Friday, March 8, 2019

Confession Time: My Acne Struggle

Hi there lovelies!

Today I want to talk about something that's a little difficult for me to talk about.  While I may seem pretty confident (or at least fairly confident) on the outside, the truth is I am just like every other person with their share of insecurities.

Not far from the top of my list is my acne.  I've battled acne for almost as long as I can remember.  I remembered thinking in college that I would soon grow out of it, as it seemed like acne was an adolescent thing... But then college came and went and the acne still prevailed!  I would always have some sort of mark on my face, and it was always pretty embarrassing.  I wouldn't want to talk about it, even though I knew it was there and was causing me problems.

At the end of high school my mom took me to a dermatologist to try to find a solution, and they gave me some topical daily medication.  I used it for a short time, applying it just before bed as instructed... And before long it ended up staining all my pillows an odd orange color, and ruining a brand new Panic! @ the Disco shirt I had worn to sleep in.  I was so furious I threw the medication in the garbage.  There had to be a way that I could lessen my acne but not be constantly ruining my pillowcases and sleepwear.

I gave up for a few years, hoping it would just go away one day.  It persisted.


People told me to stop eating sweets, and that would stop my acne.  But taking down my sweet tooth honestly felt like a bigger hill to climb than managing the acne.  I love sugar to a fault, but I couldn't fathom giving that up.

I finished college and we moved up to the city and I started working in the fashion industry.   About right after college I started focusing more on this blog, and I was wanting to take all these lifestyle photos of my outfits.  But I was so embarrassed by my acne, I became a master at using a clone stamp to stamp it out of my all of my photos.   If I couldn't get rid of it in real life, then at least I could eliminate it in my photos.  I will tell you that I don't do any other major photoshopping of myself in my images (I don't try to make myself look thinner or anything like that), but I have been spot healing little blemishes off of my face for years.  I do play with the colors and filters because that is the fun of making these images, and I will also regularly clone stamp out things in my surrounding environment (a bench, a fire hydrant, a person walking a dog) if they are a distraction from the focus of the images.  Which is what I felt my acne was — a distraction.  When I looked at the photos all I would see was the acne.

December 2018 out of camera shot vs. final posted image

All this time while we've been living in the city the last four years Andrew has been in Pharmacy school.  He recently graduated and is now a working Pharmacist in our town.  A little over a year ago (I think; I'm a little fuzzy on the timeline) he found another acne medicine for me to try that was over the counter, called Differin.  I was initially hesitant to try any other topical gels because of the experience I had before with my Panic! shirt, so I was slow to warm to the idea.  But I did start using it, right before I would put on my makeup, and after I had washed my face in the morning.

He told me that it would probably get worse before it got better (which is how the other one had worked too), so to just keep using it daily and eventually my acne would get better.  So I started applying it daily and just went about my life.  I still had acne for a while, but then I did notice my face starting to clear up.  Instead of 5 blackheads hangin' out at a time, there was one or two, and eventually there was just an occasional one.  I was starting to feel like my face looked like anybody else that I interact with in my life.


June 2018 out of camera vs. final color balanced and edited

And I'm not the best at keeping on top of it (I sometimes miss days if I opt not to wear makeup one day), but I am starting for the first time in my life to feel confident in my face.  And that's a weird thing to say and feel.  I think I never got into makeup because, well A. it's expensive and I don't want to fall down the rabbit hole, but B. because I thought it would make my acne worse and possibly not even manage to make me look any better past the acne.


February 2019 out of camera vs. posted.  I was so thrilled that I felt no need to deal with any acne in this photo.

So now at 28 I'm gaining a confidence in my appearance that I have never had in my young adult life, and honestly it just feels like such a relief.   The other day I realized as I was editing a photo for this blog, that I didn't need to clone stamp a single acne off my face, and that felt really freeing.

It's been kind of a long and winding road, but I'm really excited that there is a light at the end of the tunnel now... and I'm running to it.

p.s. It is really very difficult for me to share these unedited versions of photos with you all, so please be kind.

Until Next Time, 

- The Lovely Red Fox

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