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De-Stigmatizing Acne: How to Feel Confident in Your Own Skin

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

Acne. We’ve all heard it. We all get it. And we all dread it. But what if it’s not something we have to fear? Instead of thinking about it as a bunch of ugly zits, what if we thought of acne as a natural process that ends when those teenage years are over?

Ok fine! We all think acne sucks, but complaining about it won’t get us anywhere.It suredidn’t help me out in the seven years that I’ve struggled with acne.When puberty hits, it’s going to happen. In fact, 80% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 will experience some form of acne. Knowing that you can expect this can help you accept your acne and move on.

To put things in perspective, here are a few myths that people think are causes of acne.

You’re not getting enough sun

That’s right people. Acne flare-ups do not mean you need more sunlight. A study published by Family Journal found that there is no correlation between sun exposure and acne improvement. Plus, an article by the American Academy of Dermatology says that the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage skin and prolong the existence of acne. Although the sun can make pimples less noticeable by drying out the sebum, this causes the skin to produce more oils which makes your acne progressively worse in the long run.

you’re not washing your face

News flash: Acne is not actually caused by neglecting to wash your face. I would wash my face twice a day and still wake up with a cluster of zits the next morning. Washing your face several times a day is not good either. This can strip the essential oils from your skin causing your face to start overproducing sebum which means more acne.

Now this doesn’t mean you should never wash your face ever again. Once or twice a day is fine. A third cleansing is not recommended unless you got sweaty from a workout.

You’re not using over-the-counter products

Just because you pick up a skin care product that claims it will vanish those unwanted zits like magic doesn’t mean it’s true.

Even dermatologists recognize this. “Most skin-care products are kind of a scam,” says Jules Lipoff, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, in a 2019 report from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

So instead of buying whatever facial product you come across in the store, check its ingredients. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and azelaic acid are just some examples of ingredients that actively treat pimples. Keep in mind that these only work for mild forms of acne. More severe types such as cysts and nodules will need a dermatologist’s touch.

Now that you know all this, what actually causes acne? Well, the problem can be summed up in three words: hormones and genetics. And guess what they have in common? They’re factors you can’t control. Sodo yourself a favor: establish a mindset. Acne doesn’t define you because they aren’t truly a part of you. They’re blemishes that fade with time. And while your acne is along for the ride, embrace it! Pimples are signs that you’re body is in a development stage, and in the end, you will emerge as a more mature, confident young woman.

Hi! I'm Chiara and I'm an English major at TCNJ. When I'm not writing for Her Campus or frantically typing up an article for The Signal, you can find me reading, hanging out with friends, or curling up with my cat and watching a movie.