Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Skin Story

As I'm going to be going on at ya'all a lot more (hopefully) about various masks, cleansers and moisturisers I figure it'd probably be helpful if you had a little run down of my skin type / skin history. So here ya go... my skin story.

*If you're after a short summary of my current skin type without all the gaff then just flick to the bottom of the post.*

My Skin Story

I have problem skin. Acne. Adult freakin' acne. It's not pretty, it's not fun and it does nothing for my self esteem. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I want to tear at my own face because I'm so frustrated with the state of things.

I had the normal teenage hormonal pimples throughout out my teenage years, but from about the ages of 18-22 I never gave a thought to my skin care routine because, frankly, I didn't have to. I'd make sure I always removed my makeup and use St Ives Apricot Scrub (Oh the horror!) in the shower every morning and that was about it. At 23 everything went tits up, it started slowly, just on my cheeks, but soon spread to my forehead and chin. Little hard pimples and big angry cysts, setting up camp on my face and refusing to budge.

I have a few of theories about what might have triggered this onset of adult acne.

It could have been the ridiculous amount of stress I was under, a lack of sleep, deadlines and the final collapse (thankfully) of horrific relationship with an absolute dickhole that sent my body into overdrive.

Maybe it was the rather viscous bout of viral meningitis I've come to affectionally call 'The Menny-G Episode' that ransacked my physical being for around 3 months. Has it left me with a very visible souvenir of its reign over my flesh form? Obviously adult acne could not have been directly caused by the virus, but I'm pretty certain it, or rather the devastating effect it had on my health overall seemed to dramatically worsen the hold this spotty spiteful bastard had over me.

Or could it have been the switch from a combined birth control pill to a progesterone only version, screwing with my hormonal balance that sent everything out of wack?

Whatever it was I am now 25 and the least confident I have ever been in terms of my physical appearance. This will sound ridiculous to those of you who haven't ever had to combat acne, but there are days when I really just want to crawl back into bed rather than let the world see me.

I must point out here that it's not that I think I'm ugly, I'm a far cry from Emma Stone, Mila Kunis or Beyoncé but I'm generally happy with my appearance. However when your skin lets you down it's hard to consider yourself beautiful. Its hard to stay positive. Little niggles you had previously are suddenly amplified ten fold by the fact that you feel like everyone is looking at you, studying you, judging you.

I'm not stupid, I know that a lot of my fears about people seeing me as nothing but a pizza face are unjustified. Things always seem worse to you than others. However how you see yourself is what really effects your mood, your confidence.

As a person I'm pretty outgoing, highly sociable, completely comfortable laughing at myself and the silly situations I tend to get myself into, I dance like no one is watching and I'm one to speak out rather than stay shtum. However when my skin is really bad I find it hard to even look people in the eye. I can't even be comfortable around the people in my life I most love and trust because I feel like they are all going to find me disgusting and horrible. It's unjustified. They are my friends, my family, my boyfriend. They love me no matter what. But the problem is, at those times I don't love myself and it's hard to believe anyone else can love you when you don't feel worthy of it.

I've been battling the blemishy bastard for around three years now, been on various antibiotics, a number of creams and spent Lord only knows how much on skin care products. I've cut dairy out of my diet and dramatically reduced my caffeine intake. I even tried to stay off sugar for a while... that didn't last very long. Sometimes all a girl needs is a biscuit.

I've think I've finally found an antibiotic that might be helping. However my patience with the NHS (who I'm not saying i'm ungrateful for, don't get me wrong, we are indeed a blessed country in the healthcare department) is running out. I've been trying since January to get an appointment with a consultant, having moved house and therefore doctors, in order to obtain more of this antibiotic that I've run out of and they've so far failed me. The result... my skin is worsening again.

Having seen a small improvement for a while (by no means clear skin... just slightly clearer) my face is now really getting rather bad again, I feel like the equivalent of a child's dot to dot activity page.

I have found a few products that seem to have worked for me, and by worked I don't mean that they've cured anything, or that that miracle overnight cream does exist, I'm just saying that they seem to help certain key issues or at the very least not agitate existing ones.

I'll be popping reviews on these up over the next couple of weeks for all those who are interested. But this particular post isn't about that. This is hello, a howdy, a hey there, to any of you lovely lot who are also suffering. You are not alone guys.

I'm still fighting. I'm still frustrated. I still cry about the state of things.


My current skin type is problem combination. I suffer from acne over my cheeks and forehead and get the usual hormonal breakouts around my chin. My cheeks are usually quite dry,with an oily T-zone and my skin on the whole seems to be very dehydrated. To top it off I'm incredibly pale and scar easily, on and am very sensitive to just about everything. More often than not when presented with a new product my pores clog and little red pimples appear, occasionally followed by additional big bad cysts.

