Growing up as a teenager, I suffered from bad skin. Now, this isn’t just one spot here or there. It was the type of skin that made me want to cancel plans and hide at home. It sounds dramatic but it was red, puffy, and not fun. Not just your typical breakout, we’re talking mountains here. All over the face sometimes, or just in one place.
The worst thing about bad acne is it actually hurts, you can’t pop it (don’t pop them!) like a small tiny pimple. You just have to sit there with a big lump on your face and continue with life. I’ve heard the saying of wearing too much makeup with pimples makes you look like an ice cream popsicle. Of course, this didn’t do much for my self-confidence at high school. I would see people with lovely skin and wondered what their secret was.
Working in customer service for most of my teenage years meant people had to look at my face every day. Not to mention under bright fluorescent supermarket lights. So if I had a big old red spot on my forehead, there wasn’t much I could do about it except want to put a paper bag over my head. I felt like people were staring at me, even more, when I didn’t have nice clear skin. It was an inner struggle of having to make eye contact and also wanting to say WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT.
Over the years it has been a struggle to overcome bad skin, and feel more comfortable which is why I guess I’m writing this To help or let other females out there know it is common and you can do something about it. Unless it’s down to hormones and genetics then it can be tough.
Here are a few things I have tried, it really is trial and error. Some are rather embarrassing and others did help. Check them out below.
Benzoyl Peroxide is a cream which is said to get rid of 94% of acne bacteria. As soon as I saw it on the shelf at the pharmacy, I thought I should try it. You can get different percentages with 2.5% being the lowest then going up to 5%, and 10% a bit stronger, depending on the acne. For the first few days, I didn’t see much change. I was impatient I wanted the spots gone!
What I found with this cream is it does get rid of the small spots but any larger and I just didn’t find it very effective. The downside is this cream made my skin sensitive and it often felt like it was sunburnt. Personally, I stopped using this one because it made my skin so dry and irritated. It might work for some people though.
Let me just say Google isn’t always right. There are some very strange home remedy face mask suggestions. When I was desperate at the time it seemed like a good idea to put honey on my face as a cheap remedy. No. It just smelt really nice and was too sticky. Did it help my skin? Probably not. Other fruits, and items in the house I put on my face. I look back and laugh at it now. I can say I don’t use home ingredients anymore.
When I was at University I felt like my skin just wasn’t improving at all. This is when I tried antibiotics to treat acne. Of course, I was told about the side effects, stomach pain, nausea, and all of those scary sounding things. Surprisingly I didn’t experience any of these things except having to be wary of sunlight. I stayed on doxycycline for a year or so at University and it made me feel more confident. It helped with acne that couldn’t be fixed with just cream or face wash. I’m off them now and I highly recommend them for people with severe acne. However, they are only available with a doctors prescription.
Out of all of the supermarket face washes I’ve tried Cetaphil has had the best results. Cetaphil is designed for sensitive skin and made such a difference for my break outs. They have face wash, moisturiser and of course the best product below. I try to only use face wash in the morning and this has really worked for me as well. Although it is in the $10 to $29 price range it is a worthwhile investment.
My favourite way to relax is putting on my face mask from Lush at least once a week. Now I’ve always loved Lush, their products, the smell is glorious. I like to buy their face cleanser and use it in the morning instead of face wash, depending on how my skin is that day. This is my go to cleanser, Herbalism.
Having natural products instead of harsh chemicals is a good way to give my skin a break. What’s even greater is if you bring back your empty pots you can get a free mask. Yeah, I’m a regular customer.
I thought I would throw in another beauty tip. Nurture Oil by Thursday Plantation is an amazing product. It helps with dehydrated skin, and most importantly it gets rid of scars. I bought this oil and use it once or twice a week. I feel this has helped with scars from previous spots and I use it before bed once or twice a week. The best part is it’s all natural ingredients and has a five-star rating.
Take Care of Yourself Inside and Out
I struggled mostly with bad acne from when I was 15 and now I am 23 with clear skin, most days. Pimples don’t disappear over night though, it takes determination and a consistent routine to know what works. While acne is on the outside it can say a lot about the inside of the body. It sounds cliche to say taking care of yourself with the right diet and so on will help. It really does though.
I take vitamins and try to eat as many veggies and fruit as I can, okay well I do try. Eating enough fish, and all those other good things. I do my best to listen to my body and what is telling me, yet sometimes break outs do happen. The good news is it does go away. Either way, don’t let pimples define you, you’re beautiful no matter what! Today I have the clearest skin I’ve ever had and there really is no huge secret to it. Or maybe it’s Maybelline.