For as long as I can remember, I have suffered terribly from acne. It was so bad that after a while, in my early 20s, I decided to acknowledge it as a part of my features because it seemed to be a phase I was stuck in.

I exhausted every product in the skin-care aisles of supermarkets and at one point I even dotted my pimples with toothpaste. Opting for full coverage make-up and rarely going out in public without it was standard protocol for me. I was fascinated by well-marketed, quick-fix acne solutions and even though I never bothered to acknowledge the root cause of my prolonged teenage acne, I was somehow okay living with it because I could conceal it. It was the immediacy of results which most brands promised which kept me hooked.

I don’t remember ever having my acne under control; I was always doing damage control. Moving to Europe actually played an integral part in me finally confronting my acne and having a somewhat clear face. It’s quite funny actually because it was mainly because I was hopeless when it came to finding a make-up artist to help me adjust to products and colours to suit my new environs.

Do not pick it

Due to the nature of my job, I hardly ever have any human interaction. I work from home so it was easy to slump into my old avoidance of dealing with my acne. Whenever, it would get really bad I would go on a product binge. This continued up to the day my binge resulted in me purchasing my first entire luxe skin-care line. While I noticed a few changes here and there my acne never really disappeared totally. Possibly it was the guilt of spending so much that made me confront it. The cause of my acne is due to my addiction to any and everything sweet. Even though there would be periods where I would try to lay off, I still suffered terribly because I picked my face at every chance and broke promises to myself to never have another Snickers bar. It was a mentally frustrating. I was caught in a chokehold that I knew I could potentially get out of, once I dealt with the problem once and for all.

Today I leave with you a few tips I wish I had known and followed before.

Professional help

Don’t hide it with make-up, instead find out what’s the cause.

I believe quite a few of us know the cause of our acne and we just choose to deny it for as long as possible so as to not make changes to our habits. I think seeing a dermatologist is a good idea for starters. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet and don’t adopt remedies from everyone’s acne free success story. People suffer from acne for different reasons. For example hormonal changes, greasy make-up, emotional stress etc. Therefore treatment will vary from person to person.

Be gentle

Acne has an ugly look to it, let’s be honest. It is normal to feel the urge to scrub the living daylights out of them (especially if they are filled with pus). Resist that urge. One thing I have learnt is that acne is like fire. And as we all know you can’t fight fire with fire. Think of it as an open wound. Don’t pick at it and try not to somehow dissolve it with harsh chemicals. It will only make it worst.

Don’t be a product hoarder

One night, as I was savoring on a Magnum ice cream bar my husband shook his head and told me: ‘You know those products aren’t God.’ As, much as it bugs me to say that he is right, he is. Brands are there to make money, don’t buy into the theory that everything will work. The most expensive treatment might not be the solution and neither is experimenting with multiple products at once hoping for a breakthrough. Understand the problem then match it to a product.

I think most people don’t confront their acne because there are so many quick fixes out there. Such confrontation too is difficult as most just walk around with a full face of make-up. Therefore it’s natural to feel it’s an avoidable problem. I think the most important take away from this is the need to listen to your truthful conscious mind. Most of us know deep down inside what we have to do.

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