How i Conquered Cystic Acne!!!!!

This is my 2nd blog post… it’s a sensitive topic for me but I’m going to try and be as honest and candid as possible.

Preparing to write this I had to put together photos I took of my skin as I went through my battle against acne. Looking at the photos made me feel quite emotional, my skin was bad but my self-esteem was worse. I consider myself an advocate for loving yourself for who you are, so I am embarrassed to admit that I sometimes feel the pressure to constantly look well put together and “pretty???. As a society, we have now generated this unrealistic expectation for women especially to look a certain way to be deemed desirable.


It all started during my second pregnancy. I had Melasma (Facial pigmentation in pregnancy), which wasn’t a big deal at the time, and I didn’t really care so much because I had bigger things to look forward to, like the excitement of meeting my new born. Four months after I had the baby there was still no improvement, I was so impatient and decided to find a quick solution.

A friend of mine had told me about a lady that sold some cream that would treat the pigmentation, of course I jumped at it with happiness, called the Lady and placed my order. I was so excited my problems were finally going to come to an end and I will have my fresh even skin tone back. When I received the product I was a bit skeptical because the packaging was suspect, it had no name and no ingredient list, but oh well nothing was going to stop me from using it.

After a month of using it I had the best results, it did exactly what I was told it would do. The dark areas on my face had lightened up and it gave me a fresh and even complexion. I decided to continue using it…surely I had just discovered the best cream in the world! A couple of weeks later, I had 2 big pimples which I treated with my usual spot removing cream expecting them to disappear in no time…I was so wrong, it just kept spreading. I had never had more than two pimples at any time on my face; I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me, my whole face was covered in red bumps… I hadACNE

Every time I looked in the mirror I laughed, surely my eyes were deceiving me, because this could never be my skin. As far as I was concerned it was all over for me! This really impacted my physical and psychological wellbeing. My self-esteem and confidence dropped. I started to become depressed and seriously unhappy. I would avoid bright lights and looking people in the face for too long, just so that they wouldn’t notice these angry red lumps that erupted on my face. Leaving the house without makeup was out of the question. Just to clarify, these spots were not the typical pimples you get every now and then, these spots were extremely painful, red and very angry.

I decided to see a dermatologist; this was the start of my long experimentation with prescriptions. The first dermatologist put me on tetracycline antibiotic pills. I faithfully took them as prescribed but experienced absolutely nothing. After seeing no improvement, he switched me to doxycycline (another antibiotic), but this also did nothing. After a few months of no results, I added benzoyl peroxide to my routine and my skin improved somewhat, but I was still breaking out daily. Back to the dermatologist I went. He prescribed Retin A and asked that I stop using the benzoyl peroxide while my skin got used to the Retin-A. He warned me that my face might get worse before it got better on the Retin-A. My face got a lot worse, drying and peeling but the Zits were still there. I was on holiday and went to see a different dermatologist who confirmed that the acne was steroid induced. This was shocking because I had never used steroids, but apparently the cream (the one I used to treat my hyperpigmentation) had steroids and my skin was reacting to it. Big news flash…I was just told to continue with the antibiotics.

During this time I had also been doing a lot of research and trying out different products, nothing had really worked so I stopped the antibiotics. My first breakthrough was when I found a product called DUAC (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide). When I started using it, I noticed the Zits started drying out gradually. I also combined using it with these products; Peter Thomas Roth Max complexion correction pads, Peter Thomas Roth Sulphur cooling masque, Peter Thomas Roth Blemish buffing beads, Clinicians Complex Retin A serum (pictures attached). I used all these products religiously for months and eventually I got rid of all the Zits. The next thing was to get rid of the dark spots. I found the Obagi nu derm clear in my opinion the best spot removing cream.



clinicansobagipeter thomas


Today I can thankfully say Acne was a thing of my past, you would never know I suffered from this because my skin is so clear and there are no obvious scars (Thank God). I learnt a lot of lessons.

