Acne is Not Ugly

Conceptual of problems on womans skin

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Conceptual of problems on woman’s skin

Mallory Reid, Staff Writer

All my life I was told that acne was something that was not normal and not beautiful. Whether it was from face wash commercials promising to “clear your acne in less than a week” or makeup products that made your skin look “perfect,” society was always pushing the idea that acne was something to get rid of. But why is society shaming people for something that is so normal?

According to UC Davis Health, 85 percent of teenagers get acne, yet it’s still something we’re ashamed of. Personally, acne has been a part of my life since middle school and it was always my biggest insecurity. As it got worse and worse towards the beginning of high school, more and more people would point it out, increasing my insecurities and making me feel like I had to do something to get rid of it.

As I tried everything my dermatologist recommended, from creams to antibiotics, nothing seemed to work. It wasn’t until this year when it started to get really severe and I developed something called cystic acne, which is usually not cleared up with the typical face wash. In my case, it wasn’t even cleared up by prescription medicines or acne creams. It got to the point where even showing my face in school was something that I was so insecure about. After five months of dealing with cystic acne, I contemplated whether or not to go on Accutane, one of the strongest acne pills you can take to achieve clear skin. Its symptoms can be pretty severe but it was worth it to me so I could meet the societal standards of “pretty.”

I decided in January of 2022 to start my Accutane journey. Now three months later, with my skin mostly cleared, I can say that acne is not something that I, or anyone, should ever try to hide. I assumed that once my skin was cleared, I would be way happier and all my problems would go away. In reality, acne had nothing to do with that. Acne is something that so many people struggle with and it needs to be normalized, especially having first-hand experience with it. While being in high school, confidence is something that I – and I think a lot of people – struggle with, but acne should not be anyone’s insecurity. Acne is normal and acne is beautiful.