1. Being afraid you’ll wake up and it’s 2008 again
I’m still amazed every time I wake up and there isn’t a Nestle Crunch bar manufacturing itself on my forehead. Even though I haven’t had acne for about two to three years, every time I wake up in the morning and flip on the mirror to my bathroom I expect to see my skin via 2009. I always have to constantly remind myself that my hormones are no longer at war with my face and I can now rest easy…at least for now.
2. Being terrified to touch your face
Or scratch a zit, pop a puss-filled pimple, put makeup over the open wound etc. It may just be me but after years of making this mistake only to have the pimple morph into a gross double-faced monster I now subconsciously never touch my face. The minute I found out that one of the causes of my acne was resting my cheek on my palm, I never went back. It gives me anxiety just THINKING about it.
3. Appreciating others still suffering
It’s like a silent club. Even though I no longer have such bad acne, for some strange reason seeing someone who is still having issues with their skin is soothing. I realize that most of the time I barely even notice it and especially don’t think it’s as big a deal as I thought it was in high school. Actually, I think it’s beautiful. Nobody has perfect skin and for awhile I thought I was the only human alive with such bad acne. But seeing people with acne and how their smile or eyes shine through it reminds me that my one pimple isn’t going to end the world.
4. Freaking out over one pimple
But on the other hand I still sometimes freak out over my one period pimple I seem to get each damn month. But I almost think it’s just instilled anxiety. For some reason I fear it will spread like a disease and that one pimple will turn into two…then three, then next thing I know I’m seventeen again being called pizza face, crying as I slather proactive over my skin (that stuff never worked for me though)
5. Always feeling like you still have acne
It’s almost like how after someone loses a lot of weight they are still afraid to wear a bikini or show their loved one their new body. After SO many years of having a boxing match with my own skin and so many years of comments about how bad my skin was, I still think it’s bad. I still get scared that when someone is looking at my face all they are looking at is my non-existant acne. It’s crazy how long it takes to actually have it sink in: my skin is clear now…actually clear.
6. Skin rituals
I think everyone who has ever suffered from bad acne and overcome it has some form of skin ritual that they swear is what cured it. For me it’s not touching my face, not wearing too much makeup, washing my face with special soap and using a toner and face wash my brother suggested. Even if that’s not what is actually keeping my skin clear (it may just be acne angles sprinkling clear-dust on me at night) I still ritualistically perform my process at night and in the morning. I even avoid eating a lot of junk food and milk because I read somewhere that it can cause acne.
7. Appreciating clear skin more
People who have never had bad acne just don’t understand. They take for granted their baby bottom smooth skin. Us acne sufferers know just what it took to have DECENT skin; the hard work and grueling effort. Now I make it an effort to give my skin the time of day, always. I understand the importance of treating my skin like I would an actual new born baby. I guess one plus of once having bad acne is that in the end, we will have better skin, from years of just trying to get it to be pimple-free.