Contrary to popular belief, I did have rather good and smooth looking skin back then you know. I clearly remember the strange and sudden outbreak when I was 17/18 years of age. Strange because I had already went through a round of puberty when I was 15/16. Sudden because in a matter of weeks, the clear face of mine turned into a map of pus-filled acne clusters that threatened to erupt at any time.
The suddenness of it all had me doing everything but the right thing. I woke up with blood and pus stained pillow sheets. I pop the “ripe” ones that fly like missiles onto the bathroom mirror. I buy over the counter acne creams that does little for my problems. I buy facial washes for “acne-prone” skin that does nothing but worsen my skin condition when my skin dries out.
I can’t remember whose golden suggestion it was but after a year of World War III on my face, I finally sought proper help at the National Skin Centre in Singapore. The waiting time was horribly long but it was well worth it. The doctor made a few injections on a few large coin-sized pulsating pus-mountains of doom and I started to look hideous; which was a marked improvement from grotesque.
I also started on a year long oral medication of Isotretinoin which was a real life saver. I stopped having acne and pimples even a few years after I stopped taking the drug. It had a few side effects like sun-sensitive skin, dry lips, light wallets (damn bloody expensive drug) and quite the list of scary ones that I hope I didn’t get but it was better than what I was facing before (pun intended).
The two main points I am trying to make are these:
Seek (professional) help.
Don’t rely heavily on over-the-counter drugs/creams/wash. There are some that I personally recommend but it’s best to just head to a good dermatologist to help you with the acne.
If you want to ask advice from friends, DON’T ask those who always has blemish-free skin. It’s like asking war advice from a shiny armoured general who has not ever been in a fight.
Don’t pop the acne/pimples.
It’s the simplest advice but you know it when I say it’s the hardest damn thing to follow. No self-aware individual will want to meet fellow humans with a huge pulsating zit on his/her nose and much less with many ripe ones all over.
So what do you do? Pop it? Unless you have good genes or shit loads of money, acne/pimple scars will stick with you permanently so apply something and live with the pimples for possibly a few days rather than the danger of scarring after you pop them.
To bring you up to speed on my current skin condition before I dish out my product recommendations; I have multiple scars on my face and upper neck from World War III (see para 3.) I still have the occasional pimple, probably from my oily skin which would have made me a very rich man if sebum has practical uses.
The best facial wash for me after years of looking around is the Dermal Clay Cleanser by Dermalogica. It’s strong enough to have my face cleaned and most importantly, it’s mild enough to not strip my face of moisture. DO NOT buy harsh facial washes. They clean thoroughly but they leave your skin dry and irritated which makes your skin work overtime to produce more sebum. I buy it from sunnanz.com.sg as i4 is much cheaper than buying it from local shops.
I am relatively lazy with my facial upkeep; hardworking compared to nerds, lazy compared to women. I found that my skin was at it’s best when I cleanse, tone, moisturize and mask.
One really helpful product that I stopped taking because of it’s cost is the collagen drink, TenseUp EX by FANCL. Recommendations from ex-colleagues had me drinking it for a few months and after 1-2 months, the skin looks and feels so much better. The effects are not permanent so you do have to ingest it daily.
There is this awesome product that I discovered quite recently is the Nexcare Acne Patch by 3M. If it only existed 12 years ago, I might have saved myself from quite a lot of scarring. I put it on a pimple before I sleep and by the time I wake up, the miracle patch would have sucked up most if not all of the pus. I haven’t looked up on how it works but I am guessing that microscopic aliens use the patches as a landing pad and work with complex machinery to extract the pus.
This is not a sponsored post by any of the brands or products I’ve mentioned. I just want to save as many teens/adults as I can from the four letter word called Acne.