Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Sick Of Acne It's Ruining My Life

Recommended Posts

I've had acne since the age of 13, soon I'll be turning 21 and I still see no light at the end of the tunnel. I've tried everything, accutane, the pill, over the counter products, natural skin care and home remedies but I'm still fighting a losing battle with acne. I'm really starting to lose hope that maybe one day I'll be free from acne. As I'm a girl I feel the need to plaster myself with makeup every time I leave the house as I feel so low about the current mess on my face (which clearly probably doesn't help!) although I do cleanse and tone every night before bed. I'm also currently looking for a moisturiser that suits my skin but I'm yet to find one that agrees with my skin, I've heard that it's really important to even moisturise oily skin therefore I'm on a look out for a moisturiser that doesn't break me out as pervious ones have done. Can anybody please help? This is really getting to me now and I'm fed up of the current mess on my face, not only the physical side of it but I'm also emotionally drained from all this. I feel ugly, unwanted and have no confidence what so ever. Will I ever be free from acne? Am I fighting a losing battle? Is there anything else I can do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had acne since I was around 12 years old and I still do! Sure, it's improved a hell of a lot than what it was before but the war's not over... and yes, I'm truly, truly exhausted but I sure as heck won't just give up and let it win. My acne improved tons after seeing a dermatologist who prescribed me Retisol-A, Clindamycin and an antibiotic. I was 14 then and along with the prescribed medication, I exercised a lot, did yoga, stopped eating fast food, stopped drinking pop and instead drank green tea everyday, got enough sleep...

Basically, I did all that I could to help alleviate my acne because you honestly can't put all that work onto the medication. I think the medication probably only makes up at least 50-55% of my battalion against acne, maybe less even.

It took months until I saw improvement in my skin and before I knew it, my skin was clear... literally CLEAR for at least 2 years and then I made the mistake of slobbering make-up onto my face. I got lazy and stopped following my regimen, I stopped taking care of my body, I got a part-time job, etc. You could probably guess what happened and yes, I broke out, miserably. I started to depend on pills and creams when the problem was really about how bad I was taking care of myself. Funny how that took me at least a year to figure out. After a little self-reflection and months of getting back to a good lifestyle, I finally got it under control again.

But nope, it doesn't stop there! It came back for me with a vengeance in the form of 'hormonal acne'. I didn't realize it was hormonal acne that's been plaguing me for at least a year until I started having other symptoms related to hormonal imbalance... I was suffering from very irregular and missed periods. (I'm 19, now.) My last period was around late January 2014 and I didn't have it again until May 2014. Yeah, I know! (And no I'm FOR SURE not pregnant.) So after doing a lot of research, I bought Vitex and DIM that's supposed to help regulate my period and hormones. It's now June 2014 and I'm actually on my period right now, (tmi?) but what I mean to say is that it's REALLY helped regulate it. Moreover, I haven't had a cystic acne for a while and I literally don't have any active spots on my face right now, just the damned hyper-pigmentation...

Throughout this 7-year (and still ongoing) battle with acne, there were times that I would feel like nothing was going to work and that it was completely impossible to win this. I've had suicidal thoughts and gone through periods of depression - stopped going to work, ignored my friends, just locked myself up at home, whenever I possibly could... but honestly, it DOES get better if you work your ass off and MAKE it better. Don't you dare let acne win.

I know it's hard but it'll seriously get better. This is already getting incredibly long but I need to ask:

- What's your regimen to treat your acne right now? Do you take any medication - pills, creams, antibiotics? For how long and do you currently go to a dermatologist? A good dermatologist can really help. I still swear by the creams mine has prescribed me. Get a good treatment regimen going.

- Is the make-up you use non-comedogenic, non-irritant? I use make-up on a daily basis as well but I stopped using liquid foundations and instead swapped for concealer and a light powder. Make sure the ingredients don't irritate your skin!

- What cleanser or toner do you use? I use Spectro for acne-prone skin. Clinique's Acne Solutions line is alright as well but I stopped using it now, the price tag is hefty. I like the Acne Solutions Toner, though.

- I recommend either Cetaphil or Cerave for a moisturizer. It doesn't break me out or clog my pores. It also doesn't sting my skin like some moisturizers do.

- Do you exercise? It helps relieve stress and even if you don't suffer from acne, exercise is vital for good health.

- Drink tea! I like green tea and I find that it really helps my skin.

- What's your diet like? Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water! You've heard it all before but it really helps.

