AN ADULT ACNE STORY
Written by Sandy Pereira
I always considered myself to have good skin. Smooth, glowy, and healthy skin. While my friends started to get pimples, I was clean and clear. Just a few normal blackheads, but nothing serious.
I was born in South Africa, and at fifteen years old, my parents and I moved to Portugal. It was amazing.
When I turned seventeen, my once small pimples that came and went quite quickly started showing up more often on my forehead and chin. I would describe my face as very oily and full of spots, but everyone around me told me this was normal due to puberty. Wintertime was the worst. After trying many over-the-counter products that didn’t work, I started visiting dermatologists who prescribed me aggressive medication and topical treatments. They would dry my skin so badly that I started looking like an old lady with red, wrinkly, broken, and flaky skin rather than a teenager.
My skin would slightly improve during the summer months, but I would have so much scarring that would only build after each winter was over. It was a vicious cycle that got worse year on year. I finally decided to take the contraceptive pill. That is when my skin finally stabilized and got a lot better. However, at twenty-seven years old, I was still taking the pill, and despite this, my acne came back to haunt me. I genuinely believe now all the pill did was allow me to ignore the actual cause of what was happening to my body, what it was trying to tell me, and what was causing my acne. So I was now at the age that I thought I had to worry about fine lines and anti-aging, but I was back to my teenage years worrying about aggressive acne and scarring, approaching thirty.
Unfortunately, this time around, my acne was more aggressive. Big, red, painful, and inflamed pimples overlapped each other, with accompanying blackheads all over my t-zone. It wasn't only on my chin and forehead. My cheeks and nose were also getting attacked. It would get even worse during my period, then calm down the following weeks, but then the cycle would start all over again, and I would get three or four new massive inflamed pimples in a new area while the old ones continued to scar my face.
I thought it was related to stress because my work environment was toxic. I was preparing for my wedding. I didn't feel nervous or stressed out, but it was the only logical explanation. I went to my GP to see if I had some kind of hormonal problem. She did a check-up and said that everything was normal, and told me to use some acne cream and makeup to cover it up.
The doctor gave me a new pill and sent me home. This was frustrating, but it also made me think that maybe I was giving too much importance to something that maybe wasn't that bad. Maybe me stressing about my acne was what was making it worse. Maybe It wasn't that bad, and I was having a tantrum about nothing. I started doubting myself.
I decided to stop taking the pill because it did nothing and only messed up my period cycle and started doing facials and photo rejuvenation treatments. Within six months, I managed to get married without a single spot or even scar on my face. This was great, but it was only a superficial solution. It doesn't treat the core problem, the real cause of acne.
So when I stopped the treatment, the acne would come back. Late last year, my acne came back to its aggressive ways. It is like everything I have done was for nothing because it just keeps coming back and worse. This is when I started to read, search, and try to understand what causes acne and what can be done differently to prevent it instead of treating it afterward.
MEDICAL TESTS I HAD DONE TO TRY AND FIND THE ROOT CAUSE OF MY ACNE
I have gotten blood work done and have gone to different doctors and dermatologists. The most frustrating aspect of this process is that nothing shows up on my test results. I am in my late twenties/ early thirties, and I have very aggressive acne, scarring, digestive issues, and stress difficulties that must affect my hormone levels. But everyone says I am fine and healthy.
So nothing explains my adult acne. I still have to see if I have any allergic reaction to specific foods. But other than that, according to my doctors, I am fine and just a thirty-three-year-old teenager.
WHAT I THINK CAUSED MY ACNE AND WHY IT STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE
I cannot tell for sure what the root cause of my acne truly was, as no doctor was ever able to give me a concrete answer. I have done blood work, gone to my GP, given them all my symptoms apart from acne, and everyone tells me I am fine.
Ultimately due to when my flare-ups occur, I know it is stress-related. I know that it could be genetic because my mother also suffered from acne at my age. And I know it also has to do with my skin type, but I began to think that it may also have to do with nutrition and gut health. Also inherited from my mother and grandmother, my digestive system is susceptible to sensitivities. Certain foods and beverages we consume or when we are more nervous or stressed out can trigger and make us all super bloated, filled with gas, give us cramps, etc... So I have been trying to test out foods that trigger me and have made many changes over time.
