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  • RENATA POLEON

Acne: A Lesson on Beauty



There are a couple of things that I thought I left in my teen years; glitter cosmetics, the idea of being friends after a break up and acne. Unfortunately that last one has been lingering with me like a bad breakup.


I couldn’t drink enough water, cut out enough meat and dairy, try enough skin care regimens, or take enough vitamins and minerals to sway my genetic makeup. My unwanted house guest called hormonal acne has stuck around even now that I’ve started my fourth decade. It has been frustrating at times, but when I think of where I started, I know I am better than I was before.


From puberty, every month has felt like Goundhog Day. It’s a neverending vicious cycle of breaking out, treating acne and not fully healing before a new breakout emerges. With few resources to treat my acne, I resorted to trying skin care products that should have never been allowed to exist in the first place, but none of it worked. I tried modifying my diet, but still, very little shift in results. I would constantly think,“When is this going to end?”


Me in my 20s

We’ll, it didn’t. So there I was in my twenties, spending thousands of dollars on skin care treatments and makeup. I committed to skin care regimens that would rival that of wvery Korean person dedicated to skincare. That diligence paid off in long periods where my skin was as smooth as a baby’s bottom with not a dark spot in sight, but all it took was one severe breakout to start the vicious cycle all over again. In spite of the turbulence, I enjoyed my teens and my twenties. I did my best to participate in life and not let acne resort to me isolating myself.


Then I hit my thirties right after I had my first daughter, I had the most insane breakouts of my life. I couldn’t seem to control anything g that was going on with my skin while breastfeeding, sleep deprived and navigating motherhood. When I speak of feeling devastated, this was the epitome of it. I have one picture in particular where I was wearing my newborn in a Bjorn and sitting in a swing. When I zoomed in the photo and saw my skin. I was devastated.


The ebb and flow of acne has been exhausting physically, emotionally and socially devastating at times. Having to find the strength to navigate this very judgmental world has not been easy, but has been worth it. I had to believed that I am more important than the sum of all my breakouts and hyperpigmentation. I am worthy and I am loved. I have been blessed with friends, family, goals, hopes and dreams. I am more than just a face.


Gone are are the days when I wore a full face of make up to go to the corner store. My skin care regimen is working and makeup is to amplify what I already have. I started venturing outside bare faced and beautiful somewhere around my mid to late twenties and it had been the best decision for my self esteem. As my confidence grew, I came up with this simple mantra, “The world will just have to take what I give it.” If not, people are free to look away.


Acne did not diminish the light in me. It didn’t taken away my desirability in every stage of my life. I love this face. It is what I present to the world in all its many versions. Acne helped me amplify the real me. Not depending on your looks can help foster the most amazing personality. I am smart, witty, funny, kind and I lead with empathy. The older I got, I realized that few people cared about my acne in the way that I did. The beauty they saw in me was me being my most authentic self and that was good enough for me.


Have you ever dealt with any skin issues? How are/were you dealing with it?

 


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