I Fought My Acne (And My Acne Won)

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Getting older is inevitable and happens to all of us. Though I admit I struggle with aging, the one thing I looked forward to with growing up was an end to acne. Well, that and finally getting to eat dessert for breakfast…which might explain the acne… I have been plagued by it all my life and tried more remedies than I can imagine. Let’s talk about what has worked for me, and what hasn’t. Even a remedy that wasn’t effective for me might help you.

Spearmint tea

I couldn’t believe this one, but some people have reduced or eliminated their acne by drinking two cups a day of spearmint tea. This sounded like a great idea to me – I love tea, and I love mint! Win-win! Did it work? Eh. Maybe. I certainly liked the tea, and I had less acne, but I was trying a few other remedies at the time, and didn’t see a resurgence when I stopped the tea. Maybe I needed to try herbal, organic spearmint tea, but all I could find at Target was a spearmint black tea.

Oil face washing

This is washing your face with oils you mix yourself at home. I read so. many. blogs about this one that I can barely remember my carrier oils from my essential oils. I did like that the oil would remove my makeup and moisturize my face all at the same time. Did it work? Kinda. Maybe if I had had the income to try several different combinations, one formula would have worked eventually. The worst part was I had to buy washcloths specifically for my face – the oil wrecked them.

Exfoliating body wash

That’s right – I have acne on my body. My shoulders and upper-to-mid-back, specifically. I started using this African Black Soap bar you can get at Kroger and liked it – made my skin feel really nice. My husband complained about the dark residue it left in the shower, so I switched to the same brand’s body wash, which was easier to rinse away. Did it work? While using this, I have made the effort to ensure that I rinse ALL of the conditioner out of my hair first, pin it up, THEN wash my whole body with the soap. Maybe I’d get the same results from doing all that with a basic body wash, but I do have less acne on my body.

Face wash with salicylic acid

I use this in the shower after I rinse out all my hair conditioner, at the same time as the body wash. I try to let it sit for a bit on my face before rinsing it away. Right now, I use Up & Up Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit (Target brand). It smells so good my husband started using it! Did it work? It’s keeping my acne at bay! So far, so good!

Spot treatment creams

You name the cream, I’ve probably tried it, including store brands. You have to be careful with this – they can dry out the surrounding skin TOO much. Did it work? Yes, but again, try to localize where you use it.

Oral contraceptives

I switched to an IUD a couple of years ago, in the interest of reducing the number of hormones in my body, and they warned me acne would likely be a side effect. They were, sadly, very right. Did it work? Yep. I realize this might be a controversial option for clear skin, but if I’m being honest, this is the closest I’ve come to curing my acne. Your personal beliefs may not allow you to go this route, so it’s not an option for everyone.

The best thing I think any of us can do for our acne is to work on selfacceptance. Yeah, acne’s not terribly pretty, but it doesn’t change how smart we are, how kind we are, or how much we love. And makeup does wonders in the meantime. 😉



Writer Bio: Amy Tallmadge lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area, with her husband, her two cats, and multiple incomplete craft projects. She is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, and frequently works as an actress, voice over artist, audiobook narrator, and other fun creative things.

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