Discussion, Feminism, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper

I’m finally talking about it.

I promised you several weeks ago that I would share the story of my skin – how it started, what happened, and how it is now. Along with that, I’ll be giving you my honest thoughts and advice on how to deal with problem skin.

I’ll also show you the products I’ve used – scrubs, toners, cleansers, oils… I’ll tell you how the products works and list the benefits of it, as well as the – non-benefits? of each product.

Just a little side note: for privacy reasons, I will not be showing any pictures of my face. However, I’ll show you the products I use.

my story

My skin problems go waaaaay back. Since I was… nine? Ten? No, nine. Since I was nine I haven’t had fully clear skin, and have been battling for a clear complexion since then.

So if you think I don’t know what having bad skin is like: think again.

I can remember when I was nine and ten feeling so horribly ashamed of my skin. I was disgusted with myself, and some nights I’d think I didn’t even deserve to live. And some people might look at my skin and say that it’s fine, compared to what they have, but in my own eyes I was a hideous monstrosity.

And remember: I was nine. What nine-year-olds do you see with problem skin?

Somewhere that year my wonderful mother entered, introducing to one of many facial products: rose water. And it did help, I’ll grant that – before this I hadn’t been using anything on my face, simply because I didn’t even know that’s what people did for problem skin.

The rose water helped a little, but not much. Then around a year later I was given this:

Image result for clean and clear blackhead clearing cleanser review

(Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Cleanser – photo from here)

And wow. You knwo the way all those skincare products say things like “results from day 1”? I sh*t you not, I saw results from Day 1.

I used this cleanser, as well as the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Wash.

(photo from here)

I wasn’t really a fan of this, because it didn’t really do much, apart from just clean like a soap, but I used it occasionally nevertheless.

I continued to use the products on my face for a while, but then I started to notice that my skin was getting slightly worse. I figured that my skin had probably gotten used to the products or something, and they were getting less effective, so debated about purchasing something new.

Then I got a tablet – it was the first time I had such easy access to the internet, as I didn’t have any devices (excluding my Kindle). About a month after that, my skin was going through some rough periods, so I Googled “how to get clear skin.”

It was mindblowing.

I discovered some simple hacks like tea tree oil, and toothpaste (but never use toothpaste because it’s full of chemicals). And… I was also told to eat a healthy diet.

Before that, I thought the only reason people ate healthily was because they wanted to lose weight. And I’ve always been skinny enough, I guess (it’s in my genes though),so it never really occurred to me to eat particularly healthily. And besides, my diet at the time didn’t seem too bad, so I never thought of eating differently.

Yet here I was being told about the concept of “what’s on the inside shows on the outside.”

So I tried. At first, when I read online, I was told to cut out sugar and dairy. I didn’t really pay much attention to sugar, as I knew next to nothing about it at the time and how it’s in pretty much everything. Dairy, however: the idea that milk was full of hormones seemed logical at the time, so I told my mother that I needed to cut down on dairy for my skin.

Her response was “You need to cut down on bread, not milk.”

For a while, I ignored her advice – I gradually saw how much bread I was eating on a daily basis, so no wonder I had breakouts.

And then this year, I tried cutting down on bread for a week – and I just went “Woah” at the end of that week – my skin was almost fully clear. But then of course, I ruined it a short time later by binging on sweets.

Since then… I guess it’s been a yo-yo. I’ll eat okay at home, but then we’ll have a family holiday/getaway/event and I’ll eat sugar and bread, undoing my hard work. Then I’ll vow to never eat bread again, until another holiday/getaway/event comes along. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but I’ve decided to be more careful when it comes to eating outside of home.

in my head

I’ve talked to you about the physical aspect of this story – now it’s time to get down into the mental side: how this affects me psychologically.

The answer?


When my skin is more or less clear, it’s great, but on days when I have really bad breakouts all I want to do is curl up in bed, have no contact with anyone, and cry until my skin is clear again.

But of course, there’s school, friends, extracurriculars… as much as I want to do that, I can’t. I have to go out acting like the happy, friendly, clever girl friends and classmates see when they meet me.

When really,

And I’m not trying to be funny. The worst part is that I know I can have clear skin – I don’t have any special acne or anything (you’ll notice I haven’t actually used the word acne once in this post until now), so clear skin is from what I do to myself. Which is absolutely killer – come a breakout, and I’ll think “Oh, why did I have that dessert on Friday?!”

As if feeling disgusted with myself wasn’t bad enough, all around me I see tall, beautiful girls with porcelain skin, who are clever, sporty and popular.

That certainly doesn’t help – I’m not trying to be the whiny-bitch-in-the-corner girl, but sometimes I look at other girls and think, “They get to eat bread and sweets and dairy with not a single spot. How is that fair?”

On a lot of bad days, I look in the mirror and debate if I deserve to live. It’s that bad. And the worst part is, I feel like nobody identifies with me because it’s all “Oh well, just give it a week of eating healthy and your skin will be fine again!”

There’s not really anybody I can talk to. Well, I mean, I probably could say something to my mum, or a good friend, but in all likelihood my mother’s response would be to just wait and eat healthy, while friends would think I’m being whiny.

That’s a reason why I love blogging. I can talk to you people without you seeing my face, only my words. No matter how bad I’m feeling, blogging helps as it’s a way to express things that I can’t with the people around me.

This is going to sound pretty cheesy, but: you really have no idea how much I value blogging, and all the internet friends I’ve made. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you people so much.


Now we’ve covered the story of my skin’s past, let’s talk about the present.

I want to tell you that today my skin is fully clear, and I’ll never rebound again. Oh, I really want to tell you that.

I can’t.

In truth, I’m still battling breakouts. They happen every few weeks or so, but I’ve managed to limit them with a healthy diet and exercise. And when they do happen… well, just read “In My Head.”

In the comments...

  • Do you struggle with your complexion?
  • Do you have skincare tips?
  • How do you deal with breakouts?

Of Pens & Paper (1)

I appreciate that you read this post. Thank you.

Please share it to spread awareness about people’s struggles with acne and skin problems, because together, we can change anything. ❤


2 thoughts on “I’m finally talking about it.”

  1. This is such a great post, Sophia! And I’m glad you shared! I know how horrible it can be to have really bad breakouts…and honestly I think a lot of the time it’s not right how ashamed we feel, but also I can’t help it either so I understand. 😭 I was never like super bad, but I definitely always had acne as a teen. Less so in my early 20s, but I actually honest attribute that to diet. I’m with you that what you eat shows on your skin. I used to get SO many rashes as well on my legs, as well as terrible pimples. Now I don’t eat sugar at all and definitely not wheat. So if you’ve found like that changing your diet helps, that’s so good! I know it sucks, obviously, but if our body is struggling we gotta take care of it.😭


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