Too much sun? Diet? Hormones? Allergy? Sand?
Just after coming to Dubai, specifically, right after summer started, I had mild acne appearing in the left side of my forehead. It is a cause of panic because I haven’t had pimples after turning 14. I had visibly clear skin while in Japan (come on, some witnesses come forward please!) and waking up with some unsightly zits is not a joke, at my age now! I am 30, too old for puberty breakouts yet too young for hormone-driven menopausal symptoms!
Though never a makeup person, I follow strict skin cleansing regimen. I don’t use soap for my skin, always a mild face wash, follow it up with a toner and then moisturizer. I exfoliate regularly, drink lots of water, take vitamins and never slept later than 11 pm. I can confidently go out without a tinge of foundation.
Desperate to seek help but too preoccupied with seeing a dermatologist, I begin to self-medicate. I bought Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser as it promised to wipe out acne with its 2% Salicylic Acid solution. Effective, yet gentle it proclaimed on its label.
What happened next was, the morning after, my face was red and dry, flaky and worse, swollen! I looked like Mohammad Ali after a boxing bout.
I am allergic to most makeup and could only buy a few chosen products so most probably I had a terrible allergic reaction to the face wash. I need to consult a dermatologist because detecting the underlying cause is a medical responsibility. I am never going to experiment again.
Note: So many expat women in Dubai claim to develop pimples/acne after they came here. Looks like I am not alone in this dilemma. Doesn’t make me feel or look better, though.