Why Does My Skin Hate Me?

OK, y’all…I need some help.

Life is really, really good these days. Lucas and I are awesome, I’m planning a big European vacation, my job is more fun than ever, I have lots of friends and the little bloggie thing is pretty much rocking my world.

I’m happy. I’m healthy. I’m feeling awesome.

Except that my skin seems to be rebelling.

My Skin Sucks

Hover over that giant picture of my face and you’ll see that the alt tag for the photo is “My Skin Sucks.” Because it does, for the very first time in my life.

I am battling big breakouts, painful irritations and blemishes that seem to haunt me on a daily basis. I never had serious acne as a teenager, and I’m now 31 years old. WHY NOW?

A few key details, since I’m asking you to play dermatologist for me.

  • I use a drugstore face wash every day (Clean and Clear) and have used the same product for years
  • I use a daily moisturizer (L’Oreal) with SPF and a nightly eye cream (L’Oreal)
  • I wear foundation every day (LORAC) and pretty upscale makeup (Smashbox, Too Faced)
  • I drink a buttload of water
  • I don’t spend a lot of time in the sun
  • I’m under quite a bit of stress but no more in the last month than before
  • I eat very clean (although I guess I could go even more clean)
  • I’m not on any hormonal birth control — I take a daily prenatal vitamin but have for 5 years, and use the same brand as always

What do you think? If you’re out of your teenage years — have you had acne or skin problems pop up like this? Are there products I should try, or something in my routine that might be causing this?<

In addition to being super annoying (I feel like I’m a walking zit right now), it’s painful. So please … help me help me.

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Comments

  1. says

    A lot of times it is hormonal, and our bodies change over the years. The best thing you can do is wash your face before you go to sleep every night, and if it’s still a problem , go see the dermatologist for some treatments. Doesn’t look bad though! :)

  2. says

    I have the same problem Katy and it suuuuks. I’m 31 and my skin thinks I’m 14 (although I think my skin was better at 14).

    A few things that have helped me a bit is exfoliating (sugar works in a pinch if you don’t have anything), making sure I at least rinse my face after sweating, changing my pillowcases more often than usual, and putting my hair in a pony tail when I sleep (so that my hair doesn’t oil up my face).

    Good luck- I definitely feel your pain…

    • laura ackhurst says

      I have suffered since I was 12 with horrible skin. I have been to numerous dermatologist over the years and each one has done something else. Worst of it is when one dermatologist put me on a really strong birth control and it gave me dark pigmentation on my forehead and jaw line. I am now 34 years old and have still never known what it is like to have a clear skin. It makes me depressed with low self esteem and I have no confidence, I always keep an arms length when talking to people. It is a battle because now I am started to get fine lines and wrinkels that start popping up at this age. On the side of my mouth I have a pimple next to a fine line. I just don’t know what to do and have actually just given up. My nose is full of open pores and looks terrible. i envy people who only now stress about a few pimples when i have been struggling all my life. I do follow a very strict Dermalogica regime.

  3. says

    I am reading a book called Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life and it suggests that our bodies (skin) will react this way when we our hormones are out of balance. So perhaps as Lee said it is related to that?

    Completely different suggestion is your cell phone might need to be disinfected. Given the location of the blemish a dirty handset could be the culprit.

  4. Kristine says

    I seem to have the best luck with Neutrogena products (drugstore-wise). They’ve never steered me wrong and they have a new natural line of products.

    I started using Votre Vu, a French company, about a year ago and have been REALLY pleased. They’re a bit spendy but my skin has not looked this good since my teens (I’ll be 31 in two months).

    Good luck! I know how aggravating it is to deal with skin/acne issues – I thought this nonsense was supposed to end years ago!

  5. Kristine says

    I seem to have the best luck with Neutrogena products (drugstore-wise). They’ve never steered me wrong and they have a new natural line of products.

    I started using Votre Vu, a French company, about a year ago and have been REALLY pleased. They’re a bit spendy but my skin has not looked this good since my teens (I’ll be 31 in two months).

    Good luck! I know how aggravating it is to deal with skin/acne issues – I thought this nonsense was supposed to end years ago!

  6. says

    I feel your pain! While I had bad skin as a teenager, it cleared up while I was in my 20s. Then in my late 20s everything changed again. Now at 32 I battle blemishes constantly – nasty red puffy blemishes.

