As a teenager, I'd break out a lot. I would get one or two really big blemishes, on my forehead, or my cheeks or chin, and they'd last forever. I felt like they became the focus of my face. I felt like no matter how much makeup I put on, that's all people looked at: my huge, red, sore pimples. It was really devastating.
When I was seventeen, I started competing in the Miss Oklahoma Program to raise scholarship money for college. Pageants are funny because you're trying to be at your best, but it's a very stressful time leading up to the final night. You wear more makeup than usual, practice hard for the talent show, stay up late, get up early. You just feel like your face is falling apart.
I competed in the Miss Oklahoma Program five years in a row and, before I used Proactiv, it was the same every time. As the week progressed, my skin started breaking out. It would get worse and worse and worse. By the final night, I remember thinking, "I hope I don't win because I would hate for all of my pictures to show my skin with such bad breakouts." It really took away my confidence.
I used to try all types of products to hide my breakouts. Concealers, foundations, powers. I would try putting foundation under the concealer and then putting powder on top. It ended up looking worse than before I started so I'd wipe a little bit off. But then the redness would show and I'd put it back on. I used to spend so much time working on one or two spots on my face before I left the house, and I still felt just as bad as I did before I put any makeup on. I never felt confident, especially going out in the daylight. I felt like you could see everything so much clearer in the daylight. Also, going swimming with friends, I thought, "What if my makeup comes off? Then it will look even worse." It really limited my activities because I was constantly worried about what other people would think.
I started using Proactiv in January of 2004. Six months later, it was pageant time again and my fourth year competing. That year, for the first time, my skin stayed clear for the entire week. I was amazed. Every day I would wake up and be amazed that I didn't have a breakout anywhere on my face. After all the makeup, the lack of sleep, the stress that I was going through, I still had clear skin, thanks to Proactiv. That was the year my confidence really came back.
Proactiv definitely helped me become Miss America. I don't think I would have ever made it that far without it. Proactiv gave me the beautiful skin I always wanted. And it gave me the confidence I needed to walk across the Miss America stage and show the judges that I could do the job, that I could uphold the image, maintain the integrity of the Organization, and represent American women across the United States.
And even in my year as Miss America 2006, I was incredibly impressed with how Proactiv kept up with me and my hectic schedule: the constant traveling, the climate changes, the different hotels, the different types of water I washed with, all the makeup, the stress, and the lack of sleep. In that year I went through everything that could possibly make your skin to fall apart really fast. But with Proactiv, I never had one of those bad breakouts like I did when I was doing pageants in college. Proactiv was the one product that kept me going throughout the entire year feeling confident, feeling great, and looking fresh, even when I didn't feel it.
It's important for me to talk about Proactiv because I'm a real person. Even though I'm Miss America, I'm just like everybody else out there who deals with skin issues. I used to worry about my skin and my appearance, but Proactiv changed that for me. I don't have to worry anymore.