Acne, or how I like to call them, the annoying bumps, are quite a handful. In every meaning of the word. They drain you mentally and chances are, your wallet is also going to suffer. I have had my fair share of acne. They popped up when I hit puberty and then they decided to set camp for a long time. I tried almost everything I could but nothing seemed to work. The worst part about it was that I became so self-conscious. I’d avoid eye contact with people only because to me, it seemed that people couldn’t stop staring at my acne. I’d avoid meeting people during the daylight because it seemed that daylight made matters worse.
But you want to know something really sad? Out of all the things I have tried, it never crossed my mind that I could simply try to embrace them. People who have never struggled with cystic acne can never understand the emotional toll it can take. They love offering one single advice that is no use to anyone, and that actually makes you want to poke their eyes out, “Have you tried washing your face?”. My, my! The cure! It has been among us all along! Yeah, no, washing your face every day does not cure cystic acne, although it helps keep down the irritations.
However, nowadays people are not keeping their acne hidden anymore. They are embracing them as part of their life and they are also showing other people who have cystic acne how to do it. Here are some pieces of advice from six YouTube stars who have been quite vocal about their everyday struggles.
1. Do anything that makes you feel good.
People are going to advise you not to put makeup on and to keep your face clean at all times. But actually, what you really need is make yourself as comfortable as possible. Samantha Schuerman, 32, says:
Buy a good full-coverage foundation! Makeup finally made me feel like I could actually talk to people, or at least help me feel a little better about myself. Cystic acne has been a constant struggle for almost 15 years. As a teen, I avoided people, didn’t go to parties or social gatherings and tried to have as little social interactions as possible, because I was so embarrassed of my skin.
But then, Samatha discovered that makeup actually helped her feel comfortable in her own skin, and anyone who has ever dealt with acne knows how important that it. After a while, Samatha has understood that it is not acne that defines her and that she has learned how to look at life in a more positive way. Now, she even has her own allegory when it comes to acne. She said:
It’s like living with a bad roommate. At first, you might hate everything they do, they leave a mess or they’re loud… but eventually you learn to live with them and appreciate their quirks that might still annoy you, but don’t completely drive you crazy. That’s how I feel about my acne.
So, really, make yourself as comfortable as you can. And please stop ruining your mental health over acne. It is so not worth it. You’re beautiful!
2. Embrace it
I know acne is difficult to love. It is annoying and they are times when you’re simply exhausted mentally and physically to deal with it. So, Kadeeja Khan, who is only 21 years old, has a very heartfelt message to share. She said that the most important thing is to accept yourself for who you are and to not fall into the trap of society’s beauty standards. Among other things, Kadeeja mentioned how she would do anything to change the way she looked, editing her pictures and all. But now, she has found something else to do: embrace it. She said:
I’ve turned that negative energy into positive. I let the world know, ‘Yeah, I have acne.’ And I show them that it’s OK to have imperfect skin. I show them that everyone is beautiful no matter what society shows them.
Commenting on the matter of how acne has affected her overall mental health, the 21-year-old said:
Over the years it’s affected my self-esteem a lot, and my acne is part of the reason why I suffer with depression. It’s made me feel worthless to a point where I realized I had to make a huge change. Now, I just remind myself that I’m great the way I am and that I am truly blessed.
The best part is that you don’t have to rush into anything. Take your time and learn how to accept acne one step at a time. Don’t expect change overnight. But never cease trying. It is the best thing you can do for yourself.
3. You are special.
What you need to realize is that you have a purpose here. And it has nothing to do with your skin or the way you look. Sometimes, us people who have struggled with acne need a wake-up call. We need someone to be loud and clear and honest with us. Such was the case with Cassandra who is 25 years old. She explained herself and said someone spoke out the truth to her. And do you want to know what the truth was? Cassandra said:
I could continue to live loathing myself and my image because of my skin and wait until it was clear to someday be happy. Or, I could make the choice to be happy with who I am and what I’ve got. That helped me open my eyes and realize that I have a choice to how I react to the circumstances around me.
The loving and honest Cassandra had a message to share with all the people who struggle with acne. She said:
You have something precious to offer this world that is much more important than your appearance and much deeper than your skin.
She, then continued, saying:
You have something irreplaceable that is meant to light up this world in profound ways. Stop comparing yourself, stop judging yourself, and always continue doing your best, whatever that is for you.
Cassandra has learned how to harness the feelings that acne gave her. She has learned so much from dealing with them. She said that now she can relate and understand people who are not comfortable in their bodies or in their skin. Among other things, she is thankful that she has had acne as “without acne, I never would have realized what my purpose in life: to help others live beautiful inside and out.”
That is something that everyone who has ever dealt with acne needs to hear.
4. You deserve to be happy.
Acne can hit you quite hard. It can make you feel like you’re not worthy of happiness and joy. Rachel Crawley, who is 23 years old, said that acne gave her a huge emotional hit and that it completely changed the way she would see herself. Over time, Rachel explained that she lost faith in herself but she is also building it up slowly. Her advice is as follows:
My advice would be to try and accept the situation whilst dealing with it in a positive way. No matter how hard on yourself you are, it’s not going to make the acne disappear. Being depressed about it adds to it, making you feel worse. You have to realize that beauty is not in the face but within. Acne does not change who you are as a person. And as hard as it can feel, you deserve to live life being happy.
That’s a lesson everyone needs to hear. It’s difficult enough to deal with acne, you don’t have to harm your mental health.
5. Have patience.
This cannot be stated enough. Patience is key when it comes to dealing with acne. You cannot expect an overnight miracle. You have to be patient because you will probably have to try out an abundance of products and remedies before you find out what works best for you and your acne. Naseem Delan, who is 30 years old said:
Don’t give up hope! Have patience! Everybody’s body is different and sometimes it just takes time to find what truly works for you. Listen to your body and do what is right for you. Try not to stress too much over the fact that you are suffering right now because that, in turn, can also have negative effects on your body by producing more stress hormones. There is no magic pill. It is a journey and healing starts from the inside.
Stressing out about it will only make it worse. I know it is way easier said than done, but you have got to stand up and decide to be happy and thankful for everything else that is going good in your life.
6. You’re not alone.
I cannot emphasize this enough! There are so many people out there who are struggling with acne and each one goes through their own difficult moments. The thing is that acne can come and go and come and go, but it really reaches you appreciation and patience. It can teach you how to be strong, since dealing with cystic acne is a heavy burden. Cynthia Chen, who is 20 years old, has also been on a journey similar to the abovementioned people. What she wants fellow people to know is that:
What I try to remember is that no one is ever looking as closely at my skin as I am, and that we all have different flaws and insecurities, and that mine just happens to be more out there. I want to remind anyone with cystic acne that they aren’t the only one going through it.
She then, continued, saying:
It’s so easy to feel like you’re the only one suffering and everyone else just has flawless skin. However, there are so many other people who are on the same boat and want to support you on your journey to clear skin because it will happen eventually.
So, while you’re out there blaming yourself for your acne, please remember that it is not your fault and that you’re not the only one who is going through it.
While acne tends to be persistent and disturbing, you have to keep a positive mental attitude. Don’t damage your mental health over something that comes and goes. Instead, try to better other aspects of your life. Advance in different fields, be it academically or career-wise. And above all, never ever think that acne makes you less beautiful, or that it says something about you. The only thing it says about you is that you’re stronger than every obstacle you face.
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