Before I get started, I should say that if you didn't read my post last February about my struggles with acne, you may want to give it at least a quick skim before delving into this here post. A bit of context will help, you see.
But I'm posting it nonetheless as I think we need to talk about acne more - all the lovely messages and comments you guys gave me in response to my Acne Girl post made me realise that.
Let's show everyone what acne is really like. And it's pretty bloody disgusting in my opinion, ergo my terror at the prospect of posting photos of my face in all its acnelicious glory. No make-up, no filters, no editing, just acne.
Although I know some people's acne is a lot worse than mine was, I didn't even want to post pictures of my acne back in February as I was embarrassed - it looked horrible! Not even my friends had guessed it was that bad thanks to the sneaky little helper that is make-up. But I hated wearing make-up everyday. It didn't look good, but it looked better than going bare-faced.
Six months down the line, however, and it's a whole different story. (OK now it's August it's technically eight months down the line but I took these snaps in June as I wanted to do a "six months on" post... Theeeeen this post got delayed. You know how it is. Oh, and the "after" pics are equally sans make-up, filters or editing.)
You guys, my acne is gone!
|Spot-free and smiling at Graduation, which will be blogged about soon, ma dears.|
Practically every time I look in the mirror, I smile (internally that is, otherwise I'd look like a right weirdo) - not because I'm super vain and consider myself such a beautiful young lady, but because the joy at no longer having acne still hasn't worn off.
I imagine those lucky people who have always had flawless skin don't know what I mean, but to you people I say this: appreciate your beautiful skin, you fortunate folk.
It's not an understatement to say my life has changed now my skin has cleared up. I'm so much happier! Obvs I was happy before, because hey, I'm a happy gal, but boy am I happier now.
You may think that makes me superficial or shallow, but I care about what I look like - your face is the first thing people see, and how you feel about your looks impacts everything else you do.
Now I'm so much more confident. Although yes, you'd be right to suggest I wasn't exactly lacking in confidence before.
I never wear make-up on my skin and I love that so much. I know other girls who do the same, but some of my friends were utterly gobsmacked upon learning I don't wear a fleck of make-up.
And now I don't care about being seen without make-up on, I dive right in at pool parties, I happily mooch around at house parties the-morning-after-the-night-before and I'm generally a lot more chilled. Well, for me. I am not the most chilled of people.
Essentially, acne is a worry with which I no longer have to contend.
Well, dear chums, there have been two factors involved in my skin transformation:
1. A vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free diet, 75% of the time at least. OK, maybe 65%. Because, cheeseburgers.
2. Roaccutane (a drug you have to get from the dermatologist.)
I overhauled my diet and started taking Roaccutane (albeit on the absolute lowest dosage) in January and haven't looked back.
Roaccutane is, for most acne sufferers, a marvel. When I see people with really bad acne in the street, I always feel like I want to go up to them and whisper "mate, get Roaccutane, thank me later."
I was warned about the supposedly horrendous side-effects of Roaccutane: exhaustion, feeling down all the time, skin so dry it cracks. But d'you know what? I haven't experienced any of 'em! Aside from slightly drier lips resulting in a Vaseline addiction.
It's been a dream!
Obviously I won't be on Roaccutane forever though, and I've heard stories of people whose acne came back after they came off the drug *shudders at the prospect*. But hopefully *crosses everything* a healthy diet will be enough to keep me spot-free post-Roaccutane.
So there you have it! I'd love to hear your thoughts on acne and spots and it'd be great to know if you relate to any of my waffle. I hope we can all talk a little bit more about the downright bummer that is acne, and I hope y'all can be encouraged to know that Acne Girls (and guys) need not be Acne Girls forever: there is very much always hope.