My Acne Story: The Journey to Clear Skin

My Acne Story: The Journey to Clear Skin.

By Emily Ruse,  Deputy Registered Manager

Anyone can suffer from acne, regardless of age, gender or skincare routine. If you’ve ever dealt with stubborn breakouts first hand, then you know exactly how infuriating, stressful and deliberating it can be to your self-confidence. A whopping 60% of UK women (yes women, not teenagers) suffer from spots, blemishes, blackheads and acne. As many as 41- 54% of us will suffer from acne at some point in our adult lives so it’s high time we talked about – and tackled – the most common skin disease in the Western world.


My skin has always been one of my biggest insecurities. From a very young age, I found it difficult to leave the house without hiding it behind make-up. Looking back now, I was actually quite lucky – I only occasionally suffered from the odd spot or two. At the time, it was my large pores and dull, uneven skin tone which bothered me most.

The media bombards us from a very young age with societies view on beauty and what skin should look like. The portrayal of seemingly unachievable perfection strikes you from just about every angle – glossy magazines, newspapers, tv shows and social media sites such as Instagram with heavily filtered and edited pictures. We should all know better but it’s easy to get caught up in it.


The first place I developed acne was on my back when I was fifteen years old. This was a real confidence killer and I was terrified to wear anything which revealed the area for many years. Then, when I hit my late teens, I began to develop mild acne which mainly affected my chin, jawline and cheeks. I felt lost and frustrated, angry that I’d developed a “teenagers’ problem” when I was supposed to be coming out of puberty. Before I found what worked for me, I had tried pretty much everything else. I’ve been on antibiotics, used various skincare brands, Aloe Vera Gel and Witch Hazel but nothing seemed to work long-term. There is so much information available on the internet that instead of it being helpful, it’s actually just quite overwhelming – how do you know where to begin? It can be very difficult to decipher sound medical advice and proven treatments from the next money-spinning product.

It wasn’t until I began working in the Aesthetics industry, that I recognised my acne as a medical condition – not a cosmetic issue which I would hopefully grow out of. In the industry I work in, I see so many people just like me who are battling with their skin. I’ve also seen so many of them achieve amazing, life-changing results from various products and treatments as they begin to overcome their acne. This gave me the hope that I too can conquer mine.

The end in sight.


First of all, these are the treatments/products which helped clear up my skin:

30% Salicylic Acid Chemical Peels

Tretinoin topical cream (a topical Accutane)

Obagi Clenziderm Foaming Cleanser



I avoid using any toners, essences and any additional moisturizers or creams. For me, I find that the more I put on my face, the more likely it is I will break out, so I aim to keep it simple. I cleanse twice daily with the Obagi Clenziderm Foaming Cleanser and use the Tretinoin every evening. I have recently added a prescription Hydroquinone which I mix with the Tretinoin to target the anti-inflammatory pigmentation which is left behind after the acne has gone. As well as maintaining a good daily skincare routine, I have Salicylic Acid Chemical Peels once every four weeks which remove dead and damaged upper skin layers and keep my cells turning over.

It is important to bear in mind that each and every person’s skin is different so it is always advisable that you seek advice from a medical professional before treating skin conditions such as Acne.


Book a no-obligation consultation to discuss Acne Treatment and other dermatology procedures with Dr Fatima Ahmed

Call 01892 22 22 22

Dr. Fatima Ahmed


Meet the expert

Dr Fatima Ahmed is a speciality doctor in dermatology and aesthetics, with special interests in acne, mole and skin lesion diagnosis.  With medical qualifications from Pakistan, Canada, the UK and USA, she achieved academic distinction at Cardiff University and received the Chancellor International Scholarship award at the University of Hertfordshire.  She has worked in South Asia, the Middle East and the UK.

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