Read My 14 Year Old Face: Acne, Anxiety, Despair, Hope
Anxiety | Skin Care | Hope | Heal
When I look at myself in this photo, I see my top lip nervously inverted as I attempted to smile, my right ear on fire from anxiously yanking at it as I waited in line and my emotions downward feeling, but full of hope. It was school picture day, a day I dreaded.
My acne hit quick and at times covered my entire face. Along with my early, and I thought, excessive body hair, the acne caused me a great deal of anxiety during my teens. So much anxiety that coupled with regular teenage angst, I sometimes refused to leave my house. Doctors said I would grow out of the acne, but later prescribed Accutane, daily use of skin killing peroxide creams and told me that I could eat whatever I liked – including chocolate, chips, pop – whatever. Today we know a more holistic approach to healthy skin works best.
My confidence was low. Lower than low from the acne, anxiety and years of teasing and doubt I felt. I didn’t feel like myself. Who was I and how did I fit in? But even while I felt so low, I felt hope. Hope that everything would work out and be ok.
To me, hope is largely a result of openness. Openness that allows us to sit in the dark, but feel the light inside. Openness that through awareness and action, allows us to manifest what we feel, think, need and want. Open enough to see our world (or a given person or situation) from a balanced perspective, to contribute what we have to, to share the inside, with the outside. The first step to hope is simply – being open.
After a few years of trial and error, some painful dry ice burning of pimples and little change to my skin or anxiety, I decided that I needed to make a change. By this time I was 17, had started working for The Body Shop, the then mecca of natural skin care, and was inspired by the pure lavender oil we sold. I knew it was a skin balancer and healer, so I intuitively cleansed, conditioned (moisturized) and spot treated my face, only using the lavender oil, morning and night. My intuition was guiding me to do a “purging cleanse” – something I later found out is a suggested holistic treatment for those with severe acne.
Two weeks later, the redness had been reduced, there were fewer new eruptions and any old eruptions were drying out. By using this one oil, I was healing my skin, soothing and balancing my anxiety and changing my outlook. Within a couple of months my skin and mood were transformed so I switched to a gentile cleanser and light moisturizer and only used lavender oil as a spot treatment.
Essential oils are a natural, affordable and effective treatment for children, adolescents and adults with skin issues and unbalanced mental and emotional states. Learn more about our powerful 100% organic vegan Aromatherapy Services and Products.
PS My hair and that background!?