    The biggest fix for me is twice-daily washings – if I dare skip a before-bed wash I pay for it a couple days later. I have also noticed that I have “problem spots” – the worst one on my jawbone/neck, where I now realize I rest my head in my hand almost constantly, both at home & at work when I’m sitting at a computer. When I really focus on NOT touching my face at all my skin looks much better.

    I also swear by a lot of “no product” time – I wear a moisturizer with SPF during the day, but rarely anything at night. That way my skin can breathe! I also don’t wear foundation anymore – ever. And my skin stays clearer than when I used to wear it. (When I did use it, Bare Minerals worked the best.)

    One last thought – could the brushes/applicators you use for your makeup be part of the problem? I guess we’re “supposed” to clean them weekly because of how quickly oils build up on them.

    • says

      I’ve been having the same issues of late…as a teenager I never broke out and had beautiful skin but now I find myself breaking out often. So I present to you a verbose comment with tons of links that have helped me with my skincare lately.

      About a month ago I started washing my make-up brushes once a week with some baby shampoo and it has helped significantly. I honestly never washed my make-up brushes (gross I know) and I now see an improvement in how my mineral make-up looks on the surface of my skin AND my nose/chin blemishes are clearing up. I used to use Bare Minerals until I discovered Everyday Minerals (http://www.everydayminerals.com/) which is cheaper and better for you (less chemicals, more minerals). They have tons of cool products and they will send you trial size foundations so you can match your color perfectly.

      I’ve also realized that most face products (wash, toner, moisturizer) irritate my skin and I’ve recently switched to an awesome all natural line, Sprout (http://www.sproutarevolution.com/) that a friend of mine from high school created. I love her moisturizer because its made of few simple ingredients (coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter) and I don’t think I’ll ever buy another face moisturizer again. One jar of her cream lasts well over 6 months because I only use it for my face. I find that I need a more substantial face wash than the one she makes so I plan on switching to 100% Pure Skin Brightening Facial Cleanser (http://www.100percentpure.com/SKIN-BRIGHTENING-FACIAL-CLEANSER-s/416.htm) which I hear works very well. I also use Sprout toner but beware it smells very natural (very strong apple cider smell). I might look into switching to a different toner as well though rumor is Adina is working to balance out the smell.

      Hope this helps!

  7. says

    I’ve suffered from bad skin for years (tear!) so I do have a few pieces of advice –

    – A lot of my friends who started having random breakouts found the St. Ives apricot scrub to be helpful.
    – Would you feel confident skipping make up a few days a week? Or at least switching from foundation to just a powder? I’ve never worn much make up but recently I quit everything except for mascara and lip gloss and I swear my skin looks even better than it did with make up.
    – If it’s bad enough that you want to go to the derm for a prescription, I recommend Duac.
    – Remember that it’s more noticable to you that it is to others. I’m not sure if you think you were breaking out at HLS, but I definitley didn’t notice!

  8. says

    I’d personally try eliminating wheat (and other grains) from the diet and seeing if it clears up. If it clears up and you want to add them back in slowly to figure out if there was any intolerances. There’s been a lot of people that when they switched to a “paleo diet” their acne cleared up really quickly and wheat ended up being the culprit.

    Just a suggestion :)

  9. says

    Have you had a facial? Sometimes just getting one will clear up problems and they can also recommend good products to use as well. I currently use Clinique (wash, toner, moisturise and [then SPF if I am going outside] at least once a day) and other than very minor breakouts at certain times of the month, I have clear skin. I’ve also used Neutrogena and had good luck with them as well.

  10. says

    Hey, Katy, I can so relate… It wasn’t until I really cleaned up my diet that I started to see my skin clear up THIS year (at age 31 too).

    Our bodies change every 7 years, I hear. And especially as a woman entering her 30’s. That’s what my doctor told me. So it could very much be hormonal. What has helped me is diet, exercise, more sleep, and cutting down on the stress.

    As for diet, I see big skin benefits by eating more whole, clean foods — green veggies, fruit, whole grains. And now that I’m doing Rawgust (going raw in August), I’ve had maybe ONE zit. It’s incredible.

    I also use a nightly retinol cream from philosophy, topped with a Be Fine’s nightly moisturizer with cocoa. And every morning before my tinted moisturizer, I put on a thin layer of moisturizer and vitamin-enriched primer. It helps to shield the skin quite beautifully. (Both of these are also from philosophy.)

