When I was a kid, around 10-13 years, I couldn’t wait to “become a woman”. So it was no surprise that I couldn’t hide my joy when I saw signs of budding breasts pushing my shirt. And with that, I knew that my time to be that lady in red and heels that boys in the hood would run after had finally come. Boy wouldn’t I give these boys hell! Well, and everything was going to plan until one day, out of the blues, a pimple as big as an avocado appeared on my face. It didn’t help that while all my friends’ skins were glowing, I was moving from a chemist to the next in search of a cure for the many hilly pimples that had pitched tent on my face. I hated my friends. I would try to avoid them by staying in the house all alone in my room to avoid choking on my jealousy when I saw their smooth faces. Needless to say, high school did not do my self-esteem much justice. I couldn’t understand why I had moved from one hospital to the next without a solution to restore my pretty smile and feminism. I couldn’t understand why everyone was beautiful but me. Why everyone would walk out of their house with their head held high while I so much wanted to bury mine in the sand.
Well, high school would come to an end, four years of pain and agony and university would close in on me very fast. Again, needless to say, my self-esteem was at an all-time low. The ripple effect of this is that I avoided people as much as I could, sometimes missing lectures too. I remember falling out with a close friend of mine when she jokingly told me that my face looks like a chapatti. It took my mom to reassure me that acne is not a death sentence. Acne is a phase in life and hiding from people would not heal it. Neither would trying all those medications that people kept throwing to my face. I chose to celebrate it and get a re-birth of myself as a person. I started a page called SKINCARE KENYA on Facebook and was overwhelmed by the responses and challenges I learnt from people. Some of them are:
Know and accept your skin type. they say information is power. Well, I have learnt that it helps to approach your skin woes from a point of knowledge. That said, is your skin oily, normal or dry? Before you try anything on your face, have you tried them on your hand?
Support groups and DIYs are very important. For example, do you have people who make you feel good for being you? You know, those who bring out the best you? How much do you share ideas? Have a sense of accountability for your skin care regimes? How does your support system ensure that they educate you on your skin?
How much do you exercise? From my experience, it helps to exercise and sweat it out. It helps to do those morning runs and maybe skipping rope. You will not only be detoxifying your body, you will also be toning your face.
While some people meditate, it would be ironic for me to tell you to “pick your poison”. So what do I mean? I mean that if you get your mental peace by reading a book, writing one, cooking, helping out, whatever makes you happy, try it out. Rid your mind of all negative energies. Rid your mind of all the people that make you feel sorry for yourself.
Finally, trust the struggle and the fact that it could be worse but it isn’t. Always look at the bright side. After all, everyone is struggling with something, only that some are more naked to the eye than others.