Sharing my story with you takes courage, especially when acne has had such an impact on my life from a pretty early age.
It made its debut when I was only 8 years old. At that age it was unusual to have "giant chicken pox" as my classmates liked to call it, on your face. Having oily skin, I particularly got them in my T-zone and did whatever I could to hide them. I would hide them under my crooked home-cut bangs, wear hoods to cover my cheeks, etc. I never had a problem with acne until my friends pointed out I was the only one in the group with it.
Then it became a problem.
Not too long after my acne started showing up, I got my very first period in the elementary school bathroom. I had started puberty way before any of my friends. During this time, my parents were on vacation and my grandmother was watching us. She reassured me that what was happening was very normal and quite a beautiful thing, I was starting womanhood.
Going to the bathroom multiple times an hour caused chatter around the classroom:
Is she okay?
why does she use the bathroom so much?
Soon enough all this unwanted attention caused people to start noticing and pointing out my acne too. I felt like an outcast, I felt ugly, and nobody would like me if I was ugly (so I thought). That's when makeup was introduced. It was my cure, my drug, everything I was looking for was in a small cheap bottle. I couldn't go anywhere without it and if I ran out, I would throw tantrums or even refuse to leave the house. Now that I had found my temporary "cure" I needed to get rid of what was underneath, my search history only consisted of "How to get rid of acne fast" and “How to make your skin look clear." I was obsessed with beauty, I couldn't stand having any red on my face, if it was anything between blush to blemishes I wanted it completely erased from my face. I hated myself without makeup, I remember taking my makeup off one night and using a sharp knife to slice off the pimple bumps to get that smooth look next time I applied the foundation. I had completely lost myself in a need of wanting perfection, I couldn't even go around family without caking myself from head to toe in foundation... Literally.
When 8th grade hit, I was getting compliments left right and center:
you’re so pretty!
how are you so pretty??
I felt great! But deep down I knew it wasn't the real me they were complementing, they only saw what I wanted them to see, and it wasn't me. Eventually I became envious of people with the courage to walk around without it, I envied their confidence. I became ashamed of myself with and without makeup, there was no happiness cure anymore. My parents became worried, they noticed my mental health plummeting, so we went to see the family doctor about it and he prescribed me a strong acne cream, but before prescribing it he reminded me:
Life, it will get worse before it gets better.
I was thrilled to finally have a real chance of getting clear skin, but it took way longer than I anticipated, in fact it took a whole year to finally see results. During the treatment process I experienced extremely flaky red skin, which made it almost impossible to cake in makeup. My first day of ninth grade was horrible, people pointed out my flaky skin more than anyone ever pointed out the acne, and now I had both.
Quarantine hit and I noticed a change in everything, maybe it was because I ate healthier, worked out daily, or was just altogether feeling better. My perspective changed during it, instead of “I'll never get clear skin” it was me visualizing myself with nice skin. I could finally stop worrying about if I had enough concealer, and I could put all my attention towards working on myself. After quarantine I was a whole different person, I was confident, talkative, and didn’t feel like I had to hide my face every time someone talked to me. I was finally my best self, I had motivation, energy, and most importantly, I had happiness.
I hope my story motivates you to keep reaching for your life goals, even if it's as small as clearing up acne.
The universe is your limit.