Help Me Please! I Have Adult Acne!

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adult acneAdult acne…. Whomp! Whomp!

Let’s get real, when we were younger most of us assumed that acne was probably something that we would only have to deal with in our adolescence. NO ONE warned us that it might follow us – or pop up unexpectedly in my case – well into our adult years. So you can imagine my dismay when I developed adult acne in my early 20’s. I was blessed with clear skin all through my teens, so I had no idea how to combat this new skin situation that I had found myself in. 

If you’ve made it this far, I can only assume that you have also dealt with your share of acne. 

If you’re anything like me, finding the perfect solution for maintaining healthy skin has been a challenge and you will, no doubt, appreciate my struggle. This is my story.

adult acne
Current situation.

Prior to developing adult acne, I relied on a simple regime of washing my face twice a day with Neutrogena and then applying a moisturizer that also contained sunscreen. I followed the rule to never sleep with makeup on and to keep my skin as hydrated as possible. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning with tons of tiny bumps on my forehead that eventually erupted into full-blown acne over the course of a few days.

Looking back now, I can definitely attribute my new skin condition to stress.

I was a senior in college and waiting tables full-time to pay my rent. Panicked, I ran to the mall and picked up a kit of Proactiv. At first, this kit seemed to help. The face wash contained an exfoliator that I could tell was scraping the top layer of my skin off. I was a bit dubious, however, after a few days, my breakouts seemed to be disappearing.  I was hopeful that Proactiv would be my solution…after all they were advertised basically everywhere I turned.

Soon though, my confidence in this product waned. I noticed that my skin was becoming overly dry and that the acne had started to come back, although not as bad as before. Life got busy as I was planning my upcoming wedding and I put dealing with it on the back burner and continued to use Proactiv.

As my wedding approached I started to feel a bit down about the prospect of not having perfect skin in all of my photos, so I turned to the internet for help. After researching several options, I decided to switch to the Clinique Acne Solutions skin care system. Immediately, I could tell that this regime was much less invasive. The face wash foamed and didn’t contain an exfoliator. The cream was also thicker and left my skin feeling silky smooth. 

Once again, I was hopeful.

Weeks later my skin was completely clear. I was ecstatic. I had finally found a solution to my adult acne! For the next several years, Clinique and I were best friends.

Then, in my early 30’s I became pregnant and everything changed once again.

I found that my skin had become much drier, so I decided to stop the Clinique regime and switch back to my tried-and-true Neutrogena face wash. This seemed to do the trick until my daughter was about 18 months old and my acne returned, once again. I switch back to Clinique and found that it was no match for my latest form of acne.

My skin was incredibly oily, which is something that I had never dealt with before. 

After searching the internet, yet again, I found a skin care system on Amazon called TreeActiv, which contains an essential oil called Tee Tree Oil. Review after review raved about how this brand had cleared peoples’ skin. So I took the plunge and ordered it. I was so hopeful because this particular product had a whopping 4.5 stars out of over 400 reviews. But, as any dermatologist I’m sure will tell you (I’m not one BTW), everyone’s skin is different, and this product actually made my adult acne worse.

So, here I am. Still acne ridden, despite my best efforts, and admittedly a bit more cranky about it.

I’m not an expert whatsoever, but my gut instinct is telling me that stress is probably the main culprit. And, while my next step will probably be to consult a dermatologist with more knowledge on the matter, what will probably benefit me the most is to take time each day and try to de-stress. Healthy diet, exercise, and lots of water also play a key role in maintaining healthy skin and I plan on making those factors more of a priority in the future. So keep your fingers crossed for me that one day I get my healthy skin back!

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As an Army Brat, I’ve lived all over the country, but have been fortunate enough to call Orange County home for nearly 20 years. In 2008, I received my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from California State University of Fullerton. Since then, I’ve enjoyed writing both professionally and personally. I have a small obsession with crocheting (and all things yarn, really) and enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and sipping on a nice glass of red wine. My husband Justin and I have been married since 2012 and recently welcomed our daughter Samantha Jewel into the world. As a new mom, I look forward to being a part of Anaheim Mom’s Blog and connecting with you all through my posts.