3 Things Acne Has Taught Me

By: Valeria Ramos

If you’ve had acne, you know it sucks. A year ago, just a handful of months after I turned 20, I went from having clear skin to breaking out constantly with no clue as to why.

I mistakenly believed that, along with braces, acne would just be a part of my high school years, never to be seen again. Unfortunately, I was wrong. 

As I began my third year of college, this time without clear skin, my self-esteem plummeted and I found myself struggling to look people in the eye when I spoke to them and leave the house unless I had to.

I felt helpless and extremely uncomfortable in my skin. I’ve always kept a good skincare routine, eaten healthy and exercised. All of a sudden, however, my skin just wasn’t responding the same way.

It was hard not to feel vain as I distressed and even shed tears over the state of my skin. But the truth is, having acne is more than just skin-deep, and anyone who has had it will know that.

A year later, after seeing different dermatologists and spending way too much money on different products and treatments, I’ve finally found a routine that, slowly but surely, has started to work for my skin.

Looking back on my year with acne, there was a lot of pain and frustration, but there was also some pretty great lessons I learned along the way.

  1. Acceptance

    What helped calm my skin the most was finally accepting that acne was my new normal. The more I stressed and worried about my skin, the worse it got and the more anxious I felt. I stopped dwelling on my acne-free past and just accepted that this was my skin now and I was going to have to deal with it. Because my acne was mainly hormonal and genetic, it was out of my control and I was forced to do something I had never done before, which was to love myself unconditionally.

  2. Patience

    If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “It’ll get better, just wait,” then I’d probably have enough money to make up for how much I spent on cleansers and spot treatments. Ultimately, however, those people weren’t wrong. While I couldn’t control my acne, I could control how I reacted to it and it was always more beneficial to calmly wait it out then to stress and feel sorry for myself.

  3. Gratitude

    After being covered in spots and scars for a year, on days when my skin is clearing up, I appreciate it so much more. Leaving the house without makeup is a victory and doing my skincare routine is therapeutic. While struggling with my skin caused me a lot of pain, it also taught me how to be more patient and love myself, which is never a bad thing.