Silver lining: Finding the positives of acne

I recently wrote a blog about my experience with acne. Whilst writing it, I was in the midst of a terrible breakout. I’d become a borderline hermit, not wanting to go anywhere or see anyone.

It might sound a little dramatic, but I was petrified of what people would think of the inflamed and swollen acne which was quickly spreading across my face. It’s easy to come across as super negative whilst talking about acne, so I thought it was time I turned that around.

Closeup of acne on girl's jaw and chin

I’ve been challenging myself to not see the process of having acne as a bad thing. Why not take the positives from it and make the best out of a crappy time? Here are the positives I’ve found in experiencing acne – and I challenge you to find some, too!

Just a little heads up that this post is from my old blog and was written around 3 years ago. A lot has changed since then and I’ve since successfully cleared my acne (and seriously improved my writing skills). It’s probably still worth a read if you’re experiencing acne, though!

Finding the positives of acne


Acne has shined the spotlight on my genuine relationships


Couple sitting in long grass and looking over blue sea

‘Your outer beauty may capture the eye, but your inner beauty will capture the heart’ cheesy quote of the day – but it’s so true!

I don’t want people to like me just for how I look. I don’t want to be appreciated by people just because I have nice skin (ha, I wish) or nice hair. I want people to remember for making them feel good, helping them… you know – those sorts of things.

I remember the people in my life who have cared about me, helped me, made me feel good about myself, made me laugh and been genuine towards me. On the flip side, I don’t remember anyone specifically for how they look. Get my point?

Additionally, I don’t want to be with a guy who likes me just because he thinks I have a pretty face. With acne, I know I’m with a guy who likes me for more than what’s on the outside. In fact, even when my skin is at its worst, it’s like he doesn’t even notice. How cool is that?!

That goes for friends, too. I know I have an amazing group of girlfriends at home because even when I’ve had clearly full-blown bumpy, foundation covered skin on a night out, they’ve always told me I’m looking good. I’m not going to lie, there have been a few people in my life, over the years, who’ve made inappropriate comments about my skin. Needless to say, I’m not close to them anymore!

Acne has made me a more understanding person


Girl in red bobble hat over the menai straits

If you read my last blog, you’ll know I’ve gone through my teen years hearing stereotypical comments and remarks which, at times, have made me feel bad about myself.

These were often comments about how I have acne because I sometimes wear makeup, brash assumptions like “well, I don’t have acne because I wash my face/eat healthily/take my makeup off” or, the worst one, whether my face is contagious. Yes, really.

But when you’ve been through something appearance-related that is totally out of your control, such as acne, you completely stop judging other people based on how they look. Now, If I ever see someone with a skin condition which you can physically see, I just think they’re brave, that they’re super cool for still rocking their life and that their confidence is downright beautiful.

I genuinely feel that having acne has taught me to be more understanding of other people’s ‘flaws’ and struggles. I don’t like to judge anybody on appearances or first impressions – you never know the struggles that could be going on behind the scenes.

Acne has allowed me to build a skill


Girl looking in handheld mirror with makeup brush in hand

I adore makeup. You can be creative with it, you can enhance your best features and you can cover up any temporary imperfections – if you want to, of course. I’ve got to the point where I’m able to cover up the most stubborn and swollen of cysts for a night out or special occasion, with makeup that will last for hours.

I think I’d be a makeup lover even if I hadn’t had acne – but having it has definitely forced me to push my skills to the next level. I often dream of doing makeup on a freelance basis, solely for people with skin conditions.

While you definitely shouldn’t feel the need to cover up your acne, makeup has definitely played a huge part in my personal journey with acne. It’s an amazing thing!

Acne has made me a healthier person


Pink table full of vegan food

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that a bad diet is the cause of acne. I’m more than aware that you could have the healthiest diet in the world and still have acne… and vice versa.

However, If I’d never had acne, I’d still probably be eating dairy, binging on crisps, devouring fast food all-too-often and getting through litres of full-sugar Coca-Cola. While a healthy diet doesn’t and probably never will cure my acne entirely, I have noticed that my spots and skin are far less inflamed when I’m consuming plenty of healthy wholefoods.

Dairy definitely plays a role in my acne, though that won’t be the case for everyone. As I’m also a keen animal lover and vegetarian (borderline vegan, to be honest!), this pairs very well with my values anyway. I rarely eat dairy now, and I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my skin. I guess my body just doesn’t like the stuff – so it makes total sense to listen to it.

Now, I eat super healthy – mostly plant-based, actually. I’ve felt so much better since – in terms of skin, mood and my physical health. I’m still gonna treat myself to some chocolate and fries every once in a while, though – it’s all about balance, right?

What positives has acne brought to your life?


Girl in Brussels with hair in bun and wearing raybans

Whether it’s acne or something else that makes you feel insecure, I challenge you to find the positives and leave them in the comments of this post. I genuinely believe that there’s a silver lining to everything in life – sometimes, you just have to look a little harder for it. 

You’re not defined by your skin, your body or your face. I know you’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. If you’re a nice person, you should be confident in yourself no matter what you look like.

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