Alrighty. There we go. Sorry it's not an overly happy post my loves. But I figured it'd be good to get something up and out there, give you guys some history into why my face can be a bitch and why I'm always going on about sensitivity etc. Today I don't feel great. I want to hide. I'm sure there's a bunch of you out there who sometimes feel this way too. The key I guess is to talk about it. That's what I do now. That's what I'm doing here. The more you bottle up the stress and pain the worse you'll make things for yourself. I know it's only a face. There's more to life than a perfect complexion. Some days I can cope just fine and not give it a second thought. However today is not one of those days and that's ok too.

Right I'm babbling now time too scooch. Cya later my chums. Stay


  1. Can we please form a pizza face support group. The struggle is real. I totally also used the St. Ives Apricot scrub when I was younger and just shrike at the thought of it. I feel like apologizing to my skin every day for it.
    But, hey, its not all bad, at least now we have much more knowledge. I find that generally speaking, french pharmacy skincare is where its at. Basic, gentle and effective with no bells and whistles to mess up your skin. For me, the key ingredients that have really helped are Salicylic Acid for decongesting pores, Lactic Acid for gentle exfoliation (no scrubs!) and Hyluronic Acid for boosting moisturization (is that even a word?). Avene Triacneal is quite good, defiantly check it out!
    And the last thing (which one wants to hear), I have found that personally, alcohol seems to freak the shit out of my skin.

    1. Hells yeah we can! That's half the point of this post really, to make sure we all know we aren't alone!

      I'm totally with you on the alcohol front. I'm always fighting with myself about alcohol , caffeine and sugar intake. Blurgh.

      Acids and no scrubs is a big thumbs up. For me it;s just getting the balance right. Alpha H was waaaay to potent for me and I ended up with a forehead of tiny red pimples... more pimples than forehead infact! haha!

      I'll look into the Avene Triacneal for sure. Thanks! x

  2. First of all, I respect you for writing all of this down! And I know there is nothing you can say to make it better.
    Why does Skin always have to be so complicated? My Skin started to become bad in my twenties, too; which sucked..shouldn't that be over by then? Never had huge problems with it in my teenage years and that was a massive punch in the face. I've tried so many skincare things people raved about (I'm scared to know how much I spend on that..:/) and went to dermatologist...
    It got better but still...
    If you find something that helps with scaring, I'd be super duper happy :)
    And even though it's totally cliché and cheesy: Your people will love you for who you are, no matter what :)
    Stay strong
    Elli X

    1. Ah Ellie! Thank you. Always a bit nerve racking writing about shizzle like this. Not because I'm not confident in talking about it, that's all fine, more because I reckon one day someone's guna turn round and tell me to 'shut the fuck up' and stop whining about it.

      I've not started looking into scarring properly yet. Mostly because Im afraid of things making my breakout situation worse. I kinda wanna get that under control before start cleaning up the mess it's made. But I'll of course let ya'll know if I find anything :)

      Thank you for being super lovely Elli. You're total right, peeps love the me and not the mask ;) same goes for us all! x

  3. I hope things start to look up soon Janna! I'm currently going through the teenage acne stage, and piling on stress of exams etc, and hormones, it ain't fun. Though it's never been truly terrible, I can definitely sympathise. I would definitely be interested in reading about the products you've been using though, and keeping updated on how your skin is going. I really hope you find a routine that works for you! :)

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    1. Updates will keep coming Tasha! In the meantime keep your head de-stressed my love! Exams and hormones are a kick in the shin and a half. Always take time for yourself. Always be yourself. Stay hydrated and try eating more oily fish / taking omega three for boosted brain power :)

      Thank you for the support you wonderful being. xxx

  4. Preach! I, also, did not suffer from bad acne as a teenager (thank the sweet Lord for that, high school was stressful enough). But as I'm approaching my 24th year in 10 days, I've noticed my skin has taken a turn for the worse over the past year or so. My dermatologist/doctor put me on Cephalexin a few years ago, which helped (not solved, but definitely helped) keep the cysts at bay. Late last year, I got lazy and didn't bother having the prescription refilled...thought I'd try life without it. I'm still kicking myself. I started seeing small bumps around my chin (an area I've never had a problem with) consistently, and on my cheeks (another area I never had a problem with) every now and then. I should basically own stock in Sephora with all of the products I've splurged on. The only thing that has seemed to improve my skin is the Murad kit. Which is funny because I hate when face washing is more than two steps. On Monday, I swallowed my pride at the doctor when I asked to be put back on my medicine. Here's to hoping Murad and Cephalexin become a strong team and kick acne's bum!

