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.


    1. Anonymous – I know it is probably hard if you feel that way, but hang in there. In high school, I had a huge gap in my teeth, glasses, was short, had acne, never had a real date, and didn’t go to prom. While it was hard at the time, time is forgiving. I am in my late 40’s, STILL have acne only manageable with a certain cleansing routine and still get breakouts, but I’ve also been married for 17 years now to someone who loves me warts and all and we have a beautiful child. There is someone out there for everyone, and just remember to be yourself and the right person will enter your life.


    2. Anonymous,

      I can for sure relate to that pain being a 28 year old male who still gets acne and has rosatia. Just know that there are people out there who genuinely don’t care and you will find someone who loves you for you. Keep your head up man and keep moving forward. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.



  1. It’s not just Acne, I have oily skin and I’m 45 and it’s hard to have large pores and feel pretty and being a Portuguese kid with other issues of hair and skin didn’t make it easier. The issue is self loathing. We teach people beauty is determined by what we see and perceive to be pretty. The face is the center of the universe and if we are somehow distorted we are taught to fix the problem, fix the nose, the eyes, the wrinkles. More so for women but also in some men. Beauty is the inexplicable polish of men’s wanting onto women when we look at today’s version of women and who gets the guy. You don’t see someone ugly (as perceived) marrying a Prince or an Actor marrying a heavy set woman or someone who is not “perceived” as pretty. The reason is pretty is not just what we see and what glares back at us. Pretty is now a whole Branding of things and places. Money is a key to nipping and tucking and becoming what you want. If you’re not beautiful you can now pay to be more beautiful, have larger breasts, lose weight faster, fix the scars, fix what you know that for the most part others don’t like about you. So where does that leave us? What fixes this societal issue? What makes people stop calling each other ugly and fat and bullying those into submission to conform to the societal norm? What transforms the world? Well, I can tell you that confidence is a key ingredient but not just because of what you appear to be on the outside, but confidence in education, in thinking, in doing, and in seeing. We must raise children not focused on the beautiful girl to marry and the “in crowd” and the fast expensive cars and the outward appearance on all levels (money, physical, face, life). We must value one another and help one another more, raising compassionate children who care about the world and less about what other people are doing. We need to engage children to talk about what scares them and teach them that people who follow the flock are not leaders and that leaders are not necessarily wealthy. Leaders are those who take a chance and give more than they get. Leaders defy the odds and define a nation and they will give their lives for other. Teach children who we are inside is the defining element of who we are going to be as adults. Teach them that happiness is something we export outward and not something we only want for ourselves. That we can gain nothing wonderful by being completely encapsulated in our own worlds without allowing for the world around us to be shaped by our desire to better the world. Be a leader, fight for change, encourage differences, create a little chaos, deliver on the only truth that their needs to be “Each one of us is our own light, our own leader, our own guardian and our own source of courage.” And within us all there is the capacity for compassion and change. When we learn to do more for others than we do for ourselves and that we take nothing with us, than maybe, just maybe, our pockets will be lined with kindness instead of the need to feel wealthy from exterior elements. Our heart will be filled with hope instead of fear and our world will sleep better as we learn to live a “one united” and not “one divided.” I hope that for everyone and this once ugly feeling, short and chubby girl, lives her whole life to make sure that people are always taken care of. Not because I have to but because that is who I was born to be and those are the values I instill in those around me. Happy Friday everyone, go be brave and do good things… and if you have the means, go change the world like you know you can……

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  2. Hi there,

    I used to swim a lot as a child, never used moisturizers on my face but lotion on my skin elsewhere all over ( Mostly Avon( when they never used to test on animals) or Jergens). I feel the chlorine and salt water is what kept me from developing acne or pimples. Into my teens, late twenties, i did try a natural scrubber( St Ives) on my face but not every day and maybe just for 6 months as needed ( afternoon baths) and after used ponds facial creme ( cold cream) at nights. During the day I used Johnson baby lotion to moisturize my face but not every day. I washed my face every morning but did not use a moisturizer after or any soap on my face. If my face was really oily i would use regular soap ( Jergens or Palmolive). It was very rare for me to use soap on my face. I also did not wear any foundation makeup only eyeliner, lipstick, sometimes mascara, eyeshadow. i exercised a lot too. Long walks during the day for 20 mins then rest then 20 mins again ( Midday), tennis and badminton alternatively for 3 days a week 1-2 hrs in the afternoon (between 4:30-600)when I was 14-18 yrs. Swimming was done once a week during my early teen yrs and walking for 20 mins every day. During my 20s I swam 2 to 3 times a week ( evenings), played badminton 2 to 3 times week ( afternoons). I also lived in a tropical country at the time. I also consumed at least 4 shots of rum ( rum and coke) on fridays or saturdays ( evenings) when I was in my 20s.Hope this helps.

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