From 13 on, I suffered from varying severity of acne. Mostly cystic along my jawline and neck. I’m in my 40s now, so we’re talking decades. During this time, I was lectured by rude “well-meaning” strangers and loved ones alike about how I should wash more, wash less, use [insert product], eat this, stop eating that, get your hormones checked, figure out how to stress less (really?), etc… They spoke to me like I hadn’t tried everything under the sun to try to treat my condition. Like I didn’t know it was there. I’ve easily spent thousands of dollars on all sorts of pills, creams, kits, and false (marketing) promises. Most of the acne treatments on the market, available over the counter, are absolute garbage. Loaded with fillers, fragrances, irritants, alcohol, the wrong pH, etc. And they are branded this way in order to “treat” the very problem they promote.
Ultimately, my skin didn’t show improvement until I gave up using everything and started over from scratch. I stopped listening to anyone who didn’t have a medical degree. I ditched anything fragranced, with the wrong pH, and stopped using what was considered “designed to treat acne” unless it was properly formulated. I found doing less was more and eventually found what worked for me. Alas, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Regardless of my diatribe, I want to thank you for sharing. It is truly a difficult thing to deal with.