Taking care of yourself while living with bad skin

There’s lots of info out there about how to clear up bad skin (diet, exercise, seeing a dermatologist, etc.), but do you know how to treat yourself kindly while you’re still living with it?

This can help if:

  • You feel bad about your skin

  • You're experiencing bad skin

  • You want to know how many people experience bad skin

Bad skin

Stop judging yourself

Did you know that up to 85 per cent of Australians will develop acne (either on their face, back or chest) during their lifetime? This means that if you’re experiencing bad skin, you’re in the majority. We know that it can feel like everyone’s judging you because of your pimples or acne, but the reality is that most people are more interested in who you are as a person than in your skin. The important thing is that you don’t judge yourself. Know that you’re human and beautiful, flaws and all.

‘What really helped me to live with bad skin was the support of my partner. Everyone around me was always suggesting that I do this or that, despite it never working. My partner was always there to tell me “It's ok”, and that I shouldn’t let the opinions of others affect me.’ – honky

Remember: it's not forever

Regardless of whether you have a few pimples, or full-blown acne, breakouts are really normal. Although it can seem like it’s taking forever, it’s highly likely that your skin will improve with time. Like most things in life, this too shall pass.

‘I was constantly comparing myself to others in almost every aspect of my life. It was so damaging to my self-esteem and self-worth. I remember being terrified that the giant angry red spots that had invaded my face would be a part of my life forever, but it DID clear up after a couple of years.’ – Roseanna

Challenge negative thinking

If you think that others are judging you because of your skin, there are ways to challenge these kinds of negative thoughts, such as:

1. Ask yourself questions that act as a reality check, such as: ‘What is the proof for and against my thinking?’ and ‘Am I jumping to negative conclusions?’

2. Ask yourself questions that seek different explanations, such as: ‘Are there any other ways I could look at this situation?’ and ‘If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?’

3. Ask yourself questions that put things in perspective, such as: ‘Is there anything good about this situation?’ and ‘Will this matter in five years’ time?’

‘My tip would be just to accept it and focus on the things you can do to help control it, and try not to worry about what you can’t control.’ – Jrt14

Work on positive self talk

How you talk to yourself has a big impact on how you feel. Negative self-talk is saying something to yourself like: ‘Everyone thinks I’m ugly’, while positive self-talk would be more like: ‘My friends appreciate me for who I am.’ You really do have to practise positive self-talk, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Your skin’s imperfections don’t define you – you are so much more than just your physical appearance.

Remember: Bad skin is just a part of being human; it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

What can I do now?

  • Talk to like-minded young people on our forums.

  • Read more about coping strategies.

  • Challenge your negative thinking.


Body image