Body positivity has expanded from merely body shapes and sizes to no-makeup selfies. We take a look at the reason that going bare faced can be such a big thing.

Just when we thought we’d left a life of unreliable, unpredictable, and quite frankly, irritating skin back in our teens, we get struck with adult acne. Just the thought of dealing with our teenage skin for the unforeseeable future is beyond stressful. We’re not talking about the odd spot, or even a series of them that set up camp on your chin every now and again. We’re talking about full-frontal adult acne.

Luckily, in 2019, the era of opening up about our insecurities and making them into something positive, acne, and many other skin conditions are being promoted as something that we shouldn’t hide or be ashamed of. We spoke to Dr. Adam Friedmann, a consultant dermatologist at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic London about the causes and possible solutions to it.

So what is it exactly that causes acne? Of course, it varies from person to person, no two of us have the same hormonal reaction, diet, skincare or beauty routine. Dr. Friedmann explains the technicalities behind what causes these kinds of skin breakouts. He told us that “acne is a common condition characterised by blackheads, whiteheads and cysts. It affects the greasy and hair-bearing areas such as the face, chest and back. Acne is caused by a combination of overactive grease-glands, hormones and bacterial infection.”

Unfortunately, it’s as simple as that. While we can do various different things to help and prevent acne, it’s literally pot luck as to how our hormones and grease glands react. In the long run, Dr. Friedmann says there are numerous ways we can try to combat the skin condition for good. “Acne usually gets better over a year or two, so the first line of treatment is to simply suppress the inflammation until the acne disappears naturally. Treatment might involve lotions or tablets such as antibiotics or hormone suppression in the form of a contraceptive pill for females. However, acne that is very disfiguring, scarring or long-standing is classed as severe, and requires stronger treatment in the form of isotretinoin.”

Obviously, what treatment you opt for depends on the severity of your condition. “The more severe the disease, the stronger a medication is required.  Some of the features that influence the choice of drug to treat acne include; the severity of disease – in particular whether there is scarring or disfigurement; the length of time that the condition has been present; failure of response to other treatments; and the psychological impact that the condition is having on someones life.”

Obviously, long term solutions sometimes feel like they can take a life time to work and the journey, unfortunately, isn’t always as straight forward as we hope. Dr. Friedmann’s shared his advice for what you can do to help today. “If you suffer from acne, an anti-bacterial facial wash that contains salicylic acid is recommended. Avoid irritants such as soap, wipes, fragrances etc.  Wash with creams instead of soaps such as aqueous cream or Dermol. You could apply an anti-acne lotion to any spots before they come up fully.”

Some adults are confused when they get acne due to the fact that they didn’t suffer when they were younger. Dr. Pamela Benito explained that those factors don’t matter. “Acne can occur later in life. Many adults who never broke out in their teens may experience breakouts because of elevated stress levels or hormonal changes or imbalances.” However, there is a higher chance of acne developing as an adult if you have been through it previously. “There is a higher chance [of suffering from adult acne] especially if the skin problem that brings it on has not been addressed and/or treated successfully.”

It’s a pain, but there are ways to fix it. It might be a journey that you need to embrace, but rest assured you’ll learn a lot on the way. In the mean time, follow Dr. Friedmann’s advice and ultimately, fill your Instagram feed with positive vibes and follow accounts such as:

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As most of you guys know, for a long time I struggled with adult acne and it really took its toll on my confidence. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my skin because it was different. My acne didn’t look like anyone else’s and it definitely wasn’t represented in the media- which made me feel like it was wrong . I felt completely isolated in my battle with acne and didn’t know where to turn to. It wasn’t until I started sharing my journey online that I discovered a community of people who were going through the exact same thing. This was life changing for me, and through the acne positivity movement, I gained a new sense of self confidence. Through our differences we have united and stood together fearlessly, to show the world our unfiltered skin unapologetically. The result has been a new wave of self-acceptance and raw indescribable beauty. That’s why I am so excited to be working with @Sephora this year as a member of the #SephoraSquad. Sephora’s values in inclusivity and empowerment in beauty are so inspiring to me personally because everyone deserves to feel beautiful. There have been times where my skin has made me feel like an outcast, or that there was no room for me in the world of beauty. It’s comforting to know that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or what you believe in- there is always a place for you here; you belong here. Makeup has helped me face the world on the days where I didn’t think I could, and now later has become a form of self-expression that I couldn’t imagine life without. My journey with acne is what led to my love of all things beauty and really shaped my passion for skincare. Through the skin positivity community, I’ve learned not only to accept myself, but to live with courage and bravery in the face of adversity. Our community isn’t just beautiful, WE BELONG TO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL- the idea that no matter what you look like you deserve respect and to be included without fear of judgement. The idea that you are enough and you belong, and that our differences should be celebrated. That’s why I feel the most beautiful when I'm raw, unfiltered, and 100% unapologetically me. #Sephora #SephoraSquad #SephoraAmbassador

A post shared by Kali | acne positivity (@myfacestory) on


There’s some comfort in knowing you’re not the only one going through something like acne, because let’s be honest, in the days of airbrushing **everything** it’s easy to feel isolated, which can result in further mental health problems. Fill your feed with good vibes, jump right onto those good vibes and look after yourself and your skin. Self-love is always important, so we’ve put together a handful of simple, easy to do tips to help keeping your skin in good condition.

Our tips to keeping your skin sparkly clean:

  • Change and wash your pillow cases at least every two weeks.
  • Clean your phone screen every day – all those phone calls from your super busy day will lead to a build up of makeup and bacteria on that shiny screen of yours.
  • If you go without makeup, take a face wash. You may sit in the office and touch your bare face all day transferring any bacteria from your hands to your cheeks. After lunch, give your face a wash and reapply any serums and moisturisers.
  • Wash your makeup brushes regularly, we’d recommend every fortnight to rid them of bacteria build up.
  • Take your makeup off and do your skincare regime as soon as possible when you get home from work. We’ve all been there… leaving it until we go to bed and being too tired to do it properly. The less tired we are, the more care and time we tend to take to do things, including, washing our face thoroughly.

Feature image: Dids from Pexels