When I was 15, I was traumatized by my acne. I tried all kinds of acne cleansers, as well as other topical treatments, and even some internal junk, but nothing seemed to work. It was a terrible time in my life. I was just starting to try to talk to girls, and looking for a girlfriend, but my terrible complexion made me feel afraid to even approach them. I don't know if it was my imagination or not, looking back on it, but it seemed that none of them were at all interested, and that no one wanted to talk to me. It might have been adolescent insecurity, but all of the acne cleansers that I used seemed to do nothing, and my self-esteem continued to plummet.
Then I realized that acne cleansers would never take care of the problem, and that I would have to take care of it myself. My father sat me down and told me that, at my age, he had the same problem. There was the paralyzing insecurity, the acne cleansers, the various concoctions and treatments, the girl craziness. Then, he finally found something that worked. It wasn't the acne cleansers; no acne cleanser can really do anything to completely halt teenage insecurity. It was a matter of taking himself in hand, and realizing that he could do anything that he set his mind to, and that he was good enough just as he was.
Personally, I thought that this was a bunch of hokum when I first heard it, and I decided to keep trying the acne cleansers. Sure enough, eventually I found one that worked just fine, and did help me out a little, but not enough to really cure all of my acne. Then I realized that, alone acne cleansers weren't really enough. My dad had been right about that part! I needed something more.
The answer, of course, was proper diet. Once I started to exercise regularly and eat less greasy food, my acne began to really clear up. I can not say that it went away completely right away. That would be ridiculous. But it did get steadily better, until it was really not that bad. And you know what, self-esteem is great, but a good complexion and a manly physique is even better. I've been grateful to my dad for many things, but his advice about acne cleansers was never one of those things.