What NOT To Say To Someone With Acne

I've suffered with horrific acne for a large portion of my life. I was fine up until a certain age and then all of a sudden, BAM, my body transformed into one giant spot and it has been like that ever since. So, as one of the billions of people on Earth who has spots, I know how horrible the whole thing can be. There are a lot of things I want in life but spots are not one of them.
I've had many experiences of people making comments on my skin that weren't particularly welcomed. I get that, sometimes, people don't intend to be nasty. The comments people make about your skin don't always come from a bad place as they do just, occasionally, have your best interests at heart and feel as though they can help you get rid of your spots or reassure you that it isn't the end of the world, although, I think some people without acne need to realise what not to say. I think some people ought to understand that it isn't necessary to pass comment on someones skin, or just their appearance in general. If you're someone who has a tendency to do this, before you do it again, consider whether what you're saying is needed. Will your comment about your friend's acne get rid of it instantly? Will it make them feel amazing about having spots? Probably not. If someones acne isn't harming you, it isn't your concern. Most of us get it and it really is just a part of life so just accept it for what it is, it's always going to exist and, mostly, people can't do anything about it and they should not have to apologise for the condition of their skin.

There's uproar whenever someone body shames or points out things like physical disabilities so why should it be any different when it comes to acne? Your appearance has nothing to do with anyone else and I really dislike how spots have become such a thing. I'm not saying that you aren't allowed to feel self-conscious and I'm not saying it's wrong to hate your skin, you have every right to feel how you wish, however, I don't think people would feel so ashamed of their skin had acne not become such a 'taboo subject.' Acne is beautiful, it isn't an imperfection, and you should all just embrace it as it only adds to your beauty and uniqueness.

Below is a list of things that you really should avoid saying to someone with acne and, if you have any of these said to you, call them out for it! You shouldn't have to tolerate people passing empty comments on your appearance. At the end of the day. it's who you are and you don't have to make excuses for it. Just try thinking before speaking.

1) You've got a spot there.

Erm chances are, they probably know about it and, by pointing it out, you're only reassuring the person that it's noticeable. It would be like someone saying to you "OMG YOU HAVE A NOSE ON YOUR FACE!"

2) You eat too much chocolate.

Acne can be caused by a wide variety of things, not just junk food. Most of the time, spots are caused by other things. Plus, how are you to know what "too much chocolate" is? That person probably eats just as much junk as you yet drew the short straw when it came to clear complexions, that's all! And why shouldn't a person with spots be able to enjoy chocolate just as much as everyone else? It is not up to you to question or decide their lifestyle choices.

3) You should wear make-up.

Again, define "too much make-up?" If a person with acne wants to wear make-up to make themselves feel more confident then that is their choice and they shouldn't be made to feel guilty for doing so. Even if make-up doesn't really impact on their confidence and they just enjoy wearing it, that's cool too! Make-up is a magical thing that can be used in all sorts of creative ways and, just because your canvas isn't as blank as some people's doesn't mean you can't decorate it. It is never up to you how much make-up someone wears and it is wrong to assume that make-up is the reason for their acne.

4) Wearing make-up doesn't help your skin, you know.

Likewise, if an acne sufferer chooses not to wear make-up, then that is also their choice, which they have every right to make. We ought to be celebrating skin confidence, not shaming people for it. Why are we making people feel ashamed of their skin and as if it's something too precious to show in public? It's ridiculous! We do not need to hide our face. Yes, we can use make-up to have fun, enhance our natural features and make us feel great about ourselves, but we never have to feel as though it's something we must wear. If you don't wanna wear make-up then don't bloody wear it. Rock the natural skin and if people don't like that, it's their issue, not yours, you do not have to change.

4) Have you tried using...

I can't speak for everyone but, personally, I have tried every product under the sun to try to remove my spots and, chances are, if someone suffers severely with acne, they're probably the same. Nobody wants acne, typically, and so they probably are trying things that will help. I know this one can be tricky as you probably have nothing but good intentions and feel as though you're helping, that's sometimes the case, however, its important to remember that you aren't a doctor and different products work for different people's acne. If a person wants to know more about spot treatments, they'll ask, just don't push them on it and make them feel like you want to get rid of their acne so you don't have to look at it.

5) Wash your face more often.

