(Closed) Acne for the first time in my twenties! Help!

posted 7 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Posting so that I can refer back to this thread for reccomendations! 🙂


Post # 4
5399 posts
Bee Keeper

Have you changed anything recently like medications, bcp, etc?

I’ve found that exfoliating is helpful for me. I just recently got a scrub from whole foods by a brand called devita and so far I’m really liking it! You might want to try a new kind of makeup–I’ve heard neutrogena can really clog pores. 

Post # 5
7456 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I have combination skin as well. When I treat my acne my skin goes dry, when I treat the dryness my skin breaks out (and is super oily). Treating either causes my face to go red (rosacea perhaps) so my face is just tricky to deal with. Unfortunately, all of the cleansers and lotions I use were prescribed so you can’t just go out and buy them. Are you able to visit a dermatologist? I would suggest this rather than trying out a bunch of different cleansers and creams. If you can’t I used to use cetaphil face cleanser as well as their dry skin lotion. This helped keep my skin fairly clear and also kept it from getting too dry.

Post # 6
678 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014


Aarrgh I know what you’re going through, I’ve been there! I never had a single pimple growing up (OK maybe just a couple) until I switched to generic BCP in my early 20’s. Then I started having the welt-like breakouts like you described. For someone who never had problem skin, it was a big deal that affected my self-esteem deeply.

This is what helped me get through it:

-went back to the ortho brand BCP even though it was much more expensive

-got a presciption for clindamycin (sp?), a super gentle antibiotic lotion 

-Zinc supplements- I swear they made a difference for me!

-paid more attention to what I put on my face, avoiding harsh ingredients that could dry everything out too much (right now I use Desert Essence face wash from the health food store)

Good luck-stay positive- it’s possible to overcome this!!


Post # 8
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I had two zits before I was 27.  Then i erupted.  I’d go to the dermatologist, mine turned out to be rosecea and I had to be put on medication. 

Post # 9
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@brideatbeach:  This happened to me too. I had clear skin all my life and then all of a sudden in my late twenties bam… Acne!

I tried all the best facial treaments, products, even retin a, and nothing helped. I too eat well and am super healthy- this is the only thing that’s “wrong” with me. My conclusion is that it’s a hormone shift.

I turned to a naturopath because I was at my wits end and she came to the same conclusion- hormone imbalance. I’m now on this interesting regimen of supplements that include primrose oil, algea (instead of fish oil because I’m vegan), zinc (as a pp suggested), and something called seed cycling.

When I do breakout I use witch hazel with one tiny drop of lavender oil. It helps to calm the pimple and clean out the gunk from my pores. You have to find the right concentration of lavender for your skin because it can really burn if you use too much.

Have you had your hormones tested at all? It could be same thing that’s going on with me.

Post # 10
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

acne free spot treatment (10% benzoyl peroxide) is great.


Have you switched a medication at all? (like birthcontrol? or just starting it?) It could be a hormonal imbalance causing acne.

Post # 11
31 posts

This is EXACTLY what happened to me too, around 29yo. Never a pimple in my teens and early 20s and then in a very short period of time i was suddenly inundated with cycstic acne and hated going into public. Im a bit of a health nut so my diet was already good. I tried everything over the space of a couple of years, blood tests showed nothing abnormal with hormones, I spent thousands of dollars on over the counter products that did nothing but make my face peel off and cause my skin to feel raw and painful, microdermabrasion, IPL, home remedies, naturopaths…the list goes on.

…and then finally I went to a dermatologist. within a few months my skin had improved a lot and by 6 months my skin was relatively clear but I remained anxious for a long time about what could touch my skin. I’m finally now in a place where it no longer rules my life.

If I found myself back in that position, my first port of call would be the dr to get hormones checked and if that doesn’t show anything out of the ordinary- make an appt with a dermatologist. 

I should note I have a lot of faith in naturopathy, and I think for ongoing maintenance I stick to the regime for my health generally But it just didn’t help my skin during those years I was struggling with it.

Anyway, that’s what worked for me. To make things more frustrating, what works for one person doesn’t work for another! Grrr

good luck! It’s a horrible feeling but you will find something that works

Post # 12
917 posts
Busy bee

@brideatbeach:  I have combination skin too and the only thing I can recommend is NOT to use Pro-activ. It’s formulated so your skin becomes dependent on it and when you try to ween your skin off it, the break outs are 100 times worse. 


If you’re a fan of Neutrogena try using their new face cleaner/make up remover in their Neutrogena Naturals. I’ve just started using it, but my face feels so clean and fresh after using it. 

Post # 13
2393 posts
Buzzing bee

The same thing happened to me. I had a perfect, crystal clear complexion throughout my teens and in my mid-twenties I started getting zits. It was so annoying! Unfortunately I think you’re going to have to just ride it out. Try going to a dermatologist — there may be options available today that were not around when I went through this.

Post # 15
3712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I also found that switching to gentle cleansers helped my skin. I didn’t start breaking out until I was in college (I’m 25 now) and I was horrified. I tried tons of different acne cleansers that ended up making my face look even more inflamed. I now use Neutrogena Naturals face cleanser/make up remover as a pre wash and Philosophy Purity as my main cleanser.  I also broke down and got a Clairisonic Mia 6 months and it has made old acne marks fade some. It does make my face feel much smoother. I can’t use it everyday though, even with the delicate brush. I only use it 3 times a week. 

Post # 16
4655 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@brideatbeach:  T_T If you figure out the solution to this please tell me, I’m following this thread because ME FREAKING TOO. I was perfectly clear skinned as a teenager and now I’m 25 and just started randomly breaking out last year!

One thing that helped a bit was when I had time and access to oatmeal, I’d grind up oatmeal really really fine and sift it, so it was like oatmeal dust, and mix it into plain, slightly expired yogurt to make a paste. I’d use that as a face mask often and it would help with irritation and redness, but it doesn’t make it go away.

Baking soda and water paste application seems to shorten the life of the pimples but they still keep coming.

I have fallen in love with green color corrector. I don’t think my brand is available in the US but I know Smashbox makes a good coverage one, and if you just want a little moisture and correction without a lot of coverage, Eucerin makes a green-tinted moisturizer as well. It seems to help my zits be a bit less obvious when I go out.

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