Adult Acne, get thee behind!

Hi beauts.

Can you believe I only took 2 pictures while in New York?

Beautiful, uh? I think I’ve been enough times to not have to play “tourist” anymore. I’ve also been tagged by some of my blog sistas and I’m still working on those. Yall know I looove doing them! So much fun!

Today’s post makes me sad but everything isn’t so beautiful in the world of beauty. Adult acne, being one of them. This is something that I have been struggling with for about a year and I am super close to seeking dermatological help. I’ve tried everything from fasting, to dis-use of products, keeping my hands away from my face, drinking a ton of water, natural/herbal treatments, vitamins and my oh my….the list goes on. So I’ve purchased my first Acne Treatment skincare products by Murad.

Have any of you heard about this line? I asked one of the lovely ladies at Sephora about this and she raved on and on about it so I decided to give it a try. But in order to see how well it will work, I have to show you the BEFORE pictures.

Now yall know I like to keep it real with my readers. I’ll show you a make-up less picture of me any day but I feel like I dead in these shots and with my face lookin’ like this, I’m just….a bit insecure. But Clumps of Mascara is all about mistakes and whatnot, so here goes!

I get pimples like this popping up on my face at least every other day.

And clusters of little bumps forming close to the hairline.

This is the worst….chin pimples! I finally got some of them to go away, but then they left ugly scars. Boo!

Daily pimples poppin’ up on my cheeks…and scars are left behind.

Okay this is a full “ain’t washed my face yet” picture. And excuse the Color Purple braids. My skin is relatively smooth and soft but a pimply horror!

My Mom says my face isn’t “that bad” but compared to how my skin used to look, it is. It is rather disheartening, actually. I am hopeful that these products will work. But if not, off to the derm, I go.

Any one else suffering from adult acne? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for me? Let a sista know. I’ll keep yall updated!!

Image source:

  • Retainer Girl

    I have terrible adult acne that knocked me on my ass two days after I turned 24. I’ve been on birth control pills, Retin-A micro, Differin gel, Tetracyclene . . . Nothing helps. I’ve decided to take the plunge and try Accutane.

    PS I think you’re gorgeous!

  • BeautyTalk

    I started getting horrible adult acne at 21 (I’m 24 now) but now I have pretty good skin. I tried a lot of products and methods (including the Murad line) and nothing seemed to stick. I started drinking more water and stopped poking at my skin so much and it just started getting better as I got older. So, unfortunately I don’t have any advice to give you.
    Although my skin started clearing up before I even got on birth control, I will say that it helps a lot!

  • Anonymous

    I really like Paula’s Choice products. I use her cleanser and BHA product.

  • Virtuous Blue

    OMG Clumps…I was just contemplating do a post on my war against acne. I have tried every over the counter product created for acne and every natural remedy and it left me with acne with dry patches, oily acne, acne with red patches…never clear skin…A few months before my birthday I started “operation clear skin” and I decided to stop the chemical warfare on my face and began using Cetaphil (a really really mild cleanser and moisturizer) and Neutrogena spot treatment. So yay I’m not breaking out but I can’t get rid of my old acne scars. I think I’m going to get some professional help for that!

  • Jeda21

    Hi there, I’m a big fan of your blog but have just been lurking instead of posting comments.

    Murad should do a good job to help you out with those pesky small rash-type pimples that pop up in hormonal areas of the face.

    The following have worked for me:
    – sleep on a sarong covered pillow and change the sarong often — vs changing the case often, it just stays and the sarong changes
    – make sure to exfoliate using natural acids products (Alba Hawaiian peel works wonders but stings a little)– this takes the old stuff away and lets the skin breathe
    – use only oil free products that say noncomedogenic
    – make sure there’s no talc anywhere on ingredients list of facial products (research other acne instigator products like bismuth or mica)
    – use a gentle cleanser for the skin type (if oily, try cetaphil oily/normal, if not oily try regular cetaphil)
    – gels are #1 (usually better than creams–oily creams equal oily skin and/or breakouts from clogged pores), lotions are 2nd best
    – drink tons of plain, pure water — though green tea does make a difference in alternation with the plain water

    All the best on your skin, and thank you so much for a very cool blog. ^_^

  • yummy411

    can’t wait to hear how it goes. i’ve had normal skin for most of my life, but my mom has has problematic skin all of her adulthood. i’d love to know what works, so that if i end up with her skin, i’d know where to turn.

