|Nothing to do with acne but look at his grumpy little face! This is how I look in the morning (photo from Pexels)|
(Read Part 1)
This post wasn’t planned. I don’t even know where it’s going, I’m just sitting down with my laptop and typing, so bear with me (supposed to be writing an essay but naaah). It might make sense.
I went to see the doctor about my skin again on Friday — the same one as before. Last time he gave me some cream, Duac, which generally clears my spots up but can also be quite drying thanks to the benzoyl peroxide. It also stings like nothing else if you get it in your eye, which is why the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning is wash my face (otherwise it goes all tacky in the shower and gets everywhere), and it also bleaches all your flannels. Duac. Means. Business.
Anyway, during the appointment I sat there while the doctor proceeded to contradict every bit of advice I’d heard about treating spots and now I don’t know what to believe. I was under the impression I had to apply the cream to the spots and not the surrounding skin — he told me to put the cream everywhere. I thought that washing your face too many times per day made it oilier — he suggested I go home to wash my face in the middle of the day to ‘get rid of any secretions’ (‘secretions’ is such a disgusting word). I said that wouldn’t be possible, seeing as I have make-up and a life, but I compromised by buying some blotting papers to mop up any excess oil without disturbing, you know, everything.
He also renewed my Duac prescription, so I’m going to stick with it and see if it continues to help. It made quite a significant difference when I first started using it but the results tailed off towards the end of the year, although that was partly my fault: I’d been using the cream too sparingly, and I’d also been eating more cheese than normal, since it was Christmas.
Aah, cheese. I bloody love cheese. Unfortunately, cheese does not bloody love me and so we have parted ways. I didn’t really eat that much dairy to start with but now I’m deliberately avoiding it, with the exception of the natural yogurt I eat in the morning. I think it’s helping. My diet is generally quite healthy anyway (aside from the odd pizza, but you gotta do that, right? It’s good for the soul) but I’ve been paying extra attention to it recently. Anything I can do to improve my skin (and by extension, my state of mind), I will, within reason.
You know what’s weird? I feel guilty. Firstly because the cream I have is made by GlaxoSmithKline, a company who test on animals, which as you all know is something I actively avoid. And secondly because there’s a whole load of shit going on in the world right now and the state of my skin is really not a big deal in comparison; it just feels like a big deal to me.
My friend Lannee told me that ‘None of us notice it’, which was sweet and did make me feel better, but I still notice it. When I look in the mirror my eyes always go to the spots first, especially the cluster on my right cheek and jawline (they seem to have settled in for the long haul). But I’m getting there, slowly. The other day I went to the uni library without wearing make-up, the first time I’d left the house bare-faced in just under a year. Tbh time is partly responsible for that, since I have so much work to do that I can’t always justify sitting down to apply a full face, but still, it was a massive step for me. HUGE. And I’m not going to let my spots define. Acne, quite frankly, can do one.
Have you ever had any experiences like mine? How do you deal with spots? Let me know in the comments.
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!