We often ask ourselves, "Is acne really normal?"
Having acne can make us feel isolated, but the fact is that acne is very normal and common. Acne or Acne vulgaris affects about 80% of people at some point in their lives, making it the most common skin condition in the world.
Acne can affect people of different ages and genders too. Some experience acne as young as 10, while others may have their first acne breakouts in their 30's. That is just a general range - people outside of those ages can have acne too.
Is Acne Normal?
Yes, acne is normal and nothing to feel ashamed about. Acne is commonly seen as a teen affliction but at the same time affecting 54% of women over the age of 25, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Several private dermatology clinics have also noticed a rise in adult acne patients by 200% in 2015 - however it doesn't necessarily tell us if adult acne is becoming more common, or if more people are willing to seek treatment.
Acne is a common skin condition that usually appears on the face, but its normal for acne to occur on other parts of the body too.
Why is acne common and normal?
The reason why acne is common and normal is that nearly everyone experiences acne at some point of their life. Acne can begin to affects teens at the age of 10 to 13 likely due to the changes in hormones during puberty and may worsen for those with oily skin types.
Causes of acne
Acne is often caused by overproduction of sebum, dead skin cells, clogged pores and bacteria that block the skin’s tiny follicles. Other causative factors of acne include digestive issues, genetics, immune system dysfunction, inflammation, hormones, diet , poor sleep quality and stress.
There are also a lot of myths about what causes acne such as “eating chocolate causes acne” and “not washing your face” These reasons don’t necessarily become the main causes of acne itself but may just be worsening your acne if you already have acne prone skin. Of course, everyone is different as to what causes their acne.
Types of acne
Acne appears in different types:
Consistent Routine To Clear Up Acne
Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it plays an essential role in regulating our body’s temperature, prevents us from dehydration, protects us from harmful microbes, provides insulation and produces Vitamin D, which makes our skin’s health play a huge impact on our overall physical health.
The proper hygiene care is important in maintaining acne free skin as well as overall good health. Here are 3 tips to keep your acne at bay.
1. Keep your hands off your face
Always remember to resist the urge of touching your face as our hands tend to accumulate a lot of bacteria from what we touch, especially when we don’t habitually wash hands as we are supposed to. Rubbing skin or picking at skin constantly can also cause irritation leading to breakouts.
2. Wash, and exfoliate with a retinol product or AHA/BHA, moisturize, use SPF during the day, repeat. Keeping track of your skin care routine such as washing, exfoliating and moisturizing is a must if you want to keep your skin radiant. But don't overdo it. Using the wrong kind of cleanser that's not for your skin type, and over exfoliating can cause irritation.
3. Be consistent – Patience and consistency is key when it comes to using skin care products or undergoing treatments to treat your acne. Positive results don’t usually show up right away so give your skin care products and treatments a chance to work - at least 30 days instead of giving up right away and trying new skin care products one after another.
HOW DO I ADDRESS OR MANAGE MY ACNE ISSUES?
Maintaining healthy skin doesn’t just stop with a skincare routine – it also has to start with some changes in your lifestyle habits and taking care of your inner health.
Here are additional ways you can try to address your acne:
- Wash with mild or gentle soap/cleanser and lukewarm water (never use hot or cold).
- Do not try to squeeze out or extract blackheads. Use AHA or BHA regularly to remove the blackheads without damaging the pore through squeezing.
- Double cleanse to thoroughly remove makeup
- Avoid high comedogenic makeup and skincare products.
- Change your diet and lifestyle habits to reduce possible allergens, gut issues, and practice stress management.
Staying Positive With Acne
It’s quite hard to stay positive especially when we have acne. Acne doesn’t just affect our skin but our mood and self esteem as well. Skin positivity is a way of accepting that your skin is part of who you are and embracing it positively rather than letting your skin condition define who you are as a whole.
Our skin is one of the first things that people notice about us. While most of us realize there’s more to life than appearance, those with acne can feel at a disadvantage in a society that seems to put more and more emphasis on looks.
Below are tips to staying positive whilst combatting your acne breakouts:
- Commit to your acne treatment and be patient.
- Don’t stress yourself out too much
- Avoid picking your skin
- Stay socially connected
- Talk with a trusted companion
- Join an online acne community
- Do something you enjoy and love
- Shun or avoid those negative self-talks
1) Commit to your acne treatment and be patient – Commit to sticking with your acne treatment and be patient with the results. If you haven't already and if a dermatologist is within your reach - you can invest into seeing one that you like consistently on your skin journey. Waiting for results to show takes a lot of patience and can be frustrating, but it’s worth it.
2) Don’t stress yourself out too much – Stress can worsen acne by increasing levels of cortisol hormones. Make sure that you’re getting a good quality of sleep to lower the stress level and avoid late night shows and screen time.
3) Avoid picking your skin – We know we’ve already said this a lot of times : “Do not pick your skin”. Doing so would cause any bacteria to spread further.
4) Stay socially connected – Never let your acne stop you from getting physically connected with your old school friends and colleagues and having fun with them. Well for now, we may need to physically distance - however you still deserve to connect with people virtually. Try your best to stay connected in a safe way.
5) Join an online acne community – Should you want to seek help from a trusted adult or others suffering from acne and are in need of encouragement, joining an online acne community can be a great option.
6) Do something you enjoy and love – You can still stay positive with your acne by focusing on doing the things you love such as arts, photography, hobbies, movies, practicing your cooking or any other interest you have.
7) Shun out or negative self-talks – You know what they say “we are our own worst critics.” Shun out any negative talk or self-pity you might be feeding your mind right now but instead give yourself the kind of love you deserve? Easier said than done, yes, but you’ll never know until you start trying.
Skin Positivity Quotes
There are a lot of skin positive quotes popping from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok coming from people who have or have had acne. Banish has always been promoting skin positivity and authenticity. Skin positivity means embracing and accepting your skin even if you're having acne or acne scars.
We're seeing more and more people – celebrity or not – posting images of their bare, acne prone skin with some inspiring words to live by.
Here are at least 6 skin positivity quotes to keep you inspired about embracing your skin and accepting that acne is normal:
"Reminder that acne doesn't make you ugly, a heart full of hatred does." - Hailey Wait, 18 year old artist and acne blogger
“Acne or not, you are beautiful"
"Your skin isn't your life, so don’t make it that way."
You are beautiful already. You don't need acceptance from others, you need to accept yourself. -Brian, @teamacne
Acne taught me to see beyond my outer appearance & In my darkest moments I had blamed acne... only to realise how I should thank it for changing my entire perspective on unrealistic beauty standards and the world around me. - Liz , @prettyprogress23
"You always see these 'perfect' people with the ideal skin and body visual on social media, and I wanted to spread the message that these people have flaws too, so don’t compare yourself to what you see online. Acne is OK, scars are OK, so don’t be ashamed of it!" - Leila Immanuel
“You should never be ashamed or insecure about your acne because it’s completely natural and you’re stunning with and without it,” – @Crunchylleaf
“All Skin is good skin” – Kali, @myfacestory
We all know that staying positive while fighting acne at the same time can be a difficult thing to do. But always remember that acne is normal, and you are never alone in this acne journey.
Don't let your acne or any other skin condition define you and your beauty.