Adult Acne – The Worst Skin Of My Late 20s
Here I am with the worst skin of my late twenties. Look at me world! I look like sh*t!
My forehead is littered with bumps and tiny whiteheads, my cheeks are bumpy, my skin feels rough...
The only good areas of my face is my nose and chin at this point.
The worst part of it is that I did it to myself. I know what I did, and I know the reason for this horrible skin.
It was My Jojoba Experiment...and probably something deeper that I'll maybe share some other time.
I looked in the mirror this morning, feeling my face with my fingertips...And I didn't feel good.
I haven't felt like this since 2008 - when my 'before' pictures were taken. It was a time of truly awful skin. It was the genius combination of a bad skin care products (Proactive), oils (Jojoba and Almond oil), poor diet (cake and cookies and pasta), and wacky hormones that made my skin a mess.
I wasn't healthy.
My current skin situation is bringing up some old feelings. Feelings that I don't exactly want to feel...
This is how I've been feeling...
I felt ugly. I felt powerless. I felt frustrated. I felt lonely. I felt like hiding. I felt desperate. I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt unlovable. I felt a longing...for freedom from this problem.
Thing is, I've felt GREAT about myself for so many years, that these feelings felt foreign to me.
But I let myself feel these emotions now.
The logical side of my brain knows the reason for my acne, it even knows what I have to do to get clear skin again. I know that I'm extremely blessed and have a wonderful life, and that skin isn't everything. I know.
But the emotional side of my brain feels all these things regardless. The emotional side of my brain makes me feel pain over this skin.
The difference between the me that felt this way in 2008 and the me that feels this way now is time and perspective.
I can now look objectively at these feelings and not judge myself for having them. In the past, I LIVED and believed those things. Everyday was a struggle.
Another difference between the me of 2008, and the me today is that I can now be gentle and kind to myself (most times). Back then I made things even worse by picking at my face, squeezing every last breakout trying to get the bacteria off my face.
It was bad.
Luckily I'm older, wiser...But I still have to resist the urge to fall prey to my desperation and to, what now seems like, an obsessive need to have clear skin.
I know it's just a matter of time. The skin will clear up and the scars will heal because I know what to do.
This is exactly why I don't like experimenting with skin care. Dermatologists even tell you to experiment - try this one, if that doesn't work, try this one.
Experimenting sucks and it ruined my skin.
I don't want to keep trying things that don't work. I don't want to complicate my life by worrying about my skin again.
In terms of Jojoba Oil though...
People say that the reason it didn't work for me is that it's not organic. I think they're wrong.
My skin just doesn't like Jojoba - I mean, is there any doubt? Look at the pictures. It only took 3 weeks to wreak havoc on my skin because of one ingredient. ONE.
Jojoba Oil clearly clogs pores. I don't know how else to say it.
Before Jojoba Oil
With Jojoba Oil
Too Long On Jojoba Oil
I exchanged pictures with one of my closest friends, Kate, earlier today. The one I wrote about who had cystic acne - the one who now has clear skin.
Kate was shocked by this development. She said that she looked up to my skin, and always wanted my skin - never could she imagine my skin looking the way it did today!
We switched places. Kate is now enjoying wonderfully clear skin, while I'm dealing with self-inflicted cosmetic acne. She says she won't be experimenting with Jojoba Oil for sure.
I like to look for meaning in my experiences.
So being my usual, optimistic self I know why this has all happened, that is, I see a silver lining in the worst skin of my late twenties.
I became obsessive. As soon as I started writing about acne, I became too involved in my skin. I started looking too closely at it...I started putting far too much pressure on myself to maintain my skin.
I was getting comfortable in my sphere of knowledge. I thought I knew so much about skin and skin care, and now I know even more.
This experience has made me look deeper into skin studies and develop my own theories on skin. I'm excited by my changing perspective on the subject of acne!
This horrible skin has reinforced the need to relax and let it be.
I know it's difficult to be patient with your skin when you just want the bumps to go away - but there's no other choice.
Finally and most importantly, I got in touch with those emotions again - those emotions that make daily life harder than it has to be. I was distancing myself from the pain of acne, because I no longer had acne.
I thought I could relate to you already, I thought I understood what you are going through - but now I truly understand because I can FEEL exactly how you feel.
I don't just remember how it felt, I feel it.
This experience isn't even that bad, but it reminds me of how bad it can be. I know that you might have worse skin than me, and even suffer from cystic acne.
I'm lucky enough to have a job that enables me to work from home so I don't even have to face people if I don't want to. But you do. You have to put on a brave face every day and make it work despite feeling all that pain inside.
Acne causes real psychological distress, real problems with self-esteem, and it takes an incredibly self-aware and strong person to protect themselves from it. It's easy to let acne consume you.
It takes balls to go out there into the world and appear as though this stuff doesn't affect you - it takes real courage, will-power, and self-control.
I know that today I had a moment of real sadness when I thought about my skin. I had to shift focus and find meaning in the experience so that I didn't continue to dwell on that sadness.
It's a dangerous rabbit hole...and it's easy to let these feelings consume you, and take your energy away from other awesome things you can be doing.
So I'm grateful, because sharing my sadness is what brings me closer to you. I feel more connected to you today as a result.
I want you to know that I get you now.
With this renewed understanding, I am determined to cure this acne again - to cure it in me, and to cure it in you.
PS. Join me for a chat in my Clean Freak Skincare Community!