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My Acne Journey and How It Affected My Self-esteem

It’s hard to build self-esteem when you look in the mirror and despise everything you see. Looking in the mirror and picking yourself apart from every single blemish to the way your natural features are shaped. Growing up I never felt confident in myself because of my acne, which made its star appearance in 6th grade and still follows me to this day. 

Acne is different for everyone. Some individuals have hormones that may cause them to experience more severe acne compared to others. 

Personally, I struggled with more severe forms of acne. The different types of acne include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. 

I remember throughout middle school I tried product after product in an effort to reduce my acne. I tried products my friends and family recommended. When trying a new product I always thought “Okay this one has to work because they have clear skin so if it works for them it has to work for me”. 

Sure enough, after using each product for weeks there was no difference, and after every product, I was moving to the next one. A cycle that continued for years on end. 

As a young preteen, everyone said that my acne was normal, that I was going through puberty, and I was becoming a woman. But every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to cry because I felt that my acne had consumed every part of my face. 

My acne became severe to the point where it hurt to simply touch my face. I recall when my friends who had clear skin picked themselves apart over a small, insignificant pimple stating “Ugh I have a fat pimple, I feel so ugly”.  

I understood that every young girl has insecurities and I knew that they had no ill intention towards me when they said that. But a part of me felt even worse about myself because they had one small pimple while I had what felt like a million on my face.

This is a picture of my acne when I was in 7th grade.

A product that worked significantly for me was one I could not get in the United States. My godmother knew I struggled with acne and brought me a new product to try from Mexico. This treatment helped my acne significantly, but it didn’t make a difference through the several years I was using it. 

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and wearing masks 24/7 made my acne worse. 

I knew that it was time I went to a dermatologist and seek a proper treatment that would help my skin. My dermatologist put me on two treatments and those have truly helped my acne and acne scars slowly clear. 

I feel more confident in my skin and no longer belittle the girl I see in the mirror. 

Acne is not something that people should be ashamed of but if you have struggled with severe forms of acne you know well that it becomes a big part of your appearance that you aren’t proud of. 

Everyone is beautiful with or without acne and I wanted to share how it affected me growing up. I wish I could go back and comfort my preteen self by telling her things would get better with time. 

If you are struggling with your self-esteem because of your acne do not let it consume you. If you only focus on your acne it will seem as if you have no other beautiful features. 

Your acne is only temporary, focus on the permanent things. Compliment the other beautiful natural features that make you up.

I also want to include a disclaimer that everything I wrote about was my personal feelings towards myself and a reflection of my acne growing up.

This is how my acne is doing now. There are still scars and blemishes on my face, which are completely normal, and I have learned to accept and move forward from it. I do not let them consume me anymore. 

Share your acne journey or your favorite skincare products @HerCampusSJSU

Hello, my name is Ariana and I am a sophomore at San Jose State University. I am a business major and in my free time, I love weightlifting at the gym. Let's be friends! Instagram: axoliva
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