We Can Never Catch a Break from Breakouts

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What It’s Like to Get Acne as an Adult

Today I’m going to be discussing a topic that may seem a little frivolous. It all started at age twelve when I first discovered the delights that puberty had in store for me. One moment an innocent child, the next a moody teenager – that’s how it all went down. You want to know why I was so moody?

My face looked like a pizza.

Being twelve is already super awkward without throwing acne into the mix. I was breaking out – and not in the occasional zit on the edge of my nose kind of way. No, it was everywhere. There was no mistaking what those big, red, angry bumps were. I know that getting pimples isn’t the end of the world, but for twelve-year-old me, it was still a big deal.

I tried every method known to mankind to get rid of the stupid zits, but to no avail. And – to add insult to the injury – the acne left scars on my skin as a permanent reminder that they owned me. Those scars were mocking me, I tell you.

It was really quite embarrassing; no one else had as many pimples marring their skin as I did. Some kids were still waiting for their very first zit as if it were some sort of rite of passage. How I envied them.

My mother, bless her, tried to make me feel better about it all. She told me I was getting the awkward breakouts out of my system early. I was led to believe that when everyone else had terrible acne I would have the face of an airbrushed model.

Okay, so she didn’t actually say that, but it was definitely implied that the blemishes would eventually go away on their own. Breakouts were normal – everyone got them.

I eventually discovered that this was all a lie. At seventeen my skin was still as bad as ever – magnified by the stress of my last year of school. I even had this massive boil on my face, which had four heads. I could actually see the lump pushing out of my cheek like it was trying to be the Mount Everest of my face.

I have to say I was disappointed. If I had to suffer from such a painful boil – couldn’t it be on my forehead? Then, at least, I could have appreciated the irony.

Even now, pimples and acne scars are still a part of my life. Not as bad as they once were, true, but still undeniably a problem. Twelve-year-old me would hate to hear that “grown up” me still got acne. Why can’t we catch a break?

And by that, I mean an actual break, not a breakout.

I get that it’s quite a superficial issue, and that my life could be a lot worse, but it still bothers me a little. I think it’s important to acknowledge the smaller issues in life, after all. I mean, I just wrote a whole post about it a couple of days ago.

Acne can be painful, itchy, and annoying. We are led to believe it’s something that we can outgrow and this isn’t always true. It can be hard to feel like the adult you’re supposed to be when your face looks like it did in your teens.

Still, I suppose breakouts occur to many people, regardless of age. Once again, I take comfort in the fact that others face the same small issues as I do.


  • Are you one of those unfortunate souls who still gets acne?
  • How long did it take you to come to terms with the fact that you still get them?
  • Do you find that people who don’t gets breakouts don’t really understand what it’s like? As well-meaning as they are, their advice to wash my face with Clearasil just isn’t very helpful. Like yes, I’ve tried that, believe me.
  • What is your best/worst pimple story?

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