My Experience with Adult Acne – What Worked and What Sucked

My Experience with Adult Acne – What Worked and What Sucked

Dear Girls,

Today, I am a year and 2 months into my pimple struggle and I would like to commemorate it by sharing with you the following:
• The products that I used and how my skin responded to them.
• The home remedies that I swear by.
• Other things that I believe have worked.

My Experience with Adult Acne What Worked and What Sucked

*Disclaimer:  Last year was a stressful one for me. A lot of things that would have otherwise perhaps worked, didn’t work for me, I am willing to believe that. I was staying out of home to study and improper meal times, sleep times, and stress contributed heavily. I am in my mid-20s and have always had oily skin.  I have never had pimples till last year.  This is not so much about the products that didn’t work as for the ones that did.  Hope this will help at least one for you out there.

My ‘I Hate You’ Products:

1.  Virgin Coconut Oil:  I have never had pimples as a teenager, so I believe what hit me last year was adult acne. It got triggered when I began using –don’t laugh- virgin coconut oil on my face. I read some great reviews online about how it has anti-ageing properties and is the best skin protectant and bam, I ordered it.  Initially, I experienced break-outs which were attributed to “purification of the skin from inside.”  However, that wasn’t, it was just my skin getting badly clogged. Later, I came to know that this oil is very comedogenic, a 4 on a scale of 5. I couldn’t believe it. I stopped using it immediately, but the acne would not go. I then ventured into acne remedies research in a big way.

Virgin coconut oil

2.  Lotus Acne Gel:  


I was very clear that I did not want to go on medication as I have an inherent distrust of the chemicals prescribed by dermatologists.  So, I decided to go to the drugstore remedy route and bought this gel from Lotus; however, it did not work for me. What it would do is simply subside the emerging pimple and the bacteria would find an outlet elsewhere on the face, it sucked.

My “I am indifferent” Products:

1.  Forest Essentials Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Cleanser:  

Forest essentials delicate facial celanser 1

This super expensive cleanser was a gentle one and I still use it off and on. I am not able to see stark results, but I do see that it doesn’t cause me to either break out and I like how my skin feels after using this. Basically, it doesn’t stop pimples, but treats skin decently.

2.  Miscellaneous:

Fabindia tea tree face wash, aloe vera gels, a neem facewash from a company I don’t even remember:  In a sentence, I wasn’t satisfied. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t preventive.

3.  The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil and Mask:  You can find the reviews I wrote for these on IMBB. In a nutshell, worked well as spot treatment, but didn’t stopppp anything.

My “I Like You” products:

1.  Forest Essentials Multani Mitti Ubtan:  


This was one thing that kept me encouraged and my skin soothed through all of this nonsense. It discouraged break-outs and kept my skin looking and feeling clean. However, I couldn’t use it all the time since it is a mild scrub at the end of the day and needed a face wash.

2.  Brihan’s Aloe Vera and Cucumber Gels:  Soothes my red, itchy skin all summer.


3.  Lacto Calamine:  My HG summer moisturizer, worked great for irritated skin.


4.  Vicco Turmeric Cream:  Worked very nicely in improving overall quality of the skin.

5.  Cetaphil Cleanser and Moisturizer:  The first chemical-based products family that I am happy with. The cleanser is gentle and the moisturizer is amazingly moisturizing without causing me to break out.


My “I lovvvvve You” Products:

1.  Besan and Turmeric Mixture:  Beautiful, beautiful results. Gram flour mixed with milk and turmeric cleaned my skin amazingly and while I was using this, my skin became very clear. However, since I used it too regularly, my skin got too dry and eventually turned dry, lusterless and irritated. That’s my bad. This stuff works. Provided you use it once a day, not twice and definitely moisturize after this.

2.  Oatmeal:  The best moisturizing and exfoliating cleanser. Love it to bits!

3.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  This really resurrected my faith in oils and really helped me a lot. There was a point when I wasn’t using anything else to moisturize and it never broke me out.

• Lets now have drumrolls for the winner please ” HONEY!!” I was lucky to get a pot of pure, raw honey and it has been a week since I have been using it. It is beautiful. I love it. It works, it is everything you want guys!!!!


