I guess it all really began when I was around 17 years old…
I remember taking my makeup off at college because it was the day we were learning how to do facials. As you guys already know, I studied to be a beautician for 2 years. I was super excited to be learning about skincare (little did I know then, that it would not only become a huge passion of mine, but also the thing that I was going to struggle with for a long while!) At the time, it really wasn’t a big deal for me to take my makeup off. I didn’t have any confidence issues with my skin and all of my ‘friends’ were taking theirs off to, so it’s all good, right?
I remember this next moment like it was yesterday, I’ll never forget the way it made me feel, what it made me think and it could quite possibly have been the beginning of how acne affected my confidence. One of my older ‘friends’ in the class said to me, “Oh my god! You look so different without makeup! I didn’t realise you had so many spots, your foundation must be so good”.
I was so shocked, not only for my ‘friend’ to say this in front of approximately twenty other girls. But that it made me feel unbelievably self-conscious about my skin. I’d never felt like that before! Now, I don’t think she meant to maliciously offend me, I think she just said what she thought out loud, she was that kind of girl.
I’m not saying that was the start of my lack of confidence in my skin, I mean maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. But that moment sticks with me and I feel like that is when I really started to over analyze myself.
I hope you guys have a cup of tea ready, this is going to be a long post! If not, pause here and stick the kettle on. You’ll thank me later! Also, I’ll have two sugars please hun! I really want this post to help anyone who has suffered or who is suffering from confidence issues with their skin. Whether it be acne or any other skin conditions. This is my journey and I hope you can all take something away from it.
The following year after that incident, I became obsessed with my skin. I didn’t want anyone to see me without makeup, not even my best friends. In fact, it got so bad that when we had girly nights in, I would sleep in my makeup (EEEEEKKK future me cringes at past me) and say “I forgot to take it off” just so they didn’t see it. Looking back 1. My friends are amazing and would never have judged me. 2. My skin wasn’t even that bad… But to me, it was the worst thing in the world, no matter what anyone said!
The one person I completely shared this experience with was my mum. I always took my makeup off at home to let my skin breathe. Mum would sit with me and tell me it really wasn’t a big deal and that I was being silly. To be honest, she was 100% right. But it’s crazy how much my acne affected my confidence, so at that moment, it didn’t matter what the people you love think, the mirror was saying something completely different. I guess lots of people can relate to that. Whether it’s your skin, your weight, your hair etc. Sometimes we are blinded by our negative thoughts.
So, as I’m sure you have guessed, I would never leave the house without makeup, that would have been my WORST nightmare. I actually did have nightmares about leaving the house and forgetting to put makeup on. (Most people have that dream about forgetting to put their trousers on, nope not me, mine was makeup!)
As you may have read in my Combatting Acne Prone Skin blog post, I visited the doctors several times in tears about my skin and how it made me feel. I never really felt like they understood. They always said “stop wearing makeup” which for me was an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. I did end up taking antibiotics and several other medications to help clear my skin. But in all honesty, I don’t think that was ever going to be the answer.
If I would have accomplished that ‘flawless Instagram worthy’ complexion, would I have been happy? Or would I have found something else to pick at? As you have probably gathered from the way I’m writing this section, no my skin isn’t flawless now. I can honestly and somewhat shockingly sit here and say, I’m not fazed by that now. 17 year old me is probably sitting there laughing. “Come on Rox, don’t kid yourself”. I never dreamt of feeling like I do now, no doctors, family member or friends could ever have made this happen.
This was down to me and my mentality. I can’t sit here and give you the answers on how I made those feelings go away. There is no automatic cure (I really wish there was) and everyone’s journey is different. But boy, when you get there, it is the most unreal feeling. You can catch me now, doing my weekly shop without a speck of makeup on, completely comfortable in my own skin. If anyone says I look different without makeup on? My response is “I know hun, I didn’t spend £20 on that foundation for nothing!!” I guess you could say I grew out of that mindset I had. This is me and if I don’t love myself, who will? (Apart from you Mum, you are and were always my biggest fan, with or without makeup!)
If you are reading this and are having similar feelings. Hang in there, girl! You got this!
I promise this feeling will not last forever and you have to break through it, in whatever way you can. I honestly think the moment I learnt to love myself was when everything changed. My skin has definitely improved, but if I really wanted to, I could dash to the mirror now and pick out tons of things I don’t like. But why not dash to that mirror and point out those things you love!!! That is the beginning of the end, in fact, put that cup of tea down right now, go to the mirror and tell yourself three things you love about yourself.
Don’t forget to come back and leave me a comment letting me know what those things were! I’d love to chat with you guys about this. It is a subject that is so close to my heart. I want to end this post by telling you, you are beautiful, no matter what. I really hope my story about how acne affected my confidence has helped you in some way. Before I pop off to the mirror to tell myself three things I love about myself, I’d like to thank my incredible mum for being an absolute rock while I went through that part of my life. I love you always!
Lots of Love…