    I understand your frustration… and how something like acne can really destroy your confidence.

    Hang in there.
    Alicia
    @AliciaGetsFit

  11. says

    Cousin,

    I used to have skin issues (and used Clearasil cleaner and cream that helped but left my skin dry and overly sensitive and dyed my pillows at night).

    A few years ago, I switched to Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleaner. It is just a face wash I use in the shower (not even daily anymore unless I’m having a breakout which is VERY rare) and leaves my skin feeling great (it even cleans my beard!). It smells nice and his a high quality product.

    It is a bit more expensive ($21.00 for 8.4 FL ounces), but it works great and I only use a a dime-sized amount, so it ends up costing less over all because I honestly buy probably fewer than 2 bottles a year. Also, they have great customer service so if you try it and it doesn’t work or you don’t like it, you can bring it back (used) and they will refund your money, no questions asked. Great company, highly recommended! And no more dyed pillows.

    http://www.kiehls.com/Blue-Herbal-Gel-Cleanser/544,default,pd.html?start=10&cgid=face-cleansers-scrubs

    Good luck,

    A

    • says

      p.s. I use this one because my skin does tend to be a little oily, so I’m not sure it’s right for you. My friend who used to have CRAZY acne also uses and swears by Kiehl’s, but he finds he doesn’t need the medication in the Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser and just uses the Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser and swears by it as well. (http://www.kiehls.com/Gentle-Foaming-Facial-Cleanser/280,default,pd.html?start=9&cgid=face-cleansers-scrubs). They also have non-detergent cleansers, etc. Most of their skin stuff has essential oils and is higher quality than many products 2-3x as expensive. Basically, I would just recommend going to the Kiehl’s store, tell them you’re a new customer and they will give you a bunch of samples to try based on your skin and what you’re using and you can come back and buy the product you prefer (which, as mentioned, may still be returned if you don’t like/need it).
      p.p.s. Seriously, I know I may not strike you as super savvy on stuff like this but Kiehl’s is just awesome, and an awesome company that’s been in business since 1851. It’s also a really nice place retail experience if you go to one of their retail stores.

  12. Amanda says

    Hi Katy,

    I recently found your blog and love all of the helpful info you post each day. As far as skin care, I had pretty flawless skin until I turned 25 and then suddenly I started getting really painful pimples on my chin (like the kind that last for a couple of weeks). I was in a super stressful job, which I think triggered it, and I tried a bunch of different things before I (finally!) found products that didn’t just irritate my skin even more. I’ve been using Daniel Kern’s products – his site is acne.org – and I don’t want to curse it, but I’ve been completely clear since about a month into starting his “regimen”. I don’t follow it exactly because he recommends a ton of benzyl peroxide, which is super drying, and I also swear by St. Ives Apricot scrub every day to exfoliate.

    As a first step, I think it might be good to start eliminating things – like someone else said, washing your pillow cases more often, cleaning your cell phone, just overall ruling out simple things. I’d also recommend a very gentle cleanser and moisturizer twice a day (again, I swear by Dan Kern’s and they’re pretty affordable) and maybe going without foundation just to give your skin a break. It’s such a frustrating process, but give it time and I’m sure you’ll clear up. :)

  13. says

    I’m going through the same thing right now. I think it started out as stress because I was moving across the country and dealing with some parent health problems, but then it just kept right on breaking out! I switched my face wash up to Cetaphil, because it’s SUPER gentle, but still cleans really well. I’d suggest trying a clay mask from Whole Foods, steaming your face first, then applying. Do that twice a week to drag impurities out. Lastly, if you’ve used the same moisturizer for a long time, it might be time to change it up. I think that skin just naturally changes with age, and while I never broke out in high school/college…it’s started happening a little bit, mostly around my chin. Let us all know how it turns out!

  14. says

    I wish I could help you, but if you find a solution I’m eager to hear. I never had problem skin until I was in my mid 20s. I blamed it on sharing a bed with my husband and told him he must make the sheets dirty. Lamest excuse ever. ;)

  15. AKM says

    The same thing happened to me – when I turned 27, except I went off birth control. If it’s along your chin/jawline, it’s very likely hormonal. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed Retin A, which worked at first but then stopped. What has been the biggest help to me is:
    – Natural products. Get rid of that Clean and Clear and L’Oreal, it’s full of chemicals. I use a tea tree oil face wash from Trader Joe’s, a Desert Essence exfoliant, and Alba lotion with SPF.
    – Take a cod liver oil supplement. THIS IS HUGE! It has literally changed my life. If you google “cod liver oil” and acne you’ll find tons of testimonials that it helps regulate hormonal acne because it has lots of Vitamin A and D, both of which are essential for healthy skin!

