“Bleeeep.” The alarm sounded, dredging me from a deep slumber. I had been dreaming THAT dream again, the one where I possessed Photoshop superpowers and could clone stamp my way to a perfect complexion.
Back in waking reality, I was up two hours before my commute departure to begin operation camouflage. I’d become a make-up master, relying on its magic to cover the red, angry breakouts that called my face home; foundation to even things out, concealer to correct, and a generous dusting of powder for that smooth, flawless finish. But it was all smoke and mirrors; at 33 I’d had adult acne for eight years and had lost the confidence to leave home without trowelling on a full kit.
It wasn’t always this way. For my first 25 years I was graced with skin of porcelain, the type where people would ask, “What foundation do you use?” and I got to modestly reply, “Err… none.” In fact, I’d escaped my entire adolescence without so much as a spot. I thought perhaps it was karmic payback when my quarter century crisis kicked off with an inflamed bang.
Thinking it must be stress, or a hormonal blip, I continued to care for my skin with salon products and a twice-daily skincare routine. But the spell was broken; the acne wouldn’t go away. Devastated and dreading a life behind a pitted facade I booked in with a cosmetic dermatologist. When my blood tests came back peachy, I was prescribed microdermabrasion to resurface my skin, and some nasty medication if I chose to partake (I didn’t). The microdermabrasion improved the quality of my skin but the breakouts persisted and keeping on top of the scarring was expensive.
Over the best part of the next decade, countless beauty therapists filled me with product promises. I tried laser treatments, top skincare ranges and clean living. None of it worked. If you suffer acne too, you’ll know there’s nothing like bad skin to make you feel down, out and dirty.
I was pretty much resigned to the fact that acne was my lot when my sister suggested I try Alpha-H. Here we go again, I thought, another brand boasting miracles. She explained that the active ingredient of the range was glycolic acid, which gently resurfaces the skin and prevents breakouts. I decided to make this my last ditch effort – after all I didn’t have much untarnished surface area to lose!
I embarked on a series of Alpha-H glycolic salon peels and replaced my skincare with the recommended Alpha-H take home products. The results truly were instant. I couldn’t believe that for once a range lived up to its claims. My recurring Photoshop dream dwindled as the breakouts became fewer and further between. Congestion eased, scars faded and my skin tone evened. Do you want to know the best bit? By then, I could even cut back on foundation!
Two years later I’m still acne-free. My new secret weapons are Liquid Gold and Micro Cleanse and I love a good slather of the nurturing (and totally divine!) Age Delay Facial Oil.