I am so incredibly upset right now. Day 63: Sneak Attack I was sleeping quite peacefully only an hour or so ago, and was awakened by my mom with a phone in her hand. She told me it was my dad and that he had called our dermatologist and found out they had an opening today and next week, which was really rare because usually you have to make an appointment weeks if not months ahead of time. I simply stared up at my mom with an "Are you kidding me?" expression, which, now that I think about it, probably wasn't too discernible because I was just waking up and my eyes were half open. Just a little background before I get any farther into this story: The last time I went to the dermatologist was almost exactly a year ago. I had gone because the back of my neck was incredibly itchy and peeling and I wanted to figure out what it was. Anyway, after diagnosing it as seborrheic dermatitis, the dermatologist also recommended some creams because I had "a light case of acne." That was my first experience with recognizing my acne. This may sound dumb, but until that moment I just thought I had a few pimples like everyone else gets. Sure, they were popping up more often than I was used to, but I didn't really classify it as acne. That's when I first started obsessing about my skin, and it's funny because at that time it wasn't bad at all. I went back to the derm a few more times after that, mainly to try a few different creams to cure what I thought was an acne problem. LOL. If only I could have seen what my skin would turn into once this year rolled around. Okay so fast forward to today: I'm laying in my bed, staring up at my mom with the best squinty eyed version of "Are you kidding me" my still half-asleep face could muster and something inside me just broke. I could feel it, something just snapped. I didn't yell at her though, and I took the phone and talked to my dad and kept my emotions in check then too. Even when he said our derm is one of the best he knew and that the derm could talk to me about things contributing to my acne, like food, or how to wash and what to wash with, and etc. etc. etc. and the whole time I'm thinking, is this man really talking to ME about finding more information on acne??????? Does he really believe I just sit around and think "Oh, woe is me. Acne sucks." Because I mean, for the most part I do... while sitting at the computer and spending hours and hours and hours of my time researching anything that could do with acne, reading personal experiences, and making plans about what I'll do next. And then he mentioned scarring, and said he wanted to make sure he did everything he could for me right now because he didn't want me to look back on this and wish I had done more to prevent it. !!!!!!!!!!!! Calming down now... The thing is, I love my dad and we're really close. He's probably the kindest, most caring person I know, and his heart was in the right place for this. He told me he didn't want me to think he discouraged going to the derm because of the money situation, and that he didn't want me to worry about my face anymore. He was so nice when talking to me and so enthusiastic about going and even taking off work (my dad never takes off work) to take me himself, that I had no choice but to agree to go next week. I really just had no choice... I didn't want to make him feel bad or let him down or whatever... damn it. After I hung up, I just started bawling. All of these emotions and thoughts just ran through my head and crashed into each other and I felt so helpless that I could stop myself from crying. I was angry at my dad, and then I felt guilty about being angry because I know he just wants to help. The way he talked to me, and how much he cares and loves me, I could hear it all in his voice and it just makes my heart break and I don't even know why. I'm on my period.. that's probably it. I'm just a hormone-y emotional wreck. Speaking of which, I started yesterday so that might be the cause that freak breakout last Saturday.. And now I'm worried about scarring. I mean I've always thought there was a possibility that I could scar, but I don't have cystic acne or anything and the red marks left behind from the pimples I do get seem to all be fading... but when someone tells you they are worried about your face scarring, then you worry too. Or at least I do. Since you know, I worry so damn much about everything. Most of all though, I'm disappointed. I thought my face was looking so much better. I've actually been gaining confidence and haven't been too afraid to go out in public. But now... These last two days I've been helping my dad and his job, and we've had tons of conversations face to face. Now, after that phone conversation I just had, I feel like he was staring at my acne the whole time, trying to figure out how to help me. Which is nice in theory, but what the hell. There goes all my confidence. This is so stupid. I know I shouldn't be upset. I'm looking at the pictures I took my first week on the regimen and my face has improved so much. My dad doesn't even know how bad it was. He works so much he doesn't even see what I'm doing to make it better. But damn I feel so hopeless right now. I shouldn't, but I do. I can't help it. My face is dry and red, with PIH and one big ass pimple that keeps reoccuring. I'm young, should be at my prime, am surrounded by girls with perfect skin, am compared to these girls, am expected to have perfect skin, am judged because I don't. My parents don't trust my judgement, don't understand this is all I think about, can't understand. No one understands how someone with acne feels unless they themselves have or have had acne. They feel sorry for you, and they can say they know how you feel, but they don't. It's impossible to understand unless you live it. And I'm sure as hell living it right now. I guess that's the reason I come on here and have this blog. At least you guys understand. We may never meet or even talk, but at least you get it. I'm sorry for complaining so much... I have no one else to talk to about this. I'm probably going to lay in my bed and watch netflix all day. Have a pity party, you know, that sort of thing. -K
