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From Our Readers: What Having Acne Taught Me

I'm okay with what my face looks right now but that doesn't mean that I will leave it at that.
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I don't have a pristine white skin nor a cream and peaches complexion, but I take pride in my skin although it's not clear and smooth because pimples only show every once in a while or when my period is coming up. Pimples are the one thing that worries me especially when they pop out of the blue. One or two is enough but I frantically freak out when they pop simultaneously in places I don't normally have them. I am still okay after a week, but when my trusted beauty regimen seemed to fail or showed no sign of efficacy, I started to get paranoid.

Over-the-counter go to brands are clearly failing and my acne breakouts kept on thriving. Though some are fading after a week, two or more will pop out again. It left red blemishes, dark spots, and pimple scars which I hated the most.

However, acne breakout made me question myself. I deemed having pimples every once in a while as normal and I don't care about them like other people do. When I look at myself in the mirror, all I can see is me and my face with acne and reddish spots because people pointed it out. I was okay. I'm okay with what my face looks right now but that doesn't mean that I will leave it at that.

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I'm okay with what my face looks right now but that doesn't mean that I will leave it at that.

Of course, being a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, when it comes to skin care, it bothered me a lot. Sure, it affected me for a while especially when my classmates and friends kept on asking me what happened to my face, what brand did I use that caused the breakout, etc. I myself have been theorizing what the cause might be. I've done a lot of research to what could be the problem but whenever I do that, it only made me feel bad about myself. I wonder if my face is the only thing that mattered, if my face dictates what I can do or cannot do, if my face is my limitation. Sure, I am not beauty queen material and I don't have commercial worthy, face but I believe I am beautiful.

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I am not beauty queen material and I don't have commercial worthy, face but I believe I am beautiful.

Despite the acne breakout, acne marks, dark spots, oiliness of my T-zone, I still find myself beautiful. I still find myself pretty whenever I flash a smile. Does it sound conceited? Maybe. But beauty isn't skin deep. I am not saying that you should leave it that way because you are still beautiful, yes you are. Yet taking care and improving your skin is not a bad idea. It is not a bad idea to accept what your skin's state is right now. What's bad is taking it to heart to the point that limits you from doing what you love. Appearance is important, but keep in mind that it only occupies a small portion of who you are.

Appearance is important, but keep in mind that it only occupies a small portion of who you are.

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Back then, I tend to be so sensitive about my skin but having breakouts despite a strict regimen made me realize that sometimes, it just happens. Acne breakouts just happen no matter what your age and social status may be. It is part of being human. What's funny is I don't find it ugly whenever I look in the mirror. Although there are days when I thought I want to peel off my face because I feel so ugly.

These feelings I realized came from within. We have bad and good days. Breakouts taught me what is important. Breakouts taught me that I'm taking pride in my skin care routine. Breakouts taught me that friends, even though they make comments about you, won't go away because you have pimples. Breakouts taught me that someone loves me the way I am despite my imperfections.

Breakouts taught me that someone loves me the way I am despite my imperfections.

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Breakouts taught me that it's not so bad to accept your imperfections. Breakouts taught me that it should not be your limitation. Breakouts taught me that appearance should not be a limitation. Breakouts should be a benchmark to improve your skills, your talent, and your substance even more. Most importantly, you should love yourself more. Because if you can't accept what you look like or what you are right now, then who will?

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Nicole Caluag 11 hours ago

5 Mystery-Thriller Novels to Read

If you’re stuck at home and out of Netflix shows to binge-watch, then you might want to try and read these mystery-thriller books to match your homemade Dalgona Coffee.

1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The debut novel, and Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019, follows Alicia Berenson, a well-known painter married to an esteemed fashion photographer. Life seemed perfect for Alicia, until one evening when she shot her husband five times, and… never spoke again.

2. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

From the author of Final Girls comes this page turning novel about an infamous building in Manhattan called the Bartholomew. After stumbling upon an ad to become an apartment sitter, Jules Larsen has set out to look after apartment 12A under strict and somewhat odd conditions. Not long after stepping foot in the building, Jules has been met with unfriendly tenants, eerie noises in the apartment unit, and an abrupt departure of a fellow sitter named Ingrid.

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3. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

If you loved Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, then this book is for you. After the disappearance of her Aunt Vivian while working as a night-shift clerk at the Sun Down Motel in 1982, Carly has set off to Fell NY, to work the same job at the same place as her Aunt had 35 years ago – with hopes of uncovering the truth lurking behind the Motel walls.

