I remember when I first started breaking out at the wee age of 12. At the time, I was confused by the constellation of bumps that had sprouted on my forehead, and you better believe I used every stinging Stridex wipe and Clearasil treatment I could get my little hands on in hopes of flattening them. (In hindsight, it would have been far more effective to just lay off the gel I was using to shellac my baby hairs down.)
When I hit high school, the acne had worsened—spreading from my forehead down to my cheeks and chin. I avoided bright lights and hid behind my hair a lot my sophomore and junior years, and finally found salvation when I went on birth control. This was before Reddit threads and Instagram access to derms, so I took it upon myself to become a little skincare detective, and that’s when I came across “face mapping” for the first time.