Abigail Collins spends two hours every morning applying concealer and foundation to her face to mask her breakouts. Now, she doesn’t date anyone for fear of unintentionally catfishing someone.
The 19-year-old student first started noticing breakouts on her face when she was just 10 years old. Over the years, these breakouts became more frequent until she was eventually diagnosed with cystic acne. A sales advisor and criminology student, Abigail credits moving to university for helping her leave the house without makeup on for the first time in years. However, she still steers clear of men.
“I’ve struggled to get into relationships as I was so self-conscious about my skin and how it looked, especially to someone romantically, so I tried, and still do, to avoid this.
I don’t date purely because I don’t want anyone to think I’m a catfish or that I’m not being honest about the way I look. It’s so difficult to understand and see how another person interprets you.”
Abigail explained that her acne got really bad when she turned 14.
“About five years ago it really peaked, and my skin was the worst it’s ever been. I had constant breakouts and a new spot every day, leaving me with bad scarring now.”
When she was at school, Abigail said she was the “elephant in the room” and was picked on because she looked so different from other girls. She would spend up to two hours trying to hide her condition.
“I was bullied for years about my skin and the way I looked, mainly because nobody else looked the same as me which meant I was the elephant in the room every time.
My friends sometimes had negative things to say and would use my skin against me, which has left me with major trust issues when it comes to meeting new people.
I felt like I had to wear makeup every day for school and I was often late because I had to make sure everything was covered so it would take me one or two hours to get ready.”
But after moving away to attend college, Abigail began to feel more comfortable leaving the house make-up free. She noticed that no one cared how she looked. And around her second year in university, she stopped wearing makeup.
Now, Abigail rarely wears makeup when she attends lectures at the University of West of Scotland, instead saving it for when she goes on a night out with friends.
Abigail now shares her journey on Instagram as a way to connect with other people who might be going through the same thing. After years of feeling unworthy because of her skin, Abigail wants to encourage others that acne doesn’t define them and they aren’t alone, as she once thought.
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