Why My Skin Has Been Breaking Out (Acne Background)

This is something that’s impacted my life quite a bit, so I am very nervous about posting about this. I wanted to post it up to let anyone who’s suffering know that they’re not alone and also an update as to what’s going on.

THE START OF IT – PRIMARY YEARS

I’ve had acne ever since I was young, about grade 6-7 it started to sprout. However, the only place it invaded was my forehead. However, I guess to make up for it never breaking out on the rest of my face, the acne was cystic. And I’m talking the before pictures of models that have had “miraculous” acne treatments. I never had bangs until grade 8, so it wasn’t because of bangs. I did however, touch my face often to rub off any sweat from playing tag. The only thing about that, is I touched all over my face, but only my forehead broke out.

I remember around that time, between switching classes, a boy in my class just pointed and yelled

“EW! EVA HAS ACNE ON HER FOREHEAD!!!”

and ran into class continuing to yell that. If a boy is yelling, you know there is attention being brought to you. That was the tipping point where I really started getting self conscious about my forehead.

In grade 8, I got bangs, I had a make over. I did my eyebrows, everything. I was tired of being so self conscious after that. Realizing, how “unattractive” I was. Luckily, the acne did die down a bit, but it had also spread to my cheeks. I didn’t mind, because my forehead didn’t look as disastrous. However, it did leave my forehead with MANY scars and holes in it. To this day, it is still healing. Luckily, it had faded immensely.

Now it’s grade 8. Graduation picture day. My acne has now become a self conscious problem again. What if the photographers don’t photoshop it out? I had also photoshopped it out in pictures I posted online myself. But when it comes to someone else being responsible for it, will they fix my skin well? Or do they want to keep the pictures as authentic and real as possible and minimize the editing? This is when I was introduced to foundation.

I probably had about 5-6 pimples on each cheek around this time. Foundation made my face flawless. It made me confident. It made me more willing to take photos. I loved it.

THE WORST OF IT – HIGH SCHOOL GRADE 9

Because of the confidence foundation gave me, I kept using it. I used it every day. However, my acne kept getting worse and worse. This is about the time where my acne was brought to my parents’ attention. Actually- not just my parents, but my whole extended family. It was annoying. They told me to wash my face, eat healthier, drink asian concoctions, everything. Do you not think I was already trying to be as hygienic as possible? I was never brought to a dermatologist, but was given prescribed acne creams from family/ walk in doctors and drank some asian concoctions. Nothing helped. My acne got worse and worse.

This brings me to another story that really hit my self confidence. Not only was I struggling to wrack up enough money and stressing over which foundations matched my ever changing and very yellow skin tone, but the coverage was getting thicker and thicker because my acne was getting worse and worse. Around grade 9, I remember walking around, smiling, happy, talking to my friend during a school carnival. My mood basically crashed as fast as a statue plummeting down a cliff of water,

“You can see her acne through her make up”.

It wasn’t even told to me directly, but rather a boy talking to his friend as they walked by. I knew it was directed at me, because I was aware that in certain harsh lights from above (the sun), you are still able to see the bumps. You can trust that I avoided the sun or pictures in harsh lights after that.

In grade 9, I had NO pictures without foundation on. I don’t know what was worse. Having people comment on me covering it up, or being scared of going outside without the make up.

GIVING UP THE MAKE UP, EMBRACING THE ACNE – GRADE 10

Grade 9 summer, I decided to finally take foundation out of my routine. I was introduced to tinted moisturizer. It was a very subtle coverage for all the acne I had. However, I was still conscious about my acne and there aren’t many un over- excessively filtered photos of me. I really liked to avoid looking at mirrors and taking photos. I just couldn’t stand looking at my face. However, this wasn’t just a big change for myself, but everyone else too.

First day of school, orientation,

“Hey Eva, you look different. You have more… *touches cheeks*”

… Thanks man, I appreciate it. I never knew at all. Great way to start the transition of entering school without foundation for the first time.

Luckily, the acne did slightly fade over the course of the year. It was a SLOW change, but at least it was a change. Unfortunately, my skin was still terrible. I basically just stuck to concealer and tinted moisturizer whenever I went out.

Oh, did I mention, every boyfriend I ever had or any guy I was interested in, I always had to ask them if they had 20-20 vision or wore glasses? I was so self conscious, I didn’t want them to finally get contacts or glasses one day and be scared/ shocked and leave me because of my skin.

Yeah, back then I used to care a lot for anyone that really showed me any kind of compassion. I mean you feel the need for that feeling of someone wanting you when you feel like you’ll be forever unattractive and alone.

THE BEGINNING OF THE GOOD – GRADE 12 – UNI YEAR 2

Around February/ March 2012, I started birth control. I was first on Yaz for a month, then Aviane for numerous months with Alysena for the other half of my time(Aviane is no longer being produced). Over time, my skin had improved SO MUCH. This is probably the clearest my skin had ever been. I do believe the birth control did help. Around this time, I never went back to foundation, ever. I was so happy. I also was much more confident and I was so comfortable in my own skin for once in many, many years.

THE RISE AGAIN – PRESENT SITUATION

I believe it was around January, when I decided to not be on birth control. I skipped about 2 months because I really didn’t like the water weight. Especially with summer coming around, I’m sure we all just want to have that summer body and super fast metabolisms. My metabolism on birth control does slow down quite a bit. Unfortunately, the moment I stopped, I started breaking out with large pimples. Over time, it started to get worse.

