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Should I Be Satisfied?...

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So, I've worked SO hard and SO long to get to the point where I am right now. I have mostly clear skin. On good days, it's about 98% clear and on bad days, I'd say it's about 85% clear.

Unfortunately, I can't decide where I should go from here. I used to tell myself: "If I had the amount of acne that my friends have, I'd be so happy and content." They would only get one or two spots, here and there. Now that I'm at that point, though, I can't figure out if I'm satisfied.

I actually hit one of my "goals" recently...where I showed my boyfriend of SIX YEARS my face without any makeup for the first time. I teared up a little, and he hugged me and said that I was beautiful without my makeup as I am with it on. However, I'm still not comfortable in front of him without makeup on a day-to-day basis. I still ask him to turn his reading light off before we go to bed so he won't see me. :(

But! Trying to get clear has actually caused a lot of stress and so much disappointment for me. Now that I'm at this point--- where I'm not 100% clear, but close to it--- I think that I should just stop trying for that final 10%. I don't want to go on an extreme diet anymore....I don't want to worry about accidentally falling asleep with my makeup sometimes....so my question is:

Should I be satisfied with my small amount of acne, and just be content that it's not like it was before?

What would you do? Do you want PERFECT clear skin or would you be okay with a few pimples every now and then?

Thanks for any input! :D

-Heidi

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I think this question can only be satisfactorily answered by examining the correlation between having clear skin and happiness. Do we need clear skin in order to be happy? That question will get a million different replies because it is a value question- how much value do you put on having clear skin? It's impossible to gain a universal response on what level of clear skin would equate to being happy as everyone has different values. For what it's worth, I no longer have acne but have a lot of red marks and I'm ok with that. For me, gaining happiness and peace with my skin was always about conquering active acne, and I have finally managed to do that through diet revisions, a topical regimen and having gone through oral medication (accutane).

I suggest that we should look at our lives as a whole (the place of friends, family, career etc) and then examine how important acne is within that framework; for only then will you be able to properly judge how much importance acne should have in your life. .

Edited by ledzep
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Thank you, ledzep, for your reply. I completely agree with you-- it really is the value that an individual places on clear skin. It's just that-- for so long I've put a lot of value on trying to get the clearest skin that I can get.

It's hard to switch my mindset from thinking: "I'd give and do anything in order to get clear skin" to: "It's okay not to have perfectly clear skin because I have better things in my life to worry about."

I'm not looking for a universal reply, I'm looking for insight on the issue. I want to know what other people value when it comes to their skin, and what would make them satisfied with their skin-- not completely ecstatic about their skin.

In other words, would most people settle for having almost clear skin?

Thanks!

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If you're anything like me, you won't settle for anything. But that is the nature of the monster of an illness that lives inside my head: With bad skin, I look in the mirror and see a monster. With moderately bad skin, I look in the mirror and see a monster. With clearing skin, I look in the mirror and see a monster with acne scars. With perfect skin, I look in the mirror and see too big a nose, too small a mouth, a weird jaw, and so on.

I truly hope for your sake that you don't suffer from this same sort of dysmorphic body image. It's a seriously scary thought to think you might never be happy with yourself. I'm working on it though.

But yeah.... I will say that if I had 99% clear skin I would be significantly less obsessed/depressed than I am now with bad skin. But the issues run deeper, and in a way I'm glad I have bad skin right now because it's forcing me to work on this stuff.

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First off, congrats on your amazing progress! 85 to 90% clear is fantastic.

I'm also around 95% clear, and personally, when I have 100% perfect skin(which happens maybe a few times a year) I actually get way more obsessive and stressed about figuring out what I did to make it that way, and then trying to keep it that way. I never have been able to figure it out (or keep it that way) and when I inevitably get a little blemish, it brings me down. It's like, when you've attained the top, then there's no way to go but down, you know? I've sort of started to accept that it's a thing that comes and goes, and to enjoy it while it lasts, and not freak out when it ends, because most of the time I'm super happy with the way my skin looks. It allows me to concentrate on other things that bring me more lasting happiness.