Lately I've been thinking about how much my life has changed these past few months. I can't believe there used to be a time when I didn't spend an hour or so every morning and night on my face, didn't have dry/red skin, and could actually wear makeup. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go back. My acne was worse then and I generally felt hopeless about it. And it's not that I miss makeup that much... it's nice to be able to come home and not worry about taking it off. It's just this regimen is really wearing me out. I have this mixed feeling of dread/necessity every time I'm about to clean my face and do the whole shabang. I'm so sick of applying cleanser, BP, and moisturizer to my skin when it's so damn dry. But then I'm too afraid to stop because I really have seen progress, there's no doubt about that. My face is still super red. Who knows, maybe it was this red before I started using the lac-hydrin five moisturizer (5% lactic acid) and I just didn't notice because I had more pimples to obsess over then. And that's another thing. I'm so tired of obsessing over my skin. I don't pop or pick at any pimples; I haven't since starting this regimen, what, almost 9 weeks ago? But because it's so dry now it can get itchy and occasionally I'll scratch it. I mean, I don't go all Wolverine on it or anything, but I do scratch it (mostly on the edges of my chin or forehead) and then afterwards I'll worry about getting pimples where I scratched. Because apparently that's what I do best: worrying. Really though, I should just quit my bitchin'. Want to know why? I only have one pimple right now. One freaking pimple. And sure, it's pissing me off because it's taking longer to go away than the others I've had on this regimen, but still. One pimple. Do I think it's the last pimple I'll have? No! But it's progress. Alright, so here's what's been going on Day 61: Dry. Dry. Dry. I've been using the Lac-hydrin five moisturizer for 9 days now and so far I haven't noticed much of a difference with my dry skin. A little disappointed, thought I would see some results by now. I've only been applying it in the morning because it burns like hell (for the first 30 minutes) and I thought I'd at least try to get used to it. That being said, I will probably start applying it morning and night within the next few days. I've gotten into the habit of using sterilized tweezers to get rid of some of the dead skin. I don't rub or anything, I just pull it off. It's probably irritating, I know, but I have to do it, otherwise I'll touch my face nonstop and can't sleep at night. Last Saturday night I noticed my skin was breaking out again, 5 pimples to be exact. It was really weird, because before that I had only been getting 1-2 new pimples every other day or so. Could be due to just starting the new Lac-hydrin five moisturizer, or due to rubbing my flakey skin so much... who knows. I sure don't. I just sit around and try to make guesses as to why my skin is so moody. Maybe I should name it Judy. (Lame, I know... just saw a preview for that movie) Do you guys know what a Ped Egg is? It's like a foot file that scrapes off dead skin and callouses. Google it for full details. Anyway, I was hanging out with my boyfriend and his family one day this week, and his mom found an old Ped Egg while she was cleaning. The boy and I were actually eating at the time, and he asked to see it. I watched in mild amusement as he used it to grate one of his french fries. Then, my amusement turned to horror as he proceeded to rub it against the side of his face. I am not kidding. He put that dirty, two-year-old bacteria infested, french fried foot file on his face. I mean really, what the %^&*! I was so disgusted I didn't even know what to say. Normally he is really conscientious about his hygiene, and he did say it was just a joke, like he was pretending to shave his beard. But honestly, I wanted to slap the hell out of him. It's not fair. It's just not. I try so hard to keep my face clean and eat healthy and avoid irritation. And yet here's a guy who only rinses his face off in the shower, eats whatever he wants, and puts a damn Ped Egg on his face. And which one of us is the one with acne? Moving on... I'm going to the beach for my cousin's wedding in 3 weeks and I had really hoped to be completely clear by then, with skin that wasn't too dry to wear a little makeup. We'll be taking pictures and my boyfriend's coming with us and I was really hoping to look slightly attractive. I haven't taken a picture in ages... besides those ones I took when first starting regimen to mark my progress. Also, I really need to get a haircut, but of course I'm too embarrassed about my skin to do so. One pimple is nice and all, but the flakes, redness, and red/brown marks are still prominent. And the lady who cuts my hair has literally cut my hair my whole life, so she knows how fabulous my skin used to look (That's not me bragging, that's just compared to how it looks now). My family is really close with everyone who works in the shop and I don't know... I just want my Judy Moody face to look good I guess... I hate thinking people will feel sorry for me when I know they shouldn't. I actually planned on writing more but unfortunately it's time to go do the regimen... sigh. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! -K