After the 2 months passed, I decided to go back on birth control, but this time on Alesse for 2 months. Unfortunately, it didn’t help as much as the other birth control brands I was on- Alysena. My skin continued to get worse.

Now, I’m not longer on any form of birth control. Right now, I have been trying and testing out different acne products to see if anything works. I don’t have a set routine that works, but there are notable products that I have found.

THE ATTEMPT TO FIX IT

The newer addition to my morning routine, is testing out Vemma Renew drinks. I have heard that it does stop acne and many people who suffered serious acne, are now clear. it is quite pricy in my opinion, but it offers many nutrients for a healthy lifestyle, anyways. Not to mention it’s a lot cheaper than the acne products I’ve been testing. Right now, my skin is terrible and hasn’t been this bad in ages. I hope to find something that helps my skin.

I will update you all on anything I find. I’m on day 3 of Vemma. So far, not much, but we will see as I continue taking these supplements. If all else fails, I may just go back on birth control – Alysena.

And an FYI before any comments about beauty is inside and out, I eat a very plant based diet. I love and adore my fruits and vegetables. I also enjoy making my own sauces and dressings to accompany my food. So, I think it is quite unlikely that it is due to my diet.

Any suggestions? What has worked for you? Let me know!

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9 Comments

  1. Wow, what an amazing post. I have just posted some of the best drug store acne products recommended by my dermatologist. They really do work! I have had severe acne up until now. Besides the drugstore products I have also used tretinoin cream, I’ve taken doxycycline pills and used erythromycin topical solution. Honestly, these have been so amazing in helping me out. But seriously try out the benzoyl peroxide cream they sell in drugstores, so amazing! My doctor used to prescribe it to me until I found out that they sell it in drugstores. Hope this helped!

  2. Reading this post just about broke my heart. I’ve also had acne since 6th grade and am currently a senior in high school and I’ve struggled with the self-consciousness that results from my imperfect skin as well. But I just want to let you know, from my experience, people don’t really care about our acne half as much as we do. I mean, sure, you’ll find a few random people who do and who make a scene of it but they’re in the minority and they’re probably just the kind of people who are generally hypercritical of everyone’s looks anyway, so even if your skin was flawless they’d still find just another aspect of you that you can’t help (your eyes, your mouth, your nose, whatever) to judge. As the saying goes, “haters gonna hate” lol; it’s just what they do. Treat yourself with the same kindness as you treat others–do you judge people for their acne? Probably not. So don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re gorgeous (not just flattering you, I’m being honest here–from the bottom of my heart, you’re gorgeous) with or without makeup, with acne or not. Embrace it!

    Sorry, just had to get that out there to start. But anyway, you asked if there was anything we could recommend to help your acne and the routine that I’ve been on for the past couple months has seemed to help me pretty well and it doesn’t involve a whole lot of chemicals, it’s pretty cheap considering how long all of this stuff lasts and especially when you compare it to many of the other acne treatments out there, and it’s not overly time consuming which is a plus! Basically, here’s my morning routine:
    1. Rinse face with warm (not hot, not cold) water to open up the pores and loosen up some of the dirt and oils that might have accumulated overnight.
    2. While face is still somewhat wet, apply a dime-sized amount of raw honey to entire face and massage in. The honey should be slightly diluted from the water to a smooth consistency; it shouldn’t be sticky or thick at all. You can add water onto your fingertips and massage it in until you reach that consistency if necessary. Massage the honey onto your face in gentle circular motions with your fingertips for a few minutes; let it sit there for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off.
    3. After rinsing off the honey, apply Witch Hazel toner. I use Thayer’s Witch Hazel with Aloe, but Dickinson’s is cheaper and I’ve heard that it works just as good if you want to save a few bucks.
    4. Apply moisturizer. I use a raisin-sized amount of Clean and Clear Morning Burst Moisturizer mixed with one pump of Clean and Clear Dual Action Oil-Free moisturizer because the first is gel based which is ideal for oily skin and the second contains salicylic acid, a common acne-curing ingredient.

    At night I’ll repeat this but before using honey, I’ll first wash my face to get all the makeup off with either my Clearasil Super Fruit foaming face wash or, twice a week, I’ll use my St. Ive’s Green Tea scrub to slough off the dead skin. Additionally, I make sure to drink A LOT of water every day and avoid high fructose corn syrup because it really breaks me out.

    Sorry that this is a bit of a novel lol but I sincerely hope it helps you. In the meantime, remember that you are beautiful no matter what and embrace that truth!

    1. Hi Maggie! I actually tried rinsing my face with honey recently, and I have to say, I love the way it makes my face feel! Haha! I’m definitely incorporating some of your tips into my new routine! Thank you so much! <3

  3. I can be almost a 100% certain your acne is due to hormonal imbalances! I also get pimples on the side of my face near my hairline a week before my period that take ages to go away and I know they are hormonal because being on birth control helps them heal a lot faster. My suggestion is getting a saliva or blood hormone level test to see which hormones you’re under or over stocked on. From that point on you can really seek out ingredients that actually balance your hormone levels. Along with sleep not just enough sleep but sleep at the right time, is so important!

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