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"It'll Get Worse Before it Gets Better!"

As I began to approach my twenty fourth year of life, I decided it was time for another visit to the dermatologist. I knew that I needed my annual skin exam to make sure I was on the right track to keeping my skin healthy and youthful. Did you know that skin is the largest organ on a human's body? It's extremely vital we protect that organ! This is why I wanted to ask my doctor about adding a retinol cream in to my regimen.

Retinol helps promote collagen production, which improves the firmness of the skin. It also brightens skin by speeding up cell turnover! People use retinol products to treat acne, dark spots, large pores, fine lines, etc.. Sounds like an easy breezy walk through the park right? Wrong. The "purge period" has now entered the group chat.

Ahhh, the purge period, or "retinol uglies" as some say. I had always heard about the purging period that people typically go through to get to the pretty, but seeing my friend's glistening skin, I didn't care about that. I figured since i'm not a hormonal teen anymore it wouldn't pertain to me. Wrong, yet again. My skin went absolutely insane in the membrane! My doctor assured me that this was all completely normal, and to hang in there. He told me to keep in mind what he said at our first visit that, "it'll get worse before it gets better!". I probably experienced selective hearing on that rather large detail, and focused solely on all of the wonderful benefits soon to come.

My skin, like most things in life got worse before getting better. We have to trust the process, and trust that our intuition will always guide us in the right direction. I trusted that my skin would get better, and I would get to enjoy the variety of wonderful benefits this cream had to offer. Just like you have to remember that whatever you're personally going through in life will also get better. Even if you can't see the neon light at the end of the tunnel quite yet. Having faith is everything, and will help you to see things through!

I knew that not giving up on all of my glistening skin aspirations meant using my cream twice a week. Even on the days my breakouts looked like chicken pox. Even on the days I wanted to throw the tube in the trash, I didn't. Quitting often feels easier than further pursuing your endeavors at times. If life were meant to be easy it would've come with an instruction manual! So keep on pushing. You can do it, no matter what the task at hand may be. My rules to keep going instead of giving up were to keep using the cream, twice a week as told. Maybe you're trying to pass a class. Your teacher has instructed you to study on your own twice a week, no matter how hard the material gets. The power of whether you pass or not lies in your own hands. Just like the power of whether or not my skin would change for the better lied in mine.

Transformation can be painful, but it's never going to break you. It's trying to make you! I have two younger sisters, so it means a lot to me to encourage them to keep their heads up through tough times. Recently when they express they are having a hard time, and come to me for advice I like to say, "pencil sharpener". It's like a little code word to us now. Because a pencil getting sharpened may not feel the best to the pencil in the moment, but you can bet your bottom dollar that pencil is going to come out sharper! When things in life hurt, or feel like they're falling apart they're usually just falling into place. So remember, while it may get worse before it gets better, it will get better! Never give up, and never lose sight of why you started in the first place.

How Does Retinol Work? Facts, Side Effects, and More,, Healthline, May 28, 2020

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