I’ve been fighting this battle for over half of my life. In high school, I’d skip school if I had a bad breakout. There are days even now where I still want to hide out at home. The days when concealer isn’t enough to boost my self-esteem. You know those zits that just can’t be covered. The kind with the flat tops where concealer just builds up on the sides with a red plateau in the center marring the otherwise smooth terrain of pores and skin follicles. I know, I know. Just a zit. Get over it. I wish it were so easy. Zits are expected in the teen years, but not now. I could go the dermatologist route, though I’ve tried nearly every product available. Well, short of laser treatments that I can’t afford.
Do you ever notice when you’re talking to someone how their eyes drift to parts of your face instead of looking at your eyes? This is especially noticeable when I’m breaking out. I’ve also seen people’s eyes wander as if inspecting my entire face. They look upwards towards my brows, fixate on a blemish, and examine my teeth. I’ve caught myself doing it, too, and have to actively focus on not doing it. It’s almost like that deliberate action when we think about how many times we blink. Oh, and by the way, what is happening with people’s teeth lately? Dentists are going overboard, making people’s teeth an unnatural shade of glow in the dark white resembling Chiclets gum. My kids are even self-conscious now, complaining of discolored teeth! I wish everyone followed the cosmetic dentist’s advice who advised that teeth are supposed to match the whites of the eyes. I feel the same way I do about nails as I do about teeth: natural and maintained is better than fake and flashy.
Now we all know to take the information we read on the internet with a grain of salt, preferably on the rim of a Skinny Girl margarita. At least we’re supposed to know this as adults, but in my desperation for a clear face, I didn’t care. So after a little research I set out to cure my face with vitamin A, hoping it’d clear my face and save me a copay from the dermatologist. A safe holistic approach, right? I found a few sites and thought I’d come up with a moderate plan. The recommended daily dose is 2,300 IU. I loaded up and took 32,000 IU for about four weeks. And then I felt the side-effects. My face was looking better, but then I started feeling dizzy, nauseous, and had blurred vision. I had to explain to my kids why I wasn’t feeling well. I guess it could’ve been worse if mommy overdosed on hard drugs and not vitamin A. The thing is that I know better. I took a nutrition class in college and know all about fat-soluble vitamins of ADEK. (Side note: Taking too much of the other vitamins is like flushing money down with your urine. That definitely wouldn't pass the Suze Orman litmus test.) Yet I was willing to risk my overall health in my superficial quest to look like a grown up instead of like a teen mom.
So I immediately stopped taking the vitamins and tried to load up on romaine lettuce instead. There have been a few days where I’ve relished in my self-reflection of clear skin. Mostly, though, it’s back to celebrating the healing of one spot and then on to treating the next one. I wish there were a skin God to cure my insecurities. The Greeks gave us great architecture, the Olympic Games, and tzatziki sauce. Couldn’t the Greeks have given us a Goddess of Clear skin named Neutrogena or Retin-A with mythical powers to calm my hormones and banish pore-clogging bacteria? For now, I’ll continue to slather on the anti-inflammatory products and hope for the best. And I'll back away from the two-way mirror. That’s a must.
Thanks for reading!