I’ve struggled with skin problems since the age of 12, but the first time that I posted about acne was back in September. I’m 21 now, and in February, I decided to make my own Instagram about empowering others with acne. I’m trying to connect with as many people as I can.
My acne started so gradually. I’d get a few spots here and there, and I thought it was a normal thing that every teenager goes through. I wasn’t that bothered at first, but when I turned 14, it got worse. Everyone else may have gotten the odd spot, but I had many spots. By the time I was 15/16, I had tried so many products, but none of them seemed to do anything. The only thing that worked was doctor’s creams, but obviously, that had its negatives. I’ve just let it be, and today, I feel as if I’ve had acne for so long that I’m used to it. But, there are still days where I find having acne really hard. The Skin Positivity Movement has helped me massively, and I’ve done small things to help myself out like not staring in the mirror as long or as close. It sounds funny but sometimes I used to just do my eyebrows or just put makeup on my eyes and then leave the rest of my skin alone. That made me more confident. My boyfriend has helped as well. He suffers with eczema really badly, and when you can love each other whilst having skin conditions, you realize that it doesn’t matter at all.
For quite a long time, however, I did not notice how damaging beauty standards were. I used to conform to them by putting so much makeup on and trying to be really slim. I would try to fit that classic stereotype or whatever. Beauty standards deeply bothered me, and that’s what fueled me to make this Instagram account. One of my goals is to change the language used in beauty marketing from “change this and fix that” to “enhance this and celebrate that.” Likewise, I don’t think there should be a whole thing of getting rid of makeup. People should do whatever they want, but people should feel as if they’re enhancing themselves rather than hiding themselves.
For example, I used to cover up with makeup as much as possible. That was my sole purpose when it came to makeup. I was just focused on concealing myself. I wasn’t like - “Let me try this foundation because it has a really beautiful finish” or “this blush is a beautiful color.” I was just like - “let’s hide as much as I can.” Because I have very oily skin, this was hard. I’d have loads of makeup, and that made me spend so much time dabbing oil off of my face.
Now, I accept myself more, and I’m less afraid to be myself. If I wear makeup, I wear it because I like it. I used to look in the mirror and be like - “I’ve got acne. I hate it!” Whereas now, I look in the mirror now, and I’m like - “I’ve got acne. Whatever…”
An insecurity should never define you because most of the time that insecurity has been placed on you by society. You don’t wake up one morning and decide - “Oh, I don’t really like this about myself...” People normally don’t like something about themselves because society has made it seem as if they shouldn’t. We shouldn’t let that hold us back.
Don’t torment yourself because getting clear skin is not necessarily about becoming happy. You can be happy with a skin condition.