One Month Challenge: Get Clear Skin, Week One
Clear Skin. Perfectly smooth, no bumps, uneven color or blemishes to been seen. This is one thing I don’t think I’ve had since I was possibly 9. I can remember my first zit when I was 10 and my mother used that little contraption that is meant to pop zits with out having you physically touch them. It hurt like a bitch and didn’t really do anything. The next day, the zit was still there and it was bigger. My mother had told me not to pop the zit with my fingers but the thing was throbbing. I looked in the mirror and there it was, glaring back at me with a giant head of puss on the edge of my nose. At the age of 10 I knew I was being mocked and I swear now I could hear it saying “Nanner, nanner, nanner, you can’t get me!” (Okay, it really wasn’t, but it was my first zit) I tried to use the thing my mom had used before but I couldn’t figure out which side to use so I used my fingers. I gently pushed on either side of the zit and then pop! I felt a sudden sense of relief from the pressure the puss had been exerting on my skin.
Since then, I have been popping my zits for 14 years. If you ask me if I’ve tried a specific skin solution, I’ve done it. Proactiv, done it. Clinque, tried it. The New and more Effective Proactiv, yep and had a reaction of my skin swelling around my eyes. Every skin care brand in Target, yes. I have been to a dermatologist and he told me that chances are likely that nothing will completely clear my skin since bad acne runs in my family. I also have a skin blemish that is a busted blood vessel on my right cheek. Most over the counter products are less likely to work because they have harsh chemicals and my skin’s reaction is to fight back back by causing more breakouts. The doctor told me that my skin should calm down by the time I graduate college. That was when I was 17 and I am 24 now. My skin has not gotten better and my skin blemish, which he said shouldn’t get bigger than a dime, has swelled to the size of a quarter. Oh and it grows whenever I get embarrassed, upset, frustrated, excited, happy, or really exhibit any emotion.
It got me thinking when I graduated in 2010 about how much I wish I had clear skin. And how I wished I had clear skin back in high school. Oh, and middle school. OH yeah, also in elementary school. Why can’t I have clear skin? What is it that has prevented me from having clear skin? I’ve tried so many different brands but the one thing I have never put much effort into is not popping them.
I want to give up popping my zits because well, it’s about damn time. I need to stop because it’s something I have never really put that much effort into because I used it as a stress relief. My parents and I, in the past years, have spent thousands of dollar in trying to get rid of these zits. It’s also stupid for me to counteract the current skin care I’m using which has been the only skin care I’ve had in three years that has effectively made my skin more manageable. It’s also around $150 for two months worth of product. And then add on the fact that I’m currently working in South Korea and the shipping fee I am going to pay to have that product sent over…it just isn’t worth it.
This next month I am going to just altogether stop popping my zits and try to limit the amount of face touching I do as well as keeping my cellphone screen clean. Do you know how much bacteria you transfer via your cellphone screen or touch pad to your face? Do you know what kinds of bacteria you can find on your cellphone? You’d think twice about having that touch your face every day. I am going to make sure that how tired I feel, drunk I am, or late it is never keeps me from washing my face and using my products to keep my skin healthy.
I know some of you may think this challenge is superficial. It isn’t about exploring the new place I live or anything that is going to change some one else’s life. But popping zits for me is like biting your nails for others. It’s a stress relief. And it’s not something I can hide very easily. So, please be kind. Acne is something I have been teased with since I was in third grade and even once my acne is gone I will still have a permanent facial blemish that I can’t even hide under makeup. I am going to look into what pushed me to spend five to thirty minutes at a time searching my face and body and popping any and every zit I could find. I’m going to confront those feelings and try to reason with myself that, even though this may not be considered by a lot of people, it is physical mutilation and it is not a healthy way of expressing those emotions that cause the action.
As every person knows when you try and do a massive make over, it’s going to get a whole lot uglier before it gets prettier.
Allison is a 2010 graduate who is currently teaching English in South Korea. She likes Reese’s peanut butter cups and a good brown ale, two things she cannot find in South Korea. Oh, and she likes to write.