I’m Tired Of Being Embarassed About My Acne

I’m Tired Of Being Embarassed About My Acne

flowerThe title to this blog post says it all. I’m so tired of being embarassed by my skin condition. For me, this is the worst part of getting acne, the embarrassment that goes with it.

I don’t understand why acne is the number one disease that causes so much of this feeling of embarrassement. Is it because it’s considered a teenage condition that’s linked to hormones and puberty? It can’t be the fact that it’s on our faces because then we’d also be embarrassed by freckles and moles and mosquito bites on our face but we’re not ..well I’m not anyway. I have a lot of freckles and a couple of moles on my face and I’m not embarassed about either of those. I even have a larger than average nose for a girl and that doesn’t bother me at all. Nor does my big teeth or my eyebrows if I’ve forgotten to shape them. There’s just something about acne that causes so much embarassment.

I go through stages of not caring about what I or other people think, and I stop wearing makup. I love these moments of consciousness because it gives me some freedom to stop focusing on my skin and to start focusing on whatever life brings me in the present moment. I don’t know what knocks me back into being shy and embarassed about my skin again, but I wish I could remain in those consious moments and stop making such a big deal about a few spots.

Lately I’ve noticed a pattern with Mondays. For some reason I feel particuarly bad about my complexion on Mondays – I have no idea why. So this morning when I woke up and stumbled into the bathroom and peered at the mirror only to let out another groan and a big sigh that my spots hadn’t miraculously disappeared in my sleep overnight, I reminded myself that it was Monday and I’m always down about my skin on Mondays.

I would love to stop this pattern and to remain fully in those conscious moments where I don’t care. I have had advice from a select frew of very wise people who have told me that in order to fully recover from a condition, I need to stop empowering it by giving it my full attention. I need to stop constantly thinking about my acne and staring at it and willing it to go away, and start filling my mind with thoughts of wellbeing and well …anything that does not define ‘Fran’ as ‘Fran with acne’.

Imagine having the freedom to get on with your life without worrying about your acne right now.

Think about it. Most acne treatments take weeks, sometimes even months to work effectively. I’m seeing a dermatologist tomorrow and I know for a fact that any treatment they give me is going to take a full three months to maybe work at clearing my mild acne. I don’t want to define my happiness with how well my skin is doing, and wish those three months away so I can be at the other end with clear skin. I want to be happy and consioius now!

So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to shake off my usual pattern of feeling down about my skin on Mondays, and every time I start to think about my own skin and acne, i’m going to stop those thoughts in their tracks and still my mind or devert it elsewhere. I’m going to stop dreaming about the future and the moment where my skin is 100% clear, and start focusing on being happy in the present moment. Because when all of this is over, I’m going to look back on this time and I won’t even remember what it was like to have acne, and I’ll be laughing at myself and thinking how silly it was to define my happiness with how well my skin was doing.

I’m going to try. It will be hard, but I’m going to put all my effort into it because I’m tired of my life revolving around my acne and I’m soooooooo ready to move on. Writing this article has made me realize how ridiculous my actions are, and how I’m wasting my life away spending so much of my energy being depressed and embarassed about my skin.

I truly believe that beauty radiates from within, and whether you’re male or female you are beautiful no matter how bad your acne is. I have seen both men and women that I’ve considered to be absolutely stunningly beautiful, and they have had acne! What makes them beautiful is how strongly I could feel their inner beauty and their confidence which literaly radiates from within. I’m going to work towards being like that :)


31 comments… add one

  • Jaime

    Even with having acne for 12 years and counting…with its ups and downs…I know I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t trust in God. When I didn’t trust in God, my life was a mess of depression and never feeling good enough. Today, I have joy, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t get upset about my acne. It’s so hard. What bothers me most is that I eat healthy, I exercise, I do everything right on the inside and yet the outside gives the illusion that something is wrong with me on the inside.

    My acne has been bad these past couple of months after being fairly clear for about 6 months. I am trying the oil cleansing method and just praying that it does something. Thanks for the encouraging word though. True beauty does radiate from within. However, I think the radiance is greater when the skin is at its best.

