Like most women I feel the overwhelming pressure to appear beautiful at all times. I have spent years actively hiding my acne from other people, either by using makeup or avoiding going out in public. What started as just hiding my skin from co-workers, friends and family; rapidly turned into not even being able to answer the door to the postman without makeup on.
It sounds stupid I know… but the anxiety I felt over my skin controlled every decision I made.
In September 2017, something happened that put into perspective the extent of my self-esteem issues. A category-five hurricane (Irma) was heading straight for our Caribbean home in The British Virgin Islands. We prepared for the hit and had been advised to pack a bag of essential items in the event of getting evacuated.
Passport ✓ Phone ✓ Pants ✓ Money ✓ Makeup ✓
The hurricane was catastrophic and throughout the chaos I was still worried about keeping my acne concealed. I felt so guilty and ashamed of myself. It scared me that my survival instincts didn’t override my acne anxiety. Despite giving myself a hard time about feeling this way; I knew it wasn’t my fault. An often overlooked side-effect of acne is the impact it has on our mental wellbeing. In fact, I don’t think you can treat one without the other.
It was going to take a year to rebuild the islands and without a job I was finding it pretty hard to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. After seeing the Netflix pop up with ‘are you still there?’ for the hundredth time, I decided there was no better time to figure out what was causing my acne. I had already toyed with the idea of starting a blog but had no idea what I would write about. I kept returning to the idea of a blog designed to inspire, empower and comfort people with insecurities about their skin but knew that would require me to be open about my acne and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that.
Over the last thirteen years I have tried most things in an effort to clear my skin. With every failed attempt, I became more and more sceptical that anything could actually help me. I visited doctors and dermatologists countless times and took various antibiotics and contraceptive pills until I finally resorted to accutane.
Nothing worked- so I stopped trying.
I finally decided that writing a blog about my experiences with acne would essentially be like writing a journal for everyone to see. As well as being helpful tool for others; I thought the process would be therapeutic and could help me identify the cause of my breakouts.
Before I started, I wanted to think of a name that best described my time with acne in the past, present and future.
Why Beautiful by Breakfast?
Every evening before I go to sleep, I take off my make-up and look at my red, inflamed face in the mirror and say silent prayer to the skin goddess. Please make me Beautiful by Breakfast.
Despite thirteen years of impeccable skincare I sill have acne. I am now researching different foods to help heal skin from within. I am going to be Beautiful by what I eat for Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In all this time, I seldom feel confident enough to go without make-up in public. So for now- each morning before anyone sees me, I apply my mask of make-up and become Beautiful by Breakfast time.