Insecurities: we all have them. Though I’m mostly a confident person, in the past my biggest insecurity has been my skin. I had pretty bad acne all through middle school and most of high school, and I tried medicines after medicines to try and heal it. Trips to the dermatologist would result in tears as she treated some of my bad marks (once with a needle!) and always ended with some new prescription for a cream with a whopping price tag.
Also a while back I started taking birth control pills, which helped clear my acne a bit. Since I’m an all-natural kind of gal, It pained me to be taking so much medications, but I persisted since it did help clear my skin–and give me a lot more confidence. With time, it fizzled out.
In fact, back in the fall of 2010, it looked like my big breakouts were gone for good!
And I felt great! I decided I could finally stop swallowing hormones and smearing chemicals on my face, since my acne appeared to be all gone. So that’s what I did. All I did was wash my face with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in the morning and at night.
I was lookin’ good and feelin’ good:
But in the past few weeks, I noticed that I was getting some pretty serious breakouts–worse than I had ever gotten before.
Confession: I do not feel confident when I have a lot of breakouts. It makes me feel wicked insecure. Which sucks for so many reasons:
- I am being photographed A LOT right now, since I am going on all these adventures. I want to be looking my best!
- I am meeting a lot of new people, and it doesn’t make an ideal first impression. It’s like, “I swear, I’m a hottie under here somewhere!” lol 😉
- It’s painful! (and ugly, shhh…) The affected areas are extremely sensitive to the touch
- I did not bring my old acne medicines, and cannot find my favorite Neutrogena (for a reasonable price) anywhere here in New Zealand
- It makes me feel like I’m unhealthy in some way
Why had it suddenly gotten so bad? Was it the transition to my new environment? Maybe, so I tried to waited it out, but over a month later, I don’t see any real improvement. So, I asked my parents to send me my old acne meds so I could try them again:
Tazorac at night and Finacea in the morning. I used Finacea this past fall when my skin was lookin good, and I have Acanya as a back up in case nothing improves on the Finacea. Fun fun. I went back on birth control a few months ago, and it usually takes a few months to regulate things completely, so that should kick in soon and help.
In addition to topical medicines and birth control, the following things can help heal acne:
- Avoiding caffeine: It’s true that I have been consuming more the past few months! No more daily trips to the cafe for me! This will help me save money and it’s better for me, anyway.
- Avoiding growth hormones in meat and dairy: Since I rarely eat meat, that’s not an issue, but the dairy problem is concerning. Especially because I cannot afford to be buying organic or almond milk right now. I will cut back, but not eliminate it.
- Exercise: sweat helps to cleanse pores. Gee, don’t I do that enough already? Well, I won’t stop then 🙂
- Avoid oily and greasy foods: I already eat these very rarely, but the problem is these
crappyeconomical pans in my kitchen have a tendency to be very sticky! I’ll continue to use as little oil as I can.
- Avoiding sugar and chocolate: This will be a tough one! After lunch and dinner I usually need something sweet. But did you know sugar has no health benefits for your body? (Though tons for your soul!) So I’m going to start by keeping sweets for a small after dinner treat.
- Avoiding stress: I’ll admit, my life is pretty stress-free right now, but though I do have a tendency to work myself up about things, I’ll be sure to do a little yoga (with meditation!) every day, no excuses.
Since I want to clear my acne for mainly cosmetic reasons, I will not enter the dangerous area of “restriction” for any of the above guidelines. My first priority is to be healthy, and healthy skin usually follows. So let’s see where my new regimen takes me! I’m just hoping that at some point, my skin will be back to the healthy glow it was a few months ago:
But until then, I’m still smiling 🙂
What are your insecurities?