I’m 25 And I Still Have Acne—When Will It End?

I’ve never had acne that’s been bad enough to earn me the nickname “Pizza Face” or to produce yearbook photos that needed to be burned. But I have had persistent breakouts since I was a teenager, and have gone through the ringer of treatments from the prescribed (creams, cleansers, oral antibiotics) to the popular (microdermabrasion, galvanic facials, weird “As Seen on TV” heat-treating gadgets). The only thing that’s ever worked for me is Accutane, the hard-core prescription drug which is no pretty process and will give you a deformed baby if you happen to get pregnant on it. Yet, even after a few courses of Accutane, I’ve found (as is common with the drug), that its effects wear off after about a year … To be honest, the situation on my face is not that bad, but it’s still noticeable enough that I’m not going to go outside without covering it up. In a word, I’m frustrated. Wasn’t this supposed to end sometime after high school when my raging hormones settled and I started eating and acting like a grownup? Will there ever be a day in my life when I feel confident without wearing makeup?

Research on adult acne (ugh, I hate that phrase—it makes me shudder) does not leave me hopeful. What is the deal? What gives? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, adult acne is “a fact of life for many women,” and “women may continue to have acne well into their adult years, sometimes beyond their 40th birthday.” Awesome, guys! I’m so happy that I have so much to look forward to now. As for reasons why, oh Lord, why this still is happening to me? The answers aren’t illuminating and are your run-of-the-mill causes: fluctuating hormones, stress, family history, or worse, the dreaded “underlying medical condition,” which could point to a hormone-secreting tumor or cystic ovaries. Weeee!

So what about you, Frisky readers? Do any of you still suffer from acne in your mid-20s or later? How do you fight and prevent it?