As you listen to yet another person give you advice on your ‘problemed skin’ you can feel your face irritated past the point of oil build up in your sebaceous glands.
“Have you tried washing it twice a day?”
“Have you tried eating a better diet?”
“Have you tried medication?”
“Have you tried drinking a lot of water?”
“I heard the ocean, is really good for it, I heard not wearing make-up makes it better, I heard dermatologists can really help, I heard sun exposure works wonders, I heard, I heard, I heard.”
And you’ve heard it too, a million times.
You’ve been to a plethora of doctors, tried every diet possible.
Going dairy free!
Going gluten free!
Going sugar free!
Going oil free!
Going fucking crazy!
Not eating out at restaurants for the fear of what is laced in your meal might end up laced through your pores the next morning.
Having bad skin is revelling at how people will pay $200 for a plain white t-shirt from a brand that shares a name with your defect.
Having bad skin is telling yourself that everyone gets pimples but not able to fully convince yourself that it makes yours okay.
Having bad skin is watching a block of wood be smoothed down by sand paper and wishing that however painful, it could be that easy for you.
Having bad skin is listening bullshit claims of ‘make up is an art to enhance’ when all you’re trying to do is clean your canvas, you do not need people to view you as a creative genius, all you need is for people to see your face as a human one.
Having bad skin is saying you’ll do anything to make it better, but when looking at the side effects listed on the bottle of Accutane and seeing potential birth defects, seizures, blistering, bone fracture and hearing loss you consider what, anything really means.
Having bad skin is wishing you were a hermit crab, not so you could hide inside a shell but so you could swap your spotted one for a flawless finish.
On the worst days, it’s covered with half of the foundation section at the chemist. It’s carrying around three tubes of concealer so you can keep your mask on during the day. It’s only takes one boy’s statement of,
‘I prefer girls who don’t wear make up.’
To make you turn your self-esteem inside out.
To make you want to tell them you do not have any other options, you did not ask to be to put on the spot while you tried to cover yours.
But this about having enough self-confidence, enough self-love, enough common sense or maybe it about just having had enough, to stop covering up.
To ending the war of pills, to stopping suffocation by creams and ointments, to putting down the make-up brush guns, to detonating the beauty blender grenades, to allow yourself to breath after being under foaming face wash for years.
To saying this is the skin I have.
And this is the skin I’m in.
PHOTO BY EM FORD: WATCH HER VIRAL VIDEO ON HAVING ACNE IN A 21ST SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVEN SOCIETY HERE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWTRwj9t-vU