Enjoy your clear skin, and all the fun worry-free times it brings! :)

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Well nobody has perfect skin, but i would give up alot for 90% or more clear skin

You're right, no one has perfect skin. Even the people who we all think have perfect skin. Maybe that's a good thing to keep in mind when wondering if I should be satisfied with 90% clear skin?

If you're anything like me, you won't settle for anything. But that is the nature of the monster of an illness that lives inside my head: With bad skin, I look in the mirror and see a monster. With moderately bad skin, I look in the mirror and see a monster. With clearing skin, I look in the mirror and see a monster with acne scars. With perfect skin, I look in the mirror and see too big a nose, too small a mouth, a weird jaw, and so on.

I truly hope for your sake that you don't suffer from this same sort of dysmorphic body image. It's a seriously scary thought to think you might never be happy with yourself. I'm working on it though.

But yeah.... I will say that if I had 99% clear skin I would be significantly less obsessed/depressed than I am now with bad skin. But the issues run deeper, and in a way I'm glad I have bad skin right now because it's forcing me to work on this stuff.

dejaclairevoyant, unfortunately, I DO suffer from some sort of image dysmorphia. It's terrible. I examine myself far too closely and critically to the point where it's crippling to my self-esteem. I understand what you mean when you say that even if you were 100% clear, you would start to look at everything else that "might be wrong." It's actually interesting and new to me to be writing this, because I have never really, truly tried to combat this distorted way of viewing myself.

But the reason I wrote this post is because it seems so relieving to me to be able to say "I'm finished with my battle with acne-- It's not perfect, but I'm okay with that!" I would like to say this with confidence and actually mean it. What a load off my shoulders it would be!

First off, congrats on your amazing progress! 85 to 90% clear is fantastic.

I'm also around 95% clear, and personally, when I have 100% perfect skin(which happens maybe a few times a year) I actually get way more obsessive and stressed about figuring out what I did to make it that way, and then trying to keep it that way. I never have been able to figure it out (or keep it that way) and when I inevitably get a little blemish, it brings me down. It's like, when you've attained the top, then there's no way to go but down, you know? I've sort of started to accept that it's a thing that comes and goes, and to enjoy it while it lasts, and not freak out when it ends, because most of the time I'm super happy with the way my skin looks. It allows me to concentrate on other things that bring me more lasting happiness.

Enjoy your clear skin, and all the fun worry-free times it brings! smile.png

akko, thank you for your reply! Your post got me to think about my skin and reflect on how far I've come. I think most people are never 100% satisfied with their skin/hair/nails, whatever. However, I like how you look at it-- enjoy it while it lasts and don't freak out when it's not there. Maybe this is how it should be with every aspect of our lives? Enjoy the good things, look past the bad!

Thanks! :D

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My skin is about 95% clear, now since I worry less on acne I started noticing my hair, my dark circles ugh is a non stop story. I think will never be satisfied, even models celebrities fix themself ( surgeries etc).

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I think you would reach that 100 % clear if you stopped wearing makeup for a bit so you can let your face breathe a little. Wearing it everyday could be the reason why it won't clear up completely.

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My skin is about 95% clear, now since I worry less on acne I started noticing my hair, my dark circles ugh is a non stop story. I think will never be satisfied, even models celebrities fix themself ( surgeries etc).

Eh, yeah, that seems to be the problem doesn't it? Once you get what you've always wanted, you start wanting more. It's really eye-opening to be thinking about it this way. I guess we should stop worrying so much about everything and get on with our lives! haha

I'm thinking of just learning to become amazing at makeup instead of worrying about trying to control my skin. It would sure be easier.

haha, I think by default, I've become great at makeup because of my acne. I've been covering up my spots since I was 14, and have increasingly gotten better and better.

I think you would reach that 100 % clear if you stopped wearing makeup for a bit so you can let your face breathe a little. Wearing it everyday could be the reason why it won't clear up completely.

