom (FYI it’s usually swimming within an hour or two). I couldn’t actually believe it, my skin felt incredible. It was SO free of oil that I even made Daniel stroke my forehead, because obviously it’s something he is going to appreciate fully.

Needless to say, I am completely stoked to go back and have my treatment. I’ve been using my new products every day leading up to it and this weekend, the deed will be done! Keep your eyes peeled for a post coming soon that will cover the peel itself and the results it achieves. Let's hope the 'after' pictures are show an improvement! 

Oh, I also went to the doctors about my hormone's, and  guess what? There was an imbalance, so I’ve changed up my contraceptive pill which should help to sort it out (potential post on that coming up). It just goes to show, if you don’t ask you don’t find out and it's worth remembering that even when you think all hope is lost, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel.

I couldn’t recommend Courthouse Clinics anymore if I tried. From amazing customer service to treatments that actually make a difference it’s been such a fantastic experience so far. I’m really so excited to have my peel, and share the outcome with you guys.

If you’re having concerns with your skin like I was, make sure you read the acne guide, take a trip, have a free consultation (in their many practices over the UK) and just see what they have to say. It’s incredible what a difference it can make to your life. It’s been such a confidence boost for me and I’m hopeful that it’s going to help change things for good.

Thank you, Courthouse. My face and I love you, very, very much.

*Although this post was sponsored, all thoughts are my own and I am so grateful for the experience*


Hannah Lambert said...

First of all, credit to you for putting up those photos! Takes guts! But it is refreshing to know that other girls struggle with their skin, as we all hide under foundation way too often.
Do you find makeup triggers your breakouts?
Looking forwards to reading your reviews on these products, they sound fab. That comment on your skincare being rubbish made me laugh - it's true, most of the stuff we buy is tosh!
www.champagnetote.blogspot.co.uk X

Chelsea Yates said...

I'm so glad you've finally found something which works for you Megan! I can't wait to see your updated post & see you to continue to kick acnes butt!!! :) xxxx

Maisy Meow said...

Agree with comment above, naked face pics are brave! I can't wait to read about these products, I know a few people with skin problems so I'll recommend the site for them too. Thanks!

Lauren Thorpe said...

Loved this post! I suffer with acne too, very similar to you most of mine is scarring. Cant wait to hear how it goes as this would be something I am very interested in getting done. Thank you for putting this post up xxxx

Kate Dickson said...

Such an amazing post, thank you so much for sharing! Cant wait to hear how it turns out for you. I suffer with the skin on my chin particularly, sounds like an amazing company might have to check them out myself :) x


Luxe Life Aspirations said...

An amazing post! Thanks for sharing, it's nice to know that other people struggle with acne too!

Victoria said...

Thanks so much for this really honest and open post. My skin is awful right now and I can't bare to leave the house without a full face of make up on, So congrats on being brave enough to put pictures up without any make up. My skin is very similar, in that I've only got a few actual spots most of the time, but I have so many old red marks from old ones.

I've downloaded the guide and will read it over in bed! I'm not on the pill so I can't get my hormones sorted that way. But it might be worth going to the docs anyway to see what they say.

I look forward to reading your in depth product reviews. Can we have an 'after' picture too?!

Victoria, x shabby-chic-home.com

Megan Lillie said...

Your such a brave girl for sharing this, you are so beautiful. I can't wait to see how it all works out for you <3

Megan xxx
Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty Blog

Victoria said...

Actually, I said in my previous comment that I would read the acne guide in bed... but I'm reading it now. Who knew acne could be so hilarious! It's brilliant....

"Acne and our period (because that's just what we need... when our vagina is bleeding)".

So, so funny!

Victoria, x shabby-chic-home.com

Gemma Talbot said...

I credit you for putting these photos up and it's really nice to see that you genuinely want to help others. I have had skin issues in the past and it can completely shatter your self esteem. I am so glad you have found something that works for you x


Becki Jess Dunn said...

Another inspiring post Megs, you are so brave to bare all online and I think you so beautiful without make up. I can't wait to hear how you get on with the treatments and products and hopefully this post will get other girls bearing all (not all, all of course!)

It is so silly to be embarassed or scared to show of the skin that we were given. As lets be honest girls we have all had spots and I know as I type here, Ive got the worst 'period' skin ever but acne is something that so many girls suffer from and I think we should all support each other.

Thank you meg for sharing your story.

