The IUD is a game-changing form of birth control. It also gave me the worst acne of my life when I was 25.
Just a few weeks after my IUD insertion, I stood in my bathroom, swearing at my reflection in the mirror as I looked at the whiteheads that exploded out of every single pore on my forehead and the deep, painful pimples that throbbed on my chin and jawline.
WTF is going on? I thought as I slathered on several different clay masks in a desperate attempt to dry out my zits. I had struggled with acne since the age of 12 (blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, bacne, you name it) and still had some flareups every now and then on my period or when I was stressed. But I thought it was mostly under control by now, thanks to the Pill and a regular skin-care routine.
“When I started working as a beauty editor, my skin made me feel like a total fraud.”
But all that progress fell to crap after I switched to the IUD. (I only found out later that studies show hormonal IUDs are linked to an increase in acne, likely because of the hormone progesterone. Fun.) I was now facing breakouts worse than I had ever experienced in my adult life.
And let me tell ya: Having acne as an adult with an office job is pretty terrible. It’s really hard to look professional and have people take you seriously when you’re sporting a huge scab (or two, or five) leftover from an angry, popped zit. Every cystic breakout transported me right back to feeling like the awkward, pizza-faced teen I was in 2006—not an ideal feeling when you’re heading into a meeting or interview.
Because bad luck comes in threes, I’m also #blessed with skin issues beyond acne. My skin is sensitive and prone to redness, so it freaks out about seemingly normal things—sheet masks! tea tree oil! scented lotion!—that tons of other people can use with no problem. Last summer I tried a trendy exfoliating mask that my coworkers were obsessed with—but it made my skin so red and itchy that I had to cover my entire face with green color-correcting concealer to look remotely normal again.
My IUD skin fiasco also happened right when I started as a beauty editor at Women’s Health—making my insecurity even worse. I felt like a total fraud: How could I call myself a beauty and skin expert when I couldn’t even get my own face under control?
“Think of me as your beauty guinea pig. I plan to try the latest treatments and products, and share my uncensored experience with you.”
Being constantly inundated as an editor with the latest research, products, and trends was overwhelming (I know, total first world problems). I had no idea where to begin.
I’ve felt really, really self-conscious about my skin for nearly half of my life at this point—and I spent most of the past year obsessing over my adult acne. Realistically, I know my pimples probably aren’t the first thing people notice about me when they meet me. But that doesn’t keep them from bothering me.
So, yeah: I am a beauty editor with sh*tty skin. I’m probably never going to be a person who can take a #nomakeupselfie with any kind of confidence. And I’m talking about it—because I know a lot of you are like me, fam.
Last summer, I asked Women’s Health readers to DM us their biggest skin-care questions on Instagram, and you DELIVERED. So many of your questions were ones I had asked myself at some point during my sh*tty-skin lifetime, like:
That’s why I’m starting a new column about my journey to better, clearer, healthier skin. Think of me as your beauty guinea pig. I plan to try the latest treatments and products (from bizarre to expert-endorsed), and share my uncensored experience with you.
Facials? Lasers? Peels? Natural products? Bring it. Follow along with my journey once a month at WomensHealthMag.com.
Source: Read Full Article