Quick Update


I have taken a new step in the direction of my dreams and recently launched my Youtube channel. My plan is to post most of my hair and beauty related content on there and transition my blog into a platform where I discuss social and personal issues as well as hopefully fashion.

Thank you for your support over the past year and if you are new please subscribe to my blog as well as my Youtube Channel.

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Skin Update: No More Birth Control to Control My Acne

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Hi everyone and welcome to Marsha’s Journey! I have been so inconsistent lately, but sometimes life happens and blogging for me is a hobby that ends up on the back burner when life happens.

I previously did a post (How I Got Rid of Chronic Cystic Acne) detailing how I manage to get and keep my acne under control. In that post I discussed two strategies that had worked for me, but life decided to throw a wrench in my plans and here I am once again with a face full of zits, fresh out of the dermatologist’s office trying to work my way back to clear skin once again.

To pick up where I left off- I was relying on birth control pills to keep my acne under control. I remember thinking to myself more than once, that ingesting artificial hormones for years on end cannot be good for my body, but I was at a point where I enjoyed the benefits of clear skin and was willing to take the risk. My body though had very different ideas and decided to let me know that it wasn’t happy with what i was putting into it.

Not long after I wrote that post, I started feeling a niggling breast pain. nothing intense, but it would disappear and come back from time to time. Understandably I was frightened! I started assuming the worst. Any how I went to the doctor got it checked out and was diagnosed with Fibrocystic Breasts.- possibly brought on and or aggravated by the birth control. I immediately stopped taking them and almost immediately felt the pain dissipate. I am still learning about this condition and finding ways to control and reduce its effects. I will be doing more posts on it in the future.

So as you can imagine I am back at square one with this acne thing. I was reluctant to go back t o the dermatologist because I am trying to live a more holistic lifestyle with as little artificial medicine as possible. I looked at my diet and tried to implement changes based on research that would improve my skin’s health, but I was having no luck.  My skin just started getting worse each week and I gave in. I am now back on the Deriva regimen and my skin is slowly improving.

Fast forward from August 3rd, (when the above was written) to now. My skin is clearing very well. I had stopped using the Deriva for a few weeks in September and lost all the progress I have made. At the beginning of October I decided to give it one last try and so far I am seeing slow improvement. Lets see how it turns out. Have a look at how my skin currently looks below. I’m am going back to the derm next week for a follow up and I will be requesting something for the dark spots left behind by the break outs.

Right Side

Ignore the tattered head scarf please.

Left Side


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How I Got Rid of Chronic Cystic Acne

The first time I noticed I had acne was when I was 14 years old. I struggled with acne on my face, chest and back the rest of my teen aged years and into my twenties. I tried every cure people told me about, from Aloe Vera to sulfur soaps but nothing worked. The bumps were always there. Another thing that was always there were the insults. Some of them out of malicious intent but some out of sheer ignorance. Anyway, that is another topic for another time.

Today I want to share what I did to get and keep my acne under control.

The first time I ever saw my acne go away was after a treatment prescribed by my dermatologist in 2013. I had had it and decided to try the dermatologist route. He prescribed Deriva which is 0.1% adapalene. It is same ingredient in Differin.


Along with the Deriva Gel my dermatologist also prescribed a benzoyl peroxide cream which acted as and antibacterial to help heal breakouts more quickly. I do not remember the exact name but they are relatively easy to find.

My skin care routine consisted of:

1. Washing my face with a salicylic acid based cream cleanser that cleansed my face without drying it out

2. Next I toned with a gentle toner.

3. After washing and toning at night applied the Deriva gel,followed by the benzoyl peroxide cream. In the mornings I skipped the Deriva gel since wearing it in sunlight could cause skin irritation

4. Finally I moisturised with an oil free moisturiser.

5. About twice a week I did a lime juice mask to lighten the dark spots that old breakouts had left. Which just consisted of plain old lime juice that I applied to my face and rinsed off after about 15 minutes.

For the first time since I was fourteen years old I did not have to worry about the way my skin looked.

That all changed when I got pregnant towards the end of 2013. I was no longer able to use the Deriva gel because of the possible contraindications with my baby.

Needless to say I did not have the smooth, glowing pregnancy skin. My acne was not horrible however, and I was so focused on having a healthy baby that I did not care what my skin was doing. After giving birth I still was not able to go back to my old regimen because I was breast feeding and there is a posibility that any chemicals I used on my skin could get into my breast milk.