    1. Don't get me started on the money lost of products. Jesus. My currently freelance situation means I just dont have the dough to spend on 'MIRACLE HOLY GRAIL' shizzle. It's for the best really. I did serums, masks, balms, cleansers, moisturisers, oily... and nada.

      Funny you mention Murad. I was using the time release blemish cleanser for ages and felt like it actual got on with my skin (as in wasn't making things worse or adding more symptoms such as dryness etc), but it's now not in stock ANYWHERE. Nightmare.

      Double fingers, toe and eyes crossed your combo works for you babe! peace out. xxx

  5. Hey Janna!

    You probably don't remember me, but I wrote to you on your post about Banks! And as I said earlier, I love your blog! Your honesty is so refreshing and this piece just hit it home. I know this probably doesn't mean anything since I'm a stranger, but you're seriously beautiful. And not because you look like a total babe, but because you're willing to open up about your struggles in order to help and relate to others!

    Sooo...I was wondering, what's wrong with St. Ives Apricot Scrub?! I seriously cringed when I saw you write about it because it's what I use! I've always been fortunate that I've never really had skin issues so maybe that's why I've never noticed anything bad that St. Ives has done? I've only been using it for a couple months so that could be the answer. Also, do you have any recommendations for acne skin scrubs? I don't really have acne on my face but unfortunately I always break out in between my cleavage (bleghh). I don't know if it's because my girls are quite large (those babies are 38DDs) or if I have a bad skin/hair combo and sweat gets trapped there, but those little suckers won't go away! So if you could recommend a product that would work for my cleavage area then that'd be great! Thanks lovely!

    Christine xx

    1. Christine I remember you. Dont' be silly. haha!

      Thank you so so much for your wonderful words! You absolute banger of a human bean! It's lovely to know people are reading and relating to my ridiculous life, and to know that actually.... it's not so ridiculous after all.

      St Ives my dear... It's a harsh ol scrub. Now my skin got so sensitive that it was just bringing my out in a red scaly rash, but I shall refer you to the right honourable Caroline Hirons whom has much to say on the matter of skin ( ). I am however a firm believe in everyone being different. If your skin's alright with it then don't worry about it my love! stick with it! or maybe alternate? Use the St Ives a few times a week and a non scrub cleanser the other nights? It's just pretty harsh. But dude... I'm NO expert !

      The lovely Jubblys! Oh boobs. They can be a right pain. Not an issue I've really suffered with but Id say... change you bra every day without fail and cleanse the area with a facial wash thats not harsh (NO SCRUB! haha). Honestly not my area though. Have a word with your GP. They might be able to tell you a cause?


    2. Oh Janna, I have been religiously looking at Hirons' website now that you sent it over! Thank you lady! So much info that I did not know about! Besides the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, I also use a hydrating cleanser called Cerave that seems to work quite well! But I will definitely wait for you product recommendations and see what Hirons blogs about! Unfortunately, quite a bit of her stuff seems expensive and I'm studying in the UK so money is a bit tight! However, healthy skin is important so maybe I will splurge on myself a bit?! =)

      And yes, my jubblys are pestering me more and more lately so I will have to find some sort of new cleanser that works well with them. Damn acne, leave us ladies alone!! But anyways, thanks for the response! And seeing the onslaught of comments people have left you, just proves how just how awesome and beautiful you are! Keep up the good work my babe!

      Christine xx

    3. Totally meant to just say babe and not "my babe" Hah! Sorry for that awkward ending! xx

    4. HAHA! Hirons is wicked. Remember that no one person has all the answers though. It's about finding what works for you! She does favour the more expensive stuff, but that's probably (like she says) because the expensive shizzle has more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff in it. That said, sometimes the cheaper stuff works just fine!

      You can call me my babe! We are all each others babes! haha! Go see your GP about your girls! Honestly sweet pea, they might be able to suggest something.


  6. I am so thankful my friend recommended ur blog. I am a 24 year old girl who is also battling adult acne Janna and I am so happy that I am not alone! I battled the basic skin problems when I was a teenager but nothing like what has hit me every day since I turned 22! Every time I am in the shops I spend most of the day wandering around the different skin care lines trying to find things which claim to be miracle workers (never are) and spend a fortune. I took your advice from ur blog and bought some Origins and Body shop products like the moisturiser to see if that can make a bit of a difference along with the skin antibiotics that the doctor prescribed. Its nice to see that there are other people who wake up some mornings feeling great about their skin and then wake up the next day and just want to hide under the covers! Please keep posting any advice u have or if your having a bad skin day and need a good moan. Makes me feel a little more sane haha!!

