I spent my teenage years fantasizing about growing up and finally moving past my terrible teenage acne stage. I was excited to have the career of my dreams, my own home, and one day have flawless porcelain skin. Little did I know that my teenage acne would stay with me right through my twenties and, as I move into my thirties. The joys! My acne journey has challenged me, exhausted me, upset me and as I got older it gave me courage, confidence, and acceptance of my skin. It also made me realize just how important it is to have a skincare routine that works. Not a routine that works for your best friend or Aunt Karen, but works for you, your skin type and skincare needs. If you find yourself in the middle of your twenties, going into your thirties and you are still dealing with acne, remember you aren’t alone. Here’s to embracing acne positivity.
Adult acne, teen acne, the difference, and everything in between
We tend to think that acne is only for young teenagers and as we grow older we will move past that awkward acne teenage phase but for many of us, our acne stays with us well into our late twenties and thirties. The International Dermal Institute shows clinical studies have proven that 40 to 55 percent of the adult population between ages 20 to 40 are diagnosed with low grade, persistent acne, and oily skin and according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 54 percent of women over the age of 25 have some form of facial acne.
These days, adult acne is on the rise and triggered by hormones and stress, and, because of this, it can occur at any stage in our lives. My stage has continued since I was twelve. So fun! Let us not forget the monthly hormone fluctuations that create the perfect breeding ground for adult acne.
The difference between teen acne and adult acne is teenage acne commonly have acne on their forehead, cheeks, chest, and shoulders while those with adults tend to break out along their lower face, jawline, and neck. Adult acne also seems to be more aggressive than teen acne.
Normalizing acne, feeling worthy and embracing my acne positivity
As someone who is almost thirty and still dealing with acne, I have often found myself feeling less worthy, unattractive, and out of place in a room full of people with clear skin. Those with fewer scares, fewer acne spots, and no pigmentation. I would fantasize about one day not having to worry about covering up my acne and being able to head to the shops with a bare face without being asked if I washed my face. Yes, I have been told on numerous occasions that I should wash my face more as if all of us that deal with adult acne isn’t doing that already.
One thing I have to remind myself of daily is that the spots on my face do not determine my worthiness to be in a room, to leave the house with no make-up on, or to receive an amazing job offer. The fact that I have acne and the next person does not mean I am unhygienic or don’t wash my face enough. My happiness does not rely on how your skin looks and neither does anyone else’s.
Acne is normal. My acne is normal, and as I head into my thirties, trying to manage and deal with it daily I no longer feel stressed, anxious, or nervous to walk in public with no makeup on. I choose to embrace my skin and how it looks at the present moment.
When you feel your acne getting you down, repeat these:
- My acne does not make me less worthy or beautiful
- My acne does not define me
- My spots tell my story, a story of courage, growth, and worthiness
- My happiness does not rely on how my skin looks
- My confidence does not rely on how my skin looks
Embracing acne positivity is a powerful movement. My skin tells a story, my story and it’s a story of growth, courage, and confidence. That’s what I choose for myself when I think about my acne and so should you.