Too unrealistic for me to ever think I'd be able to NOT wear makeup. haha. Sorry, won't be happening. rolleyes.gif

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So, I've worked SO hard and SO long to get to the point where I am right now. I have mostly clear skin. On good days, it's about 98% clear and on bad days, I'd say it's about 85% clear.

Unfortunately, I can't decide where I should go from here. I used to tell myself: "If I had the amount of acne that my friends have, I'd be so happy and content." They would only get one or two spots, here and there. Now that I'm at that point, though, I can't figure out if I'm satisfied.

I actually hit one of my "goals" recently...where I showed my boyfriend of SIX YEARS my face without any makeup for the first time. I teared up a little, and he hugged me and said that I was beautiful without my makeup as I am with it on. However, I'm still not comfortable in front of him without makeup on a day-to-day basis. I still ask him to turn his reading light off before we go to bed so he won't see me. sad.png

But! Trying to get clear has actually caused a lot of stress and so much disappointment for me. Now that I'm at this point--- where I'm not 100% clear, but close to it--- I think that I should just stop trying for that final 10%. I don't want to go on an extreme diet anymore....I don't want to worry about accidentally falling asleep with my makeup sometimes....so my question is:

Should I be satisfied with my small amount of acne, and just be content that it's not like it was before?

What would you do? Do you want PERFECT clear skin or would you be okay with a few pimples every now and then?

Thanks for any input! biggrin.png

-Heidi

I think rather than worrying about your skin just take stock what you have that is good in your life.

Your happiness should come from that, not from how clear your skin is :)

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It doesn't matter anyway. I've gone without makeup for as long as six months straight before. Acne didn't change or improve at all.

It isn't topical. The acne comes from inside.

Absolutely right!

So, I've worked SO hard and SO long to get to the point where I am right now. I have mostly clear skin. On good days, it's about 98% clear and on bad days, I'd say it's about 85% clear.

Unfortunately, I can't decide where I should go from here. I used to tell myself: "If I had the amount of acne that my friends have, I'd be so happy and content." They would only get one or two spots, here and there. Now that I'm at that point, though, I can't figure out if I'm satisfied.

I actually hit one of my "goals" recently...where I showed my boyfriend of SIX YEARS my face without any makeup for the first time. I teared up a little, and he hugged me and said that I was beautiful without my makeup as I am with it on. However, I'm still not comfortable in front of him without makeup on a day-to-day basis. I still ask him to turn his reading light off before we go to bed so he won't see me. sad.png

But! Trying to get clear has actually caused a lot of stress and so much disappointment for me. Now that I'm at this point--- where I'm not 100% clear, but close to it--- I think that I should just stop trying for that final 10%. I don't want to go on an extreme diet anymore....I don't want to worry about accidentally falling asleep with my makeup sometimes....so my question is:

Should I be satisfied with my small amount of acne, and just be content that it's not like it was before?

What would you do? Do you want PERFECT clear skin or would you be okay with a few pimples every now and then?

Thanks for any input! biggrin.png

-Heidi

I think rather than worrying about your skin just take stock what you have that is good in your life.

Your happiness should come from that, not from how clear your skin is smile.png

Yes! Actually, I'm really glad that I started this thread. It has actually allowed me to think about my life overall and how wonderful it is. I feel almost embarrassed that I've allowed myself to dwell so much on my appearance. How shallow! Seriously!

Thanks, TakeToTheSkies!

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I have recently been wondering about the same types of things! I think that one of the most terrible things acne can do is cause us to live in fear of our own appearance. Recently I have been cutting back (slowly) on products and make up in order to refocus on what is happening internally with me rather than fixation on the external. I have been able to go out anywhere recently only wearing BB cream and mascara! It has been eye opening to me to start thinking this way and I am so much happier. I still have a small amount of non inflamed acne- and maybe I always will but I am grateful for the journey and feel better than I ever have about how I look! I don't think you have to give up make up completely but I do think it is helpful in order to move away from the constant fear about our faces! Much love beautiful girl! I wish you the best.

