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Acne and Self-esteem

Everybody who’s had acne for any significant length of time knows that it can leave you physically and emotionally scarred.

That's because acne and self-esteem are closely linked.

This might not come as a surprise to you if you've been dealing with acne for a while now.

Especially going into your adult years, you're likely more aware of how adult acne can make you feel when you’re out and about.

And if you've been feeling sad, ashamed, or anxious because of your acne, then you might have low self-esteem.

While this is unwanted for anyone, the good news is that knowing and accepting is the first step to resolve these feelings.

I will say that knowing how to stop acne breakouts will go a long way in feeling good about yourself.

And inside SkinTalk, I share actionable tips that will move your skin in the right direction.

But today we’ll stick to when you have acne and want to improve your self-esteem.

Acne and Self-Esteem

Acne and Self-esteem

When you have acne, looking in the mirror can be such a trip. 

You see your face dotted with red and white bumps, some parts covered in blackheads.

It's easy to look negatively at your reflection and feel down about your skin. Especially when you can't remember the last time you've been acne-free.

All that has got something to do with how acne affects your self-esteem. It can make you feel bad about yourself and leave you with physical and emotional scars. 

But you know what? It doesn't have to. You can definitely be confident and have a positive self-image despite acne.

Why is healthy self-esteem important?

Acne and Self-esteem

Self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself—the value you place on yourself. [1, 2]

Having healthy self-esteem means you feel good about yourself. You believe you deserve the respect of others. You are confident in your abilities. 

But you can also recognize your flaws. You have an accurate and balanced view of yourself. [1, 3]

Meanwhile, having low self-esteem means you place little value on yourself.

You think other people are better than you. You're very critical and negative of yourself. It's also common for you to feel sad, ashamed, and anxious. [1, 2]

Developing healthy self-esteem can help you live your life to the fullest. You'd be surprised how much self-esteem contributes to the quality of life,

It's going to be a lot easier to feel successful at work and in relationships if you view yourself positively. You're also likely to set realistic goals for yourself.

So you're setting yourself up for success every time and find it easy to forgive yourself even if you don't achieve success.

With how important healthy self-esteem is, acne's negative effect on it is a cause for concern.

How does acne affect your self-esteem?

Acne and Self-esteem

Acne can affect your self-esteem by messing with how you see yourself [4]. 

Society and social media surround us with the message that women are expected to have clear skin. And that this is a major factor in achieving success.

We hear this message preached like gospel so much that it becomes the standard we set for ourselves. And by this standard, acne makes us lesser compared to those without [4].

With how widely accepted this view of acne is, it can seem impossible to break away and change how you see yourself.

The negative impact of acne on your self-image can be so detrimental that it drags your self-esteem all the way down.

Low self-esteem can even make it hard for you to take care of your skin properly. You can get stuck in thinking that there's no point and that you don't deserve healthy skin.

But it doesn't have to be that way. 

How can you improve your acne and self-esteem?

You can improve your acne and self-esteem.

Knowing that you're struggling with self-esteem is the first step. Accept this and do your best to address it.

Also, know that developing your self-esteem is a life-long, continual process. [3

You won't wake up one morning with healthy self-esteem. You need to put in the effort to get healthy self-esteem and keep it.

The same goes for acne. Whether you have mild acne or severe acne, you'll need to put in the effort to improve and achieve healthy skin.

Again, if you aren’t exactly sure how to go from breakouts to healthy, clear skin, consider signing up for SkinTalk.

So, let's look at what you can do to improve your acne and self-esteem.

Get your acne under control

Acne and Self-esteem

This might seem like such a given. And of course, our goal is to take care of your self-esteem, despite acne. 

Knowing and making sure you're doing your best to get acne under control means one thing less to worry about while you work your way towards healthy self-esteem. 

Sure, your acne may still flare up while you're improving your self-esteem. But you can hold your head up high in knowing that you are taking care of your skin.

If you want to know more about getting acne under control, this post outlines the 3 “buckets” acne treatments fall into: skin care, diet, and lifestyle.

Look at your skin in a positive light

Acne and Self-esteem

When you have acne, it's hard to think positively about your skin.

It's hard not to compare your skin to those you see online or even people you know. You see their seemingly perfect, unblemished skin. It can even lead you to think, "Why me?"

First things first, you need to remind yourself that there is no such thing as perfect skin. What you see online is the product of perfect lighting and photo-editing tools. 

And with acne, the truth is that while acne is a common, chronic skin condition, it’s highly controllable.

Acne affects everyone differently. The treatment of acne will differ among acne sufferers.

But whether your case of acne requires short-term or long-term treatment, you can comfort yourself in knowing that acne is temporary if you follow what I teach.

Yes, people you know have clear skin now. But there was a time when most of them had acne, too.

Focus on the things you like about yourself.

Acne and Self-esteem

One way to improve your self-esteem is to make a list of your best traits. Like your work ethic, your sense of humor, or your generosity.

You can also list all the things you like about yourself. Then put them in a place where you can see them often.

Maybe on the first page of your journal, a corner of your corkboard, your phone's home screen, or your computer's desktop. 

Doing so will help you appreciate yourself bit by bit. You’ll need to be patient. The important thing is to focus on building your strengths and accepting your weaknesses.

Instead of focusing on all the things you hate about yourself, or all the things you wish you could change, focus on all the things you like about yourself, even the things that may seem small.

It might seem self-centered to constantly think of your best traits. But this is actually a way for you to learn to value yourself.  

Practice positive self-talk

Acne and Self-esteem

Negative self-talk can be detrimental to any person's self-esteem.

When you constantly tell yourself that you're a “fat, ugly, stupid, a failure,” you start to believe it. You believe that the negative opinion you have of yourself is true.

This is a very unhealthy way to think about yourself. And the solution to negative self-talk is to replace negative thoughts with positive, realistic, and healthy ones.

Positive self-talk is a way of talking to yourself that focuses on the good things in your life and your abilities.

When you do this, you can help yourself feel better and give yourself a boost of confidence. That way, you're more likely to overcome any situation you are in.

A good way to begin positive self-talk is to repeat positive affirmations. For example, when you see yourself in a mirror, repeat:

“I am beautiful, acne and all.”

“I am smart.”

“I am strong.”

“I am courageous."

Reminding yourself that you deserve to be happy and have self-confidence can be one of the best ways to improve your self-esteem.

One of the simplest ways to do this is through positive self-talk. Make it a part of your daily life.

Seek out a support system

Acne and Self-esteem

Support systems can help you cope with acne and improve your self-esteem.

You can learn a lot from other people who have gone through the same things as you, and whose acne is under control.

There's comfort in being with people who understand what you're feeling and what you're going through.

For example, talking to others in support groups reduces anxiety, improves self-esteem, and helps members' sense of well-being overall [5]. 

If in real life support groups are not doable, join Pretty Blooming’s community like SkinTalk where you receive actionable tips to control your acne, plus uplifting messages each week. 

Just a tip for joining any online forum: take the acne advice with a grain of salt.

Always do your own research, or get your information from a reputable source like Pretty Blooming where everything is based on scientific research. 


And to end this post on a high note...

There is no reason for acne sufferers to sacrifice their quality of life because of acne. You can have healthy self-esteem despite acne.

I hope this post helped show you that. Remember that every day is a new opportunity to care for your skin and develop your self-esteem.

Repeat after me:

"I am more than my skin. I am more than my flaws and mistakes. I am a valuable person, worthy of love and respect." 

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