Everyone has their insecurities. Weight, body dysmorphia, things they don’t like about their face, insecurities about their abilities to do well in their jobs. It’s a totally normal thing to not be 100% happy about life. And I’m sure most people understand that.
But there is a special case for acne. It’s something you cannot explain to a person who hasn’t dealt with severe acne. It seems like it’s a vanity problem. A trivial thing. It’s just skin; you aren’t dying. A first world problem, right? But it is so much more than that. It’s more than skin deep.
At first it’s an annoying problem when you’re a teenager and you have small whiteheads on your forehead. Your mom gets you to try all these cleansers and creams. And none of them work, but you keep trying everything on the market. As you age into adulthood, the acne turns in to cysts all over your face, and you panic and start trying antibiotics and birth control pills. It always works for a little bit but when your body becomes immune, the acne comes back.
And one day you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, gentle caressing your face with your fingertips, trying to find just one spot of skin that is smooth, and your heart breaks when you can’t feel one spot of un-raised skin. It’s a terrifying place to be. You know nobody will take you seriously if you complain about it. Yet random people will ridicule you for it, try to give you advice on what you already know about, and you will always wonder if people can see past your face with acne.
It’s usually a hormonal problem, but sometimes it has to do with foods you eat, environmental toxins, a poor liver function, or digestive problems. The worst part is that traditional western doctors will never tell you about this because the do not know. They are the ones who push the birth control pills, the antibiotics, and the retinol A (Accutane) treatments, which are essentially a band-aid that will never heal the wound. And since the doctors don’t have the answer, you’re left to research on your own, trial and error treatments, trying to find the root of your acne problems.
The comments you get from other people are the worst, especially as an adult. You have friends who have perfect skin trying to give you advice on how to take care of your skin, random people trying to tell you to cut things out of your diet, and ignorant people asking you what’s wrong with your face. Thanks.
“You should wash your face more.’
“If you use this cream, it will clear up right away.’
“Have you tried going gluten-free? I bet thats it.”
But the worst one, the most controversial one, and the one I want to address today is……
“If you stopped wearing make-up, you wouldn’t have all that acne.”
This cuts to the core. Because the statement is false, and its hurtful at the same time, and people who don’t understand acne will stand by this statement.
If you cleanse your face properly, wearing make-up will not make your acne worse.
Acne caused by make-up is different than chronic cystic and papule acne.
The acne suffer often has confidence issues caused by the stress of having acne. You know what happens when you’re stressed? You’re more likely to have acne!
Most acne is caused by what you put in your body, not what you put on your skin. Diet and hormones really effect how your skin appears. A commonly known fact within the holistic community is that dairy is terrible for the skin. Drinking milk or eating anything with a high amount of dairy can cause you to break out due to the amount of hormones in the dairy. There is controversy over this whole “drinking milk is healthy” conspiracy that I won’t go into, but if you are an acne sufferer, one of the first things you should try to do is cut out dairy from your diet and see if you skin improves.
Make-up can help conceal blemishes and even out skin tone. This can build confidence and reduce stress, which in turn will reducing androgen and cortisol hormones which cause acne.
As I move along through my acne journey, I have a make up routine down to cover up scarring, even out skin tone, and of course help conceal current blemishes. After years of experimentation with my oily acne prone skin, here’s what I’ve found that works!
My skin isn’t as terrible as it was, but I still have scarring and acne around my jaw. Hormones fosho.
The only foundation that is full coverage with feeling cakey, thick, or oily is the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation. Because I have a fair neutral skin tone, I use the lightest shade N01.
You really don’t need a lot of product to cover the face. Only a nickel size of foundation!
For application, I’ve tried using my fingers, a beauty blender and a sponge, but the best by far is using this E.L.F. stippling brush in wispy circular motions on the skin. It evenly distributes the foundation in a flawless manner. Be sure to wash the brush with face wash after each use!
Use a mattifying powder to set the foundation afterwards. This one I’m using right now is by Tony Moly. If you gave extremely oily skin, pat on some setting powder before applying the foundation as well.
The blush I use is Benefit’s Dandelion blush. It gives such a healthy glow back into the cheeks.
For brows, I’m using the Hourglass pencil in Dark Brunette. This is by far the most pigmented brow pencil I’ve ever had. I prefer this over the famous Anastasia brow wiz pencil.
The mascara I’m into right now is the L’Oréal Voluminous mascara. I’ve found that drugstore brand are actually better than the high end mascara, so why spend more money on something that won’t work as well?
I’m still obsessed with lippies and have many….. it’s an addiction. But for now I’ve been content with the Chanel Coco Shine lipstick. This one is in the shade Melancolie #99. It’s a coral undertoned dark taupe shade, perfect for this season, and also perfect for the trending taupe lip in Dallas.
Done! It’s meant to be natural, and I’d like to think of this as a simple everyday look. I don’t use eyeshadow often and I don’t contour to change much about the shape of my face. I want to look just natural and enhanced. A better version of myself.
And I think that’s how a lot of girls who struggle with acne want to feel. Just at least normal.
As for what I am currently doing for my acne…. it’s mostly all inside.
I am off the pill and my previous miracle working spironolactone due to hormone issues regarding my thyroid. So I’ve turned to natural methods.
1. I cut out a significant amount of dairy. As explained above, dairy can cause hormonal imbalances.
2. I’m taking an amino acid supplement called L-Lysine which helps block an acne causing hormone called androgens. It also helps with depression which is a plus.
3. I’m taking a probiotic to help balance the bacteria in my gut. A lot of hormonal issues are caused by an imbalance of bad bacteria in the gut.
4. I’m drinking burdock root tea every night to help my liver dispose of toxins from my body.
5. Neem ointment has replaced my lip balm. I’ve found that many lip balms, tiny balms, and some lipsticks can cause acne around the lips. Neem ointment is an antibacterial ointment that can be used for the lips. Just don’t ingest it!
6. I use a make up wipe after I cleanse my face to make sure I’ve removed every trace of make up. Never sleep with make up on!
7. I’ve cut down significantly on alcohol intake. I hardly ever but it for home and try to limit myself. Alcohol is an obvious way to cause problems for removing toxins in the skin by making your liver work harder.
As for any acne sufferer, the journey is ongoing. If you have acne, don’t give up hope. Treating your body in a healthy way is the best place you can start. Don’t buy into the topical products or prescription drugs because they are essentially a band aid for the problem. Find out what is causing the imbalances, learn how your body responds to certain things. It’s frustrating, I know. But getting to the root of the problem and stopping it is better than covering it up with products that may or may not always work. And never feel despair when an ignorant person who has never been through severe acne tells you to go wash your face or to stop wearing make up. Don’t stress it. Because stress causes more acne. 😉