My acne story

This post has been a long time coming but I just kept putting it off again and again. I wanted to write it a long time ago but then I decided that around April would be better because this time last year I was living the worst moments of my life thanks to this horrible thing called acne but now that I’m doing so much better when it comes to my skin I wanted to share with you my story. So today’s post is going to be all about my face, how I got acne, how it affected me and how I got rid of it and improved my skin. So sit down, get comfortable and get a drink because I have a feeling this is going to be long.

I think I was about 13 or 14 when I started getting my very first spots. At the time I thought it was something normal, I was even a little bit proud like yeah puberty, I am a hormonal teenager now yay! But when things started getting worse and it seemed like I was collecting spots on my face and on my back, and I was very close to turning 15 and I also had no period, I decided to go to the dermatologist. That was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had with a doctor and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Besides paying a shit load of money for the lady to tell me what I should and should not eat and prescribe me some pills that were supposed to help with my spots, she was extremely rude, zero compassion and zero fucks given about her patient. This experience kinda put me off dermatologists but I’ll get back to that later on.

Of course those pills didn’t work but a few months later I started getting my period and that kinda helped with my acne. The only downside was that I wasn’t getting it every month, which was really frustrating but at the same time I didn’t really mind it, because who likes getting their period anyway. I waited and waited until I turned 19 I was still getting my period just occasionally, whenever Mother Nature felt like it was time for me to experience that time of the month. It could have happened every other month, every three months, I never knew. All this inconsistency also affected my skin because of hormones and so on.

I was getting close to moving to uni and I didn’t want to live in the unknown anymore when it comes to my period. So I went to the doctor’s again, this time a gynaecologist. I did blood tests, a thousand ultrasounds and screenings but everything inside me was completely fine. My issues were purely hormonal so I was told to get on the pill for about three months and see how my body reacts.

Three months went on and I was feeling better than ever. My period was coming regularly now, I was barely getting any spots. Literally all was left on my face were a couple of scars from previous breakouts. Imagine how happy I was being able to go out without makeup on. #goals. After November 2015 when I came off the pill, my period got messed up again but my skin was still behaving itself and causing me any problems. I didn’t think it was that big of an issue at the time. I had clear skin and I was getting my period every other month. I was living perfectly fine with that.

As all good things must come to an end, in April 2016 my skin decided to go crazy and play me big time. I was getting spots on spots, and then some more spots and 99% of them were under my skin so there was nothing to pop. My face was so red and there was barely any space left on it for other breakouts to come to life. It used to hurt a lot like I could’t even touch my face or put it down on the pillow to sleep at night. And the worst part is that everything happened so fast. I went from clear skin to cystic acne in 2.5 seconds. It was literally a matter of days until all my face was covered in big, red spots.

I was starting to get a little depressed. I didn’t know what to do. Skincare wise I tried everything, and by everything I do mean EVERYTHING. I spent so much money, maybe a couple of hundreds on different products but nothing helped. I cut out certain foods from my diet, but it didn’t help. I was washing my towels and my pillow cases regularly and I was trying to sleep on my back so that my face didn’t touch anything. Again, it didn’t help. I was so desperate to get my face back to normal. I was even scared to run into people without full coverage foundation on my face. If the only thing that I had to do outside my room was to get food from the kitchen, I would still put foundation on.

At the time I was thinking like wow I’m about to turn 20 and I look like I’m 13 again with my face full of painful spots that won’t go away and leave me alone. If one spot was leaving the party, another one was replacing it and so on. Because I was already done with my first year of uni all I had to do all day was hide in my room, cry and do research about acne and how to get rid of it. After trying everything that was in my hands in order to save my face, I realised that my problem may be related to my hormones again. Because I was living in London for only a few months, it was difficult for me to seek help around here so I made my mum talk to my doctor back home and ask if I could go back on the pill and see if that would help me in any way.

I got my doctor’s approval and here I was back on the pill, praying that it would calm my hormones and get my skin back to a decent condition. Luckily, the pill worked its magic and my face was slowly starting to recover. The pain was gone and the redness was fading, but I still had a few spots and a lot of scars. So when I went back home for the summer, I really wanted to see a dermatologist again and ask for advice regarding the pigmentation on my skin. This time around I landed in the office of a really nice lady that really listened to me and my concerns and knew exactly what to do to help me. At first she was shocked about how fast my acne developed and her first piece of advice was not to get off the pill because it takes more than two or three months to control those stupid hormones and see a change in my skin.

