Hi! I’m a 27 year old adult acne sufferer and wanted to share my experiences and woes, in the hopes of maybe gaining advice (or support if nothing else)! My skin type is mainly dry, with an oily forehead.
A history of my skin issues: My skin was very clear and stable while in my teens. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that my skin gradually got worse and worse. I noticed that I was consistently getting numerous cystic pimples a couple times a month at least, so I thought ok, I’ll just get pro-activ and that will fix it. Not that simple. At first I think it maaaybe helped a little bit, but with increased use, my skin actually started to get worse. Looking back, it’s hard to say if I even used the stuff properly (I certainly never consulted a doctor or derm about it) and I was probably over-exfoliating and not moisturizing nearly enough. I used pro-activ for a couple years at least, I was scared to stop using it, and my skin slowly got worse and worse. My next attempt to solve the problem was trying random birth controls including Yaz (don’t do it) which helped a little bit in the skin department, however it turns out I am extremely sensitive to hormones in other ways so the side effects (hair thinning, mood swings… and more) made my life a living hell. So any benefit toward my skin that was gained by going on birth control was not worth it.
After coming off of birth control my skin was in a horrific state. My next step was antibiotics. I was prescriped Benzaclin (a combination of BP and Clindamycin) which worked wonders for a few months. The odd small, superficial pimple still appeared but the deep nasty cysts were gone. But it didn’t last. I tried going back on Benzaclin maybe 8 months later and it did nothing.
Apart from these “major” attempts at solving my acne, I should also mention I’ve tried every product in the book (expensive high end ones, natural DIY ones, etc) and I’ve switched up my cleansing routine more times than I can possibly remember, and spent a complete fortune doing it. I’ve also gone for expensive facials and treatments which have given me some hope, but not a whole lot. I have also changed my diet + exercise + water intake which I feel has improved my overall complexion but not periodic breakouts.
So where I’m at right now: I’ve given up the harsh ingredients like BP. I’ve tried to switch to only gentle products for sensitive skin (right now I’m using Dermalogica Ultracalming cleanser and it’s the most luck I’ve had), and I exfoliate (using beta-hydroxy cream, not a physical scrub) once or twice a week. The longest I tend to go without a huge breakout is a maybe a month, and then I’ll usually get like 4-5 huge nasty cysts that will leave scars and screw up all the progress I’ve made.
So now, the conclusions I’ve come to, for me, are:
1) Switching up my daily cleansing routine too much, and adding too many products, is not a good thing, and usually results in a really bad breakout. Consistency is good.
2) Doing too much is just as bad as not doing enough.
3) Harsh products, for me, do provide a quick fix but worsen the problem in the long run.
4) The healthier I am overall, the better my skin looks in general and the better it heals.
My biggest fear is that there is something else I could/should be doing, or something I haven’t tried, which could improve my skin. I don’t want this cycle to continue and to be left with a face riddled with scars. Is there anyone who has had a similar situation and can provide some suggestions? That would be awesome. Thanks for reading through this long-winded post!!