I used to be ashamed of my skin.
You may not know it now, but I used to have terrible acne. And I was embarrassed about it. Have you ever heard the term “pizza face”? That most definitely could have been used to describe the appearance of my skin throughout elementary (yes, I got my first zit in 4th grade!), middle, and high schools.
Disclosure: This post contains a review of a complimentary skin treatment provided to me by Seven Inlets Spa. All opinions are my own!
Deep, painful, red lumps and bumps covered my cheeks and chin. In my teens, it also covered my back, upper arms, and even sometimes the bumps popped up on my chest. To hide my embarrassment, I slathered on foundation, often in a shade that was much too dark for my skin tone, and to mask the body acne, I wore clothes that covered it. It was honestly hard to tell sometimes what tone my skin actually was beneath all of the redness and irritation I created.
Recently, I was invited to the Seven Inlets Spa at Little Creek Casino for a facial, and it was this experience that reminded me that even just a few years ago, I would have been terrified to have an esthetician remove my makeup. In fact, my conversation with Hannah, my esthetician during my facial, inspired me to share my skin journey and what I’ve learned over the years. She explained that she sees clients all the time who feel embarrassed or ashamed of their skin when they come in for a facial.
Not only did I not want the help of an esthetician, but I was too afraid to go to a dermatologist, fearing that they would give me the same “bad advice” that every other doctor gave me. (Mostly it was either to tell me “it wasn’t that bad” and then prescribe medications that didn’t work for my skin.)
Instead, I threw everything at it – alcohol laden pads to strip everything, even the good oils, away. Benzoyl Peroxide creams, Salicylic Acid based gels. I tried mud masks, high concentrations of tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and more. I visited websites and forums to try to replicate other peoples good results in getting rid of their breakouts. You name it, I probably tried it.
No matter what I did, the pimples persisted.
Then, I started hormonal birth control around the time I left for college. I also stopped using so many skincare products on it, mostly out of laziness, but also because I didn’t need them anymore. I used less foundation, ultimately using just a light wash of mineral powder to even out my skin tone from some of the hyperpigmentation left over from blemishes long gone. I was thrilled. I thought I had finally cured my acne for good.
Until it returned.