    I still get breakouts around certain times of the month (not just my period, but more so when I ovulate – I use FAM so I know exactly when that is), but they are mild and go away quickly.

  16. says

    I have no idea whats up with your random breakouts :( But if it makes you feel any better– my skin has been going insane this past month too.. It’s very unusual.
    Maybe its the climate?

    A conversation that went on between my boyfriend, Will & I yesterday:

    Me: “Hey! You’re looking at my pimple!” (Note: singular)
    Will: “What!? I wasn’t looking at any of your pimpleS!” (Note: plural)
    So basically, I feel your pain :(

  17. says

    I’m in the same boat! When I stopped taking bc at 26 my skin has been horrible since. The weird thing Is I never had bad skin before bc! Recently I read tina’s posts (CNC) on her skin care routine and started using the face wash she does. It has helped but its not 100% better. I’ve tried proactive, mural and a handful of others with absolutely no success this is the first one that kind of works.

  18. emily mink says

    my skin has always been a challenge. it’s oily, sensitive, and highly prone to breakouts, especially as my period approaches.so i guess all i can tell you is what i do.

    1st) cetaphil face wash was recommended to me by a dermatologist and i like it a lot. it’s very gentle but still gets the crap out. i use apricot scrub about every other day for exfoliating, and i usually use a toner on my skin before i go to bed.

    2) makeup. it hates me. i pretty much can’t wear foundation at all HOWEVER neutrogena recently put out a “skin clearing” line of products that are better than most, they actually have a tiny bit of salicylic acid in them. i’ve used the loose powder and concealer. since i’m not much of a foundation girl, i just use an oil free primer from smashbox (which is fantastic) and then a light dusting of that skin-clearing pressed powder that neutrogena puts out. when you’re working out, keeping the sweaties off your skin is pretty essential, too.

  19. says

    I never got zits through high school and college, but after college I started getting some every few weeks. I think some people just hit that phase at different times. My skin gets bad if I don’t remove my makeup before working out or sweating, and I’ve been trying to avoid wearing make-up on weekends unless I have to.

  20. says

    I agree with Andrea above – switch to products without chemicals. They’re no good for your skin.

    Also random, if that’s the side of your face you hold your cell phone up to, that could be causing it as well. Our cell phones are so dirty and we rub them all over our face – gross!

  21. says

    Liz Earle Organic Skin Products changed my life. A friend of mine is the beauty editor at one of the top women’s magazines, and when my skin wouldn’t stop freaking out she told me it was over processed and needed some organic love. The Hot Cloth Cleanser and the mud mask took my zits away, shrunk my pores and brightened my skin. The brand wins top awards over and over again, and it just absolutely amazing for your skin. I urge you to try it!

  22. says

    You probably got this tendancy from me…I had great skin until 20/30 years ago, and it has been downhill since. I’m hoping that there are new products out there that will help you through this. It is a lifelong process, so don’t get too used to anything!

  23. says

    Here is my take on it. While I’m not a dermatologist, my father is and I have lots of advice and insights because of it. Skin changes as we age. What might have worked in the past doesn’t anymore (I have experienced that) and sometimes skin problems can show up as a result of delayed stress.

    As far as face wash goes, less is more. Throw out the Clean and Clear or anything like that and switch to Cetaphil or CeraVe, which both can be found at the drug store. This is what most dermatologist recommend. In general the other drugstore washes have harsh chemicals in them that can cause problems leading to more acne and also don’t even think about trying ProActive. Total junk!

    If you continue to have problems, go to see a dermatologist and get a face wash to use in the shower such as Triaz. I use that on occasion when I start to break out more.

    Hope that helps!

  24. says

    I am in the same boat. I went to the derm, but all he did was prescribe expensive creams and pills. So, I’ve been switching to more natural products slowly. However, when you make a change, there will be a perge period. I tried oil cleansing method(people swear by it), but that wasn’t as much hoped so I switched to using philosophy’s on a clear day acne care line. It seems to be working.

