The Upside of Having Acne

LookingInMirror

Updated 9/18/17. If you’re someone who is currently experiencing a lot of acne or you used to get blemishes pretty badly in your younger years, you might want to consider yourself lucky. What??? Yes, I believe in a lot of cases it can be true. There’s even a scientific study proving it.

Let me explain.

Having been an esthetician for almost 30 years and having worked hands-on with thousands of faces, one thing I have found to be true is this. Those who make their skin a priority and take care of it day in and day out are the ones who often have the best-looking skin in their adult years. And…the ones who excel at this often have a history of acne in their younger years. Why is this? Because when you’re someone who has trouble with your skin, you HAVE to take care of it because ignoring it will only make blemishes worse.

Sleep with makeup on? Nope. That surely doesn’t happen for someone who is acne-prone. How about using just any old cheap, low-quality skin care product? Nope. That certainly doesn’t work either. Never seeing a dermatologist or esthetician for help with your skin? Nope again. Most likely, you put your skin in their expert hands and got their expert advice (and followed it to a T!) on a regular basis.

In the process of dealing with your skin troubles, you surely picked up some really good habits like paying attention to skin care ingredients, using only high-quality products for your unique skin type, faithfully washing your face every morning and night and possibly getting facials regularly to keep your pores clear, prevent new blemishes and even out discoloration from acne scars.

Many people who suffer from acne in their youth often become estheticians themselves because they develop a passion for skin care and want to help others prevent the problems that they personally encountered. (I have known so many estheticians like this.) On the flip side, I can’t tell you how many people I meet in my travels who have never had any problems with their skin and therefore barely take care of it. And you know what? In a lot of cases, it shows once they get into their 40s with premature wrinkles and a dullness due to neglect.

Breakouts will come and go, as will the discolored marks left behind. But adopting good skin care habits will last a lifetime—and the rewards will pay off in the long run. (If you’re someone who is in the midst of dealing with acne, I completely understand. The struggle is real. Of course, we have effective products to help control acne and I have tons of free skincare advice on my blog. Here’s 17 acne tips for you.)

As for what this study has shown, people who have previously suffered from acne have longer telomeres in their white blood cells compared to those with perfect skin. These telomeres―sometimes referred to as protective caps―help keep chromosomes from deteriorating. As a result, cells are better insulated against aging.

So there you have it, two solid reasons why acne just may work in your favor!

However, if you still get breakouts well into your adult years, no worries. I have the perfect Zit Care Kit, complete with everything you need to tackle blemishes at every stage. You can also read my expert tips on how to prevent adult hormonal breakouts.

One final thought: of course, not all types of acne are equal. Those who experienced severe acne can also have scarring and indents as a result. Thus, they must work extra hard in their adult years to smooth out their skin’s texture. Usually, long-term use of a good retinol or prescription retinoid product like Advanced Resurfacing Serum or Retin-A will help this dramatically. If this sounds like you, start using one ASAP. With continued use, it can make a huge improvement in the appearance of your skin.

Want to make sure you’re caring for your skin the right way? Then make sure you’re not falling for one of these 35 skincare myths.

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

For more expert advice check out the blog. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!

Comments:

Post a comment
  1. Avatar

    I was wondering what you thought of derma rollers? are they good for acne and acne scars?

    Posted By: Emily  | 

    Reply
    • Avatar

      The professional derma pen treatments done at a dermatologist’s office can be effective for acne scars (the ones that are indented in the skin). As for the rollers used at home, it is way too stimulating to use for current acne but as for scarring with indents in the skin, I haven’t seen people have a lot of improvement. If the scarring you are referring to is simply red or dark discoloration, use my Post-Breakout Fading Gel. It works very well.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    If you do the Retin-A route, make sure you are using a product that doesn’t have pore-clogging inactive ingredients!!!! I was on Atralin for a couple of years before switching to the generic because my insurance company offered me the generic for no copay for 6 months… And it clogged my pores up pretty bad in about 3 weeks. Skin was bumpy. Now I’m on Absorica (Accutane/isotretinoin) and seeing improvement over what my Atralin and Aczone were able to do.

    Posted By: Rita  | 

    Reply
  3. Avatar

    I just took your quiz and it says I have type 5 skin. My skin is very dry (NY weather) and for the past month or so, have been very dry, flaky and I’ve had terrible breakout on my chin with peeling skin, up into my lower cheeks. I’ve tried everything! I never use cleansers or moisturizers with fragrance and usually don’t use face powders or foundations. I’ve tried Alba brand and Origins and am currently using Jane Iredale powder to hide some redness and blemishes from these everyday white heads that pop up. They’re easy to remove but leave behind redness. I have eliminated dairy and nothing else has changed in my diet. Can you help, please?! Are my cleansers too harsh and drying out my skin, perhaps?! Thank you.

