The Realities of Living with Acne + How I’ve Come to Accept It

By: Amina El Farouk

“I would be pretty if I didn’t have bad skin, I know I would be” has to be the one thought that never leaves my mind.

That’s just one of the many thoughts I was used to have when I left the house, I could be in a rush, jumping into the shower for a 2-minute rinse, running to catch the bus to school with my bag in one hand and a cup of coffee (aka breakfast) in the other, and I would still find time to have the shameful, “I hate my skin” thought. I’m not proud of that, but it’s true.

It took me 2 years to make peace with my acne but now that I have, you know what? Life is way better, it hasn’t been an easy road, but I’ll tell you how it happened.

What did I decide to do? I decided to live with the acne, to make peace with it, and to accept it. I decided my skin wasn’t worth all these tears and grief and that treatment would come when it came. Why did this happen when it did? I’m not quite sure. I think something in me just snapped. I think I realized that allowing my skin to rule my life was just not something I was OK with. And now I don’t. Here are a few things I’ve kept in mind that have helped me get over this pesky insecurity.

I used to always ask my friends the same infuriating question before leaving the house: “is my skin like, too bad?” I see now that is possibly the most immature question in the history of forever, but my self-consciousness would get the best of me, always.

Sure, getting ready to go out with my friends can be painful sometimes, but once I’m finally in the presence of the people I love, I feel comfortable and my real characteristics start to show; my humor, my thoughtfulness, my awkwardness – the things that make me, well, me. Your personality shines through and it definitely masks whatever skin ordeal you’re going through. 

I’ll admit it, there have been times when I’ve sighed and been like: “what’s the point of even trying to dress nice if my skin looks like this?” Take my advice and push those thoughts aside immediately and remember that you deserve the absolute best! Dress according to how you feel on the inside, even if the inside is still shy about what people might think.

People might stare, people might even be rude enough to call you out in a public setting — unfortunately there’s  the occasional “kefaya chocolate” – but just shrug it off, don’t dwell on it, and definitely do not allow yourself to overthink it. Don’t call attention to it by making it seem like it’s the worst thing possible; instead make it seem like its something that happened, that will hopefully go away, and that could 100% be worse. Because trust me, it could be worse. Real talk: acne sucks, but it’s not so bad, it may be a part of you, but it never defines you. Stand tall, be proud, and take care of your skin without growing frustrated with your acne’s progress, when it comes, it comes.

Take care of yourselves and don’t allow anyone to bring you down, especially not yourselves!

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