I don’t know which beauty guru God I pissed off, but I’ve been having some serious cystic acne in these big breakouts throughout the pandemic. Acne has never really been a huge problem for me – I swam competitively for years which effectively burned every skin cell on my face. My hair too. The years when everyone else was struggling, I skated by pretty easily. Now, though, I’m feeling the pain because I’m getting acne at 23.
My Skin Type
should probably tell you that I have combination to oily skin depending on the time of year. I get greasy pretty quickly. Finding a setting spray that actually keeps my makeup from melting off has been a work in progress that I’m still not totally confident in.
I’m also a picker. Big surprise here: I’ve got some crazy anxiety that manifests itself in some hand fixations. While other people smoke or pop their gum, I’ve always been that annoyance that clicks the pens, picks, and cracks my knuckles. It’s not at all cute. On the brightside, it’s made me a very quick typer and therefore, a good content creator. Conversely, it makes healing blemishes a little difficult.
I feel like I’ve tried everything when it comes to healing my skin. It’s so cliche to have a big zit that makes you not want to go out in public, but I’m going through that as a full-blown adult! A respiratory pandemic that required masks has made it easier to literally mask some of the acne, but not the annoying (and painful) forehead breakouts.
Men and women who have struggled with body dysmorphia or self consciousness in some form or another can understand what I mean when I say I’m very aware of myself. I am aware of the space I take up, the vibe I give off, and the cystic zit that sits right at my hairline. Like I’ve said before, the odds of anyone having the time or energy to care about the size of your forehead zit during a Target run.
Just like with everything in life, the moment your mindset shifts from obsession over the ugliness and hatred for the natural things happening on your face to action or self care is when things start to change.
Considering that most of my generation gets their skincare advice from strangers on Tik Tok, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t possibly be the only experiencing frequent breakouts along with her quarter-life crisis. My dermatologist recommended a face wash in the shower called Panoxyl. It’s over the counter but pretty harsh – so be careful! It’s been a game changer for my oily skin, especially when I was in school and touching my face in exasperated sighs all the time.
Big disclaimer: what works for me, might not work for you; even if our skin types are the same! I used a lot of cheap drugstore products to wash my face my whole life without problem. Now, however, I need to be a little more careful about the things that I’m putting on my skin. I’d encourage you to look up the long words that are in the ingredients list. You don’t have to spend heaps of money on good stuff either!! Brands like The Ordinary are available at Ulta for less than $10.
As I get older, I’ve realized just how much the outside world affects my skin, my hair, my allergies, my appetite, and everything in between. I’m not sure if it’s because we become more introspective as we get older or maybe, it’s because I’m just absorbing too much of what’s around me. Though change in our routines can be scary, it’s sometimes necessary! Unfortunately, I can’t use the same products as when I was in a pool for 4 hours a day because it’s not my lifestyle anymore.
Along with all of this though, is the reminder that your skin is imperfect and blemished just like every other person’s. We use makeup, apps, and software to make it look perfect… but you’re not unworthy of a photo or event because of a bad skin day. Even the beauty gurus that pop up on our Explore page don’t go through life without a breakout. I’m so tired of hiding my whole face because a blemish makes me feel unworthy. If we’re going to preach body positivity, it better be about the whole damn thing.
Struggling with acne? Have a to-die-for solution? Connect with me on any of the social platforms below!