    Ali xx

    1. Hey Ali. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Thats the big important thing to remember. Drink a butt load of water, give the antibiotics a chance to work (they are speaking the truth when they talk about giving it 3-6months to see how things go), don't change up too many products at once and if you flare up then go through what you are using one by one to see whats causing it. I used to make the mistake of throwing combinations of new cleansers / moisturisers and masks at my skin at once and then giving up on all of then when I broke out. Realistically though it was probably the combination / only one of the products and I just wasn't smart about introducing / eliminating them.

      I'm so glad it's made you feel a little less doolally and hopefully a little more 'normal'. Cause we are really... just normal gals and guys trundling about with our regular skin. Damn photoshop / airbrushing / good lighting! haha! xxx

    2. Haha! You are 100% right when it comes to photoshop etc! Thanks for replying and for giving me some great advice. I will introduce one new product at a time and see how my skin copes. You have made me feel a bit more optimistic today! Hope you are feeling better too.

      Ali xxx

  7. You brave, beautiful soul! We all have our own battles we fight, don't we? xx

    1. 'Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle' I know it's only bloomin' skin but when it comes to appearance everyone has they're own hang ups. xxx

  8. I mean, what can I say - when I have a bad skin day, there's always an Instagram effect. Okay, now seriously.

    Long story short - my acne during my mid-teenage era was a total bitch but at late 16/17 it got all better except for my skin being dry all over but even today, adter 5 yearsm when it comes to my t-zone, I could bake eggs and bacon there.
    Now I'm almost 22 and it's all back. I tried everything from cheap (some of them are suprisingly good, thank you 0.99p Superdrug masks) to really pricy skin care (thank you student loan, you're incredible to EU students) to DIY (because at least you know what you really put in there). A lady at Lush taught me to not use make-up when I don't have to because the skin consumes what you put on it. I mean, my parents will love me even without make-up, after 3 years with my other half I am confident to not use anything on my face except for when we go somewhere, plus is there a person in the UK whose mascara, eyeliner and make-up wasn't running down their faces because of unexpected rain - who the fuck expects it all the time?! Judge me in public transport, on the plane, give me that stupid look but I don't fucking care on my free day. No, I ain't gonna wear shit on my face just so everyone likes me.

    But even if it clears my skin for a while, nothing really clears my self-esteem. As a girl, I naturally moan about my body but over time, if your friends, family, boyfriend don't get tired of constantly telling you (you can look shit but when your other half tells you for the 20th time you look beautiful no matter what, it does get under your skin, doesn't it?), you start believe it at least a bit.
    But there's nothing worse then having a job where you need your actual face. As I study politics, I have an internship with this office and I meet people everyday. Not just my boss, not just his secretary, no - like kind of important people for the company. And when I wake up and see that minefield of a face, I feel like jumping out of window. How could anyone want me to meet a person when I don't even want to look at myself in the mirror? Make up can hide a lot of physical flaws but not acne and I don't have that IG effect in real life. Fuck that. There's nothing like acne ruining my day (actually, London traffic, I haven't forgotten about you). I am an adult person so why does it happen to me? To anyone?

    It really is the first thing people see. It's not broken nail. It's not crooked teeth. Yellow teeth. It's not a mascara on your eye-lid, not a lipstick on your teeth. The first thing is always the face. And frankly, some people do not see the person behind the acne. As I've met some rich nobbed a-holes in my life, women especially, I can honestly say some really don't see through it. And the worst is when they look shit too but you can't tell them. Yes, I said it. Wrote it. Whatever.

    We should really start a club for that. And I also feel my comments are always too long. So I'm gonna shut up.

    Love you, all my acne warriors, be strong! xx

    1. Yes, totally too long. And I've still forgotten - THANK YOU for writing that. You are so brave, so encouraging! I am tired if those perfect girls with no problems, that is not my life. Shit happens. You're not the only one. I'm not the only one. You are just the brave, strong one to voice it. I love you, Janna! You're beautiful and awesome! I know it's so hard to believe that but one day, we all hopefully will and the life will be beautiful! :) xx

    2. Lena you babe.

      I'm guna give a couple of those superdrug masks a go I think. I've read about them a few times now. I can't afford to try the expensive shizzle anymore. I've done a few DIY avacado / egg masksand stuff but not found anything I really enjoyed.

