Acne and Mental Health... Yep There's A Link

I have been an acne sufferer since going into the sophomore year of high school. It started off very mild, however, due to the fact that I was so confused about what to use and was always trying to cover it up with makeup and things of that such, the problem slowly turned into something bigger than I ever imagined. Growing up in this day and age is already difficult, but it becomes even more difficult when you add things like social media in the mix. Every day we get online and there's another celebrity posting their super clear skin, or another Instagram model showing off their perfect body and even though a lot of us hate to admit it, I know that often makes many of us ask ourselves why we can't look like that. We all want to be able to grasp perfection when there is really no such thing. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have flaws, but it is up to us to embrace them. However, what happens when we can't?

I'm about to get a little personal here, so bear with me. I have had anxiety all of my life. It took me a LONG time to realize it, but oh is it clear as day now. It started in preschool with me refusing to leave my mother when she dropped me off on the first day of class. Like most kids, I cried and held on to her tight, but the problem was I never stopped doing that. For literal months I did this. Even after becoming acclimated to school and making friends, I still was anxious leaving my mother nearly every morning. As time went on I began having anxiety about other things. At age 11, I went to the doctor for what I thought was a digestion issue, which it was, but even with medication, it didn't subside. Turns out it was anxiety affecting my digestive system all along. At age 15 is when it got significantly worse. I have no idea why, but I was convinced the world was ending and when the acne started popping up around this time it made everything 10x worse. I kid you guys not, I could barely look in the mirror at myself. I go back through my photos and there is NEVER a time from age 15-17 that I did not wear makeup to go outside. I'm pretty sure I cried enough tears in these two years that I could have literally filled up an entire swimming pool and still have some leftover. It was absolutely horrible. I would fall in and out of anxiety and depression and I could never really tell anyone why. You see when a part of you becomes your worst enemy, there is no escaping it. If you don't accept it, it will tear you apart. When I finally managed to clear my skin, the anxiety that I had about it slowly subsided, but it never went away completely (of course I still had anxiety about other things though, sigh). Recently due to mask mandates, my skin started flaring up, nothing too crazy, but enough to make me freak out a good bit. It doesn't happen to everyone, but for those of us that are "lucky enough" to be born acne-prone, it can exacerbate the issue. We wear a mask out in the heat one day, and the next day our skin erupts usually on the cheek or in the chin area. The last time I had a pimple was November of 2019 and it was a singular pimple, so getting a group of pimples on one of my cheeks sent me back down a dark hole that I am still trying to dig myself out of. When those few pimples started popping up, I immediately went back to my old ways of being obsessed with looking perfect and it really upset me! People that have never suffered from acne don't understand what it's like to analyze your face in the mirror every time you see one, they don't realize how your breath hitches every time you see a new pimple, they don't realize how having a breakout can affect your mood. Acne and mental health are truly linked!

We've talked enough about me, so let's talk about what researchers are saying. Did you know that individuals that experience acne are up to 6 times more likely to develop depression and anxiety? According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, "there are some reports of the existence of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, aggression, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and attempts in patients with acne vulgaris." Furthermore, according to DermNet, "some patients with only minor acne suffer from disturbed body image. Even in the absence of lesions, they consider they have severe acne and may suffer many of the psychological and social symptoms described above. They are said to have 'dysmorphophobic acne'." So you see, even people with minor acne or people that have gotten rid of their acne can still be facing issues.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the Real Depression Project, "we lose over 800,000 people per year to suicide making it the 10th largest cause of death worldwide." Those that have attempted to commit suicide have often reported feelings of hopelessness or feelings of isolation. This can be caused by things such as depression and anxiety which can be caused by a number of factors. I have read a number of posts from people saying that there were times where their skin was so problematic that they actually thought about committing suicide because they felt alone and isolated. They no longer wanted to see anyone or go anywhere because they were worried about what people would say about their appearance. I wrote this post specifically for those people that feel isolated because I wanted to tell you all that you are NOT alone.

I have made it my life's goal to become one of the best product providers and one of the best estheticians out there because I promise I know how you feel. I know what it's like to look in the mirror and not be satisfied with how you look, I know what it's like to have people ask you what's wrong with your face, I know what it's like to not want to look people in the eye because of your skin, I know what it's like to sit in your room and cry all day. I promise I have done it all. I have to tell myself this all the time but, keep going, whether you're facing a big breakout, a small breakout, or something else in your life, keep going. Regardless of how you make look or feel, you are beautiful and there will NEVER be another you. I know you probably hear this all the time but it's true. There is not a single person in this world that could replace you, so KEEP GOING. Stress can actually make depression and anxiety worse and cause a surge a hormones that could possibly lead to more breakouts. With that being said, cry about it if you have to, talk to people you love, go for a walk, meditate, journal, take a nap, read a book, eat a good meal, drink your water, and if your stress is causing you to breakout and things get to a point where nothing is working, it's always a good idea to visit a dermatologist or an esthetician for extra help for your skin issues. However, if you're open to it, it also may be a good idea to try therapy in combination with that. A lot of people have this negative perception of therapy, but it can actually be very helpful. Finally, if you're not suffering from acne or mental illness, remember to always be kind to those that are. You never know how your words can mentally affect another person.

As I stated before, September is National Suicide Prevention Month and I want to use Taylor-Made Skin to give back. With that being said, 10% of all the money made this month will be donated to the Sad Girls Club, a nonprofit organization created to diminish the stigma around mental health and support women of color as well as the millennial and Gen Z populations.

As I have said in some of my previous posts, this brand goes beyond these products. This might sound crazy, but at the end of the day, I don't care if I only sell one thing, I just want to connect with you guys. I wish I had, had someone to talk to me that could actually relate to me during all the rough times I had so if you ever need moral support, or just anyone to talk to, never hesitate to dm me, email me, or send me a message in my website's chat box! As always, thank you to all of you that read my posts, and that have continued to support my brand. I cannot wait to grow Taylor-Made Skin into something bigger.

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