does acne make you ugly

When you’ve been dealing with acne for so long, it’s very possible you’ve asked this more than once: does acne make you ugly?

And it’s completely valid to ask this. Society has led us to believe that having acne makes us undesirable, unattractive—ugly.

I remember watching an ad on TV for a toner.

This guy sees a beautiful girl and says how she’d be perfect if only she didn’t have acne.

And take note, she only had one pimple (a tad big, yes, but just one!) on her cheek. The girl hears this and her sister gives her the toner.

You’re only desirable if you’re spotless. Great message!

That’s just one of the hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of marketing ploys that prey on the insecurities of women.

And we’re left wondering, does having acne make me ugly?

Where does the acne stigma come from?

acne ugly

The skin is such a prominent feature of our body. So, it’s often used to tell our health, age, and background [1].

And we can’t deny how the skin affects our perception of attractiveness.

When it comes to attraction, a lot of the factors can be traced back to our innate desire to find someone who we believe is a good mate. Humans, after all, are sexual creatures [2].

Someone “healthy-looking” will be attractive to us because chances are, someone healthy will be a good mate.

And when we think of a “healthy” person, certain features come to mind: “bright” eyes, proportioned body and limbs, clear, smooth skin, etc. [2]

Acne is basically infection manifested on the skin. So, it’s easy to see how acne can be seen as ugly. It’s far from the clear, smooth skin we associate with a healthy person.

So, does acne make you ugly?

acne ugly

Yes, acne itself is unattractive. That’s why we’re working so hard to get rid of it.

But acne definitely shouldn’t be a reason for you to think you are ugly.

The thing is, acne is a common skin condition.

About 85% of people between 12- and 24-years old experience at least minor acne, according to American Academy of Dermatology.

With how almost everyone gets acne, has had enough personal experience with it, or even know someone struggling with it, it would be petty to judge someone because of acne.

And chances are, most people (especially, good people) can look past your acne.

They can recognize that it’s a temporary skin condition. They will find you attractive regardless.

What can you do when acne brings you down?

acne ugly

Give yourself a healthy dose of self-love every day.

It’s true what they say, we are our own worst critic. We tend to judge ourselves more harshly than others.

I think we’ve all been there. We spend so much time in front of the mirror, picking ourselves apart.

“I have another pimple today, lucky me.”

“These blackheads on my nose looks so gross.”

“My pores are so fricking huge.”

We see everything that’s “wrong” with us, until we’ve reduced our confidence to rubble.

But you know what? Acne will come and go. It can even be gone for good. Scars will fade.

You are more than your acne. You are more than your skin.

Acne positivity is on the rise.

For the past few years, acne positivity has been on the rise [3].

A lot more people, including celebrities, are advocating for a more positive view of acne.

They’re posting bare faced pictures, displaying cystic acne, inflamed red skin for everyone to see.

If you ever feel like you’re alone in your fight against acne, leave the “perfect” side of social media and hop on the acne positivity train.

Check out Instagram accounts like Kali (@myfacestory), Sofia Grahn (@isofiagrahn), and Lou Northcote (@lounorthcote) for a healthy dose of acne positivity.

Don’t let acne dictate or rule over your life.

I know that’s easier said than done. It can be so difficult to see past our faults and imperfections. It can be so hard to love yourself.

But even small steps, taken each day, can lead you to fully embracing who you are—acne and all.

As long as you’re doing your very best to care for your skin and yourself, there’s no reason for anyone to shame you for your skin. And definitely no reason for you to think your acne makes you ugly.

So, chin up beautiful! 

About the author 

Valeria

Valeria Dzhodzheva is the author, full-time acne coach, and content professor for Pretty Blooming. In 2016, Valeria completed her Master of Science (MS) in cold Denmark, and uses her newly gained skill set to translate acne research into plain English. She has a baby on its way, and that makes her cat Snow jealous.

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