From the age of about 12 all the way until I was in my mid 20s, I struggled with horrible acne, including cystic acne.
I finally took care of it with Accutane, but in that time, I had to learn how to be confident with acne if I was ever going to leave the house.
And in this guide to acne and self-esteem, I really want to get across that the way you choose to be confident with acne is completely your call.
Yes, it would be wonderful if we all felt comfortable enough to be our saves and learned how to be confident with acne and no makeup, but the debilitating depression and lack of confidence that can affect some people with acne is nothing to take lightly.
I’ll go through my tips, but just know that you are not alone and that there are different routes you can think about learning to live your life with acne.
Must-Read Book for Finding Your Confidence
After scouring the world of self-help books, I’ve found the best one for embracing who you are, not apologizing for what you do or what you believe, and achieving more.
It’s called “You Are a Bada**: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.”
This is seriously going to change your life, and you can find it here.
This self-love workbook is a fantastic way of realigning your own thoughts and outlook on yourself, which is important to do before you can really deal with anyone else’s feelings or thoughts about you.
1. Educate Your Friends and Family
One of the biggest hurdles that acne sufferers come across is the lack of education surrounding acne from the people around them.
It’s true that some acne is from things like clogged pores, maybe due to makeup or sweat or whatever the case may be.
But this is your run-of-the-mill acne that everyone gets.
Life-changing acne, cystic acne, has nothing to do with the cleanliness of your skin.
It is a medical condition that can happen to anyone.
You can shower multiple times a day and keep that skin squeaky clean, but it doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from within.
If you can learn to be open about your acne and the research you’ve done on what is causing it, you can train yourself on how to have confidence with acne because you’ll know that the people around you understand the condition more and aren’t judging you for it.
2. Find the Humor in It
Sometimes, making a joke about yourself can actually help spark confidence because you’re in the joke, rather than the subject of one.
Especially if you choose to go without makeup, you know that people are able to see that you deal with acne.
And if you have a joking personality, don’t be afraid to call attention to it in a humorous way.
3. Know that You Have No Reason to NOT Be Confident
When trying to encourage you to be confident with acne, I thought of all the reasons you should be ashamed of your acne and I found….none.
Having acne doesn’t mean you’re unclean.
Having acne doesn’t mean you’re ugly.
Having acne doesn’t mean you are not a worthwhile person, a great friend, a visionary.
Would you tell somebody another physical ailment that they should be ashamed?
Someone who looks “different” than other people?
Acne is the same – a physical condition that says absolutely nothing about you, and so there is just not a single reason I can find that you shouldn’t be confident.
Now, I understand wholeheartedly why some people don’t FEEL confident with acne, and you are allowed to feel those feelings, but objectively, there is no reason to feel that way and so you have to work more on your mindset and self-love and attitude rather than fixing anything else – because you didn’t do anything wrong!
4. Focus on What You Can Decide on for Your Body
Sometimes, you feel like you just have no control over your acne despite doing all of the right things.
Instead of worrying about something you can’t change, focus on what you can!
Maybe you spend a bit more money on your wardrobe to find some new outfits you love.
Maybe you focus on getting in shape for the next school year or getting new piercings or getting a fun new haircut.
However you want to find confidence in your apperance, go for it!
5. Learn Acne Makeup Tips
In this acne positivity world, some people can take offence when you suggest to cover it up with makeup.
And let it be known. I’m not, in any way, suggesting that you NEED to cover your acne with makeup, but I know that it was really helpful for me as I learned to handle and cope with my acne to learn how to cover it up.
And if that’s you, you’re not wrong either!
There are plenty of videos on Youtube filled with acne makeup tips, or you could hire a professional to teach you by hosting a lesson on how to do your makeup.
People with redder skin, which is what your skin can become when inflamed with acne, need to use different shades, techniques, and makeup in order to get the look you want.
6. Take it Slow
If you want to be more confident in your natural skin, you don’t have to go from a full face of makeup to completely bare skin in one day.
You’re allowed to take it slow, and this can help slowly adjust your mindset permanently towards your acne.
Try going with less makeup, just taking off a layer, and wear it like that for a few weeks before taking off more.
Or start by being bare faced around people you 100% trust to not judge you or make you feel bad, like family and friends, and then slowly expand it out and widen that circle of people you’re confident around.
7. Embrace Your Better Days
Another way to learn to be more confident with acne is to practice building yourself up on your less intense acne days.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable when it is in full flare up mode, but maybe you can start by taking some pictures or planning some fun public things to do when you are having a better day to make sure that you’re continuing to get out in the world and inching towards the day when you might be able to just be completely comfortable with yourself.
8. Speak to a Therapist
If you’re dealing with acne depression or trying to figure out how to deal with acne emotionally, don’t be afraid to open up to a therapist!
They can’t change your acne, but they can help provide an environment where you are never judged and always held in the highest regard, which can help you work on your self-esteem and find out ways to be more confident in yourself outside of the room.
Seriously, if there’s one place where you don’t have to worry about what someone thinks about you, it’s in the therapist’s office!