My Acne Before and After Pictures

Before and after pictures of my acne |

I had a 2.0 megapixel camera back then (I know right, a freakin' dinosaur), so some of these before and after acne pictures are small and not the best quality. I'm also missing a huge chunk of pictures from when my acne was at its worst. That's the time when my skin was so bad, I purposely didn't wear my glasses or contacts so I couldn't see myself in the mirror. I believe some photos are also missing because I went on a "I'm so ugly!" delete rage. I wish I kept the photos to illustrate the progress I made, but just imagine the worst picture on here times ten and you'll get an idea of how bad my acne was at the time.

Without further adieu, I present to you the surviving pictures of my acne - when my acne started to improve and when my skin finally cleared:

My acne before it got really bad

My acne before it got really bad

This picture was taken a few weeks before my acne started to get really, really bad. My skin was actually very irritated and super red in this photograph, but the yellow halogen lamp in my bathroom negated some of the redness and made my skin look a bit smoother than it actually was. The picture is pretty small so you can't see the dry flakes of skin (from acne treatments) falling off my face. The bumps weren't cysts, but they were inflamed pimples that were deep and hurt a lot. I also had big pimples under my jaw line, which you can't see in the picture. I swear I'm not making this up! I only remember all these things because I kept a detailed diary of my breakouts.

Both sides of my face were about the same in terms of acne severity. It was weird because I usually got symmetrical pimples. When I broke out on one side of my face, I'd usually break out on the opposite side shortly after.

Here is a progression of my skin from 2007 to 2009, when my acne started to clear. My face seems to change colors because of the lighting in each picture. And I'm not wearing make up in any of the below photographs. My jaw actually looks a bit swollen in the lower right corner picture because I got my wisdom teeth pulled and puffed up like a chipmunk the next day.

My Acne Before and After Pictures

Before and after picture of my acne clearing

PERSONAL NOTE: I've recently discovered that some companies are using my before-and-after acne pictures to illegally promote their own products/services. One company in particular is using my image (without my permission) to show as results from their VISS IPL anti-acne laser. Please do not be fooled by this. Any use of my picture without my permission is copyright infringement. The whole point of not watermarking my images and only putting a copyright in the corner is so readers can see the detailed improvement of my skin over time. This page is the only place you should see this before-and-after picture, so if you see it anywhere else, it is false advertising and misleading. If you do see someone else using my picture, please kindly contact me here so I can pursue legal action against them. It took me a long time to clear my skin and I hate that companies are using my picture to try to convince other people that their products/services will do the same when it's simply not true. It's easy to prey on acne sufferers because all everyone with acne wants is clear skin, so help me out and please don't let these cheap tactics fool you! End rant.

For me, clear skin definitely did not happen overnight. It took awhile for the breakouts and red acne marks to appear and it took awhile for them to go away. I didn't find my acne treatment, go to bed, and wake up the next day with zero acne. It probably took me three months for the big pimples to dwindle and then another three months for the rest of my active acne to heal without getting any new acne. That's probably the most annoying thing - when your skin starts to get better and you think you're making progress and then bam, new pimples, new acne marks, more frustration, etc. After I had no more active acne, I still had scars, pigmentation, and red marks to deal with. It took almost a year for my acne marks to fade.

Here is how my skin looks like today. Thankfully I am no longer using a 2.0 megapixel camera! You can see my pores and smack dab in the middle of my cheek are some pock marks and acne scars. As a teenager, none of my pimples left any scars, but my adult acne was pretty bad. I got some really big and deep cysts that took a very long time to heal and those are usually the ones that cause skin indentations like that. I'm pretty lucky that I didn't get any serious pitting.

Picture of my clear skin

Picture of my current skin

My skin is so much better now, but I still have these strange and irrational moments when I think my skin sucks. At any rate, I'm super glad I figured out how to treat my acne. It's a very long and tedious process, but I guess in a way, it's a test of faith and working through adversity. I would never want to go through this ordeal again, but having experienced acne and all the bad things that come with it, I do feel like it has made me a stronger person.

To this day, I still get pimples here and there (maybe a couple of small ones per month), but ever since I figured out what my skin likes and what my skin doesn't like, I've managed to keep the huge breakouts at bay.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and look at my pictures! I'm not posting them to gloat that I finally cured acne or anything like that. I'm posting them to hopefully give some people inspiration for their own skin. I didn't give up and even though it took me years to clear my skin, it was worth the perseverance.

If you have your own before and after pictures, send them to me! Nothing feels better than knowing someone else won their acne battle.

To read about what I did to clear my skin, check here. Warning: It's very long.

To find out my current skin care routine, check here.

And if you're confused about acne treatments, check out this comprehensive acne treatment list here. I've personally tried most of the things on that list, so there's a good dose of my experience with the various treatment options on that page.

Finally, here is a list of acne products (with good reviews) that most people like, grouped by their active ingredient.

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How I Cleared My Skin

Last updated: September 19, 2013

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