When talking about the improvement of scars, she recommended chemical peels and I actually had one done by her. I was supposed to do more than one, probably like two or three sessions, two or three weeks apart, but because I was traveling a lot during the summer and the dermatologist was out of office as well, she said one session is still something and I would see improvements anyway. Besides the chemical peel she also prescribed me a simple but effective skincare regimen that I follow up to this day, 10 months after my consultation. I did a skincare routine post soon after I started using those products but ever since then I added a few more bits and bobs so expect an updated post very soon. Besides that I’ll put up a post about my favourite face masks and one about some little devices I use on my face, so expect A LOT of skincare on my blog this month.

In the space of one year my skin went through a lot of changes: from really bad acne to fairly clear skin at the moment (I’m saying fairly because I still have some scars and I still get the occasional breakouts) and not just my skin went through changes but myself included. I was feeling so helpless when nothing was working to cure my acne and I was slowly losing all my confidence but now that I managed to get rid of it, I also got rid of my low self esteem on the way back to the top. I now go out again without wearing any makeup and I don’t think about who’s looking at my face anymore. All in all, the pill saved my life and along with the good skincare routine my face managed to recover from its worst moment up till now.

So here is my face at the end of May 2016 and then my face in October 2016. I forgot to take some new pics with how it looks now but it’s pretty much the same as in October last year, with a little less scarring. At first I didn’t want to post these pictures but I think this is proof that there is a way to fight acne and if you suffer from it, you should’t let it bring you down. Back when my face looked horrible of course I was sad about it, maybe too sad, but now I realise that this is not something that defines me as a person so I think I should have been a bit easier on myself back then.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading this long post and please leave a comment below telling me if you’ve ever experienced acne and how you dealt with it!

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8 Comments

  1. April 8, 2017 / 7:48 am

    Absolutely brilliant post! I've always wanted to learn about acne, as one of my family members went through it and they have a lot of scaring from it. Thanks for sharing this as I've learnt a lot from this! The pill really is good for sorting out your period and spots!

    Isobel x

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  2. April 8, 2017 / 8:19 am

    I started off with just a few spots as well and then when I was at the end of high school things really went down hill. I ended up on the pill and since then my skin can still have a few periods where it breaks out badly but for 80% of the time it's almost clear and sometimes completely clear so that is honestly the best outcome for me. When I do get cluster breakouts (which is rare) it's like a hit in the gut because I remember how bad I felt when my skin was really breaking out badly.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  3. April 11, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    Thank you so much for reading! Indeed the pill really was my life saver but I guess it depends on every person what works and what doesn't when it comes to acne x

  4. April 11, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    I completely understand you! All my spots came at once and no matter what skincare I tried they just wouldn't go away. The only thing that helped me was the pill x

  5. May 14, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    I relate a lot to this. I have struggled with hormonal acne as well. At my worst I remember being so angry at my former self for worrying about the odd spot I used to get, because now my face was covered. I was so ashamed. Unfortunately due to health reasons, I'm not allowed to go on the pill so that wasn't an option for me, and because I was pregnant/breastfeeding for a while I was quite limited in what I could do without putting my son at risk. I could only use topical creams which helped a bit but didn't clear my skin. I feel very blessed because now that I have finished breastfeeding I can see my skin gradually beginning to recover as my hormones settle down. I have my fingers crossed that I will eventually get back to that 'occasional spots during my period' place I was in when I was younger. When I do have breakouts I've been using the Mario Badescu Acne Repair Kit, which is pricey but it really works for me to soothe my skin and speed up the healing process at least. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Beccah xx
    thehonestolive.com

  6. August 3, 2017 / 7:43 am

    Sometimes I get breakouts from stress too but they go away really fast

  7. August 3, 2017 / 7:45 am

    Thanks for reading and sharing your story with me as well! I tried the Mario Badescu kit myself but because my acne was caused by hormonal problems skincare didn't really do much for my breakouts.

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