The Struggles of Having Adult Acne

I thought having acne was an unfortunate part of my teenage years, one that I’d happily leave behind once I became an adult. Unfortunately, more than a decade since I left my teens behind, I’m still dealing with terrible breakouts and it really sucks.

  1. It makes me feel like crap. When I have acne, I just don’t feel attractive. It’s not even like I can attempt to cover it up because no amount of makeup makes me feel pretty again. There’s nothing fun about having big craters infest my face. I feel like some heinous creature from a horror film. It’s just yucky and it makes me feel gross even though I know it’s not my fault and there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it/nothing I could be doing differently to get it under control.
  2. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me that much. My pimples don’t just take over my face, they take over my mind as well. I have a hard time forgetting they are there and I don’t feel a sense of relief until my acne has subsided. I’m well aware that there are bigger things to worry about in life but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get to me.
  3. People look at me differently. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I can totally feel their eyes wandering toward the blemishes on my face. I worry that they’re thinking I’m gross or dirty even though I wouldn’t assume that about anyone else. It’s just something I worry about.
  4. It seems like it will never end. I thought my skin would get better after middle school and high school, then I thought it had to end after my twenties. Now, at age thirty, I feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  I’ve even come to accept that I might still have acne in the retirement home one day…
  5. It’s a vicious cycle. I end up getting really stressed about the acne, which probably just ends up creating more acne in the long run. It’s hard to calm down about something that feels like it won’t ever go away.
  6. I have to be super careful with the products I use. Sunscreens, lotions, and even soaps can cause my skin to go crazy. I’m constantly reading labels and trying to figure out what I should use. Any time I have to apply something to my face, I pray it doesn’t cause a bigger breakout for me later on.
  7. I have a sick desire to Photoshop all my pictures. Honestly, I hate when I hear about another celebrity being Photoshopped on the cover of a magazine. “It’s not real life!” I’ll think. But then I will take my own pictures and desperately wish I could airbrush my own face, and I just hate myself for this. Really, I hate that the acne makes me want to hide away, to not be myself.
  8. I become a control freak. Ugh, I don’t want to fuss about my face or what angle to take a picture. Acne is as much a mental infection as it is physical. I’m way more uptight when I’m in the midst of a bad breakout on my face because I go into damage control mode. I hate having to spend so much time and energy thinking about something so silly.
  9. I feel like a drama queen. I know there are bigger problems in the world, so it makes complaining about acne feel unjustifiable. Still, it’s not exactly something you can just nonchalantly shrug off, especially when it never seems to truly go away.
  10. I still want to pop my pimples, which seems really immature to me. I don’t want to come across looking like I don’t have self-control, especially as an adult, but it’s really hard not to pop all the bigger puss-filled bumps on my face. It makes me feel like I’m doing something to help, even though I know it really just makes it worse. Unfortunately, having blood all over my face is worse than having icky puss, but it’s still hard to not do anything when I see the acne starting to form.
  11. Products and medicine work a little, but it’s always temporary. I can’t even keep track of how many products and pills I’ve used to try and rid myself of acne. Nothing ever really works in the end, it only provides a temporary bit of relief. Ugh.
  12. Honestly, I’d rather have wrinkles. At least wrinkles are a reflection of maturity and come with a certain level of respect because they signify a wealth of life experience. Acne is just associated with being an adolescent. With it, I feel doomed to live in the bubble of high school over and over and it sucks.
I am a woman on a mission to seize life by the toes and always find the joy and meaning in every experience.