My skin has been problematic lately, to say the least. I think it’s a hormone issue, something that is quite hard to sort out but I am trying to take care of myself, drink lots of water, eat good, get enough sleep and move my body. I’ve even cut out most dairy products and I would say I’m about 90% dairy-free as I’ve heard that can make a big difference to your skin… but actually, it’s not changed a thing for me!

It is really hard to try and “fix” a problem when you don’t know what is causing it. I would say I’ve normally had fairly good skin but it’s just taken a big turn for the worse and I seem to only get about two good skin days a month. From the looks of things, I suffer from Nodule Acne. It’s mainly along my jawline and even down my neck. It’s so hard to self diagnose and identify it. It could be cystic acne, it could also just be hormonal acne. When you do have more severe acne, it’s harder to treat at home as most skincare products aren’t effective enough.

I know I should probably go to my local GP and try and get some help or a referral to a dermatologist, but it’s so hard to try and be taken seriously and I have a horrible fear they’ll just palm me off. If anyone has a positive experience getting help with acne from your local doctors then please let me know. I think it’s getting to that point where I will go. It’s quite silly really that I’m worried about not being taken seriously when they’re meant to help me.

I think it’s hard as suffering from acne can really affect your self worth and confidence. You can’t help comparing and it’s not something you can hide easily either. I’ve been thinking about why I don’t wear make up daily anymore and it’s directly because of my bad skin… It’s kind of like, what’s the point in trying to look nice? Which can make you spiral, as I then feel like not putting on a nice outfit or making an effort at all.

I think it’s especially hard for me at the moment, as I’m a 25-year-old woman, I feel that I should have ‘everything’ together and not be suffering from something that typically you suffer from when you’re in your teens. This is such a silly way of thinking (I’m sure not helped by the media) as skin problems can affect you at any age. I know this but your mental health can really be affected.

It’s quite hard to put into words to make people understand if they’ve never experienced acne in their life. I’m also still so reluctant to call it acne as I still somehow don’t think it’s severe enough.

I’ve been trying many different things. Not all at once to give my skin some breathing room and to see what helps and what doesn’t… not much has worked so far but I have recently bought some more skincare items that I’m hoping will help.

I already use Niacinamide from The Ordinary which I really like. Niacinamide is a thick serum that regulates sebum production and blemish-causing bacteria for a visibly clearer complexion. It’s meant to help even your skin tone as well. I do think this works. My skin is definitely more clear and I also think it’s reduced the number of whiteheads I get. I would say that this is something everyone should have in their routine but I have heard that too much product or usage can cause your skin to purge before it gets better.

I was on the lookout for a Hyaluronic Acid Serum as I’ve heard many good things about it, not only for plumped and hydrated skin but also, it can help with blemishes by reducing the appearance of acne, reducing redness and also helping strengthen your lipid barrier. I’ve not used anything from The Inkey List before but I think the price point rivals The Ordinary. I have only used this product for a short while but I do think it has helped with some dry patches that I have.

I’ve also brought a few items from the Boots Ingredients range. There is a bit of controversy with this new range of theirs as they don’t state how much percentage of the ingredients is in each product, leading people to believe there’s not enough of each ingredient to be effective. As I’m exploring skincare products and ingredients myself, I thought it was worth trying them and if I don’t think they make much difference, I know not to buy from this range again.

I picked up their Boots Ingredients Retinol as this is essentially Vitamin A, which is a very good treatment for acne. It essentially unblocks your pores. Alongside this, I also picked up their Boots Ingredients Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the redness and swelling that acne causes. It can also help with acne wounds and hyperpigmentation. You can sense a theme here, can’t you?

The last new product I picked up is the Boots Ingredients Salicylic Acid Cleanser. This is a BHA (a chemical) that can have an exfoliating effect on the skin, helping unblock pores and fight bacteria. I picked this up only intending on using it once a week with no other products, as I know you can’t mix it with certain products (Retinol or Vitamin C).

I do find skincare a complete minefield. Elliot knows my skin concerns and how down I can get, he’s been nothing but supportive and I think that has really helped. It’s made me feel last alone. He asked me the other day if any of these products could be making my skin worse and honestly, I don’t know anymore! I feel like it’s so difficult to get these things right. You really have to just use trial and error until you see some improvement.

I would love to hear about your experiences with acne and if there’s anything you suggest I should try. I’ll keep you updated on my ‘skincare journey’. At the moment I think it’ll mainly end up with me going to the doctor!

Have you used any products from the Boots Ingredients range?