Who hasn’t been told to love the skin you're in? A common phrase, but way easier said than done. It's one thing to say that you’re confident, yet it's an entirely different thing to actually beconfident. Personally, I know that I’m not quite as confident as I should be when it comes to my skin. While I project that I’m a generally confident person, waking up with an unsightly pimple in the middle of my forehead, a bad hair day or even being bloated can seriously impact the way that I feel. Sure, a lot of this has to do with the unrealistic societal standards that I have unwillingly adopted, and I've allowed them to influence the way that I view myself.
One of society’s greatest stigmas is around acne. Sure, I think that we’ve progressed past that middle school point of actually pointing and staring about the spots on someone's face, but acne is not something we necessarily accept, especially as beautiful. When we were growing up, we didn’t see our favorite Disney channel stars with a whiteheads on their forehead or natural-looking skin, and it was taught to us pretty early on that any blemishes on our faces were something that should be fixed immediately.
The US alone spends over $1 billion on acne products every year, a statistic that makes it pretty apparent that the common mentality surrounding acne is that it needs to be fixed. In high school I struggled with acne, and it generally showed its ugly head right around my time of the month. (Side note––can we just talk about how much hormonal acne sucks?) I think I must have tried seemingly every acne product on the market. Every time my acne would flare up, I would run to the nearest drug store and buy whatever overpriced product that salesperson was willing to sell to me, based on my desperation. I would use it for the month, thinking that it was working after my acne would decrease and after my period was over. Then, the next month, when my acne came back, I would get upset, thinking that it was the fault of the new product, and buy something else. Not only was this practice breaking the bank, but it actually wasn’t good for my skin. It never allowed for it to adjust to a product, thus constantly putting it in a state of limbo. When I got to university, I went on the birth control pill after a doctor recommended it to finally beat my acne once and for all. While the pill did drastically improve my acne situation during three weeks of every month, leaving my skin almost spot-less, I still broke out around my period. Even now, every month I seem to get used to not having acne, but get surprised when it comes back each time like clockwork.
Needless to say, when Her Campus offered me the opportunity to try Peace Out Acne Healing Dots ($19 at Sephora), I jumped at it.
When I first learned what Peace Out Acne Healing Dots (POAHD), I loved the idea of them. They’re not meant to replace skincare; you’re still going to need to use a daily cleanser, exfoliator, etc. They’re meant to fix your acne afterit has happened, which was such an appealing concept to me.
Before POAHD, I knew when a zit would be coming. As if running out to the store at 11 p.m. to buy tampons wasn't a good enough indicator, I could usually tell the night before when a small bump will turn into a massive whitehead the next day (sorry for the TMI). Usually, when I would come to this realization, I tried every face mask I owned, lost hope and started to pick at it, which we all know is the biggest no-no when it comes to treating acne. When the time came to try POAHD, I opened my first package of the dots. They look like small, flesh-colored stickers, and are lined up on a thin piece of plastic, allowing you to pull off each one individually and store the rest in a sealed bag. I popped a few of the dots on brewing zits and went to sleep, unsure of what to expect in the morning.
Here’s the description of POAHD on Sephora’s website:
“These patent-pending acne dots are the first and only treatment to combine hydrocolloid technology with blemish-fighting actives. Infused with salicylic acid to kick acne-causing bacteria to the curb, they also contain vitamin A to help support natural skin turnover and aloe vera to soothe redness. Hydrocolloid technology extracts impurities while creating a protective barrier that guards against external irritants. By protecting your blemishes from bacteria, inflammation, and picking, these dots also reduce the potential for acne scarring. Whether you're struggling with hormonal acne, whiteheads, or inflamed pimples, your blemish is less red, less painful, and significantly less irritating in as little as six hours.”
These were definitely some big words to live up to. Yet, I was shocked the next morning when I peeled the dots off and discovered that they actually stayed true to their claim. The whiteheads, which previously would have been in their full glory without the spots, were drastically reduced and smaller than they were the night before. However, progressively throughout the day, they started to refill again. By the end of the next day (while they were nowhere near the size that they would have usually been) there were still alive and kicking.
This is the first trend that I saw with the dots: they’ll reduce the size of your whiteheads for a few days, each day making the spot smaller and smaller until its' completely gone. However, the spot is always smallest in the morning right after the healing dot has been used, and biggest at night right before using another healing dot. While it's effective to continue to use the healing dots each day, it's important to note that you only get 20 dots in the $19 package, meaning that each dot comes out to slightly less than a dollar.
The next hurdle that I faced, which I expanded on more in my video was filming without any makeup on. As soon as I agreed to do this project, I got a sinking feeling––how was I going to show improvements on my skin while wearing makeup? The only possible way to complete this project would be to show my face on camera and to the world while not wearing any makeup. After starting a Youtube channel completely surrounding my love of makeup and, more importantly, my love of wearing makeup, doing the complete opposite in such a public way was terrifying. Not only did it force me to show what my actual skin looked like without anything to cover it, but I had to show what my eyebrows look like while not filled in (which is a very 2017 problem, I know). When “Instagram brows” became a trend a couple of years ago, I took to over plucking my naturally full brows in order to create that “dramatic” look, under the belief that no one would see me without them filled in anyway…. which turned out to be very poor logic.
Over the course of the week, I saw a drastic improvement with the POAHD. While they only affected the specific spots themselves and did not impact my overall skin, they did wonders for my self-confidence. I know that it's corny to say and embarrassing to admit at 21, but I still get transported back to the hellish middle school days when I felt like I couldn’t control my face every time a giant zit poppped up. I know I can’t be the only one who feels as though everyone is staring at their zit all day long, and undoubtedly spending more time out of my day focusing on it than anyone else. With POAHD, I feel as though I finally found a solution to these somewhat uncommon spots that I previously didn’t know what to do with.
Here's the before and after results from the experiment.
I would definitely recommend these spots to anyone who wants to target specific areas of their face, and like any good millennial, is desperate for a quick fix when it comes to acne. Now the only problem is, why can’t I buy these in Canada?