My experience with acne and it’s treatment was a long process and one that still continues today. It has been such a significant thing in my life which is why I really wanted to talk about it on my blog. Having acne really affected my confidence, I didn’t like leaving the house without makeup and often felt that all people saw when they looked at me was my spots. My self esteem was so low and I felt that I constantly compared my complection to others. I was so frustrated as I looked after my skin really carefully, always removing makeup and cleaning thoroughly every morning and night, but I still had loads of spots. Eventually, I think I came to realise it had little to do with how I cared for my skin and was mostly to do with hormones and puberty, so nothing I could control.
I wanted to address this in a blog post for myself and also for others who may been going through the same thing. My acne developed later in my teens, I think most people tend to get it from about 12-13 when they start experiencing puberty. But for me, it wasn’t until I was nearly 16 that it started to get really bad. At the time I convinced myself that it was stress as I was preparing to sit my GCSE exams and working my part-time job so felt as though I had a lot on my plate and huge amounts of pressure on myself. So when my exams finished and my skin continued to get gradually worse, I realised this wasn’t just temporary.
My acne was spread across my face, chest, shoulders and the top of my back, so it wasn’t just my face I wanted to cover. I stopped wearing vest tops and low-cut tops as they showed off the spots on my chest and I felt too self-conscious. They were really inflamed and painful and always got worse when I was on period. For about a year I just dealt with it and continued washing my face religiously every morning and night. Over this period I tried loads of different cleaners, scrubs and face masks but nothing seemed to work for me.
It was in September 2017 that I finally decided to go and see my GP about my acne. He gave me a prescription for Duac Gel, it combines 2 antibiotics: clindamycin and anhydrous benzoyl peroxide (very scientific haha). I was then given instructions to apply it every night before bed, sleep with it on and wash it off in the morning.
Straight away, the redness of my spots was hugely reduced and the pain started to go away. Within a few weeks the change was huge, there was significantly less spots on my face, the redness was nearly all gone and the pain I used to feel was non-existent. This picture shows my spots the day I started using my spot treatment and the second was last month! 10 Months difference! How insane?!
Through my experience, the best piece of advice I can give you is that LESS IS MORE when using products on problem skin. You my feel the need to try everything, cleaners, scrubs, toners, toothpaste, aloe vera and believe me, I tried them all! But I found that this just makes things worse! It makes your skin so much more fragile and damaged so you can often start to experience dry patches along with your oily patches which also happened to me a lot. However, I decided to start using an oil-free moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated without clogging my pores. But now I have developed a routine to keep on top of my spots and keep my skin as clear as possible. I might do a skincare routine in the future, so let me know if you would be interested in this.
But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter! I know it’s much easier said than done but just try to embrace it, you are you and that’s amazing! I still get spots but not as severely as I used to so they don’t really bother me so much anymore! Over time I learnt to bear with it as I knew that it would improve and get better soon. Believe me, it will happen, it just takes a lot of patience and strong will!
I would love to hear if you have had any similar experiences or other tips for treating spots/ acne.
And as always, thanks for reading!