  25. says

    I face the same adult acne problem. My dermatologist has me on minocycline and Differin, which have helped tremendously. I don’t like all of the meds, but I would rather be on them than deal with painful acne. I am also on a hormonal birth control.

    I try to use Cetaphil or CeraVe because those help a lot as well.

    Good luck!

  26. Sarah W says

    I currently take ortho tri cyclen and it keeps my zits at bay. But I also had a stint with Accutane when I was a freshman in college so that seemed to help. My mom had to have a dose as a teen as an adult.

    When I am not on bcp, my face is HORRENDOUS.

    I’ve been told to get the Clarisonic (sephora has it) it has been recommended countless times to me by ppl which horrible skin and say this helps immensely. the price tag is a bit steep so I haven’t taken the plunge, but its on my “to buy eventually” list :)

    I also rely HEAVILY upon Trader Joe’s tiny little bottle of TEA TREE OIL. I take a cotton pad, dampen it and then add a few drops of oil and rub the cottong pad on my problem area. it STINKS, so I only do it at night. but it WORKS. it helps IMMENSELY.

    Hope this helps.

    I also use bare essentials makeup – which lets the skin breathe ans ia b it more natural I think.

    rec’s for more natural products:

    Toner: Witch Hazel – It smells NASTY but is cheap in the pharmacey section of grocery store

    MakeUp Remover: Jojoba Oil (trader joe’s) – EXCELLENT at removing eye makeup – I only use this at night before washing my face

    Acne Fighter: Tea Tree Oil (trader joe’s)

  27. says

    I wish I could help you. I am 48 and still get a pimple now and then. Mine are pretty much in the chin area and I’m told it is hormonal. For years the dermatologist prescribe a small amount of a diuretic and that pretty much kept it at bay. Then just over a year ago she told me that there was now a “black box” warning for that medication so she thought I should not be on it for cosmetic purposes. Darn. So I feel your pain.

  28. says

    I had problem skin when I was younger, got on BC and it cleared most of it up, mostly my back and chest acne. Completely gone! I got off BC after Adam and I got married, because it was starting to give me mood swings and my face exploded. I also have bad acne scarring that I hate more than the zits themselves. :( I am now trying “Yes to tomatoes” face wash, mask and moisturizing line. I’m also using Trader Joe’s natural toner wipes once a day to help exfoliate. If they work well, I’ll let you know! I used Neutrogena’s natural line and it was pretty good. However, I heard St. Ives Apricot Scrub is way too harsh for our skin. I’ve been told multiple times to not use it. It’s very rough! A light exfoliating wash(Neutrogena naturals has an exfoliating cleanser) is great. I’d use it at least once a day. Also I’ve been told to not use water on our faces that’s any hotter or colder than room temp.

  29. says

    Haha, I’ve been breaking out since I was 12. My skin never got the memo that I’m now 25!

    I have good results with Clinique products, particularly their acne prevention line.

    People have hit the nail on the head re: hormones … Clean and Clear may just not cut it for you anymore.

    If you’re going to try a new cleanser, though, give it time to work. Don’t experiment with new cleansers on a daily basis.

    Give the make-up a rest at least one day a week, like a Sunday. If you’re going out to meet people and must put some on, skip the foundation. (I also can keep the breakouts under control more with a mineral powder foundation).

    And ditto what everyone else is saying … make sure your pillows are super clean, exfoliate on a regular basis, wipe down your phones, don’t touch your face, etc.

    Morgan at Life After Bagels is really knowledgeable about these things, so you may also want to shoot her an email.

  30. says

    HORMONES.

    I’m going through the exact same thing. I never had acne has a teen or in my 20’s. I’m 31 and the last few years my skin has been a mess. Since I want kids someday, Accutane is a no-no. I take a special prescription pill for it that’s a diuretic. So I pee a million times a day. It helps but doesn’t clear it up 100%. Dermatologist said there’s nothing that can be done because it’s entirely hormonal. YAY FUN.

  31. says

    Your Clean & Clear probably has sodium laurel sulfate which isn’t doing you any favors. It’s a cheap, highly irritating chemical that isn’t even legally permitted in skin care sold in many other developed nations.

