Having acne is a very common condition, affecting approximately 50 million Americans every year. This doesn’t negate the difficulty of having acne. Everyone looks at your face for communication, so you can’t help but think that everyone is staring at your acne. It feels like these red spots on your face completely define your self worth and can really be an isolating experience.
While taking online classes due to the pandemic, I developed a severe habit of picking at my skin due to my anxiety. I would do my classes next to a mirror, and everytime I looked at myself, I didn’t like what I saw. I felt the need to fix my facial situation by picking my spots, but this habit made my skin ten times worse. My self confidence plummeted.
During October of 2021, my skin was the worst it’s ever been. Classes were in-person and strenuous. While I curbed the habit of skin picking, the scarring and damage still cluttered my face. I was constantly thinking about what my clear-skinned friends would think about me, so I covered it up with concealer everyday. I was consumed with guilt because I knew I was living a lie; no one knew what my true skin looked like.
One night, I was scrolling through TikTok, and a girl who has very similar skin to mine posted a video embracing her acne and talked about her struggles. It felt so comforting that someone with acne looked beautiful without makeup, embracing the flaws on her skin. This made me realize that I could do the same!
My first makeup free day, my insecurities consumed my mind. I was scared people were going to think I was “fake” for hiding it for so long, or feel sorry for me. At the end of the day, I realized that everyone was acting normal, and I needed to be less in my head. As the week went on, it became easier and easier to forget about my acne, and I realized that it doesn't define me, my friendships, or my worth.
Confidence is a feeling, not an appearance, and you don’t need to have perfect skin to embrace your beauty. I’d rather focus on my many positive attributes that outweigh all my insecurities. Though I may be insecure about my skin, it doesn’t define who I am. You are so much more than your complexion! Never forget it.
Written by: Sera Bunca