Skincare: How I Sherlock’ed my Acne !

How I found the reason behind my acne and got rid of them 😀

How to get rid of acne

My face was going through terrible times since the start of 2016. Earlier I had bouts of forehead acne due to improper sleep, but last year a new crop of ugly acne had started surfacing near my inner cheeks. Every morning I had to spend a good fifteen minutes to give myself a prep talk. These are the times when all those innovating and inspiring quotes, rampantly shared on Facebook, come to rescue. “Yes, I am more than my skin” –  and with that thought I would board the bus and start a new day. It’s a herculean task to not let acne hit your confidence.

These weren’t the normal pop-it-and-get-over-it kind of pimples, but rather, these little devils would sneak under my skin and cause a red bump that lasted for weeks and even months. My bathroom shelf was creaking under the weight of numerous anti-acne face wash, night creams and whole lot of other ointments that I can’t even spell. The trouble was, the creams were excellent in drying the pimple, but they were totally useless in preventing further pimples from growing. Their alarming growth rate was slowly making me lose my mind.

acne problem

Me to Body: Will you please stop this ruckus? It’s stressing me out!
Body: Did you just say stress.
Bhompp!!! Another pimple.
Body: 😀
Me: {under the table – crying}

It was the biggest mystery of my life. I eat healthy, rarely drink alcohol, never smoke and workout regularly. There was no reason that I could find behind this appalling rise in pimples. I found this article on face map very useful while trying to solve this mystery.

So last year, around Sept-Oct, I started the removal method. That is to remove everything that I suspected caused acne and then slowly add them back to find the cause.

Thankfully, hormonal acne was ruled out and my blood reports were normal too. I stopped the intake of salmon, removed dairy from my diet, stopped using all the anti acne creams/face wash. Then from January this year, I started applying Duac  – (Clindamycin (1.2%) and Benzoyl Peroxide (5%), as prescribed by the doctorDuac was very effective in drying the acne, but not so effective in removing scars. 

The removal of dairy slowed down the growth of acne but they were still not completely gone. 

The last step was to remove the foundation from my daily use. I don’t use much makeup, just a moisturiser, foundation and compact powder. I had been using this foundation for over two years now. After I stopped using this foundation, the ugly red bumpy pimples completely stopped appearing. That was two months ago.

Since I wasn’t convinced that my foundation was the culprit, I started using it again … and lo behold … two big pimples appeared on my face. Bad move… totally bad move! I was so disappointed to know that it was my favourite foundation that caused this.

The pimples are all gone now, but the scares remain. 🙁 Hopefully, the scars will be gone in few months.

I have slowly started consuming dairy products again, keeping in check the health of my skin.


My skin care routine is very simple. I don’t experiment much now – no more snail and placenta face masks 😛

Drinking loads of water : Even though I end up going to the bathroom 200 times a day.

Steaming:  I found this accidentally, when I had to do steam inhalation day and night due to cough. My skin actually started looking healthy and rosy after steaming. So these days, over the weekend, you would find me in the kitchen, hovering over a boiling pot of water, with a big towel covering my head.

Washing my face twice a day – unfailingly.

And sometimes, I rub a lemon on my face, along with some turmeric or besan (chickpea powder).

How to get rid of acne


Please let me know in comment section if you know of any effective natural ways that can help me to get rid of these acne scars.


Ringing the Gratiude Bell last Saturday, grateful that I finally got one mystery resolved 🙂

Update : Added an image of a clearer skin.


22 thoughts on “Skincare: How I Sherlock’ed my Acne !

  1. I really liked the title of your post! It’s really a task to figure out what exactly causes pimples and acne. I rarely use makeup, so that’s a no-brainer. I once used a mix of apple cider vinegar and water for blackheads on my nose, and magically all the pimples started disappearing from all over my face. I tend to get pimples once in a while, and then applying toothpaste on it works wonders!

  2. I have heard chocolate is good for the body skin, i don’t know about how it is for the face. Anti oxidents, take stuff that have anti-oxidents that would make your skin look young, that should help. The foundation was the cause of those ugly red pimples…who would have thought!! …really a mystery solved!!

  3. Touchwood! I have hardly had acnes my life. 🙂 But thanks for the tips. It will be useful for my sister. I love your lively happy face, Raj however free or not your face is from acne.

  4. Rajlakshmi…. remember I had mentioned this on an earlier post of yours too??? Have been suffering from this strange acne on my forehead and around my temples… I tries practically all regime but allt hat happened was they got bigger and more red….

    I finally changed my shampoo and wont say it disapperead but it atleast reduced it considerably and more dont seem to be erupting.. But yes they have left behind terrible scars and my forehead seems to have darkened too. I havent tried steaming.. Maybe I should

  5. I feel your pain and am glad you found the source of your breakouts. Maddening, isn’t it? A few years ago, I started getting a similar reaction after eating nuts or anything containing nuts. This sensitivity has also spread to sulfites now! (used as a preservative in wine). Thanks for the reminder about steaming, something I used to do regularly. Great tip about the lemon. turmeric/besan, also.

