It all started in Hong Kong – after a week of stay, upon hiking one of its peaks. It must be the extreme July heat, the fabric of the cap I was wearing all day, everyday and the waterfall of sweat irritating my pores. It started with one, then two – then after a couple or more days I had a load shit of cystic acne creepin’ on my forehead. They were itchy, painful and angry red. Unfortunately my forehead was not enough, they’ve decided to climb down my nose, my cheeks and chin as well. The next thing I knew my face felt and looked like a jack fruit had fallen on it while I was mindlessly staring at the sky.
At the same time, I mysteriously had insect bites on my legs, which were itchy as fuck and left me with ugly, dark marks (and it didn’t help the fact that I had sunburn). My mom was traumatized when I got back home and she saw me again – she swore to my face she’s never gonna go to HK if it meant she’s gonna be ugly like me, too.
I thought things were gonna get normal again as soon as I got home and my skin problems would disappear on their own.
My face kept on breakin’ out even after two weeks of being at home and for the first time in a long time I had to gather all my bag of acne treatment tricks. I mean, I’m used to having pimples – I’ve had them since I had my period at 11. But cystic acne’s all new to me. They’re monstrous, itchy and painful.
I was wondering what could have possibly caused it. I’ve read articles saying that acne breakout due to traveling was quite usual. Some say it’s the water, it’s the food, it’s the air, it’s the stress, it’s the humidity, yada yada yada. I was thinking it could possibly because I started eating meat again after 3 weeks of eating only plant-based food. Maybe it’s also because I started taking contraceptive pills again.
It was hell for quite some time – until it wasn’t anymore. I just let go of my worries. I said fuck it, I was having acne for some reasons which will never be clear to me. My face wanted to break out and throw a tantrum. She’s having her moment. Let her be. I still went on with my acne treatment routine (which consisted of the gang – salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, exfoliating soap and all kinds of Korean facial masks) but threw my worries out the window. The same thing applied to my sunburn and the nasty marks on my legs.
But whatever – at least I was fit enough to travel and to do the outdoor activities that I liked even if it meant I would have girly problems eventually.
It’s been six weeks now since the breakout began – and I still keep on having new cystic pimples coming out. It’s not so bad anymore, though. My skin is finally responding to the treatment. I’m working out everyday as well and I’m back to my healthy diet. I have survived the worst of it, to hell and back again. I joke myself about it ’cause I know it may sound petty but it’s true and I know some people can relate – I’ve survived my worst acne breakout, my self-esteem can survive anything.
I can be at my ugliest and still chill and strut my stuff like business as usual. I think that’s a reason to celebrate.
Little milestones. *winks