Becki xx

SheDreamsInPerfectFrench said...

Thank you so much for baring your skin, and your soul, and sharing with us! This makes me wish I could visit one (I live in New York), but I'll definitely read the guide. I can't wait to see how the treatment works!

Shani x
She Dreams in Perfect French

Grace Parry said...

Megs this is so inspiring. You are an absolute queen for being open and honest! I suffer with acne and have an oily complexision and it's lovely to know that others do too. Courthouse seems amazing! xx

Shereeeen ♥ said...

I honestly don't feel that you need to excuse these photos in any such way as they're not gross at all. I really admire you for putting them up as I know how it feels to broadcast something if you're slightly conscious about it. Well done missy! You're gorgeous Xx

Sarah-Jane Dale said...

Such an inspirational post to put up for all us acne sufferers out there. I also went to the docs with mine to see about it being a hormonal thing since changing my pill my skin has improved lots :) wishing you all the luck on the treatment xxx


Chloe Wells said...

OMG!!! honestly you speak my language!! i have this same problem and try all these foundations, concealers the lot and yet have breakouts daily! when someone talks of "girly nights in" I'm freaking out about how i can maintain the makeup on my face so they don't have to see me!!

I admire you for uploading your 'naked' picture as I'm sure that is how you felt!!

I would love to do this and would love to do make up tutorials but the thought of people seeing me is daunting and literally makes me sick to my stomach!!

I would love to know if this product really does work as i have tried them all and literally have no hope!!

I really wish you all the best and send you sincere praise for your post!

Chloë xx

jelizmac said...

A few years ago my skin was terrible and the doctor changed my pill and it completely transformed my face! So I'd say definitely give that a shot too :-) the products look brilliant aswell! X


Anonymous said...

I appreciate you showing these photos as I was struggling with my skin for around two years until recently. What really helped me was my diet, have you considered changing yours? I have noticed from your Twitter that you eat a lot of cakes, sweets etc. The sugar will not be helping.

Megan Beth said...

Hello Hannah, thank you. I was quite nervous to post the photo's but I wanted people to see to be able to understand.
No I don't find makeup triggers it at all, I've tried a whole month without make-up and it did nothing.
I can't wait for the weekend and will definitely write up my review on the skincare soon :) xx

Megan Beth said...

Thank you Chels, lots of love xxx

Megan Beth said...

Thanks Maisy, it took a lot for me to do it, but glad I did!

Hope it helps your friends :) xxx

Megan Beth said...

You're very welcome Lauren. I'm really excited for the peel this weekend, and can't wait to share my experience with you all! xxx

Carly Jade said...

I have awful scarring, but my spots aren't so bad anymore. I struggle most with acne on my back which is so embarrassing because it's not as easy to cover up. I might have to take a trip back to the doctors and find out what my skins problem is! But I'll definitely be downloading that guide!!


Megan Beth said...

My chin is the worst Kate! I can't wait to let you all know either :D Courthouse are so wonderful, I feel so happy to have found them xx

Megan Beth said...

You're very welcome :) xx

Megan Beth said...

Hi Victoria,

There's no need to thank me - you are completely welcome! I was scared to go 'naked' on my blog, but I hope it's given others some help.

The guide is actually amazing, I'd love to know your thoughts on it!

Even though you're not on the pill, it may be an option they will give you, as contraceptive aside, it has strong properties for sorting out skin :)

Yes definitely! xxx

Megan Beth said...

Ah thank you Megan, that's so lovely of you to say :) xxx

Megan Beth said...

Haha! Yes Victoria! That's one of my favourite quotes on it haha :) xx

Megan Beth said...

Thank you Gemma. I really do want others to seek help, it can feel so lonely so if this post helps just one person seek some advice on how to get there skin help I'll be so happy! :) xx

Megan Beth said...

Ah thank you Becki. It feels strangely liberating and I'm so glad that I did it! Haha yes, bearing all might be a bit much... ;)

You're so right, we should love the skin we're in and just do our best to help the bits we don't like be better :)

Thank you for being so lovely xxx

Megan Beth said...

Awe Shani! You're very welcome :) I'm sure they will have a very good equivalent in the UK, but the guide is so amazing, I hope you love it :) xx

Megan Beth said...

Thank you Grace, you're so lovely to me and I really appreciate it :) xx

Megan Beth said...

Thank you so much love :) xxx

Megan Beth said...