  6. I know what you mean. Skin misbehaving is the worst thing ever * envelopes you in a hug *
    I am glad you got to the root of the matter though, that is the best way to deal with skin issues.
    Green Moong Dal powder used as a face wash, instead of soap on my face, helps me immensely . Do give it a go as it has no side effects. You could find the post on my blog.

  7. Will you Yoga-Kick me if I repeat the quote, ‘The scars maketh the person’ ? 😛

    Okay, okay. You know what I mean. While it’s quite simple to say that we are well and truly beyond acne, rashes and the rest, there is a certain unrest that until we find a suitable explanation for something that has magically appeared. }

    Glad you figured what it was. And here’s to better skin and a more happier, positive you.

    I have no solutions for acne or scars, unfortunately

  8. Pimples are a complete mystery to me because I never got one even during my teens. I see some of them on my son’s forehead though. Will need your tips for him and I hope he has the patience for it.

  9. That was really some kick ass Sherlock work you did there.
    Well, perhaps you can try applying coconut oil on your scars before going to bed. They say it’s very good in removing scars. I don’t use anything except a cream on my face. So, I cannot recommend you anything that might be useful. But try the coconut oil, many have recommended me that for the burn marks, scars on my thighs but I have been lazy.

  10. Wow! That was a really methodical approach to nailing down the problem. Well done. I never had acne even when I was a teenager but of later around my periods, I see some pimples rising. Luckily, they go away on their own and don’t leave scars. I like your skincare regimen.

  11. My acne are hormonal. I am sick and tired of it. With age, they are multiplying. I feel the Curious Case of Benjamin Button where teenage days are returning, and how! I can’t get rid of them till I solve the root cause. But I know a good remedy for scars, try tea tree oil. Dilute it and apply with q-tip on scars twice a day. It works.

  12. Aww…bad skin problems can really affect your morale! I have this awful skin pigmentation that docs declare is genetic aka no remedy….sigh!! For scars my grandmom used to highly recommend red sandalwood or raktchandan paste. See if you can get hold of that.

  13. Glad you were able to find the culprit for your acne after ruling out different things. You are such a beautiful young woman with a lovely spirit so a bit of acne will never diminish that fact. Your beauty radiates from the inside out. Always remember that! I’m sure you do since you are sensible lass with a loving heart.

    It’s been a while since I suffered acne but I still get the occasional pimple. I can’t wear mascara any more. It irritates my eyes and never used to before but my eyelashes have changed since menopause. They were always sparse but now they’re practically nonexistent. I’ve stopped wearing foundation and rouge, too and used to wear it daily in my work days. Au naturel is my motto these days. Take me as I am!

    Now my irritants are excessive coarse facial hair and wrinkles. Always something at every age, eh? Haha! So delightful!

  14. Well, I hate to rub this in.. but I am free from acne and pimples since I crossed 21. Thankfully. My face used to be full of them and I used to empty tubes of clearasil, apply loads of besan, chandan, rose water and what not. hope the problem is resolved for you.

  15. So for the last couple of months, I’ve noticed a sudden appearance of acne on the right side of my face. Just yesterday, four new (bloody painful) ones have popped up and I can’t even rest my face on my palm. It’s hurting so bad. I don’t know if I can give up dairy (but maybe I should), and I don’t use makeup (not by choice but mostly cos I don’t get the time 😛 ) so I don’t know what the culprit is in my case 🙁
    I’ll try steam and let you know how that works out.

  16. I’m plagued with hormonal acne and it kills me. I have pimples, scars and pits all over my face. Acne in your 30s is such a pain. But just like you I have found out the triggers and stayed away from them. Skin’s got a lot better since then. But PCOD has ruined it for me 🙁

  17. You won’t believe this but this is EXACTLY what i am going through at the moment. Don’t laugh! I know you think my skin is flawless etc etc but the close up mirror shows the truth. I haven’t slept well in the last few days and my face has broken out like… I don’t know, a crater??

    I love your tips and am going to try them out ASAP. Already doing the steaming at the moment, because, hello bad-cough-cold-fever-throat-infection-in-my-body!

  18. That’s interesting about foundation…which brand was it? I tend to get pimples when I’m hormonal and last year when I was stressed and eating poorly. Maybe I should reconsider make up too and try the steam inhalation which I need to do anyway for my sinuses.

  19. Just what I needed, Raj. I was desperately looking for a remedy for my son who’s just turned 13 and suddenly has scores of little red spots sprouting all over his forehead and nose. I’ve seen his pediatrician who thinks its normal for him to have acne at this age. I never ever had acne myself, so I have no clue how to deal with this. Will try turmeric powder and sandalwood paste and see if it works. Happy to know you’ve found out the root cause for yours. I’ve been told that applying sandalwood paste and leaving it overnight on them also works. Will try and see.

  20. Thanks for the tips. Will come in handy soon. I have a very pimple-loving face. 😀 But already drinking lots of water. Need to try the lemon and the washing face twice a day.

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