Honey has multiple functions and it is:

o Anti bacterial/anti microbial, so it actually prevents acne.
o Removes scars.
o Moisturizing.
o Cleansing.
o Gentle exfoliant.
o My skin looks so beautiful after I use this for 20 minutes.
o What else do I want? The moon?

Miscellaneous Information:  Guys apart from this, I have also been drinking a lot of water and a neem tablet a day. I have healthy home-made food and don’t really eat outside much. I am off colas because they are generally unhealthy. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I try to keep my phone, pillow cover and towels clean and change them often, that’s about it. I know it has been a long post, but I really want to help each person out there who is facing this problem because I know now how much it sucks. I hope this will help you.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 9.

Review: Lotus Acne Gel with Tea Tree Oil and Lotus haul
Keracnyl Foaming Gel for Acne Prone Skin
VLCC Acne Control Clove Massage Gel
Rosacnil Gel for Acne and Skin Blemishes
Himalaya Clarina Anti-Acne Face Wash Gel
Gel Moisturisers for Oily Skin : Ask IMBB Gang
Vichy Normaderm Purifying cleansing gel
Pimple and Acne Creams that Didn’t Work
Acnemoist – Oil Free Moisturiser for Acne Prone Skin
Secret to My Pimple Free Skin
Ayur Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne-Prone & Oily Skin
How I Got Rid of Acne
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Neutrogena Oil – Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cleanser
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45 thoughts on “My Experience with Adult Acne – What Worked and What Sucked

  1. Thank you shivani!!! :happydance: :happydance: this is very informative! really needed some tried n tested remedies…i have a very oily skin n i get few breakouts every month, 😥 which means i always have to put up with blemishes. my acne is not “adult acne” though…i have been suffering from on n off acne problem ever since i was 14! (m in early 20s now) :methinks: :methinks: i have sort of learnt to live with it now :(( :(( …but i’ll definitely try out some of the remedies u listed. :haanji:

    1. Thank you so much all for all your kind words. I am glad you liked it.
      @Rati & Jabberwocky: Yes it works like a scrub too. Thats how i usually use it actually. However, this won’t be apt for dry skin since it has multani mitti as its primary ingredient which is essentially an oil absorbing agent. You wanna go in for something like FE Tejasvi milk ubtan for dry skin.

  2. Amazing, Amazing article. and so well researched and very well written. Thank you for your effort. it’s nice to read such informative pieces. :rose:

  3. thoroughly enjoyed your revuew,,,the way you have put is awsme :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2:
    and it would be a real for all girls having a problem with acne :specs: :specs: :specs: :specs: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

  4. I cn soooo identify wid u shivani. Even i had bouts of acne 8 mnths back which took almost 5 mnths to clear up.i also got into a lot of home remedies. Glad ur condition is better now.n thnx for sharing ur experience.wud benefit a lot out thr. :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

  5. This is like my ongoing I-shall-destroy-you-fiend kind of battle against acne. 😐 I never had acne until last year and just when I had thought that I was out of my teens and safe, pimples came to haunt me at 21. :yikes: I’m still struggling with a few occasional ones on chin. This is a wonderful article! :thumbsup: Thanks for being so thorough, Shivani. :woot: :woot: I’m going to try the FE Ubtan. Just one question – does it suit a more or less dry skin? Or should I go for something else?

  6. very informative post shivani :waytogo: :waytogo:
    i hav been a victim of adult acne too 🙁
    i ll defntly try the oatmeal, honey 🙂
    thanks for sharing :thanks: :thanks:

  7. Very informative post,Shivani. :clap: :clap: Thankfully my acne is limited to a few little bumps along my forehead and chin. :preen: :preen: Good luck with your fight,ladies! :duel: :duel:

  8. very nice article shivani :yes: i love lacto calamine and vicco turmeric :waytogo: also try adding neem powder in your besan haldi face will def help you as its doing me 🙂

    1. Hey thanks Parita! I am taking it orally in tablet form and its working well. will consider using topically as well 🙂

  9. wow..Honey ah? I knew that it was effective but this good I didnt know. thanks for a wonderful article. I have used the Brihan’s Aloe Vera and Lacto calamine in the past and those worked quite effectively so am pretty glad that made it to your list. 🙂

    I almost bought FE ubtan and kept it back. shall defy try and pick it up the next time I am in a FE store. Merci beaucoup..

