Just as common as acne itself is insecurity and mental health concerns related to its development and presence. One study indicated that acne patients were 3 to 4 times more likely to experience depression than the general population.
If you feel that acne is ruining your confidence, there are a few steps you can take.
Accept that acne is more than a simple skin condition, and you are not unreasonable for noticing that acne affects your confidence and mental health. Acne has a psychological impact, which is what makes its treatment so important.
Much of the frustration that you're feeling around acne may not be from the acne itself but from a feeling of a lack of control. It can be extremely disheartening to try every type of acne treatment that you come across and still not see the results you'd like.
Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment
Reducing your acne can help you with confidence and improve your mental health, so let's go over what to do to have confidence with acne.
Understand the Effects of Acne on Mental Health
If you find yourself thinking, acne is ruining my confidence, that is not because you are shallow or vain. Acne goes far beyond a simple skin condition, and clinical studies have demonstrated that acne can have the following effects on mental health and quality of life:
Having acne commonly affects the way people dress or wear their hair, for example, causing people to grow their hair longer in order to hide their skin.
Some students with acne reported having lower quality relationships with family and friends, poorer performance in school, and less experience with sexual and romantic encounters, all of which they attributed to their acne.
Acne is sometimes known to negatively affect quality of life.
Suicidal ideation increased among teenage boys with self-reported severe acne.
Acne has also been tied to:
Fewer chances of employment, perhaps due to less of a willingness to take chances or approach potential employers.
Feelings of anger, anxiety, and shame
Lower body satisfaction (regardless of weight or previous body image)
Certain studies have shown that there is a relationship between stress levels and acne severity, with, for example, university students reporting worse acne during final exams. Considering that anxiety levels are steadily increasing in many countries, one begins to see an image of the vicious cycle of stress causing acne and acne causing stress, and so on.
While the prognosis may sound grim, it bears mentioning that often the difference between whether or not someone experiences these psychological symptoms has little to do with the severity of their acne. There is some correlation between acne severity and mental health struggles, but, for the most part, two people could have the same acne severity and one of them could develop anxiety and another could not feel any effect on their confidence at all. Sometimes, your response to your acne has nothing to do with the acne itself, and everything to do with your resilience.
That is to say, if you find ways to feel confident, desirable, and powerful independent of your acne, you can avoid many of the worrisome mental health side effects associated with having acne vulgaris.
Recognize that Acne Has no Age or Gender
While acne has the reputation of being a condition that appears during puberty then clears by adulthood, adult acne is on the rise, although scientists are not sure why.
If you thought that you would be too old to have acne at some point, it may benefit you to put that pre-conceived notion to rest so that you no longer feel disappointed or isolated by your acne.
In adolescence, acne is more common among men than among women. When we age, that statistic flips, and acne becomes more common among women than among men. But the fact remains that acne affects both men and women.
Sometimes cosmetics, procedures, products, and skin care routines have a gendered reputation. Some may feel that maintaining a consistent skincare routine is somehow inherently feminine. But both men and women suffer from acne, and thus, both men and women can benefit from effective treatment against acne.
By letting go of ideas that you may have had about acne before, you can find yourself getting out of the anxious doom-cycles of feeling that acne is untreatable or unfair and move forward instead to treating your acne and your skin.
Block Out the Noise
When you have acne, suddenly everyone has a PhD in dermatology.
Everybody has advice about what you need to eat, how often you should wash your face, how often you should wash your pillowcases or touch your skin, the list goes on. This advice often even comes from people who appear to have never had a pimple in their life.
But here's the reality: acne is complex, and you aren't going to get rid of it by simply washing your face more often or cutting out greasy foods. To treat your acne you will need a multi-pronged approach that addresses all of the many causes and triggers of acne: inflammation, clogged pores, excess oil production, and bacteria overgrowth, while also contributing to your overall skin health.
This is all to say that acne is not your fault. Sure, some decisions can exacerbate your acne, but you can do everything "right" and still get breakouts.
Having acne doesn't mean that you are unclean, unhealthy, or eating badly, and anyone who tells you that it does simply doesn't know what they're talking about.
Stop Trying Treatments That Don't Work
A downside of many people and brands not recognizing the profound psychological effects of acne is that disinformation is allowed to run rampant. Information about acne, whether it's spread through advertisements, the Internet, or word of mouth, isn't regulated with the intensity that it should be.
For that reason, everything under the sun is offered up as either the best DIY acne remedy or the spawn of all your blemishes. Then suddenly, you've cut out sugar and dairy from your diet and you've tried medical treatment and the avocado/ honey/ oatmeal/ charcoal face masks and your acne still hasn't improved and you reasonably become frustrated.
Acne itself isn't unfair, because it's a normal, natural process that many people live with. But the way that brands sell treatments that they know don't work, is not fair. Part of your feelings of hopelessness around acne may not stem from the blemishes themselves, but from feeling tired of trying treatments that promise to get rid of your acne and don't make any difference.
Some people with acne report feeling that they are in control of many parts of their life and yet cannot get control of their skin. For this reason, when we guarantee that Exposed Skincare will clear up your acne, we take that claim with a great deal of seriousness.
Even if you hate the way your acne looks, if you know that you are doing something about it, you will notice an immediate difference in your attitude toward your skin.
Find Other Ways to Nurture Your Self Esteem
You are much more than a few measly pimples. We aren't here to tell you "everyone is beautiful in their own way," because that may ring hollow. We would instead like to communicate that you are more than your physical appearance, more than your insecurities, and more than your worst flaws. And that doesn't just apply to acne.
Find time to exercise, enjoy social situations with friends who you genuinely like, and focus on your passions. Spend time thinking about what makes you unique.
Think of the people who you love in your life- and we mean really love (not someone you enjoy seeing on social media from time to time). Do you love your people because they have perfect skin and shiny hair? Hopefully not! You love them because of who they are, how they treat you, the ways they inspire you. You deserve self-love for the same reasons.
Often, the respect we feel towards ourselves is reflected back to us in the respect that others afford us. So start out by practicing feeling confident. Even if you don't feel confident naturally, just practice, and perhaps over time you may notice that you're no longer faking it, and confidence will become natural, then you will feel the effects of your newfound self-image and self-awareness radiating outward and coming back to you in unexpected ways.
Develop a Confidence-Boosting Skincare Regimen
The best thing to do when acne is bogging down your confidence and self-esteem levels is to take back control of the situation with a strong, targeted, and effective skincare routine.
Formulated with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and other amazingly beneficial additions, our products are designed to bring the best of nature and science to your skin.
Check out these success stories to see how the Exposed Skincare System can help you feel less self-conscious, dive back into your social life, and feel like the best version of yourself:
"I was struggling with my self-image as a result of my horrible acne. I went to a dermatologist, but nothing that they prescribed worked. I started googling face washes and came across Exposed Skin Care. I thought I would give it a try. After all, I was desperate for anything to work. After only a couple of weeks, I saw amazing improvement. After two months, my face was clear! This face wash really works and I am forever grateful that I came across it!"
"It's taken a lot of confidence-building to post this buuuut... from March 20th to June 15th, my exposedskincare journey so far! I'm so, so pleased with the results, I haven't had skin this clear for years! Acne practically gone and even my hyperpigmentation has started to settle down! Hello, makeup-free confidence! :)"