Day 54: Quick update My face is really, really, really red. I'm goin' for that tomato look right now. Not really. Lactic acid, you better help my dry skin. Otherwise we're gonna throw down. About to go on a date with the boyfriend. This should be fun. -K
Wow long time no update, huh? I've been staying away from acne.org because I found myself spending too much time reading about other people's regimens and warnings and so on and so forth. Decided to just put my trust in what I'm doing and stop worrying so much about my face (I still worry, just not as much as when I started this regimen). Anyway Day 52: Results? So yeah, results. I'm actually seeing them. Right now I only have two pimples that have been taking their time to clear out, but besides those two I've been relatively clear (still red marks though) this past week. My main issue is dryness, my skin is sooo flakey, and because of this dryness I've been having a hard time not touching my face. The past few weeks I've tried a few things to deal with the super convenient flakes. I first tried switching my moisturizer to Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for Normal Skin even though I've used it before and didn't like it. Well, turns out it did help with the dryness, but it also caused my skin to become incredibly itchy. It was so itchy I couldn't sleep at night. I kept using it for several days hoping the itchiness would pass but it never did. I had to stop because I couldn't afford to keep scratching my face. So, it was back to Dan's moisturizer for me! Then I tried doing the whole jojoba oil massage thing. I did it every other day, and though it helped with the flakes, it also caused me to break out in places I don't normally break out in. Maybe those pimples were just beneath the surface and would have popped up anyway, but I've decided not to use that method anymore just in case. I can't trust my hands, I'm sure I just use too much pressure trying to get those pesky flakes to leave. Last week I increased the amount of Dan's moisturizer to 6 pumps (plus jojoba oil) because I remembered seeing a video where he said that should take care of the dryness. Well, maybe it helped a little but my face is still extremely dry. So, blah blah blah flakes suck here's what I'm trying now. Still using the 6 pumps of moisturizer and jojoba oil at night. Starting (as of this morning) to use Lac-hydrin five moisturizer in the morning and will also be using the olay moisturizer with spf 15 anytime I'm out in the sun. As for the other things I'm doing to fight my acne, here's a list! I love lists! Started running and working out again. Only run a mile every other day because I don't need to lose any weight Drink only water and eat tons of fruit and get the adequate amount of vegetables every day No dairy. Some experimenting with my diet and dairy have lead me to believe it contributes to my acne. I've been dairy free for three weeks. Will test my skins reaction to dairy again once I'm completely clear and flake free. My sleep schedule is now pretty consistent and I'm getting at least 8 hours every night Stress is relatively low because it's summer break! Helllllll yeah! People say all the time that diet doesn't affect acne. Whether it does or not has no impact on me. If it's keeping pimples away, awesome! If it's not, awesome! I've been eating healthier this month and I feel wonderful. The no dairy rule has kept me away from pastries and other desserts that I don't need and I've found that I can easily do without them. The only beverage I drink now is water and occasionally hot tea (Geek Alert: I've become a fan of loose leaf tea and would love to chat with anyone who is also a tea fan ) Oh, but I do have almond milk with my cereal, and I've come to really like it. So to sum it up, my face is looking better and I'm happier... much, much happier than I was 7 weeks ago. Hopefully this regimen will get me completely clear and hopefully the lactic acid in my new moisturizer will take care of my dry skin. To my flakes I say: Flake Off! Until next time, K (p.s. here's an entry I mean to finish a few weeks ago. Oops ) Day 35 Hello sweet summer! Finally done with exams and ready for a little relaxation. Of course, acne never takes a day off does it? So all in all my face is doing alright. I had a pretty bad breakout a few days ago but I wasn't surprised or disappointed. These past two weeks I've been averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night, eating only when I remembered (quite unhealthily at that), and was pretty much the epitome of a stress monkey (like a grease monkey, but with more stress). Still, I've kept up with my regimen, and what a barrel of fun it's been. At the moment, I only have four pimples. It's kind of funny (but really not): there's one between my eyebrows, one on my right cheek, another directly across from it on my left check, and the final one on my chin. Overall, these pimples have assumed somewhat of a cross formation on my face. I keep wondering if God is trying to tell me something. Or maybe it's just a lowercase "t". T for terrible skin I have seborrhoeic dermatitis too, did I mention that? Mostly on the back of my neck. It's fun. Still... 4 pimples is better than what I had going on a few weeks ago. Red marks aren't as bad. Many have faded quickly due to my refusal to pop pimples and I guess the regimen. Dryness is the same as it was last week. I don't think it'll ever go away. Whatever. If this will clear up my acne then I'll take a little dryness, for the time being, at least. Neck itchiness/burning has come back. Not sure what the hell is up with that, I know I'm not getting BP or cleanser on it. Probably Dan's mustard moisturizer.
