I turn 30 soon. Felt like it was time to tell my story.
Like millions of other people on the interweb, I also battle adult acne. Battle, not battled.
It’s still there, but it’s gotten better. And I know why.
I’m here to share my journey with you.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT
I know how desperate it gets. How humiliating, how sad, how depressing, how low, how challenging acne, especially adult acne can be.
I’m here to remind you that it’s not your fault.
I spent so long blaming myself, maybe it’s the Catholic in me, but I only turned the corner when I realised it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t ‘do’ acne to myself.
My skin was perfect in high school. Never had an issue – just slapped on the moisturiser and went off to school without a care in the world.
It was only until I got my first job in advertising, at the age of 21 when things started crumbling health-wise. As you may know, advertising is an extremely stressful and intense industry. It’s so much fun, but also burns you out. Dealing with crazy creatives, demanding clients and tight deadlines meant that I was running on pure adrenaline, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, every single day.
My daily routine would be something like this: Wake up having had terrible sleep worrying about things I had to do the next day, rush off to work, stress that I was late, grab a coffee, skip breakfast, get to work already stressed, begin day of crazy hecticness, scoff lunch at desk, eat a packet of lollies at 3PM from exhaustion, drink a beer at 6PM still at work, work late, taxi home, eat late dinner, go to bed exhausted – repeat.
I guess that’s when my body started to respond. Years of working in a stressful industry I suppose will do that to you. Not everyone, but my body didn’t like it.
I started feeling hot in my face every day – usually due to rage, or stress or both – then eventually over the course of a few months my cheeks started to fill with pimples, cystic pimples. 1 or 2 turned into a small bumpy forest.
It was at this point I realised I had to stop. Advertising was slowly killing me. Even after only 4 years I’d reached my boiling point and my skin had responded by literally coming up in boils all over my face.
I quit advertising, went back to uni and slowly found my way into a similar related industry with not so much stress, and time to actually eat properly, exercise and enjoy a work/life balance.
But the damage to my skin was already done. From that first moment when I developed adult acne, my skin would never be the same. For the next 7 years, my skin got worse and I couldn’t get rid of my acne, whatever I tried.
Although my acne wasn’t severe, it was pretty bad in my eyes. It’s left my skin with what seems like irreparable red marks and scars. I can’t step out of the house even today without concealer or foundation. But I’ve turned a corner. I’ve found my solution to my adult acne and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you.
It’s been a long journey, but I finally feel like I’m reaching the end.