I'm so fed up. I'm so fed up and this is the only place I can come to vent, because I can just talk and talk and no one will interrupt me to tell me that I'm worrying about nothing, because I know that isn't true. I wish it was. I'm not trying to make things difficult for myself just for the sake of it. I know there are things in the world that are much worse than acne and that's something I keep trying to remind myself of, but still I feel so hopeless and down.
I've suffered with this bloody awful skin disease since I was about 13. When I was 14 it got so bad that I had to take antibiotics, and then I think I was on and off until I turned 17, when I started to take the pill, because nothing else seemed to work. My acne isn't severe; it's not something that people comment on, and I can see that it doesn't take over my face in the way that it does some people. I'm grateful for that, of course, but it doesn't mean that waking up every day with spots becomes any easier with time.
This weekend I've been close to tears almost every few hours. Yesterday I got up and did my make-up in full light, and it was such a difficult thing to do. I didn't realise how difficult it would be, and I underestimated how brave some of you are for looking in the mirror and attempting to cover the redness and the bumps that are still prominent no matter what you do. I am extremely pale. A lot of girls are, but I just look plain unhealthy. My hair and my eyes are very dark, which just enhances the contrast further. Therefore, every spot, blemish, scar, etc. stands out an unbelievable amount. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes once I'd finished my base yesterday and today there wasn't much of a point in applying make-up, because I pretty much cried it off afterwards. My parents are trying to be patient, but I can tell that their tolerance is wearing thin. I don't blame them. If I was living with an emotionally unbalanced person who seldom smiled and couldn't have a proper conversation without looking away or resorting to mono-syllabic answers when an uncomfortable topic arose, I'd be pretty frustrated, too.
Today we went out to a restaurant and I literally didn't see anyone with a single spot on their face. The people I work with have wonderful skin. The girl I'm currently training is so beautiful and I feel scruffy enough around her as it is without having these fucking spots.
I hate foundation. I think it's disgusting, and I hate how you have to paint your face, but I can't be without it. I hate how most of the people I went to school with could go out, get absolutely trashed, sleep in their make-up and then wake up without having to worry about the consequences their actions would have on their complexion. I hate how I have tears running down my face as I type with and I just know that's not going to do my skin any favours. I get enough sleep. I am gentle with my skincare routine. But nothing seems to do it. When I was about sixteen, I thought acne would be out of my life by the time I turned eighteen. How naive I was.
I'm dreading work tomorrow. I'm dreading getting up in the morning and having to confront my awful reflection. I hate how self-pitying and whiney this has made me. I hate struggling to look people in the eye. I hate sitting opposite someone when the light hits my face and all I can think about is how each flaw must be so much more enhanced than usual. I hate how ugly and pathetic I look. I hate this. I hate me.
It's been a few months since last I blogged about my skin. In that time, there have been no huge changes; my skin is not completely clear, and my confidence has definitely not rocketed skywards, but I have noticed some small changes to my skin that I find interesting and would like to share.
So, a bit of background: I have been on the pill since I was 17. That has not changed, and I can't see it changing for a while. I started taking the pill for one reason, and that was my complexion. Nothing else. Like Jo Brand so amusingly put it, the acne and the weight gain from the pill has ensured that acne was the only reason I was taking Yasmin once a day.
When I last posted, my skin routine consisted of me using Clean & Clear cream cleanser, followed by the Clean & Clear moisturiser. I initially started using these products because they are oil-free and easy to obtain. However, my skin would be dry a lot of the time, and I'd moisturise and moisturise until my acne worsened. Thus began that same cycle once again...
I mentioned before that my skin was constantly dull looking, and it was- very much so. A couple of months ago, I read about a range called Amie. I was sceptical about trying, because, like so many of you, I felt like I'd tried everything. I would like to stress that my skin is not completely clear, but I bought the Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash and the Morning Dew, and they have made a noticeable difference. My skin has not been dry, or prone to dryness, in a long time.In fact, I'm looking a lot more hydrated than I've looked in a long time! I definitely have less acne- most of the time. It flares up somewhat if I don't get enough sleep/drink too much, but I've accepted these factors, as that's how my body is and I can't change that.
