Taking it on the Chin

Ok – so tonight’s post may be a little silly, a little self-indulgent, but this is real life, so…se la vie.

Steven and I are getting our engagement photos taken on this coming Monday. We’re flying our photographer into New York City, and we’re going to be taking photos during golden hour — it’s going to be so lovely.

It's every bride's worst nightmare: a massive hormonal zit right right before the big day. And guess who is living that nightmare...#wedding #bride #bridetobe #skincare #skin #life #catholic #wedding #engagementshoot #engaged


Let me preface this by saying, I am very grateful to have been blessed with clear skin. I just don’t get zits, and I take care of my skin like the Hope Diamond on the Titanic. But once every 12-14 months, I get a ginormous, deep, hormonal zit.

It's every bride's worst nightmare: a massive hormonal zit right right before the big day. And guess who is living that nightmare...#wedding #bride #bridetobe #skincare #skin #life #catholic #wedding #engagementshoot #engaged

We’re talking, it swells my face, is the size of…no kidding…a nickel. And the blemish itself lasts for about a 3 weeks, and then the scar lasts another 4 months. The one from last year lasted from July to October.


I woke up on Tuesday morning, here in Wisconsin, with the beginning stages of one of these massive hormonal zits.

Right smack dab in the very center of my chin.

It's every bride's worst nightmare: a massive hormonal zit right right before the big day. And guess who is living that nightmare...#wedding #bride #bridetobe #skincare #skin #life #catholic #wedding #engagementshoot #engaged

But this is not just a hormonal zit. This is a bright red, deep cyst more than a zit. And it is so big, it’s the size of my entire chin…it’s visibly swollen to the point where my profile has been effected. And it hurts like the dickens. Picture that game “Operation” with the bright red, flashing nose…but put that on my chin.

It's every bride's worst nightmare: a massive hormonal zit right right before the big day. And guess who is living that nightmare...#wedding #bride #bridetobe #skincare #skin #life #catholic #wedding #engagementshoot #engaged

(And I am purposefully not putting a gruesome photo on it on here, because people may be eating while reading this…)

I immediately ordered ZitSticka Killa patches…at Steven’s recommendation…but even they’re not even touching this thing. They have reduced the swelling a bit, but it still is just this third eye that is assaulting anyone that comes within 3 feet of me.

And I’ve gotta tell you – it has effected my confidence, I feel like an ogre, I avert my eyes when I interact with someone other than my family in public, and I’ve just been in kind of a bad mood to be honest, because this hideous cyst is taking over my face. And it’s still going to be there, front and center, for our engagement shoot.

But this morning, as I was running, I realized something.

Is it unfortunate timing? Yes.

But, as my wedding is drawing closer, this is a great reminder of what truly matters: that it is not what is on the outside, but what’s on the inside that is truly important.

God is reminding me that beauty comes from within, and our outer image is nothing more than a shell to house the soul.

Admittedly, I’ve been pretty focused on “outer things” in preparation for this shoot: making sure I have a nice dress to wear, scheduling a manicure, trying to get a sun kissed glow…things that, in the grand scheme of things don’t matter.

These photos — and the wedding in and of itself — are a celebration of our future marriage. We’re celebrating the marriage…not the wedding. And these photos are to capture our love. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what dress I wear, or what my hair looks like, or even that I have a blemish on my chin.

Because Steven loves me for who I am on the inside, and I love him for who he is – his heart, his character, his soul.

That is what matters.

True beauty comes from inside: Jesus living in my heart, and that reflection, outward.

So thanks for letting me get that off my chest tonight. Sometimes all it takes is a gnarly zit to help keep things in perspective.

Also — if you have any “zit emergency” remedies up your sleeve, please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments section! hahha thanks 🙂

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36 responses to “Taking it on the Chin”

  1. Wow, Caralyn, it really is bad timing, my first thought is that this extra eye is the result of stress about the upcoming photo shoot and wedding. I’ve seen that happen to others over the years. I love your thoughts on this though, how the Lord is showing you what really matters, that’s so wonderful! I played that Operation game so long ago, a fun memory from younger years. I love the first photo with you guys in it, the joy inside is radiating outside! Be well, guys. ❤️🙏🏻

  2. Oh dear, I got one on my chin the day before my wedding, I still see it when i look at my wedding photo even though it was well covered up. As you say it’s what’s on the inside that counts. It obviously didn’t affect my marriage which will be 59 years long in December. Bless you.

