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Adult Acne Skin Woes!

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This was a little video update on the state of my skin, but actually, I’m rather late in posting it here on the website. The worst of my skin problems seem to have passed for the moment (touch wood) and I have the breakouts under control! Woohoo. I’m going to do another post and video this week with the final “routine” that I stuck to in an attempt to clear up my complexion and also go through some of the products that were entirely ineffective. I hope to God that Mr AMR doesn’t read this, but I have to admit that I used my skin as a bit of a guinea pig at first, using the breakouts as an opportunity to test out things that had previously been unsuited to my skin. (Him: “You’re not trying out loads of crap on your skin, are you? That’ll make it worse!” Me: (angry face) “Of course not! I’m not stupid you know!)

All in the name of research.

Anyway, it seems ironic that earlier this year I was struggling to properly review things for my Teen Skin series and then BAM! Spots a-plenty. I think that my skin problems have actually been stress-related, or that stress affected my hormones, because all is fine and dandy on the health front, and now that I have my new “zen” attitude towards life (ie, have cut my working hours to under 70 per week) my body seems to be getting on with me again.

 (Thank you man in the sky, whoever you are.)

Do enjoy my scary skin close-ups! This was actually not filmed in the worst part of my Bad Skin Season, because that would have been entirely gross. Pustules a-go-go. But enjoy nevertheless! Those who can’t see the video pane can click HERE. PS – soft-veil-glow effect on my skin is the Clarins powder foundation, see info below!

I  hope that this video is useful to some of you. I have always had very good, blemish-free skin until recently and I’m convinced that my spots were caused by stress and poor diet during the time running up to my MA submission deadline! Trying to reduce your stress levels is difficult, but it’s quite simple to cut out excess sugar from your diet and pare back your skincare routine so that it’s simple but effective. I’ll let you know an update soon!

Products Used:


Melvita Purifying Mask: http://tidd.ly/db376f4d

Liquid Gold: http://tidd.ly/b75aac2e

Liquid Gold Serum: http://tidd.ly/2774800d

NUXE Creme Fraiche de Beaute Light: http://tidd.ly/6fad959

Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk: http://tidd.ly/9be59628

Clarisonic Mia: http://tidd.ly/cc2234f

Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser: http://tidd.ly/74fc5a21

Decleor Fresh Purifying Gel: http://tidd.ly/ddd16af7

No7 Tinted Moisturiser (Fair/Medium): Boots

Clarins Powder Foundation in Sand: http://tidd.ly/e977af


  1. Hi Ruth! I have combination:oily and sensitive skin- wld u recommend the melvita purifying mask or the Liz earle deep cleansing mask for me? Thank u!! <3

  2. Ruth, would you recommend avene extremely gentle cleanser and their skin recovery cream for someone with redness, sensitivity and breakouts? I am thinking of going back to basics with my skincare.
    Thanks :)

  3. Hi Ruth, I love your vids, although you have cost me so much money as I have to now buy all the great things you have recommended!!! I was just wondering if you had any info re: diary and acne?

    I have recently cut out diary as found lots of linking information to acne, no outcomes as of yet (two weeks tested) but have lost 3 pounds in weight!!

    Have you ever come across links to dairy exacerbating acne due to the hormones which cows are fed to keep them lactating..

    Katie x

  4. Hi Ruth,
    Thank you for the post. I experience exactly the same problem when stressed from balancing work, life and uni. One thing that struck me about your post was where you break out. I found that where I was breaking out was where I was actually touching my face (unconsciously) when sitting at my screen frustrated or trying to focus. When I became aware and stopped touching my face my skin cleared almost immediately. xx

  5. Love the video – I’ve gone off the pill this year and I’m doing a PhD so the combination of hormones and stress have done a number on my skin (and the rubbish food I eat when I stay late at work, my poor skin has no chance!). I recently bought the Ren Clear Calm taster kit so have been giving that a go and it is helping. I’m definitely buying the large size of the wash when my little one runs out but I’m unsure about the day/night creams. I might give that Nuxe mattifying cream a try instead and try and cadge a sample of the Lotus oil off a Clarins counter. Just thought I’d let you know your link isn’t working for the Nuxe cream – I can’t find it on feelunique at all so maybe they’ve run out with all your readers rushing to buy it! I’ll be getting it from Marks and Sparks as its 10% off beauty at the moment. x

  6. I had a exact same outbreak when i was in med school and blamed it on stress ect…i tried everything under the sun. RetinA was what helped the most but my skin was still not perfect. Then i decided to try gluten free diet…and oh my! My skin started clearing up within first few weeks. I had same exact acne as yours, which is called comedonal acne ( those under the skin bumps that arent inflamed or painful and hard to get rid of). I saw someone mentioned folliculitis. From your video it doesnt look like that to me. Folliculitis looks like white little pimples around hair folicle. What happens is a folicle tract gets pogged and inflamed by bacteria. For that you do need antibiotic. It will usually apear in men because they shave ( easy to get bacteria into the skin due to micro damage the razor causes), but the lady who mentioned threading could totally get this too since it’s the same mechanism of infection.

    Exfoliating agents like glycolic acid or retin a will help to get rid of existing acne and those under the skin bumps. Those are called comedones and best way to get rid of them is extraction at the dermatologist’s office and retin a. But it wasnt until i went on gluten free diet that they finally stopped forming. Hope thos helps :-)

  7. God,I have been through acne as a teenager(though I’m still 19).It kinda started at around 11 y.o,a few months before I got my menstruation and lasted till my 18! I hated it.Absolutely hated it.And to this day I do get breakouts cause I get those horrible sebum ‘peaks’,you know those awful little lumps,and I just cannot resist squeezing them.So naturally they become spots.Also,I’m left with quite severe scaring,not just the red/blue spots that are left after the pustules are gone,but actual scars digging into my face :'( So sad.It isn’t as bad as it sounds,I mean I’ve seen worse,but I wish I could do something to make my skin magically become smooth and clear. :( So,I guess iff you’re used to it well…You’re used to it.When you’re used to having perfect skin,it must be hell.Just remember there’s worse. ;)

  8. Hi Ruth, I’ve just tried to update my skincare regime as I noticed that my current one wasn’t cutting it now I’ve hit 25. I bought a lovely day cream and eye cream, and once I got home I noticed the box listed the recommended age group as 40-55! Is there a reason they have this on the box and should you follow the recommended age range? Would love an answer as I’m not sure if I should return the products I purchased, even though they seem to work well for me based on a sample I had.

  9. Hi Ruth. Thanks for posting this. Your articles are always so helpful and funny. I usually have clear skin with occasional breakouts during those pesky once-a-month lady days. I tried the Alpha-H Liquid Gold and really like it. I find it more gentle than the DDF Glycolic Toning Complex. I’m thinking of trying the Liquid Gold Intensive Night Serum, but I cannot find a site that has the full list of ingredients. I know that it has chock-full of great ingredients like Niacinamide, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Hyaluronic Acid, but I am quite fussy with what I put on my skin. Do you have the full list? Thanks!

  10. This has been a great post to read and all the comments have been so helpful and insightful. Thank you, Ruth! My acne isn’t terrible, but it is just always there and that is a huge frustration. It’s mostly on my chin/jaw line, so that tells me it is hormone-related. This is pushing me to go to the doctor and seek out something that will help balance me out.

    Have you tried any retinal products? I’ve read that also helps with acne.

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