Tuesday, December 09, 2014



As a teen I suffered from Acne and my confidence plummeted, fast forward 10 years and I am facing the same problems all over again due to a hormonal imbalance. From the get go I do want to openly state that there are far worse things in life than not having a perfect complexion, and this time around confidence is not an issue. I know it will get better in time and for now I have more than my fair share of heavy duty concealers to disguise the problem. I like to think that the majority of people are too wrapped up with their own skin concerns to really pay notice to my face. What is more intriguing for me is what are the causes of Acne, the misconceptions and are there any remedies that don't involve sitting in the doctors waiting room?

So what is Acne? Acne is of course a very common skin condition characterised by comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and pus-filled spots (pustules) and usually starts during puberty and can vary in severity. The sebaceous (oil-producing) glands of people who get acne are particularly sensitive to normal blood levels of a hormone called testosterone, which is present in both men and women. This can cause the glands to produce an excess of oil At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the pores are not shed properly and clog up the follicles. These two effects result in a build-up of oil producing blackheads (where a darkened plug of oil is visible) and whitehead. I don't know a single person who hasn't had some degree of Acne growing up. What some may pass of as a hormonal break out could well be Acne.

For the majority of us it will be a problem in our teens to early twenties but it can occur in later life too. Rather interestingly up to 60% of those will seek treatment for acne and more often than not it is over the counter solutions - think of all the blemish targeted skin care in the large chemists and it is easy to understand just how common the problem is. Even more interesting is that in the UK alone, acne accounts for more than 3.5 million visits to the GP every year - perhaps the aforementioned solutions aren't quite working after all? As an adult it is rather interesting to read that most adult cases to do indeed seem to be present within women - a whopping 80% no less. It is nice to know I am not alone. Oddly in later life acne is more often caused by the changes in hormone levels that many women have at certain times, such as the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. In my case it is down to the contraceptive implant - my body has somewhat rejected in, my skin has went in to overdrive as have my mood swings. Such fun...not!

The good news is that there is no proof to suggest that Chocolate will cause acne nor will it make a pre-existing bout any worse, nor will make-up or alcohol. It is just an old wives tale along with acne being caused by bad personal hygiene. Research has indicated that over cleansing may in fact make the condition worse by removing the protective oils within the skin. I can agree with this as a teen I was convinced it was dirt that was the root of the problem, I'd wash my face as much as I could along with 3-4 showers a day (nope, I'm not kidding) and if anything I made the situation worse. My skin was red raw and inflamed. I'd also say ignore those who tell you to avoid make-up, I found it to be a confidence booster but would recommend seeking out oil free products and keeping your brushes clean. It is also worth mentioning that acne is not contagious.

As I mentioned in the opening statement that once acne is treated (I do recommend going to the doctor as a hormone imbalance is not something you can correct with skin care) the out look is great. Statics have proven that those who seek treatment report at least a 50% improvement within three months. I know personally how tough and annoying it is to have what seems like an endless bad skin day, not to mention how painful some breakouts can be. What I do urge you to keep in mind is that it won't last forever, hormones change, medication works as does skin care. Once you find the right solution it does all fall in to place. As odd as it may seem sometimes I do Google celebrities with acne, it kinda makes me feel better to know that some of the world's most beautiful men and women suffer from the same problems.

Have you, or do you suffer from acne.
What has worked for you if so?
I would love to hear any tips, tricks or general pointers.
We will be using the hashtag #spotlessxmas on twitter should you want to join the conversation.

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  1. I hope it gets better for you!

    I'm in the process of steaming my face before using a medicated scrub then Sudocrem! It is working but I have missed a few days and my skins got a bit worse!

    The Chocolate news is amazing! No more feeling bad!


  2. Very thoughtful post, luckily I don't get acne but I can't imagine the lack of confidence it must bring.

  3. I suffer from acne too and it got so bad that I was put on accutane x

  4. I still suffer from acne but my skin is getting better now that I don't use too many harsh products on my skin. I think you should let your skin breathe and rest once in a while without putting makeup or whatsoever. I also think that sleeping early and getting enough sleep is the key. That's how my skin is getting better.

