Dealing With Acne

I’ve dealt with skin issues for a long time. I was around 13 when I first started breaking out with acne that wasn’t even localized to my face. And it was mortifying to me. I started wearing make up at a young age because of it and that stemmed wearing make up almost every single day for the rest of my life.

My friends and even boyfriends rarely saw me without make up. If I was sleeping over somewhere, I would keep my make up on overnight so I’d still have some coverage in the morning. If I was going swimming, I’d go in with my makeup then run to the bathroom to fix it before anyone noticed.

And this wasn’t just localized to my early teens. This went on through my twenties.

My acne cleared from ages 17-21 because I went on Accutane, a very intense prescription, when I was 16. Accutane basically sucks you dry of any oils. It causes nose bleeds, terribly chapped lips, and joint pain. It can cause horrible birth defects if you get pregnant and you can’t drink alcohol because of the toll it takes on your organs. But it cleared up my acne.

I still wore makeup every day – it’s like when you look back at photos and see how skinny you were but at the time you thought you were fat. I always saw acne.

After I graduated college, I began to slip into adult acne. I always wore make up. I avoided certain clothing, I didn’t go swimming, I wouldn’t go out without some coverage on my face. I felt terrible and finally made the jump to try Accutane again. Even though the side effects are uncomfortable, I was tired of being in my twenties with teenage acne.

I wish I could offer some sort of “be comfortable in your own skin!” advice, but I can’t. I’ve never been comfortable with my acne. It even left me with lots of scarring and large pores that I’m uncomfortable with, but since my acne is clearing I’ve tried to be more comfortable in my own skin.

It’s a battle and it’s not just a problem for kids. I’m happy to be back on a path to clear skin, but I just wanted to write this to show that I understand the struggle and you’re definitely not alone no matter how old you are.

32 thoughts on “Dealing With Acne

  1. I’ve always had mild acne growing up. I tried covering it with makeup, but couldn’t figure out how to do it properly, so I’d just bare face it and hope no one paid attention. Now I’m in my mid 20’s and get hormonal acne around my chin and that’s about it. I do what I can to keep it under control, but I’ve sort of trained myself to embrace my imperfections. Acne sucks because it makes your self-confidence plummet. I’ve always wondered if teens throughout history suffered with acne or if it’s gotten worse for our generation due to possible environmental hazards… (sorry, my nerd just came out a bit)

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    1. I’ve always wondered that too! It’s run in my family for generations though, so I bet it’s been a problem for teens through time. I wish I could’ve just accepted it, I know a lot of people who have. I’d like to think that if I tried everything and it still didn’t go away then I’d start to accept it.

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  2. I’ve had acne since I was about 10 and it’s always been a struggle. I’ve never felt comfortable in my own skin. I’ve seen Accutane work wonders for people but have never tried it myself. My organs already have taken a strain from medication to deal with migraines so my doctors are hesitant to let me try it. I’m glad you found something that works for you but I know how hard it must be to go through the process! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I struggled with acne when I was a teen but it got way worse when I became an adult. What worked for me, I’m not recommending by the way, is having kids. Seriously, when I got pregnant with Cillian my skin cleared up and stayed that way. I now only get break outs when I have my period. I’ve also found that less is more with skin care. I only wash my face if I wear makeup. Any other time I just rinse my face with water.

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    1. I’ve heard that getting pregnant can help! In my sisters case, it got wayyy worse. I definitely agree with less is more, I haven’t used anything harsh in years because I do better with gentle products and not too much use

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  4. I love make-up but I’ve always studied and researched skincare for years before I fell in love with make-up. I hope you won’t mind if I give you some advice since I know products that works for me, might not work for you. But these tips work for everyone as long as they are patient.