  • Violet

    I’ve been struggling with my skin for the past 9 months. i moved back to this country and my skin has been crazy and all over the place. I never have my entire face full of pimples but it’ll be one that takes awhile to heal and then leave a mark. My main issues are hyperpigmentation and scarring on my cheek. I’m especially obsessed with the scarring, it has gotten me so down. I wear more makeup than I ever did. So far I’ve gotten my skin care routine pretty good, but I still feel so bad about my skin. I’m trying to remain positive!! Sometimes I feel more free when I wash my face and can let it breathe. I’m really self conscious but have let my boyfriend see me without makeup but that’s at night and in the morning I feel pretty shy. I want to stop fixating on my skin and somehow smooth out my skin. I know I need to learn how to be happy but I feel like people are looking at my flaws, and the fact that I can’t cover it up all the time.

  • nayeli

    Hi fran.thank u so much for this article.i have moderate acne and sometimes seen my pimples stress me so much!! I have learned not to focus on my acne but focus on my happiness. I am marry and my husband still love me with or without acne. He has help me alot too. He advice me not to worry about my acne. Is been so hard to see my acne but step by ste I learning to be better and happy.

  • Emily

    Hey Fran!
    I just found this little article of yours,and it blew me away!I have mild acne,but sometimes i get quite a flare up around my mouth or on my cheek.I’m embarrassed to be around my boyfriend because of it.I’ve been to a dermatologist about it and,of course,she gave me the “oh it will work in a few weeks” lecture.The thing is,it really has gone away,but not to where I only see a small pimple on my nose or something like that..I get so stressed about the way I look and I wish i could just wake up and find it all gone.
    Thank You so much for writing this!! :D I hope you are having a wonderful day <3

  • Sophie

    Hi Fran,

    excellent post, I concur completely!! :) I’m an artist in my final year at fine art school this year and a lot of my work revolves around cultural codes of ‘beauty’. For an essay assignment I argued that the cultural codes of beauty were far too narrow and not fair on the average person. I then argued it needed to be replaced with another kind of ‘beauty’ and this is exactly the one you have described here. Also good health and well being are more beautiful than a fully made-up face! :) Thanks for the encouragement, Fran :)

  • Es muy difícil conllevar el acné.

    Ojala te recuperes. saludos!

  • Tamar

    Thank you for posting this, Fran. It hits the mark perfectly. I feel exactly the same way. And what Chrystine posted is crazy similar to how I feel as well. I often feel that my acne is a mark of how “bad” or how “good” I am–that’s it’s shameful and I ought to feel guilty. It’s a terrible habit that I’m working on uprooting.
    Thanks again!

  • Michele

    Thank you for writing and not erasing your blog Fran! I read the whole thing through and it’s what I needed this morning. We watched the movie Morning Glory last night and while i was noticing the beautiful skin of the lead actress, i was mourning the state of my blotchy and acne distressed chin and arms. The stark contrast between her smooth white skin and mine made me feel sad. Silly, I know. Then, this morning, your email came over and it’s given me a real brainful to think about! I am me and worthwhile even tho I have spots. And, noticing something is not the same as obsessing about it. So, I am with you; going to make a conscious effort to stop thinking FLAWS and get everything out of life that i can. Fellow acne-survivors, courage!

  • Yah, I hear you!
    One thing I can’t really agree with though, is that if you are going to think about your skin… Then it should be positive. Your skin LOVES compliments. When you tell it it’s beautiful and your happy it will clear faster actually ^^ I started the meditating thung and positive thinking two days ago and my skin looks a fraction better actually.

  • Jeff

    Wow. I’ve been depressed about my acne for last few months. It’s gotten so bad Ive stopped being social and just started hiding from people. i stopped going out on the weekends cause i was to embarrassed, i lost many of my friends because i didn’t feel worthy enough to talk to them. this has truly inspired me. “beauty radiates from within” i have long forgotten about that. Starting right now im going to try to live like this, and i hope the quality of my life will get back to normal. This is the first online article that actually spoke to me. Thank you for this.

  • Stella Jervis

    You know what? I’ve been wasting my time today (and other days) googling “rosacea, rosacea, rosacea,” trying to figure out how to get perfect skin. What else is that I waste so much money and so much time on it–when I could be living my life! Well. I have made a decision!! I am no longer going to worry about it. That’s right, I am fasting on rosacea thoughts. It’s going to be tough, because there is so much emotion surrounding my skin, but I am going to actively try. I mean, it’s the perfect time, since my diet is solid and healthy, and my skin care is pretty good too. From now, I’m just going to LIVE! Deep breath. Whew!