  • nywele

    Hello. Just to say that I’ve heard great stuff about Murad too but i’ve never used them. In regards to Stila color push ups, they still sell them. Check them out at sephora. It is MAC bronzing stick that has been discontinued.No, I haven’t tried Bobbi Brown..I will look into them. I also heard that NArs Multiples are great. i am looking forward to read your review on Bobbi Brown shimmer brick…

  • Danyelle

    Awwww boo boo, you look so cute in that last pic! Thats the little girl I remember from church back in the day… LOL!

    I hope this line does wonders for your skin. Remember to moisturize because dry skin can lead to more breakouts. I use YES to Carrots: C through the night moisturizing cream for dry and sensitive skin types to hydrate my skin. I have also started to use Mederma, from the dermatologist, to clear up my old acne scars; its a gel with no smell. So far so good.

    You could be breakin out because your stress levels have increased this past year too… do some YOGA, meditate on Jesus, and think about how gorgeous you are!!! :)

  • LovelyBella73

    Girl, I’m getting info just from reading all of your great comments. YAY.. for that. Anyway, I’ve always had pretty bad acne. I get it from my dads side of the family, and I’ve just learned to deal with the acne.

    But as of late, my acne has been doing really good. I think it’s because I’ve lowered my stress levels and it may have something to do with the way I’m eating nowadays. I can’t wait to see your progress. This is a product i may have to invest in buying.

    Love ya sweets!!
    *The last picture is so cute. *

  • the Muse

    honey I know it’s off topic but Fresh Farmacy from Lush will rid you of all the pimples in a flash :)

    I used to get tiny pimples on my forehead as well and this cleared them up TOTALLY!

    I’ve never tried murad before but it may very well be good.

    cute piccie :) love the last one!

  • Twinkle Twinkle

    My friend has been using the Arbonne Intelligence line and likes it. I hope the Murad system works for you. I’ve also heard good things about it. Still, I would see a dermatologist. Good luck!

  • Moni

    I have also suffered from acne since my teens. I have done two rounds of accutane and it worked for a while, but eventually the acne came back. I’m also blessed with bacne and chestne. :( I’ve recently discovered a miracle product that has worked wonders on my skin, Avene Diacneal ( It contains a retinol and glycolic acid, so it smooths the skin and helps keep it clear. I rarely have pimples now, and when I do, they disappear in just a day or two! It’s even helped me to cut the picking habit (and I was baaaaad!), since the pimple will be gone way sooner if I leave it alone.

    I know it seems kinda pricey, but if you google dermstore you can usually find coupon codes for 15 to 20% off. I use it with cetaphil for normal to oily skin and cetaphil lotion if I feel dry, and my skin has never been so smooth and glowing. My scars from past acne are even fading, though you need to use sunscreen to maintain that.

  • D’lee Trecia

    I’m right where you are. Your fface aren’t that bad compared to mine. I start breaking out last christmas.. It got so bad that i have lot of dark spots.. get this they look like i drew them on with markers. thats worst copare to yours.. I’m serious!… Even my momma be like dang what happened to your face….

    Never heard of that product but I hope it works well for you. I was going to try proactiv but saying you have to keep using it and whaterver…

  • Lorie

    I haven’t read your page long enough to know your views on everything, but honestly, the Birth Control pill is what helped me. I’m 27, soon to be 28 and I too was breaking out with lil lovelies on my chin. Since using Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference. The MAC Charged Water in renewal defense has proved useful as well. I didn’t have that much acne in high school, but I noticed an increase in my adult years. Cleaning your cell phone may help as well. Germs/bacteria get on that as well. Love to you!

  • Afrodite

    You and me, man! My acne is clearing up though. Not sure why and I’m not gonna ask any questions…

  • Divine Blackness

    Thanks a ton, chicks….I am taking ALL of your comments and suggestions to heart b/c this adult acne thing is killing my spirit. Being a 17-year with pimply skin is one thing but it’s not so hot in your early 20’s.

  • Grayburn

    My face was getting really bumpy a while back and that’s when I discovered that I hadn’t been cleansing properly! So I’ve been really good and massaging my face wash every morning and night for almost five minutes. Guess what? All the bumps went away! I don’t know if this helps but I have also heard good things about Murad. Good luck with it!


