There I was – standing in front of the mirror with tears streaming down my red, inflamed skin. I looked like a hormonal teenager who lived on energy drinks and greasy, sugary foods.
In reality, I was a 32-year-old health-conscious, no-processed-foods type of woman who just happened to be suffering from severe acne.
The painful cysts, bright red bumps, and pimples had been my constant companions for the past 12 years, and no matter how hard I tried to fight them – and trust me, I TRIED – it seemed I would never be able to get rid of them.
I had no desire to go anywhere or see anyone.
Or more so – I didn’t want anyone to see me.
The irony is that when I was an actual teenager, I got an occasional pimple here or there, but nothing even worth mentioning. Quite frankly, just a couple of months ago, I was dreaming to have that skin back.
When I turned 20, it was as if my hormones finally caught up with me and decided to make up for all the lost time.
My skin became insanely greasy, and I started getting huge, painful pimples and papules on my forehead.
I was convinced it was some skincare product or my diet that had caused this breakout.
So I decided to cut out all greasy, overly processed, and sugary foods from my diet. Having read about other people’s experiences, I switched dairy for other plant-based options, said bye to gluten and grains, and went all-natural when it came to detergents and cleaning supplies.
A few months later, I had become a water-jugging, raw-food-eating irritable mess with my skin looking worse than ever.
Over the years, I tried every skincare product known to man that promised to cure acne and leave me with flawless, perfect skin.
All they actually left me with was disappointment and a considerably lighter wallet.
I had tried chemical peels, benzoyl peroxide, Retin-A, Proactive and even went on birth control for a while. I was doing everything to strip my greasy face from its natural oils, not realizing it only made things worse as my skin went on crisis mode and actually upped the oil production.
It seemed that nothing was going to work, and I would have to live the rest of my life with this face that didn’t feel like it belonged to me.
My skin had turned me from an outgoing, bubbly woman into a shy, insecure person too afraid to show my face to the world.
I felt like Quasimodo, and all I wanted to do was hunch over and hide my bumpy, red, inflamed face under a hood so no one else would have to stare at this miserable sight.
I was probably one of the only people in the world who was grateful for the pandemic. I finally had an excuse to stay home and avoid seeing anyone. And on the rare occasion that I had to go out, I could just hide my face under a mask.
But there was no masking the reality when I was at home, staring at my reflection in the mirror.
No mask or amount of makeup would cover up how I was feeling about myself. I had lost all confidence and hope that anyone would ever find me attractive. Sure, I could just take a selfie, slap on a “perfect face” filter, upload it on a dating app and find a match, but unfortunately, filters don’t work in real life.
I couldn’t even remember the last time I had FaceTimed anyone without a silly dog or bunny face filter. Something that others just took as me being goofy was actually me trying to hide the painful reality.
After fighting a losing battle for more than a decade, I was ready to call it quits and just accept the aftermath that was left on my face.
But as it turned out, I still had a chance to come out of this fight a clear-skinned winner.
As much as I had tried to avoid face-to-face human contact at all costs for the past few years, my friends were aware of my problem.
I had actually been able to find solace in a girlfriend of mine when she developed cystic acne after having her baby girl.
Anyway, one day she FaceTimed me, and instead of a red, inflamed, and painful-looking face, I was greeted by a confident woman with FLAWLESS skin. My pimple-covered jaw dropped.
She told me to lose the dog filter because she wanted to share something that would have me drop these childish filters for good.
My friend told me that after her year-long battle with cystic acne, her dermatologist had recommended her a skincare kit called Kayolab. She had decided to give it a go, and I was now looking at the amazing, glowing, smooth, flawless result.
She sent me a link to the company website and asked me to at least check it out.
I’m not going to lie – after years of hoping, trying, and failing, I was hesitant to try yet another “miracle worker” only to have my dreams of perfect skin come crashing down.
But thinking about the transformation my friend had gone through, I couldn’t help but imagine myself having the same results. What if I could ditch the three layers of makeup and the unattractive, insecure girl in me? What if I was able to feel like myself again?
So I clicked the link and found a set of products that claimed to help me manage my acne and achieve a smoother, healthier skin.
I was happy to see one of the main ingredients listed in the products was glycolic acid. I had heard dermatologists talking about it on some morning show, saying how it can significantly help with skin problems, but I was yet to try it out for myself. Quite the shocker, right?
What surprised me, was the fact that the solution was a skincare kit consisting of only three products – a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. To be honest, I was prepared for a 20-step skincare routine to tackle the warzone that was my face, so this was a relief, and I decided to order the 3-month supply.
All of the ingredients used in the products were dermatologist-approved, paraben- and sulfate-free, and supposed to be gentle on the skin. After having been on Accutane (yes – the one which turns your skin into the Sahara desert and comes with a laundry list of side effects), anything that read “gentle on the skin” was music to my ears.
Once I received my kit, I was eager to get started.
I really didn’t want to get my hopes up, but couldn’t help but dream of having the same kind of smooth and radiant skin my friend had.
It only took me a couple of minutes in the morning and before bed to do my whole skincare routine.
It definitely wasn’t an overnight miracle where I slapped some moisturizer on and woke up with perfect skin the next day. But I did enjoy using the products right from the get-go. They really were easy on the skin and left my face feeling hydrated instead of greasy.
In a few weeks, I realized that I hadn’t experienced any new breakouts since I started using my kit. My skin was noticeably more even, and I hardly had any redness left.
I was ecstatic! No, I hadn’t yet reached my goal of flawless, perfect skin, but I was definitely on the right track.
After about two and a half months of using the products, I could hardly believe the results. My skin was smooth, radiant, and without a bump or pimple in sight. My pores were considerably smaller, and best of all – I didn’t feel as if my face was constantly on fire.
My cleared-up skin had cleared the way for me to get back to the confident, social butterfly I had been years ago.
I was happy to meet up with friends, take photos (no filters included), and go on dates. By the way, I didn’t spend hours doing my makeup because I had no desire to cover up the skin I had dreamed of for so long.
I’m still in awe of the fact that instead of an entire pharmacy shelf, it only took a few products to clear up my skin and win back my confidence.
If you are ready to say “goodbye” to your acne and face the world with your head held high, just get your skincare set and start your journey to better skin. Hopefully, you can soon write your own success story just like me and all these people:
Results may vary due to personal features.