My ultimate goal growing up was always to have clear skin, even though my genetics would never allow it. There are two questions I get asked all the time, and they are:
- Do you drink at least two litres of water a day?
- Have you tried going vegan/ditching dairy/junk food?
Both answers to these questions are yes. I have tried everything and I’m tired of suggestions from people who have never had skin problems in their life.
Like any 12 or 13-year-old I was very insecure about my face, I was made fun of for the redness and the spots that covered it until I discovered the amazing fluid of wonder that we call foundation. Dream matte mousse was the thing back then, and so was wearing it 3 times (or more) darker or paler than your actual skin tone, because y’know, shade matching wasn’t a thing back then, apparently.
Now, we didn’t have tutorials on YouTube to tell us how to correctly apply or more importantly; remove make up, so we just did whatever suited and did the job. I remember removing my heavy foundation with a cotton pad and moisturiser (???) A cotton pad. And. Moisturiser!? What a disaster. So I carried on doing this and wondered why my skin wasn’t getting any better. After all acne was supposed to disappear with age, right? Wrong!
Fast forward to being a hormonal 15-year-old, some people would wash their face with Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit face wash twice daily and call it a day for their skin care routine. If you’re like me, where DNA interferes with your skin, you’re one of the lucky (!) ones that have to go through all the brands in Boots and Superdrug until you find the very expensive product that only semi-works for your skin. My family has a history of skin problems varying from rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, so I just couldn’t escape bad skin, or skin that is considered bad in our society.
For acne in my teenage years, I was prescribed numerous drugs and face treatments by GPs and yet none of them worked. The only thing that helped slightly was contraceptive pills. It got to a certain point where I would put foundation on even if I wasn’t going anywhere, or simply just making a trip to the corner shop. Everyone told me: “Gosia, you don’t have to wear foundation every day, it makes your skin worse.” But foundation was amazing, so how could it make my skin worse? How could this bottle of magic be making my skin more imperfect? I was afraid to lose it and I was scared of losing the protection it gave me from people staring at my horrible, ugly skin that was hiding underneath. It took me 5 years of people telling me and encouraging me to wear less make up. I came to the realisation that others don’t really care about what you look like.
When I matured a little, I took a step back and I asked myself: “when you’re out grocery shopping, do you look at every persons face and get close enough to see their spots and pores and imperfections?” My answer was obviously no. So I took a brave step outside and felt liberated as I felt the fresh air on my bare skin. For all of these years I let my insecurities get to me. I felt trapped in my own skin, and so as if my face was a wall, I just stuck wallpaper on it, every single day for 5 years. I was exhausted, which is why I ditched this little bottle holding me hostage.
Currently, make up culture has reached its peak and I absolutely adore what people can do with a bunch of products, brushes and beauty blenders. The videos I mostly watch on YouTube are make up tutorials because make up is fun and it looks beautiful! I just acknowledged when too much was too much.
Wearing make up is absolutely fine but never in a million years you should let it become harmful and allow it to warp your self-image.
I have one bottle of foundation in my collection and I will only wear it if it’s date night or a special occasion so I can feel good about myself, and this is a choice I have now, which before I felt that I didn’t have. About a year ago I started putting skin care first, and I switched to BB cream which is a lot softer & lighter on the skin and it doesn’t clog my pores or irritate my skin. It hides a little bit of my skin discolouration and redness. Sure, it doesn’t hide my pimples. But I prefer it that way now, for the reason that after all of these years I finally look like myself.
Thank you for reading.
Gosia Joanna x
What I currently use for my skin: