Skin Care

The Time When I Used to Apply Topical Steroid on My Skin: My Skincare Saga

Horrific those days were. The journey to heal & recover my skin was definitely not easy. But, never did I give up. Here goes my real story.

My Experience with Topical Steroid Recovery and Realization

Days When Topical Steroid Was My Skin-Mate

Well! This is something I wanted to talk about long ago. It is basically one such reason that motivated me to start my journey as a blogger. Just like any teenager, I had bad skin days too. But, things aggravated when I started applying a Topical Steroid.

Question is, why did I do it? Why did someone recommend me in the first place? How I saved my skin afterwards? In this article, I am going to share everything I have experienced and learned so far. Put on a mask and stay tight; because this skin journal is going to be pretty long. So, let’s begin with.

How Things Started…

It was around the time when I have just hit the age of 14. I had always been a girl with a medium complexion. My skin was dry but not sensitive as it is now.

So, on a fine day, there was this aunty in my neighbourhood who told my mom how fair her girl has become. Since she has started applying this ointment, her complexion has improved a hundred times. My mom was curious. Finally, the lady revealed that ‘Betnovate C’ is the name of ointment.

Betnovate C The Topical Steroid

In India, people have a common misconception that fair is lovely and fair is beautiful. And, I have to confess that my mom fell into the trap too. So, we bought it and started applying it religiously.

I must say that things were going really great. For 1 year, I saw significant improvement in my skin tone. My medium complexion bent towards fair one, all of a sudden. My lips became red. And, compliments started pouring. As a teenager, I was in the 7th sky.

How Topical Steroid Affected My Skin

After a year, I noticed something odd. I found one or two zits filled with puss is coming out every now and then. It felt as if my dry skin has become oily all of a sudden.

Everyone felt that those zits are basically acne. And the common saying is acnes are normal especially during teen days. So, I stopped treating those zits.

But, it was not the only problem. I also noticed that whenever I step outside in the sun after applying Betnovate C, my skin starts burning like hell.

Back at that time, I never knew about the importance of sunscreen. So, my regular moisturizer was the only product I used to apply all the time.

In this way, one more year passed. And, more problems started ringing the bell.

The Time When I Developed Facial Hair  

Yes, you have read it right! After two years, all of a sudden I found that I had developed an unusual pattern of facial hair. Now, facial hair is something that does not run in my family. None of my relatives has this weird thing; not even the distant ones. It was pretty awkward.

The Other Side Effects

But apart from all these, I also noticed another thing. On days, when I did not apply the ointment, blisters used to appear all over my face especially around my lips. In fact, I also noticed itching all over my face. But, those symptoms used to disappear right after the application of the topical steroid ointment. Undoubtedly, my skin was heavily damaged at the end of 3 years.

How I Saved My Damaged Skin: Dealing with Skincare Myths

How I Saved My Skin from the Harmful Effects of Topical Steroid
Did You Notice All Those Facial Hair? By the way, this is how I look without makeup.

After realizing the degree of damage I have caused to my skin, it was time to repair. Repairing damaged skin is something that is easy to deal with. Just using a couple of products recommended by celebrities or influencers is not the solution.

Skin when damaged to this degree, needs a dedicated treatment that can heal from deep inside. But, things were not easy back at that time. I faced two difficulties. First of all, zero knowledge about how cosmetics work. And also, money.

In the starting days, I made a few mistakes. I was using random products based on popular skincare believes and myths. It never caused me anything good. Here are 5 of the myths that I debunked. Have a look; because, you might fall prey to such myths anytime.

Myth #1: Product Endorsed by Your Favourite Celebrity Always Work

I guess this was one of my biggest mistakes ever to believe in such things. When a celeb endorses a brand or a particular product, they just promote the product in return for some benefits or money.

They hardly know what goes inside the products. In fact, you might have seen how the celebs apply the products on their face or body. Well! Trust me. In most of the ad shows, fake things are shown.

Well! Initially, I made the same mistake too. And obviously, the result did not turn out well. So, do not buy a product based on this myth.

Myth #2: The More the Number of Products are, The More Glowy Our Skin Looks

This is another myth that troubles millions of minds. A good skin profile has nothing to do with a lot of products. All you need is a simple skincare routine. And also, products that are really suitable for your skin.

I can still remember how I depressed I used to feel because I had no money back then to buy so many products. Back then, I used to have this vibe that my skin would not be repaired or healed ever. But indeed, it was just a myth.

Myth #3: Be Brand Specific

Not Brands But Ingredients Matter

Nope! This is the biggest lie ever. You do not need to stick to one brand to get glowing skin. If you had ever been to a cosmetic counter, the SAs would always try to push you in such a way so that, you end up buying products from a single brand. Whether the brand is The Body Shop or Biotique or Lakme, it happens everywhere.

Well! Brand value is not what you need. You need products that work for real. You need to know the ingredients in-depth to understand the behaviour of the product. Of course! It is not an easy task.

And that’s why we are here. In my blog Cosmetics Arena, we make sure every product review comes with ingredient analysis. Brand value is something we never really care about.

Myth #4: Labels are Just Labels

There is no doubt that this myth is believed by many. As a skin enthusiast, I can vouch for that. During my initial days of recovery, I never gave the labels any importance. Indeed, I made a mistake!

The labels say a lot about the product. Especially, if you notice how the ingredients are written. You would know how the product is going to feel on your skin.

If a face wash says it is an Aloe Vera face wash, then Aloe Vera would be placed in the ingredient list at least in the 4th position. Ingredients are mentioned in the label in a scientific manner.

The Thumb Rule says,

In a product where 30 ingredients are used, components that are mentioned in the first 10 positions, are used in higher concnetration.

The 10 components mentioned in the middle are used in medium concentration.

And naturally, the last 10 components are used in lowest concentration in the formula.

Brands like Khadi or Biotique, often mention Key ingredients. But always remember, key ingredients are not enough to make a product. It is just part of the ingredients. So, be very careful while you check out a product whether it is online or offline.

Preservative Free Cosmetics in India and Biotique

Preservative Free Cosmetics and the Story of Biotique Products in India

Preservative free cosmetics are nothing new in India and Biotique is one of the pioneers on the track. Check out the concept and every other detail here.

Read More

Myth #5: Drinking Gallons of Water is All You Need

Water Intake is Not Enough for Good Skin

Drinking at least 8 glass of water is something always recommended. But that does not mean, you always need to drink more.

Your requirement for water intake is proportional to your weight. So, 8 glass can be 10 glass as well. But, before you stick to any number, make sure to check your weight and body type.

So, I debunked all these myths in the initial days of my recovery. I would not say that after stopping the use of Betnovate C, I saw any improvement. I was indeed happy to see that there were no popping up zits.

But, the itchiness and rashes continued appearing even after that. All those years of torture made my skin vulnerable. I would not lie! There was a time when I used to rely more on makeup rather than a proper skincare regime. Honestly, nothing worked out well!

How and What Did I Learn?

In 2013, I started reading about ingredients online. I found a number of websites like EWG, Cosmetics DNA, Paula’s Choice to know more about ingredients. All these websites helped me to understand the difference between good and bad components.

And, I started reading the labels. Gradually, it became my habit. Whenever I used to visit a mall or shopping cosmetics online, I used to take a glance at the ingredients rather than the price tag in the first place. Somehow, I could sense whether a product would work for me or not.

It helped me in two ways. First of all, it saved my money in many ways. And second of all, I used to buy only those products that I believed would work for me. Interesting, isn’t it?

The Products I Used to Get Rid Of the Side Effects of Topical Steroid

Within a year of my blogging journey, I figured out that I need a simple skincare routine. And also, I need products that are free from harmful chemicals. In fact, it was the time when I started using more and more organic & natural products.

The three products I used to apply are

Along with those routine, I started using sunscreen as well. Well! I must say that all of these things made my skin amazing than ever before.

Best Toners in India that are Affordable, Harsh Chemical Free, and Alcohol Free

Check Out the Best Affordable, Harsh Chemical Free, and Alcohol Free Toners | Latest Edition

A proper CTM routine is enough to improve the skin. Check out a compilation of the best toner for face, oily skin, dry skin, acne prone, and sensitive skin in India for the ultimate glowing skin.

Read More

The Time When I Helped a Quora Reader to Save Her Skin

Before coming into the blog-o-sphere, I used to think that I am the lone survivor. But gradually, I realized how wrong I was.

In 2018, I got a Quora message from a girl who was suffering from the same problem because of the same Topical Steroid. She was in pain indeed.

So, when she shared her problems with me, I tried to solve her woe in ways that had helped me earlier. Here are the screenshots that I would like to share with all of you. Have a look!

How I Helped a Quora Reader to Save Her Skin From the Side Effects of Topical Steroid

Quora Reader Sharing Her Problems with Betnovate C

So, I gave her the list of products I trust and also that would be suitable for her skin type. 

Screenshot where Quora Reader Sharing Her Problems with Betnovate C

This was her feedback after giving those products a trial for just 2 days. Surprising the result was!

How a Quora Reader Got Rid Off Topical Steroid

And, this was her final feedback regarding the solution I provided her. I could sense how happy she was. Indeed! I was happy too. 

How a Quora Reader Got Rid Off Topical Steroid aka Betnovate C

Best Chemical Free Face Wash in India

Let Your Skin Glow with These Chemical Free Face Wash

Check out the list of top 11 sulfate free, chemical free, artificial fragrance free, and Paraben free face wash in India.

Read More

Was I Able to Solve All of My Skin Woes?

Happy Skin After Getting Rid of Topical Steroid
 This Picture Reflects My Happy Skin Days

Honestly, I don’t want to lie and thus, the answer would be a big ‘NO’. Facial hair is still on my face. And, I cannot do anything unless I wax or thread my face.

As I said, my skin was always dry but the Topical Steroid made it sensitive. And now, I am going to carry on with my dry and sensitive skin forever.

Sometimes I think, nothing of these had ever happened, if I had not thought about fairness and all.

Lastly, as a blogger, it is not possible to stick to one product. So, despite knowing how sensitive my skin is, I have to apply tons of products to my skin every now and then.

But, my skincare routine has made me courageous enough. I am not afraid anymore to put on anything on my face. Indeed, it has improved my self-confidence.

Remember dearies, no matter what your skin type or complexion is, adore that. You can always improve your skin texture.

But, never ever try to change your complexion by using Skin Whitening products. After all, Fair is Not Lovely Always. Let’s lit a vegan wax scent from the house of Gracie Moon Scents and start #FightingWhitening.

And that’s all for today! I hope you find my experience helpful. Subscribe to Cosmetics Arena for more such posts. Take care; celebrate life.

Subscribe to Cosmetics Arena

  1. This post deserves a lot of reach, Soma. If I’m not wrong, it must be hydroquinone. Or I may be wrong.

    Hope your skin feels better now.

    It’s great you chose to write on this topic.

    Our women should come out of the light skin craze and look at things in a more different way.

  2. I went through the same problem,used steroids for about 8 months but I have thankfully recovered from it but I’m not able to find right product for my dry skin,can you please help me with that?:)
    Also I’ve been looking forward to buy biotique products,is it really natural?
    I have been using himalaya aloe vera face wash and a dermatologist recommend moisturizer (moisoft) since I stopped using betnovate N but I recently found out the chemical content in face wash and it has been almost a month since I completely stopped using it,i’m not using anything on my face but raw milk amd water,but I feel the need of using a proper suitable and chemical free face wash on my skin ,please help me with that!:)

  3. Hi soma , my skin barrier was damaged because of using betonavte n for 4 months . Its been 5 months of torture to my skin but now my skin is normal as it was . I had very dry skin , itching , mild burning in first month , then I had whiteheads and blackheads on my t – zone , i had normal skin but turned in to combination one ( now I am spectacle about what my skin type is?) . Then I went to dermatologist in 4th month he gave me adaphlene gel , sunscreen , AHA facewash and antibiotics . I don’t know why I went because at that time I had no acne on my face because all Whiteheads and blackheads had already turned in to acne and was gone but visiting to a dermatologist helped me in exfoliating damaged skin . After that my skin was soft normal as it was currently i am just using dove soap on my face but I have one problem that my face is having very tiny bumps they are not whiteheads I don’t know if dove soap is not suiting my skin as when I wash my face with it these tiny bumps turn into pinkish red colour then after few minutes I turns back into normal colour . I am thinking to use kamayurveda sensitive skin foaming cleanser, it’s rose water ,I wanted to use there sensitive skin moisturizer but they had stopped manufacturing it so ……… Please suggest me a moisturizer my skin was normal but steroid cream turned it into combination one now I feel some oil on my t -zone , and also now it’s sensitive. I have one question that steroid cream causes permanent change in skin type or not ?? Will my skin type be normal again ?? Plzz help me in choosing right product for my skin and my age is 20

    • I am glad Mitali that your skin has covered from the horror of steroid.

      It took me years to recover completely. Now, coming to your questions.

      1. Moisturizer :

      There are plenty of moisturizers for sensitive skin. For me, Rosehip oil has worked miraculously for my dry sensitive skin.

      Go for Vilvah Rosehip oil. You can also go for Minimalist Squalane Oil. Both are amazing. At present, I am using Squalane oil. If you feel that your skin is a bit troubled, then go for Rosehip oil to heal it totally. And if you are looking for an amazing moisturizer for your not so troubled skin, then go for the rosehip one.
      2. No, it heals over time. But, it takes quite a lot of time. In my case, the acne problems have cured but my skin is still sensitive.

  4. Thank you so much for your wonderful advice but roseship oil can not be used in day time ( I read your blog )so I wanted to use a day time moisturizer. And by the way it took you how many years to get back to normal. I have one doubt roseship oil has anti ageing properties can I use that I mean I am too young to use it? .

    • Thank you CNN International for the feature. I just wish that soon many more people come to know about the potential side effects of Topical Steroids.

  5. Hello. Just read your inspiring story from Nigeria. I also used a steroid on my Face and ended up with Perioral Dermatitis. Its a chronic rash under my mouth which burns constantly. The rashes spread all over my face if i use products with chemicals in it. Pls do you have any advice on how i can get rid of it.

    • hello Kanneng! Thank you for reading my story. Around 10 years back, I was exactly on the same track that you are on right now.

      I have never faced Perioral Dermatitis.
      But, I have seen how Topical Steroids weaken the skin barrier. Thus, here are some suggestions that can help you to recover your skin damage.

      As I am from India, I know a number of Indian skincare products that are free from harmful chemicals. And, suggest the same to people with problematic skin.

      Honestly, I have no idea about Nigerian products. But here are some suggestions I think can help you.

      1. Look for powder cleanser with skin loving ingredients minus colour, harsh surfactants, and preservatives. Or, you can also look for face wash with minimal ingredients.

      2. Look for a rose water or floral water that is 100% steam distilled. Floral water would calm your skin down.

      3. Next you need a basic moisturizer or a facial oil. 100% Squalane Oil is something that you can use on your whole face and neck.

      4. And last but not the least, do not let your affected akin bare. Apply sunscreen whenever you step outside. Find out the best sunscreen in Nigeria. Check out the ingredients first. Do not bother about the price or the brand.

      Take care Kanneng. Hope these tips help you.

  6. Hello even I damaged my skin due to steroids cream 😓😓😓what can I use please recommend me something I’m an Indian

    • I am also an Indian. Check out the out the part of the article where I have discussed about the The Products I Used to Get Rid Of the Side Effects of Topical Steroid.

  7. Hello mam i just read your inspiring fight against steriod… The same mistake i did in my past..I have used Betnovate C for last 4 years on my face on a daily basis….Whenever i tried to get rid from it my face becomes dull, fill with acnes pimples, and darkness all over my face thats why i have to use this stupid cream untill now…But in recent fays there are alots of white spot overcome on my cheeks due to this cream … So now i decided to left this steriod….I know things are going to tough for me..Upcoming days are goonn’a very tough for me…But i have no any other way. Mam i’m an enginnering student so you can understand i can’t live in home for a several days…The reality is i am very derpressed right now …Plz help me mam i need a proper guaidance………..waiting for your reply…

    • Hello Piyush. It is great to hear that you have decided to leave this cream, finally.

      I must tell you that the journey is not going to be easy. It would take a lot of time to heal totally. But, you have already walked one step towards skin healing.

      With years of Steroid torture, your skin barrier is on the verge of damage now. Hence, first of all, your skin needs to calm down. I am gonna list 3 types of products, the most basic ones, that helped me a lot.

      1. A basic powder cleanser or the one with minimal chemical or without harmful and garsh chemicals (like colour, perfume, etc.). Check out this list to choose the one.

      2. Use a toner that is again harsh chemical free and mild like floral water. Kama Ayurveda Rose Water/Juicy Chemistry Aloe Vera Gel/Dr. Sheth’s Calming Toner with Niacinide. These are pretty effective toners.

      3. Last you need is a skin hydrator. Juicy Chemistry Rosehip Oil has really helped me a lot. You can also try Sugandha Squalane Oil. Facial oils are quite potent.

      I have linked most of the review articles here. I would request you to go through those. And most importantly, read the above article thoroughly where you have placed this comment. All the answers to your questions lie there.

