I was 11 years old when my mother looked at my face and told me that “I inherited my father̵
My skin was anxious enough that I started Accutane, a strong retinoid used to treat severe acne, at 14. Accutane works by crushing the oil-producing glands in the skin. (Great for excessive oil responsible for pimples, but terrible for hydrating the skin.) During my cycle, I felt like a lizard that constantly sheds dry skin patches on my face. My lips were cracked to the point of bleeding, which made visiting a French horn oh so much fun. Still, it was worth it when I no longer had to deal with painful pimples sprouting from my sebaceous glands.
Akutan drove away future breakthroughs, but my skin had scars from an ugly past. I was still dealing with hyperpigmentation and the area under my lips was always in danger of peeling off, no matter how much moisturizer I used. The worst sign of all, however, was my terrible self-esteem and battered self-esteem. I spent years avoiding photos or mirrors because I didn’t want to see my horrible skin. Even though I knew coin-sized pustules were almost a thing of the past, I still felt deeply unattractive and self-conscious.
Someone even told me that “I looked dewy,” the final compliment to a girl who once smiled and felt her lips begin to bleed.
One day, impulsively, I bought a CVS double-action face mask with charcoal and black sugar ($ 4), which was one of many sets of masks now sold at the pharmacy. The instructions were simple enough: spread the sugar crystals on a clean face, then rub the crystals and rinse after seven minutes. I started using the scrub recommended twice a week and did listening to relaxing music or podcasts during the waiting period. I really didn’t think the scrub would do much of anything – it was cheap and mostly I bought it so I could pretend to be Mia during the makeover scene. The Princess Diaries.
Then something strange happened: my boss complimented my skin. This has never, ever happened. The only time people bothered to comment on my skin was when they offered unsolicited advice on face wash brands. Little did they know, I did not forget to wash my face in the morning or evening from sixth grade.
When I forced myself to look in the mirror, I realized that my boss was right. My skin actually I did looks better. The charcoal, combined with the sugar scrub, cleared the impurities and dead skin, so my tone began to even out. After I started applying masks with hyaluronic and salicylic acid, my skin remained clean and moisturized. Someone even told me that “I looked dewy,” the final compliment to a girl who once smiled and felt her lips begin to bleed.
Nowadays, I can proudly say that I have a much better relationship with my skin and self-esteem. My skin is not perfect; Sometimes I get abused and work to reduce some of the “ice” scars left by past vicious drilling. But now I know what I can do to help my skin look its best. And as much as I love my 10-step skin care routine, my first tool for restoring my broken self-esteem was the $ 4 pharmacy mask.