• Alyssa Piperis

Vent Sesh: Adult Acne & Acne Scarring

Real talk: I feel like shit today. My skin issues are taking such a toll on me, and as confident and optimistic as I am, that doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and insecure. My one big insecurity over the last 14 months has been my skin. I feel like I’m a teenager going through puberty all over again, and lemme tell ya, it ain’t fun. I 110% take back every time I stupidly got self-conscious about one or two pimples, because I would give anything for that right now instead of what I actually have— year-old scarring and a handful of new breakouts. Boooo!

I’ve written a few blog posts about my skin— the issues I’ve been dealing with, my frustrations, and my updates and advice (i.e. "My Natural Skincare Routine for Acne Scarring + Progress Pics" and "4 Natural, Cruelty-Free Beauty & Hygiene Products I Use Every Day".) And now here’s another. So, take it all with a grain of salt. Everyone is different, and everyone has different needs. This is me sharing my journey, and I hope some of my thoughts and advice help you, but not everything that works for me will work for you. But my love and support goes inward and outward to all of us!

I felt the urge to just vent and write this, because my skin-related journey today— from leaving my apartment makeup-free just to go get my current pimples popped by my facialist and then come home—was almost comical. I felt like I was in a suspense movie, sneaking around and trying not to make contact with other humans. Sadly, I haven’t felt comfortable leaving my apartment without makeup in over a year because of my acne scarring. The only, only time I leave totally makeup-free is when I go see my facialist, Marianne Kehoe (of MK Skin Studio), like I did today. (Side note: Marianne Kehoe is wonderful, and LA Magazine has called her LA's “skincare guru.” She’s so devoted to her clients, and I’m lucky to call her my facialist and my friend.) As a client of Marianne’s, you can go see her FOR FREE whenever you need to in between sessions for a “quick pick,” where she safely pops your active pimples and then hydrates your skin with some great Osmosis products. That’s what I went in for today. I usually have luck not running into anyone between my apartment and the skin studio, but today I saw a neighbor coming up the staircase as I was about to head down, and I immediately turned around, faked a phone call, and hustled back to my apartment before attempting to leave again. It sounds funny (and let’s be real, it kind of is), but that just goes to show how my skin is affecting me. I felt so silly and outside of myself.

It’s things like that that really bum me out. I hate feeling like I have to throw on some powder just to go to the gym or the beach or run errands. That’s not how I want to live my life, but it’s the only way I feel comfortable living it right now. It also sucks avoiding camping trips I’m craving or spending an innocent night with a guy I’m interested in because one night of anything but my thorough skincare routine makes me feel like I’m ruining the progress of my skin and I don’t want any guys to see my skin even though I know the right guy will accept me with my flaws. Ugh! I feel out of breath, and I’m only typing, not talking.

I know this is a process.

I knew this would be a process.

Even so, this whole process of clearing my skin and getting rid of scarring is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I’m exhausted and insecure and so ready to move on from this. As a generally confident and happy person, I struggle with the idea of, This is only temporary. It’s just skin. Don’t let it ruin your day. I know it’s only temporary, and I know it’s just skin. But skin is important. It’s important to keep your skin healthy and clean. And, for whatever reason(s), some people judge other people based on their skin. That’s the shitty part. I don’t like the thought of people judging me and/or focusing on my skin instead of me as a person. I’m confident enough to not let my skin issues affect my overall self-esteem, but there are definitely things I feel like I’m holding back from because of my skin issues. And that sucks.

If you’ve dealt with major skin issues, I’m sure you totally get where I’m coming from. This is our reality, unfortunately. If you haven’t, you may think, It’s not that big of a deal. But it is.

I went from having no significant skin issues for five years straight to dealing with skin issues every single day for a year and counting.

When I first started breaking out a little over a year ago (for the first time since I was 12 or 13), I figured it was just a weird time and that it’d be over soon. But it got bad. And then it turned into scarring. As I developed scarring for the first time ever, I figured it would only last a week…then maybe a few weeks…then maybe a few months. And now here I am over a year later, and I still have the scars I got back then. I’ve tried various natural products, have seen a highly-rated dermatologist, was on medication, got off medication, and now I’m working with and choosing to stick with Marianne Kehoe (who does use and sell natural, holistic Osmosis products, which I love). I knew her before she was my facialist, and I’ve developed a great relationship with her that keeps me on track. We’re slowly but surely figuring out what needs to be done to fix my skin, and it’s nice to be able to turn to a professional who gets the struggle (she struggled with her skin for years and now it's been been cleared up for years). I know not everyone has an acclaimed skin guru in their back pocket, and it can be so overwhelming deciding how to tackle skin issues. I. FEEL. YOU. SO. HARD. I felt like that for so long and still get frustrated with how long all this it taking (hence this vent sesh of a post). I also get frustrated with how much money it can take to do what needs to be done. Sometimes I have to pick and choose which products I can afford and how many times a month I can get one of the famous IDERM facials by Marianne at MK Skin Studio. Additionally, it's hard to figure out who has the most knowledge and best treatment(s) for you as an individual.

Who has the most knowledge and best treatment(s) for ME?

Do I need a dermatologist or a facialist or an esthetician?

Is this worth the money?

Why did this one professional clear my friend’s skin but wasn’t successful with mine?

These are just a few of the questions that have gone through my head and may have gone through yours, too. It can be so taxing trying to figure out what’s best and what to invest in. You just have to keep trying and trying until you find someone and/or something that you trust and feel good about.

Thankfully (but also unfortunately) I’m not alone, because my roommate has been dealing with hormonal acne herself. She got a ton of breakouts shortly after I developed my scarring, so we’ve been on a similar journey. Her acne is hormonal and mostly along her chin, whereas mine seems to be gut-related, as it’s mostly on my cheeks. It’s hard, because my cheeks were never a problem area for me. Even when I had acne as a teen it was never on my cheeks. So, this is all new for me— the adult acne, the scarring, and the location of the damage. It sucks. That’s the honest truth. BUT, as I keep reminding myself:

It’s temporary.

It’s temporary.

It’s temporary.

Until it gets better, thank God for good makeup!

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