No One Wants Your Unsolicited Skincare Advice

Unsolicited skincare advice. Guess what? No one asked for it, because no one wants it. Unless you’re a dermatologist, you shouldn't be telling people how to “fix” their skin.

Since the day I got my first period in the sixth grade, I started breaking out – not horribly, but to the point that I thought I needed makeup. That was 10 years ago.

My acne has always been hormonal, so with every period came a new breakout, and with every breakout came someone with flawless skin telling me what they thought I should do to fix it.

By the time I reached high school I’d tried everything. Natural remedies, prescription drugs, Proactiv, if you can name it I’ve probably given it a go. By my junior year I was taking Accutane, which is the last resort, holy grail, cure-all oral prescription for people with severe acne. When nothing else works, Accutane is supposed to be the answer.

After my first stint with the drug, it seemed my acne was cured. I had minimal breakouts, and any that I did have were pretty subtle. I went off to college with confidence in my skin that I hadn't felt in such a long time. For the first time in years, I didn't feel like I needed to cover my face in makeup the moment I got out of bed in the morning.

That didn't last very long.

By November of my freshman year of college, my acne returned – much worse than ever before. Never in my life had I dealt with full-face breakouts. I thought my teenage breakouts were in the past, but when I looked in the mirror I could hardly recognize myself. I couldn't bear to see myself without makeup, let alone have other people see me with a bare face. I was so embarrassed to be around my new friends in my dorm sans makeup, yet I was just as embarrassed to be the girl who wouldn't go anywhere without applying a face of foundation.

Soon enough, I was back on Accutane – this time with a much higher dosage. Now, Accutane isn’t for the faint of heart. A few of the most common side effects include severe back and joint pain, partial blindness, severely dry skin (imagine your lips, quite literally, peeling off every day), and best of all – depression and suicidal thoughts! I cried pretty much every day during my second round of Accutane. Lots of fun.

Add people giving you skincare advice that you never asked for on top of all that and you’ve got a real recipe for happiness and self-confidence!

Obviously, everyone I meet can’t know that I’ve suffered from hormonal acne for a decade, and most of the people who’ve offered me advice over the years are well-meaning, but that doesn't make it any less annoying.

It’s so frustrating when someone you barely know, or even someone who’s a close friend, says something along the lines of “You know what worked for me? Coconut oil!” First of all, if you’re slathering your face in coconut oil, you’ve probably never visited a dermatologist. Second of all, hearing comments like that over and over gets old very quickly.

People tend to assume that acne sufferers just don’t know how to take care of their skin, which is very rarely the case (and is super offensive). When someone has acne, it’s natural to want to make it go away, so of course they’re already going to have a top-notch skincare routine in hopes that it’ll clear up.

It’s humiliating and exhausting to constantly have people offering their two cents about your face. It’s one thing for someone who’s also had severe acne offer you advice, but it’s another when people with glowing skin who get maybe one pimple a month are throwing ideas that you never asked for at you.

The point here is that when you think you’re doing a good deed by telling your friend about that article you read on Buzzfeed about curing breakouts, she’s probably internally rolling her eyes. If no one is asking you for advice, don’t dish it out. It’s that simple.

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