There’s a sentence I bet you thought you’d never see.
I had an idea to write about the benefits of having acne after one of my usual self-critical evenings, spent in the mirror poking and prodding my skin and shouting ‘I’ll be out in just a minute!’ but emerging half an hour later. I’d scour the bathroom cabinet to try and find a solution, as if I hadn’t read all the labels of the various sized and coloured bottles and tubes and tested them all before.
But this time something snapped. I realised that, in the grand scheme of things, my minor skin issues were just a small part of my anatomy that I didn’t like. My face might be one of the first things people see, but it doesn’t define me. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought about how lucky I actually am, I have no health problems, neither do my family. My acne is a phase, albeit a long phase I wish had ended before I went travelling, but it’s a phase none the less. And dealing with it, I hope, has made me a stronger person.
So here are the benefits of acne.
Having issues with my skin has helped me to empathise with other people. I find that I feel this emotion a lot, a lot more than what I would if I hadn’t experienced days where I wanted to do nothing more than lie in bed and not face the world. Empathy is important because it helps us to be kind and helpful human beings.
- More appreciative of the things I like about myself
In this day in age, it seems more acceptable to talk about what you don’t like about yourself rather than the things you like. How many times have you said to your friend ‘Actually, I really love my hair today’ or ‘I love the colour of my eyes’, it almost feels socially unacceptable. But having acne makes me grateful for the things about myself. I like my legs, I like my eyes. Whilst I’m dreaming of having someone’s clear skin, they could be dreaming they were taller or smaller, freckles or no freckles. Whenever I find myself feeling envious of other people, or down about myself, I remind myself of the good things about me.
- It’ll make you mentally strong
This wasn’t always the case, especially whilst living in Vietnam, but since I’ve been home I’ve tried to change to my mindset. Acne isn’t just a skin problem, it’s a voice inside your head telling you everyone is looking at how bad your skin is, you can’t go out because you’ll be the only person there with acne, what’s the point in wearing make-up when you can still see my scars. If you can control that voice inside your head, that takes mental strength. I learnt to control it with a book called The Chimp Paradox, recommended to me by a friend who loved it. Whilst The Chimp Paradox hasn’t totally removed the doubting voice in my head, it’s taught me how to control it and I can put this into practice with work and relationships.
- Good skin care
I’ve been aware of brands like Clinique and Clarins since I was an early teenager and I know it matters what you use on your skin and how important it is to not wash it with cheap chemical filled products. So having acne has given me an awareness and knowledge of skin routines, ingredients and brands that will help me even after my acne has gone.
- We age better!!!! (according to ScienceAlert.com)
Yes, according to this website, we’re protected against early signs of ageing! Although there isn’t a lot of research into this, scientists have found that women who experienced acne showed signs of ageing later. Yay, no botox!!! (https://www.sciencealert.com/good-news-people-prone-to-acne-are-protected-against-the-signs-of-ageing)
I’d love to hear what benefits you’ve realised through having acne 🙂