How Acne Almost Broke My Spirit (Success Story)

Today’s eye-opening story comes from Anusha (@anu) who courageously opens up about her struggle with retaining her self-esteem, confidence and self-image amidst her battle with acne. If this story manages to bring a tear to your eye, know that you won’t be the only person experiencing that. * applause *


Mirror mirror on the wall …

Hello everybody at Acnemantra 🙂 !

Needless to say that acne has taken its toll on most of our faces. For me, it was that and even more .

It even affected me psychologically. Over the course of my fight with acne I turned from a confident person who never cared about silly things (acne was one of them then) to a highly self-conscious person who never left the house.

Recently I finished my engineering and all through my final year right up until now I’ve been fighting with acne.

The people around me contributed in their own way and everyone ranging from my class tutor to my friends to the milkman to the who not, asked me what was wrong with my face ( haven’t they heard of pimples and acne ?? O.O) . Some people even asked me if I had chicken pox (as @keepcalmandcureacne rightly described, I looked like a true pizza face 😛 ).

All of this shattered my confidence.

From bad to worse

There used to be a time when I would look at my face full of pimples in the mirror and feel just fine .. and then came the time when I had to remove the mirror from my room. I would make stupid excuses to escape having to meet up with friends, feel miserable if I had to attend functions and phew! just thinking about all of that pains me.

I went to a dermatologist who said acne usually stops after you reach 20 and you are 22 , it should have stopped by now. Hearing that just made my break down (Yup, right in her clinic 😛 )

Nevertheless she prescribed a few things. She put me on Doxycycline and told me to use Ansolar (later realized that it was bad), Acnemoist (didn’t use it that much) and Supatret-C. The breakouts reduced, but I was still getting acne. She asked me to take Isotretinoin tablets for a month and then I stopped going to her.

A ray of hope

Then thank God and thank Google (for displaying AM in the search results :P) , I found Acne Mantra.

Reading the articles made me feel better and gave me new ray of hope . I came across Tejupriya’s success story and how she didn’t let acne get the better of her. Kudos! From then on I decided to stop brooding as well.

I have managed to clear my face a few times but a few unfortunate choices made my skin suffer time and again.

First it was Ansolar , then Lotus-3 in 1, then Lakme Absolute Mousse , then Lakme Perfect Radiance Compact , then Johnson’s Baby Oil (just unfortunate 🙁 ). So I decided to stick to a routine with bare minimum products , sans makeup and then think about makeup later.

Products I’m using currently

-Morning :
• Fash facewash gel
• Suncote sunscreen gel ( I love you for this AM !)
(Ideally followed by just a compact but that has been put on hold for now)
-Repeat the same in the Evening
• Fash
• Supatret –C
I also use Saslic 1% facewash whenever possible once or twice a week in the morning. I don’t use it everyday because along with Supatret -C it makes my skin terribly dry. I couldn’t find a suitable moisturizer so I have decided to do without one.

List of products I have used before

To be frank , I don’t know what happened to my skin during the past year , whether it was solely bad choice of products or hormones or both. I would say that I am almost an APST 3 but not quite there because I was using comedogenic products like Fair and Lovely , Garnier Light, Lakme sunscreen before the nasty breakout happened.

But I sure did find out what triggered my acne . It was a NIVEA sunscreen.

Before that I had been doing just fine with Lakme sunscreen but the stocks dried up in my city and I was forced to switch to another brand.

NIVEA broke me out horribly and as I hadn’t suffered from acne before that, I thought it was normal and that the sunscreen had nothing to do with it. It took me 2 months to nab the culprit ( you can imagine the amount of damage it had caused by then ).

I was very pleased with myself on having found the culprit and happily decided to switch over to Garnier BB cream ( ‘cause Garnier is a good brand no? and Garnier Light Moisturizer never broke me out – silly me )

Alas. I experienced the worst breakout ever with pimples forming as soon as 2-3 hours after application.

All this was much before Acne Mantra happened so I was a bit stupid and stopped using it only after a month.

All this left my face looking like a pizza. @akshaykshardul is very lucky to have gotten away unscathed from this product ! You’re actually reaping benefits na? 😀

Had a very bad experience with

• Garnier BB cream
• Nivea sunscreen lotion SPF 50 (surprisingly it passed skingredients with not as much as a single even mildly comedogenic ingredient !!! )
• Johnson’s baby oil (Cleans superbl . But I’m sure it caused very deep, extremely painful cystic acne on my chin . Very unfortunate).
• Glyco A ( I reckon it was purging of skin ,but it wouldn’t stop and made my skin very angry with me)

For the curious people ,these are the ingredients of the Nivea sunscreen –
Aqua, cyclomethicone, octocrylene,butylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate,glycerin, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethone, methylpropanediol, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine,homosalate, titanium dioxide, alcohol denat, ethylhexyl salicylate, sodium phenylbenzimidazole sulfonate, tocopheryl acetate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, VP/hexadecene copolymer , trimethoxycaprylylsilane, trisodium EDTA , phenoxyethanol, methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, parfum

Products that caused pimples over a period of time (say two weeks)

• Lakme absolute mousse foundation
• Lotus 3-in-1 SPF 40 sunscreen (good for the hands and feet though 😀 )
• Glyco 6 ( cream base problems)
• Clean and clear moisturizer
• Lacto calamine ( But it is very good to use as a spot treatment and I use it as such till date . I don’t spread it but apply a glob onto the inflamed, red acne . The redness goes away and sometimes deep acne rise to the surface )
• Ansolar sunscreen
• Demelan (cream base)

Products I’m unsure of and hence decided to discontinue

• Lakme perfect radiance compact (full ingredients not disclosed)
• Aloe veda aloe gel (I don’t think it caused pimples but it did nothing for my skin)
• Lotus aloe hydra (full ingredients not disclosed)


Two things I have decided are to never use anything that doesn’t disclose its full ingredients list-that’s one way to be sure that you know whether something is causing acne or not and the second thing is to stay away from cream based products.
I still haven’t found a good compact and foundation. (Using suncote makes using compact inevitable )

Well that’s most of what I wanted to share and I would like to finish off by requesting everyone to take acne as a challenge with a smile and defeat it instead of uselessly brooding over it and facing your own defeat. @keepcalmandcureacne ,@priyankam87,@acnemantra you have truly been an inspiration to me 🙂

Life is too short to allow things like acne to bring it to a standstill :).

If this post has inspired you to share your own struggle with acne or success story or experience with products (good and bad), you owe it to yourself to rush over your write-up.

image cali4beach@flickr



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