    I’d switch to a more gentle cleanser and add a naturally derived salicylic acid toner (from Willow Bark). My life depends on Aveda’s Outer Peace pads. They’re pricey so I cut them in half.

  32. says

    I don’t wear foundation anymore because it clogs my pores. I use expensive ass powder instead – usually Jane Iredale or Glo Minerals. (About $40 for a compact but it lasts and looks just like foundation if you ask me.) Maybe you could try something like that out?

    Also, it’s really hot out lately and the weather could be causing your problems. Especially if you’re excercising regularly.

  33. says

    I second the Clarisonic suggestion. I’m almost 49 years old and have been having breakouts my whole teen and adult life…I got the Clarisonic a couple of months ago and man what a difference!! I have tried ALL kinds of creams, lotions, washes and nothing has come close!

  34. says

    Are you spending more time on the phone than normal? After I started my new job, I started breaking out and realized it was because I was on the phone alot and was resting the receiver on my face. Since I’ve changed to a headset, the breakouts stopped.

    Also, if I don’t wash my face right after exercise, I get breakouts. Even just a little sweat sitting there or more than 10 minutes makes me break out.

  35. says

    Oh dear – hugs! I can totally relate to this issue. I’ve been having breakouts lately too. And it’s frustrating!! My doctor says its mainly due to hormonal changes as well as stress. Gotta really hate those, huh?!?

  36. says

    Wow, so many different tips and products. I’ve been having the exact same problem lately and I feel like I too am doing everything right.

    My only thought for me is that this seems to go hand in hand with my marathon training – in which I have greatly upped my carb intake. Im scared to give up carbs! YIKES!

  37. Bec says

    I have always had ‘troublesome’ skin, it’s oily and prone to breakout. After trying everything in the drugstore and many over the counter/drug options I finally figured out a system that works well. I use the clinique 3 step system which they match to your skins needs. St Ives scrub for blemishes and blackheads a couple of times a week and wear minimal makeup (I try to wear no makeup a few days a week) and clean your makeup brushes often. And always wash your face morning and night and after exercise.

  38. says

    Could it be from sweat/workouts? My skin went insane on me last year when I started training for a Half Marathon. I’m 26 and have never had skin problems until that moment in my life!

  39. says

    I’m 32, and still have breakouts once in a while.

    I usually have issues in areas where I have contact with phones or hats. I also try to switch up my products sometimes if I’ve been wearing them a lot, to see if my skin sensitivity has changed.

    It’s frustrating every time, but I remember my mom telling me (when I was a teenager), that I’d probably always get pimples. As others have said, it’s those damn hormones.

  40. says

    I feel ya! Mine is completely hormonal. I’m not on BCP (I have a ParaGard IUD ), but my face breaks out twice a month – when I ovulate and when AF comes for a visit. It sucks.

    I’ve had acne since I was a teen and I can’t say it’s ever gone away. It’s at it’s best when I am pregnant (2nd/3rd trimester) and breastfeeding. Sooo — I guess when my hormones are at their highest??? No clue. I feel like like I’ve tried everything — and now I just stick with what makes it break out the least: Cetaphil bar soap for my face, Oil of Olay lotion, and CoverGirl Age Defying Makeup (this one surprised me – but it has made my face look the best!).

    I keep thinking “this is the age when my acne will go away” — but I don’t really think that’s going to happen!

  41. says

    HI Katy! I am new to the blogs and wanted to say HI as well as give my personal advice.

    I am 30, a licensed make-up artist who has worked with big name companys in the past.

    Lots of different factors are most likely playing into it but i think that bottom line…those products you’ve been using for years no longer work for you.

    It seems you have been using drugstore brands. Not that there is anything wrong with that…a few of my staples are from drugstores! One product I swear by is Neutrogena’s Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Acne treatment. This spot treatment is AMAZING! (i also use the toner from that same line after i wash my face with Neutrogena oil-free foaming face wash)

    I also switch up my face wash a few times a week. I use Neutrogena products for when I feel more broken out (see above products) and I use a vitamin C line when my skin looks great by Serious Skin Care that you can purchase off of HSN (home shopping network).

    Good luck! Hope your face clears up and if you want more advice, please don’t hesitate to ask….I have spent many years learning/researching about this kinda stuff!!!!

