My battle with acne has been ongoing for at least 32 years now. For a long time, I hoped it would go away. At some point, that hope faded into a belief that acne was a part of my identity.
I care about vanity, so acne brought me a lot of embarrassment, shame, anxiety, and anger.
My Early Memories of Acne
My breakouts started around 7th grade and rapidly progressed.
I cringed to have to look in the mirror because I never knew how many new zits or bumps popped up while I slept. I wondered what I did to deserve this pitiful skin condition.
On the days when the make-up didn’t hide everything that I wanted to cover up, I felt embarrassed to go to school. At one point I hoped that niqabs would come in style, not for religious purposes but fashion. That would be a trend I would jump on so I could cover my face!
I turned to one side when people talked to me in order to try to hide a huge zit or patch of blemishes. It always seemed that an outbreak would occur when I had a date I was looking forward to, prom, professional pictures, or a major social event.
I often thought that I would be happy with my looks if the acne would just disappear.
I have memories of name calling and suggestions from family and fellow students. For example, pizza face, zit orchard, it looks like you fell face first into an anthill, pimple popper, you should wash your face more, you should eat less chocolate, have you tried getting off of dairy products, just to name a few. These names forever played in my head when I would wake to new zits. I came to appreciate those who would say, “You can’t even see it, Shelly!”
I tried every product on the market, every home remedy, and many dermatologists visits. The dermatologists would perform acid peels which would leave my face red, chapped, and peeling. More embarrassment. I thought it would all be worth it if it healed my acne. More zits still came.
I read that acne was caused by dirt. I scrubbed more often, harder and longer. It didn’t work. I live by a more product is better philosophy, so I went to sleep with big globs of zit cream polka dotted on my face each night. Our carpet and my bedding bleached out where my face would touch and the peroxide in the zit creams lightened their color. The products worked better in our home than they did my face!
This continued throughout college.
Around the time I was in college, I heard about a drug that was getting rid of acne. It supposedly cured-all. My parents did not want me to take the drug because there were harsh side effects, and researchers weren’t sure of the long-term effects since it hadn’t been on the market that long.
Since I was young and couldn’t see past tomorrow much less the awful complexion I inhabited, I knew as soon as I got a job and got my own insurance, I would be making an appointment to get on this drug. That’s exactly what I did, and I took the pills exactly as prescribed. I had awaited this medication for a long time. It worked…for about a year and a half.
I remember when the zits started to come back. It was such a heavy feeling. I wondered if it was just a spell or were they back for good? Eventually, I had the realization that I was back to square one.
This continued into my 30s.
I continued to buy every drugstore zit product, try every home remedy I heard of, and go to the dermatologists. I read that acne may be caused by hormones when you are in your 30s and up. Every symptom that the article described seemed like something I experienced, so I just knew this was my answer.
When I went to the doctor to have my levels checked, the doctor said, “Well, all acne is hormonal.” I didn’t care what it was. I just wanted it gone. They did the blood work and said that my hormone levels were fine. I went to other doctors and was told the same thing. Eventually, I gave up on that cause.
Now I was married, so I did not want to go to sleep with big blobs of white zit cream speckled on my face. Therefore the healing process took longer. New zits appeared, so things were adding up.
Pregnancy Cleared It Up
When I got pregnant, my acne went away for the most part. My neck broke out sometimes but it was so much better than when I wasn’t pregnant. I thought to myself had I known I would get “the glow” and clear skin from being pregnant I probably would have considered being a surrogate mother.
My skin stayed clear throughout both my pregnancies and while I breastfed. I joked with my friends that I would breastfeed until the kids moved out, so I could keep a clear face.
While holding my babies I would stare at their beautiful skin and beg God not to allow them to go through the complexion issues I had battled for so long.
Once I finished breastfeeding my second son, the acne appeared quickly and worse than ever. It seemed like a bad joke. I found it unbelievable that I was getting older and my acne looked worse now than it ever had. I thought this was a teenage issue. Was I going to take it to menopause?
Now my boys could talk and they would point at my zits and ask, “Mom, what’s that?” Not cool, when one of your child’s first words is ZIT!
In years to follow, Moms would comment at Mothers Day Out drop off, “Wow, you get so dressed up. Wow, you put on make up for drop off.” I would just smile. I didn’t want to tell them, “You don’t want to see what’s underneath it all”, but I thought it.
I continued to wash and to medicate. My dermatologist visits were more frequent. Then, I started trying microdermabrasion. Then micro needling. Next hydro facials. With each new idea from the aenethiesian, I would get a little drop of hope that this was my answer. Sometimes it would clear up for about a week, and then the acne would return. It was such a tease! Add to it, my neck would now break out with giant knots. It reminded me of the time I got attacked by wasps on my neck.
I started This -N- That Parenting in 2017. I was embarrassed by the photos I took for my business because I had acne in all of them. In early 2018, I started doing Facebook Lives for the Morning Parenting Meetings. It was so annoying to constantly use energy worrying about my complexion rather than putting all of my energy into the information that I wanted to share with parents.
