I was a zitty teenager. I would have a picture to show you of the lovely rash of acne that flowered across my forehead in the late spring of my grade ten year, but that was back in the age of analog. So I can’t treat you to the be-pimpled Schmutzie with a mouthful of braces circa 1987. You’re welcome.
I will, however, treat you to my latest pus baby, Myrtle:
She’s a beauty, and she has brought along a number of her friends. I am 38 years old, and I am so very done with this middle-aged acne business.
When I was a teenager battling zits with benzoyl peroxide, which left my face smelling like burning hair, I at least had the hopes of clearing up and experiencing less problematic skin into my twenties and thirties. What all the books and pamphlets I read on the subject failed to mention, though, is that it is fairly common for women to start breaking out again in their thirties, and that all my hopes for the future might be for naught.
I am glad that no one enlightened me, though, because my dreams? They were for naught. I can’t imagine the dramatic heartache I would have felt at fourteen. I’m sure I would have cried pitifully into my pillow while listening to Wham’s “Careless Whisper” and know, just knowing, that no one could ever love me ever like that guy in the song if they had to look at my perpetually infected face.
I’m rocking about ten angry pimples at the exact moment I am heading into several situations in which I would like to, pardon my play on a cliche, put my best face forward. In the past, I’ve tried various drugstore creams, more expensive as-seen-on-TV creams, antibiotics, battery-operated face scrubbers, cleansers without detergents and perfumes, turmeric capsules, witch hazel as a disinfecting astringent, toothpaste as a topical ointment, etcetera, etcetera, and on, and on.
My face is a veteran of almost every kind of zit treatment out there that I know of, but the world is a pretty big place. I’m sure, though, that there has to be something out there for me, some system of skin treatment that will save me from looking like a really haggard fourteen-year-old. I am nothing if not hopeful.
If writing here at Aiming Low has taught me anything, it’s that you guys know the cures to my ills, whether I’m suffering from insomnia or am in dire need of nail care advice. I want your tips, tricks, and secrets, people.
Tell me about your face, or your kids’ faces, or your sister’s friend’s cousin’s cat with chin acne. I need your zit knowledge, please and thank-you.