Our customer, Erin Coughlin, shares how Franklin and Whitman has helped clear and maintain her sensitive skin and boosted her confidence after trying several other unsuccessful methods in getting rid of cystic acne.
Q: When did you start getting acne and how did it affect your life?
A: My acne first started when I was 14 years old and continued until I was 21. By the time I hit my 20’s, my acne had escalated from the regular clustered breakouts to painful, cystic acne. It took a horrible toll on my self confidence. The longer it lasted, the harder it was to be kind to myself. Harsh as it sounds, I actually I believed I looked like a monster. I was terrified of leaving the house without a ton of foundation on to cover the redness and mask the bumps. As I got older, I watched all of my friends grow out of their acne, while I still battled mine. I felt so alone. I had spent my teens popping pimples, which lead to scars, so the damage to my skin was pretty severe. Even once I got the breakouts to stop, my skin texture was not in good shape. Frank & Whit has been incredibly helpful in healing my scars and evening my overall skin tone and texture.
Q: What kind of skin would you say you have?
A: My skin is incredibly sensitive. I have to be very cautious of what products I use. My skin tends to be more oily, but living in dry Colorado keeps my skin a combination of dry and oily. Usually in the wintertime, my skin is so dry and tight it feels like someone is grabbing me by the ears and stretching my face back. Super ouch. The Walnut Hill face serum has been a life saver for me - my skin really absorbs the argan oil and keeps my skin defended from the brutal winter!
Q: What products or remedies did you try before using Franklin & Whitman?
A: In my teens I was prescribed some medicated acne topicals to help with the breakouts. They ended up drying my skin out so bad that I couldn’t open my mouth to eat! I’ve also had chemical peels and facials done, none of which helped. On a cruise once, I bought some Elemis skincare products (they were NOT cheap). They ended up exasperating my breakouts as soon as I was no longer in a humid climate. I love how gentle while effective the Frank & Whit products are.
Q: How did you find out about us?
A: A girl I follow on Instagram had been mentioning Frank & Whit in her stories for a while, and was offering a pretty nice coupon code. I was in between skincare at the time, and dealing with breakouts again, so I figured I would give the Ultimate Face Care Kit a try. So worth it!
Q: What does your skincare routine look like these days?
A: Every night I take off my mascara and cleanse my face with the Chestnut Hill Cleansing Serum. Before I take my mascara off, I actually use the serum as an oil for facial cupping. Now that my focus is less on breakouts and more on skin texture and scars, I’ve included cupping as part of my routine. It’s basically a glass tube with a ball on the end - you kind of suction your face and move the tube in patterns to encourage collagen production. I’ve noticed my scars have become less prominent since I’ve used the Chestnut Hill serum with cupping. After cleansing, I spray the Laurel Hill Facial Toner on my face. Once that dries (if you’re impatient like me, brush your teeth while you wait!), I put on the Walnut Hill Face Serum. Twice a week I’ll do a face mask - the Queen Village mask is my absolute favorite. It feels like silk on my skin. About once a month I’ll do the facial steam. It feels so wonderful on my face and leaves my skin looking incredible, but I struggle to sit down and relax, which is while I don’t use it as often. I alternate every other morning for this same skincare routine (minus cupping). Sometimes my skin is so sensitive that it’s just a little too much to do my routine in the AM and PM.
Q: What's your "desert island" F&W product?
A: I don’t think I can live without the Chestnut Hill Cleansing Serum. I’m always amazed at how easily it removes makeup while leaving my skin soft and moisturized. I would probably choose the Queen Village Face Mask too - if I’m going to be stranded on a desert island, might as well pamper, right?
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: For women who are struggling with cystic acne, please remember skin care is holistic, and more often than not, hormonal! I would have never gotten my acne under control had I not been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and been placed on an appropriate birth control pill. One in twenty women have PCOS, but it often goes undiagnosed until you’re trying to have children. A quick blood panel (literally takes 20 minutes) can tell you have more testosterone than estrogen. Another great resource is cosdna.com - no matter how many people tell us not to cover acne with makeup, we all know that coverage for a special occasion, date night, or just a day out can be a confidence boost. You can use cosdna to identify ingredients in your makeup that are comedogenic - meaning they block pores and cause acne. Don’t extend the lifetime of your acne while trying to hide it! Above all else, I hope everyone can remember that they are beautiful and worthy regardless of the condition their skin is in. I’m super grateful for Frank & Whit for helping me in my journey to heal my skin. I always dreamed of the day I would feel comfortable with only wearing mascara - and now I’m here!