Lots of research has led me to believe I have adult onset acne. The reason I believe this is due to the type of spots they are (mostly painful, red cysts), the placement of the breakouts which are always the same, and the fact that the rest of my skin is looking pretty good and clear. The breakouts aren't exacerbated by different products or changes in my diet. In fact, as you know, if anything my diet changes of late have made things better and I've also now cut out all fizzy drinks and have tried to eliminate sugar in general as much as possible.
At first, it was annoying to get these breakouts but I just thought it was a random thing that would go away quickly. Six months on, however, and it's starting to get me down. I have considered going to the doctor but I'm dead against taking something like Roaccutane (I'd rather have bad skin than deal with those nasty side effects) and I wasn't hugely keen on being prescribed a really strong gel that will dry out my skin. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and spent a lot of time researching alternative treatments online.
One thing that cropped up time and time again was Evening Primrose Oil, that product I tend to associate with musty creams and bath oils that grannies always have. I have been taking it as a supplement for years, on and off. No particular reason behind that, I just always have at least one oil supplement on the go other than fish oil and at the moment, it's Evening Primrose Oil. I came across this article which firstly explains the benefits of the oil, and secondly advises applying it topically to treat acne breakouts.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that, so that night, I cleansed my face as usual and then pierced one of the capsules and rubbed the oil all over my face. I was concerned it would feel greasy and, if anything, make my skin worse (the common fear with people with oily skin and oil products, even though I know it's not true) and went to sleep, wishing on an acne-free star.
The next morning, I was amazed. No, the spots hadn't completely disappeared but the swelling had gone down a huge amount and most of the redness was gone as well. Moreover, my skin in general looked and felt incredible. Very soft, plump and bright. So pleasing. When I first tried this I was using a 500mg capsule of Evening Primrose Oil but when I ran out of those, I bought a 1000mg version to see if that made a difference, and it did. In the picture below, I'm wearing make up but you can still see the markings around my jaw line and also how clear the rest of my face is in comparison.
Now I use a capsule four or five times a week overnight and it's helped my skin so much. I still take it as a supplement as well. Added bonus is they make an extremely cheap night treatment - at around £7 for a 90 day supply, it works out at about 8p per day, or something stupid like that.
A month on, and although the acne hasn't gone away, the appearance of it has been dramatically improved, which I'm so happy about. Whether or not I'll take more extreme measures in the future if it doesn't clear up, I don't know, but for now I'm pleased to have discovered this little gem that's been sitting in my bathroom all along.
For a brilliant guide to all things acne and advice on treating it, the inimitable Caroline Hirons produced this excellent cheat sheet, which I highly recommend you have a look at. I'll be posting about my full skincare regime in the next few days as well, as, despite the acne situation, I've been using some things I've really been enjoying.
Have any of you had experience with adult acne? I'd love to hear what you treat it with.