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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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This is a drawing and a poem I’ve made for a summer love. Our time together was short-lived but the feelings were not.

“God’s Gift”

On a platform we stand

Faces seen all in a blur

Relentless searching led by a spur

To find someone, to feel something

Aren’t we fools to waste away time?

To look for one man’s treasure

Somewhere as ephemeral, as fragile

As a bond built in crime

But aren’t we just like every weary heart?

Hoping for an oasis

In the midst of the desert

Wanting to quench our thirst

Aren’t we all like frosted windows

Of old and battered houses on winter?

Wishing for the sun to give us warmth

To melt the facade so we can show what the inside is made

Aren’t we maven pretenders?

A Casanova? A Temptress? Who made us this way?

A sly fox? A ruthless hunter?

Let down the walls, It’ll be okay

Rushed for a hug, now no hesitating

Engulfed by a sense of bliss or was it longing? Eyes wide-open,

Stepping on a quicksand I embraced the fall into the deep end

Gazed at you lying there unaware With you, found something rare I swear

Realization dawning as loud as a thunder

As the Beating of your heart put me into a deep slumber

Waking up from this reverie

Truth slapped me back to reality

Two worlds so different, now I see If only I could I’d be anything and anyone you need me to be I’m the ludicrous clown, you see

Thought if I ruin it first I’d be free

From the doubts brought by my own insecurity I was so wrong,

What a tragicomedy Brought by the month of April

We rushed the ticking of clock to May Hands interlocked

Weaved skin to skin on a rainy day But when June came to say hello, all went dark grey

What was once there ceases to exist Like the wilting of a flower

Once so beautiful, so full of life Now turned into dust by death’s kiss

Unbounded joy brought by your presence

Paralleled with the perennial ache of your absence Yearned for and offered seventh heaven

Now the heart weeps for evanescence

A mirage, to be the fair maiden The sorrow to find out I’d end up our own villain

But all’s well for you are but a distant dream Gamaliel, You are, I knew it from the very beginning .

Written by me, the one-shot story

Coffee is about a girl who used to cherish moments with someone in a cafe. Sometimes, a simple drink can leave an imprint on someone's mind. ____________________________________________

Coffee

It's been a year since my boyfriend and I broke up. I love him and he loves me too but things just didn't worked  the way it should be. Now I'm heading at the cafe where we started and ended. I have no choice but to go there after all it was made up of both happy and sad memories. But that's life , right? We can't be happy all the time. Challenges come and hearts can break. But it doesn't just end there.

"One signature coffee , please." I said as I ordered from the cashier.

"What size?" she asked.

"Small." I said.

Then she took my payment and I headed towards the seat near the window. A window seat.... for two. The cafe was surprisingly full tonight unlike the past few days.

Again, I have no choice but to sit on that window seat. It is where we sit often. It is our seat. Our place. There are a lot of couples at the cafe and wow I'm alone. There's a part of me which says you should be happy because he's not the only guy in this world. Another part of me says you're still hurt so don't pretend to be happy. The truth is , I am both happy and sad.  I'm happy because we're both free and we can focus more in our careers. But I'm sad because I'm not the other half of his heart anymore. I'm sad because I let him go even though I still love him. I'm sad because I can't see him. I'm sad because I can't share this relaxing coffee shop where we can chill with the aromatic smell of the coffee.

"Small signature coffee?" the waitress said as she serves my coffee.

"Yes. Thank you." I said.

"Since you're a regular customer here, we would like to give you this item for free." the waitress said. She handed me a purple journal with the name of the cafe on it and a pen.

"Oh thanks." I said .

"Enjoy your coffee!" she said.

I took advantage of using the freebies from the cafe. A window seat is also a bonus in inspiring me to write something. While sipping my coffee my brain and my heart began to function smoothly.

And so I wrote: My coffee has been cold lately, I can't feel anything after taking a sip and there's no heat to leave a pain on my lips. And it was a relief. But then, I remember one thing about sipping a cold coffee instead of a hot one: cold coffee doesn't leave you any marks when you sipped it, just like a blunt feeling. But a hot coffee will leave you a remarkable pain from the heat which reminds you that you are alive to feel....

I closed the journal and stared at the window. He was the coffee. The hot coffee. No matter how our breakup hurt me, he left me a mark and a lesson to learn. A hot coffee can be a challenge too or an obstacle. They all made you feel that you are alive. That you can go on with your life. You can still stand up. Love taught me to move forward. He taught me to be stronger. He is love.

Belley Marie A day ago

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BROKE FANGIRL/FANBOY

One of the proudest things as a fan is the feeling that you are part of their growing fandom and stardom. From streaming their songs online, watching their music videos, TV guestings, collecting photocards, albums, lightsticks, attending to their concert and fan meetings surely, you're a fan! But there's a problem, MONEY.

It's really heartbreaking when you hear that members of your favorite band are coming and their concert is just around the corner but here you are thinking of how to sell one of your kidneys just to go to their concert (kidding).That no matter how much you try to save, it will never be enough for a ticket because you are only a student who has limited resources or if you're an adult, you have bills to pay. So joining a "team bahay" livestream is your last resort, but sometimes even those links don't work!

Of course if there's team bahay there's also "team airport/ team labas", fans who waits at the airport hoping to see their idols upon their arrival. How we wish we could also attend and be part of it, something like shouting their names, fanchants then cry out of happiness while waving their lightsticks or banners. What a concept isn't?

Hey, cheer up! being broke doesn't make you any less of a fan. Know that there are other ways to support and love them. For sure our idols have the same and equal love to us no matter what "team" we belong (team concert, team airport/labas and team bahay).Maybe for some people, they might think we are being overly dramatic without knowing that for us fans, their existence itself and music saved us and made us happy once in our lives. -Gwy June 16,2020

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