      I massively respect your stand on a makeup free face. I'm better than I used to be. Heading down the shops to grab some groceries or just hanging out with gal pals I'll be fresh faced. My other half has seen me in every state possible so there's no real worry there either. But when it really starts to flair up (like now) it's massively hard to stay positive and feel attractive.

      I need my face too! First impressions really count in my business. It's already a male dominated area, being a female is a battle in itself but stick a spotty mug in the mix and I'm fighting to stay confident in the face of whatever shit storm the day throws at me. I love my job, and actually... I'm pretty good at it, but on 'hide my face' days, I feel like i'm good for nothing. urgh.

      Thank you for taking the time to write about your struggle. Obviously I hate that anyone has to put up with this shit. But everyone talking about it and realising that everything they think, everyone else thinks, well... that's wicked.

      You're wicked Lena! Stay awesome! x

  9. I'm not sure if you have already adapted this into your skin routine (probably have), but I have heard getting a Clarisonic can change your overall skin appearance. Although I don't have one (YET!) I have looked pretty far into reading reviews (I won't buy anything until I've done research) and literally everyone swears by them. Anyone who has anything from severe or cystic acne to redness on the face to wrinkles swears by it as one of the HOLY GRAIL PRODUCTS. They're kind of pricey but you can get top quality ones off of Ebay for way cheap which is where I'll be buying mine. If you do already have one, I'm sorry I couldn't be any more help!

    Best of luck, love xx

    1. Hey Heather. I did a hella lot of research into the Clarisonic and I just don't think it's for me. I know they have 'sensitive' heads and things but my skin is soooo prone to react to anything that I feel like going at it with vibrating bristles is really just not going to help matters. Thank you for the suggestion though! If my face starts to become more robust any time soon then I'll probably give it a go. x

  10. This post made me so happy, thank you so much Janna. I couldn't have said it better myself. I used to think I was the only one in this entire world with severe acne, I'd always cover my face in makeup even if i'd just go for a walk or something. I even slept with foundation the first couple of months my boyfriend slept at my house. And just like you said, it's hard to look people in the eye because it happens that they're looking at your acne while talking to you, and stuff like that can ruin a whole day for me. Anyway, it's good to know that there ARE people out there thats dealing with the same stuff as me.
    I love your blog! xx

    1. I slept in make up! (I still do very occasionally but that's usually after a drink of drinking (also v.bad for spots I know!). But yeah. The first year or so of being with my boymateypalpal I would wait till he was asleep, go wash my face, sleep, wake up early and put make up back on. LAME. You ain't alone my lovely chum! Stay strong. Your face is not who you are, even though it's fucking hard to deal with sometimes. x

  11. This post is so relatable! Coming from a family of four kids who have all been cursed with the spot gene, i have gone through my rounds of trying various products! It is so refreshing to read about similar issues, and thank you for being so honest with how it affects you! Don't doubt that your family and friends love you no matter what!
    I was on antibiotics from the age of 15 for about three years which always made me a bit of a cranky bitch because my dad wanted my skin to be flawless and couldn't stand the idea of having a spotty daughter (he is the definition of a dickhole) but recently i have found a product that mostly seems to be containing the situation, and like you have uber sensitive skin! Demalogica UltraCalming gel is my new best friend! (how sad..) it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and soft! have you tried it? it is sadly on the pricey side :(
    However, no matter how fabulous this product is i cannot find a moisturizer to deal with my permanent dry face that currently has me hiding in my room as i really don't fancy the idea of people seeing ma patchy flaky face, have you used any products that you can suggest that don't feel to heavy on the skin?
    Love your blog and your honesty!
    Ally xx

    1. I can't imagine what it must be like being a mum of kiddie winks suffering with spots. Myself and one of my little bro's (he's 19) both have the pizza face problem. Thankfully his seems to be responding to antibiotics and the fresh air in falmouth (he's moved down there for uni). It must be horrible to worry about them though. I know my friends and family love me and it probably kills my mum to know I struggle with my appearance and that there's nout she can do about it.

      I'm sorry about your dad no being supportive. That's really not cool. Not at all. We're all here though! We got ya back!

      I've not tried the demalogica range. I'll look into it for sure. As for moisturisers... I'm not sure really. I've struggled for aaaages. The origins ginzing seems to be ok with my skin, but it's not super dooper hydrating. I've tried using their overnight moisture mask (having also had the dry skin problem) and it seemed to be too rich for me. The only other moisturisers I'm comfortable don't break me out are the Simple - Rich Moisturisers, and the boots Botanics All bright hydrating day cream. But they arn't real dryness busters. Have you tried using any oils under your moisturiser or any serums? Might be worth giving them a go!


