I have struggled with acne since my freshman year in high school.
That was eleven years ago but it seems like it was only five. I remember covering my face with powder foundation only on my problem areas to hide the redness. Looking back now I realized I was walking around with tan patches on my face because I did not know my exact shade. This was before liquid foundation was a thing, girls who dabbled more into makeup, especially liquid foundation were called cake face and it was perceived as a negative instead of artistic. Today those same girls are top makeup artist and beauty bloggers, but that is another story for another day.
When acne finally hit me it seemed like I had it since birth because I was so young that I couldn’t even remember what it was like to have completely clear skin. I felt like I took my skin for granted previously in my middle school years, when really I was just having fun being a kid and enjoying life. No one should have to go through acne and I know the physical and mental pain it can cause on a person.
I have tried countless of products that I assumed would cure my acne and make me feel and look beautiful again but honestly nothing work… well, maybe Proactiv.
Proactiv was what I used consistently my 10th grade year until I was a freshman in college. Although Proactiv got rid of MOST of my acne, I had occasional breakouts and constant dry skin. On top of that, my skin was ALWAYS oily. I had it ingrained in my head that I naturally had oily skin, when in reality the Proactiv dried my skin out so much that my body was trying to make up for it by producing more oil than usual to keep it moisturized.
My freshman year in college I decided to stop Proactiv. I got on this whole natural thing; I did not want all these chemicals in my body or on my skin. Around this time I also stopped my birth control. I just wanted my body back, I wanted to be in control and I wanted it to be healthy. I assumed that my acne was a high school thing and assumed my body was leveled out so I did not need Proactiv anymore. Well, I was right to give up the skin care line but BOY was I wrong about my body being acne free.
For those of you who followed me on YouTube during those years, you already know how my face reacted during these times. Being on a hormonal drug like birth control and a FAITHFUL skin care routine with a high percentage of benzoyl peroxide and all of a sudden stopping both was chaotic. I never experienced acne like that before and I tried to ignore it even in my videos. No one ever brought it up so I just pretended like they did not notice, when really they were being kind. Looking back at my videos when my acne was at its worst I could hear it in my voice how sad I was. I mean all my life I wanted to be a young adult living life and feeling and looking beautiful and I was stuck with acne.
I tried everything during the next few years, even went back to Proactiv once and it no longer worked for me.
None of the things that worked for other people’s skin were working for me. I got to a point where I just assumed acne was apart of my life and I would just have to deal with it forever. But then something amazing happened. The first time I experienced clear skin, I randomly decided to start taking liquid vitamins, Miracle 2000 to be exact. I took these vitamins to keep my body healthy, with no intentions of clearing my skin. After I took them I saw something different in my face the next day.
I know you are probably thinking, “yea right, you can’t clear skin in a day”, but my skin wasn’t clear. My acne was still there but they were not as noticeable or as red and my skin looked healthy, young, and vibrant. I continued to take these vitamins everyday and my skin cleared completely. I thought I was cured, I was so happy but the vitamins alone did not cure my skin.
The vitamins worked well but I had to put in a lot of work to maintain my clear skin.
They worked for my skin best when I did not take them for a long time and than started taking them again, like my body was missing some key ingredient and when I took the vitamins my body was fulfilled. My acne still came but it was not as bad as before and I could deal with that. I was okay with small bumps and I stopped thinking so hard about my skin.
My junior year in college I decided to be come a vegetarian, I still had acne but I was still ignoring it. I went back to the idea that acne was just something I had; everyone has at least one flaw, right? I slowly started transitioning into veganism by giving up dairy first, than eggs, and other animals by-products last. My skin was changing slowly but surely. Note, I did not become vegan for my skin, I was and still am very conscious of what I put in my body and at the time I believed vegan was the right thing ( I still believe this although I am currently not vegan).
I believed this vegan lifestyle changed my life.
It took a long time for my skin to completely clear, almost a year of being vegan before I actually notice how clear my skin was. I was genuinely counting each day I had clear skin trying to embrace it for the time being because I knew my break out was coming, I thought my clear skin was just seasonal.
As a vegan I began to loose a lot of weight during this time so I went back to eating meat but I did not return to dairy. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in veganism and my goal is to be plant based in the future. But as a college student who couldn’t follow a schedule to make home cooked meals like I wanted I gave in to the pressure and went back to unhealthy fast foods and meat. I gave in but my acne did not come back, and that is when I realized dairy was the source of my acne all this time.
I just new no dairy was the cause of my clear skin, and than I started thinking. The one thing they tell you to do when you search the web on how to get rid of acne is to reduce dairy intake. Not only do doctors recommend that but also something else occurred to me… As a baby I was “allergic” to dairy and could not even drink my mother’s milk.
I as well as my family assumed that the allergy disappeared as I grew but I don’t think it truly did. I mean besides the point that humans should not be drinking another animal’s milk; I was mildly allergic to dairy and that explained so much. It made since and I finally had relief.
It took me ten years to figure out my body and I am thankful for the journey.
Whenever I get small bumps here and there I know the exact cause of it. I studied my body and know when I have accidentally eaten dairy, need to drink more water, or when to lay off the sweets based on the look of my outbreaks. Now whenever I do get acne I feel like those flawless girls who cry about that one tiny pimple that no one even saw until they point it out. And when that occurs all I need is some hydration, tea tree oil, and a nice nap.
Of course no ones story is the same but reading and learning other’s stories can help you find yours. I hope that my journey can help at least one of you because I know what it is like to have acne and to feel insecure because of it.
Are you the person who has acne prone skin or has your skin always been good to you? Let me know in the comments down below.
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