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So, I've worked SO hard and SO long to get to the point where I am right now. I have mostly clear skin. On good days, it's about 98% clear and on bad days, I'd say it's about 85% clear.

Unfortunately, I can't decide where I should go from here. I used to tell myself: "If I had the amount of acne that my friends have, I'd be so happy and content." They would only get one or two spots, here and there. Now that I'm at that point, though, I can't figure out if I'm satisfied.

I actually hit one of my "goals" recently...where I showed my boyfriend of SIX YEARS my face without any makeup for the first time. I teared up a little, and he hugged me and said that I was beautiful without my makeup as I am with it on. However, I'm still not comfortable in front of him without makeup on a day-to-day basis. I still ask him to turn his reading light off before we go to bed so he won't see me. sad.png

But! Trying to get clear has actually caused a lot of stress and so much disappointment for me. Now that I'm at this point--- where I'm not 100% clear, but close to it--- I think that I should just stop trying for that final 10%. I don't want to go on an extreme diet anymore....I don't want to worry about accidentally falling asleep with my makeup sometimes....so my question is:

Should I be satisfied with my small amount of acne, and just be content that it's not like it was before?

What would you do? Do you want PERFECT clear skin or would you be okay with a few pimples every now and then?

Thanks for any input! biggrin.png

-Heidi

I`m in a very similar position to you right now - I used to have really severe cystic acne and although I`m never totally clear, I am probably anything between 85% to 99% clear these days.

When my acne was at it`s worst I imagined that having perfect or near perfect skin would be utopia. Unfortunately it didn`t work out like that. The obsessions that I developed in terms of diet and constantly examining myself remained even after my acne got better. The dietary issues are all about avoiding certain foods because of the fear of the acne coming back. As with the condition of my skin, even one or two blemishes can leave me feeling like a hideous monster.

All in all even though my skin has gotten and been a lot better for quite a while now, I`ve not been any happier. A few months ago, something happened to me that made me realise I need to get to grips with this otherwise I will always be miserable and unhappy. To this end I started counselling and approached my GP about CBT - this should commence in the coming months. Things are getting better, I`m really challenging myself in terms of what I can and cannot eat and doing my best to avoid focusing on my appearance and the condition of my skin. It is still very much a day to day thing though - ultimately I want to be in a position where I don`t even think about or care what condition my skin is in.

From both our point of views, I think it is important that we are more realistic. We may or may not ever be totally 100% clear but instead of always trying to attain the impossible, we should be grateful for all the other positive things that we have in our lives. When you are constantly worrying or obsessing over your skin it is easy to lose sight of that.

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Yes you should. And maybe you should feel a little guilty for complaining about what would be a dream come true for a lot of people here. Just saying. I do completely relate with the being unhappy despite being relatively well off. But still.

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It doesn't matter anyway. I've gone without makeup for as long as six months straight before. Acne didn't change or improve at all.

It isn't topical. The acne comes from inside.

Absolutely right!

So, I've worked SO hard and SO long to get to the point where I am right now. I have mostly clear skin. On good days, it's about 98% clear and on bad days, I'd say it's about 85% clear.

Unfortunately, I can't decide where I should go from here. I used to tell myself: "If I had the amount of acne that my friends have, I'd be so happy and content." They would only get one or two spots, here and there. Now that I'm at that point, though, I can't figure out if I'm satisfied.

I actually hit one of my "goals" recently...where I showed my boyfriend of SIX YEARS my face without any makeup for the first time. I teared up a little, and he hugged me and said that I was beautiful without my makeup as I am with it on. However, I'm still not comfortable in front of him without makeup on a day-to-day basis. I still ask him to turn his reading light off before we go to bed so he won't see me. sad.png

But! Trying to get clear has actually caused a lot of stress and so much disappointment for me. Now that I'm at this point--- where I'm not 100% clear, but close to it--- I think that I should just stop trying for that final 10%. I don't want to go on an extreme diet anymore....I don't want to worry about accidentally falling asleep with my makeup sometimes....so my question is:

Should I be satisfied with my small amount of acne, and just be content that it's not like it was before?