  10. This a soooper amazing post shivani!!! :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: really you’ve compiled everything so well!!!! Kudos!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

  11. from top to down it was like reading my own story..however, only my acne duration is less (2 months
    there are things i can connect to – multani mitti, aloevera, cetaphil, lactocalamine and oats. They worked great for me and a mix of oats+gram flour+yogurt proved to be the best. But i am under dermat’s treatment since last 10 days and my skin has dried like anything 🙁
    one ques : do you use the regular turmeric and honey(=dabur’s)
    and for the was must must for me :thanks:

    ohh..inna lamba comment :dumb:

    1. Hey Shaili… I use pure turmeric and raw honey. Have tried using regular but didn’t do anything for me. And about derma’s treatment, just keep your skin hydrated ya, their treatments are quite strong and potentially harsh on the skin 🙁

  12. Such a fantastic article Shivani, I’m bookmarking this. I’m also in mid-twenties & have super oily & super sensitive skin, but I’ve suffered from acne all through my teens & even now. This post will help me a lot. I have a few questions though, which I hope you can answer.
    1) I used a besan & turmeric paste in summer. Doesn’t besan act like a scrub (since it’s a powder)? How exactly do you use it?
    2) How exactly do you use oatmeal? Do you use ready made oatmeal or ground oats?
    3) Do you use honey like a face mask?

    I salute you for this fantastic article :jaiho: :jaiho: And a major thanks too :thanks:

    1. Hey Poohkie, very sweet of you to say all that. As for your ques: 1) Yes besan and turmeric acts as a scrub and i pretty much use it that way only. sometimes i keep it on for a while longer and wipe it again with a wet towel gently, more like a mask. For winters, I would not recommend using this. Turmeric with honey yes. but besan, no.
      2) i just wet oatmeal and water and apply it on my face like a scrub and wash it off. I use ready made oatmeal i think… the quaker ones that take 3 min to cook? that one. have sent a detailed post on it which should be up soon.
      3) Yes i use honey as a face mask. I apply it to damp face and rub it so that it penetrates the skin. i leave it on for 20-30 min and wash it off, followed by a moisturizer.
      I hope this works for you and you get over your acne problem v soon 🙂

  13. Thakn u for a great article 🙂 🙂 How often do u use cetaphil ? And do u use honey overnite ? Where did u buy the honey from ?
    So many Questions from me:) Hee hee 🙂 But thank u 😛

    And my skin is really,horribly filled with reddish scars..other than honey can u recommend what to use ? 🙂

    1. Hey Riti,
      I have not been using cetaphil lately but i was using it everyday once a day. No ya i don’t use honey overnite. apart from being sticky, i also believe that if left on for too long, it will clog your pores thus having the oppo effect we want. I actually got a little lucky with the honey as there was a beehive being removed in my colony and the honey was being sold to residents. I think you can buy natural organic honey from any of those fancy stores where they sell foreign food stuff like le marche in new delhi.
      As for the scars Riti, oatmeal will help you as it is an anti inflammatory agent which lessens redness. Neem will help too. I have scarring as well. but don’t worry. just give it a little time and it will lessen of its own accord as well. 🙂 good luck!

      1. Thank u for answering all my questions 🙂 🙂 I have never used oatmeal but after listening to u , I ll definitely buy it asap 🙂 🙂 :rose: Will try to find some good honey (I stay in Pune ..I ll try dorabjees i think 🙂 ) Again , thanks a lot ! Im really hopeful that I ll see a difference this time 🙂 :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

  14. Very very nice and useful article yaar. I had the same problem. Now with regular TLC my skin is well but I still get an occasional pimple. I’m bookmarking this 🙂

  15. Very nice article Shivani. Reminds me of my fight with acne for so many years. Besan is probably the best ingredient for a face pack but I am horribly allergic to raw besan. It gives me a rash, itchy eyes and runny nose. Sad right? 🙁 Its the HG face pack of so many and I cant even touch it!! For my acne I simply used a mixture of neem powder (store bought) and mixed with rose water and honey. Applied on my face once a week. The effect is slow and better not to use neem based face packs more than once a week coz they can be harsh. However it worked. Now am pimple free and my blemishes are gone too.

