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My Journey With Acne ... And How I Survived

Middle school was not my face's best friend.

Skin care
Emma Henri

Middle school was a rough time for my skin and I. I did not really know what I was doing or how to take care of myself. I was only 12 so I'm not going to beat myself up too much but, I wish someone would have told me to stop what I was doing. I was just getting into wearing makeup at this point and I did not know how to properly take all of it off. I don't have a lot of good before pictures since I used tons of filters but, here's what I use and what I've learned along the way.

If you knew me during the trying time of seventh grade, I am so sorry. I was wearing makeup to cheer practice and everywhere I went. It made me feel grown up in a way but I clearly did not know what I was doing. I did not even have makeup remover wipes (which are my best friends now). So you can imagine how my skin looked since my makeup never came off until I got in the shower. "Washing my face" was using a washcloth and water. I didn't notice what that was doing to my skin so I thought it was working. What I really did was clog my pores for centuries to come. I really could have used my sisters' advice during this point but, none of them lived at home so they never saw what I was doing to myself.

This time, I am extra sorry if you knew me during eighth grade. I was a mess. My mom and I started noticing my acne was a problem, and decided to go to my pediatrician to get a prescription. That was the only good thing that happened to me that year because I realized that you should get face washes with benzyl peroxide due to it working as how a sunburn would.

The bad part I am referring to is the fact no one stopped me from dying my hair red. Seeing Nicole "Snooki" LaValle do it and thinking she looked really good with red hair... I decided to do it. This permanently damaged my hair since it was out of a box, it was my first time dying my hair ever and I did not have a professional do it. I had red hair and a red face from my acne and I also wasn't wearing as much makeup at this point. I was very insecure and I wish I could go back and give myself a well needed hug.

Freshman year wasn't as bad for me personally. My hair was not the color I wanted but, it was not that intense red I did to myself. This was the year I went into high school and realized that school is not good for your skin. All of the dust and bacteria causes breakouts when you let it get to your face.

I had a lot of acne scars from picking or popping zits back in middle school and on top of that I was having breakouts due to touching my face while at school. Once I realized that my skin was reacting to all of the gross bacteria at school, I stopped touching my face. I started wearing more makeup again but this time my mom bought me some of the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. I started taking control over what I was doing.

In my sophomore year of high school, I was a happier person. My skin was clearing up drastically from the benzyl peroxide I had been using since eighth grade. I decided to go face makeup free that whole year. I only wore mascara and filled in my eyebrows (the above photo was form ice show picture day so I was wearing more than usual).

There were so many times I had missed doing my makeup but, I knew it would be worth it in the end. I was never touching my face while at school and I washed my school products (such as pencils and pens) fairly often. I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to clear up your skin.

A lot of what I was noticing from multiple videos is that these people were exfoliating, using multiple face washes and using moisturizer. So I went out and got Boots No.7 Beautiful Skin Purifying Exfoliator- Normal to Oily, Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, Clean & Clear's Essentials Dual Action Moisturizer.

Nothing had really changed for me during my junior or senior year. I have been using the same products and skin care routine since sophomore year and my skin has had little to no breakouts. I have some acne scars and I am still working on those, but it is very rare for me to have a white head on my face unless I am stressing.

I do my makeup more now but it always comes off before I go to bed and my skin is always washed two to three times a day. If you get one thing out of this article: wash your hands before ever touching your face. This pertains to washing it, doing your makeup, or to scratch you face.

My skin is still a work in progress but I am doing and learning so much more than I knew in seventh grade. I hope to learn about more products along the way and see where that takes my skin. I also hope that someone can learn and benefit from my mistakes.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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