Pimples? At MY Age??

Recently my Real-Life and also Facebook friend, Lola, had this as her status:

Lola: Dear powers that be, how about crows feet or acne, not both.

HA!  Poor Lola, getting a zit….oh wait….what’s that?  On my face?  AGAIN?!  Puh-leeeez.  Seriously, when I was thirteen I was promised that this would end at age eighteen, and I planned my future accordingly.  I don’t know how becoming an acne-free super cool rock star actress astronaut artist got away from me.  Totally unfair.  But here I am, with none of those occupations under my belt, and with the occasional break out and I am thirty freaking eight years old.  That’s twenty freaking years longer with the freaking zits than I freaking planned, for youse who aren’t doing the math.  And yes – I am getting the crows feet and yes, a grey hair or two.  I am totally ok with getting older really I am but only if I get to leave the downsides of my youth behind.  I’ve traded in hangovers for moderation, night-time snacking for a no-eating-after-7 rule, all-night parties for 8 hours of sleep.  And you know?  I’ll happily take the smile lines and little wrinkles in the place of acne so what’s up?

I know I am not alone in this battle but I have to say it bugs me to no end.  And what’s worse?  In my years of experience, I still don’t have a plan or technique to deal with these things.  I’ve read everything – tried all the topical approaches, steaming, pushing, washing, pulling, leaving them alone – all with pretty similar results.  A red taunting and haunting blob on my face that makes me want to hunker down indoors.  Is there an app for this?

So my question to the world: what do you do when you have a breakout?  Anything you’ve tried that makes it better? Anything that makes it worse?  And most importantly: any idea when the madness will end?

20 thoughts on “Pimples? At MY Age??

  1. Unfortunately, I’m right there with you. For f***’s sake! I’m 41 years old, I really should not have 3 new zits with the arrival of my period. Yea, the old saying, “Getting old ain’t for sissies!” rings very, very true these days. And, sadly to say – we’re barely getting old.

  2. I was one of those stupidly-lucky teens that didn’t ever wash her face or get zits. (I know you all hated me for it) But you’ll be happy to know that they have caught up with me. When I turned 35, I started breaking out. I do not like it, not one little bit. So here’s my method for dealing with it….ready?…..
    I pop my zits in the morning, then don’t look in the mirror the rest of the day.
    You don’t have to pay me for the advice. It’s free for you my friend.

  3. What a well-timed post! I currently have 2 giant, cyst-like pimples on my chin. My acne took a break from about 30-35, but now it is back in force. The cortizone cream that my dermatologist gave me for a rash on my back last year seems to work amazingly well on pimples, but I am not sure if I am really supposed to be putting it on my face. I give up.

  4. Ok I’m here to admit that I have this same problem! Like, Lelalu, in my teen years I had the complexion of a model. Now, in my late 30’s, I get a spot almost every month. I cannot stop myself from popping it, even though I’ve read you’re not supposed to. I know it’s TMI, but it’s the truth! So glad (sorry!) that I’m not the only one out there with this.

  5. “So my question to the world: what do you do when you have a breakout?” Nothing because it is still a daily occurence even though sitting in mid 40’s.

    “Anything you’ve tried that makes it better?” I hear lots of crazy fantastic sex…of course my source for that is my hubby and that is his answer to everything.
    “Anything that makes it worse?” Stress
    “And most importantly: any idea when the madness will end?” I think never except for one day when I either lose my face or pass on.

  6. And no one warns you that with the menopause you get…… spots! A friend and I discussed the unfairness of it in such detail on the underground (sorry subway to anyone not in the UK) that a man was compelled to move seat. For which I feel only the teenyest bit sorry….

  7. Origins Spot Remover works fabulous for the random zits I get. Put some on those pesky pimples at night and my face is usually clear again in the morning.

