Aside from style, I have a firm interest in makeup and beauty, hence, enjoy blogging about them as well. Those two topics have been absent from this little virtual space for some time now, however. Outfit posts have always been the focal point of this blog so I'm guessing not many of my readers notice the absence, but I feel like I should explain anyway why I stopped blogging about beauty.

If you visit the "Beauty" category in this blog, you'd notice an abundance of beauty posts in 2017. Growing up, I had oily-combination skin that experienced the occasional breakouts but since it was relatively un-sensitive, I was able to experiment with different products (reasonably so).

I caught the K-beauty bug at one point and even found a set of products to make up their infamous 7-to-10 (!) steps skincare routine that work for me. My skin looked smoother and healthier than it ever was.

Selfie taken in late 2017 when my skin was relatively unproblematic

Until that all changed, slowly. It started with one huge bumpy zit on the chin but I thought, eh, that'll go away soon. It did, but not before it was replaced by about three new bumps, and those three were replaced with new ones not long after.

Then the acne started popping up around other areas of my face, multiple swellings at a time. Not only were they often painful, but also — and this is hard to say out loud — they made me feel ugly.

I always refrained from using the word "ugly" because it's such a negative word, so the fact that I was made to feel that way was disheartening.

It affected my confidence greatly. I started relying heavily on makeup bases — at times, I refused to leave the house without applying concealer — but makeup is always going to be a temporary solution.

I knew I had to tackle the root of the problem, so after much Googling I learned of the culprit: hormonal acne.

Earlier this year during a particularly bad round of breakouts. I have good makeup days and bad makeup days. Loved the eye makeup here but the base didn't cover my spots as well as I had hoped — plus this photo was taken in lighting that highlighted the worst of it!

Hormonal acne is not an uncommon problem among women in their late 20s and above. It's usually the result of sebum overproduction and generally affects the lower part of the face, especially the chin, mouth and jawline areas.

Aside from totally abandoning my K-beauty routine for acne-targeted products, I tried altering my diet to see if my acne was triggered by food, including reducing my dairy intake and cutting out chocolate (man, was that hard) but the breakout remained persistent.

The worst of the breakouts? Mountainous bumps deeper in the skin that do not come to a head, making them harder to treat.

Mid 2018 when I had at least FIVE major breakouts on my chin and jawline.
I layered my foundation A LOT and piled on the concealer but this was a particularly good makeup day for me  thankfully, because I had to attend a wedding + some Eid open houses!

Until today I still don't know what triggered the hormonal acne breakout in the first place but a good guess would be simply an aging effect. My acne problem is not resolved but it is somewhat under control now; bumps still pop up but they're smaller and less frequent.

I recently found acne-targeted products that work better on me, plus I am less worried about leaving the house without concealer on. With plenty of scarring in the process of healing, I still have major skin insecurity though, albeit a lot less worse than before.

Breakouts might be superficial but like it or not, it could very much relate to mental health for some people as it causes distress and affects self-esteem.

I stopped blogging about beauty because I didn't want to talk about something I was insecure about, and partly because I'd feel like a fraud if I dole out skincare advice. But from this experience (and after a lot of Googling) I realised there are people out there who share the same story as I do and could actually benefit from knowing how I deal with my acne issue.

I'm looking forward to writing a couple of posts on the products I've tried and maybe even write a post on what makeup I use to cover up my spots, and hope my acne story could help with theirs.

Also: I'm also hoping to visit a dermatologist who can help diagnose my breakout more accurately. But all in all, reading online accounts of others who go through the same thing as I do has helped me tremendously.

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Does your skin suffer from hormonal acne?
If so, how do you deal with it?

Please, share ANY tip that you have because it would be much, much appreciated, especially as I still need help in battling my skin issue.

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Thank you for reading this post, beauties, talk soon