Like many other teens, I have suffered with acne throughout my years of growing up. It began at the age of 12 with small red spots that just used to occur on my forehead, which I then proceeded to cover up with a huge greasy semi Justin Bieber like fringe for far too many years. Then as time went the spots on my forehead started to get bigger, I started developing tiny red spots on my shoulders and upper back and eventually, when I was around 17 years old, they began to appear on my chin and cheeks. At around 18 years old my acne was at its worst, making me feel uglier than ever.
It wasn’t something that constantly upset me. I had my good days and my bad days. There wasn’t ever a moment that I’d stare in the mirror and think that my skin looked good but I always had the comfort of expensive high end foundations and concealers. I never went out without them on. Even if I just needed to pop to the shops or go to the gym I always made sure my face was caked and covered beforehand. Therefore because I had this ‘solution’ to my problem, I never felt a need to see a doctor or dermatologist despite my mother constantly pestering me to do so.
I did however try many different skin products from creams to cleansers. No product that I’ve tried has been perfect (although sudocream, The Body Shop tee tree face mask and the Lush Coffee face mask and scrub have come close) but nevertheless there are products that have definitely helped to treat my spots and make my skin softer and brighter. I’ve tried both high and low end products and honestly, the high end products aren’t worth it! The best products I’ve found are the ones that are most natural and kind to your skin, which hasn’t necessarily been the more expensive products out there.
Luckily since starting university my skin has become surprisingly clearer. I’m not sure why, possibly because of my change in diet, but nevertheless I am not complaining and I am certainly happier. It’s not perfect, I still get the odd spot here and there but so far they haven’t been as stubborn as they used to be. I’m also still not comfortable enough to go out without makeup on due to scarring and dark under eye circles (which is a whole other story!) but I’m happy enough for my flatmates to see me makeup free which is something at least.
The reason I decided to write this post and reveal my journey with acne is because of a recent documentary I watched on the BBC about vlogger Katie Snooks’ acne journey. As I watched it, I can honestly say I found it a little heartbreaking and it make me feel a little guilty also. Here I am with the odd red spot here and there complaining that I am hideous because of it when there are others out there who have had far worse and even painful experiences. Some of the people in the documentary have had to resort to various rounds of antibiotics and pay hundreds of pounds for various other treatments in the hope that they can finally look ‘normal’.
When I was 17 years old, I was so self conscious about my face that I used to get annoyed a my best friends for always snapchatting me just after I’d taken my makeup off as I couldn’t bare to let any of them see my natural skin. Now, at the age of 19, I dismay my younger self because lets be honest, it was all vanity. When I look back at my former self it is clear that in the grand scheme of things, my skin wasn’t bad at all. Of course I could argue that it was down to lack of confidence and low self-esteem that I felt uncomfortable with my friends seeing my skin but nevertheless, they were my friends. They loved me regardless. The majority of them had their own troubles with acne.
My point here is, so what if you have a few spots here and there? Everyone gets spots. Everyone has blemishes. Everyone has something about them that they hate. If you feel like wearing makeup to make you feel more confident then go for it, but don’t feel compelled to try and hide or fix your skin for the sake of trying to be accepted. You are accepted, whether you have spots or you don’t. Don’t let acne define you or take up your worries. You’re beautiful regardless, so don’t let a few stupid spots make you think otherwise.