    1. Wearing Sunscreen everyday
    2. Hydration- there is a misconception that drying out your skin helps with acne but in fact it makes it worse, so you need hydration even if you have oily skin (American skincare can often be more drying like our toners) – you can look into facial oils, or if not oils h
    3. And only have one prescription related product meant for your acne that works for you that can be from your dermatologist, I use Curology since you can cater it to your skin (but it takes time to find the right combination of formula so you will have to consistently work with your dermatologist and update them often)

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  5. I still struggle with a mild case of acne. Some days are better than others. I do feel embarrassed when I’m around people with clear skin and have a really bad case because I’m not a teen anymore and feel I should be over this. I have always gone barefaced because I’ve never been into makeup and I think it’d make it worst or more obvious. The worst is when you have a sibling who has super clear skin. I have a sister whose skin is really clear. She did have a breakout once; however, it ended up looking like freckles on her cheeks and people actually complimented her on it. Even when she loses she continues to win in the skin department! So jealous haha

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  6. I had acne when I was younger, and still breakout here & there…it never bothered me too much for some reason. Unless I had a massive one in the middle of my forehead or chin. My chin was a mess, though. I concur with what the previous commenter said about moisturizer! I really like Philosophy products & I think they have a line for acne prone skin. I rarely bother with makeup anymore, and I think it’s helped my skin a lot! But could just be my age, too. Who knows? 🤷🏼‍♀️

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  7. This is almost my exact same experience. I always felt like I was both the first one and one of the only ones, out of my friends and classmates, to go through the struggles of acne. I have a ton of freckles, too, so my skin was like a constant ball of red. These days, I have pretty deep scarring and I feel like I’ve never truly known what it’s like to have actual clear skin. It was always tough to accept myself when I couldn’t see anyone else going through something similar. Now, through things like Instagram or blog posts like this, it’s so much easier to hear these stories and not feel as isolated. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I really only had the courage to go on medication and share this because other people shared their stories! I’ve always been too embarrassed to talk about my skin. There’s plenty of us struggling with the same thing, we’re not alone 🙂

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  8. I lived this life, but it didn’t matter as much to me. I never got into boys until college and by then it had cleared up. I’m one of those comfortable in my own skin, very low maintenance, weird people.

    Proactiv is what worked for me. I started taking it around 15, I think. My skin cleared up in weeks. After a while, it stayed clear even though I didn’t keep up with it. I came off for years, still clear.

    Then, I moved to America and for some reason I started to break out again. It’s not bad, hardly worth calling acne really. Proactiv didn’t work this time, so I switched to another one. I can’t remember the name of it, darn it. But so far it’s okay. I don’t wear foundation and all that. Makes me feel icky. Black eyeliner for the win though! 😅

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  9. Ugh, it really is the worst. I actually have the opposite problem at the moment. I never wore foundation and stuff before, I was strictly a concealer and eyeliner/mascara person, and didn’t bother at all with the other stuff. Mostly because I had no idea what I was doing. (enter YouTube tutorials lol). But I started a month or two ago, and I feel like it’s making breakouts last longer or linger more stubbornly. I’m sort of grateful it’s still in the same spots? I guess haha. Definitely frustrating no matter which way you spin it.

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    1. I always wash my face as soon as I get home from anywhere which helps! I also think it depends on your kind of acne, I used to have really angry break outs and putting anything on it made them so much worse

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  10. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve never been on a prescription for my acne, but I’ve thought about it. I have awful adult acne, it’s like I never even left my teens. Still searching for a good face wash. ClearProof by Mary Kay worked super well, but I just can’t afford it anymore. >.<

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  11. I started having acne when I was 19 and now that I’m 22 it’s starting to clear up. I understand the struggle of trying every diet, medication, lotions and still nothing works. I’m glad that you opened up about it because people should not think they’re alone when it comes to acne! xx

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  12. A wonderful post 💛 been dealing with it for 9 years. Everyone wants to give their “advice” on what will work for you but the truth is we are all different. Different diets, lifestyles, genetics etc. I’m just trying to heal the natural way. Thank u for this 🙏🏼

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