IF I had to describe my teenage years in just three words, I’d lock in ‘awkward’ ‘self conscious’ and ‘pimply.’

That being said, I guess all three come with the territory of puberty though right? As a teenager your hormones are being produced quicker than 1D memorabilia, the study stress sets in plus the standard adolescent diet of two-minute-noodles and Slurpees doesn’t help the pimple cause (does the raspberry flavour count as fruit?).

But in a way you accept the crappy skin because you know that it’s normal. You know it’s part of being a teenager. You know that it’ll pass. But what happens when it doesn’t? What happens when puberty is as hard to remember as life without insurance premiums but you’re still stuck with the same uncontrollable, unpredictable skin?

Welcome to my world.

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I’m 25 and my skin is in the worst shape it’s ever been in.

There’s something extra shameful about carrying around the same baggage you did in your adolescence. Shouldn’t this annoying chapter of my life be over now? Everyone else my age seems to be having mature dinner parties and grown-up conversations about politics and I’m googling whether putting toothpaste on my zits at bedtime will do anything more than make my skin smell minty fresh. I WANT TO DO MORE WITH MY LIFE!

It’s shattered my confidence too. Usually, I’m a pretty outgoing person but I’ve been hiding behind makeup, shielding my face with hand gestures and even cancelled catch-ups because I didn’t want anybody to see my skin at it’s worst.

I avoid looking in the mirror when things really flare up because I know exactly how I’ll feel when I do … embarrassed.

If there was a reason for my adult acne I might be more accepting of the whole situation. Blaming someone always makes you feel better, and believe me, I’ve tried.

Passing the buck to the change of seasons (unlikely).

More junk food than normal (I was stressed).

Not drinking enough water (peeing a lot makes me unproductive).

The contraceptive pill (sounds guilty to me).

But at the heart of it all, nothing about my life or my beauty regimen has changed, yet my skin most definitely has.

And here I am finding myself worrying about crow’s feet at the same time as popping pimples.

The people I’ve felt brave enough to bring it up with have been at the ready with possible remedies. Try this cream and ban that oil. Add this into your diet and totally cut out that. Try sleeping more, stressing less and balance on one leg while singing the National Anthem for good measure.

All of it’s said with the best of intentions but none of it is helping. I feel desperate and alone knowing I have more in common with a 15 year old than anyone should at this stage of the game.

Adult acne — you might think it’s the ‘acne’ part that’s hardest to deal with but it’s actually the ‘adult’ bit I’m struggling with most.

Author Kristie Mercer

Kristie Mercer is one half of The Thinkergirls — who love to chat on their podcast about all the thoughts you’re thinking but not saying. Find the girls on Facebook or Youtube.

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