  • the Muse

    I’m suffering from milia currently 😛 zomg it’s making me feel ancient! I’m 30 and just started using a stronger eye cream and I believe it’s the culprit! I really don’t want to go to the derm for an extraction!

    They look terrible so I totally feel your pain about being in your 20’s and going through adult acne.

    Look at me I’m 30 going through 80 year old acne 😉


  • Divine Blackness

    Grayburn, I love you! Your blog has me all obsessed with minerals but no dappin’ into that until the face clears up.

    Musey Muse…lol, you crack me up! 80-year old acne. Why are our faces attacking us? Grrr!

  • Anonymous

    For spot treating, Mario Badescu’s drying lotion is excellent. It looks like pink calamine lotion, but it has sulphur to kill the bacteria that create the acne. It works well. I wish they had it in mask form.

  • BellaY

    Great blog, I’m adding it to my favs. BTW…..I’m 43 and I STILL get breakouts!!

  • Ma’at

    I have the same issue Sis. My skin was perfect until I turned like 21 and then it just went to pot. And now it scars so it looks bad even when they leave

  • the Muse

    hehehe 😉

    Back back demons of acne 😉

  • Seymone

    I have used Murad before but I cannot really give a good review because I was pregnant at the time, so I don’t know if my skin got better because of the pregnancy or Murad.. Also your in Fl, it could be the sun because I just got back from Miami and I got some bad pimples…

  • Jenny

    Love your blog!! I learn so much from it. Anyhow, the acne issue.. I’m 24 years old and have suffered from acne for YEARS. Seriously. Since I was 12, I’ve had BAD acne (little bumps on my forehead, bad cystic ones on my cheek, above my lip, around my temples, chin and UNDER my chin). I’ve been in and out of my dermatologist’s office too many times to count. One day, my mom and I were at Costco and she told me to try the “Acne Free” set we saw there, so I did. In a week, my face literally started to clear up. Now six months later, I’m acne free.. my face is clear like no other. Occasionally, I’ll get a small pimple, but it goes away once I put that Acne Free pimple gel on it. I was going to try their Scar free products, but my scars started to disappear.. so I didn’t bother.

    I hope this helps! If the Murad doesn’t work, try Acne Free (you can also buy it at Wal-Mart).

  • Divine Blackness

    Thaaaanks anon and Jenny. Acne Free, hmmm…gotta remember that.

  • sara

    i love your blogg! and i use murad too and it is the best acne program i’ve tried so far. but i recommend you not to do the exfoliating treatment too much, as it can worsen your acne. but i hope it works out for you! :)

  • Sophia

    Love the close ups!

  • Stefanie

    I have started having crazy breakouts within the past couple of years. There are small bumps on my forehead that just wont go away. I’ve tried ProActiv, Dr. Murad, Obagi, prescription drugs lol, it still hasn’t really improved. I am trying to drink more water, but I need to work on curbing my junk food consumption. That is likely a major culprit. Now I’m using DCL facial wash (purchased from dermatologist’s office) and at night I wash with Nubian Heritage African black soap wash and moisturize with the black soap lotion. It’s okay thus far…

  • Liz

    I’ve had acne for about five years now, to no abate. Not crazy cystic acne (thank god!) but pimples nonetheless, and very red skin (you’re so lucky that your skin is dark, so you don’t get what I call “strawberry face”). I went to a dermatologist about a year into things, and my acne dramatically… worsened. I kept with the regimen, though, of cetaphil, retin-A, and glyderm lotion.

    Eventually, I got sick of feeling like I rubbed my face on a belt sander, and stopped using the chemical-exfoliator glyderm. My face got better.

    Eventually, I got sick of feeling so tender in the sun (and greasy), and stopped using the retin-A, which turned out to be comodegenic, or pore-clogging, and only meant for old ladies who want to get rid of their wrinkles. My face got better.

    Three years later, I’ve finally let go of the cetaphil, and so far, my face is getting even better.

    I know, I know, cetaphil is king, but the last three ingredients are all parabens. My face isn’t oily, even if I don’t wash it for a day, so I’m thinking that my acne is because of irritation, not oil/hormones. Parabens are known irritants to some, and they mess with your hormones. They’ve been banned in Europe, and now their banned in my home.

    I’ve replaced cetaphil with the foaming cleanser from Aveda’s Outer Peace line, which was deep cleaning and soothing and just heaven in a bottle. The whole line is paraben-free as well.

