Dealing with acne is hard. And dealing with it on top of the rest of life’s struggles, like work and relationships amongst other things, can feel overwhelming.
Sometimes, it’s hard to separate the acne we experience from our personal identities. It’s easy to let acne feel like a part of our identity big enough to impact the rest of our lives– and even let it negatively affect our mental health.
But it’s so important to remember, you are not your acne. Your identity is strong and powerful among all things! Here is more information about the relationship between acne and mental health, and tips to keep thinking positively.
Acne and Mental Health
It’s not uncommon to get in your head when you’re experiencing skin struggles.
Along with the self-consciousness that can surround breakouts, anxiety and depression, among other mental health issues, can appear alongside acne. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, in the first year following an acne diagnosis, patients have a 63 percent increased risk of developing depression compared to patients who did not have acne.
Acne has also been said to impact the way we socialize with others. In a study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, it was stated that acne and acne scarring impacted the way people present themselves in social situations, as well as even impacting the clothes those with acne chose to wear
What to Do If You’re Struggling
If you feel like your mental health—whether that is anxiety, depression, or a negative self-image—is impacting the way you live your daily life, it may be worth reaching out to someone to receive help.
Luckily, therapy is more accessible than it has ever been. Resources like Better Help and Talkspace offer affordable, professional therapy from anywhere.
Surrounding yourself with skin positivity is also a great way to combat the negative associations we’ve been conditioned to think about acne. If you’re on social media, following acne positive accounts, like isofiagrahn’s Sofia Grahn , Evelyn of normalise.acne, and Taylor from taylor_unfiltered, will help you unpack just why we feel so bad about ourselves when we experience breakouts. We are not our skin and there’s nothing inherently bad about acne!
To take skin positivity a step further, separate your acne from your identity. Keep a journal and jot down three things you love or like about yourself everyday.
Conquer Skin Positivity But Still Ready To Tackle Acne?
When it comes to your acne, it can be hard to know what is causing the breakouts and in turn, difficult to pinpoint a solution. One thing that is important to remember when your skin isn’t being agreeable is that sometimes, less is more.
First off, if you have access to a dermatologist, visit them! If your acne is persistent, painful, or deep, a derm can provide the help you need.
If you’re looking for additional acne insight, you should keep your skin care routine simple. Don’t over-cleanse or use products with harsh ingredients.
Dermatologists recommend using gentle cleansers with an active acne-fighting ingredient like salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that clears excess oil and dirt, or benzoyl peroxide, which guards against inflammation and kills acne-causing bacteria.
It can be tempting to steer away from moisturizers if you have acne-prone skin, but it’s just as important to hydrate skin with acne as skin without it, to maintain balance in the skin barrier. Look for a lightweight moisturizer with an anti-inflammatory agent or extract with antioxidant properties, like this Mugwort Cream by I’m From.
Avoid picking at your acne and skin. An easy way to aid this is utilizing an acne patch, like The Klog’s Soft Shield Pimple Patch. Physical shields helps keep your hands off your acne!
If you can’t seem to figure out what products to use and when for your acne, reach out to your dermatologist and have a conversation about the next best steps to take for your skin! And the same goes for your mental health, never hesitate to reach out and ask for help when life feels difficult, no matter the reason.
Remember, you are not your acne and you are worthy of all the happiness!