- Do you change your pillow cases often? I started changing mine every night and found that the acne around my lower jaw line went away completely (I bought a shitload of pillowcases from Walmart so I can change it everyday).

- Take a multi vitamin or a supplement. I take Omega 3 Fish Oil and a multi-vitamin everyday and I just started taking Vitex + DIM recently. I think my hormone imbalance is my biggest problem right now so my #1 goal is to regulate my hormones. Not just for my acne but for my overall health... I don't think it's even healthy to miss at least 4 months of your period at this age. Maybe you could be suffering from hormonal imbalance? Ask a doctor/professional/nutritionist first though before you start taking new pills or herbs... I don't know what medication you take and if you're allowed to take those at the same time.

There's more I could say but I don't completely know your skin/treatment history so I don't know what else I could advice you to do. I just hope some of this at least helps you and just know that you're not alone, so many of us are fighting the same battle - just depends who keeps going 'till the end and who gives up. (And you don't seem like the latter.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the reply, very helpful :)

I have been thinking for a while that I might be suffering from hormonal acne, although the doctors here are pretty useless so I haven't bothered going to see anyone. When I was younger and my acne was REALLY REALLY bad they wouldn't forward me to a dermatologist so my mum paid for me to go private when I was 19 and his reply was "how come your doctor never referred you to me? your skin is really bad and we could of prevented most of your scars". I think I might pay to go private again to see a dermatologist.

I am currently on the birth control pill, so I don't get any periods what so ever (I don't think this pill is helping my skin a lot either, one of the side affects are acne) but as I suffer from migraines the choice of birth control pill is very limited for me, I might consider other birth control methods.

Last couple of weeks acne has really got the best of me, I've stopped my whole social life because of it, I do work so I do leave the house on a daily basis with ALOT of makeup on!! But the first thing I do when I arrive home from work is wash my face .. I will go into more detail about my regime below. I'm constantly feeling down about my appearance which probably doesn't help either as I'm always stressing about my spots, leading to new ones popping up on my face :(

As I'm from the UK I use Lush products on my face, I use Dark Angels as a cleanser followed by Tea Tree Water as a toner, I've tried two moisturisers they have but one broke me out like mad - Enzymion and the other made my face really oily - Vanishing Cream .. so I stopped using them. (Links below if you want to have a look). The Dark Angels worked really well on my face, I saw immediate improvement in my skin tone, not as red and didn't look irritated although now I'm not sure if its doing more harm than good, Im yet to figure out if the Tea Tree Water is breaking me out or not. Also I've got a face mask from Lush called Mask of Magnity - have only used it on a couple of occasions so not too sure if this is working or not yet. The reason I started using Lush is because everything is made from natural ingredients, but I'm not really sure if this is working with my skin or not. I also have Tea Tree and Witch Hazel foaming face wash from Boots, I was using this before I went on to the Lush products. Oh, I use baby wipes to remove my makeup before washing my face too.







I'm not currently on any medication for my skin, only the birth control. I have had two different dermatologist the first one prescribed me Roaccutane and the second one tried to persuade me to go back on it, which I didn't want to do as the side affects are pretty serious and you can't go into the sun whilst on it .. I'm going abroad to work soon so I definitely don't want any medication that makes my skin sensitive to the sun.

I'm looking for some good makeup that won't irritate my skin, I've been using mac, I also have mac moisturisers which probably isn't a good idea (I haven't used this in over a month though). I've tried bare minerals as I saw good reviews about it but again it didn't quite agree with my skin plus it didn't give me the coverage I needed to be confident enough to leave the house.

I have tried Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions 3-Step System, I really had high hopes for these products but unfortunately it made my skin 10 times worse, which was a huge disappointment :( I've heard really good reviews about Cetaphil, I might just buy it and see what happens, I've heard that the cleanser is really good too? Would you recommend buying the cleanser and moisturiser?

I don't exercise - I'm quite thin so I always feel that if I start exercising I'll lose weight and thats something I really don't want to do :\

I really enjoy green tea! But I don't think I drink enough of it, so as of tomorrow I'm going to drink more of it!

I get really confused about the whole diet situation, I know that eating healthy is good and everyone seems to be saying it's good for improving acne but dermatologists and doctors say otherwise, I do eat fruit and vegetables but probably not enough, so I will start eating more and hopefully it'll improve my skin :)

I will head out tomorrow to buy loads of pillowcases! - I'm going to try everything, I really don't want to have horrible skin going away, the worst thing I could possibly do is work somewhere hot and putting a lot of makeup on everyday!