Yeah, yeah once a week. I'm a blog junkie. I've been up all night studying. Thought I'd take a break for a quick update. Day 22ish: GTL I had a dentist appointment earlier today (yesterday now?) that I considered skipping due to my face not looking as fantastic as I'd like. Yes, it's not as dry as it was my first two weeks on the regimen and yes, the redness has died down significantly and I only had two pimples as opposed to the multitude last week, but still. Wasn't a fan of having a bright light shining down on all my little imperfections as my hygienist leaned close to hone in on my pearly whites. I ended up holding off on the regimen until afterward to reduce the flakes, redness, and the lovely Jersey Shore tan I have going on thanks to the moisturizer and jojoba oil. So far I really like Dan's moisturizer, but I can't stand having my face look like a bad Snooki impersonation when I'm in public. I'm neither stupid nor a midget and I really have no desire for my face to be so blatantly bronze compared to my body's normal complexion. So, in the next few days I'm going to pick up some Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin (SPF 15) and start using that in my morning routine, at least when I'm going out. I'm really hesitant to do so because my goal was to stop my breakouts before adding anything new to the regimen, but a lot of people recommend this product so I'll give it a try. Plus, I need something to protect my face from the sun. After all, I don't want to look like Snooki when I'm in my 60's either. Just a side note, I really don't hate Snooki. I give her props for becoming famous and making bank off of reality TV. Good for you, Snooks. At the same time, it says a lot about our culture when we place more emphasis on entertainment, like television and sports, instead of slightly more important things (education, poverty, drug industry... just to name a few). College football coaches make millions of dollars a year. My friend wants to help children with muscular dystrophy and she will never make that much. It shouldn't be about the money, I know, but I do think there should be a better correlation between salary and job necessity. Only in a perfect world, right? Sorry for the cynicism, but us broke ass college students get down sometimes. And it's my blog so I'll say what I want. One last thing actually relating to skin- if you plan on using the Olay moisturizer, make sure the packaging has a green label that says classic gentle formula. Last year (I think) Olay released a newer formula of this moisturizer that irritated the skin of many long time users. The classic gentle formula was then released to make up for this mistake. This is pretty well known but just FYI. Okay I really am going to study now, K
Well I plan on only updating this blog weekly, but since final exams start this upcoming week I know I won't have any time to post. So, update. Day 18: Calm before the storm This past week has been pretty rough. My neck was unbearably itchy and irritated, I think due to either the cleanser, BP, moisturizer, or all three. When I first started the regimen, I would rub the excess moisturizer down my neck without considering how stupid that was. As a result, my neck became itchy and I scratched the hell out of it, which lead to more itchiness and irritation. My face was redder than a hot tamale (the candy kind) and not in a deliciously spicy way. On top of the flamed skin I had between 8-10 pimples at a time every day. Though they did come to head and clear out quickly (leaving behind glorious red marks, of course) new ones would replace them almost instantly in other areas. These weren't cute little whiteheads. They were massive, painful, and quite disgusting. Despite their enormity, I have kept the promise I made at the beginning of this regimen to not pop any pimples. That's right. I left those suckers alone and dealt with the pain and pressure of having the world see my flawed face. I know people say you can use a sterilized needle to pop a pimple and it actually helps the healing process, but I found that I just could not do that sufficiently. If I used a needle on a pimple that was begging to be popped, I would end up using it on another pimple that wasn't quite ready as well. Plus, I'm sure I applied too much pressure and just angered my acne even more every time I did this. So, I left the pimples alone. Surprisingly, and to my delight, every one of them dried out within a day (keep in mind I still have ugly red spots where they were) and I can tell this is a process I must continue. There are no scabs like there would be if I popped them, sterilized needle or not, and the ugly red marks don't seem to be as inflamed. I seriously recommend not popping pimples because I can already see how beneficial this is to my skin. I know, I know. Leaving that pimple to ooze out on it's own is disgusting and terribly damaging to self-esteem. I have never felt this ugly in my entire life, especially with no makeup. I now have horrible body language because I don't want to look people directly in the eye, I must seem terribly rude and disinterested to anyone I talk to. I've skipped several events this past week after glancing at my face in a mirror just to avoid others. Events that I was really looking