  5. i've just gone back on the co-cyprindiol pill which balances out hormones and is SO amazing for clearing up my skin, which i use in addition with Differin cream. however i just feel like i might end up on this for the rest of my life because when i came off it my acne got awful, and i gradually become immune to all the other GP's treatments. i hate acne. UGH..

  6. I was blessed with never having a pimple all through my teen years, up until about age 19. Then I started breaking out constantly, and have accumulated a great deal of scarring. It's horrible, and does awful things to my self-confidence. I find that some things work really well, and then stop working after awhile. I had a lot of luck with Mario Bedescu sulfur treatment, but that has sort of stopped working in the past few months. The best luck I've ever had was an overhaul of my diet-- cutting out processed food. It helped a lot, but never really completely took care of the problem.

    If you find any fantastic tips, please share them! I'd love to hear it too.

    Good luck!

  7. A subject close to my heart, I have suffered since I was 11 - getting worse through my teens and although the best it's ever been at 33 I am still getting the odd spot. Unfortunately like you say hormones play the biggest part as mine definitely worsened then dramatically improved during and after pregnancy. However I do feel any liquid foundations /primers make me break out (but I can't resist all the time) but I will always go back to my Jane iradale powder and it will settle down again. Not all "mineral" makeup is actually as good as it makes out but this one is as pure as they come.

  8. Well thank god about the chocolate fact! I always feel like my skin gets worse after a binge but.... if you say not then... I'll carry on scoffing!

    Josie XOXO
    Fashion Mumblr

  9. I really liked this post Adrienne! Lots of great information. I've suffered from acne since my teens and still dealing with it into my 20s. I've seen a difference with changing up my skincare and being really strict with what I use but I think I still have a long way to go before it's going anywhere. I'd never normally leave the house without makeup but I decided to go for it one day and you're right, nobody really cares about it, they have other things on their mind! I'm sure your post will help lots of people, I'm definitely going to keep in mind about googling celebrities with acne on my down days!

    Sami - Beauty Aesthetic xx

  10. I've found that sticking to a routine in the mornings and evenings as far as skincare goes does wonders. I also found that neutrogena's stress acne face wash helped when i was younger, and more recently, Formula 10.0.2 "Best Face Forward" face wash is great as well. Good luck!

  11. I can totally relate. Back in school I suffered with acne and it really did feel like the bane of my life! I used to wear seriously thick makeup to cover it up and even get in trouble at school because of it, I was so jealous of all my friends with clear skin. The only thing that helped me was medication, it's such a shame we can't all just have perfect skin!!

    she dreams


  12. I never used to get the big deal about acne until I had a major breakout when I was 19. I don't believe mine can be considered acne but I'm glad I was hit with so many stubborn spots as it actually made me understand why people get so self conscious about acne. It must be so frustrating to have it especially if you can't find a solution to it.

    Raise The Waves

  13. Lovely post....xoxoxo....:)

  14. I had a massive breakout into Level 2 Acne aged 17 and went on antibiotics - it cleared up but I still got the odd deep rooted one which was a pain. I now use La Roche Posay and as natural as possible brands and my skin so clear and happy now :) I'd really suggest Egyptian Magic too as a moisturiser, it's so natural and nourishing whilst clearing the skin

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty -

  15. Such a lovely personal post, I haven't suffered with major acne but when I do get the odd spot I find sticking to a simple cleansing routine day and night makes such a difference

    Written with style | Bloglovin

  16. I get acne mostly on my jawline and neck (I'm assuming you do too because that's where people who have hormonal imbalances get it right?) so I've started the no milk diet right in the middle of the holiday season where there's cookies and egg nog and other cheesy...creamy...delicious food. But I do believe a lot of the foods we eat can cause hormonal imbalances and hopefully by cutting them out I can naturally solve my acne problem instead of chemically...but who knows It's only been about a month so far. I do feel like there is an improvement though. #spotlessxmas

    Fancy Nancy’s YouTube


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