I started getting acne when I was in sixth grade. It came on abruptly and made me feel insecure like I never had before. I tried all kinds of creams and prescriptions, and even got on birth control to try to balance my hormones, but found little relief.
I tried not to care what people thought because I knew it was out of my control, but I started to get picked on and my insecurity grew. I began wearing tons of makeup to try and hide my skin, but it only made things worse. I just couldn’t win.
Through the years, I tried every product I could think of to cure my skin, but I never found anything that cleared it enough for me to feel confident without makeup. It started to wear on me.
My self-esteem faded and I felt hopeless. I hated looking in the mirror because I felt so gross and dirty. No amount of cleansing or masking ever made me feel clean enough to leave the house with confidence. I was always afraid that people would only see my flaws when they looked at me because that’s all I could see any more.
It wore on me and made me feel so ugly that I overcompensated in other areas, developing an eating disorder, social anxiety, and depression simultaneously. I was a wreck.
Thirteen years later, my hormones have evened out quite a bit and my skin is nowhere near what it used to be, but I still quickly pick out my flaws when I look in the mirror, even if it’s just a small breakout. When I complain to my husband about my skin looking worse some days, he usually says he didn’t even notice until I pointed it out. I’m finally starting to realize that I’ve trained myself to zero in on my imperfections and compare myself to other girls, and those are hard habits to break, but I’m learning.
I spent time, money, and many years searching for a fix, but nothing has healed me more than the simple fact that people aren’t focused on my blemishes when they see me. I used to be determined to have perfect skin, but now I’m determined to be kind to myself – from the inside out. I may not have perfect, spotless skin, but I feel good knowing that I’m doing my part to cultivate a healthy lifestyle and environment for my skin to heal. And my confidence is growing in the process.
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