  12. Hi, Janna! :)
    I'm only 22 and I've been struggling with adult/hormonal acne. There isn't a day that I don't get a new spot around my jawline and chin. To make matter worse my back and shoulders are covered in spots and it's fucking impossible for me to wear a summer dress etc. Don't even get me started on scaring bc I'm pale as a friggin ghost and any post acne scars stand out like a fucking beacon!

    But there are a couple things that helped me a lot:
    - for taking the makeup off there is nothing better for me than Clinique Take the Day off cleansing balm
    - in the morning I prefer something lighter like REN Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser (the fact that I import that shit all the way to Poland says a lot!)
    - favourite spot treatment: Effaclar Duo from La Roche Posay. It makes pimples go away much muuuuch faster!
    - for exfoliation: Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner and REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
    - for scarring I love Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
    - my daily toner it has to be Clarins Toning Lotion with iris (Alcohol-free & very gentle!)
    - at night I treat myself with Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer (it's great and doesn't clog my skin)

    Lots of kisses, stay awesome xxx
    We're in this shit together!

    1. Monika you absolute trooper. Back / Shoulders must really suck. Especially in the heat like you said. I'm so sorry petal. Well done for being positive though! We are all fucking ace peeps and we just gotta remember that shizzle!

      I tried the Ren cleanser also the Glycolactic mask and They did not go down well with me! Ditto on the Effaclar Duo and Rosehip Oil unfortunately. I'll look into the Clinique take the day off and the moisturiser though! I've not really had a lot of experience with Clinique. Thank you for the recommendation!

      much love my pal! x

  13. Janna, is it weird to say I really enjoyed reading this post... You summed up just how shit adult acne is, and its exactly how I felt about 2 years ago. I think my doctor may have thought I was a little depressed when I went to see her and looking back now possibly I was... I'm really glad I found someone who was so sympathetic and understanding I think that's half the battle..

    I guess I was lucky that dianette kicked in and did its thang. It's scary thinking how much I've spent on products since my teenage years. Oh god I'm just remembering how obsessed I was with the Clinique 3 step anti blemish, dark days... especially considering they use that bloody toner to clean the counters.. I'm still a tad too obsessed with skincare but hopefully I've learnt what works and what to avoid and honest, straight up, no bullshit blogs like yours really help too :)

    Kudos for cutting out dairy products, I tried.. really tried but I just couldn't give up tea, toast and that morning cappuccino..

    Stay strong my dear!
    Dee x

    1. It's not weird to say! Course not! Thank you for reading and even more for responding!

      I'm obsessive over skin care. I google miracle products and old wives tales daily. Silly really. Nothing new's ever cropped up on tuesday when I spent hours reading over things on monday. I know it's not healthy. I know there's no miracle cure. I just can't help myself.

      I think caffeine might be a part of mine. Which sucks because I LOVE green tea. Grrr. love love. xxx

    2. But then green tea has its benefits too.. everything in moderation and gallons of water is my motto...

      Speaking of new.. Picked up the new Hydraluron moisturiser in boots today, had seen it pop up on Instagram a bit recently but didn't think it would be in the shops so soon, a third off too, happy days!! It's got the thumbs up from Caroline Hirons too so have high hopes for this as I really want to change from my Dermalogica moisturiser, I kinda think it's too expensive for what it says it does but yet it just works with most primers and foundations..

      And as if my skincare obsession needed any encouragement - a new Space NK opened in Dublin recently and I was far too (pathetically) excited - think kid in a toy shop at Xmas but I got a little overwhelmed and came home with no skincare :( my credit card probably breathed a sigh of relief but a mini Oribe spray found its way into my bag which I may regret but I tried it and it was amazeballs. The lovely assistant sent me home with some samples of Dr Dennis Gross (who I'd never heard of) but Caroline raved about their Alpha Beta Daily Peel in particular when she was over for training so that maybe a brand to keep an eye on (but typically so bloody expensive).

