This year adult acne wreaked havoc on my face. Cue horror screams. If you’ve been keeping up with my influx of skincare content you may have noticed that cystic acne has been a thorn in my side. Finally though after much trial and error and many months of consistent skincare practices I’ll be sharing how I cleared my cystic acne.

When did my cystic acne start?

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve had acne. Albeit nothing severe, I had considered it regular teenager stuff. However, I did manage to formulate a routine for my adolescent acne that has kept my skin looking good despite the occasional pimple even into adulthood.

Then, somewhere between 2019 and 2020, my skin stopped responding well to my normal routine. I had developed a gritty texture on my normally smooth skin and I was getting more pimples than usual.

Before this, I would get the usual mild breakout associated with that very special time of the month but this was not like that at all. Instead, every pimple became a painful cyst. On top of that, each cyst took forever to subside and left deeply set acne scars.

How did I treat the cystic acne?

Adult cystic acne is something I could not explain. I tried tracing through my diet to see what changed, I found nothing. I tried eliminating the usual acne suspects from my diet (meats, dairy, oil etc). That meant dairy was the first to go but my skin had no major changes. So I decided to experiment.

Related: What Azelaic Acid Did To My Skin

In my research and experimentation, I found out about products like Panoxyl, alpha arbutin, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid. These ingredients/products have been integral in my progress thus far. But I had some extra help from my dermatologist.

PanOxyl® has helped to treat my breakouts & blemishes. It works fast and effectively & leaves my skin feeling super fresh and clean. Their acne wash is a must have for those with acne prone skin. It is definitely a game changer! –Panoxyl.com

About 3 months ago I decided to visit the dermatologist to help me with the scarring and the extra stubborn cysts and she prescribed the following:

  • Doxycycline pills
  • Deriva Adapalene gel
  • Indoxyl Cindamycin + Benzoyl Peroxide gel

My favourite of the the list is the adapalene gel because I believe that has helped the most with my skin texture and the acne scarring (along with the alpha arbutin serum and azelaic acid suspension).

What was my new skincare routine like?

Morning routine
1. Clean & Clear morning burst facial cleanser
2. The Ordinary Alpha arbutin +HA serum
3. Clindamycin + Benzoyl peroxide gel(prescribed medication)
4. Sunscreen

Night routine
1. Neutrogena oil-free acne wash cream cleanser or Panoxyl foaming face wash.
2. Deriva adapalene gel (prescribed medication)
3. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

To round out my routines I would take my doxycycline pills nightly and moisturize with aloe vera gel.

Where did I buy my products?

The ordinary products were bought from Sephora or the Deciem website.

  • The Ordinary Alpha arbutin +HA serum
  • The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

The Panoxyl was bought from amazon. All other products were bought from a local pharmacy.

How long did it take to see results?

Honestly it took me about 2-3 months to see major results using the regimen I outlined.

Related: How To Get Rid Of Cystic Acne Fast

But I’ve been on this journey of treating the acne. The breakouts on my forehead were the first o go and that was done with me self treating. Scars were left behind and the prescribed medication helped to clear that up almost completely.

Battling acne is never easy. It’s honestly been a rollercoaster of emotions for me. Somedays I didn’t recognize myself. But my encouragement to anyone struggling with acne would be to know that you are beautiful just the way you are. And despite what the world says our outward appearance doesn’t define who you are.

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