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Like many, I have been battling acne since middle school. It feels as though the kind of acne I have is always changing and in the last year it’s gotten worse, leaving more scars than before. As a self-proclaimed internet kid, I have probably watched every single YouTube video that exists about acne and skin care in the last 8 years. However, something I’ve been seeing gain more attention is influencers who promote embracing your natural skin and the wonderful scars that sometimes come along with acne. Since middle school, I’ve been telling myself “don’t worry you’ll feel pretty when your skin is clear again.” I’m here to say I’m done waiting, because I’m pretty as fuck with imperfect skin. Seeing others share their experiences has helped change my perspective on acne, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite Instagram influencers spreading acne positivity.

1. @ayeshairoffical 

I discovered Ayesha Amir’s content on Instagram a couple months ago, and what really caught my attention was the versatility of accepting her acne while also showing herself put on a full face of makeup. The reason why this resonated with me was because most times I’ve put on a full face of makeup I instantly washed it off, disgusted by how textured my face looked compared to the unrealistic airbrushed pictures we see in mainstream media. I really appreciate that Ayesha promotes embracing your bare skin but also a full-face of makeup, textures and all.

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2. @tomatofacebeauty

Vanessa, who is the wonderful person behind @tomatofacebeauty, is a personal favorite of mine for several reasons. I relate a lot to her story of struggling with acne for so long and going through high and low periods with the severity of her acne. Her captions reveal a genuine honesty about how these transitions with her acne have affected her self-confidence in relation to certain markers in her life, which is honestly just really relatable. Personally, I find that I am the most impacted by influencers or celebrities who I can relate to.

3. @selflove_aida

Aida does an incredible job of normalizing acne while sending the most positive vibes you could imagine. I love that she talks about finding confidence and self-love while trying to find comfort in your acne because honestly, the struggle is real. The other thing I really appreciate about her account is her progress tracking through the different products she uses. It can be really discouraging when you’ve been using a cream/medication/product/etc. to target your acne and weeks go by with little visible progress. Above all, she focuses a lot on a positive mindset in terms of how you view yourself, which is something I, and a lot of us, need reminding of.

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For the last 8 years, I’ve fallen into this cycle of getting my acne somewhat cleared up and convincing myself that the end was near and I would soon be “pretty,” only to wake up a few days later with a fresh set of breakouts and have my self-esteem kicked down once again. I understand how frustrating acne is; I’ve tried special diets, DIY remedies, birth control, prescription creams, and almost everything imaginable, but find myself back where I started. Feeling less resentment towards the way I look has made the lows of my acne journey have less of an effect on my self-esteem.

Sofia is a sophomore majoring in NPB at the University of California, Davis. She is a strong advocate for normalizing discussions about mental health. Sofia is originally from Corvallis, OR and loves the outdoors. She enjoys listening to podcasts, staying active, learning about the world, and eating pineapple dole whip froyo with fruity pebbles at Yoloberry.
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