    I’ve been using Physician’s Formula new organic tinted moisturizer, which is my HG face product. I’ll be picking up their pressed powders from the same line, as they don’t contain parabens, unlike their other products.

    I recently learned that dermatologists are sometimes paid to push products – thus my name-brand routine. The extreme irritation and sensitivity that came of the “prescribed regimen” was written off, and I was told to persevere. I’m not saying all dermatologists are evil corporate lackeys, but think of keeping a journal as to your skin’s reaction for the day, and what products you used, and re-evaluate your routine periodically if it’s not working.

  • Da Jadedpoet

    I’m so late but I still have really bad skin, trust me your skin is nothing compared to the raging war I had with mine LOL. I am happy to just one or two bumps girl.

    I used proactiv for a year and it worked great, to keep my skin from being so dry though I used the nightime clarifying lotion/creme at night. After moving my skin didn’t work as well as it did in Philly. It worked in my philly and my hometown SC but not in MS so I changed to nasabb’s black soap and their moisturizer and I must say it makes my skin glow. Its nice that it dries up my bumps rather quickly when they come in. My skin isn’t perfect but I think its looking pretty darn good. Just be sure you exfoliate once a week at least. I find that St.Ives apricot cleanser for acne prone skin when used once a week works well.

    P.s. My skin was actually great when I was younger until I was deployed to Bahrain/baghdad and after that I suffered from horrible acne and its scars. So try to use natural products and it is true I believe parabens in products really make your skin break out more due to it mimicing your hormones.

  • Celine

    Hey there! So what worked for me was a combination of less stress (I graduated from college), birth control pills, a very mild skincare line (seems a bit counter intuitive to not try to treat the pimples, but when you don’t treat your skin so harshly, it helps clear up the pimples), eating lots of fresh foods and very little refined foods, and makeup that won’t clog pores (I use Bare Minerals myself). Good luck with your skincare, although I believe you already have beautiful skin!

  • Trishita

    Hi. i am a regular viewer of you blog,am from India. I'm facing the same problem like you. and to be honest I just love my skin when it is makeup free and smooth like hell. I'm 22 years old and I never had a single pimple in my whole teenage. but now I am battling with mild acne since 1 year specially in summers. God I hate summer months.

    What regimen I follow? well I wash mah face with dermat precribed cleanser,then using Dr. Brandt blemishes no more intensolution to tone my face. it'll prevent new breakouts frm coming but it is useful in treating whiteheads/blackheads but wont give fruitful results if you have acne caused by P.Acne bacteria .

    for acne marks I can suggest you a awesome product
    Dermajuv acne scar fading cream and its very very very very expensive some 80$ :O I'm going to try it soon but I've heard some raving reviews about it.
    for reference see the links below

    another honest reviewer

  • Anonymous

    I just started using the Murad system a couple of days ago and I can already see some changes in my skin. I'm 31 with an acne problem, but come to find out its not all that unusual. I went to Sephora and got the starter kit for $33.00 which includes the cleanser, toner, exfoliating gel, spot treatment and moisturizer all in travel sizes.

  • Anonymous

    I am 32 years old and I have had acne since I was about 14. As a matter of fact, the first pimple I ever got was when I was about 5 years old. No lie. My mother popped it and my older sister laughed at me. I have struggled and struggled. I have tried everything over the counter, Proactive, and Serious Skin Care. Nothing worked. I have been going to the dermatologist and she has exhausted all her options for me other than Accutane which I can not afford without health insurance. We are trying one last thing which is working. Sulfamethoxazole. It is an anti-biotic. I take two a day. I am also taking Fish Oil which I have read reduces the amount of oil produced in the face. I am also taking Zinc tablets because they regenerate the cells quickly to renew the skin and it is also used in preventing scarring. Once a week I use Biore pore cleaning exfoliant. Also, once a week I take a cotton ball, wet it with water, and put a small amount of Tea Tree Oil on the cotton. Then I cover my entire face with the oil. Tea Tree Oil is a natural oil that is used to kill bacteria and fungus. For the first time since I have been struggling with acne, my skin is clear and I am so excited to finally feel pretty and try some make-up. I used to use Garden Botanika products and it covered my acne and was really great on my skin. (The problem wasn't the make-up, it has always just been my skin.) I always got compliments using them. I recently ordered a mineral kit with them that I have yet to try, but I can't wait to see if it is as good a product as it used to be.