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.
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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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