I started to develop painful cystic acne when I was in the 7th grade. I was one of two people with severe acne at my middle school. It was very emotionally toiling, especially considering that I am a girl. I feel like I went through extra scrutiny because of the myth that girls have better skin than guys. There was a period where I avoided pictures like the plague.
Taking photos made me extremely conscious of the horrible state of my skin. In fact, one time I actually cried after someone took my photograph. In middle school, I was so anxious in general that I began to pick at my acne.At the time, I found it comforting that they could not see the infinite number of whiteheads on my face. It made it seem like I had less acne than I actually did. A couple of times, people told me to “Just wash your face”, which is ridiculous. Do they honestly believe I don’t wash my face? I wish it was that simple. I would not have acne if it was.
In high school, I did occasionally get made fun of because of my painful cystic acne. I resorted to wearing makeup because I wanted an emotional break from the obnoxious stares and taunts; this was huge for me because I don’t feel comfortable wearing makeup, it just isn’t me. It was not until the 12th grade, after an unsuccessful year and a half of painful acne facials from an Aesthetician, that my acne started clearing up.
The single product that catalyst my progress was tea tree oil. The one that I got was from a special natural store in Mexico City, but I am sure there are good tea tree oil distributors elsewhere.Eventually, my face adapted to it I guess because it stopped working as well. It did not stop working in general, to be clear. As of right now, I am still dealing with a couple of pimples but it's mild now. I have bad scarring—rolling, ice pick, boxcar, and hyperpigmentation. It turns out that even when I do not pick at my acne, I still scar.
Picking does make scarring even worse though. The hyperpigmentation is not as prominent as it was, partly due to time and products I have used. I have used the pen stamp from Banish twice, and I can honestly say I saw results. I saw results as soon as the first session, my skin became more even.