I’ll be the first to tell you: breakouts suck. For the last few years (yes, I said YEARS), I have struggled with hormonal breakouts. These usually happen along the jawline, cheeks, and chin, and aren’t able to be healed with a quick dab of drying lotion or another topical potion. This type of acne comes in the form of big, painful bumps under the skin that last for not days, but weeks at a time. It can destroy your self-confidence and makes you insanely self-conscious, to the point where you don’t even want to leave the house because sometimes, not even your entire drawer of makeup can cover it up.
To add icing to the cake, I have incredibly sensitive skin, so even a tiny pimple leaves a red mark. Hormonal breakouts wreck my face. I’ve just recently been able to get rid of scars that I had from breakouts years ago, and let’s just say it wasn’t fun.
The worst part about having acne in your mid-twenties is the misconception that this is the time of your life when your acne is supposed to go away so you can worry about ‘adult’ stuff – you know, finding a job, buying a house, getting married. Adulthood is supposed to be stressful, but not because you can’t leave the house without makeup on.
I can go for months with perfectly clear skin, finally thinking my acne woes are gone once and for all, and then BAM, my face is covered in angry red spots that suck away my confidence and leave me feeling vulnerable and embarrassed. After all, your face is the first thing people see. When it’s covered in bumps and spots, all you want to do is hide it.
I used to spend hours upon hours searching the internet for a miracle cure that would make this go away. I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I’ve been on juice cleanses, I’ve eaten only apples for days, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on creams and washes that swear to make it all disappear overnight. I’ve wondered what in the hell I did so wrong to deserve less-than-perfect skin.
What I’ve learned, though, is that acne has nothing to do with who you are as a person. The bump on your left cheek isn’t revenge for that time you stole $5 out of your grandma’s wallet. It’s because your body – your unique, precious, one-of-a-kind body – is genetically different than anyone else’s in the world.
And sometimes that means that you have to deal with bad skin. Or love handles that won’t go away no matter how many hours you spend at the gym. Or a slightly crooked nose. Or anything else you think makes you so damn different and less “perfect.”
If there’s one thing my acne has taught me, it’s that no one – and I mean no one – is perfect. Those skinny models with flawless figures and faces you see on Instagram? They have bad days too, and chances are their photos are heavily photoshopped. Hate to break it to you, but we live in a world where with the click of a button on an app you can get rid of every flaw you’ve ever tried to hide.
Don’t get me wrong – having breakouts frickin’ blows. And I’m not above editing out a pimple here and there. But, believing that there’s something wrong with you because you have breakouts isn’t right, and it doesn’t help anything. Loving yourself less because of a few pimples isn’t doing anyone any good – especially yourself.
If there’s one thing I want to get across with this post, it’s this: you aren’t alone. And breakouts or not, you’re the most beautiful person you could possibly be.
PS – I’ll be posting about what’s working for me right now soon! Stay tuned. XO