Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Nightmare Skin...

Hey again beautiful ones. So, quite often on my more beauty related posts I have mentioned how aggravated/ aggravating my skin has been for the past few years. I started getting bad
breakouts, strange red patching and a very irritated complexion ever since I started exercising hard about 2 years back now. Now, a lot of people use the old 'I've tried everything' cliche but, on a very serious note, I literally have tried everything. In fact, that's an understatement. I went through stages in my panicky states over the past few years of hosting a face of skin which hated me; I began with the classic 'let me buy everything that says 'clear skin' on it under the sun because of course these will all be miracle cures..' stage. Obviously this epically failed and maybe even worsened the situation. I then went through the 'let me not use anything but a make up wipe and a hot flannel on my face'... This also failed. Then I clung on to the obsession of finding every DIY natural skin remedy I could find on Pinterest which also, I'm pretty sure, wrecked my face even MORE. I was exfoliating with oats, moisturising with milk, dabbing on tea tree... I even went through a 'UV ray' phase... That's how desperate I felt. You name it, I did it. 

The hardest part of all of this was the massive effect it had on my confidence. I went through cycles of feeling incredibly upset every time I took off my make up and when I woke up in the morning and had a sorry stare into the mirror to see someone I honestly didn't recognise staring back at me. I felt scarred and quite honestly, ugly. As I went through the daily ritual of painting my face on I began to feel more and more of my confidence dripping away. I'd stare at girls with perfect skin on the tube, at school, at the gym etc. and I was only making my skin worse by being in very polluted London, going to the gym and exercising hard with a full face of make up on etc. I was in a vicious cycle of not wanting anyone to see my uncovered face but also not wanting to aggravate it more. 

A few months ago I thought to myself 'this is absolutely ridiculous' and decided to go into town without any make up on. As I walked down the street I felt great, liberated and like I honestly couldn't give a monkey's. However, when I got into the shop I saw myself in the mirror and felt so horrendous at the sight of myself amongst all of these pure, baby smooth faced people, I straight away left the shop and headed back home to once again, slap on the concealer. I had no idea how to get out of this horrible cycle.

So, I rang the doctors and booked myself in. When my appointment arrived I obviously had to head over there without any make up on and did so with my head held high knowing soon I will hopefully be rid of this - what it honestly felt like - curse. The doctor was so lovely and made me feel very at ease before telling me I did indeed have adult acne. To hear the 'acne' word was a bit of a shock as being a teenager, I had never had any trouble with my skin, so to be diagnosed with acne at the grand old age of 21 I felt like I was right back there in my self-conscious teens. However, the doc assured me she'd seen some people aged 30+ who were struggling with awful conditions such as nasty sores, pimples, boils under the skin etc all under the name of 'acne'. At this point, I felt quite lucky. She popped me through a prescription for antibiotics which I would take once a day for 2 -12 months depending on how my healing process goes. I was so shocked to hear I might be on these tablets for a whole year...

I'm delighted, however, to be sitting here a month and a week down the line of taking these miracle tablets with very very very almost perfect skin once again. I really don't think anyone, unless they have experienced prolonged acne at this stage of life, can really understand how amazing it feels to FINALLY be on the way to clear skin. Skin I can feel confident enough to bare to the world outside of my door. I feel like I'm able to shed the mask I've been plastering on for the past few years and finally, un-ashamedly, embrace my natural self without feeling like, well... crap. 

I've still got a bit of a way to go and have a feeling I may be on these antibiotics for up to 6 months but after which I should be free of troublesome skin for the rest of my life. 

Recently, an incredibly brave woman posted a remarkable video on Facebook/ YouTube about the exact same issue and the way she has been targeted after putting on a selfie of herself with no make up on and her true skin revealed. Watching this made me cry as it touched a very raw nerve with me to do with exactly how I've felt over the past few years. It's incredible how damaging people's words can be when it comes to this issue. A massive issue in today's society is how women as so praised and showered with compliments when they appear 'well dolled up' for example when I post a picture on Instagram of myself prepared for a night out with a full face of make up on, lashes etc. I get quite a few likes and lovely comments etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful for this and I'm probably my own worst enemy but all of this just adds to the divide between my perception of my 'bare' face as a 'secret' or 'not as good'... You know? For example, an ex of mine used to comment on girls without make up on, in the gym etc, as 'dog rough'... I'm sure he never meant to cause harm but this just added to my self-consciousness and made me question this about myself. Looking back I feel so angry about comments like this and wish people would understand the effect of their words. However, this video shows some of the effect of this and it's comforting to see others who understand and are also trying to do something about the misconceptions out there about adult acne/ make up/ the 'beauty' word. 
If you get a sec, please watch this... It's beautiful.

`You can see more of the beautiful Em at her piece of the web -  My Pale Skin

I hope you've enjoyed this post & thank you for all being so wonderful and understanding with everything I share on my blog.

I love you all

x Abster x

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