It’s 2020, and thankfully the age of skin acceptance has arrived. A quick scroll through Instagram shows just how far we’ve come in recent years. There’s now a passionate push back taking place online against Photoshopped advertising, filtered feeds and the idea of “perfect skin”. More celebrities and influencers are posting bare-faced selfies and having conversations about skin ‘problems’ like acne on their channels. Old-school advertising (the kind that sells products based on ‘flaws’) is over, and consumers are demanding inclusivity. And whether this is the next era of the body positivity movement or a reaction to the photo-editing apps that are so ubiquitous your Aunt Barb uses them, it’s a welcome change of pace.
As we continue to question why we’ve come to view acne as something to be ‘fixed’, we’re breaking down stigmas and turning uneducated assumptions (e.g. pimples must mean you have a crap diet) on their heads. And all of that is to be encouraged. That said, if you’re personally dealing with unwelcome spots, watching @mypaleskinblog’s inspiring videos might not be enough to offset the impact on your life. To be clear, we’re not suggesting that if breakouts bother you, you shouldn’t seek help. The point is that acne is a part of life for many people, and something most of us are familiar with. (In fact, 25% of women over 30 experience it.) It makes as much sense to judge someone on acne as it does their eye color—none.
3 powerful skin-positive mantras intended to help you feel better about your breakouts today. Use as needed, and remember, if you’re suffering please see your doctor.
1: “my skin isn’t ‘bad’ or ‘good’, it’s just skin”
‘Good’ skin is a concept that means different things to different people. Depending on who you ask, an A+ complexion could be crystal-clear, plump and glowy, or smattered with freckles and completely matte. When we accept there is no such thing as ‘good’ skin, we realise that ‘bad’ skin is also merely a social construct. Skin is just skin, and it can be empowering to acknowledge that it will continue to change—not just as we age, but from day to day. Breakouts, wrinkles and pigmentation are nothing to be ashamed of.
2: “my skin isn’t ‘bad’ or ‘good’, it’s just skin”
The next time you’re feeling down about the way your complexion is behaving, remind yourself that it’s the least compelling thing about you. Ask yourself what your friends would cite as your best feature. No matter who you are, what you do, or what you look like, the answer is never going to be your skin. When we focus on something we perceive to be a problem, we build shame around it. And while living with acne can be incredibly difficult for some, it’s worth remembering that you are more than your skin.
3: “I am not alone”
The skin acceptance movement on social media can be a great resource for days when you feel like you’re the only one with a tricky complexion. From celebrities like Dua Lipa and Lili Reinhart to bloggers (see: @myfacestory), there are more people in the public eye ready to reveal their breakouts, sans filters, to the world, than ever. Sometimes knowing that you’re not going through a skin struggle alone can help to stem low self-esteem issues. Especially when you realise Zendaya is dealing with precisely the same thing.