My name is Tiffany. I live in New York, and I’m turning 30 this year. My skin issues started when I was in high school. So, it’s been a long journey. In high school, I started to get acne. I didn’t think much of it, but then a year later it became very intense. I just remember thinking, “Why is it so bad???” I started comparing my skin to others. I believed that the beauty standard was skinny, fit, and clear skin. I thought to myself, “Why do I have to go through this?” However, I didn’t become too panicked. I was just very very confused, and my mom took me to see a dermatologist. They prescribed retinoids which worked very well for me, but I didn’t realize that if I stopped it, it would come back even worse. So, each time I stopped it, my acne would come back intensely. That experience made me feel like the dermatologist just gave me a band-aid solution. I didn’t feel like they took the time to understand what was going on with my skin.
So, eventually, I learned on my own that I had to continue using it just to keep my skin clear. I used it from high school, to college, and all the way into my late 20s. I just used them because they controlled my acne, but around the end of 2019, I just decided that I didn’t want to keep relying on these prescription medications anymore. Just knowing that I had to keep using it to keep my skin clear was very disheartening. Also, knowing that you can’t use it during pregnancy concerned me. I just wanted to stop. So, at the end of 2019, I did.
As a result, my acne quickly came back, and this made my day-to-day routine change a bit. When I wanted to go out with friends, I would think, “Should I wear makeup? No, that’s just going to make it worse…” If my friends were eating or drinking certain things, I didn’t always feel like I could join in because it would trigger my acne. It was annoying that I had to consider so many things on an everyday basis just to control my skin.
Then, I started trying different products. After a few months, I did get my skin to a stable point. It was around this time that I also stopped wearing makeup when I went out. In the past, I would always wear makeup even if I went out for something small. But by 2020, I didn’t want to wear any makeup. My skin was pretty calm for a few months. Then, in March 2021, I got very stressed and anxious. That was the first time I had ever dealt with true anxiety, and I noticed that my skin began to break out a lot around my jaw area. I had never had breakouts around that area in the past. It had always been on my forehead or T-zone area. I knew it was related to hormonal acne, but I started using a bunch of products, using harsh ingredients, and exfoliating too much.
I thought that this was a way to help it, but I didn’t realize that this was actually damaging my skin barrier. The irritation also made my acne come back constantly. After a few months of my acne coming back no matter what I did, I learned the importance of the skin barrier and how some ingredients kill too much bacteria on your skin. Once I learned this, I knew that I wasn’t doing the right thing. I started to focus more on probiotic skincare, nourishing, and hydrating ingredients. I began taking probiotic supplements for my gut health too, and I saw slow improvements in my skin.
As I was learning, I would always recommend skincare products to my friends. Then, I thought about creating my Instagram, but not very seriously. However, after going through that journey, I realized that I had things to share and things that I wished I knew earlier. That’s why I created my page to share my experience and help someone on a similar journey.
Personally, I’m more at peace and accepting of my acne. If I do get breakouts, I understand more of why it’s happening rather than seeing it as a subjective thing that is bad. I understand that it’s coming from more of an internal issue. I see it as my body telling me that something is going on. Now, I just have my skincare routine, and I just try to keep my skin healthy. I don’t let acne affect me as much as I did in the past. I used to be obsessed with clearing it and with trying to do whatever I could not to have acne. However, my peace with acne has happened gradually, especially when I stopped wearing makeup all of the time. When I would go see my friends without makeup, I saw that it just wasn’t that big of a deal.
Ultimately, I want to share that no one has perfect skin, and we should be okay with people how they are, especially ourselves.