If You've Got Acne, You Need To Read This

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Hey face, how's it going? By the look of you, not so well. That's actually why I wanted to talk to you today, woman-to-skin — I'm worried about us right now. I'm sick of crying in the mirror every morning when I look at you, and I know you must be sick of all the pain you put yourself through with every new pimple. This isn't healthy for either of us. We used to be close; how did it all go so wrong?
I guess it all goes back to about a year ago. You remember — when my doctor told me I had to switch my birth control because of my migraines? For some reason, that pissed you off and you started lashing out by creating an ever-expanding breakout landscape on my cheeks, jawline, and neck. I did my best to ignore you, thinking that if I just kept treating you the same as before you would stop being a brat and get your shit together.
Sorry, that was mean. I'm just really emotional right now. You do that to me. This year has been hard for both of us, but I think you need to own up to your part in this. I treated you really nicely — covering you with sunscreen every day so you didn't get burned, lavishing you with fancy creams that cost more than I spend on a pair of shoes, treating you to pampering at the hands of the best aestheticians in the world, eating healthy so you felt nourished and strong. I gave up cheese for you. Cheese!
And yet, you only got worse. I made you come with me to get some help, and the dermatologist had to give you some tough love. But after a long road of prescription creams and antibiotics, you refused to budge. You only got worse.
Listen, you put me in this position. I don't think you realize what you're doing to me. I'm 32 years old and am forced to hide my face in shame like a 15-year-old on school-picture day. I've spent — not exaggerating — half of my life trying to work with you. And, save for a brief honeymoon in my late 20s, all you've done is treat me like shit. It's an abusive relationship, and one I'm finally emotionally ready to leave.
So, I'm sorry that I have to do this, but you've left me no choice. I'm bringing in the big guns: Accutane. I know that seems like overkill, but you've pushed me to this dark place and I don't see another way. Hiding behind my hair, spending an hour on my foundation, mentally berating myself every time I catch my reflection in the mirror, paranoid that I'll be called a fraud whenever I tell someone I'm a beauty editor — I'm exhausted from it all, and I just can't do it anymore.
I know you're angry and don't understand right now. And I'm expecting you to do everything in your power to try and fuck this up, but I truly believe this is the best thing for both of us. It may be hard for you to trust me right now, after all we've been through this year, but I want you to know I still love you. I just need to be able to love myself, too.

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