My battle with acne

There are days when you look in the mirror and you think to yourself, “Hey I look pretty good. My skin looks clear, practically no eye-bags and my hair looks so shiny and managable”.

Today is not that day.

Last Friday, I wake up to having my skin feeling quite rough, like sandpaper. Okay, I thought. Better be a little more gentle on my skin. Maybe that Biore wash didn’t work very well. I’d better stop using that.

Come Saturday, I had little zits around my mouth. It swelled more on Sunday.

Come Monday, I had a really huge zit next to my mouth. Words cannot express how mortified I was. I looked like someone punched me and missed my mouth and landed on my jaw instead.

I felt really unattractive looking in the mirror. That huge swell. And the little tiny yellow dots. Yuck! Smiling felt weird too.

I contemplated what I did wrong.

  • Was it the facial wash?
  • Was it the food intake I took?
  • Was it the dehydration from the fast?
  • Was it from the germs from clothes and carpets?
  • Was it hormonal changes?
  • Is it because I didn’t pray enough? God?
  • Stress? Maybe eh

I’ve always hated it when I’ve gotten zits. Ever since I was 12, I’ve been plagued with this horrible skin malaise. I’ve always envied people who’ve gotten clear skin, like my best friend Hema for one. She’s never had these kind of problems. I learnt that both her parents never had zits either.

It was the type of zits that was on and off. I even remembered having a little book journal where I jotted down the different types of skin products that I was using and noted how it reacted on my skin.

It didn’t get so bad till I went to Junior College. The zits literally popped out. It was so bad that I had a birthday card with a classmate signing in

“Dear Marina, Happy birthday! Hope your pimples heal faster”

I really felt low. Unattractive. Disgusting. I sought out ways to cure myself.

But how was I to do that? How was a teen, not working, with no money, find ways to cure my problem without having to ask my parents for the money? For the longest time, I’ve always been independent on my stance about money – never liked asking for money, even from my parents.

So at length, I decided to go to a polyclinic. It was a government subsidised clinic where one can get prescriptions and check ups by the doctors at a very subsidized price. So one day, after school I proceeded to have an appointment.

The few things bad about the polyclinic is that its VERY slow. I had to wait for hours before the nurse called my name to enter next.

I sat down on the chair and the doctor asked me a few questions. She scribbled on a piece of paper, handed it to me and said thank you. I think that took less than 5 mins.

But anyway, what she prescribed to me was Tetracycline. It was a red and yellow pill that was supposed to stabilize hormones. I took 2 pills an hour before I had any meals.

I felt so pretty 6 months after when my entire face was clear. And stopped since I wasn’t supposed to take it long term.

But my zits flare up again, I think 2 years back. Again I went to the polyclinic, this time I was referred to the National Skin Center. Same thing again, the doctor asked me a few questions after me waiting for some time. And in less than 5 mins I was on my way. (I wasn’t particularly happy with one of the doctors there, she wasn’t very thorough with the check up and seemed to just want to get itover and done with)

This time they prescribed with a stronger drug called Doxycyclene. And again in 6 months. I was clear again!

But I didn’t enjoy the cycle of having to go to the doctors and then have clear skin for a while and then going back to the doctors again. I wanted something more permanent. I wanted something more natural.

I scoured the net for some inspiration and found a few articles that was interesting. “How to cure acne in 3 days” (yeah right) there were some also which looked pretty fascinating read. But I wasn’t prepared to shell out 50 US dollars for their e-book (not a physical book mind you and then I found an acne sufferers community. It looked pretty well documented. I read the articles and then followed some of the tips like kidney flush and reducing sugar and oil and it worked pretty nicely for me.

I then proceeded to up the ante a little by going to have facials to clear my pores. I hated the part when they poked my face and squeezed the zit out (extraction, they called it) I don’t really see any physical difference though.

Then the last facial session was a little horrible. It hurt a lot. When the beautician did her extraction. I couldn’t take it any more. Worst part is the next day, some zits came out. When I used my proactive facial wash, it stung my face.

So I went to a hunt for new facial routine in Jurong Point (the shopping centre I usually go to) I went to Sasa. There was this lady who tried to cajole me to get this facial masque. She said that it was really good. I tried my best not to stare at her blacked acne.

Then I went to a Fancl counter and read that it was all natural and preservative free. It looks pretty good. I gave the fennaty trial set a try. When I went home, joy! It didn’t sting my face and the lotion felt gentle and cooling.

Pretty soon my face was almost back to as it was before 🙂

So I’ve absolutely no idea why the very sudden explosion. And I really cant point to any reasons to it. But at the moment, I’m REALLY watching what I put in my mouth. My mom tried to console me by telling me of stories of her wedding day. She said that while she was getting made over. The make over artist said that her acne was so bad … that she had to put extra layer of make up over her face. Kids commented “the bride looked like she had cooties”

She gave me a tip that might gross some people out. I’ve heard this tip before too. I honestly don’t know if its old wives tale or whatever. But she (and a few other good samaritans said that) to have a clear skin, take your underwear. Make sure its clean. While its wet with water, gently rub it over your face and say a prayer.

I cringed the first time I heard it. But I’m actually okay with it now … HAHAHAHAHAHA … shows how desperate I am right now.