  3. You will be beautiful no matter what. On my clients, I use the ZitSticka Killa patches and they work most of the time if you get them early. You can also try an ice cube and I love the paste with Mario Badescu Silver Powder! Some people get an injection from a dermatologist which can help. And there is the lighting, and your internal beauty radiating out.

  4. I’m so sorry! I do understand, as I seem to get these at the most inopportune times also. In fact, I have one now. I appreciate the way you have turned this around to focus on what truly matters. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I am praying that everything works out for your photo shoot. 🙏

  5. This is just…oh, no!
    I’m sorry for the timing here. But I love your attitude about it. Big ups there!
    And this is from the guy who broke out before every High School dance, so I know your pain. I also totally agree with anyone who diagnosed this as a stress zit. 🤓
    Sadly, I have no remedy suggestions.
    Keep your chin up.

  6. Hi Caralyn!! I’ve been very busy dismantling my husband’ s house for sale, but came across this post. Hydrogen peroxide placed gently with a cotton until you see area becoming temporary whitish. The oxygen will go into zit and take inflammation away quickly. Also, drink lots of water, eat basically vegan-alkaline for a few days to detox and drink blood cleansing teas. Finally, I would check into “estrogen dominance”-when estrogen is higher ( balancing your estrogen hormone can eradicate this sit pattern for ever during child bearing years) than normal compared to progesterone-google it cause it’s a great cause of adult acne. Finally, stress is a culprit, but the detoxing will eliminate any residue of stress chemicals that pollute the body and cause benign cysts, etc. Love ya!! 😘😘

  7. And Steven is a real man in Christ, not some shallow, supercilious guy, and in years to come, blemish or no blemish (I am praying for you), you both will look back with humor and laugh about this “trial”. God bless you both!

  8. Ouch!!! I have no remedies…but PRAYER! I am praying for a “miracle cure”…but even if it doesn’t happen, I’ll bet your photographer is well-versed in photo editing and can erase that monster. Enjoy the happy memories you’re making!

  9. I have a tendency to turn stand up comic in medical situations. I think it helps me deal with whatever uncomfortable situation has arisen. I learned a great theory of humor – Pain + Distance = Humor. When things go south I rearrange the formula – Pain + Humor = Distance.

    Adding humor to an uncomfortable, incontrollable situation helps you gain distance from it. Got a nuclear zit? It’s in control taking you for a spin? I say enjoy the ride. After all, it’ll be funny someday. Instead of waiting for distance (time) to make it funny, embrace the joke today!! Name it. Old Red. Gunther. You can’t get rid of it so revel in it.

  10. You’re forgetting that the photographer can do a little photoshopping to return your chin to normal in the photos. It’ll be okay and you’ve a great tale to tell down the line.

  11. But Carolyn, have you tried Windex? Your post conjured up that scene from – My Big Fat Greek Wedding – flashed through my mind! But seriously, as you said,” It puts things in perspective and you two will laugh at this someday. May your hearts be blessed as you prepare for your big day!

  12. I feel your pain! 🙂 But you have a wonderful perspective on this and as so many others have said, you will look back on this some day and laugh. Our 17th anniversary is tomorrow and you are right, the wedding is simply a celebration of your marriage to come! May you guys always be blessed and realize that true beauty does indeed come from within! God Bless!

  13. As I currently have one about an inch underneath my eye, I feel your pain in this moment. I am encouraged to know I’m not the only one that the fading of the blemish takes forever. I use Clean & Clear essentials facial cleanser (the orange packaged one) daily, and I have Almay concealer that also has Salicylic Acid in it for when I do have a zit. It helps it not hurt as much. If you’re ok with the medicated stuff, that’s my recommendation.

    I am sure your pictures will turn out beautiful, and it’s a reminder that everything in this world is imperfect. What matters is, as you said, what is on the inside. I have so enjoyed “seeing” the progression of your relationship with Steven through this blog! <3

  14. 😂 Caralyn, YOU and STEVEN are among God’s jewels, even if you look like you’ve added a ruby to your chin. Just more value to the package, I say!
    I like the photoshop idea, but KEEP the originals if you do the photoshoot with a fire-engine red chin. They can serve as a reminder of the “important things” when you look back in 32 years… like the torn upholstery in my old Chrysler in one of our pics (I photoshopped it out for a pic sent to a friend, but the original is in our wedding photo book).
    That said, Anita and I are among those who will continue to wear masks for the indefinite future… as friends in Korea, Japan, HK and China have done for decades. So take a couple of shots with surgical masks as well!! THAT’ll be memorable!
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