The Day I Got so Fed Up
Don’t get me wrong, I had been fed up for 30 years, but my acne was at an all-time high. I was waking up to 2-4 new zits per day! One morning in June 2018 I went to brush my teeth. As I looked at the mirror, I leaned closer in. I glared at new zits, and scabs and redness from old zits. I was disgusted by the flaky skin from all the different formulas I applied in hopes of some clearness. The many books I read to my son about snakes and how they shed seemed a little too relatable at the moment. It was an unacceptable way to have to experience myself.
In my opinion, my complexion looked awful. I got so angry. I talked aloud to God as I looked in the mirror. Rarely, do I have a conversation of this manner with God, but I had had it.
The mild version of this conversation went something to the effect of, “God, why do I have to have all of these zits? I am sick of it. Lord, I am sick of looking like this. I am sick of being embarrassed to show my face. God, what did I do to deserve this? This is so humiliating! I am asking you to heal my face, Lord. Please allow me to live some of my life with clear skin. I won’t take it for granted!”
I woke up the next day in hopes of a miracle, but instead, I got more of the same. There were some new zits. I figured my acne would never be healed, and I continued on the hamster wheel.
Rodan + Fields Offer
About a month later, I got a message from an ex-co-worker who sold Rodan + Fields. She explained that she was giving 2 Unblemish sets out at her cost if the customer was willing to take a before and after photo.
A couple of friends over the last few years mentioned Rodan + Fields to me, but once I heard of the price I would decide that I didn’t want to spend that money. I wasn’t working, and I had two kids to save for. I knew the set was over $100, so I didn’t respond right away.
Sidenote: Had I done the math, I spent twice as much on attempts to clear my face with the cosmetologist, dermatologist, plus products, and co-pays, per month etc.
Throughout the day, I thought about her message, so I eventually decided, “I’ll let Chris make the call.” I texted Chris and asked if he minded if I spent the money. He replied, “Get whatever you want.” I chose to go ahead and spend the money.
Once the product came in, I read every detail on the directions and ingredients. I had been let down so many times in the past that I didn’t even allow myself to get excited or hopeful about the product like I should have. I had only a glitter size speck of hope.
The next day I started the Unblemish. The product comes with explicit directions, and I followed the directions to a T. My face started clearing up within a week. Within 2 weeks I had no zits and my overall complexion looked great.
Joylessly, I waited for the other shoe to drop. I would think, “Oh wait until my period comes. That will be the true test.” Well, it has come and gone several times, and Rodan + Fields withstood the test. I got to the point that I really didn’t mind going without makeup. I was actually proud of my skin.
Sadly, it took me about a month to remember my prayer. All of a sudden while admiring my skin in the mirror one day, I remembered my rant. I felt ashamed that I prayed such a dramatic prayer and then when it was answered I didn’t even give credit where credit was due. I am still singing praises to this day!
Rodan + Fields Consultant
I am thrilled with my Hollywood Quality porcelain skin. I am now a Rodan + Fields Consultant. Not only do I not mind waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror, I am enjoying all of the compliments on my skin. Some of my family members even touch my face when they see me. My boys comment on how nice it looks, and they ask me about my new products. It is thrilling to know that if they get acne like I did, we are up to our ears in products that will heal it. This makes my heart smile with pure joy and gladness. I would not wish the stress of having a bad complexion on anyone. All of my acne prayers have been answered.
I am so thankful for clear skin. It makes such a positive impact on my self-image. Now I shout from the rooftops about Rodan + Fields. I loathe acne and blemishes, and my goal is to help 10,000 people get rid of their acne. If you have acne, I would love to help you put an end to it. It is so nice to be free from the grip of acne. If your child has acne, take action today. Please, do not let them acquire scars and redness.
I can not do this alone. We have to join forces. I need others who are self-motivated, confident, driven, positive, a tad competitive, coachable and a good communicator. Women who know they were made for more than what they are presently experiencing! If you want to be intentional about your legacy, this is an opportunity for you.
It would bring great joy and excitement to my heart for you to join my team. I welcome you to help me spread the word and combat skin issues. Only 30% of the U.S. population has heard of Rodan + Fields. It also ships to Canada and Australia.
Rodan + Fields also has treatment for lines, pores, loss of firmness, dullness, dark spots, visible redness, dry sensitive skin, and men’s products as well as sunscreen, Lash Booster, and other beneficial products.
Call to Action
#1 Order products to get the skin you desire. Get your personalized skincare recommendation with
from the Rodan + Fields Solution Tool. You scroll down to Find Your Regimen. Then you click Get Started.
#2 If you have a child with acne, I implore you on their behalf, DO NOT allow them to live with acne when there is a product that can heal their skin.
#3 Join me and the Rodan + Fields community of entrepreneurs to experience healthier, younger-looking skin, connections with great people, opportunities for personal growth and your own business in the skincare industry.
#4 Forward this to anyone you know who complains about their skin, has acne or has a family member with acne. I need your help in reaching my goal of 10,000! I truly believe it is a sin to know great information and not share it with the world.
I’d love to hear about the journey you’ve been on with your skin. I pray it’s been a positive one. If not, give me the chance to be your skin care girl.
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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS