By JC Villalva
I have not been blessed with the most wonderful, glorious, porcelain skin. But I can say, that I’m lucky enough to not have my face plagued with acne ever since my hormonal days. Sure, I’ve had quite a share of zits here and there, but I’ve never had a time when they would all pop out of nowhere to turn my face into a talking, breathing mountainous range of the Himalaya pimples. What I hate about my skin is that whenever something important like a presentation comes, a zit would tag along with the anticipation. It’s as if that little part of me wants to show everyone in the audience how amazing it is to have bacteria conquer a single pore because I forgot to wash my face the night before. Uhh, right.
I’ve tried countless anti-zit creams, salves and oils. I’ve even tried toothpaste at one point just to make the pimple go away. A few years ago, I managed to buy an expensive anti-pimple product. It looked very promising with its discreet bottle and an unpretentious label that appeared to me as something someone who was an expert in pimple-fighting technology would put. The packaging alone would have convinced many suckers for good advertising like I am, so I didn’t let the chance pass. I put it in my basket hoping it would fill my need to have an emergency zit kit (which now includes cotton balls and buds, my bare hands, a needle, lighter, alcohol and toothpaste). I got home and literally stared at myself in the mirror looking for a zit. I’ve never had that much excitement for finding a pimple since wanting to break free from being 10 to becoming a teenager. After a few minutes, I managed to locate a sore bump. How fitting! As I opened the bottle, a strong smell filled the room. It reeked of a strong solvent, something so potent it would kill bacteria in seconds. I dabbed it on and let it sit on my face until I went to bed. That night, my dreams were filled with constant action scenes of dying bacteria with Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song playing loudly in the background.
The next morning, something on face felt like it was burning. I rushed in front of the mirror to find nothing where my pimple used to be. I tried to touch and pinch it to see if the pimple had really gone to pimple heaven (or hell). After doing that, I felt like a thousand baby hedgehogs rammed my face. The pimple visibly wasn’t there. It was just hiding! I wouldn’t have cared at all if the painful area wasn’t on the valley between my nose and my cheek where my glasses sat on, but I did because it gets hit every time! Worse than that, during the middle of that day, the pimple grew out bigger and meaner. It was as if the baby pimple had called the queen mother zit to the rescue. It wanted to take revenge! If that’s not bad enough, that afternoon, I had to report in front of a totally unfamiliar group of people.
I'm not the vainest person in the world for wanting my face pimple-free, nor am I the shallowest for being conscious about a pimple barely peeking through the rim of my glasses. I just wished that somehow, my skin had moved on from being the pimple-bearing adolescent skin it was to the adult version of just caring for it before it developed fine lines and wrinkles.
That was when I realized that growing up didn’t mean leaving behind all the oily, blotchy parts of my face, it meant bringing all those and facing (pun intended) more worries ahead. It doesn’t matter if I used expensive shortcuts in trying to make my face cleaner and clearer. What matters is that I prepared for them and faced (intended again) them when they were already there. I still worry about getting little zits and enormous pimples that eventually come out here and there, but I don’t dwell on them as much as I used to. Skin Care 101 doesn’t really have to be something gravely serious. I have learned and accepted that it’s something I will have to go through every day for the rest of my life.