Acne is hard to miss, literally.
With a physical manifestation of pimples and scars across the face, it's very clear when we suffer from acne, and it doesn't just impact our health, it impacts our psychology too.
Here are a few shots along the pathway to clear skin.
Before. During. After.
This blog started as a result of wanting to track the journey of my skin. So along the way I kept a few snaps of what my skin looked like at each major junction.
You know your skin is on the right path when the treatments get turbocharged a notch and they roll out the big guns - what is otherwise known as 'Alkaline treatment'.
For really acne-prone skin, Alkaline treatments have been used to raise the PH level of the skin to impact the skin's acid mantle. It's particularly potent for scar revision, as the skin's structure is broken down to accelerate the healing process. The use of beta-glucan based products helps boost the skin's rehealing.
This is a treatment to be conducted in a controlled professional environment, and NOT a DIY! It feels a little raw the day after, so I pack on beta-glucan products otherwise known as 'Beta Gel' for accelerated healing and it works a treat.
Landing the guy
A few weeks ago, I was late home from work and at the end of my street I walk around a corner to come up to my house. For the first time ever, I saw a little old lady at the end of her driveway battling with her garbage bin. This is the biggest, and oldest house in our street yet I’d never met her. She is in her late 90’s, was using two walking sticks and partially blind so has a magnifier that is quite literally 15cm thick. My heart just poured out.
Naturally I went up to offer her a helping hand. I put the garbage away and escorted her back up to her home, asked if she needed me to cook anything (she didn’t) and I gave her my home and mobile numbers so if she needed anything or help doing the groceries she could call. I call her every Tuesday to check if she needs me to come and get the bins and put them out, and we’re trying to organise a morning tea with herself, myself and my Mum. She reminds me so much of my Grandmother who I miss dearly.
What happened the day after I first met Doreen really surprised me. I had to leave very early for work before the garbage trucks came and didn’t want her to have to walk down to the end of her driveway to somehow collect the empty bins. There’s a great big dirty duplex development being built just opposite her house (in addition to the other 10 on my street gah, let’s not go there), and I walked up to the tradies onsite at 7 that morning.
Generally at a building site, there aren’t any women around. And if there are, they are holding up the stop signs, have food or trying to inconspicuously perve on the shirtless tradies worth looking at (you’ve totally taken a peek once, be honest). I was empty handed and obviously was not applying for the prestige role of being the stop sign girl.
So I was faced with 3 fairly buff and rough looking blokes, and one Romeo. I explained the bin situation and if they could help out by taking the bins. What happened to their faces was nothing short of a miracle. I was met with fairly stern grimaces, but by the end they had turned into the warmest biggest teddy bears I had ever seen and of course, had agreed to help.
When I walked away, I caught Romeo’s eye (not his real name obviously) and did the whole Cameron Diaz hair flick from Charlie’s Angels over to him.
Naturally, I walked into a tree branch.
If you know me personally, you will know I have limbs inherited directly from a giraffe gene pool and tend to make basic things - like star jumps in the air - into the most uncoordinated and unsophisticated human movement experiments known to mankind. That’s why I am a swimmer, I’m best kept in water than on land.
What’s the point to my opus you ask. The point is, a few years ago, I would NEVER have had the confidence to go up to talk to them, let alone pull a hair flick maneuver - yes it failed miserably, but hey at least I tried! I’ll put it down to practice for the next time I run into Romeo 2.0.
So what changed? A few years ago, when my acne was at its peak, I wouldn’t leave the house - at one stage for one fortnight. And when I did, I left with layers of makeup on to cover my acne even to do simple stuff like go to the grocery store or beach. If I saw a Romeo, my eyes would automatically go to my feet and I’d feel so embarrassed and humiliated if he even looked at me. This is the way I felt when going through acne. It had nothing to do with skin, but the hit to my self confidence that impacted my life - I couldn’t even look guys in the EYE!
Compared to now, I can safely leave the house just with lipstick on, even if i have a slight breakout. I finally live the lifestyle to feel that confident and not only look Romeo’s in the eye, but ballsy enough to hair flick them. One day it’ll actually work though :D.
The point is, a few years ago I NEVER would have been able to do that.
When my acne was at its worst, I obviously was doing everything I thought possible to get rid of it as quick as possible. But I lacked an understanding of how I needed to piece together the core aspects of my lifestyle that would have an impact on the quality of my skin and my life.
Acne has little to do with skin, and everything to do with confidence. It can feel like you’re on a consistent losing streak as an adult….it filters from your face to your life = finances, relationships, job performance..everything seems to just be a struggle. Coming out the other end, I can definitely say I am so happy to be living a happy confident life after beating acne the way I wanted to [without relying on Roaccutane]. Getting in control of my financial future has been pivotal to that journey, having purchased a home and out of credit card rat race once and for all!
Ok this one is the scariest to admit to, but I asked those closest to me to feedback what I was like before and after I had my battle with acne. This is hard to share because it’s scary to admit you were a shell of a person once and it’s embarrassing to admin to it. But at the same time, it’s really humbling to see how much can change in a short period of time, not only for your skin, but how things can change as a person too.