Pimples, puss, zits, concealer, hydrogen peroxide, naturopaths, scars, coconut oil, scrubs, facials, foundation, ‘all natural’, pH levels, vitamins, dermatologists, hormones, birth control, etc., etc.
If you’ve dealt with acne these words are overkill by now and it’s tiring.
There are several mountains to climb in the battle against acne—if you outgrew your acne or are still struggling with a connect-the-dot face, here are 14 common struggles you’ve probably faced:
1. Buying expensive skin products.
If I put all the money I’ve spent throughout the years on skin products into a jar and counted it all now, I’d have my very own lottery pot. When you become completely desperate and in search for a real change you’ll try anything—even your vegan friend’s weird mixture she got off of Pinterest.
2. Having to listen to people recommend a new product.
You’ve probably tried anything your friends recommended. I think everyone’s got that one friend who has flawless skin but swears by an acne preventing regiment (she’s also that bitch who freaks out over one pimple). But regardless, if she recommended some infomercial microdermabrasion tool or supplement I’ll probably try because, well, what have I got to lose? (other than money, shout out to point #1 again).
3. The neverending should-I-or-shouldn’t-I-pop-it debate.
Timing is definitely key in life and even more important for pimples. There’s a whitehead-to-base flesh ratio that determines it’s ripeness for popping. Pop too early, blood and scars. Wait too long, everyone stares at them like you’re a leper.
4. Having dry skin AND acne somehow.
As if having to combat acne with products that are known to dehydrate your face wasn’t hard enough, throw an already dry, combination prone face into the mix! Good luck trying to kill a pimple without flaking off the first layer of your skin.
5. Makeup really doesn’t have your back.
“Why do you always wear make up? Let your face breathe.”
Sure, if it was that easy trust me I would. It’s a crime against the rules of aesthetics that sometimes even all that makeup can’t cover up your bumps and zits. Sure makeup can reduce redness but it sure as hell can’t suppress this 3-D, golf ball sized pimple which is strategically placed in the middle of my forehead like a unicorn.
6. Struggling to look at yourself in the mirror.
I have to say there were times where after I’ve washed off my four layers of makeup at the end of the day I didn’t even bother to look at myself in the mirror. Sometimes it happened unintentionally and other times not. It just feels really bad to see yourself at your worst especially when lacking control.
7. Avoiding eye contact.
Oftentimes it was a subconscious effort but I found myself hating to look at someone dead in the eyes for too long. It pains me that people have had to see my face in its worst state. I could feel their judgement, even if they weren’t trying to.
“Doesn’t she wash her face?,” “Why does she have such acne at twenty three?”—what I imagined ran through their heads.
8. Strategic hugs.
This was kind of an irrational fear for me but I was very careful with how and whom I hugged in fear that I would leave evidence of my low self esteem infused makeup on their crisp white blouse.
9. Avoiding pool or beach days with friends, dates, and boyfriends.
Avoiding situations where my caked face could be compromised was always awkward. I could never really explain it to someone but imagine having your crush invite you to his beach house/cottage and having to turn down the offer because you were scared they’d see you—the real you.
10. Satan’s souvenir—scars.
It’s bad enough having a raging two week acne flareup but when things finally do calm down, there’s always the lovely memory of every pimple thanks to the scar it left behind. Due to my sensitive skin and olive complexion I was very prone to scarring and so I essentially was always plagued with remnants.
11. PMS + acne = BFFs forever.
What caused #11 two week bitch of a break out to begin with? PMS! Ah, aren’t hormones wonderful. They have this magical ability to have you crying at a cat food commercial while fighting off welt sized zits on all over your face and back, it’s truly riveting how the two work together.
12. Birth control pills, minus the birth controlling part.
Alesse, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Yaz,Yazmin,, Marvelon are just a few I can remember. Not only is taking birth control when you’re not having sex a painful reminder that you’re oh-so-single, they also didn’t work for me and just fucked up my cycles.
13. Wearing certain clothing to conceal bacne.
Can’t forget about bacne, which in the summer can be worse than face acne. You can’t really cover it up like you can with makeup on your face and you’re not even entirely sure how it looks back there. All I know is that everywhere I turn, acne was there.
14. Working out without makeup.
Of course we all look our worst when we’re working up a sweat in the gym but the worst was being so vulnerable and in my skin at the gym. No one wants to be that girl who has airbrushed makeup on while doing 5 lbs curls but you also don’t want to feel like a monster.