It started with a facial.
I'd never had one before, and I was feeling fancy. So I booked one, laid back, and had a stranger rub some nice-smelling products onto (into?) my face.
A couple of days later, I noticed a few pimples. I had heard about 'skin purging' - a reaction that can happen after a facial or skin treatment - where congestion is brought to the surface and essentially, your skin gets worse before it gets better.
Fine, I thought. Radically inconvenient, and slightly ironic, but fine. Yes, I just spent a silly amount of money on a facial, and yes, my skin got temporarily worse. But soon I'd be like a glowing slug whose skin would GLISTEN with DEWINESS and HEALTH.
Then a week went by. Then two weeks. Then a month.
It became clear that this wasn't a few pimples, or a temperamental breakout. My skin had erupted into full-blown acne, the likes of which I hadn't seen since I was 15. I still don't know if the facial caused it or if I just happened to have a bout of the worst acne of my adult life in the weeks after getting one for the first time. Either way, I suddenly had adult acne, and every morning when I looked in the mirror, it was becoming more severe.
I've been fairly lucky in adulthood to not have to worry too much about my skin. I attribute a lot of that to the Pill, which seems for the most part to have tamed my face to the point where I could roll in dirt, put on eight layers of makeup, go to sleep for three days and wake up with skin that's like 'dude wtf,' but mostly fine.
For some reason, however, 2020 was the year that stopped.