REAL TALK, I'VE GOT ACNE: Plus, An Expensive Derm Treatment Gone Wrong

Money can't buy you class, and apparently it can't buy you good skin either.
Publish date:
December 15, 2011
shoppables, fashion, acne, teenaged boys, pizza, Justin Beiber, Proactiv, terrible skin, velvet

Look! I used to be all fresh-faced and clear-complected, but somewhere around October my face turned into a gory horror show. You guys, I'm so bummed out that I can hardly hold a conversation without bringing it up. Who cares, right? ME! That's why we're talking about this.

The whole thing started with that rash I told you about a while ago. If you don't remember, you can read about it here. So after the rash, my skin never really went back to normal, and I could sort of feel the bumps festering under my skin's surface even after they were gone. Sure enough, the little nubs came back, and this time they brought a whole cluster of pimples too.

Whenever I try complaining to Cat about my skin, she reminds me of her days as an acne-prone, insomniac beauty assistant at Lucky. I never noticed said acne, but whatever, not the point. Apparently, this is some sort of beauty world hazing ritual wherein you enjoy glam derm appointments and sexy new products for a few months and then wake up one day with a face full of zits.

I had been desperately trying new treatments and seeing different derms until last week when I tried something that I REALLY regret. Look away now if you're squeamish...

That's my face after a chemical peel and extractions with a very expensive dermatologist. For the record, I initially went with a much less graphic picture, but Emily, who knows I'm uncomfortable with keeping it too real, encouraged me to go for it. With that said, if I see this in Google Images...well, I don't know what I'll do, but it won't be pleasant!

Anyway, back to extractions! Since I have sensitive skin, I was reluctant to have my pores probed and prodded with metal tools, but I trusted the doctor who recommended the treatment, despite having met him only twice before.

When he handed me the mirror, I started crying, something I consider pathetic and immature, but also struggle to suppress. Clearly indifferent, the derm just sort of paused and looked away. Without any assurance that I'd be okay, he handed me a tissue and explained the benefits of using his eponymous product line instead of prescription acne medications. Uh, no thanks.

Needless to say, I felt like a gargoyle when I left that office. The trouble with bad skin is it's not like say, being overweight. There isn't a movement of acceptance and love surrounding acne, and there sure as hell aren't guys out there thinking, "She's hot, but I wish she had more pimples."

So here's the new plan: I'm going to do what anyone in an acne crisis should. Think about a time when your skin was at its personal best, and go back to whatever you were using then.

Because getting rid of acne is about finding that super-specific regimen that works for you. For me it was always Cetaphil and Retinol -- nothing ground-breaking -- just a simple combo that kept my skin clear.

OKAY, that's all. Can we talk about your skin now? What's the worst treatment you've ever tried? And obviously I want to hear about the best one too. Tell me, tell me, I'm still terribly upset!