You only get one face and that's it. Your face is how others identify you, recognize you, and ultimately know you. Faces can bring back memories, good and bad. Faces have the power to inspire millions, express some of life's most difficult emotions, and show the joy that is so contagious it influences others.

What do you do when that canvas has been tainted? When the one thing that most people know you by, is the last thing you want them to know you by? Struggling with acne feels like a never-ending battle and it's so easy to want to give up and let it take over your thoughts and emotions. I have been wrestling with this sense of defeat for a few years and I don't think I'm the only one feeling this way.

Cystic acne is defined by Medical News Today as, "a severe type of acne in which the pores in the skin become blocked, leading to infection and inflammation."

I have determined that my cystic acne is caused by an imbalance in my hormones. Which makes it extra prominent during "that time of the month." It wasn't always this way; back in high school, I had small breakouts here and there. Unlike today it was nothing that made me want to skip class. Gradually my acne got worse and I didn't know why.

As I went through my college career I would have weeks where I would break out and then my skin would start looking better; only for it to break out again a week later. I am sure we all know the feeling of finally seeing a good skin day, then waking up to a huge zit forming on your chin. Nothing humbles you more than acne can. Wearing a cute outfit? Having a good hair day? That's nice, I bet it'll match well with a huge pimple as an accessory. *dramatic sobs*

Then I met my boyfriend, and if you are in a relationship and struggle with acne I am sure you know where I'm going. No matter how many times he says, "babe, you look gorgeous even without makeup" I still won't believe him. See here sweetie, either you're blind (which he's not he has impeccable vision, damn him) or you're lying because you can clearly see all the scars and pimples ALL OVER MY FACE. But thanks honey for trying to make me feel better! :)

I've come to realize this post is mainly a long list of me complaining about the struggles of having acne. But I know there is someone reading this that is hopefully saying to themselves, "Oh thank God I am not alone!" I have gotten to a point where I still don't know the best way to deal with my breakouts, but why should I let it steal my joy? Why should I let my acne cause me shame and discomfort when I know myself I am working to improve it.

In this season of my life, I want to learn to not hold myself back from being who I truly am just because I have acne. Yes, some days are REALLY hard and I can't even leave my room because I don't want people to see my face. But who knows how long it will take me to find a reliable cure. Months? Years? So why should I put my life and happiness on hold?

I want to encourage you to make peace with your appearance. Sometimes you can't control how you look and that's okay. This is all apart of the grand scheme of learning to love yourself, just as you are. Because I promise there is someone out there who sees you for who you truly are. And guess what? They absolutely adore you.