I'm about to get all Janice Dickinson up in here. Take it for what it's worth.
This is the first time I've ever written/talked about this. It was really hard to even think of doing so for a very long time.
I used to have some gnarly skin. As in acne. Breakouts. Zits. I didn't have a problem as a teenager, this didn't happen until recently, in my 20's. I had no idea that could happen. It can. For a long time I was really embarrassed and horrified. I kept ignoring it, covering it up with more and more makeup and pretending it was going to go away. I'd cover 'em up to go to bed. Nobody should have to live this way.
The first time someone said, "have you thought about accutane?" I was mortified. I thought, "Accutane?! But that's for people with really really bad skin. Mine's not that bad." I was in denial and hating the way it was looking on film. Reluctant to go to a photo shoot because I couldn't come makeup free. So worried about what the makeup artists would think doing my makeup, the photographers editing my pictures. You get the idea.
I tried everything you could buy over the counter and ordered proactive to no avail. Finally it hit me, I need to get my ass to the dermatologist and fix my face! Good lord, what am I waiting for? These zits are not going to cure themselves!
So that's what I did. I found a woman. I only wanted to be treated by a woman. Another gal's gonna understand what a bummer this was. And it was. SUCH a bummer. I asked if I could go on accutane. Now honestly, my skin wasn't as bad as the really severe acne you see that makes you think accutanne. I really didn't think she'd say yes. She did. We started with an antibiotic for a month just to see if that would make any difference. It didn't. So I went on accutanne.
Here's where it gets bananas. I'm a tiny person. These pills are strong as hell. One pill a day didn't cut it. Two a day didn't cut it. THREE PILLS A DAY. You don't see a change for awhile...then suddenly you realize you're skin is glowing and clear. You stay on a form of birth control throughout the treatment. You get a blood test at each appointment. You take a pregnancy test (these things are so heavy duty you can absolutely not get knocked up on them). You have to log into a special account and take a test after your Dr. does their part online before you can even get your meds.
It was the only thing that ever worked for me. Side effects can be gnarly (I'm sure you've seen the commercials) but I never had a problem. Other than dry lips, I was fine.
For a few months after I finished my treatment (seven-ish months or so) I abandoned my birth control pills and went on about my life. My acne started coming back. Back to my Dr. I went and back on the birth control and accutanne was I. She said it's so important I stay on birth control for my skin.
Again, accutane is the only thing that's ever worked.
*I guess now it's not actually called accutane, it's another form of the drug since accutane's officially off the market.
Anyway. The moral of the story is that nothing is worse than the way you feel about yourself when you've got zits. Nothing. I don't know why on gods green earth I waited so long to fix my face. Maybe I'll break out again in the future. Maybe the two rounds of treatment will be enough. I don't know. But I do know I'd do it all over again and again to keep my face clear. I have recently gotten compliments on my skin, something I never ever thought would happen. It's so amazing to me! If they only knew what it used to look like!
This brings me to my Janice Dickinson moment.
As in, I'm gonna tell you like it is and it's gonna sound harsh but I've been there and I know the industry.
I've seen so many models lately who have a pretty severe case of acne. I'm not just talking about the average joe's breakout. Granted, some are not professional model material (I'm not being rude. Just honest. I'm fully aware that at 5'7 I'd never be a real runway model in a real market). But some are gorgeous. Some are younger and taller than I am and could really go places. Fix. Your. Skin. I wish I could tell them, no not like I ever would, GET TO THE DERMATOLOGIST! What are you waiting for?! If I was a makeup artist I would not feel good about making up an acne ridden face with my brushes and makeup. You want to be on the runway? You want to do print? Editorial? Beauty? FIX YOUR FACE! It's so important in this industry. Modeling and acting. If you're gonna be on camera in any way shape or form it's simply a must. It's a requirement. Fortunately and or unfortunately you did not chose a regular job. Your face is the first thing people notice! Skin is so important! Do they not know? Are they in denial like I was? Well I can tell you that it's treatable, it will make you feel a zillion times better about yourself and you might as well control everything you can in such an unpredictable career. Take it from me, you'll be so much better off! Help is out there!!