      Dee x

    3. Hydraluron didn't agree with me. eh what does? I hope it works for you though!

      Oh my lord don't get me started on a Space NK. MY bank account wont allow me to even set foot in one currently but man do they call to me! Let me know how the Dennis Gross (what a name!) stuff works out :) x

  14. Hello there, I’ll try to keep this short, but I respect you so much for opening up on something that effects the best of us and brings us hope for better skin and confidence even though it makes us vulnerable and open to judgment! I’m 18 and throughout high school it would consistently switch from mild acne to an overall huge mess that looked worse when I tried covering it up. Little bumps, hard bumps, redness, etc! Recently I just got summer acne on my forehead and chin that I’m really trying so hard to clear up, it’s been weird to smile in pictures and I’ve downloaded like 3 skin photo editing apps to make it seem normal & I can’t seem to find sunscreen that doesn’t cause a reaction. I think the most important thing about what you’ve said is about how it hurts so much that you don’t want others to look at you. The struggle is so real that on a day that everyone was nice to you, you could’ve done great on an exam or even you get invited to something great, it feels like it doesn’t even matter because all you could think about is how you don’t want anyone to have to see your face. I’ve spent not only a fortune on products, but also on loads of lipstick and eye makeup to try to balance out and distract from the real problem! I keep trying new products out like salicylic acid & tea tree oil (btw the smell is nauseating haha) but I’ve found the most productive thing has been switching birth control & cutting out dairy. I’ve been vegetarian for about a month now and I’m hoping that it will start to have more of an effect! I’ve been taking biotin & green tea supplements & I hate pills but hopefully it will be somewhat worth it. Sorry for going on and on! I would just have to think that there are easier ways that aren’t so restrictive and more effective, right?! :/ Thanks for being so honest, optimistic and open! I love your blog (especially the birth control post which is so relatable, along with the goddess that is Banks!! “Drowning” is my jam! :D ) and I’d love to hear more about what’s working for you! I’ve loved hearing what other people have mentioned as well! You’re so lovely and not to mention beautiful & I wish you all the best with the struggle! Thanks so much (:

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Erin. Never apologies for a big ol comment. They fill my heart with joy. Corny but true. IT's lovely that people have responded to this post as they have. I'm not joking when I say I'm sitting here googling on the spot treatments as I've got way more of those fucking cystic buggers than normal and I'm desperately trying to find something to kill them faster than normal. If I find anything that makes a difference I'll let you know of course!

      When it comes to new products the big thing is to introduce one at a time. Otherwise its difficult to tell whats working / not working / what you are reacting to. Good luck. Stay strong. Stay sexy. Stay wicked. Keep listening to awesome sounds ;) x

  15. I've been through serious acne, and the Pâte Grise from Payot has helped me a lot. If you never tried it, you should give it a go. It's a bit expensive but really worth the price.

    1. I'll have a look at it for sure! ££££ is a bit of a no go area right now but hopefully I'll be able to splash out again soon :) x

  16. SO needed to stumble upon this post when I did! My battle with adult acne has gotten so bad that I had a complete sobbing break down the other night in front of my husband. Like, Clare-Danes-ugly-cry level hysteria. It's hard to explain the sentiment of not feeling comfortable, even around those who love you, to people who have never struggled with acne, but I think you articulated it perfectly. It is comforting to know that there is someone else in this thing who is feeling the same way. My heart totally goes out to all you peeps in the comment section, too. Keep fighting the good fight!

    I did want to address an issue some of you guys said you are struggling with. Hope it helps:

    In addition to the hormonal breakouts I am still working on, I went through a few years of chest/boob and shoulder breakouts. I always assumed it was because I played tennis and work out, and the sports bras were irritating my skin (acne mechanica). But then an esthetician I started seeing last year suggested I might have folliculitis, a yeast imbalance that breeds (yuck) bacteria in the skin and causes chest and back acne. I was super skeptical, but per her suggestion I started drinking an an ounce of raw apple cider vinegar with a cup of water every morning and night. It was foul, but it WORKED. My skin cleared up in like two weeks and I haven't had a bump since. I went from always wearing boat neck shirts and halters to strapless and tank tops. I hope that some of you try this and experience the same results. :)

    As for my face, I just started a new regimen that I am hoping yields some kind of progress in this ongoing war. If I have success, I will definitely come back and share.

    Thank you, Janna, for your bravery, insight, and optimism. Much needed. xxx

    1. Rachel! You babe!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I've not really had any experience with back / shoulder acne, thank you so much for giving tips to those that do!

      I have a big ol' ugly, snot running down my face, mascara turning into KISS make up type cry every so often. LET IT OUT PAL!

      I really hope your new regimen works for you. Try introducing new products one at a time rather than all at once. That way if something really starts helping (or really doesnt!) its easier to tell which product it is.

      Much love to you Rachel. Keep being wicked. You're bloomin' lovely! xxx

  17. So glad I came to this blog! I too have adul acne, I'll be 30 this year... uhh but I seem to have gotten worse as I get older. I get it all the times on my chin and around my nose. I have yet found anything that works. Probably should go to the doctor and see what's up. My face is also sensitive, so that too sucks. just glad I'm not alone.

