We’ve all fallen prey to the onslaught of acne in our lives at some point or the other. For some, it’s an inconsequential and short-lived phase of their lives, whereas for some acne can be quite a gruesome experience they have to deal with. Either way, a large percentage of the world’s population does experience acne at some point in their lives. In this post, we at The Sissociate shall take you along our history of breakouts, how we think they may have developed and what we did in our best capacity to tackle them.

Acne is also famously known by other names such as pimples, zits, spots, breakouts etc. By definition, acne or a pimple is something that develops on your skin when a sebaceous gland or oil gland gets clogged, leading to an inflamed or swollen lesion sometimes filled with pus. But acne in general can take a lot of forms.

Acne can be mainly classified into two categories – inflammatory acne and non-inflammatory acne.

Non-inflammatory acne is a condition where there’s no inflammation of the skin tissue. In other words, there is no swelling, or an injury like condition, and there’s generally no pain associated with them – For example white heads and black heads.

Image Credits – http://www.theacnelab.com
  • Black heads – These occur when a pore is clogged with a combination of sebum and dead skin cells. The pore is open and the sebum and gunk accumulated therein oxidizes due to the contact with open air, which results in its black appearance. Black heads are also known as open comedones.
  • Whiteheads – These occur the same way as a black head, when a pore is clogged with sebum, but there’s a layer of skin on top of it. So, a white head is also known as a closed comedone.

Inflammatory acne is a condition wherein there is a considerable level of inflammation of the skin tissue. It’s almost like an injury that has taken place at the tissue level of your skin and hence these types of acne occurrences can also be quite painful. Further, there are 3 types of Inflammatory acne – Papules, Pustules & Nodules.

Image Credits – http://www.theacnelab.com
  • Papules are red inflamed bump like pimples without pus. These can be painful to the touch.
  • Pustules are pus filled pimples, which are also quite painful and these are of the most common occurrences in a large number of people.
  • Nodules / Cysts – Are a more serious kind of inflammation which occur just under the top layer of your skin, and these are also what lead to severe scarring.

Now, let’s take you through our experience with acne one by one.

LEFT – ROWENA PEREIRA; RIGHT – SAVINA PEREIRA

SAVINA’S EXPERIENCE

In Savina’s words “The first time I ever experienced acne on my face was back when I was 13 or 14, it must’ve been the typical teenage acne. Most of it was primarily on my forehead and as per my dermatologist, one of the main reasons for this in addition to my raging hormones at puberty, was the fact that I had dandruff on my scalp. Funnily enough, this was what led to my acne on my forehead. The second time I experienced acne was roughly around 2 years back and ironically it happened to be the time during which I had just begun my skincare. From my experience I realized that my breakouts were mainly because of niacinamide. Yes, Niacinamide is a holy grail ingredient to help beat acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, however, in my case, niacinamide had adverse effects on my face. It gave me severe greenish pustules, which were quite painful too.

Savina’s greenish pus filled pimple (aka pustule)

Savina continues ” And after realizing it a few months later that Niacinamide was breaking me out, I discontinued its usage. And now, in the current day I still have some acne on my face and this I believe is from having to wear masks regularly, or perhaps due to the fact that I wasn’t cleaning my makeup brushes regularly.

Savina’s Acne Breakout – Between Feb to March 2020.

And from my experience, the ingredient that has helped me to keep my acne at bay is “BENZOYL PEROXIDE”. It literally works wonders for my skin and it has helped me tackle the toughest of my acne spots all throughout my breakouts”

Benzoyl Peroxide – Benzac AC 5% Gel

ROWENA’S EXPERIENCE

In Rowena’s words “I’ve been lucky enough to not have faced severe acne in my life for as long as I can remember. Even my teenage years were fairly smooth in terms of acne. I’d have an occasional pimple on a very rare occasion which would last for not more than 4 or 5 days, and it would never leave behind a scar too.

Only very recently, maybe just like 8 or 9 months ago, after I had been working from home for almost 3 years, I landed a different job and I had to go out to work. And I believe it may have been my sudden change in lifestyle – from a very sedentary home-based lifestyle to a daily work lifestyle, or my sudden exposure to more sunlight during the day because I was headed outdoors, or also the fact that I had to wear masks more often, or a combination of all these reasons led to a sudden outbreak of pimples on my face. These were relentless and kept occurring for a duration of three months at a stretch, and they were very painful.

Rowena’s Acne Breakout – March to July 2021

The scars from this outbreak are still on my face, which will take a while to go. And to treat my outbreak, I just stuck to the basics and regularly did my double cleansing at nights, and started incorporating a BHA treatment (COSRX BHA BLACKHEAD POWER LIQUID) every alternate day during the night time, and tried to use sunscreen during the day every single day even on the days I’ve been indoors.

COSRX – BHA BLACKHEAD POWER LIQUID

CONCLUSION

So, yeah this was our acne journey. To conclude we’d like to say that acne is sometimes inevitable. You may have the best skincare routine, the best eating habits, a perfect stress-free life, but still may not be able to avoid an occasional breakout and it is absolutely alright. Your skin is perfect with or without acne. Love yourself regardless!

IMAGE SOURCES –https://theacnelab.com/

A financial accountant by day ; A blogger / instagrammer / skincare & beauty enthusiast by night ! Co-founder of thesissociate.com - Visit my instagram - @rowena_pereira

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