My Acne Story

My face 1 year ago, taken without any makeup
My face 1 year ago, taken without any makeup

There are so many people out there who only post perfect (edited or not) pictures of themselves. As someone who has had acne for more than 20 years (with a lot of scars to prove it !), I know how disheartening those perfect faces are. It’s bad enough you are unhappy about your acne but to compare it other people is just torture. I’ve been doing that since I was a teenager and I am still doing it.ย  Thanks to all the scars left by cystic acne I always felt I was not pretty enough and feel rely self conscious when talking to people up close (I always think is she/he looking at me or my scars/acne ?).

If you read my ‘About me’ page you would know I’ve had a tumor in my pituitary gland sometime ago and it messed up all my hormones. Though the tumor is gone now the hormonal imbalances remain. On top of that I have PCOS (Poly cystic ovarian syndrome), which causes major acne in some people. Whatever the cause is I tend to breakout in cystic acne which takes a long time to heal. And then I am left with a scar/mark that takes ages to fade (I very scar easily). The top picture was taken 1 year ago when I was going through a really bad skin period. Nothing seem to work so I started using Proactive extra strength regimen (7.5%) with The Body Shop Tea Tree range and after about 2 months most of my acne healed. Read more on that here. My very oily skin seems to hold up to Proactive well. I sort of have a love hate relationship with Proactive. Though it works but it can leave my skin quite dry at times and it does nothing to fade my scars/marks. And if I go a couple of months without using I start breaking out again !

My face after 1 year (without any makeup)
My face after 1 year (without any makeup)

The above photos were taken last week, in full sunlight without any makeup on. You can see how much my acne has healed. Though some marks and deep scars (from a long time ago) still remain. Those deep scars don’t seem to heal and I cannot afford to go for any dermatological treatments like peels or laser treatments for them. No brand/amountย of foundation (Cover-fx which is supposed cover any scar is not available in Dubai)ย  can seem to cover them, so I have to live with them (recommendations are most welcome). This has made me more a skincare person than makeup (what’s the point of trying to cover up something that won’t be covered ?).

Thankfully my wonderful husband always gives me confidence and makes me feel like a princess. No matter how bad my acne was he always makes it a point to tell me how beautiful I am (I’ve been with him as long as I’ve had acne;15 years).

So to all of you fellow acne suffers out there, stick with your skincare routine for a couple of months and you are bound to see some results. See a doctor if it’s not responding to the usual products or if you are getting deep cystic acne. I will post the details of my updated summer skincare regime soon. Thanks a lot for reading and please do comment if you have any questions. And I would love to know what products/makeup you use for covering acne scars and marks .


15 thoughts on “My Acne Story

  1. Wow, your skin looks amazing! So glad the Proactiv worked for you. As for scar healing, time (in years) is probably your best friend :/ Meanwhile, have you tried using some concealer on the spots in addition to foundation? I’m not sure if NARS is available in Dubai but it’s the first and only one I’ve tried so far that I love.

    Good luck and high five on your success!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot Nishiki ๐Ÿ™‚ I read your post on acne a little while ago !
      I have but the scars are indented so still they show through. NARS is available here though I have not tried it. I have been disappointed by the few high end brands I’ve tried so I need to try before buying and samples are not available (or they only give them if you buy something) here freely. I will take a look at the concealer next time I am in Sephora . Thanks for the suggestion !


  2. Ok. First of all acne or not.. You have beautiful features. Your hair, lips, eyes… Goegeous. I’m 44 and see tons of photos of 25 year olds who can wear less makeup or no makeup and I can’t do that. But you’s all about who you are inside and your skin looks great now and before I still think you looked beautiful because there’s so much more to it. But… Struggling for years with my weight I can relate. I was almost 200 pounds at 5 foot 6 inches ๐Ÿ˜ข. It took a lot of patience to fix that

    I’m so glad the proactive worked for you! I don’t know about the scars. I’d say a couple things. I agree with sachini as NARS concealer is spectacular. I use it every day. For darker spots, a color corrector can help before foundation. That’s a real life saver. Also id suggest light reflecting powders such as Hourglass ambient lighting which will help minimize flaws. In time the scars will improve. Massage them to break down the scar tissue and check with your doctor about trying trying prescription retin a. That might help too.

    You look great! And thank you for sharing such a personal issue and post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, you made my day ๐Ÿ˜Š This is a deeply personal issue to me and I am so glad you liked it…

      I’ve had weight issues too because of my hormone issues and I know what it feels like.

      I will check the NARS concealer and see if I could go back on Retin-a. Thank you again !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could sense the emotion in your post but you do look beautiful. I think you’ll love that concealer. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything negative on it. It’s well loved. A little pricey but worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I can relate with this post so much because I too suffered from acne for so many years and with the help of a micropeel treatment that I receive at a clinic, they are almost gone. I would be doing a post on my acne journey in the future. I don’t know if I could be able to tell it all cos my journey with acne is so long. The struggle is definitely real.


    1. So happy you liked it ! And that you can relate to it. It’s great that your scars are almost gone, lucky ๐Ÿ™‚
      This sort of a shorter version because I didn’t want to make the post too long. My tumor was misdiagnosed and it made my acne worse. All my icepick scars are from that period. What pain and suffering we go through because of acne !!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry for this late reply. All I can say is WOW! The change in your skin has been amazing. I agree with the other comments, you are beautiful regardless! It is brave of you to share your story and pictures. I have two suggestions, don’t know if either is available in Dubai. The first is to try Holistic/Alternative Healing such as Acupuncture. It can help balance your hormones and improve your overall health. The second is to dry a derma roller on the scarred areas of your skin. There is one called Diva d’Or that is really affordable, online. It helps to heal the skin and has great reviews. I, too, had a love/hate relationship with Proactive and, though it helped, it did not cure my acne and even made it worse on some occasions. In the end, what helped me the most was to drink the adequate amount of water, cut out inflammatory foods from my diet, use coconut oil to remove my makeup, use apple cider vinegar solution as a toner, and use a moisturizer that my skin agreed with (coconut oil, Equate’s Oil Free Moisturizer, etc). Doing this has helped my skin tremendously and has been the most permanent solution so far. I did have Ayurvedic facials to help with the hyper pigmentation and that was successful. However, there are plenty of at home skin brightening treatments that can help with this too.


    1. Thank you for those lovely words ๐Ÿ™

      And thank you for your words of wisdom! I’ll will look in to all your suggestions. I’ve been really interested in the Derma Roller but haven’t been able to find one within my price range. So I’ll check on the one you recommend.

      I have made some changes to my diet and lifestyle and they have helped a lot! I find that stress is a big trigger for me (my cortisol levels are already high!). I used to have some great Ayurvedic facials back home but here all the good salons are very very expensive and beyond my tiny budget. I’ve been thinking about checking out the Peter Thomas Roth rang (like the retinol serum). What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not familiar with those products, personally, but I have heard a lot about them. Sometimes I find that the simpler the product (less ingredients, less chemicals, etc) the better the effects. Not to mention, the easier they are on my wallet. Check out I have learned so much from this site. She has a section dedicated to acne. There are lots of inexpensive masks/treatments that you can make at home with items you probably already have…this stuff works! Cheaper, easy to make, readily available ingredients, good results, no chemicals…what’s not to love?? Check it out, tell me what you think!

        Liked by 1 person

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