The Day I Decided Not To Let Acne Control My Life Any Longer

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By Cassie M Brewer

This is what I know for sure: life is too short, and you are too awesome, beautiful, and interesting to make yourself miserable over something you can’t control like acne or uneven skin tone.

Real talk: there is life during and after acne. I promise. Here is an abridged version of my acne story and some tips for dealing with the struggling with body image.

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (and confidence)

For too long, I let my acne ruin my self esteem. During the height of my breakouts, I was pretty depressed. I wanted to control my body, but most days, it felt like my body and my hormones were controlling me.

My self loathing manifested itself in social anxieties. I know now that most people weren’t fixated on my acne. Ironically, it was my lack of confidence that highlighted the “imperfections,” not the other way around.

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With the help of a dermatologist, some special acne medication, and many years of trial and error, I’ve gotten my breakouts under control. But I still have a ton of scarring and experience the occasional flare up. (And I’m in my late twenties!) You are not alone, and there is a way through this.

So here is how I deal, and what I wish I’d known when I was younger:

Find Role Models That Inspire You

During this period, I looked at glossy magazine ads and despaired over not looking perfect. Don’t do this! Instead, find strength in images of women–real or fictional–who inspire you for their real, curvy, messy beauty and their charm, wit, intelligence, and compassion.

These days, I really admire Lorde for her honesty and willingness to go without photoshop. I look up to my aunt Mary for her social advocacy and compassion. Solange Knowles’s unique style and artistry excites me, and I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s wit and willingness to make herself look ridiculous in the name of comedy.

Eat Well to Feel Strong and Full of Energy

Some things are out of your control, and worrying about them won’t make you feel much better. One thing you can control (within reason, I realize not all of you buy your own groceries) is eating healthy foods that make you feel great. Let me be clear though… this isn’t about dieting or trying to look thinner. It’s about filling up on foods that contain essential nutrients your body needs. So try to cut back on the greasy foods, load up on produce, and cut out dairy if you think you might have a sensitivity that’s aggravating your acne.

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Throw Yourself Into the Things You’re Passionate About

What do you love? What makes you forget yourself for a minute and fills you with joy? Do you love writing fan fiction and reading novels? Have you always wanted to learn to paint or play an instrument? Throwing yourself into a hobby you’re passionate about can give you confidence and a sense of self worth outside of your appearance. Plus, you’ll meet cool new people in the process!

Accentuate Your Favorite Features and Glam it Up

Do you love spending time perfecting an edgy smoky eye or a retro cat eye? Are you a huge fan of bold lip colors? Maybe you love trying hair tutorials or creating complicated nail art. Have fun and get creative with your look. You are beautiful and deserve to treat and celebrate yourself, acne or no.

Take heart! It will all be okay. Remember, you are gorgeous. And worth knowing and acne is not forever.

 

Cassie-brewer

Cassie Brewer, 25, is a makeup artist and freelance writer living in sunny Southern California. She writes about diet and wellness in order to help others not only be beautiful on the outside, but radiant on the inside. You can follow her on twitter: @cassiembrewer.

 

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