As soon as I started writing the beauty posts for Whole, I knew that I wanted to write a post on my experiences with acne. I'm going to take a wild guess here and assume that I'm not the only woman who has struggled with acne as well. It's a nasty affair. When I was a teenager, I had pretty, flawless skin. I only ever had the occasional pimple, and they were pretty small pimples even at that. However, during my sophomore year of college, and completely out of the blue, my face just exploded with acne. We're talking all on my forehead, cheeks, chin, temples- all over my face. These weren't tiny little zits either. They were so painful that I had to learn how to sleep on my back because sleeping with my face on the pillow hurt too much to sleep. I was already going through a difficult time in my life and was full of insecurities, and this new breakout was the icing on the cake. I can't even begin to count the numerous products and medicines I tried to clear my face up, but nothing worked. After finally finding the products that did work for me and having a little patience, my skin slowly started to clear up. Two years later, my face is relatively clear with some mild breakouts here and there. It's felt like such a long journey getting back to clear skin, and it still isn't over for me yet. Once the breakouts clear up, you get to deal with the acne scars next. It's a long, long journey.
You see, the problem with acne a lot of times isn't exactly the acne itself. It's the insecurities that go along with it. You feel like people are only looking at your zits. You are constantly checking the mirror to make sure none of your makeup has worn off. You can't leave the house without putting makeup on. All you see staring back at you in the mirror is a face full of red bumps, not your beautiful eyes or smile. Sound familiar?
When I say it's been a long journey for me, I'm talking more about the emotional toll it took on me. It absolutely tore me up inside every time I looked in the mirror or felt bumpy skin on my face. I felt and believed that I was ugly every day until I finally realized that it wasn't doing me any good to be hard on myself for a situation that I couldn't control. After all, it is just skin. And beauty is never skin deep. With this in mind, I decided that I would start to change how I viewed myself and saw my beauty, even through the acne. I spent a lot of time staring at myself in the mirror with all of my makeup off. I took off the mask and forced myself to face my insecurities head on. I then started to find parts about my face that I did like. I had acne, but I still had pretty blue eyes. My cheeks were broken out, but they were still full and had cute little dimples. I had to train myself to look past the pimples and still see a beautiful girl staring back at me.
If you struggle with acne as well, you aren't alone. I encourage you to do what I did and try your hardest to look past the pimples in the mirror and find your natural beauty. Spend time looking at yourself without the mask on. Be kind to yourself. Tell yourself that not only are you beautiful, but you are a child of God and He has created you to be an incredible woman. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, hydrate, exercise, and get lots of sleep. I noticed a massive difference in my skin clarity when I started drinking my daily goal of water intake alone. Be sure to wash your face every morning and night to keep it clean and clear. Find the facial products that work for you and stick with them. Last, if the problem is bad enough, definitely talk to a doctor. Acne doesn't just clear up overnight, but with a lot of patience, the smallest things can make a big difference. Acne is never easy to deal with, but it should never take away your ability to see the beauty our Creator has blessed you with.
He created you, and He delights in you always.