My Acne Story has been one of the more popular posts on my blog. Once in a while, someone will email me asking me the details to the Dermalogica clinic I went to and I email them back, but I’ve NEVER read back on that post because I didn’t want to remember that time. It’s now four years since I wrote it and I just re-read it and it definitely brought up a lot of emotions.
Having acne was undoubtedly a pivotal moment in my life. It changed my life drastically…for the worse. I forgot who I used to be- someone who loved fashion, dressing up, looking nice, going out, meeting people etc. My self-esteem took a hit and never recovered. None of those things describe me now and that makes me feel a little sad. I used to think things like dolling yourself up was just superficial and “vain” but now I realise it’s important to look after yourself. Because when you feel good on the outside, it makes you feel better on the inside too. The main thing is that looks don’t consume your entire life. For example, if you’re spending more time at the gym or in front of the mirror than your partner then maybe that’s not terribly healthy. It’s all about balance.
Six years on from first overcoming cystic acne, my skin is still not perfect for sure. I still get the occasional breakout but at least cystic acne is a thing of the past. I still go back to that Dermalogica clinic for a couple facials every time I visit my hometown, but I admit I’ve actually stopped using Dermalogica products because it got too expensive to keep up with.
After overcoming acne with Dermalogica, my skin sensitivity reduced and I felt like I needed to move on to a daily facial scrub. I started using Garnier Pure Active 3-in-1 and it worked incredibly well for me. I also like that it makes a quick mask which is so important when you’re time poor. In fact, it’s worked so well for me that once I couldn’t find it anywhere in the supermarket and started using another face wash and had a major breakout.
For moisturiser I felt I needed something really light so I started using Simple Light Moisturiser. These products have been my staple for the last few years. I also use facial wipes and a toner but I’ve found it doesn’t seem to really matter which brand I use for those products. For foundation I still use Young Blood which is a mineral makeup.
I think regular extractions are still key to preventing breakouts. This just basically involves squeezing out congestion (after a shower is best obviously) before they become inflammed and develop into a pimple (they appear as whiteheads or little bumps under your skin). It’s terribly hard for me to keep up with it though as most of the time I’m just rushing to get changed after a shower so I can get back to the kids…or I’m exhausted and want to sleep. But I try to do it when I remember…which is not very often but often enough I guess.
If you suffer from bad skin, I hope that one day, like me, you’ll find what works for you. I know it’s not easy having acne and I hope that you still try to remember the awesome person you are and not let this problem affect you. In hindsight I would have worked on other aspects of my life to keep me afloat through that period instead of shutting down like I did. I would recommend still doing all the things that make you feel alive be it keep up with friends, exercising, travelling…even going for workshops and classes for a certain skill. You might feel like shutting out the world but if you do that, it kills your soul and then you will later have to go about picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild yourself like I am doing now. It’s hard but try to just keep doing things that help grow your character and that will help you focus on the bigger picture.
Good luck on your journey!