Hi Friends. Coming at you with a more personal post today, but I wanted to open up about adult acne. I think some people will be shocked to see the photos I’m sharing today, but I think it’s important to share that I’m just like you if that makes sense. With social media, you can have an altered perspective of other people’s reality because you only see what people want you to see. I almost feel like I’ve hidden apart of myself over the last year and a half, hiding behind makeup, filters, and photo edits. Today, I’m hoping to change that so if you’re also suffering from adult acne you know you’re not alone, and I hope you be hopeful to clear things up.
Let’s start with a little back story on my adult acne.. #stress
I started getting breakouts around February 2018. I was very stressed out with work in an unhealthy / gossip environment, started my Youtube journey, and put more time into my blog than ever to pay off my student loans. I’m not exactly sure what triggered everything, and I didn’t even realize the toll it was taking on my body. I went in for a yearly checkup and I wasn’t expecting the Doctor to tell me my blood pressure was high. They told me to check it daily for a week and if it was still high to see a doctor.
Excuse me, what?! Never in my life had I had high blood pressure. But suddenly I could feel it. My pulse felt hard in my throat, I would notice heart palpitations, I felt swollen, and just generally unhealthy. From there I became more and more aware of when my blood pressure felt elevated. I think this just fueled further stress/anxiety and made it worse. One day on my way home for lunch to escape, it was so bad I felt like I needed to stop by CVS and check it with those automated readers. Y’all, it was HIGH. I googled it and the recommendations were to go to the ER. So I went to Urgent Care and they prescribed medication and recommended I see a primary doctor.
Because of this, I didn’t want to increase my risk of having a stroke, so I decided to go off my birth control. I never mentioned this on social media because everyone’s first response who I did tell was asking if we were starting a family, which wasn’t the reason. I’m not saying birth control causes stroke, but there is a higher risk for them when taking birth control and your risk factors increase based on specific comorbidities (like high blood pressure). I know my skin would react to the change in hormones, but I wasn’t quite ready for just how bad it got. Which lead to even more stress, it was a vicious cycle.
How I started clearing up adult acne
I tried changing my diet, I switched to decaf coffee to help my stress, I avoided touching my face, I never slept in makeup, washed my pillowcase all the dang time.. and I still had constant cystic breakouts. When I washed my face at night I would just feel the soreness and roughness of my skin. It was so frustrating, painful, and took an emotional toll on me. I was doing everything right to avoid more breakouts, but nothing cleared it up. In fact, it kept getting worse.
Because of my blog and youtube channel, I had to continue being in front of a camera. It was so frustrating to watch. I hid behind makeup, good lighting, and filters. But at times there was nothing I could do to hide them.
In March of this year, I started using the Rodan and Fields UNBLEMISHED regimen (c/o). I could not wait to use it because I was so hopeful anything would work. I’ll go more in detail of this routine in a later post, and chat about why I stopped using it, but here are my before and after photos. NOTE: I stopped using the regimen in June after my breakouts slowed down, so the most recent photo is with a new routine.
* These are obviously unedited photos 😉
I did have a purging phase about 3-4 weeks into this regimen that lasted for 2 weeks, but I’ve heard that is normal with acne regimens because it’s speeding up exfoliation to get things moving out quicker. Around this time, I attended my first Reward Style conference. It was hard feeling so insecure about my skin, but I was so proud to be there I didn’t want my insecurity to stop me from going.
Where my skin is at today
In June my breakouts finally started slowing down. I’m not sure if it was the products, time off the pill, or a combination of both. I still have an occasional breakout on my jawline around my period. My dermatologist recently recommended a prescription pill to manage that, however I’m not too keen on taking unnecessary medications. I still have leftover pigment from all those breakouts called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I’m relieved to see I have very little acne scarring, which is different from the redness still on my skin. Acne scarring presents more like ice pick scars or raised bumps on the skin and are much harder to treat. I’ve read post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can take anywhere from 3-24 months to fade. Check the blog Wednesday to see the products I’m using to tackle this.
I stopped using the UNBLEMISH regimen in June because I felt like it started to cause increased redness and irritation in my skin. I’ll go into more detail of these products in a future post, but they have very strong ingredients and my skin would react if I used them too consistently. I may add it back into my routine if I notice a change in my breakouts, but for now I’m really happy with the results of my current routine.
I plan to share a full skincare routine on my Youtube channel Tuesday. This routine has been a long time coming because I didn’t see the point to share what I was using when I had horrible skin. But now, I feel like it’s even more helpful to see products that have worked for me. My skin still isn’t perfect, but I’m proud of its progress!
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Over the weekend, I left the house for the first time in months without makeup, which got me thinking up my idea for this post. If you struggle with adult acne, I hope you realize you’re not alone. xoxo