Acne. If you're anything like me, just the word could make you shudder because it is all too familiar. You might be a teenager or well into adulthood struggling with this annoying condition. It affects your appearance, but more importantly it affects your confidence. It is not a life-threatening problem, but it is a significant one since your self esteem and body image are at stake. I'm here to tell you to have hope. If you suffer from tremendous acne, as I once did, do not give up hope. There are ways to manage and control your acne. Don't ever give up trying.

The first step is to simply understand that acne is not what defines you. It is not who you are. Your value and worth as a human being is so much more than the smoothness of your skin. Your character, your kindness, and your love define you. The sooner you tap into your inner worth, the better. Sure, acne will bother you. There will be days when you don't want to leave the house it is so bad. But you must overcome that feeling of inadequacy. It will only tear you down. Start by surrounding yourself with positive people and tell yourself the truth. You are just lovely, darling.

The next step is to research yourself. Yes, do research on yourself. Do not head to the store for a bottle of acne face wash or do anything else that you assume could work for controlling it. Never assume. Research. The reason is because acne is hormonal, and everyone's hormones differ. Test yourself to see what could possibly be the root cause of your acne. Don't just mask the symptoms and ignore the cause of the problem. Start by considering your age. If you are a teenager, your hormones are naturally in a changing state. Your acne will likely pass with time, and the best thing you can do is to not touch the problem areas. Touching will only cause the problem to spread and take longer to heal. Also, wash your face normally. Do not wash it continuously thinking that acne has something to do with cleanliness. It doesn't. It's hormonal, so the problem lies within your body chemistry. It's not dependent on your hygiene. Sorry, Neutrogena. If you have a particularly large pimple, it's possible that it could result in scarring. In this case only I recommend that you use an extractor to pop and drain it.

Test yourself to see what helps your acne. Beyond not touching it and washing your face normally, try eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if it helps. Try eliminating dairy or gluten. Maybe sugar is the culprit. Try giving up certain categories of foods for a few weeks to test if diet can help you out. Maybe try changing the soaps and detergents you use. Try to incorporate more natural, plant-based products into your life and fewer artificial, chemical-packed ones.

If you are beyond your teenage years and still have acne, it usually means that you have an ongoing hormonal imbalance of some kind. You can try to balance your hormones naturally by eating a whole food diet, eating mostly or all organic foods, avoiding BPA by not drinking or eating out of plastic, and exercising regularly. If you are a woman, you can also try doctor-prescribed medications such as birth control pills and Spironolactone. The ingredients in these medications artificially alter your hormones, which can significantly reduce your acne issues. I suggest researching Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and taking some of the advice offered for it even if you do not experience the other symptoms. It's basically all about balancing your hormones, and that is what you need to do if you experience adult acne.

No matter your age or situation, I hope you find some relief in knowing that there are actions you can take to control your acne for good. It may require a lifestyle shift, but know that it's worth it. And also know that you are lovely for who you are and not defined by your acne. Don't lose hope.