Love the Skin You're In
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
My relationship with my skin has always been love/hate. The second I hit puberty my face immediately began to breakout. I hit puberty early, around eleven years old, so at this point acne and finding the perfect skincare routine has been a part of my life for about 15 years now.
When I was in middle school and the early years of high school, I could care less about washing my face and the importance of skincare. Of course I didn’t like my acne, but at that age I hadn’t developed the discipline to keep a consistent skincare routine or wash my face twice a day. My mom would harp on me like crazy, but as a teenager you never want to listen to what your mom is telling you to do.
I maintained a consistent-ish skincare routine throughout high school, but still had pretty bad acne and cycled through all of the prescribed medication and topical creams with my dermatologist. Finally, I went on birth control around seventeen to minimize the severity of my acne. It didn’t completely get rid of it, but subsided some of the deeper cysts.
When I got to college, that’s when I really started to care about my skin. I was finding myself spending so much time applying my makeup multiple times a day to cover up my acne and honestly took so much time out of my day that I could have been using to study, eat or watch a few episodes of netflix before a class. Instead I was spending time (and money!) obsessing over my skin, comparing myself to my friends, and ways to get rid of the acne. I was buying countless face washes and masks to help clear my acne, and I was probably piling so much on my face that too many products only made it worse. Each month I would have to buy more foundation from my overuse of makeup, and I wouldn’t buy cheap stuff either, and I could barely save my money. I would even put makeup on before my workouts, because I couldn’t bear to have anyone see my natural face. I was ashamed for allowing myself to cover up my face, when I knew 100% I had the most supportive friends and people in my life who wouldn’t give a shit about the condition of my face. Still, it was a total destructive cycle. I should have allowed my skin to breath, where instead I smothered it with products and makeup.
I definitely don’t believe face washes, masks and makeup are bad, trust me I love makeup and have more serums than I can count- but with my face using them so so much and so so often it only irritated my skin even more. I was so fed up and ashamed of my face that I needed to do something about it. The first dermatologist I found online, I made an appointment with. The second I got there I told him I wanted to go on Accutane. Once I read through the huge booklet of what to expect while taking the drug, I decided I was all in and up and running.
My Accutane experience deserves a whole other blog post, so that will come in the near future. But I ran through five months of Accutane, overall having a positive experience. The outcome for me could not have been better. Sure, I still have breakouts, I never assumed it would be 100% perfect since our skin can be dependent on so many other factors like our hormones, what we eat and drink, sleep, exercise, the weather, skincare routine, the list goes on.
I have found over the past two years that for me, keeping my skincare routine simple is best. Now some people’s skin thrives off of continuous moisturizing and masks, and that’s totally okay! It’s so easy to compare our routine to someone else’s, but we need to remember that just like our bodies, our skin is different and has different needs. Nowadays, my routine includes a basic drugstore face wash, a retinol face wash maybe 2-3 times a week, and applying Tula’s hydrating day and night moisturizer in the morning and night. I went through a period of time where I tried developing a routine twice a day that involved washing my face, applying a few serums, and moisturizers, and it just didn’t work for my skin, but worked for some of my friends! It’s so important to understand your skin and what it needs to thrive. I find it so easy to get caught up in everything the media is telling us about skincare, where you feel like you need to buy every product on the market. What matters is feeling comfortable in your own skin and knowing what’s right for you.
I wish I would have learned this years ago, but I spent so much time hiding behind makeup. Whether you have acne or not, don’t be afraid to show your skin. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup everyday if that’s what makes you feel good and there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to wear makeup. Be your own person and do what makes you happy! For me, I was using makeup to hide, and now being able to wear makeup knowing I’m wearing it for fun or to enjoy the art of it has been liberating. If I do have a breakout, I try hard to remember that I’m only human, and I don’t need to cover it up. All skin types are beautiful, and we all have our own flaws about it that we sometimes don’t like- acne, sun spots, lines, freckles, you name it. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t spend time worrying about my skin, that I have more important things in life to focus on.
So go enjoy your Friday and remember to give yourself some self care this weekend :)