My skin is the number one thing I am self conscious about. Growing up with acne made me learn this very early in my life. My skincare story is full of ups and downs but I can honestly say I’m finally at a comfortable place. It did not happen overnight, more like over the course of 8 years. If you’re struggling with acne, don’t lose hope. It does not define you and you WILL find a solution that makes you feel comfortably you.
As I was trying to organize my thoughts for this post I thought I’d first share the 3 major takeaways from my journey. These are things I feel are important for everyone’s journey.
- Be patient
- Invest in a dermatologist
- Look for a skincare story vs. a skincare solution
First and foremost, be patient with the process. As I said, it probably took close to 8 years before I felt like I finally had my skin figured out. There’s a lot of trial and error along the way and you have to be prepared for that. Even now that I’m at a place I’d say I’m comfortable, I still breakout and have bad skin days (or weeks).
When I was in middle school, I started breaking out. At first, I didn’t think much of it but shortly after it started, I realized it wasn’t stopping. I started trying new face washes and acne creams. Nothing seemed to do the trick. I quickly learned both my parents had acne growing up and unfortunately, it was just in my genes. Do you know how some people are just blessed with perfect skin?! Yea, not me. That was where a lot of my friends were at so you can imagine how the never ending comparison game took a toll on my self esteem.
The acne went on for a while. I tried more face washes and creams but never achieved clear skin. My brother had previously gone to the dermatologist and we had a close family friend who was a dermatologist. In my mind, this was the next step to clear my skin.
Invest in a dermatologist
I was fortunate enough to have my parents help me through this time, however, I know that’s not always an option. No matter where you are in your acne journey, I 100% recommend saving up to invest in a dermatologist. They know their stuff!! Remember, treating skin is their job and they know what works.
With that being said, seeing a dermatologist can still be a series of trial and error. The process is just expedited because when something doesn’t work, they know the perfect alternative. The first solution I tried was an antibiotic and Retin-A. I vividly remember sitting in the lunchroom and a teacher coming up to me asking “Megan, why are you blushing?”. I was not blushing… my skin was so dry from my new acne solution that it left my skin in a constant state of red, making it look as though I was blushing.
Although that was not my favorite moment, I tried the solution for a few months to let it run its course. When I still didn’t see results, I went back to my dermatologist to try something new. As I said before, they know the perfect step 2. I started a new antibiotic and topical and to my surprise, it worked AMAZING.
Things were looking up. My skin was clearing and my confidence was growing. Unfortunately, even your perfect solution still has it’s flaws. The summer between 8th grade and freshman year my family went to the air and water show. I get motion sick pretty easily. A cold towel laying over my face helped settle my stomach thankfully! Little did I know what this would do to my skin…
I later got a little tan / sunburn on my forehead because of the towel on my face. This was my first burn after using my new acne solution. I soon found out the burn peeled in grid format making my forehead look like a turtles shell. And this, my friends, is how I started my freshman year of high school. 🙂
Look for a skincare story vs. a skincare solution
Seeing a dermatologist changed my life. I will forever be grateful for her help and her patience with my unending questions/challenges. The ups and down I shared above are simply to remind you that your skin won’t change overnight. Even when you find something that works, you may still have to adjust it.
I had to go to my dermatologist yet again after starting my freshman year of college. Changes in my stress levels, routine, environment, etc. put my skin in another spiral. We adjusted my routine and I’ve been doing the same thing for 4+ years now. And 3 days from now, that may change again.
Don’t look for an overnight solution or an easy answer. Try new things and establish your own skincare story. You will be able to find a combination that keeps your skin flawless. Yes, you will need to make adjustments over time but you’ll get to a place of more consistency. Keep your spirits and faith high as you go through your skincare journey!
I thought I could share a before and after picture to put it in perspective. It was hard to find a TRUE before picture because I did not take a ton of pictures that accentuated my skin.
I hope sharing the ups and downs of my skincare journey is something you can relate to. Never hesitate with any questions and always remember to be comfortably you, no matter where you are on your journey!
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