Everyone tells you as you get older you grow and feel more comfortable in your own skin, and in a way, yes I have gotten more confident in the person I am now, but the skin part – no. Not at all.
I absolutely hate my skin.
There. I said it. I know it’s not very politically feminist or PC to admit you hate a part of you and you should accept what you are and love yourself – I can’t help it, I hate it. It has made me so desperately unhappy over the past 19 years to the point where some days I don’t even want to leave the house as I feel so disgusted by it not to mention far too self conscious.
You see, when I started secondary school that’s when your typical teen spotty skin kicked in, but for me – it was more than that. The zitty chin or big pimple on the end of your nose would have been amazing for me but I had full blown acne – and it was incredibly painful. I would get big hard angry spots that resembled boils which used to appear on my jawline causing immense pain if I happened to merely brush my hand across my face. But physically, I could cope but I had no idea how much bad skin would affect me as a person well into adulthood.
Still now as a 29 year old married Mother of 3, I struggle to maintain eye contact with people when my skin is bad, particularly in bright lighting I revert back to the shy 16 year old who was so self conscious about her face that she used to stay in on a Friday night purely because I felt my face looked so revolting. Each day when I force myself to look in a mirror (which is rare as I dislike my reflection) all I can see are these hideous acne scars. My skin now pitted from the years of harsh spots that ravaged and damaged my skin and I feel like my scarred skin looks hideous. Nights out still are hard for me; standing in harsh lights when I’ve got make up on results in me feeling hideous. I would rather lurk in the shadows than have what feels like people staring at my skin.
And at 29, it makes me so sad that I still get these feelings.
I feel worse because I have 3 kids that I so desperately do not want to pass these insecurities on to. I don’t want them to ever feel ugly or not go places because their skin makes them feel that low. I know there are people who have it much much worse but to me, it ironically the insecurities go far more than skin deep.
I may be almost 30 but my skin still causes me much physical and emotional pain. Whilst the spots have gotten fewer over the years the scars have grown again, physically and mentally. I don’t think unless you have had acne that you understand how hard it can feel just to look someone in the eye as you often see their eyes be drawn to a problem area and what little confidence you have plummets through the floor. People have commented that I come across as rude and abrupt, even arrogant as I don’t chat much and don’t look at them but it’s all a result of these feelings. I am also asked why I hate having my photo taken and why there’s so few photos of me – there’s your answer folks!
When I was younger and the “if you could have 3 wishes” question came out, one of mine would always be to have perfect skin. Not having to wear layers of foundation to try to conceal the ugly scars seemed the idyllic solution yet in reality – I don’t know if there is one.
I am rubbish at make up and with incredibly oily skin to match it’s hard to find a decent make up to give me coverage and not make a pale ginger haired lady look orange!
If anyone has any products or had any microdermabrasion please let me know as I’m willing to try anything! I don’t want sympathy or people to say oh your skin looks fine – to me it isn’t. And probably never will be as my issue really is more than skin deep.