Sunday, 18 September 2016

What It's Really Like To Struggle With Acne | My Experience

Something I have wanted to talk about on this blog for a long long time is acne. I've suffered with acne for a very long time now and I have a lot of experiences and thoughts to share with people out there who might suffer with acne as well, or people who might have clear skin and not really see what all the fuss is about. I'm going to split this post into sections starting from when I first got acne to everything I've done to fight it. This might be a long post but if you're interested please read to the end as this is a topic that's very important to me and I'd love to talk and discuss it with other people!

I first noticed that I was getting a lot of spots when I was around 11. I have quite a few memories of kids in high school commenting on it and using it as a way to put me down, especially as it got worse. I was already a very shy person when I was young, and the spots on my face made my confidence plummet even more. I started using makeup around 13 and would go to school every day with a face covered in foundation, powder, eyeliner and mascara and I probably haven't left the house without wearing makeup since. Luckily, I learnt how to match my makeup to my skin tone pretty quickly so I managed to get away with wearing makeup to school, thankfully meaning I never had to have the awkward conversation that would have arose if the teachers had tried to get me to take it off. There was no way I was attending school bare-faced.

There have been numerous occasions where I've had people comment on my skin. 
One time in particular was in college one day, where a girl in my class told me she thought I looked 'plastic' and 'fake' because in her opinion I wore too much makeup. I had no idea how to react to this and I ended up in tears at home that evening. The worst experience I had however was when I was 18 years old and my skin was the worst it had ever been. I had severe acne all over my chin and cheeks and could never conceal it well enough with makeup. As horrible as my skin made me feel, I still tried my hardest to not let it get in the way of me doing things, so one night my friend and I travelled down to Liverpool to go to a concert and stay overnight so that we could go to a few bars afterwards. It was a lovely night and we had a lot of fun until around 2am, when we were making our way back to our hotel and two guys approached us and started making conversation. One of them took the lead and got straight to the point of asking us to go back to their hotel with them. We declined and continued walking, which didn't sit so well with this guy in particular. It seemed he didn't take well to being rejected and decided to act as if he didn't really want us to go back with them, started to tell me how ugly I was, asked me why my face was covered in spots, asked me did I never wash my face, and then, he spat in my face. 
Writing this now, I can see quite clearly how vile and pathetic this guy was, but back then I was a complete mess. We walked straight back to our hotel as fast as we could go, whilst he continued to shout after us, and I crumpled into a mess of tears before we'd even reached the lobby. The staff were lovely and made sure these boys weren't hanging around outside the hotel, before my friend took me back our room and calmed me down. She was wonderful and spent the rest of the night telling me all of the things I needed to hear, but that memory has and will always stick with me when I think about my acne.

In my second year of college, I had a consultation with a dermatologist and was prescribed a very intense drug called Roaccutane. Every cream, gel and pill that I had been on previously hadn't made any difference, so it was time for the last resort. I was also put onto the combined contraceptive pill and took these treatments for around 6 months. I want to write a full post regarding Roaccutane in the future, because it honestly changed my life. By the time I finished my treatment, my skin was completely clear. I could wear makeup everyday, I could sleep in makeup, I could slack on my skincare routine, and I would never get a spot. I think I had around two years with entirely clear skin and it was absolute bliss. I was still covered in acne scars and pigmentation but my confidence soared. I can't express how happy and confident I felt in those two years and it was worth every side effect and risk that drug gave me. 

Back in January I was put onto a new contraceptive pill which my body did not agree with, and it caused the worst acne flare up I've ever experienced. It not only caused the acne to return to my t-zone, but I was not dealing with painful cystic acne all along my jawline. I felt like I had a disease. Needless to say I came off that pill as soon as possible but the damage was already done and I've now been dealing with severe acne again since then. As the pill has gradually left my system my flare up has calmed down slightly, but it's still at a worse point than it was before my initial treatment. This time it's actually caused me to miss out on a lot of things, from going out with my friends to even attending my university lectures. I can't bare the idea of people looking at my skin, and it's causing such a negative impact on my mental health. I am now booked in with the dermatologist, yet again, to discuss a second treatment of Roaccutane. I am praying the drug works for a second time around and I can finally start to feel like myself again. 