I have eliminated lactose products from my diet, all sparkly beverages, reduced carbs (I still eat carbs, but much less, especially bread and pasta that was a constant for me). I have started to drink a lot more water, tea and have implemented a plant-based diet. It is worth noting that I am not a vegetarian as I still eat meat and meat products but have reduced them heavily.
WITH NO MEDICAL ANSWERS, THIS JUST LEFT ME WITH ADULT ACNE IN MY 30s
Acne is very personal to me. The pimples hurt, they were disgusting, they were never-ending. I looked in the mirror (and still do) and didn’t like what I saw. I get frustrated at times. I wanted not to need makeup, just to look "normal" I would be afraid of going to the beach because I wouldn't be with makeup, and everyone would see how bad my skin was.
I would be afraid to have sleepovers with friends, and the next morning, they would see my face makeup-free and think I was disgusting. It was a "me against me situation." People could see that I had acne. People would say something but move on. On the other hand, I would constantly be thinking about it, and if someone looked at my face longer than a second, I would get uncomfortable and imagine that they were looking at how horrible my skin was and think how ugly I was.
WHAT CHANGES I MADE THAT POSITIVELY AFFECTED MY ACNE
I have changed some of my eating habits, including removing lactose from my diet. I also stopped drinking fizzy drinks, reduced cards, drink more tea and filtered water, and try to include more veggies and fresh fruits in my diet. I try to be more healthy because not only will it be good for the skin, but everything in general. I want to live longer and be healthier.
With so much online research and so many products available (some of which I have tried and mostly nothing happens), I came across Klarskin. In the beginning, I was curious but not very enthusiastic about it as I have quite literally tried everything else. I think anyone who has struggled with acne later in life has tried so many things and feels deflated because they either don’t work, or you end up back where you started as soon as you stop using the product.
But I knew from my mother and grandmother’s experience that treating my gut might be the only real thing that would help me. So I kept reading about Klarskin and their process and reviews. What triggered me was their simple approach to skin health. The Radiance Powder has wonderful ingredients, and I could actually understand what they all were.
Klarskin does not add anything to make the powder taste better. There is a simple two-step process and shipped in minimal, eco-friendly packaging. I love Klarskin because there are only THREE PRODUCTS to think about!
But seriously, only three products!? No extra creams for nighttime, daytime, SPF, etc.. and no extra vitamins? Finally, a brand that got my attention. There is also so much information for free that made me feel like I could understand the product before investing in them.
I read all the reviews, almost all of their blog posts on the Wellness Club, stories about the founder's journey, and I debated about buying for over two weeks. I gave in and thought to myself, let’s try one more thing. It probably won’t make things worse than what it already is, and I feel this is good stuff.
So I ordered the Radiance Powder and the Universal Serum. I must confess that the taste wasn't amazing. The beautiful pink color makes you think you will drink something sweet and tasty, but then, nope, it just doesn’t taste like anything. This is great! I hate those supplements that are super sweet and full of other things that just aren’t necessary. The serum I use religiously every morning and night after cleansing my skin. It has really helped reduce the inflamed pimples and also reduce some scaring.
My gut feels much better, and I feel I digest food better. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I do feel good. I still have my pimples when it’s that time of the month. But it’s much less and they dry out quicker, and I can see an end in sight after each cycle.
SKINCARE AND TREATMENTS THAT HELPED MY ACNE
Facials every once in a while and photo-rejuvenation during the winter helped my acne a lot, especially with those stubborn blackheads, controlling the oiliness, brightening your scars, and making you look glowy and healthy. I also use La Roche Posay Effaclar in my daily routine day and night.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Mousse for cleansing and the Micropeeling gel for a gentle peeling that is good for scars. After my face is clean, I use the Klarskin serum, and in the morning, I will finish with a hydrating cream from the same effaclar range. Before breakfast, I will take my cup of water with the radiance powder, and that's how my day starts. My skincare routine is much simpler and more manageable, and the results are there.
MY CONCLUSION FROM HAVING ADULT ACNE
Having acne is not a disease, but it feels like it. The best advice I can give is to be kind to yourself, treat yourself well and look in the mirror, and know that you ARE beautiful if you have acne or not. Just take care of yourself with nutritious food that is good for you, keep yourself hydrated, and don't overdo it with skin products. Just keep it simple. Thankfully, people like Klaskin are looking at acne not as a skin problem but as an internal problem and helping us understand the root cause, so there is a solution for your situation. Be patient. Sometimes what works for others may not work for you, but that doesn't mean that it’s over. Just keep looking and fighting.