Growing up, I had a regimen for my skin. I never went to sleep with my makeup on, I washed my face twice a day, and again after I went to the gym. My face was pretty clear...until it wasn’t.
Everything changed when I turned 23. I started getting these little bumps everywhere. I thought I must have used the wrong makeup, or it was from stress, or my period. But it never went away. And I tried everything: prescription topical treatments from my dermatologist, microdermabrasion, facials, all the laser treatments, birth control, spironolactone, Minocycline. It would get better for a few days then come right back. Nothing was working.
My acne got really bad at the worst possible time.
In November 2017 I won Miss Alabama USA, and the next morning is when the worst of it started. I woke up with three huge bumps on my forehead and little bitty bumps all over. After that it just kept getting worse.
My acne really set me back while I was Miss Alabama USA. I was supposed to look like this beauty queen, but I had acne that I couldn’t get under control. It was also the thing I had to overcome the most going into Miss USA. I was so ready. My body had never been better. It was the best time in my life, and I had really come into my own. But the acne really set me back.
I just felt so insecure taking a ton of pictures and being around all these beautiful girls with clear skin, thinking my skin used to look like that. I definitely let my acne get into my head during that competition.
I decided to try the one acne treatment I hadn't yet.
I had tried everything else, so going on Accutane was really my last option. I actually started it right before I auditioned for The Bachelor. I think back on myself during that time and going through the audition process. I told casting, “You might not want me on your show because I have acne, I’m on Accutane, and my skin might get worse before it gets better.”
They said it was fine and clearly meant it, because next thing I knew I was cast. At first I didn’t want to do the show because of my acne. Then I thought, am I really going to allow this to control my life? If Colton was my person, he was going to love me regardless.
Let's hope Hannah has better luck than these Bachelor couples:
But having acne on The Bachelor wasn't easy.
During filming, the Accutane was doing what it is supposed to do. Meaning, as my little bumps went away, all the cysts that had been down under my skin for years surfaced. I knew on Accutane I needed to let me skin breathe, so when I wasn’t on a date with Colton, I never wore makeup. I did what I had to do and bared it all on national TV. My skin was my number one priority.
When I was on a date or we had a rose ceremony, I had a few favorite products to cover my acne. First, I would use Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation because it was full coverage and would stay put. Then I loved the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder. That was my lifesaver. I kept it with me everywhere I went.
As much as I hoped it wouldn't, my bad skin really affected my journey on The Bachelor. It was always in the back of my mind. I couldn’t focus on my conversations with Colton. I was only thinking, do I need to powder my face? Do I have too much makeup on? Will he notice that I'm broken out? I joke that I talked more about my acne struggles on the show than I did about my relationship struggles with Colton.
Things got easier as my skin cleared up.
I’m glad I took that risk to go on Accutane because I finally started to feel like myself again. I would have conversations with the producers as my skin started to get better. They knew how much it affected my psyche and my experience.
It wasn’t about being vain, but in order for me to do the show again and be The Bachelorette, I needed to feel confident in that area. My skin being better gave me the boost I needed to say yes to being The Bachelorette, and I was so excited for people to see my skin because I was so proud of it.
And even though my acne was under control while we filmed my season, it was important for me to not always look glam in front of the guys. I didn’t want to hide any part of myself from the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so I wanted them to see what they were getting.
It's not all smooth sailing-but that's ok.
It's funny because my first night as The Bachelorette I had a huge pimple pop up on my face out of nowhere. And there were a few other times during filming that I’d get a bump here or there. But that’s life. Now, when I do have a flare-up, I just use Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment to dry it out and call it a day.
During both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, I was 100 percent myself, even when I did have acne. That's something I'm proud of. I wasn’t going to let my skin get in the way of the things that I wanted to do. But it did feel really great to be able to take off the mask.
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