I’m sorry for the very long post. But I really gotta rant. I really feel ugly

Update: Do read Evolution of face on my battle with acne in June 2006

Something about Geri by marina diaz

Just wanted to add in a quick post before I pass out or something. Have been feeling extra lethargic more than ever. Today marks the 15th day of the fasting month or ramadhan. Normally I wouldnt feel as tired though after fasting for a day. I guess I’m growing older 😛

But I love the month mainly because there is less distractions then. With my mind not concentrating on food and other things, I’m able to focus on the more important things like the tasks in front of me and do things that I am supposed to do for once. And amazingly enjoy it.

For example, I was able to do a little bit of animation for an E-Animation competition which is due come the 20th November. It isnt much, but I’m glad that a little bit is started. As they say, it all starts with the first step.

I hope to show the completed works in here once its done 🙂

I managed to talk to geri for a little while on msn. She just got her thesis to go and will be on her way to have a Masters! Good on her! Pity that she has to go through all the stress, I dont know if I could handle it as well as she does. Cant wait till she comes back to Singapore and catch up with her.

Geri’s practically the *only* internet friend that I’ve kept in touch with on a regular basis. Its funny how we met. I think it was about 2000 or 2001 and I was chatting in mirc in a channel called #singapore. We clicked because we both loved to joke around and gossip about people. At the time, she went out with a person I used to know from Mendaki. I used to go out to the frequent outings from mirc – however I never met Geri from those outings. Instead, I think I only really got to know her one night when she was feeling distraught. She didnt type and seem to be herself on mirc and I remembered that she gave me her phone number a while back before that night.

I took the courage and gave her a a first time call and asked if she was alright. She wasnt. The guy, with we both knew, made her upset. Really upset. We then decided to meet for the first time. I first met her in Orchard and I saw a young lady wearing black tee and nice fitting jeans with shoulder length hair.

Me : Hi! Are you Geri?
Her : Yeah! Marina? Do you wanna eat? I’m starving!

What struck me about her the most is her energy and how outgoing and affable self. She’s a wonderful person to talk to, intelligent and charismatic.

I really cant remember where we went to have lunch or what we did while in Orchard, but she left a lasting impression on me. We met again for some while before she had to leave for Australia where she was studying. But we still kept in touch every now and then on msn or email or sms.

Sometimes I’m still amazed at the fact that I’m still friends with her, more from the fact that the shelf life of an internet friend for me never go beyond 6 months. but then I realise that she’s more than just an internet friend. She’s already has a firm solid friendship with me, just like a regular type of friendship – the type one makes while in school or at work.

So, as corny as it sounds, here’s to eternal friendship!

Brief Introduction About Myself

Ahh well, I guess that now I’m in a much saner time zone, I guess I’ll start with a proper blog. I suppose that yesterday was a good example of how impulsive (?) and spontaneous (?) I am. Cant believe that I actually signed up for a blog. The only other time when I signed up for a blog was with That was about one or two years ago. It was sort of fun, but the trouble was, that I tend to forget about some things for a while and after a while, my account there was gone. I mean, just look at my deviantart account. I havent updated the journal there since June!

Anyway, let me just introduce myself. I’m marina. I’m currently about a quarter of a century young and right now am working as and IT Trainer in a secondary school. Dont let the title fool you though, absolutely and positively nothing glamourous in my job 🙂

I guess I’m pretty much an average person. I suppose that alot of people think of themselves that way. However, I’ve people describe me as a good listener, loyal, sarcastic, eccentric.

I love a whole phtetora of hobbies, like music – I love listening to music as well as trying to create music. Have been trying to learn the piano/keyboard but unfortunately due to time and material constraints, I’ve stopped for a while.

I love art. There are many different types of arts that I enjoy, performance art, sculptural art, digital art. To be honest, I am not good at art though. In fact, I hated art while in high school. The racist teacher that I had, was partly the reason for it. But slowly the love began when I experimented with microsoft paint (can you believe it? LOL!) And having friends that nurtured the love further.

Geri started me with the interest of digital photography. And I really appreciated it – Ever since we went to Sentosa Island for a photoshoot. That was a real eye opener. It was like a light just went ping!

I also enjoy riding motorcycles and cant wait for to pass my license. Again learning to ride was another whim of mine. I’ve always wanted to do that for the longest time. The desire solidified even more when my best friends Julie, Hema and I went for vacation in Thailand. It was quite difficult to get a public transportation so we rented scooters instead. Even though WE DID NOT have ANY prior knowledge of learning. It was scary, but at the same time quite thrilling to have a prep talk for 10 mins and then go riding along after that.

I wasnt that good at riding, but at least I went to and fro to my destination in one piece. Hema, however, refused to be pillion with me anymore.

Anyhow, I hope to complete my learning till december and get me a Vespa Gran Turismo 200. Green of course.

Finally, but not least, I enjoy technology, the internet as well as self improvement. Its amazing the wealth of information that we could get from the ‘net. However, ironically, I feel that its sort of sad that at the same time, I tend to spend more time at the general mind numbing activities on the internet compared to something educational.

Well, I’m glad to say that I *did* learn a fair amount from the net and thats the beauty of it – to learn at one’s own pace, own time and I dont have to dress up for it either. I dont know if its just me, but sometimes I reminisce at the first time when I was using my first Packard Bell computer which was running win 3.11 – that was in ’96 – got my first connection at the end of that year and got addicted to mirc.

And now? I worship flash, photoshop – fluent in website creations, heck, I can even do animations and create 3d projects. This for a person who flunked Art and never did well in school. My site might give you an idea of what I can do.

I guess I’ll end my self whoring at the moment till the next post. Thanks for reading and take care 🙂