  8. Best to leave it alone. Don’t even touch! But if you really can’t stop yourself, here’s my method for reducing redness & scars. I had serious acne in my 20s so I know from zits. Hold a warm wet washcloth on it for several minutes til your skin is warm all the way through. Then very gently press (don’t squeeze!) to drain it. If it hurts or doesn’t pop immediately, STOP! Then a fresh warm cloth again, then a rinse with cool water. Then seriously — leave it alone til it heals. Good luck!

  9. Danielle – amen, sister. Getting old bites. But it’d be cool if we could leave these trappings of youth behind. Well – maybe a pimple makes us look younger? How many 80-year-old ladies do you see walking around with acne? Ok, I’m reaching.

    Lelalu – well honestly it was a little annoying how beautiful you were as a teen. And it’s a little annoying how beautiful you are as an adult. If you weren’t so damn awesome, things would be bad. I love your technique. If I can’t see it, is it even there?

    Courtney – Nice – right in my price range! If I can’t get it at Rite-Aid, I can’t get it at all.

    Amy – ouch. Those cyst ones really hurt. I often experiment with medications for other than intended use, and if it works, IT WORKS. Not saying anyone else should. Just real talk. Please don’t call the interventionist.

    Daph – how weird that this is so common? I’m getting the feeling that we were lied to back in the day.

    Kim – HA!! Ok, I think your husband is my new hero.

  10. Debbie – I do that all the time on the subway – have these conversations that make people raise an eyebrow, or sometimes leave. So – no end even with menopause? Ok, that sucks.

    Mikaela – Really? Really really? Because I will go out and buy it and maybe buy stock in the company if it can do that for me. Great suggestion, thanks!

    Yola – I think I’d have to tape all my fingers together to get myself to not mess with them when they pop up. Any idea where to get self-control?

  11. I too had pretty decent, if not quite perfect, skin through my teenage years, and now at 34 find my skin get worse every month. The worst part is that my skin reacts to almost every situation by breaking out. Not enough sleep? Zit. Tough week at work? Zit. New (the more expensive/ fancy the better) skincare product? Zit.

    It’s not the cheapest out there (about $40) but Clarins Hydramatte lotion is the ONLY moisturiser of the dozens I’ve tried that not only doesn’t make me instantly break out but also reduces the breakouts I do get (apparently it’s the zinc that does it). A bottle lasts me about 3 months, which is just about long enough to forget the shame of buying the teen-range moisturiser from the fancy department store.

    My other top tips
    – If you use a washcloth, make sure it’s a clean one every day.
    – Basic liquid disinfectant (TCP/ Savlon are the major UK brands, not sure what the US equivalent would be) is the cheapskate’s version of the fancy branded teeny-tiny bottle of “spot remover.” They tend to smell rank but they do the job. Dab it on neat, preferably when you’re not going to be within sniffing-distance of strangers!

  12. I started to break out REALLY bad when I was about 23. A friend of mine suggested CLINIQUE. I tried it and have been using it ever since (I’m now 31).
    I use the liquid face wash every day and the aloe base moisturizer when I need it. And when I get acne (which isn’t very often) or when my face just feels especially dirty (like after a long bike ride or run)I use what CLINQUE calls face lotion, but I would call it toner.
    I don’t use this on a daily basis, which is good because 1. I hate shopping. 2. I hate spending money on something that I am litterally going to be washing down a drain. However, an acne-free face is worth it.

  13. I was one of those teens with ok skin; I didn’t ever have major breakouts like my brothers did. Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I still get the same level of acne that I had in my teens. Sigh.

    What I’ve been told:

    Stop touching your face. Seriously. Unless, of course, you’ve just washed your hands. Then it’s okay.

    A clean face is good, and make sure you are using a moisturizer that works with your skin!

    I’ll take zits over cold sores, any day of the week… but I’d rather have neither.

  14. I have been continuously troubled with this cystic acne mess for most of my twenties. I’m 34 now and am still dealing with it. It’s mostly on or around the chin area. I’ve used everything from Proactive to Murad, Wexler, Clinique wich i’m using now. I’m just dumbfounded as to why this is happening to me still. Is there a secret to beautiful skin? i’ll be happy with just blemish free skin.

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