An Acne Story

               Let’s talk about acne. It’s a pretty normal thing, right. I mean, it happens to anyone and everyone. I did not use to take it seriously; pimples come and go. But just recently, I have had an intense battle with acne, a very long one at that. It took me a long while to accept my condition, let alone talk about it, but now, I am going to be sharing with you my acne story.

               I was a very active teenager. I joined all school and church activities. In my early teens, since I was very busy, and teens during those times are not very much into makeup and skin care routines, I really did not take my face too seriously. I had a fairly oily skin, and I had many tiny bumps on my forehead every once in a while. But I’ve always thought it was normal and they will eventually pass.

               High school is a different story. I began to be a little conscious about the way I look. During that time, my mom taught me to use this astringent mixed with a certain capsule I did not know of. What I do know is that it was a very effective cleanser. I was not immune to pimples, but when I did have them, the cleanser easily dried them up and they are gone in one or two days.

               I continued using this cleanser until I reached college. During this time, I have a pretty clear skin. Whenever I had pimples, I would just soak a cotton in my miracle concoction, and place that on my pimple, and the next day it’s gone. I was pretty confident about myself at the time. I did not have to worry about the way I looked. On normal days, I can come to school with just some lipstick and powder, and I would always be good to go.

               When I started working as a high school teacher, I took that confidence in me. I never had to worry that my colleagues or students would judge me, because I thought I always looked fine, at the very least.

               But everything changed one day when I was reading an article online. It was about the harmful effects of the exact solution that I was using on my face since my teen years. The article said the combination was too harsh on the skin. It said continuously using the contents of that capsule mixed with the astringent is bad because it is not meant to be a topical solution. It also said that bacteria in my body might develop antibiotic resistance.

               After reading that article, I went on searching for similar articles on Google. I also watched several YouTube videos, and they all confirm the claims of the first article. At that point, I decided I have to stop using my cleanser to prevent things from getting worse. I knew I should not abruptly stop using the product because I might break-out really badly. So, I transitioned myself into using less and less of the product for a little over a month, until I finally stopped.

               In the beginning, it was fine. I did not have any pimples for a week or so. A few days after that though, I started having small pimples on my forehead and cheeks. I said to myself that my face is just adjusting. But more days went by and my acne problem got worse.

               I started to panic. I am not used to having so many pimples on my face. I started using certain products, and when they don’t show significant change after a couple of weeks, I’ll switch again to another one. And this went on for quite some time. My acne got worse and worse until I got pimples up to my neck and chest. I thought I looked absolutely disgusting.

               Along the way, I started to deteriorate. It began to take so much toll on me I caught myself not functioning properly. I lost my self-confidence. During those times, I cannot go out of the house without putting on a good layer of liquid foundation and powder to cover up my blemishes. I cannot really face my students well, I didn’t want to. I canceled out on so many of my friends’ invitations to go out because I felt so insecure. Even my family would look at me and I could see the look of pity in their eyes. I did not want anyone to see me like that.

               I really wanted to give up. I just wanted to accept that I would have to live that way, covering up my bad acne, and swallowing people’s reactions on how bad my face looked.

               But one day, my boyfriend told me to see her godmother who happened to be an aesthetician. I initially thought it was pointless, but I also thought that there was nothing more that I could lose. So, I went to my first appointment and let her inspect my situation. Here are the things she told me:

  • I was stressed.
  • I had high body heat, and need to drink lots of water and/or exercise.
  • I needed to stop covering up with makeup and let my face breathe.
  • I needed to switch my toothpaste, facial wash, toner, and shampoo with more natural options.
  • I had to stay away from extremely oily and spicy food.
  • I needed to protect my face from dust, especially chalk dust, by wearing a mask as much as possible.
  • I had to stick to a skincare routine.

               I really took all of those things into consideration. From then on, I started to make lifestyle changes little by little. To be honest, though, I haven’t completely healed from having acne. I still have some bumps here and there, and I still have a lit of dark spots and scars to deal with. I know I still have a long way before I can get a clear skin back. I still need to be more consistent about drinking water and sticking with my routine, and all those things. But right now, I can see that there are significant improvements in my skin.

               So, to all the girls and ladies out there who are suffering from bad acne, everything is going to be okay. It is okay to panic and to feel bad, that’s normal. But I just want you to know that one thing is for sure, acne is not a permanent problem. It can be a long and difficult journey, but like everything else in this world, it will pass, too.

Here’s to winning the fight against acne, hopefully, sooner than later!

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