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4. Verity by Colleen Hoover

While known for Young-Adult Novels such as Slammed and Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover offers readers a romantic thriller about Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling author who was given the opportunity to finish the three remaining novels of a successful series after its original author, Verity Crawford, suffered an accident and has become immobile. After receiving an invite at the Crawford manor to sort through Verity’s notes, Lowen discovers an unpublished autobiography revealing the truth about Verity. With the eerie atmosphere of having Verity confined in her own home, and who is seemingly aware of her surroundings, Lowen is certain Verity is not what she appears to be.

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5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

A mind-bending science fiction thriller from the best-selling author of Wayward Pines – Dark Matter is packed with the concept of the Multiverse and the philosophy of existentialism. The novel follows an ordinary Physics professor, Jason Dessen, who was looking forward to dinner with his family while walking the streets of Chicago. The next thing he knew, he was being held at gunpoint – by a man wearing a mask – and injected with an unknown drug and blacks out. When he regains consciousness, he learns that the world he woke up to was different from the world he knew.

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Here's a poem I wrote a while back reflecting on what it's like over-rationalize a simple thing like crushing on a dude -- hence, the title "Scientific Method"

Scientific Method

You were a phenomenon I cannot wrap my head around

When I first met you, my heart forgot to make its signature sound

And it's overwhelming, your presence;

And underwhelming, so science will be the only language I'll hide in-- For now.

Observation--

At first glance, I notice your top button unbuttoned,

and your shirt fully cotton

Complete with a smile as nervous as me

And a swagger in your step only I can see

Further on, I find your wit to be at a pace

That doesn't leave any space for tension to rise

and it's all too nice

And ridiculous and a bit too suspicious

That this isn't another (well,) circus.

Hypothesis--

Now, let's take a wild guess,

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Oh, but it has to be smart, yes,

That this could lead to something with potential

That this isn't another differential easily solved

With a formula, tried and tested but never evolved

Experiment--

For so long, we've both been independent of any dependent

Keeping our variables fixed and ourselves distracted

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With anything, everything,

But not a single thing

Could stop me from pushing this blindly to find its threshold,

Hoping that it's a quantity my hands could still hold

Over hours, days, and weeks

Through minor revisions and tweaks

Then comes the analysis -- that these weren't accidents

So, now I find myself in a conundrum

With the anomaly in a blue shirt right in front of me,

That this had to be processed logically,

But the findings are as follows:

None of which were shallow, so I therefore conclude that it's true,

I therefore conclude that it's you.

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Ancilla Diamante 12 hours ago

Mi Luna: The Light in My Dark Soul Locked in… Alone…

Why do I feel comforted by darkness? Oh cause maybe because… I am a jolly and very enthusiast kid back then. All I know is to have fun, laugh and play. But as I grow older, everything has changed, a lot. I can feel the changes. I know the more I get older, I’m turning to something I’m not. You know what, I just realized I like it even more. And that’s how I turned a monster. A monster to my own self. Always questioning life and even God about the things that are happening with my life. “Do I deserve this?”. Every day was a struggle. “Which mask should I wear now?”. And every night is my judgement time. “Should I still continue with my miserable life?”. This certainly sum up my whole life. I have this mindset since I was young. I can say that my experiences made me like this. I always want to escape, but every time I tried to pick up myself up, there is always shits that pulls me down. And there, I get tired. Hoping that no one would ever see this. As I despise myself as well. What I can do now is to just embraced everything, I just embraced darkness- reflecting my own self.

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“Look at the moon, it can shine alone and it can give us light at night.” A line I was keeping in my mind that a friend of mine helps me realize things and been there to fix my path. And there I started seeking for my moon but I do not know which part should I start. As days passed, I started to open up myself. I started to act as what truly inside me. It is very hard at first and there is this time that even the situation got worst. But as I continue exploring with my life, a question pop out on my head “Why did I still get this far?”, I can say that maybe I should do this, maybe I really can do this but it is myself who is holding me back because I’m afraid.

Now as far as I am trying to revive my soul, there I know that many people care. Yes, I learned to open up but not to all, on different situations there are people who can understand me because they have the same situation as I am. I learn to open up as long as they did not force me. I learned to navigate and open up for whom I trusted and at the same time when I am ready. The light that I am seeking is my own understanding and acceptance about myself. My light is myself and I am Mi Luna. So it is not too late to save myself. I have thought that, I should be a survivor and winner. That I should also be the ruler of my own mind and soul. Eliminate the room for darkness and let the light shine through you, that I can say how I earned myself again. Mi Luna’s darkness have turned to spotlight.

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