Also before I went to see a dermatologist I had been on many different antibiotics and topical creams for my skin, nothing seemed to work! I think my best bet is to try and see another dermatologist and adjust my diet and start exercising.

Again Thankyou for your reply, very helpful and has given me ideas on how I can better my skin :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m glad to help :)

Hormonal acne is so frustrating as I’m suffering from it right now. You can tell if you have hormonal acne if you have symptoms related to hormonal imbalance as well. These include (some but not all): heavy, irregular, absent periods, PMS, anxiety, weight gain, low libido, fatigue, etc. Have your levels checked by a doctor or a professional if you want to find out if you’re suffering from hormonal imbalance.

I think seeing a dermatologist would be a really good idea. I have pretty severe acne, I would say, since it’s not just on my face, I suffer from it on my back too and it’s so hard to treat. A good dermatologist should prescribe you with a treatment regimen that works for you. It’s usually a Tretinoin + anti-bacterial creams + oral antibiotic, etc. I go to mine every 2 weeks and having a professional there to help/advice you is great. So yeah, I think the most important thing is to find a treatment regimen that will work for you!

This is my treatment regimen right now:

- Tretinoin: For me, specifically, Retin-A Cream

It’s an acid form of Vitamin A. Basically what it does is it causes skin cells to turn over more rapidly and shrinks dilated pores so they’re less likely to clog and become blackheads and whiteheads, etc. It’s also known to boost collagen.

I find that this has REALLY helped fade a lot of my acne scars. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

- Antibiotic Cream: Clindoxyl

It’s a mixture of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide. It kills bacteria and peels off skin cells.

I use this as a spot treatment. Before I used to use it all over my face because well my acne was all over my face. But it really, really helps get rid of active spots.

That’s all my dermatologist provides me. I don’t know what they’ll prescribe you. It really depends on what they think would be best for you but the ones I listed are what mine prescribed me. But it will probably be a Tretinoin + Antibiotic (Either in oral or cream/gel form.)

And give it time to work… you don’t see results until at least 3-4 months so make sure you stick with it :)

Are you on birth control pills for acne?

Stress sucks… I always get acne during exam periods or just really frustrating days. I do yoga and read books to relieve a lot of stress.

I haven’t tried Lush products so I don’t know much about them at all but if you think they’re breaking you out or irritating your acne, maybe you should switch to a different cleanser that’s specifically made for acne-prone skin. :)

Personally I like the Spectro cleanser! The Cetaphil cleanser could also work for you. I had bad experience with the Cetaphil moisturizer… it stung my skin and made it worse. I really really like Cerave. It’s the only moisturizer I will ever use.

I don’t exercise on a daily basis either but I think just stretching and some light walking/jogging will be fine.

Green Tea is amazing!!! I drink it every morning… even just drinking it relieves my stress and makes me feel great :)

I personally think that diet can help acne. My skin is so much better than what it was months ago when I drowned myself in chips and pizza and etc. Now I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables like mangoes, carrots, oranges, strawberries, etc. and you can definitely tell the difference!

Yeah, see another dermatologist and give their treatment regimen a try! Stick with it for at least 3-4 months to give it time to work. It may aggravate your acne at first (purging) but it should get better after some time. If it doesn’t, your dermatologist should work with you on finding another treatment that could work so don’t give up! :)

I’m so glad to hear that and I know your skin will improve soon! <3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey just a word about the lush products earlier this year tried both the dark angels ad the mask of magnaminty I was trying to use natural products because I thought they would help but both products caused such bad breakouts for me as they both contain an exfoliant lke beads and that irritates active acne so badly.

I figured out it was these that were making my skin worse and switched to a foamy cleanser and stopped all mechanical exfoliation with these products and my skin has vastly improved.

I know lush products seem appealing because they are natural but I really dont rate them whatsoever. Id recommend changing if I were you but that is just my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the reply.

I'm definitely going to get an appointment with a doctor asap to see whether or not I have hormonal imbalance.

About a dermatologist, I've still got some cream my last one prescribed me which is Epiduo (contains Retinoids) therefore it'll make my skin sensitive to the sun and this is the main reason I don't want to use it, because I'm moving away abroad in a couple of weeks - thats another reason why I'm debating whether or not I should go to another dermatologist, treatments take a long period of time to work and time is something I don't currently have. Plus it'd be a waste of £150 if I can't take any of the treatment they have on offer for me :\ (I do really feel I'm fighting a losing battle) .. although the sun might help clear up my face!

