The struggle of having acne is real! As a former acne sufferer and current occasional breakout sufferer myself, I understand this struggle. It can leave you feeling isolated, unattractive, giving you low confidence and low self-esteem. If you currently have acne and feel alone and misunderstood – don’t! Here I have compiled 11 everyday struggles you go through when you have acne, to help you feel less alone. Remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and you will get through this eventually!
1) Waking up, looking in the Mirror and Feeling Low
When you have acne, waking up and looking in the mirror can be the worst part of your day. The familiar sinking feeling when you wake up to a new cluster of spots or breakouts seems to happen far too often. it sets a negative tone for the day and strips you of your confidence before you’ve even left your bedroom to start your morning routine.
2) Cleansing, Cleansing, Cleansing
If you have acne, you’ll be familiar with the dreaded, obsessive daily cleansing routine that just never seems to end! You constantly cleanse your skin within an inch of its life, using various face washes and scrubs, until it is dry and taught. Only then are you satisfied that your skin is clean! This routine is exhausting and tedious and doesn’t give you the result you’re hoping for, but you feel compelled to do it anyway!
3) Freaking Out When Someone Touches Your Face
Part of being obsessive with keeping your face clean when you have acne is putting up a militant style defence when someone attempts to touch your face. Most of the time, friends or partners nonchalantly touch each other’s faces without thinking anything of it. But when you have acne, the idea of having germs transferred to your face after hours of painstakingly cleansing it is unbearable! This scenario is Armageddon for an acne sufferer!
4) Non-Acne Sufferers Don’t Understand Your Pain
When you swiftly block your friend from touching your face, you then have to explain why you are being so uptight, because, well, they simply don’t understand the struggle of trying to keep your face squeaky clean and germ-free to prevent new spots! Trying to make non-acne sufferers understand the gruelling pain of having acne just feels like a lost cause – the response usually runs along the lines of ‘it’s not that big of a deal’ or ‘ it doesn’t look that bad’. Sigh.
5) Covering It Up
If, like myself, you hate applying makeup, then having acne is your worst nightmare! You feel inclined to apply layers of slap to cover up what you consider to be unsightly spots, as a favour to yourself and everyone around you. Spending time applying foundation and a full face of makeup takes up valuable time in your day you could use elsewhere. Oh, the pain.
6) Spending Money You Don’t Have On ‘Miracle’ Cures
Every acne sufferer will be able to relate to this in a solemn and regretful way! Having acne means spending every penny of your earnings or pocket money on purchasing countless acne products in the hope of discovering that one miracle cure that will make the acne vanish overnight. The reality is, there is no real miracle cure, but we live in hope!
7) Resulting to Desperate Measures
When you have acne, there comes a time when you get so fed up of using countless products and hundreds of home-made recipe’s to clear up your skin, to no avail. Eventually, this can result in desperation and taking desperate measures; I’ve heard of girls applying dangerous products such as nail varnish remover and detergent to combat their spots. I myself once got so frustrated with my acne that I took a pin and attempted to pop each individual spot. Unfortunately, this resulted in nothing more than a week of scabs, skin irritation and pain.
8) Damaging Your Skin With All The Harsh Products
Acne products can be extremely harsh and drying on the skin, often throwing your skin’s PH balance off and/or irritating your skin. Ultimately, having prolonged contact with strong products such as high dose retinol, Salicylic Acid and BHA’s can damage your skin, and sensitise it. I myself can no longer scrub my face or apply certain products as they severely irritate my skin, which has become sensitised due to years of harsh chemical contact.
9) Lacking Confidence and Having Low Self Esteem
Your skin is such a big part of your appearance. Arguably, it is the first thing people notice when they look at you, so having acne can really have a negative impact on your self-esteem and confidence.
10) Avoiding Social Situations
A normal part of life – teenage life and young adult life in particular – is attending social events. This could be anything from parties, to a cinema date with friends over the weekend. When you have acne, the chances are you’ll be having a bad skin day on the date you’re due to go out, and you’ll cancel as a result. You miss out on a lot of your social life when you have acne – this feels extremely depressing and unfair and can be difficult to deal with.
11) People Giving You Advice On How to Treat It
This is possibly the worst aspect of having acne. Often, people assume that you have bad hygiene or haven’t already spent countless hours a day researching cures and had sleepless nights fretting over how to annihilate it. They try to give you unsolicited advice on how to clear up your skin, despite the fact that they have never had a spot in their life. This advice is so frustrating and frankly, embarrassing!