Every night I am faced with a dilemma.
Do I smooth on the ultra hydrating, wrinkle repairing, elasticity maintaining, cellular turnover promoting night cream? Or do I smear my face with the sticky anti-acne salicylic acid gel?
I find myself facing the unsettling predicament of having both wrinkles and acne at the same time. Never in my distant and awkward adolescence did I imagine I would be faced with this problem as an adult. I took solace in believing when I got older my acne would clear as if by magic, simply due to the fact I was beyond puberty.
I have washed, exfoliated and medicated with pretty much everything on the market, over the counter and prescription. Sadly, at the age of 39 it just seems to keep getting worse. My current regime is working okay, but there are still new breakouts every few days. And thanks to my northern European ancestors, my pale complexion shows every little red mark for months after an initial outbreak. The dermatologist says it is a mild to moderate case of adult acne. I recently felt so desperate that I used a topical medication known to cause me some trouble in the past. I spent the next two days extremely itchy, red and puffy everywhere I had applied it, and it bleached out a perfectly good set of sheets.
Mild is not the word that comes to mind each morning when I take that first apprehensive look in the mirror.
I am not alone in my suffering. The American Academy of Dermatology reports 40% of people will experience acne at some time in their life. There is also a growing trend in adult women developing acne in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and into their 50’s. So I am in good company.
Doesn’t mean I’m about to leave the house without make up, though.
Maybe just concealer and powder because my naked skin is not allowed to venture out in public.
So where does that leave me? Thanks to my liberal use of sunscreen and a fairly healthy lifestyle, my wrinkles are minimal. Most people are surprised to learn my age and, on occasion, I still get carded. It is the acne? Does that make me look younger?
Maybe acne is not so bad after all.
Leanne is a wife, mother, and still on the fence about the Becoming a Blogger thing. Her work has also appeared on Huff Post Parents.