Controlling acne

3rd August 2013

I thought it was about time that I wrote a useful blog post/article so I have decided to share with you my tips on controlling acne and what products are available for you to use.

Trying to control my acne has been a nightmare. I have oily skin and I have literally tried everything to dry it up a bit, including dying my hair the exact same colour just to prevent my hair from becoming so greasy and thus stopping my face from getting so greasy. I think that everyone is different when it comes to the treatment of acne so what may work for me may not work for you, and visa versa.

If your acne is really out of control then I suggest you speak to a doctor, and if you find your doctor to be useless then ask to see a dermatologist. Don’t let anyone tell you “It’s just your age” or “Give it a few years, it will clear up”. Acne can make you self concious of your skin and it’s depressing. Acne cannot be cured but it can be controlled.

Over the years I have been prescribed a number of different creams and solutions to control acne. These include:

  • Duac
  • Panoxyl
  • Adapalene
  • Zineryt

According to my doctor there are many more creams and solutions available so you just have to try them until you find out what works for you. I’m currently using Zineryt and it seems to have reduced the redness and soreness of my skin. I really don’t recommend Adapalene as it is incredibly strong and it felt like it was burning my skin off. It was so painful that it reduced me to tears. Always stop using a treatment if it is making things worse.

You can also take a special type of antibiotic which targets acne and apparently is a very effective treatment. It is advised that you do not take the antibiotics if you are on the contraceptive pill but my doctor has attempted to reassure me that it will not interfere with the pill. I, however, am a little skeptical.

My doctor also recommended washing my face with a soap called Cidal. It’s an antibacterial soap which will help to eliminate some of the bacteria from your skin (remember, not all bacteria is bad!). You can purchase Cidal soap from a high street chemist and it’s pretty cheap too (I paid £1.99 for two bars from Boots). I’ve only just started using Cidal but I will let you know how I get on with.

Avoid using products such as Clearasil and Clean and Clear which can be purchased from a number of shops on the high street. They may help to reduce spots but acne is a disease and really requires something to clear up the bacteria.

Avoid using moisturiser or products that contain moisturiser. I know this seems impossible as moisturiser is used as a base for applying make up, and when you have acne you just want to cover your entire face with make up to reduce the appearance of the spots. However, try avoiding using it where possible. If you are having a day at home then don’t wear make up. Remove your make up when you’ve come from a day out or a day at work.

The best tip I can give is not to give up hope. If one treatment doesn’t work for you then keep trying something new until you find something that suits you. Good luck!

Note: I wrote a follow up to this post which you can read here.

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  1. Shot

    This is such a useful article! I’ve always stuck to ‘Simple’ products, and I used to use loads of tea tree oil to dry spots out but lately it’s really started to burn. I used to put up with it but it seems stronger lately. I just use the oil balancing wash by Simple (in the blue tube) which has really made a difference. :)

    I totally agree with not letting anyone tell you ‘it’s just your age’ – I know people who swear by it and you can’t tell where the acne ends and the skin begins, and people who make no effort what so ever repulse me. :/

    I actually already have you linked as one of the blogs I visit, so yeah, a link exchange would be great! :D

    • I’m glad you find it useful. :) I have a few products by Simple but I stopped using them when my spots got worse. That’s the problem when you use loads of products all at once; you can’t tell what works and what doesn’t.

      If it keeps burning then you could always consider seeing your doctor. :)

  2. Cat

    I’m glad Zineryt is working for you! I look forward to hearing how Cidal is too. That’s a good reminder that acne is a disease, and that it’s not a bad idea to see a doctor or specialist about it.

    I’ve actually been thinking about seeing a dermatologist lately. My acne usually isn’t too bad, but it’s frustrating to still have break outs. I don’t like it when people say “it’s just your age”. Even if teenagers are known for it, adults can have acne problems too!

    • I think it’s worth seeing a specialist even if you don’t consider your acne to be too bad. I had never considered seeing someone until I went to meet the facial surgeon who was removing my teeth ready for getting braces and it was him who first prescribed me Panoxyl for my acne. I’ve been seeing doctors about it ever since.

  3. Georgia Kate

    I’ve never had acne but I’ve always had spotty skin, though it has got better over the years. I think it’s so easy to forget that acne is a medical thing, it’s not like the odd zit or blackhead which could be down to hormones or God knows what. I’m glad your cream is working for you, though! I hope it kicks acne’s ass.

    I used to use Clearasil when I was younger but it was so harsh. To be fair, I’ve worked my way through many products for oily skin such as Clean and Clear, Garnier, Neutrogena, etc. and I found that St. Ives are amazing when it comes to skin care. I stopped using it though when they stopped making the cleanser and just expanded their range of scrubs because I like to exfoliate in the morning and cleanse at night, and I don’t know combining two different skin care ranges.

    Then I tried Superdrug Vitamin E range which, although being around the £3 mark, was really good. Then I just got bored of it and whilst it was good it didn’t feel great, so I started using stuff from the Boiré range instead. Which is fabulous. They have a warming scrub that you put on your face and it heats up and so opens and cleans your pores really well.

    The best part is washing it off and having that tingly clean feeling. :)

    Take care! xx

    • I envy anyone who doesn’t have acne haha!

      I will have to take a look at the St. Ives products. I will try anything! The Boiré warming scrub sounds amazing. I’d love to try it. :)

  4. How nice of you to write this encouraging article. ^_^

    Usually when I get a bit of acne it is my cue to lower my stress level/reactions to situations. And when I do that the acne disappears before I know it. It’s the same with my asthma condition. I was diagnosed pre-asthma and when I actually have an attack I can usually pinpoint either the feeling or whatever it was that was needling my mind to the point of my body freaking out on me. It helps wind down and prevent those attacks for me.

    Doctors sure have their hands full keeping all of us with our different body types healthy. :)

    • Thank you. :) I wanted to try something different in terms of blogging so it’s nice to have positive feedback.

      I think my acne gets worse when I’m stressed too. I just need to spend more time relaxing!

  5. racha

    hey there. i have the same oily face problem. and i started using cidal soup. is it working out with your skin. so that i know if i should keep using it or not. thank you.

    • Holly

      Sorry for the incredibly late reply! For me, I don’t think it made any difference. However, it might work better for you. I think everyone is different when it comes to acne treatment.