I’ve been opening up more about my skincare journey because I’ve come to realize that my self-esteem struggles have deep roots in the days when cystic acne plagued my life. Let me tell you, it’s been quite the journey.
Our decision to uproot our lives and move to a random place we stumbled upon on YouTube was a rebirth of sorts. We weren’t running away from anything “wrong,” but we knew that in order to grow, evolve, and break free from negative cycles, we had to shake things up. However, I won’t sugarcoat it—the move has shaken me up in ways I haven’t fully shared. But as we navigate through these challenges, we recognize that these hard moments are simply a way of saying hello before bidding them farewell. It’s about going through those difficulties to overcome them.
One issue that has consistently surfaced in my home, work, and social life is my self-esteem. I often find myself sitting with my hands over my belly and my shoulders curled inwards—a subtle yet telling sign of my body’s protective mechanism. I’m trapped in my own shell, unable to fully break free and embrace my true self.
After some soul-searching, I realized that my self-esteem struggles are closely tied to my experiences with cystic acne. You see, I have a tendency to tackle and store things instead of addressing them in the moment. I became obsessed with finding a solution or a cure, constantly pretending that my skin issues didn’t exist, even though they consumed my thoughts day and night for four long years.
At one point, I got involved in a skin care direct sales company, and it did help boost my confidence to some extent. It even sparked my entrepreneurial spirit and improved my skin to a certain degree. But I soon found myself hiding behind the products, and when my skin started flaring up again, I felt like a fraud promoting them, leading me to quit.
My skin condition has profoundly impacted my life in various ways. It made me feel angry, as if people were being mean or judgmental because of my skin. I constantly felt the need to defend myself, even though no one in my life ever made negative comments about it. Chad, would look at me without a second thought, accepting me even without makeup. I had so much support from everyone, yet I felt worthless. It felt like the giant cystic acne all over my face was impossible for others to overlook.
My skin struggles hindered me from wanting to travel, meet new people, or engage in activities I once enjoyed. It became increasingly difficult for me to function. I retreated into my own shell, a characteristic of my zodiac sign, and sought solace in distractions. Combined with the pain of miscarriages and the financial problems I created for myself at 18 years old, my self-esteem and confidence hit rock bottom. I became so reliant on fighting and clawing my way through life that I never truly tapped into the power of allowing, attracting, and embracing a smoother path.
That’s been my mindset since I was 14 years old—believing that the harder I fought, the faster I’d overcome. Little did I know that this mentality permanently trapped me in fight-or-flight mode.
It’s crazy to think that all this turmoil was caused by something as seemingly superficial as acne.
Since our move, I’ve made a conscious effort to prioritize skincare. I’ve come to the realization that I don’t need to make my life harder; there are small actions I can take every day to improve my skin’s health and boost my confidence. I don’t need to be in a perpetual fight-or-flight state. Instead, I focus on daily habits and routines that yield real results without unnecessary struggle. Believe me, I’ve unnecessarily made my life harder more times than I can count.
So, on this journey of rebuilding my relationship with self-esteem, which has been deeply affected by the trauma of my skin struggles, I’m placing a high priority on daily skincare and skin health. It’s all about those routine facials, using high-quality products, and dedicating a little bit of time to myself every morning and evening. Time that I always have but often choose to be less productive with, as if to convince myself that I don’t deserve it. But let me tell you, it would feel so much better to just embrace it.
I’ve come to understand that how we spend our time ultimately shapes our lives. And this realization has never been clearer to me than now.
As for my skincare routine, I’ve found a balance between natural and medical-grade products. My goal is to transition away from the medical-grade ones as quickly as possible and establish a sustainable routine with natural alternatives. However, given the state of my skin journey, with scars, pigmentation, and unpredictable acne, I’m immensely grateful for the support and effectiveness of medical products and services.
Now, let’s have some fun and talk products. Given the harshness of the water here, I’ve incorporated a hydration routine I shared on Instagram that I follow 2-3 times a week:
First, I start with the Zo Exfoliating Polish as my initial cleanse. This helps to gently slough away dead skin cells and leave my skin feeling refreshed. Literally your skin feels BABY smooth
Next up, I turn to Earth Harbor AHOY LOVE Nourishing Cream Cleanser for my second cleanse. Their products have been a game-changer for me, combining natural ingredients with effective results.
And then, it’s time to tone and plump. I use Earth Harbor CLOUDBURST Balancing Gel Hydrator that really absorbs well into your skin and plumping while hydrating your skin.
Lastly, I give my skin a big vitamin dose with Earth Harbor AURORA Superfood Luminance Ampoule that I apply mixed into Earth Harbor AZURE Regenerative Neck Creme. They are packed with nutrient-rich superfoods and botanical extracts that provide intense hydration, brighten the complexion, and improve skin texture
And that’s a wrap on my feels for the day. I hope if you’re reading this with cystic acne that you work through it and not fight it. That you are beautiful, worthy, and amazing no matter what your skin looks like and that there is hope. It may not feel like it, I was there, but there is hope. Don’t just figure out what the best product is, figure out from within as well as to what might be causing the acne. Cheers to healthy, glowing skin and an empowered mindset!
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