It took me almost two years to realise that I was facing adult acne. My flawless, even-toned complexion only lasted until I turned 23 years old.
Once I reached my mid-20s, my occasional spots gradually transformed into a permanent nightmare of whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.
The shock was massive, because I was among the lucky ones who made it to adulthood without acne, breakouts or spots. My teen skin was clear, smooth, and had an amazing healthy glow.
Adult acne happens to everybody. Researches indicate up to 50% of women over 25 experience or will experience acne-related skin issues at some point.
Caused by a combination of hormonal imbalance, stress and poor diet, adult acne is a tricky enemy. I suffered from zits and whiteheads around the chin and jawline, which later spread to the forehead.
They would usually take ages to heal, leaving me with red and brown marks (known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) that would not fade away for weeks or even months.
I tried everything, from drugstore and over-the-counter treatments to high-end products, home remedies, and DIY recipes. Nothing really worked.
My attempts to cover up acne only made the problem worst; foundations and powders blocked my pores resulting in inflamed pimples and major flare-ups.
I made almost all the common mistakes: over-washing, exfoliating on a daily basis and stripping my skin of its oils. In an attempt to dry out the blemishes, I stopped applying moisturiser. And of course, I picked and popped pimples and zits.
On top of that, my skin became sensitive and reactive even to products I was using for years. All of a sudden, I developed allergic reactions to every sunscreen and moisturiser, and I had to bin my CHANEL cream blush (Le Blush Crème de Chanel Affinité 65, the only blush that perfectly matched my skin tone, sad story).
I belong to sunnier lands, and so does my skin.
In the meantime, I left Greece and moved in to Edinburgh, Scotland. My uni days were incredible, but the UK weather was, well, let’s say one of a kind.
Adult acne was no longer my skin’s only foe; I had to adjust my skincare routine to effectively deal with cold and wind. I also had to accept that I would only get some glimpses of sunshine everyday.
Now 27, I can’t class my skin type in one category. My skin is sensitive, intolerant and prone to breakouts and acne scarring. It often feels dry, tight and uncomfortable, only to get oily and dehydrated within hours.
My skin reacts to many cosmetics and skincare ingredients so I need to do a patch test before adding new products into my skincare routine.
An extensive post is coming soon about how I managed to control adult acne. Hormonal acne comes from inside which means skin imperfections can appear out of the blue.
Since I could not beat genetics, I spent several months reading reviews, comparing products and getting to know my enemy, adult acne. After a long period of trial and error, I created the beauty routine that saved my skin (and self-confidence).
Be right back with my beauty ritual.
Have you ever experienced adult acne?