  • Never buy and use any creams if you do not know the active ingredients. Remember what works for Funmi might be bad for Nneka.
  • Getting rid of acne requires patience, determination, a little trial and error and most importantly perseverance.
  • Most acne treatments take about six weeks to see the slightest results so you have to be consistent.
  • Sun Screen should be your best friend when you are treating acne.
  • Obsessing and constantly being depressed will do nothing to help.
  • The temptation to prick those pimples is real but you have to hold yourself. Remember you conquer your enemies with love!
  • There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

It is difficult for people who have never experienced serious skin problems to understand the extent of the effect it has on your confidence and self-esteem, which is why I decided on publishing this post. I wanted to show you that this is a very common problem and that there are treatments out there that do work.

Till next time, stay beautiful….

16 thoughts on “How i Conquered Cystic Acne!!!!!

  1. Ola says:

    I can soooo relate with this! Pls where can one get the products you listed here in Lagos! Thanks

  2. Tee says:

    Amazing! Your story gives me a lot of hope , looking at your after pictures no one would’ve guessed!
    Could you please do a step by step of how you combined the other products. I am currently using DUAC and I’m a little worried about exfoliating and all. Thanks!

  3. Stephanie says:

    This is particularly funny because I am going through the exact same thing right now. I used the famous “funbact-A??? for a very long time and it gave me such amazing results; my face was smooth and so even toned.. until I decided to quit. I’ve been having recurring breakouts for six months, terribly fierce breakouts.. angry, like our blogger called them lol, terrible hurtful pimples that really messed with my self esteem. I don’t even have any photos because I didn’t even want to immortalize my face in that state. I visited a dermatologist some months back who said I was experiencing rebound steroidal acne because of course funbact-A was on steroids (I had been told that before by the pharmacist who kept selling me the product). She put me on tetracycline tablets, retin-A for night time and benzoyl peroxide in the day. As usual with retin-A, I experienced a purge, but I nevertheless remained patient.. the benzoyl peroxide worked great for my spots though.
    After two months of being patient, I went back to my dermatologist unsatisfied, she put me on an extended dose of tetracycline and told me to continue with the retin-A and BP, she also added sunscreen. I had had enough though, the following week, I went to another dermatologist, he asked me to quit the retin-A and benzoyl. He put me on new cream and facial soap called “acne away???.. these products are amazing!! and no, the packaging wasn’t suspect at all lol. They combat oiliness and acne, I’ve tried products for oily skin in the past but never seen anything like this! it just zaps the oil from the skin without leaving it dry, tight or flaky, or causing any peeling; its great. Now I don’t have to dab my face with tissue like a gazillion times a day, my make up doesn’t melt off either as it used to. And I know quick remedies are supposed to be taken with caution, but this is just day three of my use of these products and I’m witnessing the effects already, but I trust my doctor and the product.
    anyway, not to go off in a tangent, I’m slated for a chemical peel today.. to clear out my pores and further even out my skin tone. wish me luck!
    And please can you tell us where to find the products you used? your skin looks amazing now

    PS: sorry for the long long comment, just felt to share my story

    • Nnennaokoye says:

      wow amazing, it really can put one in a terrible place. glad you found one that works for you. i still use obagi

  4. lynaara says:

    hi, just discovered your blog, please i only want to know where to get the obagi cream as i only want to clear dark spots on my face. thanks

  5. Martha O says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I can definitely relate…
    This is awesome! And I look forward to learning more from your blog!

    What do you now use now that the acne has cleared up?

  6. oby says:

    Thanks for the information…I have crazy white heads! I have tried different products but they always come back …and they itch like crazy!! you also recommend these products you used …if so how can I get them??

  7. MyHairmyBeauty says:

    I LOVE this POST!

    It was Cystic Acne that sent me to skincare academy, yes! it is THAT deep. I absolutely LOVE Obagi and Peter thomas roth products, I am a big fan of cosmeceuticals, they make a difference.

  8. Ndidi says:

    Thank you nnena for sharing. You are beautiful either way. I admire you a lot.
    Already loving your blog.
    I am going to go ahead and order the Peter Thomas cooling mask from sephora and I will let you know how I like it.
    Also for cleaning out pores, I wanted to order a face steamer..has anyone tried it? Is it helpful ?
    Also the only thing about the mask that I was skeptic about is that it contains parabens!! Oh well

    • Nnennaokoye says:

      hi, sorry about my late response, i am not sure about a face steamer. i don’t think you need it….you can use the mask there is nothing wrong or you can use the lush mask that one doesn’t contain paragons!!

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