Sunday, September 3, 2017

5 Years of Acne - My Acne Story

I've had oily skin and acne since as long as I can remember. At first, I didn't really notice the bumps on my forehead till my teachers and classmates started pointing it out. I didn't really have anyone tell me to not touch it so I didn't think it would do any harm. So I did touch my forehead a lot and try to "extract" the small bumps on my forehead. I was lucky enough to have it only on my forehead...but not for long. The acne became worse, red, weird.

I didn't do anything about it because I thought it would just go away after a few months or a year because it was probably hormonal. I was around 12 years old at this time. 

But it didn't go away after a few months or even a year. It just became worse and worse and worse. It eventually spread to my cheeks and jawline. The acne basically took over my entire face.

I was very bothered by my acne. People kept asking me what happened to my face as if I intentionally covered my face in the dirt to spawn these little devils on my face. 

At this point, I kind of got used to touching my face and it didn't help my situation at all. I had acne and acne marks/spots all over my face. It became worse when I was stressed (for example, during exams) because I touched my face, even more, when I was. People immediately noticed when my acne flared up. That wasn't the problem, though. They told me. That was the worst. Friendly tip if you have a friend or know someone with acne: Don't tell them, they already know!

Everyone has a mirror, and those who have acne probably already look in the mirror a lot of times during the day hoping for their acne to go away or getting stressed out about new acne.
All you are going to do by telling someone that their acne looks worse from the last time you saw them is make them not want to talk to you and reduce their self-esteem. In my case, it didn't matter when my close friends pointed it out (I guess because we already insulted each other for fun so this didn't have an effect). There's a difference between a concern and an unnecessary comment that doesn't actually help. 

People also just assumed a lot. They assumed that I didn't take care of my skin. I understand a lot of people don't realize that they aren't taking enough care of their skin despite having acne, but that was not my case. I literally tried every facewash and cleanser there was for acne-prone/oily skin. I tried to stop touching my skin for at least a few days (before giving in and then trying again) but it obviously didn't work. People also assumed that I was getting acne because I was angry (????). I get it, I was a teenager and I was moody (however, people assumed that even if they didn't know me well) but honestly how do you expect me to manifest a face full of acne because of my teenage tantrums?! It was ridiculous.

I had severe (but not that severe. I was lucky enough to not have very red, large acne. It was spots and small acne which is still bad but I'm grateful it wasn't worse) acne for a good few years and it made me frustrated and anxious. Sometimes, I didn't want to go out because of everyone pointing out what was obviously visible to me. What frustrated me further was that no matter how many times I cleansed/washed my face, there wasn't even the slightest improvement.

At this point, I started developing "bacne" (back acne) and it also spread to near my collarbones and shoulders. I tried back polishing and face clean-ups too, but all in vain. What I thought was just a temporary hormonal imbalance that would go away on it's on in a year or so stayed with me for a lot longer.

In 2016, I went through a very tough time that I've told only a few people about. The entire year was bad for me and it was the lowest point of my life thus far. The fact that I had my face to worry about didn't help with my newly-developed anxiety and it just became worse. When I pulled myself out of this phase in my life, I decided I didn't want my face to have even 1% control over my day/mood and I started by strictly not touching my face at all and continuing the search for a face wash that did help my face even in the slightest way possible. Today, I am so grateful to have almost no acne spots on my face and rarely occuring acne. My skin is still oily, and my hormones are still changing - those two factors are something I cannot do much about. But, the degree to which my skin has improved is so amazing and I am so happy even though my skin isn't 100% perfect. Honestly, after having so many years of acne, this is like the best deal. Of course, I will continue to try and improve my skin quality and there is work to do still. The healing process is a plateau graph; steep increase at first and then steady.

Most people will only give you the following two pointers as "advice":

↣ Wash your face twice a day
↣ Don't touch your face and don't pick at the acne

But the truth is, that isn't enough for everyone. I was made to think that it was my fault that the acne got so "out of control" and that it was my fault because I didn't take care of my skin. That was simply untrue. And if you are dealing with acne right now that will not go away for the love of god, click the link below to see how I finally got rid of my acne!

If you want to know what my regimen/routine is currently to keep my face clear, head on over to this post:

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