I've struggled with acne my whole life and have a million acne scars to prove it. I've tried so many natural remedies, over the counter regimens, skin care lines, and doctor prescribed medicines. They all work for a little while, but ultimately my skin never adapts and goes back to doing its own thing. My skin can be sensitive so I try not to use too many new things but thats life right? I have to try until something works.
But what if I'm done trying?
Acne has seemed to be something I need to get rid of, but what if I don't? My overall skin health is good. My skin glows, its hydrated, and I use sunscreen. I'm starting to think that maybe acne isn't necessarily a bad thing. If my skin is doing well and isn't irritated, why am I putting so much time, effort, and money into getting rid of something that obviously doesn't want to go. I feel comfortable in my skin, with or without makeup. I think it's time I let the scars, zits, pimples, and dark spots do its thing. It's really not hurting anyone, right?
Definitely not hurting anyone! I need to take a page out of your book, but at 36, I’m still dealing with acne (especially back, shoulders, chest) just as bad as I was when I was a teen. And so so many scars. But, I’m not done trying new remedies and routines to stop it. Maybe it is time to accept it!
I am noticing mine is very tied to hormones though. I want to start getting my hormone health under control (and hopefully the acne too). Have you looked into that @Vanessa ?
Omg yes @Margie ! My body acne has gotten a little better over the years, but the scars are still there. I still do look out for those new remedies and routines that could help, but I think emotionally it does take a toll and I have found much more peace accepting my acne rather than fighting it. Plus I'm starting to think maybe my skin just wants a break...
I've been on my different birth controls and so I tried doing some with a lower dose of the hormones, but that really hasn't helped (but this is just me!). I have noticed my skin does worse when I'm outside a lot wearing my mask, but I could have just made that up in my head lol!
@Vanessa @Margie In my teens and 20s I took many different acne medications and went for microdermabrasion for 5 or 6 sessions and both really cleared up my skin. The issue with all of these "solutions" is that whenever I stopped, the acne was back! In all cases I was treating the symptoms and not the cause. Now in my mid-30s I find that my biggest predictor of acne is my DIET. Too much sugar (including wine!) and the pimples pop up! Adding more high quality fats to my diet to decrease systemic inflammation (ghee, coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil) along with daily probiotics (regulate gut microbiome) and low processed foods / minimizing refined sugar works best for me today, along with getting the sleep I need and staying hydrated; avoiding too much caffeine. This is my personal experience.
It really resonates with me when you say "so what if I'm done trying." Kudos to protecting your energy and putting up a boundary to protect how much energy (remedies, emotions, money etc) you are devoting to your acne experience. I'd be curious to hear from you how it feels to let go of a formal acne management strategy for a while. I'll stay tuned!
Yes @Marisa all these different acne medications are really temporary solutions. The fact that the body goes back to doing what it wanted to if you stop the medication says something. I'm glad that you are listening to your body and can know understand the various effects it may have. I have a HUGE sweet tooth that I need to get under control but honesty, sweets make me happy LOL (this change will have to come later down the road). I really do need to listen to my body more and try to understand it better because the body talks! And the body is loud, but we choose when we do or do not want to listen.
Thank you for hearing me out, energy is so important! Especially when that energy could go toward things that are more valuable to me. Will definitely catch up on how things go!
I also like taking a cue from the youth (I love to see what the teens are doing — our hormonal trend-setting leaders!) and appreciate they way they are embracing their skin in all it's temperamental glory with brands like starface (https://starface.world/). Because you're right @Vanessa — it's not hurting anyone!
Starface looks so cool @molly ! I need to look into them more, I have realized my skin likes very simple/neutral products on my face. But I think the youth does have a point about rethinking the way we view our skin. My family has always viewed my acne as if it were a dangerous medical condition, when really that is not the case.
I need to expand my acceptance of acne with other skin "blemishes" like dark spots, cellulite, and stretch marks. My skin is my skin and rather on focusing on how to "fix it" I need to learn to love it!
@molly @Vanessa ugh I wish there had been a fun brand like Starface when I was in middle school struggling with acne for the first time! I went through puberty much earlier than my friend group and was so embarrassed and ashamed of all the changes I was experiencing with my skin (not to mention the rest of my body). everything I tried felt so clinical (or was an actual prescription). I wish I had had this option for packaging that actually looked FUN and could have helped made me feel more normal while experiencing breakouts rather than hiding my skincare regimen from my friends at sleepovers.
I completely understand! Branding is huge especially for young people going through body changes. Representation really matters, people being heard and being reassured that this is normal is really important. Also meeting them halfway with things like packaging so they see that it is normal and nothing to be ashamed of is great! Middle school us would have loved something like this, but now as adults we can pass on this information to the younger generations and let them know that everything will be alright!
Ooh amazing, @molly, thanks for sharing. I will definitely check them out! The body acne really started in my 30s and from what I understand (could be totally wrong), as you age, hormonal acne often travels from the face down toward your chest etc. It's a reality so many of us face (no pun intended).
This post truly speaks to my soul! I've been taking Spironolactone to help with hormonal acne for the past 4 years and I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it... I hate the feeling that I'm pumping my body full of drugs it doesn't really need. Does anyone have any experience coming off of any ance medicine?
@danielle any time I've come off of antibiotics I make sure to replenish my system with probiotics—I like raw ferments like kraut / pickled things, while some people prefer probiotic supplements. Kombucha is a nice sweet alternative for anyone who likes a sweet drink but the added bonus is its probiotic cultures! (I usually dilute my kombucha with water since I have such a sweet tooth and don't want to activate it!)
Is Spironolactone an antibiotic or hormone regulator? I've always talked directly to my MD / DO before making any changes (on or off) anything I've been taking regularly.
In the case of full spectrum antibiotics, even if we hope they will target acne specifically, they can kill off a lot of the beneficial bacteria in the gut, too, which are so integral for our immune health.