You may not know this about me, but I have dealt with severe acne in the past. I know exactly what it's like, how hard it is and how bad you feel if you're suffering from the same problem. I feel pretty self-conscious posting these photos, but if they make at least one person feel a bit better, then I've done my job. From age 14, my skin wasn't the best, but it wasn't that bad either. Then, when I turned 16, the real problem started. My skin was absolutely terrible, and not only on my face, but on my back as well. It was one of the hardest times of my life, I felt so gross and disgusting, I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror, I cried every night, I was really depressed, I even started self harming. Beside that, I had a lot of stuff going on in my life at that time – I was going to a student exchange to France, I really liked this guy and the whole thing was full of drama, and I didn't get on with my parents very much. It was a terrible time for me.

Listen, I know how acne can bring you down and lower your self-esteem, because I've been there. I know how hard it is to look in the mirror everyday and see something you don't want to see and that you most definitely do NOT deserve there.

I think all of you want to know how I fixed my skin, and I'm a bit afraid of giving you an answer. I was to go on Roaccutane, but I couldn't, because by that time I was already depressed and as you may know, the pill may bring on suicidal thoughts, which I was already having at the time. That is why my dermatologist advised me to go on THE pill, as in birth control. I visited a gynecologist at the age of 16 and she put me on Diane 35. It felt super weird – I didn't even have a boyfriend, and here I was, the first one out of all of my friends on the pill. After almost giving up on everything, results started showing after about half a year of use. My skin cleared up in a second after that. I was so happy I could cry. I still had pretty severe acne scars but my skin was left so smooth and beautiful, albeit with very enlarged pores, but nothing like I was used to, and I was so happy I wanted to jump up and down.

However, not everything was as perfect. As a side effect of the pill, I gained a lot of weight (around 15-20 kg) and I got a lot of cellulite, too. I'm still on the pill today, mostly because I'm with Tilen now. I did go off it for a while, and my skin was actually sort of okay – I did breakout more, and my back was really bad for a while, but nothing like I used to have. What I want to say is, this isn't the only solution. At the time, I was too young, and didn't know of any other options, but I hope this helps you to find something else that might work for you and your skin.

My friend Isa, who I mention a lot, says a beautician can really help your skin. If you find the right one, regular treatments will help restore your skin to the way it should be. I've also found a few products that are very helpful for me. They are pictured in the photo above, and they are the REN Pore Detox Mask (great for enlarged and clogged up pores – review coming up), the Yves Rocher Anti-Imperfections Moisturizer and the REN T-Zone Mattifying Day Fluid. Why just three products? Because I really wanted to mention those that helped ME, and these really do the job nicely in my opinion. Oh and by the way, REN actually have a separate line for acne-prone skin, which I haven't tried yet, but you might take a look into it. The products I'm using are actually more for oily to combination skin and can be used after you've already resolved your acne issues.

Another thing that seems to work for a lot of people is Benzoyl Peroxide, which you apply to your skin. When I had acne, I was desperate to try the Acne.org Regimen. By the way, I love the community on that site, check out their forums – everyone is super helpful and you will have someone to talk too. And if you are really struggling, try acne treatments.

Now about the photos: I don't have a clear one of when my acne was at it's worst, because obviously I didn't really enjoy taking photos at the time, but I do have a few of when it started getting better, which you can see in the first two photos. In the last one is my skin after about a year and a half of taking birth control pills. Also at that time, I drank a LOT of water, meaning about 3 liters per day. This helped my skin tremendously and I really need to get back on track.

What's left for me to say is, IT GETS BETTER. Acne isn't the end of the world, though I know that it may feel like that. Thankfully there are solutions for it out there, and you can treat yours and feel better soon. I hope this post was helpful.