I have been dealing with Acne for a long time, and by a long time, I mean over 7 years. This constant battle has spanned middle school, high school, and college. When I was younger, I felt like I was the only person who had acne, and even some of my friends would point out if I had a particularly big zit on my face. I have tried basically everything that you can for acne. I tried all the topical creams, skincare systems, oral medications, but nothing ever consistently helped me.
During my freshman year of high school, my acne was all over my forehead. I used to cry when looking in the mirror while doing my makeup. I just felt so ugly. I didn’t know anyone else who struggled with acne, so I just felt like I was doing something wrong. Over the years, I have had periods of time where my skin cleared up and then would break out again (especially during that time of the month!).
When I came to college, my skin started acting up again. Throughout my freshman and sophomore year, I continued to have breakout after breakout in different places each time. Normally if your breakouts are exclusively in one area, it can be easier to identify the problem, but not in my case.
When quarantine started back in March, I decided that this would be the perfect time to ‘clear up my skin’. After all, I would be wearing makeup less frequently and had more time on my hands to perfect my routine. As I started trying new products and treatments, my skin freaked out worse than it ever had before. I started getting a lot of deep and painful pimples mainly in the t-zone area of my face. I knew with some of the products I had been using a ‘purge’ of my skin was happening, but the purge went on for too long. During this time, I couldn’t even look at people other than my family, because my confidence had dropped. Even if I covered up my acne with makeup, the texture and bumps on my skin were too prominent for me to gain confidence back. My sister who is studying to be a nurse told me that acne really is a medical problem and that I needed to seek my primary doctor’s advice. My doctor put me on an acne regimen to help clear up my skin. I am now one month into my regimen and my skin is definitely clearing up. I have very pigmented acne scars on my face, but I am so happy that my active breakouts are lessening by the day.
If you are struggling with acne, here are some tips that helped me:
- It’s not about curing your acne, it’s about managing it well – For so many years I believed that you can cure acne, but over the past few months I learned that acne (especially if it is reoccurring) is not curable, but treatable. Managing your acne and getting it under control is the goal, not getting rid of it completely.
- Try to live a little bit healthier – Believe it or not, the foods that you eat can affect your skin. I have incorporated much more fruits and veggies into my diet and cut back on the sugar. More specifically I learned that leafy greens and antioxidant fruits can help with the skin. I also work out more often now, and I think staying active and hydrated is very important.
- Seek help from your Doctor / Dermatologist – Doctors have studied skin and know how to treat it medically. They will help you find the best course of action for your skin.
- ACNE IS NORMAL – Rather recently I found that acne positivity is a movement on social media that has been circulating. It made me realize how many women and men struggle with acne. Even if you don’t know anyone struggling with acne, looking at these social media posts can show you how many other people do. I will repeat again, ACNE IS NORMAL.
I just wanted to remind anyone reading this, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Acne does not make you ugly. You are stunning and need to remember that. Love yourself and remember that with or without acne, you are still beautiful.