I’ve been insecure about my skin for as long as I can remember. I started to notice acne popping up when I was in middle school, but it really became an issue when I started high school. I was already insecure about the way I looked, and acne certainly didn’t make it better. My feelings toward my skin had put me at an all-time low, and I hated when I had to take my makeup off at the end of the day and look at my bare face in the mirror. I honestly thought that people judged me because of my skin. The worst part was that I felt like I had tried absolutely everything to get rid of the discoloration and acne, and nothing seemed to work. I tried product after product, saw different dermatologists, tried eliminating certain foods from my diet. To say I was frustrated would be an outrageous understatement. I would listen to people in my family, as well as my friends, try to give me advice about how to clear up my skin. “Just wash your face!” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that one, I could’ve paid to get laser treatments on my skin.
Since about the end of my junior year of high school my acne has cleared significantly. I still get pimples and I do still have discoloration, but I’m smarter about skincare now and I’ve learned what products work for me and which ones don’t. I certainly do still have acne, though, and I still get insecure about the way my skin looks.
I can’t say that I love my skin. It’s hard for me to walk out of my room without makeup on, to send a bare-faced Snapchat to anyone other than my absolute closest friends, to see other people who have naturally beautiful skin and wonder if they know what it’s like to feel insecure about their skin. The thing is, though, the people that matter most in my life don’t care what my skin looks like. I’ve become more and more accepting of the fact that my skin does not define who I am as a person.
I’m doing the best I can to help my skin, and my body, feel and look healthy. I do still get breakouts here and there, but I’m trying my best. That’s all we can do in life, and there’s no point in sulking around feeling upset about something that I can’t really control. The people that matter most love me for me, not because of the way I look. It’s hard to get over that wave of insecurity that flushes over me when I wake up to find something I don’t like on my face. Having acne is a challenge that not everyone can relate to, but know that if you can relate, you are not alone. We have so much to be grateful for in this life. There’s no point in wasting tears and bad feelings on a spot that will soon disappear. Sometimes it’s difficult to not feel self-conscious, but I just try to remember that my skin should not change or shape anyone’s opinion of me, and if it does, I know that they’re not a person that I want to have in my life. Beauty comes from within, and your skin does not define you.