forward to, that I will regret missing. But, and this is a big but, I tell myself almost every second of the day that I'm doing this for my skin. I look bad right now and yeah, it sucks. Majorly. But my skin is better off this way. I have a goal and I'm determined. Let's talk about some positives now. My skin is not nearly as dry as it was a week ago. I'll attribute that to the jojoba oil. As I said in my previous post, I apply it after I cleanse my face and before BP in the evening. Do NOT do this in the morning if you plan on going anywhere or interacting with anyone. You will look like someone slapped you in the face with a grease monkey. (Note: Grease monkey just popped up in my head, I didn't know what one was. After googling it, I found that it can actually mean several different things. My intention for this post though was a monkey covered in excessive amounts of grease. Thus, when you are hit in the face with one, you too look extraordinarily greasy.) My face does not look as sun burned after applying BP. Goodbye hot tamale complexion! For now at least... I woke up this morning to find no new papules, at least none that I can see. I think I actually smiled when I saw my reflection, red marks and all. The skin on my neck is no longer irritated. I tried aloe vera to soothe it at first, but after getting zero results with that I turned to my Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for all skin types. I love Cetaphil but it's just too "greasy" for my face, even the kind that says it's specifically FOR the face. However, applying this liberally to my neck took care of the itchiness. I now apply it after I shower and cleanse, but before BP (in order to eliminate any possibility of inadvertently getting BP on my neck again like a dumbass) Yes, so far it does seem as if the regimen is working. I'm feeling very positive at the moment. However, with finals looming on the horizon as well as that special time of the month we ladies have the privilege of experiencing, I know my face will probably take a turn for the worst. I'm enjoying the progress I've made so far, but definitely ready for the acne assault I'm sure to face in the future. Wow, I must seem incredibly long-winded. There's so much I want to say and I haven't even covered half of it yet. I think I will cut this one short and start studying for those exams. Thanks for reading my procrastination blog, K
My regimen Morning: Wash with Acne.org cleanser (10 seconds, rinse) Wait 15 min. Apply Acne.org BP. Wait 10 min. Apply Acne.org moisturizer with 5 drops jojoba oil. No Makeup Wait a few minutes. Check face for flakes. Sigh. Leave house Evening: Wash with Acne.org cleanser (10 seconds, rinse) Wait 5 minutes. Apply thin layer of jojoba oil. Wait 10 minutes. Apply Acne.org BP. Wait 10 minutes. Apply Acne.org moistruizer with 5 drops jojoba oil. Check face for any improvement. Sigh. Go to bed. A little background on me: I'll be turning 20 next week and, up until about 9 months ago, I've never had problems with acne. I used to eat whatever I wanted and spend only a couple minutes washing my face morning and night with some kind of cleanser and a washcloth (gasp). I never worried about my face. I didn't seriously abuse it, the only makeup I wore was a light coating of foundation, oil-free and non comedogenic, and I always washed it off before bed. Because mama taught me right. (Humor) So long story short I had clear skin and now I don't. Typical, right? I'm no dermatologist (if I was, I'd probably have awesome skin and not be on here), but I would classify my acne as mild to slightly moderate. Those terms have always been so vague to me, though, so let's just say I have acne and it consistently sucks on an everyday bases. Before starting this regimen, I tried countless acne facial washes/systems, visited good ol' Dr. Derm and tried glycolic peels, benzoyl peroxide, differin, plus various other creams, and even tried prayer (JK). Obviously, nothing worked. My theories as to why my skin has decided to revolt against me: Lack of exercise: My middle and high school years I played soccer. Almost nonstop. Club season in the fall, indoor in the winter, school season in the spring, and summer camps during, you guessed it, summer. I'm a sophomore in college now and, due to high levels of work and studying, don't have time to play anymore. Maybe the complete turn-around of my activity level has thrown my body out of whack. And as a result my face now looks whack. (More humor) Genetic: My older brother developed severe acne when he was 13. He became obsessed with his face and that, among many other factors, led to the development of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Another reason why I fear the hell out of acne. (More on that later, perhaps) Karma: I never appreciated my clear skin and now I see how wrong I was to take it for granted. Forgive me, skin. And so all of that background leads up to where I am today. Day 15 on the Regimen: Being human. A few days ago I actually felt hopeful because I didn't get any new pimples, and the ones I already had seemed to be healing quite nicely. Of course, it's the end of the day today and I can see several new pimples forming, one quite large on my forehead, as well as something that might be a cyst on my