Saturday, April 19, 2014

Why I Hate My Skin and Why It Hates Me

My skin is my worst enemy, even higher on my list of enemies than squat challenges. I have never had clear skin. I got hit hard with acne around seventh grade and my school wouldn't let us wear foundation, which is a completely other story that I won't get into. This meant that I had to parade around the rest of middle school with a blotchy face and, later, horrendous bangs. I was a hideous little (well--not really little) thing and I attributed it all to my skin.

I tried Clean and Clear, ProActiv, Neutrogena, practically everything that advertised itself as an acne treatment. Everything worked for a little while. For about a month or so after I would use it religiously, my skin would clear up. Then, like clockwork, I'd get acne again and would have to try something new. Eventually, everything stopped working and I wanted to give up.

Going in to high school meant that I could finally wear foundation. Unfortunately, I never knew how to apply and which brands to use, so my experimentation with that led to a lot of bad skin days. It felt more like bad skin years at that point. The issue with putting makeup on over my acne was that it would make it worse, yet I refused to leave the house without something covering it. There was no way to win in this situation.

I tried different dietary methods to try to get rid of my acne. I stopped drinking milk, I cut out soda, I drank the recommended amount of water a day, and generally just started eating better. I saw a little bit of different in my skin for a while, but then like clockwork, it started coming around again. I was constantly frustrated with the state of the skin on my face. It was the cause of many of my breakdowns during high school. I thought I was this horrid, hideous beast who should not have been allowed in public without every imperfection covered.

Origins was a brand that definitely worked for me, and for a lot longer than other brands had. I had a solid run with Origins, but sadly that ended and I resorted to seeing a dermatologist about my ongoing acne problem. They prescribed me with a few different topical treatments since then, varying in "power". The only one I reacted badly with was retinol, which completely dried my face out to the point where it would flake off during the day. In the words of Sara (no h, because h's are #ew), EW.

I still drink a ton of water daily, exercise more frequently, give my skin breaks on days where I don't need to go out. I cleanse my face twice a day and an diligent about applying my topical treatments. I try to reduce my stress levels, but with college it is so hard sometimes.

Some days I wake up with my skin looking good. I still have scarring and a few here and there, but nothing that takes strategic foundation applying for. Other days…well, that's when I have to put a little more effort into my morning routine. It just depends on the week for me.

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