Adult Acne | My skin saviours
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and as such, am not qualified to make medical statements about acne or other health issues. This post merely explores my experience with adult acne as a result of hormone imbalances and the steps and products I have/am trying to see positive results in my overall skin condition and scarring.
Since going off the pill over a year ago, my skin has gone nuts. The time period where I have had none to minimal new breakouts can be measured in days rather than weeks. Initially these breakouts were mostly concentrated around my forehead, but have since moved to my jawline and neck. For more on my skin and PCOS journey, check out my YouTube video. The neck acne has been particularly problematic not only because it is mostly cystic, but also because since my skin is lighter there and I don't have any freckles, the scars are much more noticeable.
Over the past year, I have tried almost EVERYTHING when it comes to clearing up my acne...
Going gluten free: Since gluten can be an inflammatory food, I thought that I'd give it a try going gluten-free. I was able to keep this up mostly consistently for a good couple of months. While I did notice it reduced my feelings of stomach pain and bloating, personally it didn't do anything to cure my acne.
Going dairy free: Similar to gluten, dairy is an inflammatory food and is often listed as igniting acne or making it worse. My stint going dairy-free didn't last as long as the gluten. I was easily able to give up yoghurt, cheese and ice cream...but I LOVE cow's milk. I have tried soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk and don't like the taste of any of them. Coconut yoghurt, in my opinion, is one of the foulest things I've ever tasted. I had to give the 'no dairy' the flick, firstly for my own sanity, but secondly, because eliminating it hadn't impacted the quality of my skin. While I'm now drinking regular milk, I will continue to eliminate the other types of dairy and see what eventuates.
External treatments: When it comes to external treatments, I've given most things a go, including:
-Apple cider vinegar as a toner
-Tea tree oil dabbed on spots
-Moisturising using products that don't clog your pores
-Weekly face masks
Internal measures: Some of the things that I've tried to maintain good internal bacteria and promote healthy skin include:
-Drinking more water
-Eating more raw foods
-Taking chlorophyll and fish oil supplements
While I'm sure that all of these things were helpful in some respect. I can't really pinpoint one as being a 'game changer'. One of the things that really did improve the quality of my skin and reducing the severity, redness and scarring of my acne was integrating chemical exfoliants into my regimen. This includes ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. I ended up buying the Sukin Spot Treatment which contains salicylic acid and the Pixi Glow Peel Pads which contain glycolic acid. I have found both of these in combination with the steps listed above, really changed the game. The Sukin gel, I use up to two or three times a day directly on my problem areas. The Pixi pads, I use up to twice a week. These I use at the end of the day, after cleansing. I wipe over my entire face and neck and leave for 2-3 minutes before washing off with a warn cloth.
I also recently bought some new, natural products from RAWW cosmetics, including their Recover-me Face Oil. I am super keen to try this out consistently and am hoping that its super food ingredients and vitamin C will help to reduce the appearance of my acne scars.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body and I truly believe that it reflects all of the processes that are going on internally. I know that my acne is not simply a result of having unclean skin (although, I do really want to significantly reduce the amount of makeup I wear on a daily basis). As such, curing my acne is not a 'skin-deep' problem and will likely take many more months of trial and error and most importantly, integrating practices that help to reduce stress in my life.
If you are experiencing adult acne, take a look at my list above and think about how you could transform your life to incorporate more positive habits and self care rituals. If you have successfully reduced or eliminated hormonal acne, what measures did you find helped the process the most? Comment below so we can share the care.