Can you still be confident and have acne? Can you still love yourself whilst having acne? Can you still achieve your dreams and desires whilst having acne? The simple answer to these questions is yes, absolutely!
Society paints acne and skin conditions in a pretty undesirable light. We are taught that having acne is dirty or ugly. That obviously isn’t the case, but up until recently there hasn’t been any advertising campaigns showing serve acne or imperfections. You cannot blame people for thinking so negatively about acne. I’m not saying that acne is a great thing that we should actually want, but it definitely shouldn’t been seen as such an awful thing as it is very common and often pretty unexplained and cause by things that are pretty out of our control.
I get asked how I managed to still have confidence when my skin was at its worst. The truth is I didn’t always have that brave face on. Acne takes its toll on your confidence because it is something that is still perceived as shameful. But what if we changed our view of it slightly? What if we saw it as an opportunity to look deeper into ourselves and a chance to focus on loving yourself no matter what? For me this is what I used my acne for. I felt so low and lacked confidence at first but I was determined to take the positives out of my experience. I also believe that acne shows up at troublesome times in our lives (just my opinion) due to stress, so it really is a time to look at what you can change about your life.
My confidence grew the more open I was about my skin. It felt really liberating to go out without make up on and actually feel proud of myself for doing so. There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup but there is something magical about being happy with your skin no matter how imperfect it is. I grew tired of making excuses for my skin, trying to justify it and explain it. I had no clue why I was breaking out so much so what was I meant to tell other people! I stopped trying to make other people less awkward about the situation and just rocked it. Confidence isn’t a permanent thing, so I still had days that dragged me down, but on the whole I felt loads happier.
Before acne I loved myself on a very shallow level. I knew I was a good person and that I was relatively happy with myself but I was still far too critical of myself. I would look in the mirror and tare my body apart, I’d long for different features or different hair, I’d compare myself to people on social media and I’d actually be pretty horrible to myself looking back that makes me feel very sad. It took something like acne to make me great myself a little better.
As my acne worsened I was forced to change my perspective. In order to get by day to day I knew I needed to build myself back up. I needed to be my own cheerleader and start being a bit nicer to myself. I stuck little messages on my mirror. One said ‘You are enough’ the other said ‘You are beautiful’. I’d read them every time I went to the bathroom and I would really try and believe it. Self talk is so important. If I noticed myself being nasty in my head or obsessing over my skin too much I would try and stop myself.
Being kind to yourself is key. As well as the self talk, things like getting enough sleep, eating healthily, exercising regularly and relaxing. When you’re dealing with acne it isn’t a time to beat yourself up, it’s a time to nourish yourself. Diet and acne aren’t always linked, I tried going gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and tried drinking celery juice for a month but my skin continued to worsen. So when I say a healthy diet I mean getting enough fruits, vegetables and nutrients as well as the things you enjoy. With regards to working out it can be so daunting going to the gym when you are breaking out but please don’t let that stop you! If you really can’t face it go for a walk, do some yoga or a home workout. Do something that will get your body moving and feeling good! Your mind will thank you for it too.
Acne is an opportunity to learn so much about yourself. It shouldn’t stop you from living. Just because you have some spots it doesn’t mean that you are not worthy or shouldn’t achieve your dreams. You are still just as entitled to happiness as anybody else. The world we live in is a very superficial and scary place. Perfection doesn’t exist but maybe it is are chasing it. Get comfortable with your flaws? Great your body well and take care of your mind. Believe in yourself and don’t let anything stop you from being you. I’m grateful for all the experiences I have had in my life because they have taught me so much. Good can come from bad situations if you open your mind and believe in yourself.