Acne: My Experience and Advice

Acne: My Experience and Advice

When I turned 14, I first experienced acne. Even though my skin is now much more under control and the spots I get would be considered the ‘norm’ for a 19-year-old, my acne used to be much worse. Acne is something that can really affect you in your teenage years even though it is often spoken about as a trivial thing. In reality, experiencing bad acne can be really frustrating whilst growing up, and so I thought I’d write about my skin journey and experiences with acne.

I got acne soon after I started wearing makeup, and so put the spots I was getting down to the foundation I was putting on my face every day as well as the fact I was a 14-year-old. However, it was only when I realised I was getting a lot more spots than my friends that I thought my skin struggles were more than ‘normal’. I would constantly have spots and even had bad skin on my shoulders and back.

It was definitely a confidence knock and more than anything I found it frustrating that the things that were working for my friends to get rid of their spots weren’t working for me. Up until the age of around 16 my spots were bad. It was only when I was nearer 17 that my skin began to improve drastically and matched my friends ‘normal’ experiences with spots.

Just to clarify, I keep putting ‘normal’ in quotes because I don’t think there is a norm when it comes to skin. The idea of clear skin being the norm is not true and probably not a healthy thing to think, especially if you are struggling with acne yourself. Don’t feel abnormal because of your skin, know that so many people struggle with acne too!

So, even though my skin now is by no means ‘perfect’, I have definitely made steps to help my skin be under control. When my spots started getting worse, I spent about a year trying out every possible product I could find in the supermarket and drugstore to clear my skin. When this approach didn’t work for me, I went to the doctors to see if they could help me. They spent a while prescribing gels and creams, until they suggested I start taking tablets to help my skin. I know that a lot of people would rather try other things to sort their spots rather than medication, but for me this is what helped my skin. I still take theses tablets now and I find them really effective. Obviously, what worked for me won’t work for everyone – skin is so individual – so try whatever you are happy to try until you find something that suits you.

Now, my skin is much better than it was, but like everyone else it’s definitely not perfect. When I was younger and experiencing bad skin, it could be very stressful and having bad acne definitely affected my confidence, particularly at school. I know that you may have been clicking on this post for miraculous ‘how I got rid of my acne’ advice with a ‘before and after’ photograph, because I read so many of those types of blog posts over the years when my acne was bad. Often people talk about the physical effects of acne, but no-one seems to look beyond that. So, I want to give some slightly different advice;

• Don’t let your skin define you •

This is something I came to learn over time. I was so worried about the way my skin looked that it became a really frustrating thing that I would focus a lot of time on. But no-one is completely content with their skin, so don’t put the pressure on yours to look perfect. Accept that is might take a little while for your acne to leave but know that it will go; don’t let it define you because skin changes all the time.

• Don’t be afraid to visit the doctor •

I know that some people may feel embarrassed to go to the doctor about acne or feel as though acne is something trivial – I felt the same. But the doctors can be really supportive and helpful when it comes to acne treatment. There is so much help out there for people struggling with acne and the doctors have a lot of resources aimed to help. Don’t be afraid to speak to them.

• It won’t last forever •

For some reason, my 15-year-old self felt as though I would be always stuck with bad acne – this is not the case. Even though I wouldn’t say my skin is completely clear and free of spots now (like most people of my age), I no longer have bad acne. It doesn’t last forever, and it is something you can get under control. Have patience and know that you aren’t set for a life with acne, it is something that takes time to clear.

• Don’t watch ‘Before and After Videos’ •

Not to make the subheading sound too dramatic – watch them if you want to haha! But just know that they aren’t realistic – even though I would no longer say I struggle with bad acne, I wouldn’t say my skin is clear. I still get spots and have some scaring and that is okay. Getting rid of acne and clearing your skin is possible, but the results spoken about are often unrealistic, so don’t be hard on yourself. Your skin is individual to you and that is what is cool, I know it’s difficult but try not to compare yourself to others!

I’ve come to accept my skin and to know that, like everyone else, it will never be 100% perfect and that is absolutely okay. Chances are I will get another spot in my life and will experience bad skin days and good skin days. THIS IS NORMAL. I hope you take from this blog post that your skin doesn’t define you.

My younger self picked up similar advice from a vlog Zoella put up on her second channel a few years ago. If you are looking for further advice on how to feel more content with your skin struggles, please check it out here, (the chat starts at 10mins 29seconds):
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4RoqSJ_Vto <<

I would love if you could share your acne stories or advice in the comments, if you feel comfortable doing so, to help give further advice to anyone else struggling.
Thank you for reading!

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