Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A to Z: B is for Blemishes

This post is inspired by my good friend's post for the letter A. Check out her blog, BookishGeek.

Growing up, we're told that our acne and blemishes will go away once we get older. It's a teenager thing. A puberty thing. It'll go away with time.

But here I am, 23 years old, and I am currently dealing with two large pimples on my face. They're taking up way more realty than they should, considering they shouldn't be existing, right?

But here's the truth not many people will tell you: Adult acne isn't some weird freak thing. It's completely normal. Heck, if you go to Birchbox's video, you'll see their gorgeous editor talking about her own blemishes. And you know she has a skincare lineup that could put everyone else's the shame.

So here are some facts about blemishes, because I'm a nerd for knowledge.

Blemishes are more common when you're a teenager, that much is true. It's all about hormones and stress and your skin trying to find its right balance.

That being said, every little thing can cause a pimple. And honestly? Age doesn't matter. Stress, diet, exercise, water intake. All of that contributes to how your skin deals with intruders like dirt and oil. Your own natural body chemistry matters, too. My husband is 24, but his skin is very oily naturally. That means he's going to have more acne than someone like me, with combination skin. It's just a fact of life. It's something you need to figure out for yourself.

Another fact? There is a huge industry revolving around that reduction of blemishes. There are tons of of products out there that swear to make your skin pimple free in two weeks, to make you prettier, happier, more popular. And honestly? It's all a lie. An expensive marketing lie.

I spent tons of money on the proactiv regimen for a couple of months. And honestly? My acne got so much worse. My skin got so dry it started bleeding, but I thought that's what I had to push through to get better skin.

I was wrong. What works for me is creamier products that don't dry out my combination skin. Cream cleansers, not acid cleansers, work best for my particular skincare woes.

But as I said, that might not work for you.

The final fact is that despite everything the beauty industry tells you about zits, and how many products we are told to buy to help us look better, zits are going to happen. There are ways to prevent them, like having a healthy, whole foods diet, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly. But they're an inevitable part of life. You can find a product that you adore that helps prevent them or stop them before they get too bad. But they're still going to exist.

And one tiny bit of advice from me? Don't. Pick. I know everyone says that. And I know it's hard. Heck, one of the zits on my face right now is a giant scab because I've picked it into oblivion. But you know what? If I hadn't picked at it the first time, it would be gone by now. Instead, I have a painful splotch on my face that is way more noticeable than the zit was.

My trick to help prevent picking (although it doesn't always work) is to give it 24 hours. Tell yourself that if the pimple is still bothering you in 24 hours, you can pick at it. Pop it. Whatever. Most of the time, I forget about the zit in the first place.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a better plan of attack for my A to Z challenge.

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