hello it's me

Acne Tips From Acne Itself

Photo: Happy Foto/Getty Images

Hello, it is I, acne. I’ve had a busy day, stretching out on some of my friends’ faces, burrowing in, reaching up, doing stuff I’m not going to spell out here, going places you wouldn’t expect, but I wanted to take a few minutes to sit down and get some thoughts out.

I know a lot of people hate me, and it makes me sad, sort of. Well, not really, but, I do understand it. Why do I exist? None of you are totally sure. I appear when oil glands become clogged, but why do they clog so easily? Is it because you evolved too quickly? Did people used to use me as a bonding experience, popping pimples? I have always loved that theory. Is it true? I’ll never tell. Well, maybe I will later. Please subscribe to my Patreon. Just kidding.

I like to be stared at. I know that some people are convinced that I love sugar, dairy, and processed food, which is — well, I won’t confirm or deny that, but I do love to be touched, and I love to be blanketed in makeup. But, you knew that. Sometimes, perversely, I also love the anti-acne medication you give me. That’s funny, too, isn’t it? It’s also exciting to me when people are about to get their periods.

If you want to beat me, there is no silver bullet, thank god (for me). But since we’re here, I will reiterate that I thrive on attention, so if you want to make some dietary changes or cut back on face products altogether, and then try to avoid mirrors and forget your own face exists, that’s what I’d tell my own daughter, if she were struggling with … herself.

But mostly, my favorite things are to confuse, challenge, and destroy. I like to plague my hosts, and I like to watch them suffer. Is that bad? Maybe. I am not the most … I am not the most morally rigid individual you will meet. Which is to say, I don’t care.

Sometimes, though, I reach an uneasy truce with my host-friend, and those moments stick with me. Sometimes when I’m on my way out — when I’m leaving someone’s face, packing up my little acne bags — there is a kind of mind-melding that the two of us do. Or, I feel it anyway. It’s almost as if my host will give me a sidelong look as I disappear, and I will give her a sidelong look back, and after all the tears and sadness, all the years of agony, shame, and confusion, finally I’m almost gone, but we lock eyes and I can hear her grudgingly think, Well, okay. Thanks. Or if not “thanks” then something related. I consider myself a worthy opponent. When I visit people, I give them something more than just acne.

Also, sometimes I am like, “I will be back soon, don’t worry.”

Acne Tips From Acne Itself