A few months later (early 2015) I started taking birth control. Yasmin to be exact.


Not too long after, I  started noticing a significant reduction in my acne. For the most part now I have clear skin except when I allow myself to get dehydrated.

In addition to taking birth control, my current regiment consists of:

1. If I am wearing makeup I use either coconut or olive oil to break it up and wipe with a baby wipe before I start cleansing.

2. Wash with a gentle cream cleanser. I am currently using the Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser Mask which I mentioned in my last favourites. I have recently started cleansing with the Vanity Planet cleansing brush, which helps to cleanse my face better than my hands alone can



3. After washing I tone. I am trying out a new toner which is the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner with alpha and beta hydroxy acid.


4. The next step is to treat with Neutrogena on the spot, acne treatment.


5. At night I moisturise with the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Night-time moisturiser and in the mornings I moisturise with the Clean and Clear Morning Glow Moisturiser with SPF15.




6. I stopped using lime juice for a while but a few days ago I started using it once a week for brightening and exfoliation. I also physically exfoliate once a week using the exfoliation brush that comes with the Vanity Planet Spin for Perfect Skin Brush.

This is how my skin looks at the moment. Unfortunately I do not have any blog worthy before pictures of my bad acne days to share. I was not thinking about sharing this with the world back then. (Goes to show how hopeless I was).


I hope you all find this informative. I am planning on incorporating more anti-aging products into my skin care so I will do an updated skin care routine soon. Let me know in the comments whether you struggle with acne and what you are doing to keep it at bay.

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My Current Favourites: Skin Care, Beauty, Hair and Fashion

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I wanted to do a favourites for the month of April. But, by the time I found myself with time to put this post together, too many days had gone in May and it was no longer appropriate.  So I decided to make it a current favourites post. Without further ado, here are the things I am  enjoying at the moment.I love the idea of making great product recommendations so that you guys do not have to go through all the trial and error that I do.

Skin Care

I have two skin care faves and the first one is  the Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser Mask.


I have been intending to buy a mask for the longest time because I needed something to suck the excess oil, white heads and black heads out of my pores. I ran out of cleanser recently and was looking to repurchase my usual cleanser and spotted this two in one mask and cleanser and since I love a deal, I had to get it. It’s two products for the price of one! And I have been loving it so far, even though I have only used it as a mask once, I have been cleansing my face with it two times a day for about three weeks and its a great cleanser. It does have tiny beads in it but it is not abrasive at all and best of all it cleanses without drying out my skin.

My second skin care  favourite / obsession at the moment is the  new Vanity Planet Spin for Perfect Skin Brush.





Hands down it is the best decision I have made for my skin. I have been using it for about three weeks and I am loving the changes in my skin. I am going to do an in-depth review later on with before and after results etc.


I like everything that I use in my hair but I have been loving the African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Moisture Intense Silky Hair Moisturizer.



Funny enough this moisturiser is for mixed textures, so transitioners and naturals but it works great on my hair and leaves my hair feeling really silky. To think I almost did not buy this product.  I looked at in the supermarket and left it but had no choice but to go back because I was completely out of moisturiser and it was a Sunday when all the beauty supply stores were closed. I have been pleasantly surprised and I am happy about that.


I have one beauty item to share and it is the Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara.



This mascara gives me volume and separates my lashes like no other. I hate the look of clumpy spider lashes so this one is perfect for me because it make my lashes stand out without clumps.


I have one fashion related Item that I am really enjoying at the moment and it is my Aldo Tote Bag that I bought on Thredup.com for cheap!



It is just the perfect wear to work bag. It has lots of compartments so I can organise and separate everything I want to carry and it is big enough o hold my laptop. Whats more I love the snake pattern details and the gold hardware.

Side note:  if you do not know about Threup.com yet you need to check it out. It is an online thrift store that sells pre-owned, brand named clothes and accessories like my bag above for ridiculously low prices. Check them out if you want a great deal, plus you are doing the planet a favour by using  things that would otherwise just add to pollution.

Those are all my favourites at this time. I hope you find it helpful. Let me know if you enjoy this type of post in the comments!

Shop This Post:

Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser Mask

Vanity Planet Spin for Perfect Skin Brush

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara



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