Believe it or not, most people in the world do wash their face and do it without needing to be told. Also, washing your face alone isn't going to miraculously get rid of your acne. You may assume that washing your face gets rid of every ounce of dirt and BOOM spots GONE! But not, as previously mentioned, there are hundreds of causes of acne and sometimes, no matter how many times you wash your face in the day, they just won't go, other methods are required. That would be like you getting a tattoo, wanting to get rid of it and me saying "just scrub it in the shower."

6) It's just a phase, you'll grow out of it.

Yeah, some people do just grow out of it, sometimes it is teen acne, but are you a fortune teller? I thought not. I know this is, once again, only said to reassure a person that acne doesn't last forever, which it doesn't, however, it is impossible to know whether you're just going through a phase. Adult acne is a thing too and a teen may have it for decades before it finally all disappears. Plus, by convincing them that their spots will be gone by the time they're twenty, if said spots are still there in later life, you're just setting someone up for disappointment.  By telling someone that they'll "grow out of it" you aren't doing anything to help their acne right in that present moment. You may as well just say "shut up and get on with it." Spots just go when they go, there's no way of knowing. If you grow out of it, great, if not, that's okay.

7) That white head it HUUUGE!

Ahh a lovely little reminder that Jupiter has made a home on my face, thank you, I had absolutely no idea! White heads are the worst and you're only making them worse by pointing them out. Not everyone wants to squeeze them to please other people's eyeballs, some people just leave them to go on their own, and they can be painful. They can sometimes even come about during the day without someone knowing and your comment is only bound to make them feel self-conscious. Pointing out someones insecurities is never cool so just don't do it, okay?

8) I never get spots.

Congratulations? Well done? Shall I applaud you? Would you like a medal? Or a trophy? Chances are, by telling a person with lots of spots that you never get spots you're just going to make them feel crap and it isn't going to make their spots go away. Would you approach someone with no legs and say "I have legs." No.

9) I don't get why it bothers you so much.

I understand that you're just trying to boost someones confidence and reassure them that spots aren't the end of the world. however, for that person suffering, they can be a pretty big deal. It isn't as if spots are freckles on your arms that you can cover up with long sleeved clothing, they're on your ACTUAL FACE, AKA the thing hundreds of people look at on a daily basis. Its always nice to gives someone a compliment and be supportive, but there are ways to do it. Its not nice to know that people feel insecure but remember that everything in life is relative and they have every right to worry about their skin. It's a big thing for them and one comment like "I don't get why it bothers you" can make them feel silly, as if they're worrying for nothing. We all have a right to feel whichever emotions we like, happy or sad.

10) Are you drinking enough water?

To reiterate, you are not responsible for anyone elses lifestyle choices. Plus, drinking water isn't going to get rid of spots alone, just like washing your face won't. Sure, it may help, but remember that it is up to the acne sufferer how they go about things and which treatment methods they use. It is never up to us to comment on the way anyone else lives their life. If you're concerned, there are ways of getting that across without sounding rude.

11) Have you thought about going to see a doctor?

A lot of people with acne have seen doctors, personally I've probably seen every Doctor and Dermatologist in my country. Just because you haven't been told about it, doesn't mean they aren't taking steps to get their skin back under control. Acne is a public thing because a lot of people can see it but its also a private thing as it is a personal struggle may of us face every day and not everyone wants to scream and shout about it. Sure, offer your advice in a friendly way, but don't force your suggestions onto anyone and just let them deal with things in their own way.

12) You're still really pretty.

Wow, thanks. Nice of you to tell me that...

I hope some of those stick in your mind. If you do suffer with spots, all over your body or just a couple here and there, your skin is still just as beautiful as that of someone who is completely spot-free. Do not feel as though your spots are ugly or that they make you ugly as they are simply a part of who you are, they make you unique, they're just an extra feature. They'll go some day and you have total control over how you deal with them. Don't feel pressured into doing or not doing things you aren't happy with and don't let the opinions of others impact on how you see yourself. All complexions are wonderful. <3

Love, Emily :) xx 

1 comment:

  1. This is so relatable, Emily. I have suffered with spots/acne ever since I was around 11 (I'm now 19). This post was such a great read. Thank you so much for writing it. I hope some people take note!!

    Lots of love from Mollie xxx | http://wwwtheperksofmolliequirk.blogspot.com