For So Many Woman Birth Control Helps To Control Acne, For This Latina It Only Made It Worse

credit: @laurazstudio / Instagram

Laura Quintero was standing in the kitchen chatting away with her sister and her husband one evening when she suddenly bursted into tears. The harder she cried, the more she became scared. Mostly because she had no reason for being so emotionally upset.

“I was in shock that I felt the need to cry but with no reason,” the beauty Instagrammer tells FIERCE. 

When the episode was finally over, she wiped her eyes and moved on.

Quintero had been experiencing odd and sudden shifts in her mood for a while, but she didn’t think to get things checked out until the day she suddenly fell nauseous and a sharp pain stabbing at her side.

After her symptoms pushed her to visit the emergency room, doctors diagnosed Quintero with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause symptoms such as irregular periods, excess facial hair, mood swings and acne.

CREDIT: @laurazstudio / Instagram

In the months before her diagnosis, the beauty enthusiast from Colombia had been experiencing an array of symptoms that seemed so mild that she never put much thought into seeking the help of a dermatologist. Pimples had been nothing all that knew for Quintero. Her struggle to keep a clear face began back when she was 12 years old. At the time, she did her best to cover her breakouts by tying bandanas across her forehead. As the years went by, though, cleansers and creams failed her, and Quintero soon became depressed.

Then she decided to go on birth control, a method several doctors use as a treatment for acne that is hormonal. For many, it is can be a solution to acne symptoms. For Quintero, it was an irritant that eventually caused her acne to spread to her chin, jawline and cheeks.

“I had no idea what was happening in my body,” she said, explaining her frustration with her acne’s growing persistence.

Then, a few months ago, Quintero began to clue into the true cause of her acne.

CREDIT: @laurazstudio / Instagram

The pain she had felt while in the kitchen with her husband and sister had led her to the hospital, where doctors found a cyst on her ovary had ruptured. She was given her diagnosis with PCOS and became hopeful that her body’s reaction to her hormones would finally turn around with treatment.

But Quintero’s diagnosis was hardly a straight shot to acne recovery. Her first attempt to try to balance her hormones with medication caused her skin to breakout even more. The hormonal disorder, which affects around 10 percent of women of reproductive age, can be hard for many medical professionals to treat, mostly because its causes have largely yet to be understood. Specialists often recommend seeking the help of more than one doctor, doing some self-research and connecting with groups for women with PCOS online.

While things have slowly improved, Quintero’s road to acne recovery is still proving to be a journey.

CREDIT: @laurazstudio / Instagram

The photos she posts to her Instagram are a testament to that. While plenty a beauty aficionados of the ‘gram post seemingly flawless selfies featuring immaculately highlighted and concealed skin, Quintero’s is a bit more transparent and filter-free.

In a recent post on her account, the makeup artist revealed a series of makeup-less photos. Acne and spots dotted her skin as she smiled into a camera. The images of her beaming are a stark contrast to the various photos and videos featuring Instagrammers and YouTubers who cry into cameras as they reveal their own, very personal acne struggles to their followers online.

For Quintero, while her acne still bothers her at times, she says it’s something she refuses to let shadow how she feels about her beauty. She does her best to avoid using makeup to cover up her pimples and scars as much as possible.

“I never fear new pimples,” Quintero explains. “I used to feel that way mostly when I was a teenager and fell into depression, too. But changing my mindset that there are [some things] I can help but I can’t control helped me. … Unfortunately, we live in a world that doesn’t celebrate natural beauty, but that’s why I don’t use makeup every day. I use it when I want to, … not when people want to see me with it.”


Read: 9 Latina Beauty Brands Crushing The Makeup Game

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