I always thought my acne would be gone after high school, but alas it’s still something I’m dealing with. Over the years I’ve slowly come to terms with my acne, well, sort of. I still have bad days where I loath my skin and curse my genes, but for the most part I’ve learned to accept that this is a part of who I am. At least for now.
Okay, maybe I need to rephrase some of this. I don’t like the idea of “accepting” my acne because ultimately that makes me feel like a loser. I don’t want my acne to win. It doesn’t deserve to win. It doesn’t deserve to control me. It doesn’t deserve to define me. It just doesn’t. Instead I want to accept myself and even more so I want to find confidence in myself even with these zits, cysts, and scars.
Gross is a word I would see in my reflection each morning I looked in the mirror. In fact, I went through a phase back in high school where I avoided looking in mirrors as much as possible because I didn’t want to know what was looking back. One moment I would feel like my normal self, enjoying a conversation with friends, or maybe even a guy I had a crush on, and then just by catching a glance of my reflection a switch would flip in me. I would shut down, becoming distracted by my insecurities and embarrassment.
Let’s fast forward to a more positive time now. Sure, as I said before I still have those days when I throw mini temper-tantrums inside my mind, but then I deal with it and get over it. I’ve found ways to control my acne as much as possible and for that I am thankful. I celebrate the little victories each time I look in the mirror and am satisfied with my reflection after applying makeup, or even when looking in the mirror first thing in the morning and only having a few breakouts. What I have to offer you here might not be the best advice out there, it might not be the healthiest advice out there, but here’s what I’ve done to A) combat my acne and B) regain confidence.
-1- Makeup: I can’t believe there was a time I didn’t wear any makeup at all. I cringe looking back on those photos. I cringe not because I look awful (which I do), but because these photos remind me of how controlled I was by my acne and how helpless I felt. Luckily, makeup changed that for me. It took time, a lot of time, but I finally have a makeup routine that allows me to look in the mirror and think, hey, I look pretty good right now. While tons of products on your skin is probably not the best way to prevent/combat your acne, at some point some people (me!) might realize that tons of products or not, your skin isn’t going to be acne free. It just isn’t.
-2- Dairy free diet: This won’t work for everyone, and you might even be rolling your eyes at me for suggesting it. While dermatologists won’t back this method up, taking a wholistic approach to treating your acne might actually help! Dairy causes inflammation, which is why cutting it out of your diet can help lessen your acne. From personal experience, I cut dairy out of my diet as a suggestion from my mom (she believe dairy was the reason for her acne throughout college). Three/four years later I am still doing an extremely low dairy diet (the only dairy I consume is through trace amounts in chocolate). While it hasn’t rid me of all my acne it has gotten rid of my cystic acne (which is super painful, raise your hand if you can relate!). My best advice is give it a shot for 3-6 months. Really, what do you have to lose?
-3- Topical prescriptions: Really boring so I won’t go in depth here, but I use 3 different topical Rx creams. If you want me to share the names of them please comment below or DM me on Instagram. Again, these haven’t cleared my skin of acne, but I do think they help. BUT using all three together causes extreme dry skin. And as we all know, dry skin is yet another source of acne!
-4- Find YOUR lotion(s): I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but acne and dry skin go hand-in-hand for me. Bouncing back to my first point on makeup, mastering your makeup routine to cover-up your acne as best as possible is impossible if you have dry skin. I struggled for so long with dry, peeling skin, but finally found a few lotions that combat my dry skin, which ultimately allows my makeup to go on smooth and last all day, yay! Here, here, and here are where you can find my highest rated products to fight dry skin.
I would love to hear ways you’ve combat your acne and overcome the slew of problems surrounding problem skin. Or, if you found this post helpful at all, let me know that too! I’d really appreciate it, thanks! Outfit details below!
sweater: Club Monaco • pants: AG Jeans • boots: Coach (old, similar here) • cross body: similar here
the scoop: I’m wearing a size xs in this sweater, it is so soft! // My AG Jeans are super old and still look brand new. I’m wearing a size 24, but they’re tight so I could use a size 25 now.
Designed by Gillian Sarah
Images by Helen Phillips
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