The good and bad news is that adult acne is extremely common - something Holly Byrne knows all too well.
The 23-year-old has been suffering from severe breakouts since she was a young teenager. She's tried topical home remedies, over-the-counter medications and antibiotics - all to no avail.
“The worse it got, the worse I felt," she told Women's Health. "It got to the point where I was like, I don’t even want to go out. I wouldn’t go to functions or I'd have an event and I wouldn’t want to go or socialise.”
Holly described her acne as “painful, awful and persistent.” It had a major effect on her self-esteem and was, undoubtedly, a strong contributor to her depression and anxiety. The only time Holly saw an improvement was when she started taking the contraceptive pill. But, after a while, she wanted to give her body a break from the added hormones.
That's when Holly's skin condition went from bad to worse.
First, her doctor prescribed a topic gel called Epiduo, but this merely made her face feel “really angry, red and flakey." Next, she tried an antibiotic called Doxycycline.
“Doxy didn’t work so then they doubled my dosage which made me feel extremely nauseous. It started to clear up a little bit but there was no dramatic difference," she recalled.
Finally, she went to a dermatologist for a second opinion. It was there that she received a script to purchase Roccutane - a strong retinoid-based medication. But while this treatment sounded promising for Holly, the potential mental health side effects terrified her:
“I held onto the script and had it floating around in my bag thinking, do I? Don’t I?”
In the meantime, Holly decided to look into a probiotic to counter-act what the antibiotics had been doing to her gut health. This is when she discovered The Beauty Chef's Glow Inner Beauty Powder, a certified organic, food-based probiotic.
“After being on the beauty drink for a few weeks, I went into the chemist to cash in on my script on Roaccutane. They didn’t have it in stock so I thought ok. I think that’s a sign. I’m disregarding this," she said.
Miraculously, after just four weeks Holly began to see a dramatic difference in her skin. Her acne began to clear and the irritation became less obvious.
“When I started taking glow I didn’t only see improvements in my skin. My hair, gut health and general digestive system really improved too.”
Holly has now been using the product for 12 weeks and the changes are undeniable: her skin is visibly clear, smooth and free from blemishes.
With the results speaking for themselves, Holly now uses a number of products from The Beauty Chef range, including the Cleanse Powder and Collagen Booster.
“I think starting now in my early twenties will help slow the ageing process - well I hope so anyway," she said. "There is nothing worse than having pimples and wrinkles at the same time, it's just the most unfair combination.”