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Hi everyone,

I really need some advice from people on this board. I am completely lost and do not know what to do, and the acne is affecting my social and work life (as I need to present a lot!).


Male, 31 years old. Since my early 20s I have had pretty much clear skin with a pimple occasionally due to a big night out or a messed up diet for that week. But generally I had great skin that got complimented a lot, and I hardly used any products if any at all. I am relative healthy, I exercise a lot and eat fairly well with the exception of a few cheat days here and there.

Current Situation:

Since the last 6 months, I started getting some red cystic acne around my temple area on both sides of my face. I ignored it thinking it would leave on its own, and then it gradually got worse and started spreading to down the side of my cheeks. I was going through a break up at the time and I assumed it was due to stress. But it kept getting worse and it started spreading to my cheeks. I bought some OTC products which cleared it up to about 95%, and then it got worse again.

What I tried:

  1. I bought a bunch of Kiehl's products for men and this didn't do much and cost me an arm and leg. FAIL.
  2. Tried Tooth paste. It seemed to flatten my pimples a bit, but left a red mark. FAIL.
  3. I tried Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, and BAM it just made my acne worse and worse, I hadn't broken out like this since my teenage years, possibly even worse. I was drinking about 2 tbsp x 3 times a day and applying it topically (1:1 ratio) morning, midday, and night. I read that some people PURGE for around 3-5 weeks (Read some purged for up to 2 months!). I diluted the toner to 3:1 ratio since week 3, I am currently on Week 4.5, and my acne is still pretty bad. I have large cystic pimples on my temple/upper cheek, and a few around my nose, some in T-zone between the eyebrows, and on the sides of my forehead. My skin seems to have a lot of small bumps and little red dots. I have stopped ACV for 2 days now.
  4. I started applying Tea Tree Oil (15% from The Body Shop) for a couple of days and hoping this will clear it up.

*I moisturize after each application for ACV and TTO.

*I drink at least 1.5L of water a day.

Can anyone who has been through similar please provide some advice? I really want this to clear up before the festive season!

hould I continue with ACV? Drinking and/or topically? Should I stop or give it a bit more time?

What about Tea Tree Oil?

Any help would be great!

Thank you in advance :)

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It might just be dryness... why it got worse that it. You might have a bad reaction to some of those products. TTO really messed up my skin, but I was using it too much so that might be why. Why don't you stop those products for a bit and see if it calms down? Cystic acne is usually something internal though (not always but sometimes diet is poor or something from what I have heard)... anxiety and stress can definitely make it worse... What's your diet like? Did the acne come with any other problems?

Please disregard the guy there trying to sell something...

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Hmmm it could be dryness, I'll admit that I haven't been as thorough with moisturzering after application. I'll definately try that, see if that works.

I've been taking ACV about 2-4 tablespoons a day. I have a relatively healthy diet, eat my fruit and veggies, I smoke on occasion (1-2 a week when I am out drinking) but I have cut that down a lot recently and stopped in the last 2 weeks.

I was exercising a lot (sweating heaps) and going through a break up when my acne started ... I think I am in a better state of mind with a lot less stress. But my acne is still bad. My sleeping pattern is a bit out of wack (I sleep 6-8 hours a day) but sometimes due to work I sleep late (3/4am) on occasion, but usually around 1-2am. However, before the breakout when I had nice skin I always slept late, exercised a lot, smoked socially and drank once a fortnight.

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