How I Didn’t Clear My Acne


Ushah Kazi

Married to books, in a relationship with food, playing dress up since 1993. An unabashed pop-culture junkie. Come talk movies and lifestyle with me!



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So, you guys really seemed to like my dirge about my weight loss fails. Surprisingly, a bunch of you really enjoyed reading everything that I did wrong.

In which case, don’t worry fam, because there’s a lot more stupid where that came from. Today, we’ll be going down that same rabbit hole, albeit changing directions a bit.

I may have mentioned my struggles with acne in the past. What I haven’t shared yet, is everything that I did to “treat” my skin problems. If you thought the diets I embarked on were extreme, then buckle up. Because these brain-farts are a different mountain altogether.

Perhaps made worse by how stressful blemish prone skin can be. When your face resembles a deep-pan pizza, bitter relatives treat it like the plague. I wish we could be mature enough to tell teenage girls that their skin is not a reflection of their worth. And also, that we realise that if something sounds ridiculous on paper, we shouldn’t be putting it on our face.

With that said, as I mentioned before, I did these ludicrous things so that you wouldn’t have to.


Over-drying Cosmetics  

Okay, so once upon a time, when I was ten years old, I developed the curse. My essentially spotless visage was replaced by moonlike craters.

Now, can we just admit that ten is an unforgiving age? Children are both ridiculously insecure and fundamentally insane. They’re doing everything in their power to drive each other up the wall. And for my peers, a face brimming with pimples was plentiful ammunition.

Needless to say, I was desperate. So desperate in fact, that I bought into the false advertising of the time. And loaded my skincare regimen with anything that sucked the moisture out of air itself. Courtesy a particular skincare brand. Or two. Not naming names of course.

Here’s the thing, children. Yes, acne in a basic sense is tied to oily skin. However, the solution to this is not to turn your face into a dried sardine. Little did my ten-year-old self know, how much harm embarking on the benzoyl peroxide route would entail.

Think scaring, flaky skin and, guess what, more acne. So, take it from me, fam, and take it easy on the tube of ’24 hour acne treatment’.


Eu Natural Disasters

Okay, so some people are still buying into the ‘it’s natural, so it has to be good’ argument. I’ve come to learn, after multiple trials and even more errors, that this isn’t necessarily true.

Take my tryst with at home acne remedies, for example. Now, I will not lie, there have been some genuine successes. But, it has to be said that the failures were more scarring. Sometimes, quite literally.

A particular incident in a college dorm room comes to mind. When I had been reading up on how lemon and cinnamon could help with acne. So, off I went into the kitchen, and concocted a clay mask that included both these natural ingredients. Five minutes later, I had the stuff all over my face, and neck.

And another five minutes later, I was vigorously washing it off my person, with lashings of cold water. My skin was the ugliest shade of burgundy for the next hour.

Moral of the story, just because it’s safe to eat, doesn’t mean it belongs on your skin. Allergies, reactions, skin sensitivity, are all real. And natural ingredients can, and often do trigger them.


Comedo Extraction  

Now, I realise that many a dermatologist employs this technique. And I also realise that some of you may not know what it is.

If the sight of this tool fills you with terror…

…then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Essentially, this little device is used to extract whatever is clogging your pores, and causing acne. Yes; that sounds like it hurts. And also yes; it does in fact hurt.

Now, of course if this is employed by a trained professional, it may help. In my case, it was employed by a trigger happy facialist. And it didn’t help; it made me re-evaluate my life choices.

Moral of this story? Some things are best left to the professionals. And also, you shouldn’t jump at whatever discounted ‘treatment’ the corner salon is offering you.

Ultimately, there is a lot that we do in a bid to ‘fix’ acne. But, if the practice in question is so very harsh, it usually makes matters worse. Over the years, I have learned from my mistakes.

A no-makeup picture I shared some months ago. Over the years, sensible steps have helped my skin clear up.

And I wanted to share the most egregious ones, so that you too could learn from my mistakes. The main point being, acne is stressful for sure. But, partaking in damaging methods will make it worse.

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