left cheek. Also, a pimple has decided to take residence right underneath my bottom lip. How convenient and sexy. Maybe I will just pretend it's a beauty mark. I know it's only been two weeks but it's so discouraging to look at myself in the mirror and see absolutely no progress with all the hard work I've been putting into getting clear. Since September 2010, I've totally eliminated caffeine and chocolate from my diet, have cut tremendously down on my sugar intake, eat a salad a day and tons of fruit, take vitamins daily, and have been drinking mostly water and some juice. Two weeks ago I started the regimen and, let me tell you, boy do I regret that now (due to having to attend class and actually talk to other human beings). I had no idea what I was getting myself into, was naive about the effects of this much BP, and honestly was expecting results within weeks that I probably wont see for months. How easy it is to look to the past and criticize your actions based on the knowledge you have now. Reasons why I should have waited until summer to start the Regimen: Flakes: BP has turned my face into a flaky monster. Seriously. I've been craving Frosted Flakes cereal for breakfast because I love irony. Or maybe that would just be a play on words. Either way, up until a few days ago my face has been flake central. Luckily the jojoba oil has seemed to calm that down (I apply a layer after cleansing and before BP). Not sure if jojoba oil is making me break out though. I've read that there's a purging stage so hopefully this will pass. "Purge-atory": Pimples, pimples everywhere! Some small, some big enough to be considered volcanoes (gross exaggeration- wow! double meanings everywhere in this post). Not all over, but consistent and definitely noticeable. Most are coming to a head and clearing out quicker than they would without BP, but they are still leaving behind horrid, horrid red marks. Flakes + big pimples= No makeup: Let's be honest, it's not hiding anything at this phase anyway. But wait, everyone says no makeup is a good thing! A good thing for my skin maybe. My self-esteem, on the other hand, has officially dropped ~9000 points. And it wasn't even that high to begin with. Itchiness: Good googly moogly has my face been itchy! Here I am trying not to touch it in order to prevent spreading more bacteria/irritation and the damn thing has to itch everywhere and taunt me. Redness: You're (presumably) on the same regimen as me. You know what I'm talking about. Nothing like your face looking beet red while the rest of your body looks normal to make you feel good about yourself. Humor and symptoms aside, let's talk about my biggest problem. I'm just too hard on myself. I read what people say on here because I'm looking for encouragement in my own struggle with acne. I know that my face could look so much worse, but before this year I hardly paid attention to my face at all. I think I got a few pimples in high school, but honestly I can't remember one time where the state of my face caused me to miss out on something I wanted to do. Now days it seems like I'm always hiding from people. I feel confined to my room. I don't want my family to see me. I wont even get started on my boyfriend. I find myself constantly making excuses every time he wants to spend time together so that he wont have to see my face. So that I wont have to go outside and feel so... exposed. He says not to worry about how I look. Yeah, that's easy to say, coming from a guy who's never had a pimple of his own. I guess I have enough for the both of us now. I try to joke to lighten the mood, but I hate feeling this way. I'm constantly frustrated and maybe even depressed. I get angry when people try to have a conversation with me because I'm paranoid that everyone can see how bad my face looks, that everyone's judging me. As dramatic as this sounds, I feel as if acne is ruining my life. That's the thing about it. If you let it, acne will control you. Psychologically that is. Maybe my face doesn't look as bad as I think it does. People probably really don't notice or care like I think they do. There are definitely more important things I should be focused on, like exams, or spending time with my parents and boyfriend while I still can. But none of that matters because, as humans, we're all innately selfish. We see ourselves as the center of the world and don't think about other people's problems when our own are staring right back at us in the mirror. We magnify our blemishes and faults because they are ours, they are always with us, and they often block out our good qualities. And I get it. I understand all of this. I know there are more important things in life. But still I find myself spending hours in front of the mirror, checking to see how my acne looks from this angle or that, adding 30 minutes to my morning and night routine in cleansing, hoping every night before I fall asleep that my face will look better in the morning, that all this hard work is for something... that one day I'll have clear skin again and can go back to living the way I used to. I want my life back. I'm starting this blog so that I can record my progress in getting it back. One way or the other, clear skin or not, I'm going to start living again. My way. Thanks for reading, K