Written by Chloe Brundish

Acne is something that many, many people have to deal with on a daily basis, but no matter how long you’ve had it, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. It doesn’t just affect teenagers, unfortunately, adults can be affected too and this sometimes has a negative impact on work lives.

Anxiety is a major side effect of acne, as your skin is all that you think about and it takes over your life. When you’re at work and you hear a group of people laughing, you will think that they’re laughing about your skin, or if you hear colleagues whispering, you will think that they are gossiping about your appearance. You will always be worrying about other people’s opinions of the things you do and how they can affect your acne, such as your lunch. You will worry that people are judging your food as they might think that certain foods could make your acne worse; this is the same with makeup and covering up your breakouts as many people believe that makeup makes acne worse.

More than half of employees in their 20s with acne say that having clear skin is an important factor in them doing well in their careers. Many people feel that their colleagues with clear skin will advance more quickly in their careers or that their acne has prevented them from getting promotions.

78% of people think that interviewees who have acne or acne scars are less likely to be hired based on their appearance, which can severely knock their confidence and makes them less likely to want to go to another job interview.

Acne & Its Impact on Mental Health

Acne can have an extremely negative impact on your mental health whilst you’re struggling with the skin condition and even afterward too. This can lead to you not wanting to leave the house as you worry about what people will think of your appearance. This applies to the workplace as well, as you will be worried that your colleagues won’t want to socialise or befriend you due to your skin.

Acne affects more than 50% of women and 3% of men between the ages of 20 and 29 and this can occur even if you haven’t had any skin problems before. This can severely knock your self-confidence making you less likely to want to go to work or go for job interviews.

‘The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that more than 75% of women felt like acne lowered their confidence and more than 10% said that they skipped work because of their breakouts.

People suffering from acne are 63% more likely to develop depression compared to people who have clear skin. This affects their work life as they don’t have the strength and energy to get themselves out of bed or out of the house to go to work. Many people try and work from home when they are experiencing breakouts and many actually call in and don’t go to work because of breakouts (12% missed going to work in 4 weeks).

‘The British Skin Foundation’ found from a study that 20% of the 2,299 people they surveyed, who suffered from acne, had thought about or attempted suicide.

“When you’re open and transparent about your acne, it lets people know you accept who you are. You’re not bothered by your acne, and when you’re not bothered, there is less power in judgement from others.”  – Dr Jenny Yip

The Acne Positivity Movement

Celebrities, models, and popular social media influencers who are viewed as having perfect, clear skin are posting photos on their social media accounts of their bare, unfiltered faces that feature acne and acne scars for all of their followers to see.

Acne brands such as Starface, Zitsticka, and Banish are also attempting to normalise acne and stop the shaming through their social media.

There are a lot of acne-positive influencer accounts on social media that regularly post selfies to show the reality of someone who has to live with the skin condition and they also post motivational messages which could really help someone who is feeling sad or angry about their skin. They do this to hopefully reach an audience of people who need to realise that acne is normal and has nothing to do with being dirty and not washing your face.

While social media can be a damaging place for your mental health, there are many benefits to sharing your skin struggles on platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok. Your posts could help so many people who are going through the same skin journey as you and make them realise that they are beautiful and that they don’t have to hide their skin just because it isn’t clear.

Find out more about the Acne Positivity Movement here –



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