By Nida Sheriff
I’ve struggled with acne my whole life, or I suppose since the age of 12–13. I’m 26 now. Not the “mild” acne that means you get one pimple now and then. I mean pretty bad acne with oily skin, huge pores, bad scarring, and blackheads and whiteheads that pop up at the most inconvenient (and embarrassing) of times. My skin is bad enough for people — strangers — to comment on, and for me to have rock bottom self esteem for all of my teen years up to this very moment. I’ll always be embarrassed by my skin.
So I poured my heart and soul into two podcasts to let others know that I’ve been through the same thing — and yeah, man, it fucking sucks. I understand. I get it. You hate yourself and want others to love you. People have said some pretty horrible things to you. People who you wanted to like you, just as you are.
Dealing with acne is really, really hard. One young man on an acne.org forum said that, in desperation, he took a ball of steel wool to his face. There have been times where I’ve thought about doing the same — or worse.
But, here’s the thing — I’m pretty sure people out there who have been blessed with “clear” skin haven’t bothered, or won’t bother listening.
Here’s why they should.
1. People with clear skin don’t know anything about acne.
Zilch. Zero. Nada. People with clear skin don’t know why acne occurs. There are dozens of different reasons, and you’re ignorant about all of them. Drinking warm water every morning is not going to get rid of my PCOS, so it isn’t going to get rid of my acne either.
2. People with clear skin are not qualified to give advice for acne.
If you don’t know the first thing about it and have never experienced it, how can you tell others what to do about their acne? It can be harmful and even dangerous to do this.
I see a lot of Youtubers who make tutorials for face masks/scrubs to “get flawless skin”. Some of these can be harmful, like baking soda or lemon juice.
3. People with clear skin, please stop bringing up our acne.
We know you care and you want us to be happier, but every time you bring up our acne, whether it is to make fun of us or to try and help us, it’s simply reminding us of our flaws. All we want is to be loved, as we are.
4. People with clear skin think they are doing something “right”, and people with acne are doing something “wrong” to get…