  42. says

    My daughter, who is now 27 had something similar happen to her a couple of years ago. She had the most gorgeous skin thoughout high school and college and then about three years ago she started to break out bad. I mean REALLY bad. We tried everything. Dermatologists, skin care salons, lotions, creams, over the counter and prescriptions and nothing worked. It was starting to affect her emotionally she was so embarrassed and it was affecting me financially as it was all out of pocket expense for me.

    Now I’m not suggesting you do this but it’s what worked for her. Birth control. A doctor suggested that it was a surge in hormones and that birth control might level it off and I must say it was pretty miraculous. That being said…her skin looked so much worse than yours and we were sort of at out wits end. I was old fashioned enough I sort of hated her being on birth control for her skin, I won’t lie but at her age guess it’s not the worse thing for other reasons too. Which I don’t want to think about. :)

  43. says

    I have literally gotten at least 4 painful zits on my upper lip in the last two weeks. so annoying! Although I touch my face (OMG, I just accidentally wrote “I touch myself” ) a lot and think that’s why I’m breaking out. I actually have a dermatologist appointment on Monday. It’s coincidental, but I’m going to bring this up.

  44. says

    I got occasional pimples as a teen. But when I turned 30 I started getting ZITS. Big, bad painful things. And they frequently leave marks behind. I wish I had an answer for your qualm, but I’m eager to see if you find a solution. I am getting a facial (my first ever) on Saturday, so we’ll see if that sheds any light on the subject.

  45. says

    Sometimes its a food intolerance! Dairy maybe?

    As soon as I stopped birth control my skin got so bad that I went back on it :( but I also found that cutting back on dairy helped

  46. says

    Sometimes skin just go crazy but it seems like you are doing all the right things. I used to have horrible skin as a teen which only cleared up with Proactive. That stuff really works! If you don’t want to to try that then I would recommend cooling masks. I use one my mom brought me from her vacation to the Dominican Republic and you can’t get it here. Try to get something similar because those puppies disappear pimples. I will usually put them on at night and wash them off the next morning.

    It could still be a hormonal imbalance because as we grow older pimples may still appear. My mom still gets them at 50! The only difference is the location. You shouldn’t get them in the dreaded T-zone (which stands for teen despite what dermatologists say :p) but they appear in your chin or cheeks like the one above. Hoping you don’t fare like my mom!

  47. Toni says

    Definitely change the pillowcase more.

    Disinfect your cell phone with some clorox wipes or something.

    Mineral Makeup

    More natural simple cleansers like Lush.

    -I also started washing my face at night only then I use only a toner (LUSH Breath of Fresh Air) and moisturizer with SPF in the am. I was using way too much stuff before and my skin has never looked better.

  48. says

    Oh, gosh, how I can relate. I took birth control for two years, then went off of it in the spring. That’s when I began noticing terrible breakouts- it looked like I had a rash. I went to the dermatologist and she said that it’s hormonal acne, and unfortunately, one of the possible side effects of going off of birth control. My face wasn’t this bad before I began taking Yaz, and now it’s worse than ever. Apparently I just have to wait and see if my hormones regulate, and in the mean time, try whatever products I can. I am using some prescription topical products right now, although they are very drying. I’m not really sure what I’ll try next…

  49. Adelia says

    There are questions that you can answer with your own. Evaluate yourself and make a change if it necessary. Don’t depend on chemical beauty product because it can cost a lot. Decide on natural herbs that might suit with your skin.

  50. erin says

    Same problem but different story. I noticed I had large painful zits that would never really go away. Tried retin-a, benzoyl peroxide, birth control… everything. Birth control helped a lot but I still had cystic acne that would pop up around my period. The others just dried my face out so badly that I just had huge painful peeling zits. I went to a doctor who told me these zits that were always appearing in the same spot on my chin were actually not acne but an acne-like bacterial infection that I would have my entire life. After a round of oral antibiotics and a topical antibiotic called clyndamiacin my skin had never been so clear. Technically zits are just small bacterial infections that come from clogged pores. Bactrin is an otc option if you don’t want to see a doctor. Do not dry your face out with harsh chemicals, overwashing, or hot hot water because then your face produces more oil and it becomes a vicious cycle. Lotion is not your enemy either. Stress is also a factor. I like to get monthly extractions from a medical doctor or rn. NOT at some salon. Also my doctor told me that if you rub ice on your face every day it shocks the bacteria in the pimples making it hard for it to survive and closes your pores before makeup application. Use of a primer before make-up is also a really good idea.

