Adult Acne: Learning to Love Myself
By Alyce Eyer
Dealing with acne is not a new battle in my life; more like a constant reality I had to accept from a very early age. Middle school came around, and I became the visceral image of what a geek looked like. I had braces, stringy hair, and acne that refused to be hidden by any amount of concealer I applied. And what was the worst is that the acne products that were advertised worked for everyone else...just not for me. I would see these ads at the beginnings of the Proactive days thinking that was the solution, but little did I know that at the time, that was not for cystic hormonal outbreaks that I had. And due to that it only made my acne worse.
My dermatologist told me it was hormones and there was nothing they could do, and I should just wait until it clears up on its own. I tried every acne face wash and treatment from the time I was 12 to 21, and nothing worked. Now as I am entering my mid-twenties, it's hard not to be furious that it feels like I have been lied to my entire life. While those around me saw their faces clearing, my face seemed to stay the same. Frustrated, I stopped using products altogether and just started to wash my face with my cleanser and was ready to give up.
And that's when it happened. Slowly but surely, my skin began to clear right before my eyes. I was shocked. I went back to my dermatologist, confused as to what happened. She told me that actually due to all of the active ingredients in the products I was using, I was actually irritating my skin more and not adding back in moisture I desperately needed.
That was 2 years ago, and now my skin is brighter than it has ever been. By using products that are vegan and only contain natural ingredients that I can pronounce, my skin feels healthier, happier, and I don't feel an overwhelming desire to cover my face the minute I step out of my house every morning.
The most challenging thing I encountered when dealing with acne was not the physical aspects, but the emotional and psychological stress I felt with the pressures of society and the image of what I was supposed to look like plastered on every magazine. At the same time I gave up the other products, I also decided that it was time to feel and look good for me not for someone else. This gave me a new perspective and helped me in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
With societal pressures, entering into adulthood with acne can be incredibly difficult; however, something that is important to remember is that people can only take your beauty from you if you let them. That is something my mom said to me once, and I now find myself saying it to everyone I know. Don't give others the satisfaction of having the rights over how you feel about yourself. You will see that once you start caring for yourself for yourself, things will begin to clear up in more ways than you may believe.
Have you ever dealt with acne? Write in here and tell us about your experience!