    Now that I no longer have pimples, I use good old multani mitti once a week. Been working well. 🙂

  16. Hi, Thanks for the wonderful article. My fight with adult acne began after my trip abroad. Once I was back in India, I faced terrible breakouts. But thankfully in one and a half months, I was able to stop the acne and the scar marks also disappeared. Here’s how –
    # I wash my face with Lush Herbalism cleanser for 1 min twice a day. It is essential to wash for 1 min (yes ladies 1 min and no less, I time it), to get rid of all the excess oil and cleanse the pores. Not washing the face several times a day is essential so that you don’t activate the sebaceous glands. Very active sebaceous glands produce more oils.
    #Spritz cold rose water on your face.
    # Then make a paste of red sandalwood powder and either rose water or honey ( Australian or any other organic honey works well, Dabur honey is a killer so please avoid it) and apply all over face. Wash when dry.
    #Lush grease lightening for spot treatment on acne marks (if necessary)
    #Moisturize with an aloe based moisutrizer or plin Johnson & Johnson baby cream or lotion (i prefer the lotion
    You are all set to forget about acne forever.
    In the worst case scenario – go for a Retin A gel based product to get rid of the acne. Do not use Retinol A as its a cream based product.
    I hope this helps and you are acne free forever

  17. awesum post Shivani….Congratulations 🙂
    I must say, my story has been very similar..and I have tried many of the things that you tried too and while I was reading the post it felt like somebody was telling my story 🙂
    m so happy..Thank u for writing such an excellent post, really is very helpful :puchhi:
    I have had olive oil for so long with me, but I never knew that it could be used on face and it helps in acne!!!!!!!!!! :happydance: I’m definitely gonna try it…
    n i’VE ALSO TRIED GREEN LEAF’S aloe vera gel its my fav!!! 🙂 really works… and honey is toh definitely amazing, except its so sticky :silly: and yummy 😀

  18. :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks: shivani me too facing acne prob for sooooooooooooooooooooo long.. ur article wil surely help me… :puchhi: :puchhi: :puchhi: :puchhi: :puchhi:

  19. Hi Shivani,

    Nice article…. I use Mary Kay acne set which helped to reduce pimples and blackspot… If possible try that out….

  20. Nice article Shivani, very detailed and helpful. I never had acne in my teenage years, but now I’m apprehensive :yikes: , thanks for the article! Might be useful later, although I hope NOT 😀

    1. Neha,How long did u do it…? 😥 😥 I have been doing it for atleast three months… my acne is slightly better,still have occasional breakouts but no effect on scars 🙁 🙁

  21. @riti – if you are in Delhi, then you can find some Kashmiri honey in Khadi stores…they are really good…i have seen some organic imported ones in departmental stores in Bangalore but I am sorry I don’t remember the brands..

  22. Shivani Thanks a million, I am also pimple sufferer and I know the trouble of finding proper creams to any beauty products.. Well your one line struck me most.. The phone, I usually use my right side to use phone and often on my right jawline, I have breakouts usually, I would surely now take care of that… :makeup: :rotfl: :toothygrin: :preen:

  23. Thank you so much for this information. I have been struggling with breakouts ever since I had my son 3 years ago. I have been thinking about trying Multani Mitti. I saw the brand you listed and I may def give it a try!

  24. Hi, I am fan on this site. And I check it alot for reviews. I just have one question.. I use multani mitti, honey, yogurt, orange peel, sandal wood powder mixed together as a pack 3 to 4 times a week. Can it be the culprit of causing acne?

  25. I am in my early 30s and i had a very clear skin until one day i got a facial of vedic lines. Least i knew, it resulted in a long struggle of acne fight. I tried everything possible, nothing worked. One day a friend suggested that to use chironji and milk. And this was elixir.. my acne vanished and marks disappeared. I don’t have acne anymore but i still have marks.. but they are getting lighter. My skin type is dry, if yours is oily then use ground chironji with rose water

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