October 26, 2012

My Battle With Acne

A lovely reader, Ellis, has requested this blog post, so here it is. With some delay, but I hope it's helpful for those that are (still) battling with acne. :-)

I have been dealing with acne for a long, long time. I got my first pimple when I was 10. It wasn't a small blemish, no it was a real pimple, just one day before school pictures were taken. Just my luck. I will divide the post into 2 sections. The first part will be my story, which, I hope, will give you some background information on me and my skin. And in the second part I'll go into more detail in the specific med's and things I used/did to "get rid" of the acne. Of course I still get the occasional pimple, you know that time of the month, but I don't mind that. Recently just got an acne attack - literally, but will come back to that later. And be warned, this is gonna be a long 'un!

To set things straight in the beginning, when I'm talking acne, I mean acne. A lot of bloggers, and youtubers are talking about their "acne", and then they mean that they had a few pimples for a year, or maybe 6 months. No, I'm talking about real acne, cystic acne, and all the hard-core stuff. I'm no expert, and don't have a degree in dermatology or whatsoever. No, I just have dealt with it for approximately 8 years now,  have learned a lot in trial and error, reading books, and reading information on credible blogs.

So where do I start. I started to get more, and more blemishes, pimples, or whatever you want to call them. I only had blemishes on my t-zone, nothing on my cheek area, nothing. Did have blackheads (still do). So I went to the doctor, because I was just so sick of it. He prescribed me the pill. Yes, we're talking about the anti-conception pill, and this one specially targeting acne. If I remember correctly it was called the YAZ pill, and was pretty new back then. I tried it, and after just 4 days, I got all cystic acne on my cheeks and chin. It was so, so bad. I felt so embarrassed, and just didn't want to go to school anymore.

I'm sure we all know how mean girls can be in high school. I wasn't the unpopular kinda girl in high school, but wouldn't say I was the most popular one either. I just heard people literally talking behind my back: "oh my god, why doesn't she does anything against it. They sell products for that.". I felt like crying. I mean... how can people can be so freakin' mean?! Not everyone is blessed with flawless skin. I stopped with the YAZ pill immediately, and just didn't do anything. I tried to not touch my face at all, try to not use harsh skincare on my skin. But oh boy, it took a year before it calmed down. I actually went to the doctor again and got some antibiotics for inflammation. It went away with the help of the Diane pil (which I took for 6 months), and then came back again.

This is actually quite recent, 1,5 years ago to be precise. It went so well with my skin, and then again at the end of summer break, the acne started to come again. I didn't know what was happening to me! I almost had to go to uni again, and really didn't want to go with a full face of acne. So I went to my doctor again, and begged him to let me go and see the dermatologist. I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but in the Netherlands you need a note of reference to see the dermatologists (and other specialized doctors).

So I went there, and had the most horrible consultation ever in my life. He was like yeah you really have really bad acne. Bam. Just like that. The man asked me what creams and med's I have had used before, and basically everything. From Differing to Inderm, you name it, I tried it. So he prescribed me with some med's that I've been taking for a year now, stopped 3 months ago. The med's really helped, and reduced the acne significantly. However, I was left with the worst kind of hyper pigmentation ever.  I went to the "skin-therapist" to translate it directly, and got some treatments there. I will get into this in more detail in the sequel post.

My skin has been quite good for the past 6 months, and last week I started to break out again, the first time in 6 months! Horrified. I know I had worse before, but still. After 'working' so hard to get clear(er) skin, getting a break out is horrible. When I say break out, I do mean break out - so yes, the amount of spots you can't count on one hand. Not sure why this happened, but I'm guessing it's because I just recovered from the flu. Started a little detox yesterday, and hope it'll be better soon. It might be because I stopped taking the med's, but not sure yet.

To stop boring you guys, I will leave the post like it is now. It pretty much describes how my skin has been these past years.

Do you have any specific questions you'd like me to answer in my next post?



  1. Great post! :)
    Hang in there, I'm battling with stupid breakouts right now too (actually for the last 6 months!) I hate when my skin suddenly breakout horribly and I don't know why! :(

    1. Thank you sweetie, you too! Skin has been getting a bit better, as I did a small detox, lifestyle, and diet change. Most of the time that's the core problem. ;-) I hope the next post will help combatting your breakouts. Have you taken a look at my Face Mapping post yet? It might help you discovering where the problem lays! Let me know how it goes, and if you need more help or want to talk a bit more about this topic, you can always email me! x

    2. Yes I have, but I just get spots everyone :( but my skin has gotten better since I simplified my skincare routine. I think I was using too many different products, and in the last week where I have used only the basic products I have seen improvementm which makes me sooo happy! Bad skin really takes my confidence away :(

    3. Oh yes, I totally see a difference when I change my skincare routine! When your skin is very inflamed, the best thing is to use products that contain non-harsh chemicals, so everything with alcohol - stay away from that.

      I'm not sure if it's available in Denmark, but Gamila Secret's Cleansing Bar (in Original) is really good. I hated soaps actually, until I discovered this. I stopped using it last month, when I got the major break out I started using this (and changed some other things) and saw that it was less irritated.

      Keep up the spirit and hope! I thought I would never ever see my skin spot free in 20 years, but I got there. How many times I've cried because of my skin. Don't give up, and I'm sure it's not that bad, your skin looks flawless from the pictures! Do you btw use warm or cold water to wash your face? x

    4. I don't think it's available in Denmark, but I have been using Avene's gentle gel cleanser and it has helped so far. My toner is alcohol free, elemis balancing toner and then a moisturiser from REN. The only thing with alcohol is liquid gold which I'm trying again, but not as often, only once a week.
      I use warm water but not too hot and a washcloth to remove the cleanser :)

    5. Ah that's too bad! But I'd recommend stop using the Liquid Gold totally, maybe once your skin is a bit more calm. Adding alcohol to inflamed skin will only worsen your skins condition. Be careful with using a washcloth, as you need to be very gentle and clean the cloth very thoroughly after each use. You of course don't want the germs/bacteria to cause any more blemishes. I'd advise you to use cold water to wash your face, warm water might aggravate the skin, and result in more skin irritations. If you really can't, then maybe try using lukewarm to cold water.

      I hope your skin will see improvements soon:-)


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