Acne is like an unwelcome guest who does not ever want to leave your house 🙂 Most of us have suffered from acne at some time in our life but for me it has been a life long struggle. When I was a teenager I had the usual bouts of acne but these were small and would heal very quickly. Clearasil cream worked fine for these. Even with acne, my face was smooth and scar free.
However, as I turned 20 and entered university I went through a very though time. I started suffering from various ailments including horrific cystic acne which was never properly diagnosed. But things got very bad resulting in me dropping out of uni. After a couple years thanks to a very good doctor I found that I had brain tumor in my pituitary gland. I was put on medication for the tumor and after 2 years I was clear. But the tumor had messed up my hormones and by then my skin was ruined. I had pitted acne scars and post acne pigmentation. Even more than my ruined face people’s comments hurt. Every one who has had bad acne will know what I am talking about. Total strangers seem to think it’s ok to give me advise, comments ranging from”what’s wrong with your face” “why don’t you wash your face properly ? to “you would be so pretty if your acne was better” were common.
I tried everything (most were over the counter medicine like Panoxyl & Cetaphil) but nothing seemed to work until I went to a well known dermatologist who prescribed her own medications (a lotion similar to Mario Badescu) and my acne became manageable.
When I came to live here my skin was clear but after some months it broke out in cystic acne again. And again nothing seemed to be working and I was so frustrated. Here I was nearly 30 breaking out like a teenager so I decided to try some thing that marketed to teens, Proactive.
I bought the Proactive Solutions 60 day extra strength formula from Boots and it was around AED360.00. The price stung but I was desperate for a cure. The system contains a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide,
a toner with glycolic acid, a treatment lotion with benzoyl peroxide and a clay mask with sulfur. You are supposed to use all the products together once or twice a day and the mask twice a week.
I used the system only once a day as I find it too drying to used twice a day. I have very oily skin so you can understand how drying it is. I used it for about 1 1/2 years and my skin cleared up. I am not sure if it helps fade acne marks but since the toner has glycolic acid it should help at least a little. I found that a 60 day supply would last 4/5 months for me, with the cleanser running out first. (a separate review for the The Proactive System to follow).
After my acne was gone I did not want to continue Proactive, mainly because it was so drying and expensive. I was in my 30’s by then and wanted to use something to help with my acne scars and was anti-aging. So, I started using the Vichy Normaderm Anti-Age lotion. This was light oil free lotion and worked beautifully to fade my hyper-pigmentation.I was so impressed with the lotion that I bought the whole Normaderm range.
Everything was great until last month when I started breaking out with cystic acne again. I don’t think Vichy is to blame. My hormone levels are still not normal (thanks tumor!) and have a way of yo-yoing. So I went back to Proactive. However, this time it dried out my skin very badly. While my acne was healing my face was flaking and I was left with huge purple/red marks. And they did not seem to be fading.
Because I use Proactive only once a day during day time I wanted some thing gentle and soothing to use during the night. After much research I decided to use buy Body Shop’s Tea Tree range (essential oil,foaming wash,toner,face mask,blemish gel,skin clearing lotion, blemish fade night lotion and the bb cream) and give it a try. And they seem to work well with Proactive, specially the Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion helped fade a acne marks and minimize the dryness left by Proactive (a separate review for the The Body Shop Tea Tree Range to follow).
After a month on these two brands my acne is now under control though I do get smaller pimples every now and then (no cysts) . The hyper-pigmentation is still there but fading very slowly.
Thanks a lot for reading. I would love to hear from you about your experience with acne so please leave a comment below.