Ah that's so good to hear Sarah! Wishing you all the best with your skin :) and thank you for your kind words xxx

Megan Beth said...

Hi Chloe, make-up certainly wont help heal your acne, but it won't cause it either. If you can, I'd suggest giving Courthouse a call and just discussing the idea of going in for a free consultation.
It is scary going 'naked' on the blog, but it's also liberating :) I'm sure that people who suffer like we do appreciate having make-up tutorials to show them how to make the best of what feels like a crappy situation :) give it a go and see how you feel!

Thank you so much, and would love to know how you progress too!xxx

Megan Beth said...

Awe I'm so glad!!! Fingers crossed for me too! :) xxx

Megan Beth said...

Ah Carly, definitely have a read of the guide and see what your doctors say :) there are people to help, just got to keep positive :) xxx

Laura Jane Williams said...

Hello Victoria! Author of guide here, and just wanted to say... thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it :) xx

Rosie W said...

Amazing post Meg, and I'm so excited to see the results!

Lisa L said...

Sounds pretty incredible. If I'd of heard of these a year ago I might have been swayed prior to using Roaccutane which is a serious drug for acne with some pretty crappy side effects - though it has been a successful journey for me. I hope this works for you, living with acne is horrible! thanks for the read it's a great post :)

katymitten said...

i. love. you. and. that. is. all. x

Emma R said...

I admire you so much! x

Sorcha M. said...

I knew that acne could be a hormone imbalance but I had no idea a GP could do a test for you. My skin has recently started acting up and they never even offered me that option. So thank you!

You're really brave to post make up free pictures, although you're absolutely gorgeous and a little scarring isn't going to change that!

Fingers crossed the peel achieves all you hope.

Sorcha x Bright Field Notes

VioletDaffodils said...

I have so much admiration for you, being so brave to post about this topic to others, I'm sure this will encourage girls to speak up more about it too and be helpful to them. Fantastic post and I wish you the best, looking forward to the results :D



Elin said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post, I loved it so much I had to share it with my housemate. We both suffer from breakouts, and I suffer particularly from scarring but had no idea anything could be done about it! We are going to go and make an appointment next week! Can't wait to see your results


Alan Abraham said...

Dermatologist in delhi will take care of your skin related related issues. You just need to mention your troubles and get the best services from the our experts.

Anonymous said...

I have had a spotty face since I was 15 and I hit 34 next month....i've just realised that is nearly 20 years! Believe me I've tried it all including Roaccutane which did work but the spots came back a year later. I've been to the docs a squillion times and not once have they said they could check my hormones! I am marching off straight down there tomorrow to get 'em checked out! One thing that has helped me is Bare Minerals foundation, it.is.amazing. and really does give full coverage. Thank you for sharing x

Calvin Brock said...

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. Manchas na Pele

Sydney Kelly said...

Meg, this is such an inspiring post! You are SO strong and amazing! I actually use to have breakouts on my forehead ( it became quite bad to the point that it hurt.) However, for me it wasn't something that I was used to seeing (at least not that much) So I realized that I might be "allergic" to the harsh chemicals used in some of these acne cleansers. So I decided to go completely natural with my skincare products (I am also now using completely natural products for my body care as well.) Let me tell you, my skin has cleared up. I do still have some acne scars on my forehead... ( will have to try and get rid of those as well.) But using all natural products is amazing! (I use a lot from the Burt's Bees and Aveeno Natural line.) I adore the Burt's Bees Rosewater toner it's completely amazing! (I am a person who has NEVER used up a toner before in my life. But with this Rosewater toner I just used up my first entire bottle and i'm on my second bottle!) That's how much I recommend/ LOVE it! :)) As a fashion blogger myself I believe feeling comfortable in my skin/having clear skin is very important (bcuz you are showing it off in your posts, right?) *I also do not wear any foundation/ bb cream or anything like that one my face. I only put concealer under my eyes bcuz I have dark circles. (I like the natural look.) Sorry for this long post, but I just wanted to share this with you! :)

Sydney (http://www.sydneyfactorfashion.blogspot.ca)

prettyloved said...

Thanks for making this post. Really inspiring. :) Another thing I wanted to say was that I had struggled with pretty bad breakouts and switched from regular milk and my face cleared up so fast. Even right now, I started getting milk that doesn't have rBST hormones in it which I think are human made and my skin has still not broken out. You should check it out and see how it goes. :)

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