What would you do? Do you want PERFECT clear skin or would you be okay with a few pimples every now and then?

Thanks for any input! biggrin.png

-Heidi

I think rather than worrying about your skin just take stock what you have that is good in your life.

Your happiness should come from that, not from how clear your skin is smile.png

Yes! Actually, I'm really glad that I started this thread. It has actually allowed me to think about my life overall and how wonderful it is. I feel almost embarrassed that I've allowed myself to dwell so much on my appearance. How shallow! Seriously!

Thanks, TakeToTheSkies!

:)

We have all been there, the important thing is we learn, adapt, overcome and think differently.

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I have recently been wondering about the same types of things! I think that one of the most terrible things acne can do is cause us to live in fear of our own appearance. Recently I have been cutting back (slowly) on products and make up in order to refocus on what is happening internally with me rather than fixation on the external. I have been able to go out anywhere recently only wearing BB cream and mascara! It has been eye opening to me to start thinking this way and I am so much happier. I still have a small amount of non inflamed acne- and maybe I always will but I am grateful for the journey and feel better than I ever have about how I look! I don't think you have to give up make up completely but I do think it is helpful in order to move away from the constant fear about our faces! Much love beautiful girl! I wish you the best.

Thanks, kailaruth! Yes, I think that over time, I will cut back on the amount of makeup that I use. It is definitely liberating to stop using it as a crutch!

I`m in a very similar position to you right now - I used to have really severe cystic acne and although I`m never totally clear, I am probably anything between 85% to 99% clear these days.

When my acne was at it`s worst I imagined that having perfect or near perfect skin would be utopia. Unfortunately it didn`t work out like that. The obsessions that I developed in terms of diet and constantly examining myself remained even after my acne got better. The dietary issues are all about avoiding certain foods because of the fear of the acne coming back. As with the condition of my skin, even one or two blemishes can leave me feeling like a hideous monster.

All in all even though my skin has gotten and been a lot better for quite a while now, I`ve not been any happier. A few months ago, something happened to me that made me realise I need to get to grips with this otherwise I will always be miserable and unhappy. To this end I started counselling and approached my GP about CBT - this should commence in the coming months. Things are getting better, I`m really challenging myself in terms of what I can and cannot eat and doing my best to avoid focusing on my appearance and the condition of my skin. It is still very much a day to day thing though - ultimately I want to be in a position where I don`t even think about or care what condition my skin is in.

From both our point of views, I think it is important that we are more realistic. We may or may not ever be totally 100% clear but instead of always trying to attain the impossible, we should be grateful for all the other positive things that we have in our lives. When you are constantly worrying or obsessing over your skin it is easy to lose sight of that.

Like you, thinking about my skin and my appearance became a true obsession. I can relate to your feelings on getting blemishes now. Getting even one blemish can bring back the painful, disgusted emotions that I would get when I had a face full of acne. It's a sickening feeling. But yeah, I'm trying to be more realistic and I'm trying to give myself a break. It's hard when treating my skin has been one of my top priorities for the last 8-10 years of my life.

Yes you should. And maybe you should feel a little guilty for complaining about what would be a dream come true for a lot of people here. Just saying. I do completely relate with the being unhappy despite being relatively well off. But still.

Exister, I'm sorry that I have offended you. But don't forget...I have once been in the same shoes as many people on this site-- cystic, painful acne on my face and neck. I started this thread because the emotional effects of acne do not just go away once it has cleared. This "dream come true" you speak of is precisely what I thought I would have once my acne went away.

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Yay congrats on getting as far as you have! Every day when I look in the mirror I think I would just be happy if the hyperpigmentation went away so I could really see what my skin looks like. I would settle for mild acne if the reddness didn't stay forever and a day. However I am not close to either of those things at the moment, but hoping one day!

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