Hey guys, welcome to my new column! Every week, I’ll discuss a topic that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention because it’s either awkward or cringe-worthy. BUT these are things that happen to all of us. Or most of us, at least. Why am I opening up a conversation that would normally make us uncomfortable to talk about IRL? Because it’s the Internet and I feel like it.
So, this week I want to talk about acne. Specifically, acne that I was promised would fade away and be replaced by the glowing skin of a cherub. It gets better, they said! Well, the proverbial “they” lied to me. I’ve never had terrible acne, but my face has always been blotchy, and I’ve always broken out around my chin and sometimes in between my eyebrows: the “T” zone, as it’s labeled most infamously. It was at its worst in high school, and I dated Proactiv for awhile, hoping it would help clear my face like Jessica Simpson promised. It worked, but the magic wore off.
I went on The Pill my freshman year of college, and the zits kind of stopped waging war on my face; I’d get the occasional zit or two, but nothing totally obscene. Then, it happened. I got A HUGE MONSTER ZIT on my nose. Like, smack-dab in the middle of my face. And it was red, pissed off, and unwilling to compromise. I tried everything. I fed it salicylic acid solution, facial masks, a hot compress, toothpaste, crushed up Advil, top-notch spells I Googled. I left it alone, and then I doted on it, using moisturizer even though it seemed counter-productive. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. A month had gone by, and I couldn’t bare the shame. I went to the dermatologist and during a two-minute appointment, she injected it with some kind of antibiotic (which felt like a mini sword stabbed my nose), and prescribed me some oral medicine to help the blemishes go away.
And they worked! But I ran out, was too lazy to get another prescription, and figured my skin could handle its B.S. without science holding its hand. But no. The state of affairs on my face fluctuated like a moody teenager at Hot Topic. I would be more or less zit-free one month, but the next would be acne-geddon all over again. I tried different birth control medications. My mom bought me the Clinique skin care kit for my birthday. I tried all kinds of face washes, exfoliators, moisturizers, but none of it worked.
So, here I am. I’m 24, and I still have zits.
I recently talked to a friend about it, and she said it could be stress. You know, she could be right. I’m a pretty neurotic person, and it wouldn’t surprise me if my skin was neurotic, too. But aren’t other people stressed? I bet Hillary Clinton is stressed, and you don’t see her walking around with a blotchy face and two zits poking out from her forehead.
Maybe I’m not drinking enough water. It’s so boring, though. I can’t help it. Does water REALLY have the power to transform our faces? I’m so over celebrities being like, “Oh yeah, I have this dazzling skin that’s perfectly dewy and rosy because I drink lots of water.” LIES!
Maybe I’m eating too much cheese. You know, I’ve heard that consuming way too many dairy products is evil for your skin, and I DO like my grilled cheese and cheese pizza, and like, cheese on its own—a lot of it—so that very well could be it.
Maybe I’m too hormonal. I did cry for two hours after I watched the finale of Orange is the New Black. But it was so beautiful! And who WOULDN’T cry knowing we have to wait an entire year for the next season?
Maybe it’s my make-up products. But I NEED concealer in order to hide my zits. If it’s the concealer that’s causing them, well, we’ve certainly got a Catch 22 here, don’t we?
Maybe I should visit my dermatologist. Uh, if I had one. I don’t out of pure laziness; I got new health insurance in January like a lot of us did, and I haven’t researched a doctor that accepts it. I’m a bad adult, okay?
Guys, zits are the worst. Well no, I can think of at least a million things that are worse than zits.