  • Artee Jhumun


    I still have acne around my mouth and cheeks. I have tried several times home remedies but never goes. What to do? I have applied a paste made of lemon juice, yogurt, cumin powder and gram flour

    Please help

  • Thanks for this! I’ve been going through the same emotional processes this week and I’ve decided to save all the energy that I waste worrying about my FACE and put it into being the most beautiful SOUL that I can be. After all this is what attracts me most to other people!

  • Ross

    Hi Fran, I completely agree that directing your attention away from acne means you think about it less and consequently it won’t bother us as much BUT surely we should direct our efforts toward achieving a well-defined goal (perfect skin) because our bodies subconsciously work to find what it wants to believe.

    So when we believe that we can attain perfectly clear skin our mind generates ways of achieving it. Then shouldn’t we be thinking about getting perfect skin afterall?

    kind regards,

  • Patsy

    Hi Fran. My name is Patsy and I am 14 years old. I know you wrote this articles about 2 years ago, but I just stumbled upon it this very minute. About a year ago I started to get the occasional pimple. But around 7 months ago, them pimples turned into acne. I can admit that I started to get depressed. I would cancel going out with friends, and I would hide in my room all day, embarrassed to socialise with my family. I often do that now but not as much as I used to. Reading this has actually changed my views on myself now! You really are an amazing writer, I hope I can be like you someday!

  • Thanks Jordan :) I know exactly what you mean about you’ll start “living” when your acne is clear. But please trust me – when your skin is clear you’ll start worrying and focusing about something else. The BEST thing you can do is get your mind off your skin and start to focus on being a happier and healthier you. So get out and do some exercise, look after your body by eating well, join a yoga class, meditate, spend time with friends ..do anything that fills your life with happy stuff. Before you know it you won’t care about your skin at all.

  • Jordan

    Fran I just wanted to let you know that i think you are the most amazing person, for dedicating so much time to helping other people, and for sharing all that you know. I can relate so much to what you say in this article, about wishing away time..i wish away time like its my job, I say to myself every night..ok this will be the night, i will wake up tomorrow with healed skin. If the product says I will see results in 3 months, i will say to myself ok that’s when ill start living..doing all of the things ive wanted to do. i am going to stop putting my life on hold, and suck it up

  • well, isnt that ironic that your best friends never notice your acne? i know mine does not and i feel free when i am in her presents
    o fran i loved this post and i desparatly have been trying to do this very thing! and surprising i have been doing good about not caring about the spots on my face
    and this guy i have a fatty crush doesnt seem to notice it, but even if he does, it really doesnt matter to him….i can tell i am accepted in his presents no matter what. he is amazing and makes any situtation comfortable. is it not nice to have loving, accepting friend?

  • Evelin

    I’ve been trying not to focus so much on how my face looks.. but it just doesn’t work out for me.Before I wasn’t really depressed as I am now and I’ve had acne for about 4 years.I always imagine how life would be if I didn’t have acne and it really makes me depressed.All of my friends have clear skin and they always ask me why I don’t take care of my skin, and they just don’t understand how much work it actually takes to do it. Whenever I go to the mall and we go into some make-up store, I get so uncomfortable because I hate looking at myself in the mirror.It’s so hard to not concentrate on my face.. I think about it 24/7 and it hurts a lot.Sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night.I don’t want my life to be this way anymore, I’m tired of it.

  • Amanda

    I love that you took the time to write about something so many of us are feeling.

    I feel into the same pattern.. on friday night when everyone was going out I would look at myself knowing the other girls would be stunning and flawless. I would be bumpy and embarrased.
    It took me a while to get my head in the right clouds when it came to my skin. My father asked me one day why I looked so down and I commented that I had another break out. He smiled and said “then fight it by cheering up… whack back at your hormones”.
    At first I thought he was nuts, but it turns out the same hormones that cause depression can cause your acne to flare up. So I do my best to stay posetive and not to worry much about my skin (in any condition)

    “If you feel pretty you are pretty” means something totally different to me now. =)

    Thank you for your videos I really enjoy them.

  • Hi Fiorella, if you go to my ‘ask a question’ page (follow the link in the top nav bar), then there’s a support email address you can send to that goes straight to me.

