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Photograher : Michael A. Lundy

It’s the word that makes us all cringe and sick to our stomachs, acne. When a person sees one pimple or bump on their face, it wreaks their entire mood for the day. Especially when they are used to having flawless smooth skin.

In high school that ‘devilish thing’ called acne wreak havoc on my self image and self esteem. I thought all the other girls that did not suffer from acne, were prettier than me.

Middle school and high school is a critical time for a teen. They are learning more about their body, trying to analyze the world around them, and developing a new attitude about who they are.

I suffered from moderate to severe acne on my forehead and bone cheek line, from 10th grade until my freshman year of college.

My forehead is pretty big, so when acne overtook, it made my forehead more noticeable to people.

Forehead acne comes from clogged pores, dandruff in hair, oily scalp, digestive problems, hair products, overly exfoliating, helmets and hats, as well as what all teens will experience, hormonal changes and genetic factors —-puberty.

As a teen, acne rarely has anything to do with not keeping your pores clean. However overly using facial products, like what I would do to get rid of my acne, will only make it worse .

When it came to my acne , believe me I tried any and everything! I tried toothpaste, facial wipes for oily skin (since my skin is naturally oily), Neutrogena Acne Cleanser products, ProActiv (which made my acne 10 times worst), Olay Acne Cleansers, Clean & Clear, The 24 Hour Severe Acne Cleaning System, and the list continues to go on.

Some worked for a while, but no product successfully cleared my acne, except for antibiotics (that I hated, because I stayed on them for way too long and suffered from horrendous yeast infections).

By the way toothpaste is such a bad idea for a continuous treatment! I burned myself over 10 times because I used toothpaste to self medicate for a whole entire month!

Anywho! It was embarrassing that I felt like I was being judged based off these stupid bumps and blemishes on my face.

I cried to my mom all the time about not being beautiful and hating my acne. I even tried to cover my acne up with bangs because it had gotten so bad. My bangs solved nothing (oil from my hair)!

Supermodel Kendall Jenner revealed that even she suffered from the humiliation of acne.

“I had such bad acne when I was younger; I remember it SO well! I started having issues around 8th or 9th grade.”

“I think I just got acne from being a teenager and simply growing up, which happens to SO many people. But, where it really impacted me was how self-conscious I became about it. It completely ruined my self-esteem. I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them. I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face, ” says Kendall Jenner.

Kendall Jenner walks the runway as the Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2015 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Just like Kendall Jenner and other teens in the world, my acne also made me become insecure and self conscious.

I thought people were always looking at my face and asking themselves questions in their heads like ” why doesn’t she just do something with those bumps on her face”, or “ewww that girl needs some acne medicine fast.”

For Kendall, the advice her sisters had given her were quite helpful. Khloe and Kim K both told Kendall to try not to mess with her acne.

Although it’s so tempting to pick with those annoying blackheads and whiteheads, it’s very important that you don’t because of the scarring it will leave on your face.

I , however , never listened to that advice! I didn’t have the patience to wait until a pimple just went away on its own. Plus, those evil things hurt way too bad, depending on the size and where it was at, on my face.

I just knew that I was cursed and that I would always have these problems with controlling my acne, especially once the problem didn’t go away after entering into my first year of college.

But what I realized was my body was still going through those hormonal changes.

At 23 I still suffer with minor breakouts here and there, specifically during my menstrual cycle, when I don’t drink enough water, or when I’m extremely stressed out.

Kendall Jenner expressed that her acne ” doesn’t define who I am.”

Your acne is not who you are, don’t let it overtake your mental or define your worth as a person. During this phase, it is important to reiterate to yourself what your positive qualities are!

The more you focus on your acne, the more it will overtake your life.

I have some suggestions for teens who feel like there is no hope fighting acne! These are some things that I have done as well as what I know has worked for others.

Try to understand why acne occurs by reading on the different causes.

Your body is a mechanism that needs attention. There are different causes of acne for different parts of your face and body.

The more you learn about your particular case of acne , the more you can begin healing mentally , internally, as well as find healthy solutions to treat your acne without overusing products that can make it worse.

Replenishing the body with lots of water can reduce breakouts as well as staying away from greasy , salty, and sugary foods. Keep a menstrual calendar and document your body changes before and after your cycle.

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling when it comes to your acne and self esteem. Maybe it may help to even start a support group with others who are facing those same challenges.

Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist and go over a list with them on what has worked in the past and what does not work. Don’t just settle for one particular medication they recommend. Always have your dermatologist write out the pros and the cons of the medicine. You can also do your research as well !

Reading about celebrities who had moderate to severe acne may also be very helpful. And though it may be hard to do, always walk by a mirror smile and say I am beautiful until you start believing it and feeling it in your spirit.

I know it is very tempting to cover up your acne by wearing foundation, but sometimes that will only make it worse. Read up on all makeup products and do not overly use any !

Lastly, BE PATIENT WITH THE HEALING PROCESS. Again, I suffered from acne when I was 15 until 18. For 3 years, I was plagued with not feeling good about my outer appearance, my face.

Even now I still get breakouts, but I have learned that those breakouts are only temporary and I embrace those flaws.

Whether it’s a supermodel who is always in the public eye, or a teenage girl on her high school’s basketball or cheer team, more teens than not will struggle with acne. Understand that you are not alone!

How are you handling your self esteem when it comes to having acne?


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