    Love your blog as well. Very good read.

    Much love, Patricia

    1. Sorry to hear about your struggle Patricia. It's a bloody nightmare eh? I swear when you are a kid its all 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' and 'oh you'll grow out of it dear it's just part of being a teenager'.... LIES.

      Deffo go see your GP. Things to mention to them would be your diet, the birth control you are on, how long you've had the acne and if theres any patterns to it / if you've had a noticeable reaction to anything you've used to try and combat it. They should be able to help! xxx

  18. Hi Janna,

    This is an inspired post, thank you so much for writing it. It's incredibly hard to put down things like this on 'paper' and hopefully it's helped you a bit. The fabulous responses show how much it's helped others!

    I've had acne since the age of 10 (awesome at primary school, especially with glasses...), I'm now 33 and we still hang out on a fairly continuous basis, although things are getting better. I was on Roaccutane twice (at 14 and 17), inter-spaced with various creams that either bunt off the top layer of skin or did nothing at all, and I went through a period of about 2-3 years when I wouldn't look in a mirror or reflective surface because I horrified myself. Like you, I also spent a lot of time keeping myself awake and setting the alarm early so the (in)appropriate boy of the moment wouldn't be subjected to 'the face'. I've been with the man who is now my husband for 11 years and still apologise for washing my face at the end of the day. Bastard skin.

    It's almost 'ok' during teenager years, but it's just so bloody unfair at this age to have to give up valuable head space to this crap and I'm completely with you on the cystic ones. That's now what makes up the majority of my issues and it's not just the appearance, it's that you can 'feel' them coming and there's not a damn thing you can do about it - not even the satisfaction of a good-old squeeze! I've found that FreeDerm gel (the normal stuff, not the 'fast-track' one) is a really good option for when you sense a cyst forming and catch it early. I've found anything with alcohol in it burns my skin and sends the sensitivity rocketing. On that note, the Ren brand of skincare has been a godsend - look on eBay for wholesalers stocking things a bit cheaper, especially the night-cream, but you get free samples on the main Ren site, which are awesome for flight hand-luggage.

    I'm sure that between the two of us and the people commenting here dermatology away-days have been held in our honour, because significant cash has gone on the new cream that just might be 'the one'. Last year however, I went to the GP and am on erythromycin antibiotics (four pills a day, bright pink) and Duac cream. This has been the first thing to really make a difference, but it has taken time and the cream bleaches anything it comes into contact with - a lot of my festival expendable outfits were fetchingly 'tie-dyed'... I don't know if this something that you've tried and/or considered, but it might be worth mentioning to your GP to attempt, because it's really started to work. My only concern, as you rightly point out, is that on occasions when the pharmacy has run out of either the cream or antibiotics, everything starts to creep back, suggesting that this may be a life-long relationship. If it's either that or the cysts then, quite frankly, I'll just be tied to the pharmaceutical industry!

    Thank you so much again for taking the time to write this post, you are a beautiful lady and clearly a beautiful and intelligent soul. And you have an awesome blog! I hope you have a great weekend and are doing something lovely.

    Lots and lots of love and keep fighting!

    Vicky xx

    1. Hey Vicky.

      Firstly a huge thank you to you for taking the time and strength to comment. It's people interacting in this bit down here that I feel is crazy important in a situation such as this. All very well me blabbering on but you lovely lot coming back with your own experiences is so amazing and supportive.

      Totally not ashamed to say a did a big ol' blub reading your words. You are incredibly strong and brave and I'm so sorry you're still having to struggle with skin woes even after Roaccutane. THAT FUCKING SUCKS. I think I'm about about to start that journey myself. I've tried everything else the doc has to offer and they've finally referred me to the hospital to try the nasty stuff.

      Thank you for the FreeDerm tip! I'll be off to Boots to grab myself one of those immediately. I'm already a big fan of Ren. It's sensitive range has one of the only cleansers I know for sure isn't going to make my face all red and angry. Those samples are a God send too!

      Been there with Duac. Got the tie-dye Tshirt! Maybe I should have a 'hall of frame' page where I post piccys of all my bedding / towels that have wonderful bleached splodges across them. Haha! For some reason it didn't get on with my face at all. Just made things raw and dry. I was using it right, being careful, moisturising, no make up, all the shiz you have to do and just no luck unfortunately.

      Pharmacies running out of shizzle is the worst. As is forking out for prescriptions for 3 years that have had no positive effects. Grrrrr. Anyway....

      thank you again Vicky you wonderful human bean! Stay strong. I hope the pink pills continue to work their magic for you! Love Love Love. xxx