      Take care; mail me at for further follow up after a month or two.

  8. Thanks a lot mam…Your story and your products give me such a positive vibes….I will be in touch via your’s mail…Just a question i’m 20 years old… so can i safely use roship oil?……

    • As far as I am concerned, it is safe for your age. In case you are going through any significant health condition,then talk to your expert. Otherwise, you can use it.

      Take care, Piyush ☺️

  9. Thanks Soma. I’ve been using the steroids since I was young. I’m now advanced in years still using them. I’ve also become immune to some and my dermatologist keeps prescribing different ones together with oral medication. Sometimes, I have to be injected. Currently, I have more than 5 different ointment tubes that failed. I’ve tried taking vitamin E capsules even applying on my face but in vain. I’m so tired and frustrated. Please help me. I’m in Kenya.

  10. Sorry you had to go through so much during that vulnerable age but for me Betnovate C has been a life saver.
    I suffered from severe itching and blisters on my face and breasts in my teen so much that the liquid oozing from the blisters would get stuck to my clothes, dry and cause a wound while separating…
    That’s when I was adviced Betnovate C and have used it every night on my face and wherever required.
    Then the itching miraculously stopped after my child’s birth just when I was worried how I would breastfeed him.
    I have not used Betnovate C as a fairness cream, only in the itchy blister expected places which however would cover most of my face. But luckily for me, I’ve had no side effects whatsoever though I used it for like 15 years.

    • That is great to hear Chinna ☺️

      Betnovate C should be sold as a medicine in drugstores. Without prescription it should not sold.

      Not only me, I have come across many women across the country who use it as a beauty ointment. I hope this article helps more and more needy people out there.

  11. Hi ma’am I am also suffering from same steroids cream effect betnovate n please help me i have marriage after 2 months i was using steroids from 3 years

    • Hey Anisha, I am sorry I could not reply on time as the comment section was facing some technical issues. What is your skin update right now?

  12. Hoo mam, I read your all story n viewers comments im facing the same problems using estroid past 1years so, my age is finally decide to stoped this almost 2weeks ho gya so abi mai online detrmologist se cancelled kr rahi hu . mujha abi skin heal kre ki liya tablets,mosterizer suggest kiya I hope jldi heal ho jaye …. Im mentally depressed

    • Don’t be depressed Sommya. Eventually, everything will be healed. It is just a matter of time. Remember, all you need is a simple skincare routine and only a few handful number of products. Keep the routine simple. And, in future, do not forget to read the ingredients before using any product directly on the skin.

  13. Hello mam,
    I’m using betnovate n on my my face from almost 2 years .Now I stopped using it .I have small radish bumps around my nose,forehead and chin ,it also feels burning and itching .pls help me mam,l am 17 years old now .I am using Himalaya face wash at morning and night time ,is it good for my skin ?

    • Himalaya is okay but might contain skin irritants that are not good for your skin at this time. You can try Nat Habit Gentle Patola TiktaCream Face Wash which has been formulated for sensitive skin. I usually do not suggest any product directly as the cosmetics market is ever expanding & everyday we come across new formulation. Yet, I found this particular formulation quite potent. Take care! Keep moisturizing your skin and take special care at night.

  14. Hi
    Ma’am I am used to same skin care products or serum that has steroids
    I have highly sensitive skin after 2 months my skin started reaction badly
    I seen doctor and he stopped all products saying that that has topical steroid that harm my skin

    Now I don’t understand which skin products I should use ????

    And how to know that this skin care products are steroid free or not ????

    • Hey Nilanjana, try to stick to the basic products with minimal additives (colour/dye, alcohol, etc.) or harmful ingredient free. I have listed some products that have worked best for me. In fact, I suggested the same set of products to many. You can use those or use products with more natural ingredients. At present, I trust both Juicy Chemistry and Nat Habit. Their products are well-formulated and free from harmful chemicals.

      When your skin is free from steroid, you will not feel any burning sensation or itchiness or irritation. In my case, I could not step outside during daytime. Sun rays used to burn my skin more. Once my skin was calm, I never faced this trouble.

Write A Comment

Hey beautiful! This is Soma, a bong girl from the city of joy, Kolkata. Blogging is my passion and analyzing ingredients is my hobby, Welcome to this wonderful journey in the world of cosmetics and the ingredients. Let us celebrate womanhood together.

Explore More Posts by SOMA
Browse Author Posts

Browse a Category