    Posted By: Allison  | 

    Reply
    • Avatar

      It’s hard to say why your skin is acting so unbalanced but my best guess is that your skin is simply not getting what it needs with your current skincare regimen. It sounds like it’s time for a new strategy. The skin type 5 routine is really nice and should be very helpful in balancing out your sensitive skin.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    Acne now has a good side. That’s pretty interesting to know. Thank you for this post.

    Posted By: Vicki W  | 

    Reply
  5. Avatar

    Hi Renee!
    I’ve been using your type 2 skincare products for almost 2 years (I’m 41) and retinol (Differin) 2-3x/week at night. My skin is oily in T-zone, I have clogged pores and am irritated by harsh products. For the last few months Ive been getting large cysts around my jawline and chin so recently I’ve increased Differin to every night and switched to your #3 skincare products – which are now making my skin red, dry and irritated and am not sure what to do??? Please help!

    Posted By: Trish  | 

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hello Trish! I’m actually writing about this very thing for my blog that will post in about two weeks. Simply put, Differin does nothing for inflamed acne such as cysts so you won’t be able to get any benefit, other than irritation which is a sign that you’re using it more than your skin can handle. You’re much better off using a specialized spot treatment formulated for cysts like this one.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Thanks ! Can you give me some insight into what I should be using? I’m on Type 2 products and am wondering if they’re no longer working for me??

        Posted By: Trish  | 

      • Avatar

        It’s hard for me to comment without knowing the details of your skin. My thought is to incorporate the Anti Cyst to treat and prevent the cysts. You can use it as a spot treatment once cysts appear AND as a preventative treatment by applying a few times a week in areas prone to cysts. If cysts are your issue right now, regular acne products don’t really address cysts, they are better for more surface, traditional blemishes so switching to like a skin type #3 won’t really help. You can call our 800# or email customer service for assistance or maybe it’s time to set up a virtual consultation with one of our estheticians to go into great depth. You can do that at MySkinPrescription.com We’ve got you covered!

        Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  6. Avatar

    OH MY…sorry…one more thing. I should mention that the cleanser I was trying is a cleansing cream (Ponds) so maybe I should be making sure that it is removed thoroughly?

    Posted By: g  | 

    Reply
  7. Avatar

    Also, forgot to mention that I’m 33, female fair complexion.

    Posted By: g  | 

    Reply
  8. Avatar

    Why would a product cause whiteheads? I tried using a cleanser and started off using it only on my chin area to be safe and test it out. But, I started to notice that after I would us it, the next day I would have more whiteheads. If I wouldn’t use it then I wouldn’t have as many if any at all. They were not big or under the skin, just surface and could easily be removed. I do have breakout prone skin so it’s not that this is not something that doesn’t happen but it’s just a little more than usuall. But I’m wondering if it’s really not the product and just coincidental or maybe the product is cleaning out my skin and so it’s bringing it to the surface and I should give it more time? I have combination skin that’s breakout prone in the tzone but only white and black heads nothing big. Also, I get red easily and flaky. Thanks!

    Posted By: g  | 

    Reply
  9. Avatar

    I forgot to mention, I’m 21, live in slightly humid climate, never fly, and always wear mineral sunscreen as of the last few years.

    Posted By: Alex  | 

    Reply
  10. Avatar

    Hi, Renée! I really enjoyed this article, as I’ve been struggling with some clogged pores and breakouts recently. I’ve taken the skin type quiz and it tells me I’m type 9, which sounds accurate (I have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by harsh products or fragrances, my skin is dry year-round, and can become dehydrated in the the winter, and I have flushing rosacea. However, my skin produces a very slight amount of oil on my forehead only, and unless I exfoliate regularly, I get quite a lot of clogged pores that rarely turn into blemishes, but just hang out for months. I also have sun damage on my cheeks and nose from years of outdoor sports without sunscreen as a kid, and I do have dilated capillaries on the high points of both cheekbones. I have enlarged pores on my cheeks only and whenever I break out (almost always on my chin or jaw) the dark scars linger for a significant period of time. Does skin type 9 sound accurate, or do you think I am a different type because of the clogged pores?

    Posted By: Alex  | 

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Alex, Thanks for all the details about your skin. For starters, you’re definitely not a skin type 9. The reason for this is because since you get clogged pores and you get a little bit of oil all mean that there is some oil production in your skin. Oil is what causes clogged pores so people who have truly dry skin generally won’t experience this. I definitely get that you feel dry and your skin gets irritated easily but at 21, a skin type 9 is just too much for your skin. I think you’re a skin type 5, for sure. What you might also consider is getting our AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel also, and washing with that a few times a week after the skin type 5 cleanser (Gentle Gel Cleanser) in your problem areas. I think that will make the skin type #5 routine a bit more acne focused without worrying about drying out your skin.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Thanks so much for your help! Now that I am looking at it, skin type 5 does seem like a much better fit. I’ll definitely try the AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel. Thanks again!

        Posted By: Alex  | 

Post a Comment:

Find your
skin type

Great skin starts with knowing your skin type. Take our quiz to get personalized tips and product recommendations.

Take the Quiz