At age 9, I had my first menstruation.
Then around age 10, I was hit with a debilitating case of acne. It was all over my forehead and my cheeks.
I called them the “lurkers”—the painful, cystic pimples that live under the skin and never seem to go away.
This is me at 10:
I feel embarrassed to show this photo, but I hope it will help you and others who are experiencing acne and constantly fail to get rid of it. And this isn’t even the worst of it; I never wanted to pose for photos at all during my worst years, and even if I did, I destroyed the copies. It was that bad.
The Realization Phase
As soon as one pimple went away, another one popped up. And it wasn’t just small acne bumps and tiny blackheads—these were huge, red zits that hurt if I touched them. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing. And to make matters worse, TV ads exaggerated my condition in an attempt to make me feel even worse and get me to buy their products.
And I did. I tried everything. You name it; I tried it.
The Desperate Trial and Error Phase
I went crazy on the facial care aisle getting acne washes and creams, with everything I could save from my allowance. I would follow the directions religiously. I even tried my ninang’s “tried and tested” remedy: putting baby powder on before hitting the sack. It didn’t work.
Sometimes the acne would get a bit better; sometimes the products made it a lot worse.
My trial and error phase went on for years until I was 14. But my skin was still covered in red spots and peeling skin from all the chemicals I applied on my face.
The Transformation Phase
Then I started changing up my diet. I also avoided online games like MU Online and Gunbound like the plague, which I previously played until the break of dawn that I only had almost three hours of sleep as a teen (cue in my mom’s favorite catchphrase: “Kaka-kompyuter mo ‘yan!”)
I found this product at a drugstore, too, called Clearasil (I’m pretty sure it’s phased out now, though). It worked wonders for my skin. This product, combined with the right diet and enough sleep, helped me clear up my skin once and for all.
So to summarize it all and to add a few more tips:
- Eat the right kinds of food
- Get a full night’s sleep. Every. Single. Day.
- Don’t pop the pimples!
- Never touch your face unless your hands are 100% clean
- Don’t be afraid to go to a professional (i.e. a dermatologist)
What’s your #GoodbyeAcne story? Comment below.
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Dyan is a 25-year-old writer with a sense of humor of a prepubescent male. On weekends, she hibernates.