  • Fiorella

    Hi Fran! Yes, I’ve gone through the same U_U It’s most freaking when you seeeem to have finally achieved clear skin and then you realize that the one before left something or the next day you get another one and starts all over again. You told me I could send you my picture.. well I’ve just taken a pair! :$ Just wondered where to send it?? also I heard on a local radio (I live in Perú) about a all natural dermatological treatment and I’m soooo going to see him! take a look http://www.homeoderma.info/
    It’s in spanish though hehe but it seems really neat, hard to find here! In my country there are so many herbs and stuff that with the big wave of natural curing there have been many “health” stores opening in the past two years!!
    I’m also going to try some sort of classes to relax myself from university stress. I was thinking of belly dance… hehe! Well good luck with the treatment and don’t feel guilty, you just want to really feel good with yourself :) All the roads lead to Roma they say! Choose the best ;)

  • Andrew

    Hi Fran! I just found your videos on youtube and have practically watched EVERY one of them! You have no idea what kind of support you are giving so many people! You described me and my skin perfectly in the article. I still can’t believe there are people out there who feel the exact same way as me. My life has been completely controlled by acne, as I am still a teenager, I haven’t been sleeping over at friends houses, in fear of not being able to wash my face by missing a treatment. Or avoiding photographs, because I’m afraid of how they will turn out, and also avoiding being around people in general. This article has helped so much! Thank you for all your videos and posts.

  • Kyle

    Thank you so much for this! It makes me feel so good inside. I’ve said it before, I love reading your articles and watching your movies. It’s really nice to be able to hear from someone who is into this with me. Thank you so much and good luck finding yourself!

  • Hi Susie, I LOVE your philosophy …and I think you’ve described it perfectly :)

  • susie

    Hi Fran I just wanted to thank you for writing this post it makes me feel better to know that there are people out there who are feeling the same insecurities as I am. I just wanted to let you know that I have adopted my own philosophy about acne as well. I feel that if we do not give it so much attention (but still take care of our body as a whole! exercise, eating right, low stress, having fun, and lots of sleep) and we constantly see our own inner beauty and stop obsessing about our acne.. the acne WILL go away… By ignoring our flaws and keeping focused on loving ourselves our problems will disappear… I hope that made sense =) anyway thanks again for the post!

  • Hmm, yeah it’s a strange one. My closes friend (is a boy), and he just doesn’t notice acne. We bumped into a friend of his the other day at the markets which he has a huge crush on, and she was just gorgeous. She had long wavy blond hair, and was wearing a long hippie skirt and a black tshirt. AND no makeup.

    Anyway, she had red spots all over her face, I’d say mild-moderate acne. And guess what!!?? When I mentioned this to my friend later, I said …I had drawn inspiration from her because she was so confident and didn’t seem to care about the spots on her face. And he was like ..’what spots?’. He did not even see them. So strange ..and this is the same with everyone, he just doesn’t see acne on people unless it’s REALLY bad.

    And I remember what it was like before I had problems with acne, I never noticed anybody’s skin so I never even thought it was a problem for adults. Now because of what I do I look at EVERYBODYS skin and I’ve noticed that 1 in 3 adult women have acne. How did I not notice this before? Because I didn’t even see it in people.

    It’s so strange, I guess we’re so obsessed with skin that we can’t help but notice it ..

    And you’re totally right – there is a silver lining and I’m so much healthier for it too :)

  • Lindsay

    Very true about the happiness level being directly related to the condition of my face. I don’t agree, however, about people being perfectly beautiful with acne- not to say we aren’t beautiful, but acne is just the annoying little something, the “but” of it all- as in, “She’s pretty…she’s slender….she’s got a great smile….but she has acne.” I just feel I’m not the best version of me with acne.

    The silver lining here is that having acne has forced me to change my diet and the products I use to more healthy and natural, which is beneficial in a lot of ways..

  • Hi Chrystine, I did a video in YouTube to refer people to this article. In the video I talked about how I got my hair cut yesterday and I really enjoyed being pampered (I go to a funky hair dresser that gives detox teas and head massages) ..and it took all the focus off my skin. And I felt so great after it.

    It made me realize that, well maybe just us girls, can go off and get our hair or nails or something done, and remind ourselves that we’re beautiful and we’re not just a few spots on our face :)

  • Chrystine

    Wow! You described it perfectly! I so TOTALLY define my happiness by how my skin is doing! I even catch myself being somewhat “happy,” and then I look in the mirror when I go to the restroom, and my spirit immediately plummets. :( Sometimes it’s hard to ignore my acne or focus on something else because it physically HURTS; I can’t just ignore or forget about that. And I judge myself as a bad person who is getting punished or something. It would be lovely to spend my energy in a different way. Thanks for writing about this, Fran!

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