Updated: Jul 29
I've never had great skin.
I suffered from acne on my face and back throughout my teenage years and just when I thought adulthood meant that instead of 'bad skin' I could focus on paying bills and keeping myself alive, my acne got WORSE when I turned the big 3 0 last year. As someone who snacks on chickpeas, counts my daily steps and is often mocked for my ridiculously early bed times, I didn't feel as though I deserved to have bad skin in my thirties.
If you've never experienced skin problems, it may seem over the top to stress about a few pimples but having spent my adolescence wearing jumpers in summer and avoiding cameras, this brought back memories of a time in my life when my self esteem was at an all time low.
When my skin started to break out last year, I tried everything; beauty products, dieting and even daily meditation but each morning I'd wake up to new spots on my chin and feel completely out of control.
When I was nearing bankruptcy (thank you Mecca) and after several emotional breakdowns, my GP finally diagnosed me with Perioral Dermatitis; an acne like skin condition that appears around the mouth and nose. I'd like to mention that Perioral Dermatitis is made worse by wind, sun, cold, heat, make up, certain foods, lotions and stress...the perfect storm for an outdoor fitness trainer with anxiety.
Finding out the crux of the problem certainly wasn't the end of my 'skin healing journey' but it was the beginning of some new discoveries. I discovered that red wine isn't the solution to every problem (who knew?) but the most important thing I learned was something I knew but had forgotten along the way.
A skin specialist I spoke with (amongst the 'Doctor google-ing') reminded me of something mum always said to me as a kid...
"Everything in moderation."
Eat sugar but not every day, enjoy a glass of wine but don't drink 7 bottles in one night, reduce your stress levels but it's okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It was a reminder about the 80/20 rule and how it applies to everything, even my skin health!
I still get embarrassed when I break out but I'm not as hard on myself anymore. I'm the only person in the last 12 months who has made myself feel bad about my skin and if I'm telling others to be kind to themselves, I should probably do the same for me.
So here's to loving myself, acne and all.