I have been on the birth control for acne - that didn't work either, I'm not currently on it for acne at the minute though.

I've drank plenty of water and green tea today, going to stick to this see how it works :) I went out and bought cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and the moisturising lotion, pretty weary of the moisturiser now! :\

I have no idea of the causing factors of my acne, I wish I did but it seems impossible to find out, I mean doesn't really matter what I do I've always got some kind of acne going on on my face, really getting me down now, especially with me moving away I don't really want to be walking around a hot country with a face full of makeup as I'm not confident enough to go without :( I definitely have oily skin, I've just arrived home from work and my face is so shiny but I do also have some very dry patches too.

Thankyou for the advice on Lush, I honestly thought it would be a really good idea to try them out but hardly noticed any positive outcomes after using the products (only when I started using dark angels) therefore I've been out and bought cetaphil (the ingredients in this doesn't sound too appealing either to be honest but I'm willing to try anything at least once!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shorty123- Yeah I too thought Lush products would be good especially when you walk in the store and they sell it to you so well and to someone with acne its such an easy sell because the prospect of something clearing up our skin seems so good. I think the products would work for people with regular breakouts but for people with acne I dont think theyre effective.

Did you but the cetaphil moisturizer? Just be weary with it because it can be pore clogging for some people. If youre in the UK Id recommend Olay sensitive beauty fluid thats what Ive found works for me after I went through Lush, Cetaphil etc.You can get it from Boots/Superdrug.

Also I just read your part about using MAC makeup, MAC is the brand I feel is most known for aggravating and worsening acne I would suggest changing if you're using a MAC foundation as Ive heard numerous times about how theyve given or worsened peoples acne. The rest of their products are fine just foundations Ive always heard to not be good for acne. My suggestion would be switching to a different foundation. Ive switched recently from a liquid to a powder and my skin had improved. Just a thought! If youre looking for a foundation with amazing coverage that will make you feel confident I highly recommend Estee Lauder Double Wear. Ive tried both MAC and EL and I find EL to be the best by far.

Edited by Sky13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are not alone hun. I think almost all the members can relate to the frustration that is acne. Since topicals are not feasible at this point, It would probably be best to focus on diet hardcore as i've heard that this can regulate hormones (trying it myself and will fully implement it at the end of the month). Try

100% dairy and gluten free or just full paleo (google it)

have green smoothies and juices

Magnesiu for stress and Vitamin D since many are already low

It is not an easy thing to make changes but it can be done

Good Luck and keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jen, thank you so much for this helpful information, really interesting and something I've never actually thought about. I'm going to take time to read your blog and also do some research myself, I will probably contact you too if I need any advice so thank you for providing your email address for me. Also thank you for sharing your story with me, it's great to hear that someone has found a way of controlling/getting rid of acne. It has really motivated me to look into this field :)

Hi Sky123, I have now stopped using the Lush products I just thought they'd help as they're natural although they weren't too good for my skin after all! But yeah i totally agree that it's such an easy sell for them as people are desperate to get rid of acne and they're selling natural skin cleansers. The Cetaphil cleanser is really good though I'm seeing improvement already and I've only used it a couple of times as I only bought it the other day. I haven't yet used the Cetaphil moisturiser I'm actually too scared to try it now! Thanks for suggesting Olay sensitive beauty fluid, I think I'm going to go buy myself that instead of using the Cetaphil moisturiser. I never knew this about MAC the foundation's usually been quite good for me especially at keeping my oiliness at bay, however I haven't used it in a couple of weeks as I've been using my Rimmel one but I used MAC on monday and my skin was SUPER oily after it and I'm pretty sure thats whats aggravated my skin. I've heard brilliant reviews about the EL double wear and I need new foundation so will definitely give that a try next. Thank you for the advice :)

Hi leelowe1, thanks for your advice, I've started drinking a lot of water and eating healthy and can already see a slight improvement in my skin (current spots are starting to die down which is great!) I agree that it's not an easy thing to do but if it helps my skin then it's definitely worth it. I do often crave fizzy drinks too but keeping at the water, green tea and had a green smoothie with my dinner and it was delicious haha! :)

Again thanks everyone for giving me advice :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes