My Acne Story16:54
The other day someone said something to me, something that was definitely a first for me. They complimented my skin! I was completely taken back by this and didn't know how to reply - I kind of just lightly laughed and gave a small smile. Their comment made me realise how much my skin has improved over the past year. So, with a cup of tea by my side, a spotify playlist playing and a neighbours very annoying barking dog, I thought I'd share my acne story.
I am no expert, I am just sharing my experience and what worked for me. Also, I thought I'd just mention that I didn't include any before and after pictures as I never took any pictures before as I didn't feel comfortable - although I wish I had, to see the difference.
It all began around the age of 12, during the time of puberty, which is completely normal and at this stage I wasn't phased by the change in my skin. At first it was a few blackheads around my nose and the odd one or two white heads on my forehead. However, a few months down the line and I began feeling as though my nose was being taken over by blackheads - it sounds silly, but there was practically no patch on my nose that wasn't filled with blackheads. It was at this point I began feeling more aware and slightly self concious, but I didn't jump into finding a solution to clearing them.
Around the age of 13/14, I notice girls at school were beginning to wear make up and at my school about 60% of these girls didn't exactly choose wearing it natural and light. Instead they caked it on, they had 'lovely' orange complexions and nice thick spidery lashes (you may know the type of image I'm talking about). Luckily, I was a later starter in the area of make up so didn't join this 'trend'. However, as the school year progressed, like previously, my skin gradually worsened and it was now the turn of the white heads to make they spreading advancement. It was around this time that I began buying a whole range of products. Almost every other week I'd be wanting to buy a new cleanser as I thought my current one wasn't working - it was the same with scrubs, moisturisers and masks. Of course I had no clue what I was actually meant to be looking for and once I realised the fact the products weren't working I thought it'd be in my best interest to do some research.
I spent hours trolling across the internet, reading many articles and tips, finding out there are benefits of products containing certain ingredients and learning about how to clear my skin. With my new found knowledge I went out an bought some products and allowed them time to do their work, if after 6 to 8 weeks they hadn't given any results I'd move onto another. But this soon started becoming quite expensive, especially as I'd now started to wear make up (around the age of 15), and I slacked off on my skin care. Which was a big mistake! As I was only removing my make up with wipes, it wasn't thoroughly being removed as I didn't follow up with cleansing and moisturising. I look back and just think ''Why?!''.
Within a few weeks, my skin started to breakout even more, I now began developing those bright red, painful, non headed spots. During this time, I became very self concious and would struggle to look people in the eye if they were talking to me as I sometimes noticed their eyes scan across my face and it felt as if they were almost judging me because of my skin. I slowly stopped seeing friends out of school and turned down invitations to stop over at their houses, it even got to the point where I couldn't even be around my family without make up on. Can I just point out that my skin was by no means classed as severe acne, it was more likely to fit in between mild and moderate.
How I cleared my skin
Thankfully and happily one year on ,from my skin being at its worst, I can say I never suffer from those frustrating, painful spots and rarely find even a minor breakout in white heads.
After my mum telling me countless times that its pointless and they won't help me in any way, I went a spoke to my doctor. I'm actually going to thank James from The Vamps for speaking out about his acne story and how a seeing a doctor helped him. Just before Christmas last year I was prescribed medication for a 6 month period, taking one of these tablets once a day helped massively, though I did still suffer from a blackhead problem. After this time was up I was given a benzoyl peroxide cream to use for a year. 5 months in and it has made such a difference and even the blackheads are clearing up. Obviously as benzoyl peroxide is very drying I make sure to keep my skin care routine aimed towards that too. I would highly suggest that if you are troubled by acne, just go and speak with your doctor. Even if they don't prescribe you with anything they may suggest certain products and sometimes just talking to someone about it helps.
Here is probably a good place to point out that what you think might be blackheads may actually be sebaceous filaments, because I certainly did until reading it on this blog.
I would also say that a small change in what I eat has benefited my skin as well. I've never eaten atrociously bad but probably not always the best and I certainly did not drink enough water.
My tips I stick by
Some of these you may be tired of hearing but that most likely shows they are highly important.
- Don't pick or squeeze!
- Remove make up every night!
- Try to give your skin a break by not wearing make up everyday.
- Be patient, give new products chance to work - about 8 weeks.
- Don't constantly wash or scrub your face.
- Drink more water!
- Change up your diet, cut out those bad foods.
- Remember that everyone experiences acne! You don't need to feel as self concious about your skin troubles as everyone most likely is feeling or has felt the same as you at some point.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” - Bernard M. Baruch