Acne, a teenager’s worst enemy! For me, it was something I had to fight throughout my teenage years and still occasionally up to this day. My first acne popped up in grade-6 and hell… I freaked out big time but it wasn’t the last. My years and years of acne struggle was just beginning.
First there was my skin to begin with, it was the most acne-prone of all acne-prone skins and if I touched it, acne came out. If I didn’t use the exact right skincare, acne came out. If I went somewhere with different climate than Yangon, acne came out. Pretty much whatever I did to it, my skin responded with one acne breakout after another, so persistent that there was almost no time when I had a clear face. And that was a lot of pain for a girl at the age when all she wanted was to bloom beautifully and confidently.
Acne wasn’t all the horror story, the worst part was the scars left from squeezing out the acne. I’m a person who can’t be stopped from touching, squeezing and popping out every acne on my face so as you would have imagined, my face became an acne and acne scars galore eventually.
My first solution was to go to the clinic and let the dermatologists do their job so I went and they’d give me some sessions and my acne would get better for a while but it always came back.
So, they dived deep and came up with possible reasons why. Maybe it was the skincare that I was using, maybe it was too much hands touching acne, maybe it was just my hormones or my not changing pillow cases often or the food or maybe just my entire lifestyle that needed to be changed. The lazy me could not make that much effort to change so much of my lifestyle so I said to the clinic I would just stop picking my face so much and use the suggested skincare, all of which I did but didn’t work for me in the long run.
That was it and I decided that I couldn’t do anything more about this problem, considering the fact that at the time, I was using the dermatologist-recommended skincare, taking my acne pills, exercising, eating healthy and rarely touching my face. And yet, I still had acne.
University life was going to begin and I was stocking up on my makeup with great acne-coverage. I liked my made-up face with no acne showing so much that I wore make-up every day to school for a good two university years.
In all that while, my acne problem was forever present. I had all my make-up thoroughly removed by the end of the day and forced myself to believe that make-up wasn’t the cause of it because I couldn’t let myself be seen in public without makeup on. I couldn’t do without it.
A new chapter of my story with acne began when I was chosen to participate in the 41st Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP). Prior to the program was a two-month long pre departure camp training in the Yangon University campus. I, of course, wanted to look good on that student exchange journey to Japan and four other SEA countries on a cruise ship, living with 300 something other youths from different ASEAN countries. Hence, my decision to quit make-up at least for the training period in the hope that my face would clear up if I did so. Only then, during my make-up free camp time, I realized how little confidence I had without make-up on my face. I hurt my self-esteem big time and I had a long and hard journey rediscovering my confidence sens make-up. I realized in that enlightening while that a lot other people shared the same problem with me, I wasn’t the only one and that having acne was nothing to be ashamed of. From then on, I started to enjoy baring my skin and seeing people accept me for who I am, just the way I am.
Let’s see now, it’s seven years of fighting acne already and just about time for a miracle. And a miracle did happen, though not in any way anyone would have expected, a miracle that was linked to another exchange program. This time, I got in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) which is President Obama’s signature exchange program that lets ASEAN students travel to the US for a five-week long fellowship. There are so many stories to share about YSEALI and me and below is how it cured my acne.
You’d already know that America and Myanmar are polar opposites on the planet and thus, totally different culture, food and climate, which I think had some parts to play in my miraculous disappearing of acne. So I got to the US, was leisurely strolling along the Arizona Mill one night and a salesman suddenly approached me, hard selling a peeling treatment called Vivo Per Lei Dead Sea Minerals Facial Peeling, convincing me over and over again like you wouldn’t believe that it would cure all my acne for good. After almost twenty minutes of saying no but being taken aback by his determination to sell it to me, I decided to give in and buy it at a $25 price whereas the original price was around $150. It was a deal! He gave me some Vine Vera Resveratrol Merlot Moisture Day Cream packets as presents too.
I got home, immediately started using the day cream the next day, kept using it for a good seven days and voila! I saw the miracle on my face. Most of my acne, along with the long-term acne scars were gone like magic and I hadn’t even started using the peel at that time. The more I used it, the clearer my face got and I was over the moon. (If there was a bigger expression, I’d use it). I unpacked the peel later and using it only helped with my acne plus, brought me skincare benefits I used to believe before that were just myths like a clear, glowing, baby soft face.
The amazing thing about the skincare was that even long after I stopped using it, the acne didn’t come out anymore. Now I have to use it only when the breakouts emerge again and they’d be gone the next day. That skincare was my answer.
So, the conclusion I drew after eight/nine years of painful struggle with acne was that sometimes, you’ve got to chase miracles but sometimes, miracles come to you. No matter how you chase that miracle, there’s no promise of it but when you stop chasing, maybe it’ll just happen out of nowhere and sweep you off your feet. That is applicable in so many life situations. The sure thing for me is without acne, my life is happier. And who do I thank? YSEALI? The determined salesman? My decision to buy the skincare? Just all these circumstances that led to the miracle?
Are you struggling with acne too? Can you relate to the content in this post? How did you overcome it? Please do share your thoughts!