Do you struggle with acne? Does it affect you in the ways I mentioned?



  1. I don't think you can really understand how badly acne can affect you unless you have actually experienced it. I've literally just finished a 6 month course of Roaccutane and that stuff is actually amazing. Although now I have the constant fear that my acne will start reappearing again at some point. Sorry to hear that your acne has come back, it really is a horrible thing because it can be so mentally draining.

    The Velvet Black | UK Personal Style / Beauty Blog

    1. That's amazing to hear you must be feeling so good right now! Usually acne shouldn't ever come back after using Roaccutane unless it's caused by something extreme (like mine was with that hormonal pill), so hopefully yours should stay clear! Thank you, it's really crap to deal with but it's helpful to talk to other people going through the same thing! xxx

  2. My jaw actually dropped when I read that he spat in your face, that is just awful! I'm scared to go on a birth control pill because of the side effects but I'm glad to hear your current flare up is going away. I think acne would be such a difficult thing to struggle with. I hope you get another treatment!

    1. I couldn't believe it when it happened either! It depends which one you go on, I had no side effects whatsoever on the combined pill but the when I was put onto the mini pill it completely destroyed my body! It's just about finding what works best for you but don't let the doctors push anything on you if you don't want it! Thank you <3 It really lowers your confidence but hopefully I can manage to get it sorted! xxx

  3. I started getting acne exactly the same age as you, and even now i'm 25 I still don't have clear skin although it's a lot better than it was. My worst experience was this 'popular' boy that lived by me shouting 'pizza face' at me as I walked past and all his mates laughing at me. Made me feel sad reading this thinking of that and how cruel people can be to others. I think the pill has definitely helped my skin as well as having a set cleansing routine. I hope yours continues to get better! xx

    1. That's awful I'm so sorry that happened to you! It shocks me how horrible people can be over something we have absolutely no control over, that doesn't even affect them! Thank you, I'm really hoping I can get it sorted, I'm glad yours is better! :) xxx

  4. ...what a horrible horrible person that guy is, don't ever let anything like his words get to you, people like that are not worth getting worked up over.
    I'm 16 and I've always had pretty clear skin, but it's just started to flare up a bit. I get a lot of the little colourless bumps now and a quite a few pimples too. I'm trying so hard to get rid of the acne I do have, but it just doesn't budge. I just hope that it doesn't get any worse because I already feel prettys self-conscious.
    Aleeha xXx

    1. I know :(, thank you!! Try out some different skincare products to see what works for you but try not to overdo it as that can make things worse! I hope it clears up for you <3 xxx

  5. This was so inspiring to read, Samantha! I'll be 30 next year and STILL struggle with acne to this day. I started getting it around 12/13, and it's just been a constant battle ever since. Skin acne is definitely no joke, and it's amazing how much it can shatter your confidence. What made it harder was I always felt like the only one out of my friends who struggled with as severely as I did.

    It took me this long to finally go and see a dermatologist. My acne has "calmed" down a lot in my later years, but there's tons of scarring and brown spots left behind from my teenage years. I'm now spending a TON of money to get these scars reduced and the natural colour and hydration back into my face. I'm *literally* hoping it pays off...thank you for sharing your story! I hope things have been looking up for you since :-)


    1. Thank you I'm so so glad you liked it! Acne really is a horrible thing to deal with and I can definitely relate to feeling like the only one out of my friendship group who struggled with it. I currently have a lot of scars and discolouration left over from the past 10 years of acne and I'm desperate to do something about it. I have to wait 6 months before I can do anything to my skin because of the intense acne treatment I was on so I'm very much looking forward to that! Thank you for you kind words! I hope the treatments you're going for work out for you <3 xxx


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