I know first hand how acne can ruin your self esteem. It’s especially hard if you struggled with self esteem and self confidence to start with. Even some people I know who used to be so confident and outgoing suddenly seemed to lose their self confidence when they got acne. It’s totally understandable to feel this way, and everyone who has had acne knows what it’s like to go through this.
You start to become so self concious of your skin that you start avoiding social situations. When you meet people it’s hard to look them in the eye and you’d rather just look at the ground or try and draw attention away from yourself so you don’t feel like everyone’s looking at your skin. It’s hard to become close to the opposite sex because you don’t want them to see how your skin looks close up. It’s hard to feel attractive. Sometimes it’s even hard to leave the house especially if you’re having a bad skin day.
It’s hard because other people are so quick to judge. They have misconceptions about acne because they don’t know what it’s like themselves. They think maybe you’re dirty and just need to wash your face more often. Other stereotypes are also associated with acne like being a geek or nerd, being unclean etc. It’s already been proven through studies that people will unconsciously judge an attractive healthy looking person as being more intelligent, better behaved, cooler etc.
People judge others on the way they look and will draw assumptions about their personality based on that. It’s true that the way you dress and present yourself is an expression of your personality, but acne is a physical skin condition that is in no way an indication of your personality, how clean you are, or who you really are.
It’s impossible to stop people judging you but the problem is a lot of acne sufferers will become so self concious about being judged they’ll take it to the extreme and think everyone is judging them harshly (even if they’re not) and everyone is staring at their skin. This can go from just simply feeling self conscious about your skin to completely crushing your social skills and confidence to the point where you don’t want to attend any social events. You may even develop such a extreme view of yourself that you think your skin is actually worse than it really is or you think everyone’s always staring at you when they actually may not be.
If you’ve had acne for a decent period of time than you know what this feels like. It will chip away at your confidence as time goes on to the point where you’ve become withdrawn and nervous around people. A lot of people begin to hate themselves and their body and really believe they are ugly. They lack the courage to try new things because their skin is holding them back. A lot of acne sufferers become very depressed, especially if they’ve had acne for a long period of time. And when they feel they’re missing out on things in life it just makes things worse.
Other people underestimate or don’t understand just how much having acne can affect your life and your self esteem. Even years after clearing their skin some people still ‘act’ as if they have acne and never quite get their confidence back. I know for myself personally that even after I cleared my acne I still felt self conscious about my skin and would avoid people seeing my skin close up, or being under bright lights etc.
It’s especially tough when you’re going through it and you have to wake up every morning and look in the mirror and feel depressed about your face. Sometimes it feels like there’s no hope and you’re just sick and tired. It can really crush your confidence and make you become bitter about yourself.
So I wanted to write this article to talk about a few things I learned from my own journey with acne.
1) You Are Not Your Acne
Please don’t ever forget that your acne is not in any way a reflection of your personality, what you have to offer, how clean you are, how ‘cool’ you are or how beautiful you are. I know there are people out there who will judge you for having acne because they don’t understand, but you’ve got to realize that those people don’t matter. Don’t let what other people say about you or what they think of you seep into your own mind and get you down.
I know sometimes the lines get blurred a bit and you may start to take on the negative views of others and start to believe things about you that aren’t true. You can’t afford to listen to others who don’t love you and support you. Surround yourself with people who see past your acne and see you for who you really are. Cut those who make you feel bad about yourself or judged out of your life.
2) Remember This is Temporary
I know it’s hard to believe that this is just temporary, especially if you have really severe cystic acne that you’ve had for years and it seems like there’s no end in sight. But this is temporary. Your body has the amazing ability to heal itself, you just need to listen to what it’s trying to tell you and give it what it needs to heal. Don’t ever give up and just resort to being on medication for the rest of your life.
Acne is just a symptom of a health problem or imbalance in your body that you desperately need to give attention too. Don’t ignore it, it’s a cry for help. When you heal your internal health, clear skin is a given. Stop focusing on ‘band-aid’ type treatments to mask the symptom (acne) and start trying to heal your internal health. It may take you 2-3 months to really get your health back and clear your skin, but it will be worth it.
3) Acne Is Here To Teach You Something
When I look back on my experience with acne I am grateful. I know that sounds crazy and I certainly was anything but grateful at the time, but it’s only now that I understand what acne was trying to teach me. It was a wake up call. It was a cry for help from my body to get me to pay attention to my internal health.
It forced me to examine my diet, my lifestyle, the people in my life, my environment, and my whole philosophy on health and medicine. It forced me to think critically, do my own research, and form my own opinions. It forced to me search deep within myself for answers and try new things. It helped me to become health concious and changed my approach to health forever. It challenged my self esteem and confidence and forced me to overcome my biggest hurdle; caring too much about what other people think of me. It made me build up my self esteem and self confidence based on my skills, talents and personality instead of what I look like or what other people thought of me.
All of these things have been a blessing in disguise. Acne forces you to deal with things you have been neglecting such as internal health problems you may not have been aware of such as hormonal imbalances or the diet you’re eating. It makes you evaluate your environment and the people around you. It helps you to become stronger and get over what people think of you.
Thanks to acne I now live a healthy lifestyle and have a natural, holistic approach to everything in my life. The greatest and most challenging lesson acne taught me was how to love myself unconditionally, pimples and all and to stop judging myself even if others did.
Stop and ask yourself what is acne teaching you? What blessings could you possibly be getting from going through this experience? How has this shaped me into being a better and stronger person?
4) Don’t Stop Living Your Life
One of the biggest mistakes I made that I really regret is that I let acne stop me from living my life. I let it hold me back from trying new things, speaking to new people and going to parties or other social events because I felt ‘ugly’. I know it’s hard, but it’s the things that you didn’t do rather than the things that you did that you’ll regret the most.
One thing I’ve learned is that people do not care about me or my skin half as much as I think they do. Everyone is pretty self involved, just how you feel like everyone’s staring at you and your acne, chances are they’re thinking about themselves and wondering what other people think of them. People have short attention spans and will probably forget all about your acne.
If you start to focus on your health and follow the advice in this blog and in the Clear Skin Action Plan, you’ll be on your way to being acne free in 60-90 days and by then you’ll probably realise how insignificant other people view your acne.
Don’t let this stop you from living your life to the fullest. Don’t let it stop you from getting dressed up, doing your hair and makeup and going out with friends. If you don’t feel pretty just make an effort anyway, it might help you feel better you never know. Plus the more activities you do and the more fun you’re having the less time you’re spending thinking about or analysing your skin.