  15. I have a remedy that’s good for regular pimples, not sure how different a cyst is (they seem to go deeper in the skin?) but maybe it will still help.
    Remedy: Make a paste of baking soda and water and completely cover the pimple or zit with it, leave it on for 15-20 minutes at least, but usually longer* depending on the zit size. It’ll dry out the zit and cause it to shrink and deflate. *Half hour or more? I…didn’t track my time properly when I did it, certainly long enough for the paste to dry and get a bit flaky.

    Hope it helps, and I hope you have a great time taking engagement photos and wedding planning!

  16. Hi Carolyn,

    So sorry you have this blemish! Not sure if this treatment will work, but I have used it for many years on bug bites, etc. I would wear old clothes in case you get any on you.
    1. Purchase a small pouch of chewing tobacco, (yes, tobacco).
    2. Place a pinch of tobacco (large grape size) in a small dish and add just enough white vinegar to wet tobacco.
    3. Using a spoon, mash tobacco in vinegar until thoroughly moistened, about 20 minutes or so.
    4. Working over a sink, place tobacco over the affected area and cover with a large waterproof bandage. Leave on for about 30 minutes
    Repeat as necessary.

    Praying it goes away or at least diminishes. Love that you both love each other so unconditionally and are beautiful believers. All the best to you both!

  17. Unfortunately, I don’t have an emergency remedy, but I will pray that your pictures will be an enjoyable moment. Both my husband and I had something similar, but it was the day before our wedding. It’s something we laugh about now, nearly 25 years later! God bless you and Steven. May your marriage be a blessing from God Almighty. 💜

  18. Ig it helps, I had one of those cysts on my big toe once. I got rid of it instantly when I dropped a big cement block on it. There’s always that…uh… I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist, but I’m exactly the same way. I totally empathize actually, because I’ve been there, done that and you’re right. It’s what’s inside that counts and even though we obsess about the outside sometimes, our reality brings it back down to our truth. Sweety, you are truly beautiful in and out and don’t let a silly ol’ zit ruin the day. Fortunately, smile your sweet and let photoshop take care of that zit. You got this!

  19. Hi Caralyn, I am so sorry that you having this problem, but you seem to be doing a wonderful job of “taking it on the chin” as you say. You keep such a positive attitude! You are right, the most important thing is the love between you and Steven and the blessing that God has bestowed on you two. As many have stated, the photographers will correct the photos. In the meantime you and Steven can enjoy your time together and ignore the blemish and the stress will dissipate. There are so many great posts ideas for you to consider and possibly try. I know that hydrogen peroxide works wonders. Baking soda is amazing. Lavender oil and coconut oil are both excellent for killing bacteria and reducing inflammation. The chewing tobacco is very interesting and thought provoking — it just may work. And, the advice about estrogen balance is something to look into (“simplybalanced”). My best to you, always.

  20. It’s not funny, but also it is, because I’ve totally been there. Tea tree oil is a huge help to me in drawing everything to the surface and drying it out. Also, bentonite clay masks are WONDERFUL!! Hormones… Can’t live with em, can’t let em ruin your engagement photos! You’re totally right though – it’s about the marriage, not the wedding! I always envied my friends who got the big fairy tale weddings, with perfect pictures, flowers, cake, music, etc… But if all of those gorgeous weddings, 75% of their marriages have ended in divorce. I’m thankful my husband and I focused more on the marriage than the wedding. May God bless you and Stephen with the same enduring marital bliss, and gorgeous photos as well!! 😘

  21. It was already mentioned: Witch Hazel. As someone who is almost 50 and still has to deal with outbreaks (regardless of what I do), I understand that it can zap your confidence. I work with people face-to-face everyday. It’s my job. And, it still can just pull me down some days. However, as you mentioned, it’s what is on the inside that matters most. Your guy loves you for you. What is on the inside does matter most and shows through.
    As the marriage grows older—along with you two—physical changes are gonna happen that’ll make this little moment look like nothin. The outside is temporary. The spirit is forever.
    How’s the saying go…? Chin up. You got this.

  22. The best zit remedy: a big fat black eye or a nasty gash across a cheek. Nobody will even notice the zit. 🙂 But this is probably not the kind of remedy you were looking for.

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