  51. Stephanie says

    I have this issue so bad too. Its so painful- itches at times actually and throbs. If I didn’t have this constant influx of large and aggressive pimples I would be so happy. But I think Erin has the best advice- get to the derm. When something like this occurs I do not truly believe that you can fix what I have on my chin with anything over the counter. I have to make and appt with the derm first thing tomorrow!
    Thanks for posting this here because when I googled this I found you! Go Technology! and GET TO THE DERM! =)

  52. Susan says

    Hello, I know this response is a year late. But you need to switch to natural products. These products will help bring your skin to function normally. Commercial products damage our skin with harsh synthetic chemicals! Arysa naturals has great natural and organic products! I love this place, their products are miracles to me because my skin is now clear, beautiful and dewy! Here’s their link http://www.arysa-naturals.com I hope their products work out for you! Good luck!

  53. Yolan says

    I know this sounds crazy but I’ve been using Clorox Wipes and this might be irresponsible
    Of me telling.you this but it really works and I’ve spent thousands of dollars on acne treatment and this is the only thing that works great! No Acne! Lightening! the dark spots and it bleached the hair on my face try it on a small area to see if it irritates your skin…..

    Good Luck!

  54. Cokia says

    I don’t know if you are still having issues with this but I am 31 and have been having the same issue as you (breaking out worse than when I was a teenager). I found out I have PCOS which was giving me an imbalance in hormones and horrible acne. They put me on a medication that immediately started making my skin better. I would check into it if it is still a problem for you.

    • says

      Thanks — that’s a good thought, but I actually was tested for PCOS a few years ago and do not have it. I do have some issues with my progesterone levels, so perhaps that is to blame?

  55. says

    Hi Katy,
    I think a lot of the problems we are facing with our skin can be attributed to the loose labeling we have in North America for different chemicals that are added to our skin care products. My wife had been struggling with acne, much like yourself, and we had tried everything we could get our hands on, and settled with proactive for awhile. Unfortunately this only worked a little bit, and she started bleaching all of our pillows and sheets due to continued use of the products. A friend of ours introduced us to the Clear Advantage line from Arbonne (http://goo.gl/AScza)[Item #418] which is Swiss formulated, all natural, contains no preservatives and no harmful chemicals. Within 3 days her face started clearing up, and she has been using it faithfully ever since. I highly recommend you try it, I know it looks a bit pricey, but all of the products go a long way, and that set should usually lasts my wife 2-3 months with her washing her face morning and night. One thing to note is that the pores in your face open to “breath” at night, so any make-up/dirt that remains on our faces when we go to bed without washing our face, gets pulled into our pores and encourages further breakouts. So for people reading this, that is the number one way to help reduce future breakouts. Hopefully this helps!

  56. says

    Hi – I am 30 and at times have really bad skin as well. I am always super careful about what products I use. I used Clinique for years and then all of a sudden it was like washing my face with battery acid, my skin just started to react negatively towards it. I would say a large part of it could be in response to the product you use. (also make sure you remove your make up prior to washing your face). I use two different products that I have found work well for me. Skin by Ann Webb http://www.skinbyannwebb.com/ (you can also find her products on amazon). She has a lot of different varieties, some are more milky in substance, some are more like clear gels. I personally use Spearmint oily tea cleanser and it works nicely. http://www.skinbyannwebb.com/products/cleansers/spearmint-tea-cleanser.html The other product I have found that works amazingly is Aveda Botanical products. http://www.aveda.com/product/7574/16929/Collections/botanical-kineticsTM–for-oily-skin/Botanical-Kinetics-Purifying-Gel-Cleanser/index.tmpl They are a little pricey, but they last a long time (I only buy a few of the large bottles a year) Anyways, that is my two sense.

  57. Flora2 says

    I used ProActiv a while back and it was not a pleasant experience. My skin burned, itched, turned red. And on top of all that, it was abnormally dry [shocking because I've never had dry skin in my life].

    I desperately needed something to get rid of my acne [which was located mostly on my forhead area] … ProActiv was terrible, as I mentioned before. So I decided to buy the Citrus Clear Sensitive Kit (Face Wash & Moisturizer), and this was the best decision ever. I noticed results as soon as 2-3 days. My acne is all gone now. It’s only 2 steps, whereas ProActiv was 3. My skin is great right now

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