Over the years I’ve tried everything in search of that elusive flawless complexion. You name it I’ve tried it. I’m a complete sucker for a marketing ploy believing those gorgeous models got their looks straight from the bottle…then I got older and penny-wiser!!! I slowly but surely came to realise the importance of looking at the whole picture and how examining all aspects of your life (diet, exercise, mood…) can give you the answers you’re looking for when you’re not feeling your usual ‘really really ridiculously good-looking’ self.
My journey to this point started 17 years ago when I was a fresh-faced 19 year old and BOB came into my life.
Bob and I were inseparable right from the start, where he went I went and vice versa. As the weeks and months went by I became obsessed. A teenager totally fixated…I thought of nothing but Bob!!! Definitely not healthy. Until finally our tumultuous relationship came to a bitter end and Bob was eradicated in a fairly vicious manner through steroid injections…
YES my dear friend Bob was…an acne cyst!!!!!
I was lucky enough to have had relatively good skin in my teenage years, that was until Bob reared his cystic boily head. I am ghostly pale anyway, a dear friend describes my skin as blue it’s so transparent. So imagine a bright red, inflamed, boil sitting to the left of my nose under my eye socket…not a good look!
At first I thought ok it’s gross but it’ll go away. But it was going nowhere so much so that my friend christened it BOB (thanks AM!!!). So Bob was with me for months….MONTHS before I finally rather aggressively attacked him. What happens when we attack these things? Yes, Bob began to swell and the inflammation travelled right up to my eye. Ok I thought now I better seek professional help. My GP referred me to have it checked. I met a consultant who referred to Bob as cystic acne and advised me that the only means of vanquishing him was through steroid injections. I had grown so close to Bob I was wrestling with this proposal. Losing Bob may mean the skin where once he dwelled could atrophy (sink in…basically I ran the risk of having a large crater in my face). I took one final look at Bob, who by now was obscuring my vision he’d gotten so big, and decided it was time to part ways.
Three syringes full of steroids were injected into my paper-thin skin. It was not a pleasant experience and all I kept thinking was ‘you fool, a lump is better than a crater…what have I done!!!’. But a few days later Bob was gone and I had a very minor dip in his place. Now, 17 years later, only I would notice the remnants of my dear friend Bob.
So why the overly dramatic and drawn out story of Bob? Well, I’ve thought about this experience a lot over the years. During my training as a Complementary Health Therapist, then as a Beauty Therapist and more recently as a Dr Hauschka Esthetician. I was a naive 19 year old who didn’t understand what caused the cyst and definitely didn’t understand the implications of how they were proposing to remove it. All I wanted was my old skin back. The more knowledge I’ve gained since the more incredulous I am that I didn’t investigate it more. Especially given I have such a passion for skin care.
Bob was most likely symptomatic of my lifestyle then. Too much alcohol, greasing food, very little exercise (though I did dance in clubs…a lot!!!) and definitely no quiet headspace. I ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ explored other options to manage Bob…treat it naturally, use less invasive methods…definitely not attack it and see what happened. But I didn’t.
In hindsight would I have signed that waiver to say I was ok if I got a giant hole in my face just to see the back of Bob?…probably. Sometimes only time can change your perspective on things and had I not had that experience I’m not sure I’d be where I am now…embracing the natural side to maintaining healthy skin.
Do you have a story or experience that changed your thinking on how to care for your skin? Please share in the comments below…I’d love to hear from you 🙂