A few years ago, I could never have posed for this picture, and looking at a photo like this would have made me feel both jealous and ashamed. I am a summery, sun-loving person, but going to the beach often made me feel self-conscious and required some major wardrobe planning. Why? Because I had painful, ugly-looking red breakouts on my butt and upper legs that I was desperate to hide. In my bag for any water trip were a pair of matronly, granny-like swimsuit bottoms as well as some boardshorts in case my skin was really bad on that particular day. Wearing a swimsuit like the one in the picture was totally out of the question.
I vividly remember when our family visited some of our best friends in Santa Monica, California. I’d been looking forward to hanging with our friends and getting some sun, but the night before our beach day a large boil broke out well outside of my swimsuit line, making it painful to even sit down. I knew that I’d have to opt for the board shorts for the day, but when I went in my suitcase to grab them I realized that I’d forgotten to pack them. Without any shorts to cover this huge blemish, I spent the day constantly aware of hiding my skin. Instead of playing frisbee with my kids or standing in the waves and chatting with our friends, I kept my butt firmly planted on the towel. The social, fun beach day that I’d been looking forward to turned into an afternoon that made me feel restricted and preoccupied. That particular day was not unique; there were many occasions when my blemishes were serious downers and distractions.
That’s why the picture above still feels unbelievable. I would never have guessed that after 20 years of living with folliculitis and acne on my rear end, I would have totally clear skin. Of course, there are much more important things in life than booty breakouts, but being free from them is a small win with larger ramifications that spread into the rest of my life in ways that I wouldn’t have predicted. I never realized how much my skin condition damaged my confidence. Now my husband can touch my skin in that area without my heart nervously skipping a beat and without me pulling away. I can change my clothes openly in the locker room (changing in the bathroom stalls was a daily dose of separateness and shame). When I look at that picture of me in a swimsuit, I don’t really see a woman in a bikini. I see something more important, but invisible. What I see is empowerment, freedom, and ease, and that’s what Almond Clear is ultimately meant to share.
Almond Clear Founder