Another thing I've been doing (you'll probably roll your eyes at how blindingly obvious this is!), I didn't realise that taking off your make up and washing your face were NOT the same thing. I would wash my face as a way to remove my make-up, which I now realise probably exacerbated things, as some of the make-up would inevitably stay on my face overnight and irritate my skin. Now, every evening, gently wipe off my make-up with a MySkin wipe. These are a Tesco brand, and cannot be purchased anywhere else, which is a little annoying! The wipes do not irritate my skin in the slightest and when I'm done, I'll wash my face properly- with the Amie face wash.
I'm not trying to sell these products- that's not the point I'm making. What I am saying (for my own benefit, mostly) is that I made a couple of seemingly small changes, and I've noticed a difference. I don't know how long this difference will last, but it's worth not spending every weeking feeling down about my complexion. Yes, I still have flare-ups and I still worry about the state of my skin, but this doesn't happen as often as it used to. And that's nice.
I'm fed up.
For some reason, I could handle acne a lot better when I was younger. Sure, I'd feel down about it, but I could bring myself to put on my make-up and, although I was aware of it, acne wasn't something I thought about every few minutes. I wasn't constantly aware of these horrible bumps on my face. Most importantly, I don't remember it stopping me from doing things, like seeing my boyfriend at the time. I didn't visit sites on how to get rid of the acne, because I wasn't obsessed, and my self-esteem was a lot better then.
Now, aged 20, looking in the mirror is something that takes a lot of courage. Having to look at myself close-up, in full light, whilst I apply my make-up can control my whole day. I seem to plan my life around the state of my face. When I realised this a few weeks ago, I didn't know whether it is my skin that has changed, or whether it is me. Now I think it's a bit of both.
I used to have pretty oily skin. My nose would get quite shiny, and I'd end up having to use 'blotting' sheets on a regular basis. Unless I used Clearasil, I didn't have dry skin. In face, it was pretty much the opposite. I learned to stay away from Clearasil after my first proper break out; it did wonders for clearing up my skin in a short period of time, but it would be dry as hell for a while afterwards. But even then, dry skin wasn't a massive deal-breaker for me when deciding whether or not I should go out. Yes, it was annoying, and I preferred not to have it, but now if I have to go out/go to work when my skin is dry, all I can think about all day is coming home and taking off my make-up. My pre-occupation with this doesn't necessarily affect how well I do my job, but it does affect my social-skills, which isn't great as I'm not exactly blossoming in that area as it is.
Nowadays, my skin is always dull-looking and it is dry about 80% of the time. A week ago, I made the mistake of going back to a really soft skincare range I used to use before I realised that one of my triggers are products that are not oil-free. I was hoping that my skin would go back to how it was when I was younger: manageable. Soft, moisturised and not so high maintenance. On Saturday, however, I got my first nodule in about 6 months, and since then I have ditched the range and gone back to Clean&Clear, which is oil-free, but means that my skin is dry a lot of the time. If I look closely in the mirror to inspect the state of a spot, I immediately regret doing so when I catch sight of my unsmooth, cracked chin I don't know how to treat. At the moment, I have spots around my jawline, which is quite rare these days, as well as painful spots on my chin. Oh, yeah, and blackheads on my nose. I just want the acne to go away. It is not severe, but it is definitely moderate, and I am so damn pale that even the smallest mark is noticeable.
I feel like if I moisturise that little bit more to try and get rid of the dryness, I have a break-out (mainly due to hormonal issues, I think), and then I'll use BP, or Clearasil spot cream to try and get rid of the spots, and then it just gets dry again- hence a never-ending cycle! Seriously! This is driving me crazy!
I really hope that it goes away for good soon, because I don't know how I'll cope if it's still here when I'm in my mid-20's. I don't even want to think about that.
It's almost ten o'clock. I have to go on a business trip tomorrow and my skin had not been dry for the past four weeks, so I was beginning to think I was on the right track.
Today, my skin is dry to the point of a co-worker commenting on it in front of colleagues in the kitchen at work.
Since then, I've been drinking lots of water and moisturing to no avail! Tomorrow I have quite a long plane ride which will no doubt further dry out my face, and then two full days of not being able to look colleagues in the eye, and people looking at me funny because my skin is so flaky and gross. My make-up- the thing I depend on to get me through the day with minimal confidence- will look atrocious. F*cking brilliant. Cheers, acne. Thanks a lot. This is why I hate you so much.