Living with acne

By Steffi:

I barely remember a time when I didn’t have acne. I believe I started getting acne in 6th grade. My skin
started producing an uncomfortable amount of oil, and the bumps on my forehead started to appear
crimson in color and three-dimensional. I always hoped that this was just a “teenage phase” that would
pass away quickly. I’ve worn glasses since the first grade, but I still take my glasses off every time I step
in front of the mirror in hopes that my bumps and scars would appear less noticeable. I was so angry at
the fact that all my friends had NO bumps at all, and here I was, hiding at home feeling like an ugly

At this time, my family and I traveled to Hong Kong for vacation almost yearly, where we would take the
opportunity to try Asian skin care products. I remember going to the beauty stores and every woman
would examine my skin like I was a zoo animal. Most of the young women I saw in Hong Kong had fair
and immaculate skin, and I thought to myself, “Wow these kids don’t even know how lucky they are to
not have skin problems.”

My mom bought me soothing masks, cleansers for sensitive skin, toners,
moisturizers, and anything we felt would work. She took me to doctors who practiced eastern medicine
so that I could try herbal remedies and teas to clear my skin. She even had her friends ship those goods
back home to us when we left Hong Kong. The costs of trying so many different products over the years
probably amounted to thousands of dollars. I spent even more hours on the computer reading stories of
other acne sufferers and researching remedies- I was willing to try them all.

I finally went to a dermatologist in high school and was elated because it was finally time to erase my
acne forever! She prescribed birth control for me, which I stopped because it gave me a wonky and
unnatural feeling. I was given antibiotics, which only helped temporarily. With every medication I was
prescribed my hope was elevated and then shot down once it didn’t work for me. Then my
dermatologist recommended Accutane. I think I tried the medication for 2 courses of 6-8 months each. I
loved the results, and every day I would hold my breath and pray that my greasy skin and acne would
not return….and of course it did.

Unfortunately, I’ve finished college already and acne is still a constant stressor for me. Although I can
say that I break out less often, my skin is still an oily mess just an hour after washing, which makes me
very self conscious. I’ve tried to cut out dairy and gluten, and I’ve even eaten only apples for 3 straight
days to detoxify and clear my skin. I’m tired of this fight but I don’t want to give up! I’ve read up on
Banish too and the philosophy makes sense to me. I hope to try it and get amazing results like everyone

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