The Realities Of Dealing With Adult Acne

October 8, 2019  |  
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adult acne skin care

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There’s this myth that once you leave your teen years, acne just goes away. And, within that myth is the idea that you’ll never really feel like you have a problem, because everyone around you has it, too. If everyone has acne, nobody has acne. And when you’re young, that’s basically the case. The “prettiest girl in school” had acne and the “hottest guy” had pimples. Nobody could escape it. But the thing is, if acne follows you into your adult life, you do feel alone with it because you are one of the only ones who still has it. In some cases, one doesn’t even really feel the full resentment over acne until adulthood, when it’s still there. Everyone else is just blemish-free, but not you? Did your genes not get the message? You’re over the age of 19! Along with that frustration, here are some realities of having adult acne.


You don’t go au naturel around a partner

Women talk about getting so comfortable with their boyfriends that they almost never wear makeup around them. How nice for them. But they’re just talking about not plumping up their lips with liner or making their eyes look big and smoky with eye shadow. They don’t understand that you, with adult acne, essentially wear a disguise with your makeup that you aren’t comfortable taking off.


But fear getting makeup on his pillow

When you start dating someone new, you’re so worried about getting makeup on his pillow. You bring your own pillow to his place, and try to say it’s just your favorite pillow.


You can’t really shower together

You know that cute, sexy thing couples get to do called showering together? You can’t do that with a man. You can’t have him shampooing you and getting pore-clogging shampoo on your cheeks. And you can’t use whatever face wash is lying around. You have your prescription stuff.


You despise surprise visitors

You can’t do surprise visitors. If you’re just chilling at home, you likely don’t have your makeup on, but getting it on takes a while, so if someone just “drops by,” you can feel very insecure.


The insurance battles

You have battles with your insurance constantly over what prescriptions and procedures are covered. They consider a lot of what you do “elective” or “cosmetic.” They don’t understand that this impacts your life deeply.


People think you’re a teen

People often think you’re ten years younger than you are, and you know it’s because of your acne. You wish you could find it flattering, but knowing the cause, you don’t.


Everyone’s a dermatologist

Everyone’s suddenly an expert on skincare and can tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong to cause your acne. They don’t know that you’ve already tried everything they’re suggesting, and the acne remained.


When others talk of “breakouts”

When your friends talk about their “breakouts” or how their skin is “freaking out” during their periods, you laugh. Their breakouts are nothing. Two little dots they put concealer on. Boo-freaking-hoo.


It feels deeply unfair

Sometimes, you just want to scream. You wonder if there will ever be an end in sight. Will you ever live life acne-free? It seems so unfair. Everyone else left acne behind years ago. Is this karma? Did you do something wrong in a past life?


You seem high maintenance

When you travel, or even just stay the night at a guy’s place, you seem high-maintenance with your massive bag of products you bring along. You wish you could explain, “This isn’t all blush and lipstick and hair product. This is mostly for my acne.” You know you’d actually be quite low-maintenance if it weren’t for your acne.


No, you can’t “just borrow” friend’s product

When you forget to bring your special, prescription sunscreen or face wash, and your friend says, “It’s okay, just use mine!” you don’t know what to say. You can’t just use hers. But it feels insulting to say, “No, yours won’t work for me.”


You feel like a marketing target

You’ve done a lot of research on acne over the years (or decades now) so you’ve become the target for so much advertising. They’ve all found you. You get coupons for skincare lines you’ve never even looked at and catalogues for skincare products that you never ordered.


You wonder if it’s your fault

You can’t help but sometimes wonder if you have acne today due to skincare mistakes you made when you were young. Maybe that product you used in your teen years to kill your acne just made it stronger? The reality is, a lot of it is just genetics and you can’t control that.


You seem like a picky eater

You’ve identified certain foods that make your acne worse, and those that help. But that means that, when you go to a friend’s house for dinner, you sometimes have to avoid foods they’ve lovingly made for you, because they can cause a breakout.


When friends get lax about skincare

When you travel with friends or go out drinking, and at bedtime they say, “I’m too tired to wash my face” and pass out, you’re very envious. You don’t have that luxury. You’d wake up to a serious breakout tomorrow if you did that.

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