I used to have acne. It was never terribly bad acne or anything, just typical breakouts expected of being a teenager; however, it extremely bothered me.
I tried absolutely everything to get rid of it. I constantly bought new cleansers, creams, exfoliators, facemasks, toners, pills etc., washed my skin excessively, and repeatedly went to see doctors and dermatologists in the hope that they could prescribe stronger, more effective treatments and medications.
I was so self-conscious about my skin (which in hindsight was not even that bad!) and avoided going out because I didn’t want people to see me until I had managed to clear it. I became very withdrawn from others and gradually even stopped making eye contact with people when we spoke since I hated seeing that they were looking at my face.
Eventually I found a combination of medications that worked for me and my skin got better. Looking back, I cannot believe how consumed I was by a single flaw. I realise now that my obsession with the one aspect of my appearance had distorted my perception of it to the extent that the problem was no longer my skin, but my mentality. I think of all the people I saw on a daily basis with skin problems, often worse than mine, which I took absolutely no notice of and can understand now that others’ reactions to me would not have been any different.
What I’ve taken away from the whole experience is that you really are your biggest critic and it’s important to remember that everyone is too busy worrying about themselves to be looking at you.