Thursday, 8 January 2015

My acne story OR 'why do you have buttons on your face' story

Hello everyone!

Ever since I was 13 years old or when I hit puberty I suffered from acne mainly on my forehead and chin area. I remembered when my friends used to complain about their so called acne... 'oh my god my acne is so bad.... I wish I had clearer skin.' Their two spots was nothing compared to my family of spots. Literally. 
So, during the past two years I kept a longitudinal photographed diary of my acne - how it worsened and EVENTUALLY (after 5 years of stress) got better. Like the majority of acne sufferers out there, YES my self-esteem was almost.. non-existent. Funny story no.1. One time when I was chilling on the PS3 at my Aunties house, my little cousin awkwardly sat next to me and asked ...'Why do you have buttons on your face?' I laughed so hard but then after I realised how sad it was. So, it reached to the point where I hated taking photographs with others and I remember when I used to FaceTime Chris with half of my face showing since my acne was that terrifying to show. Funny story no.2. One day I went to Debenhams to get my eyebrows, forehead and the side of my face threaded. I sat down on the chair and the lady told me, I'm going to have to avoid your spots since I don't want to make them bleed. So I agreed. She started threading. 2 minutes later she was done. Looked in the mirror, no difference. Basically she avoided my entire face. I paid full price. Jokes. So, not only did this condition affect my appearance, it also impacted on my daily life. 

Two words. Takeaway life. Like the majority of BBC's (British Born Chinese) in the UK, my parents owned a Chinese takeaway and I was forced to help out since I was 12 years old. I had to work with industrial deep fryers on a daily basis, meaning I had to come back home with a layer of oil on my skin. Disgusting. Which, in summary resulted to spots.
Exam stress. 
Genetics was also the cause. My sister had acne during her teens and my brother is currently going through the phase of acne... Man do I feel sorry for him.

Steps to recovery
I tried endless amounts of skin care products that made no difference to my skin, with a price range of £3 - £30. I did splurge quite a lot on Clinique products since my Clinique consultant advised me to follow a particular facial routine for a long period of time (6months) but sadly... I saw no change in my skin (Lesson learnt. Never listen to consultants who are representing a brand. They do a good job of persuasion). I tried - 
  • Apricot Scrub by St Ives ( that was too harsh on my skin. Too harsh that my spots started to bleed after I used the product)
  • Simple skin care range
  • Clinique
  • Garnier Multi-action scrub
  • Freederm spot cream
  • No7 Skin care
  • Bio-oil to diminish the scars
  • Clearasil
  • Clean and Clear
  • Tea Tree range from Bodyshop
  • Neotrogena Visibly Clear
  • Chris's Nivea facial scrub to see if mens products had a larger impact (believe it or not). But, no difference
  • ...and several other products but I can't remember all of them..
I used all of these products within the space of 6 years. I think jumping from one product to the next was the reason why I saw no progression of my acne. After spending so much money and time looking for the perfect solution, I realised visiting my GP could be the answer.. and it was! My GP prescribed me two medial products - 
  1. A roll on solution that killed the bacteria and dried out my spots (I forgot the name of the product)
  2. Dianette Pill
The Dianette Pill made a huge contribution to my recovery. My GP specifically prescribed them to me since my acne was very severe. Even though Dianette carries a high risk of blood clots, I decided to take them for 3months and see if there was any dramatic changes, and there was! As you can see from my longitudinal photographs, I started taking Dianette in October 2013 and during December 2013 you could see the transformation. If you are considering of taking Dianette, I would only advise you to take it if you have severe acne since there are several side effects you should be aware of!

Lesson learnt
  1. I spent a large sum of money on skin care products that didn't even work. Only to find the solution was prescribed products from my GP that was free of expense... I really should have visited my GP first.
  2. As stated before, never trust consultants that are representing a brand. 
  3. I've heard many people say 'you shouldn't pop your spots.' You can burst yellow spots if you follow the appropriate way. My technique, get a needle and clean it with toner. Slowly push the needle into the yellow spot until it penetrates. Carefully squeeze the spot and yellow pus should come out and then blood should follow. STOP squeezing when you see the blood. Wipe the popped spot with toner. I've used this method for a long time now and scaring is minimal.
  4. Never use harsh products on your acne (through personal experience), hence try and avoid facial scrubs. In my opinion, it's recommended to use facial scrubs once or twice a week to exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin, but not everyday.
What now?
Now that the majority of my acne has gone, instead of taking the Dianette pill I have switched to Marvelon since there are less side effects. I wash my face daily (2x a day), I avoid using harsh products on my skin, and I never ever sleep with makeup on.
Even though I encountered severe acne, my scarring is minimal since I use products that help fade scars. Keep up to date on my blog if you want to know my daily facial routine!

Vivian :)

24 September 2013
29 September 2013
2nd October 2013
5th October 2013
17th October 2013 (When I started taking Dianette)

(...The comparison is real.)
17th October 2013
22th October 2013
14th December 2013
27th April 2014
26th May 2014
2nd September 2014

7th January 2015 (I did not Photoshop this image or use a filter. The lighting was just perfect)
7th January 2015 (My forehead looks huge. Camera angles ey?)



  1. Aww Vivian, such a big difference from then to now. At least your acne has cleared up now! :)
    I used to go to the dermatologist when I was younger because I had such bad rashes/ skin reactions so I know what you mean about the whole self confidence thing!

    1. Do you still suffer from skin reactions?
      Sigh.. I had no self confidence when I had acne. It reached to the point where I deleted all my selfies since I was so annoyed with myself!

  2. The transformation is amazing! I'm so glad your skin is back to normal now, if you told me you had acne before I wouldn't believe it, your skin looks soo clear! I was prescribed that roll on thing as well- it didn't work for me at all!

    (Enjoyed this post a lot!)

  3. During the healing process do you ever experienced dry or peelings on your forehead??


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