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A couple of years ago I could have never imagined I’d be writing this post. Acne wasn’t a stressor of mine- and even if it were, I probably wouldn’t have been sharing about it on the internet.

But at 27 years old, acne has become a very real issue in my life. One which I have cried over and laughed over and has without a doubt made me a better, more compassionate person. I know – not exactly what you’d expect from someone who woke up one day with red craters on her face.

But let me back up to the beginning of this story.

Part one of The Healthy Maven's Struggles with Adult Acne. How hormonal acne suddenly appeared and what she's doing to try and solve the problem.I am the product of a mother who probably has the most incredible skin in the world. I have never met anyone who takes better care of her skin and has without a doubt reaped the benefits. And not surprisingly, this quality has rubbed off on me.

I’m definitely the only 13 year old who would go for facials and was using hyoleronic serum when my friends were using oxyclean. I by no means had perfect skin (what pubescent teen does?), but all things considered, I never really struggled with teenage acne.

This was a theme that continued through my college years and into my early 20s. And I’ll be honest, I looked at people with acne and couldn’t really understand their perspective. For me, zits could be avoided by having a consistent and high-quality skincare regimen. Birth control helped too.

But then everything changed. At 24 I decided to change my birth control. After years of having been on the pill, I was concerned about my liver having to process synthetic hormones for too long. I wanted something less intrusive but still protective. Side note -I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the birth control pill so don’t read into this too much! This is when I decided to switch onto Mirena, an IUD that releases progesterone locally.

I’m told that there aren’t too many side-effects that come along with Mirena, but I guess I’m the exception. Within 2 weeks of having Mirena inserted, I started to notice zits popping up around my jawline, chest and back. I was overwhelmed, mortified and completely confused.

At first I thought that it was just my body reacting to the new hormones and it would pass. A solid coat of makeup would hopefully do the trick for the time being. Unfortunately, 6 months later nothing had changed. Instead of clearing up, it got worse. Suddenly the girl with perfect skin had acne everywhere.

No amount of face masks, healthy fats, facials or cutting out dairy would do the trick. So as a last resort I went to my doctor to see what we could do. Her solution? Antibiotics for your skin. Now, I have nothing against taking medication if you have a problem that needs fixing. But to me, taking a medication to combat the effects of another medication seemed very strange.

I knew in my gut that this just wasn’t the right solution so I foraged on hoping that something would change.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t.

At 25 years old I was dealing with my first bout of acne. I learned a whole new level of sympathy for anyone who had been struggling with acne for most of their lives. To those of you who have stayed committed to finding a solution and healing your body, I commend you. Your resilience and patience is astounding.

Now it was my turn to test this patience and figure out what in the heck was going on.

The story continues in PART 2

Have you ever struggled with acne?

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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  1. Dermalmd blemish serum is great! I have been struggling with adult acne. I changed my face washing routine and added this. It helps get rid of acne a lot quicker than anything else I have used.

  2. Hi Maven,

    Thanks for sharing your story, and yeah acne is unwanted for everyone and it can make us depressed and nervous. Thanks for sharing and
    Will read part 2 asap.

    Keep it up.

  3. I’ve been frustrated with still having acne as badly as many teens. Dermalmd blemish serum helps me to control my acne and feel healthy at the same time. I’ve been on antibiotics for acne and have had very frustrating side effects from them, so it’s nice to have a medicine that won’t cause any adverse side affects. Definitely worth the money!

  4. Big hugs to you! I’ve struggled with acne from my teen years until about 2 years ago, when I was 29. I tried almost everything: dozens of dermatologists and their own suggestions, and prescriptions over the years, naturopath remedies, Roaccutan cure (twice ->this really helped but was extremely drying, didn’t really mind as my skin was quite oily). What changed everything (or maybe it was just a fortuitous constellation of everything) was when I went vegetarian and forsake sugar, processed food and dairy. I didn’t eat much to begin with, but still, my skin cleared up completely. Nowadays I only have the occasional zit once or twice a month, but nothing like the big, hurtful cystic acne I was used to. (Oh and when I changed my diet I also started using some of Paula’s Choice greener products, her AHA and BHA exfoliators, maybe they also contributed to the magic.)

    Some dermatologists suggested I go on the pill as a solution, but since my hormones were perfect and my cycle was punctual with no pain at all I didn’t want to mess with my body’s natural hormonal system (which I’m glad I didn’t seeing how my friends who were on the pill experienced some problems, from minors like acne coming on after they stopped taking the pill to some severe ones like 2 friends who had to wait years!! (and do countless things) to get their period back, and another friend who was the exception to the rule: despite the low hormone her pill contained, it messed with her pancreas, brought out her sensitivity to insulin and she became a diabetic, and I could go on, so I’m really glad I didn’t go that way, as the pill would have only soothed a superficial symptom, but as soon as you stop taking it, it would have come back.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, I really hope your struggles with acne will soon clear up, but until then lots of hugs, I know what you’re going through!

  5. I also have had problems with cystic acne and have gotten tremendous results with a product called anti cyst treatment from Renee Rouleau.

  6. UGH. Acne. I thought I would grow out of it by now, but I haven’t. I’ve constantly been on the lookout for something (anything!) that will make it go away that does not involve pills (which I will not take). Acne is the worst.

  7. OMG I feel you so much!!! I had flawless skin for my entire life, until 2014 shit hit the fan in bigger ways then I could imagine medically and I went from the girl that never needed makeup to the girl that cannot leave her house without it. I am still struggling, its been about 2 years. And to be honest it is mortifying as a health coach and clean eater to be dealing with this. My doctors say Accutane, and I have been holding off. I imagine I will need it, but I’m hoping I won’t. I hope you find peace with this and healing!

  8. This is how I ended up pregnant….wanting to get off birth control and finding no real natural suitable alternative. I was looking into the IUD but I’m not loving the idea.

  9. I had some acne in high school and college, but it wasn’t anything too bad. Going on birth control helped, but I have been off BC for about 8 years (holy shit haha) and my body/hormones are still way off. I know I was over exercising and under eating when I first got off it, but now I just exercise regularly and eat a lot and things still aren’t right. I get pimples randomly now, but it’s not a lot and not very frequently. I wash my face with fat, use coconut oil for lotion, and barely wear makeup.