Do you ever wonder why you still battle acne, even when you’re not a teenager anymore? The difficult truth is, dealing with acne doesn’t stop when you become an adult. In fact, it eventually becomes a part of life and can actually occur in people of all ages.
It’s one thing to have bumps and blemishes on your face and other parts of the body. But, it’s a whole other thing to deal with their effects that go beyond the physical aspect. Acne is not just a cosmetic or vanity problem; it’s a mental struggle, too.
Acne and mental health
One minute, your skincare routine is working; the next, a zit appears out of nowhere. Then, you spend hours agonizing over what might have caused it. Something in your skincare regimen? Your sheets? Your food? There can be a lot of factors, but the mental and emotional impact is all the same. Plus, the more severe your acne gets, the worse you think and feel.
The British Journal of Dermatology’s research shows that those who have acne are more prone to depression. General practitioner and aesthetic doctorZoya Diwan of Trikwan Aesthetics says, “Many patients complain about difficulty in leaving the house, lack of confidence in their jobs and relationships and the daily effect skin can have on their mood.”
These effects can ultimately lead to depression with symptoms like loss of appetite, lack of energy, and feeling worthless. You tend to just withdraw to yourself and avoid people. Even worse, you can become the subject of bullying, inciting further your fear of being seen or judged by others.
Along your acne journey, you might meet your worst critic: yourself. As you deal with body image and self-esteem issues, you search for ways to look and feel better about yourself. You think of growing your hair long or using makeup to cover your breakouts. Layers of foundation or concealer sound like a “quick fix.” But, actually, your skin can get worse and more irritated from too much makeup,according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, is someone who’s battled acne herself and has experienced firsthand its negative effects on mental health. “As an adult, people tell you how well you are doing professionally, but you judge your own success by the state of your skin that day.” She even adds that even when your skin has its “good days,” your mind always dreads or worries about when the next breakout will appear.
Beating and treating acne
No matter how much acne affects you, the good news is that you don’t have to live with it forever. Yes, there are actionable care steps to help beat the negative effects, and reclaim your healthy skin and mental health!
Part of the acne battle is the mental aspect. While the feelings of shame, fear, and unworthiness don’t go away overnight, you can actively beat them over time with positive and kind words of self-affirmation. When you look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself something like, “I love my skin and I will treat it with respect.” or “My acne doesn’t define me.” You’re a good and radiant person, with or without the blemishes, and it boosts your motivation to look and be healthier when you’re your own #1 cheerleader!
Your lifestyle can affect your acne, too. Being kinder to yourself also means taking care of your body better. Stress is a big factor that contributes to breakouts. Itheightens your cortisol levels and triggers your sebaceous glands to produce sebum. So, allot time for exercise and wellness, and make sure to get enough hours of sleep, so that your body can relax, rest, and restore itself.
According todermatologist Ivy Lee, MD, a healthy diet can also help with treating or preventing acne. It still needs further studies, but research has shown links between acne and food with high glycemic index (processed carbohydrates and sweets). It’s recommended to have a well-balanced and antioxidant-rich diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein.
You don’t need a skincare routine with at least 10 steps, especially when you’re treating acne. More often than not, less, but effective, is more; it all just comes down towhat you use. Here are some of our tried-and-tested picks for nourishing skin while getting rid of acne:
Treating acne and making breakouts disappear require not just skincare effort, but physical and mental efforts, too. Believing that you can beat the acne blues goes hand in hand with taking care of your body and skin. With the right mindset, lifestyle, and skincare products, you can #ChooseBetter for your skin and be even more radiant!
Want to know more about healing breakouts?Meet these effective, skin-loving ingredients!
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