I can't tell you how to take care of acne, or at least I have no medical license that allows me to do so. Although, I have obsessed and researched about it long enough to know so many of its ins-and-outs, I could probably minor in acne studies and ace those courses. I know the types of acne, possible causes and that most importantly, there's no universal treatment. No one approaches it the same, but for those of us fortunate enough to have it (queue the laughter), we know how many possible "solutions" there are. I don't want to tell you how to cure it or anything because I don't have the cure, but I can tell you how to wear it better and how to minimize the damage.
I have wasted hours on end sitting in my bathroom, crammed up on the counter under the hot, beating light, picking my acne, letting the nasty fluid ooze from my cheeks then oozing tears afterwards. Picking cystic acne feels painful and liberating all at once. You tell yourself this is it; I am releasing this giant red beast. Then next thing you know, you have popped too many and your face is inflamed and sore. So you look at yourself question your decision-making skills.
My advice? Don't look in the mirror until absolutely necessary. That means don't zoom your face closer to the mirror. Wash your face, apply your creams, then get out! Look at your outfit in the mirror and don't look at your face. Use your hair iron and focus your eyes only on the hair. At all costs, avoid looking in the mirror.
Mirrors aren't your worst enemies though, hair, hair products and hands can wreak havoc on the skin, especially those of us who have sensitive skin. Hair irritates the skin, so if you have acne issues pull that hair back. Always. Maybe the acne won't go away, but it might reduce especially in irritation.
Don't forget though, hair products are made for the hair and not the face. If you use products, make sure none of it touches your skin, so another reason to tuck the hair back. Hands are also irritating because they carry oils and remnants of the day in them. You don't want the germs you picked up from that restaurant table inhabiting your face.
Just the opposite of too much bacteria can hurt. Over-washing can irritate and strip the skin of its natural oils. Then there's the overuse of products or changing them too often. Recently, I realized that an immense amount of my income goes to facial products like serums, masks and acne treatments. Those products cost a lot, and when overused, they will confuse the skin and cause more breakouts. When picking a product, stick with it for a minimum of three weeks before judging its effects.
There are more aspects to be dealt with besides the physical things. Wear your acne in confidence because makeup won't fix the issue. No matter how light the cover-up or how much the product advertises a formula for acne-prone skin, try to avoid wearing it. It's an extra thing in the way of your skin breathing and healing.
It sucks when you look in the mirror and feel ugly because of some stubborn and painful dots. Just don't let them rule your world. Chances are the acne won't be leaving within the next few days, so instead of shying away from the issue, embrace it and embrace your temporary look. Own that acne, and think about why it makes you feel the need to hide. I felt the need to hide it, with my hair and with makeup, I hid it by avoiding photography, I hid it in so many ways. All-in-all though, if the people that love you feel bothered by it, then perhaps they don't care much about you. And if it's because you feel shy from the way strangers look at you, then just think these are passing people and they probably don't pay that much attention. And if they did, they will forget you soon enough.
I lived with the self-consciousness and without it. It's much more liberating when you live without it. When you open up to people around you and realize most people have dealt with it or currently deal with it. The more you open up about it, the less of a worry it becomes.
Just know, everyone finds a personal, self-tailored solution at one point in time. And if you don't find one, it will eventually go away. I found a personal solution with a combination of Spironolactone (medication) and a French brand for acne-prone skin. This solution came to me after struggling with a variety of expensive and cheap over-the-counter and prescription topical solutions. I took a variety of antibiotics and I visited a variety of doctors. I did chemical peels and laser. None of it has helped me as much as that combination. I will not preach that it will work for everyone, but this has been my solution.
Honestly, it just takes time and experimentation to find your personal acne-treating remedy. Don't give up hope and keep on trying. Relax and ride out the acne years because the more you stress, the more confused and aggressive the acne becomes.