Adult Acne | How To Beat Oily Skin And Breakouts With Skincare And Medication

Long time no blog!

I know, I know it's been AGES! I shall explain my reasons and update you all on some very interesting and rather drastic updates to my beauty routine.

First things first I was off in Spain celebrating my friends Hen Do followed by a week in Croatia (you HAVE to go to Croatia, it's simply incredible and Hvar is the best place IN THE WORLD). Lots of fun was had all round but because life's a bi*ch in between the two holiday's my skin decided that it was going to develop adult acne. I'm not talking about a couple of tiny blemishes I'm taking full on acne (all over my face, jawline, behind my ears,  my neck, shoulders and back) which I haven't had since my teenage years. It upsets me to even write about but I want people to know that YES breakouts and acne can still occur when you're an adult (wrinkles and spots - yay!) but there IS HOPE in treating them! Needless to say I was horrified and when this outbreak began  -even though at my age I really should know better - I made all the rookie errors which only succeeded in making my skin worse.

In my sheer state of panic I began a total product overload - I went through an entire can of Serozinc IN ONE DAY by spraying it on my face roughly every 30 minutes. I was also applying every spot cream under the sun, using harsh chemical exfoliators and face masks multiple times a day, applying sudocream morning and night and in sheer desperation in Croatia I was even applying TOOTHPASTE on the damn things (listen to skin guru Caroline Hirons and DO NOT PUT BUM CREAM OR TOOTHPASTE ON YOUR FACE!). So what happened? Inevitably my oil production went into overdrive, the blemishes multiplied and any patch of skin that wasn't now occupied by a spot was now a painfully red dry patch.

Subsequently I had the worst skin I've ever had for over a decade the day I was a bridesmaid a few weeks ago which was absolutely heartbreaking. Anyone that has suffered with bad skin will know just how much it affects you and I could barely look in the mirror.  The next week I made an urgent appointment with a dermatologist (Dr Jane Rosbotham). The appointment was booked for Ashtead Hospital so before I went I placed all the products I was using in a bag and off I went to the appointment on Wednesday the 27th of July.

Acne runs in my family and Dr Rosbotham actually treated my brother for acne several years ago with Roaccutane with INCREDIBLE results. The first thing Dr Rosbotham noticed was just how shiny my skin was  already (due to its extreme oiliness) even though I had just completed my skincare routine less than half an hour ago and wasn't wearing any makeup. As I heaved the heat bag onto the desk to show the plethora of products I was using she looked horrified and even though I'm no expert it became very clear very quickly that I had been completely overloading and bombarding my poor skin with far too many different products.  We also discussed if there had been any huge factors (diet, stress etc) that could have triggered it and there really weren't any I could think of, which made the sudden outbreak even more frustrating as there really was no logical reason as to WHY my skin decided to rebel.

I consider myself a complete skincare junkie and have always been interested in facials and skincare etc and have always followed a detailed and lengthy skincare regime - so the following exchange left me totally baffled.

Dr: 'You don't have dry skin, do you?'
Me: 'No it's super oily, it always has been.'
Dr: 'If your skin does not need moisture, why do you apply moisturiser twice a day?'
Me: '....................'

I was stumped. I think eventually I mumbled something about 'That's just what people DO isn't it!? Everyone wears moisturiser!?'. She looked at the products in front of me and selected two cleansers and placed them in front of me, they were The Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Wash and The Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 'These are the products you will use. Use the Cetaphil cleanser in the morning and the Simple cleanser in the evening. Nothing else. NO MOISTURISER!!' She also wrote me a prescription for 100mg per day of Spironolactone and 4 weeks of azithromycin antibiotics and off I went.

Initially I tweeted about my confusion regarding the 'no moisturiser' but was absolutely desperate so decided to give it a go alongside the two medications. I also read up on everything and found amazing reviews for Spironolactone and found a few articles explaining the reasoning behind not moisturising (here and here). The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make  COMPLETE sense - my skin was NOT dry in any way, shape or form so why had I been religiously slathering on moisturiser twice a day for well over ten years?! I was worried that my makeup would be awfully patchy without any sort of base but this wasn't the case! I have also started only using mineral foundation and currently use and LOVE  the Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder again, so many of my posts have focused on battling oily skin and keeping the shine at bay so using a powder foundation makes sense.

I was still desperate to clear up the outbreak I was experiencing so I did a lot of googling and decided to purchase the Mario Badescu Acne Repair Kit as it was £34 for three products which all dealt with different kinds of acne and would allow me to 'spot treat' my acne as opposed to using any products all over my face and risk upsetting it again. 

The Acne Repair kit contains the famous Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, Buffering Lotion and Drying Cream:

  • Our world famous Drying Lotion (1oz.) clears up whiteheads overnight.
  • Drying Cream (0.5 oz.) which is an effective treatment to dry up small under-surface blemishes.
  • Buffering Lotion (1 oz.) helps to fight acne before it starts.

I realised the importance of a 'less-is-more' approach so used cotton buds to only apply the products directly and ONLY to actual blemishes. I used the drying lotion on the small raised bumps on my face, the buffering lotion on the cystic acne which appeared all over my left cheek and my jawline and I used the drying cream on small blemishes on my chin and neck. I am absolutely delighted with these products and would highly recommend all of them as they really do exactly what they say on the tin and have helped to calm and clear my blemishes.

So for the past two weeks since I have given up EVERY SKINCARE PRODUCT except two, have been spot-treating using Mario Badescu,  taking 100mg Spironolactone daily and have taken two courses of antibiotics. I have not developed any NEW blemishes since I began this regime (face or body) and my oil production has decreased dramatically. The cystic acne on my cheek is taking a while to fade but is seemingly under control and overall I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you're suffering from acne I strongly advise that you take a less-is-more approach before you burn your face off and go and see your GP and ask to be referred to a dermatologist  There are SO many options out there and it's just not worth suffering in silence because I know full well how bad skin can affect your self-esteem and I have seen how medications and skin care changes have helped both myself and my brother. 

If you can I would also recommend a good deep cleansing facial with extractions (yup they hurt but it's worth it!) - I recommend the SkinBreeze for Acne facial, invest in some good non comedogenic mineral makeup and my last piece of advice - buy a selection of cool hats! If you have me on Snapchat (if you don't then add me JRosellenM !) or follow my Instagram you'll notice in my most recent selfie and snaps that I've been different wearing hats - this is actually not some new fashion statement  of mine it's actually a) helping hide my blemishes b) protecting my skin from the sun so it's not irritated!

Finally, I'll leave you with this lovely message I received from one of my beautiful best friends who  herself has also suffered on and off from severe acne and knew that I had become somewhat of a hermit and was feeling incredible low and upset about my skin and decided to give me some wise words and a bit of a pep talk:

'I know it's so disheartening but when you're older you will look back and regret not enjoying yourself now, bad skin or not. I promise you, I don't look back on my wedding day or hen do and think 'God my skin was a mess!' I hid it the best I could and I got on with it - and I'm glad I did! I swear you will see it waaaaay more than anyone else. Get dressed up, cover it up and go out, you'll feel so much worse staying inside and being isolated, it turns into an issue that is 10 times the size.'

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