Thursday, 6 July 2017

How I Beat Adult Acne

How I Got Rid of Adult Acne

In the past I was quite lucky with my skin; as a teenager I never really suffered with spots or greasy skin, even though I would get the odd pimple I never had anything too traumatic. When I passed my teenage years and went into my early twenties, my skin pretty much stayed the same and I thought, "I must be one of those people who is just really lucky, right?!". WRONG. As if by magic at around the age of 24/25 my skin must have thought 'come on let's mix it up a bit' and what happened was probably one of the most horrible and confidence shaking things that has happened to me. My skin started to develop tons of pimples, spots and horrific cystic acne. And yes I know there are worst things to happen to people, but for me I was already going through a really difficult time and then with the acne on top, it really made me feel at rock bottom. 

Anyway the good news is is that a couple of years later, I now have clear skin again. Even though I get the odd breakout, the improvement in my skin is so much better and I even go out without makeup on now (something I would NEVER do when I had acne). I thought it might be helpful to share some tips I followed to get rid of my adult acne (including my number one secret weapon that I found banished my acne for good - scroll to the bottom if you just want to jump straight to it).

DISCLAIMER: I cannot guarantee that these will work for you, and if you are really suffering it would probably be worth consulting with a doctor or a dermatologist. ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: This is a really long post so you might want to grab a cup of tea.

1. Try to relax
OK I'm diving straight in with the hardest one - try to relax about the situation. I was suffering for about a year before I came to realise that stressing about it was making it even worse. I would sit every night practically damaging my face trying to squeeze all the spots and then be in floods of tears getting myself in a state, and I think constantly stressing about them was making my skin worse and worse. After about a year of having them I started to accept that was the way my face was, and actually they started to get better. 

2. Identify skincare that's making the problem worse.
This is a tough one too, as it's a process of elimination to discover what can be making your skin worse. I had to cut each product out for a month before noticing which products were having a damaging effect on my skin. But it's worth persevering as by doing this I came to discover that the oil cleanser I was using was seriously making my skin worse. I actually can't seem to use any oil cleansers without breaking out so it wasn't specific to the brand. 

3. Ditch the face wipes.
On that topic I just wanted to mention face wipes. OK, so I know they're not as popular any more with so many amazing cleansing options available; but if you are a regular user of face wipes, I would definitely explore some other options if you suffer with acne. I used them for years and years, but they don't really remove your makeup completely. They can leave dirty residue on your skin which just gets moved around with the wipe, not good if you have infected skin. I also find them really drying...when I stopped using face wipes the bumps and pimples all along my jaw line completely disappeared. 

4. Assess your skin type.
This is a bit of a tricky one because I am not a dermatologist and I wouldn't want to determine your skin type based on what I went through, however this was quite a big one for me. As I said before, my skin was always normal and then all of a sudden I was getting really oily and spotty. I therefore went out and bought every product for oily skin under the sun including teenage acne products. This was actually the WORST idea as these products were drying my skin thanks to the salicylic acid that's in a lot of them. In turn, my skin went into 'crisis' mode and started producing oil like crazy as it thought I needed it, which in turn was making me so spotty! It took me ages to realise my skin had actually got drier as I had got older and what I actually needed was hydrating/moisturising products. 

I'm not suggesting you dive straight in with heavy creams if you have acne; I had to gradually introduce more hydration into my skincare regime. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel was a good one to introduce hydration without being overly oily. Once my skin got used to that, I then introduced a light-weight hydrating serum, and eventually once my skin had started to clear I could use heavier creams. 

How I Got Rid of Adult Acne - Frank Coffee Scrub

MY SECRET WEAPON 

OK so this is what I would consider my 'secret weapon' against my acne. I urge anyone to try these two products as I honestly believe these are what cleared my skin - mainly because when I started using these two together I noticed that my skin cleared up rapidly. (P.S. I am not sponsored for this post but I have re-purchased these two again and again and I swear by them). The first is the Ultrabland Cleanser by Lush, and the second is the Frank Original Coffee Scrub

I first came across Ultrabland because I was using a natural honey and lemon mask on my skin pretty much every other day. It was helping my skin and I could notice improvements, but if any of you have tried a honey and lemon mask, you will know that it is totally impractical and way too sticky to be faffing around with all the time. 

I started looking at skincare products that had honey in them to see if they would be a bit more practical and I came across Ultrabland, which contains honey and beeswax as well as other naturally occuring ingredients. At £7.95 I thought, what have I got to lose?! After 2 weeks of using this I had noticed whilst my skin hadn't completely cleared, it was so much calmer and less red. After a month, my spots had reduced quite a bit! It has now got to the point where I will only use this for cleansing as it has such a calming effect on my skin. The only draw back to it is that the texture is quite thick; it is hard work to remove with wet cotton pads but for me it's worth it.

I stumbled upon Frank Coffee Scrub when I kept seeing posts on Instagram of people in the shower with what looked like dirt all over them. Upon further investigation it was actually coffee scrub and I had a look on the Frank page. At the time they also had a page called 'Frank Feedback' or something along those lines (although can't seem to find it now), where people had submitted before/after pictures where they had used the scrub to treat psoriasis, eczema, stretch marks, acne etc. I couldn't believe my eyes, and I was purchasing one in a flash. I would use this twice a week to start with, using quite a light touch as it is quite a rough grain, and then I dropped it down to once a week. After a month or two of using these two products together I literally couldn't believe the difference. I was left with a lot of scarring but so much of the acne had disappeared! (My brother has also used this on his eczema and has seen a massive improvement.) 

Now I am really conscious that I don't want to guarantee that this will work for you, as everyone is different, but it has made such a difference to my skin and my self confidence that I just wanted to share it here on the blog. Seeing as you can buy both products for under £20, I honestly think it is worth a try. Two years down the line I continue to re-purchase these and touch wood **doing so frantically**, my skin has been so good and I only get the occasional pimple. 

How I Got Rid of Adult Acne Before & After

Sorry about the picture quality (was not thinking I would be posting this on a blog when I took the picture lol) but you can see how my acne started, and this was before it got a lot worse. I stopped taking pictures as it got worse as it was just making me feel horrible and wasn't doing anything for my self esteem. The picture on the right is from two days ago with no makeup on. 

I hope this post helps if you are suffering with adult acne, it can be so damaging to your confidence and I can really empathise with you if you're going through this. All I can say is that it can get better and if you are going through a hard time like I was, then I sincerely hope it gets better for you! 

xoxo

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