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Why, as an adult with whole ass responsibilities, am I dealing with something that I thought I dodged as a teen? I haven’t the slightest clue. But I know, it was time for me to get out my feelings and get into a dermatologist’s office to seek treatment for my adult acne.
As a pre-teen and teenager going through puberty, I was blessed to have never experienced acne. Even with me doing the minimal to my skin, my face was the image of perfection. Looking back, I often gloated about how perfect and unattainable my glowing skin was. It was a douche bag move for sure. That’s’ probably the reason why during my junior year of college, I started to experience acne for the first time in life.
When my battle with acne began, I was going through a lot and often attributed my breakouts to stress. On top of being a full-time student at Howard University, I was working at the Clinique counter, interning 20 hours per week, and freelancing to keep some extra money in my pocket. May I add I was also entertaining a f*ck boy that I honestly should have let walk past me on the yard. Between my stress and me wearing makeup all the time, acne was the furthest thought from my mind, and for four years, I ignored it.
September 15th, 2019, made 3-months since I first visited a dermatologist to discuss treating adult acne (image above is from 3-months post-acne treatment).
After visiting my dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology, I stopped going crazy with buying skincare products. Instead, I used my acne treatments as instructed and only added necessary products such as cleansers and moisturizers to my routine. I’ve seen so much improvement, and I’m happy to share the acne routine I’ve been sticking to and hopefully encourage you to book a derm visit as well.
My next steps in my journey may be seeing an esthetician for upkeep, but it was most important for me to see a medical doctor that could diagnose my skin beforehand.
CLICK TO READ LATER: How I Got My Edges Back
Here’s the strict adult acne regimen that I stuck to during my first 3-months of acne treatment.
1. Cleanse with PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash, Maximum Strength $11.51
This is hands down the BEST drugstore acne cleanser for my skin right now. It has 10% BP, which in some cases can be pretty drying, but I haven’t experienced that.
2. Tone with InstaNatural Organic Rose Water $13
The main reason I wanted to use a tone was to balance my skin’s pH after cleansing applying a mask. I’ve been using this one from INstNatural for about six months, and it hasn’t failed me.
2. Apply Clyndamicine (anti-bacterial gel) and benzoyl peroxide
These are two of the four acne prescriptions that I received from my dermatologist. Clindamycin is anti-bacterial that kills bacteria in acne and stops it from spreading to other pores. My adult acne is classified as cystic acne, and clindamycin is a common topical given to treat it. I was also prescribed 5% benzoyl peroxide, which you may already be familiar with—the BP gel also helps to reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin,
3. Take Doxycycline oral acne medication anti-biotic)
I was terrified to take this oral anti-biotics. However, they help to cure my adult acne from the inside out. A dermatologist will typically prescribe an oral medication if your acne is moderate to severe. I didn’t experience any side effects. However, I made sure to eat a decent meal before taking and having probiotics throughout the day, such as Kombucha. Antibiotics can kill good bacteria (in addition to harmful bacteria), while probiotics reinforce the good bacteria that your body needs.
This fragrance-free moisturizer is specially made for eczema and dry skin, but it works wonders to keep my skin moisturized while using drying acne treatments.
5. Apply sunscreen (Urban Skin RX Complexion Protection SPF 30 Moisturizer), $19.99
Dark spots or not, it’s essential to protect your skin from sun damage. Initially, I was using La Roche Posay Anthelios. However, in August, I switched to Urban Skin RX Complexion Protection, which felt more lightweight on my oily skin.
1. Remove makeup with Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm $47.00
I’m one of those people that LOVE to double cleanse, starting with a cleansing balm. This particular one from Estee Lauder is calming (with chamomile and lavender) and breaks up makeup very easily.
2. Cleanse with Urban Skin Rx Clear Skin Cleansing Bar, $14.99
This 3-in-1 cleanser, mask, and exfoliator is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, aka perfect for acne-prone skin.
3. Tone with InstaNatural Organic Rose Water
As I stated before, this toner is the bomb. Also, it works well for ALL skin type, acne-prone, or not.
4. Apply Differin Gel Acne Treatment $14.99
My dermatologist prescribed me Differin Gel, but you can buy it in stores and online. This gel is adapalene, a topical retinoid that helps with cell turnover and inflammation. If you’re not ready to see a dermatologist (though I encourage you to), this is one product that drastically changed my skin, and I highly reccomend trying it.
5. Apply Sunday Riley Tidal Moisturizer $22 – $65
This has been one of my favorite moisturizers for a while now. It’s a lightweight gel but leaves your skin hydrated and glowing. If you have oily skin, like me, you’ll appreciate this lightweight hydration.
6. Apply Sunday Riley CEO Glow Face Oil $40
At night time, I seal in everything with oil. The CEO Glow oil has vitamin c and Tumeric to target the dark spots, which are a result of my acne.
7. Another dose of Doxycycline
And again, I eat a sizable meal before taking this medication.
For the first time in a long time, I washed my face and couldn’t count how many pimples were there…
Because there were none! That brings me so much joy. Three months ago, I remembered having 2-5 pimples at a minimum on my face at a time. For the first time in a long time, someone complimented my skin (with no makeup on)—that was the highlight of my month. Not only because I love compliments, but because I know how much work went into correcting and maintaining my skin.
Curing adult acne takes a lot of time and commitment, but it’s worth it if you want to see results. I’m excited to see what my skin looks like three more months down the line. Share your acne story below or on Twitter.
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