Forewarning! This is a long post, but it was important to me to write it…
Yesterday I shared a video on my Facebook page called “You Look Disgusting”. It’s about social media expectations, standards of beauty, and how the things that people say can really impact how we feel about ourselves. It was created by beauty blogger Em Ford, whose blog and Youtube channel are both called ‘My Pale Skin’. Whilst the message can be applied to all kinds of insecurities, it focuses on Em’s battle with acne, and this really hit home for me as it’s an insecurity that I know all too well!
Acne is horrible! It not only affects your physical appearance, but can seriously chip away at your self confidence. It’s not easy, and sadly, the emotional strain and stress you put yourself through can often make it worse.
So I decided that I want to share my story with you…
My Acne Story
Firstly, I know everyone is different and I’m no doctor or dermatologist, but this is what worked for me.
I have very reactive skin so I’ve had break outs on and off since my early teens but last year, at the age of 23, it became worse than it had ever been before. The trigger that set off this hormonal nightmare was starting on a new contraceptive which, once I realised how much it affected me, I promptly stopped! But the damage was done, my hormones were all out of wack, I was having personal stress as well and the combination just sent my skin into meltdown.
Although I knew it was hormonal, I was desperate to find something that might help so I started using different products trying to find a miracle cure. When something didn’t work after a few weeks I would try something else. I know that this chopping and changing was probably doing more damage, but as I said, I was desperate!
I eventually decided that I couldn’t fix it on my own so I finally went to see a doctor. My GP put me on an oral antibiotic called Doxycycline and a topical gel called Epiduo. He told me it could take at least a month to see a change so I just had to be patient. He was right, it took a couple of weeks but I did start to see an improvement in my skin. The inflammation reduced, and I started seeing less and less new breakouts. I was so happy that these medications were working… but there was a downside.
Acne medications are very harsh and whilst they were working together to kill the bacteria and heal the acne, my skin became dry, flaky and extremely raw and tender. I remember putting on a facemask one day and as soon as it was on my skin my face started stinging. I washed it straight off but my face felt like it was burning for a while afterwards! Not fun! Acne medications are meant for one thing… to stop acne, they are in no way a skin ‘care’ product and they do nothing for the nourishment and overall health of your skin texture.
So, whilst my acne was being treated, I had to turn my attention to repairing my dry, broken and sore face. Enter Arbonne! HALLELUJAH! This is when I fell in love with Arbonne products and found my Holy Grail skin care items (which you can read about here). I chose the Calm Range because of how sensitive my skin was and after a couple of weeks these products started to repair, rehydrate and nourish my skin. My skin texture is now better than it has EVER been in my life.
The combination of acne medication and skin care products changed my skin for the better. I was happily wearing no makeup to work, when I did wear makeup I was happier about it because I didn’t feel like I ‘had to’ wear it, I was less stressed and gained so much of my self confidence back.
I was very thankful that while I was going through a hard time with my skin, my friends and family were supportive and always tried to make me feel better and encourage me. I’m also thankful that I didn’t have to deal with nasty comments from people in my personal life or on social media. But I know that not everyone is so lucky. I can’t imagine what Em Ford must have felt when she read the horrible things people said to her on social media.
Em is right! We are all beautiful and need to remember that. We also need to remember that what we say can have such a huge impact on people and how they feel about themselves. NO ONE is perfect and NO ONE has the right to put others down and make them feel bad about themselves. It serves no purpose.
Be kind. Be compassionate. Support one another. Encourage one another.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!