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Self esteem and Acne

Community Member
I have quite low self esteem, that tends to fluctuate a lot. I'm in year 10, and everything is just so much pressure. I have a high forehead, my skin is oily in some patches and dry in others, but worst of all I have acne. It's at a mild/moderate level, but I have quite a few marks left on my skin from acne. My gaurdian said that I can go see a dermatologist in a month if it hasn't cleared up, but idk if I can wait that long. Even though people tell me my acne isn't bad, it's one of the worst in my year level at school, and as I've had it for 4 years now, it's made my self esteem terrible to a point where I've cried about it each day for nearly the past week. On top of that benzoyl peroxide doesn't work, my skin is waayy to sensitive for that. I just need to get this all out, and ask you guys how I can possibly cope for another month, potentially longer, without feeling ugly every time I look in the mirror. IDK if this is all irrational, but I hate looking in mirrors now because I can't deal with seeing my face and knowing how bad I look...
18 Replies 18

Community Member

Hi, I understand about the feeling of feeling ugly when we happen to look in a mirror. I do not even have acne but still know this feeling.

Anyway I know of someone who has very bad acne and is roughly the same age as you. And feels self conscious about it.

Have you heard of bentonite clay? This is a natural clay that you can put on your face, use it like a face mask pretty much. It draws out bacteria, oils and toxins out through the pores in your skin. I too have sensitive skin and I am unable to use chemicals. But my skin handles this clay really well. Maybe you could give it a try. I buy mine in bulk from a company called Blants. It is cheaper buying it this way. Buy it online here in Australia.

Also if you do not mind me suggesting. Have a check on what you are eating. Avoid refined sugars, dairy foods and other junk. Drink lots of filtered water. And if you can manage it. Make green juices with say baby spinach, green apples, lemon etc. Add cucumber too. It is super good for your skin. As is carrot juice.

And avoid using any chemicals on your face.

Not sure if that is any help to you. But I hope so.

Community Member
Acne and pimples suck. I am so glad you're going to a dermatologist because what they can do is so much more effective than cosmetic solutions. You can spend a fortune on products and they'll do nothing - maybe even make it worse. I know it doesn't feel like it, but the month will go by quickly enough. You're taking forward steps.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi this_aint_it_chief

Welcome to the forums and thanks for your post and being here. I am sorry that you are struggling with acne and I hear you; skin problems are such a struggle and a knock to our self esteem. I'm glad to hear that you're able to get into see a dermatologist, even if it is a month away.

As someone who has struggled with acne (not severe though), I think the best advice I could give is to try to be kind to yourself. Acne doesn't define who you are as a person or whether you're good enough in anyway - that was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. If you were to look in the mirror you'd see bad acne, but we would also see so much more to you.

From a skincare point of view, I found witch hazel kind of helpful? It's pretty cheap and great for sensitive skin. I think the other things that help too is changing your pillowcases often and getting a good makeup remover - because if you're applying makeup to cover it up it can be super heavy and clog your pores (if you're a guy who doesn't wear makeup ignore this 🙂 )

Hopefully this gives you some ideas. All else fails an advent calendar could be nice 🙂

Yeah, I actually use a bentonite clay mask once a week. It makes slight improvement, but not a lot. I try not to eat too much junk food, but i am trying to avoid chemicals. I'm just counting down the month now!

Community Member

Hi chief,

Having acne in high school is normal and no big deal, really. There are teens with worse acne, you probably just don't see them everyday at your school. From what you said, it sounds like your self esteem may be low because you're comparing yourself to others so ... stop comparing yourself 🙂 Your acne doesn't define your worth. Something that has helped me with my self esteem is to say something nice to myself in the morning like 'I love myself even with my acne and I don't care what others think'. Also, I limit how often I look in the mirror to avoid being reminded of my acne and not let it ruin my mood. Once in the morning when I'm getting ready is enough.

I've had hormonal acne since puberty and I was put on the pill really early as a result. I'm in my late 20s now, and I still have trouble with acne. I don't like messing with my hormones so I keep my acne under control using products. I don't know what the dermatologist will recommend to you, but the following routine keeps my skin clear if I follow it daily (it takes repetition to get the full results):

* In the morning, washing my face with water, drying with a microfibre cloth to avoid aggravating my skin, and applying a non-comedogenic (i.e. doesn't clog your pores) moisturiser to prevent my skin from over-producing sebum (oil).

* During the day, not touching my face to avoid transferring bacteria onto my skin.

* Before bed, wiping my face with Micellar water on a cotton pad, using a salycilic acid cleanser/mask and letting it sit for a minute, and applying a non-comedogenic moisturiser.

* On the weekend, using an exfoliating agent and charcoal mask.

If your acne doesn't clear up with a good routine, something I found to work quickly is retinol cream. I use it when my hormones fluctuate and I have a breakout. I use a higher strength cream, which requires a prescription. I find it's a good alternative to taking the pill. You need to moisturise well since it dries out the skin and also apply a non-comedogenic sunscreen everyday since it increases sun damage.

The fewer things you put on your face the better, I think. I've found the above ingredients to be gentle since I have really sensitive skin.

Hope this helps 🙂

Some good tips there scared monkey.

I too have super sensitive skin. I have never had issues with acne though. I am interested in the charcoal mask you mentioned. Anything natural and with no chemicals is the way to go for me.

Is it pure activated charcoal you are talking about? Heard it does help draw out toxins through the pores in your skin, and even draws out harmful metals like Mercury. Maybe it works similar to the bentonite clay?

Wish I could help you more. The person I know has quite bad acne. She is my neice and is16 years old.

She has tried a lot of things as well. I think something with honey in it. Anyway she still struggles with it. One time she stayed with a family that eats no dairy, so she did not have it for a while. Properly no meat as well as the friends were vegetarian. Her skin was so much clearer. You may want to try that for a week or so and see if there is any difference. No dairy that is.

Hi Shelley anne,
I've been using a mud and charcoal mask from L'oreal and the ingredients aren't listed on the jar (unfortunately I no longer have the box). I haven't heard about bentonite clay so I can't say if it works the same -- maybe you can clarify what the clay is supposed to do? The mask I use is advertised to brighten and draw out toxins and I've noticed my skin is calmer after I use it.

Hi ScaredMonkey,

Bentonite clay helps draw out impurities, excess oil and dirt from your skin. It works to fade blemishes, and draw out some of the bad stuff in your acne.