What Not To Say To Someone With Acne

30 Aug 2018

What Not To Say To Someone With Acne

Ah acne. My little gal pal. She first rocked up in my life when I was about 15 and she seems to really like me. Seriously, she won’t leave me alone. It’s creepy. 

I went on antibiotics for my acne again last year, and am currently on a prescribed cream. As a result, I reckon my skin is looking better than it’s done in a while but the fucker still won’t go away completely. Some days, I don’t even think about it. Others, I consider just chopping my cheek off and being done with it. 

Seeing as I’ve been plagued with the bugger for so long, I am well acquainted with some of the bullshit people say when it comes up in conversation (some well-meaning, and other’s not so much…).

‘Your skin looks great!’

Bless em, people mean well. They want to make you feel better and boost your confidence. But, let’s be blunt; I’m not fucking blind Karen. My skin DOES NOT look great otherwise we would not be having this conversation. If you want to truly cheer me up, buy me wine. 

‘Wash your face more regularly?’

I mean, okay, people aren’t usually so direct but that thought process is hinted at a lot. Usually whilst talking some crap about a ‘skin care routine’. Quite frankly, the implication that having acne is related to poor hygiene is just so unbelievably insulting. You honestly think I’m sat here with a BLEEDING FACE because I can’t be bothered to wash???  Also – whilst we’re here – washing areas suffering from acne more than twice a day actually irritates the skin and makes symptoms worse. So there. *sticks tongue out*

*suspicious tone* ‘You don’t look like you have acne.’

Excellent. I’ll buy this concealer again. 

‘Make up will only make it worse you know.’

Naturally, said by people who have never suffered bad skin in their entire life. I’d like to give a well-articulated argument as to why suggesting to someone with terrible skin that they should forego make-up whilst being surrounded by clear-skinned people is at best, stupid and at worst, cruel; but why bother when the words ‘fuck off’ do the job just as well?

‘You need to improve your diet.’

Acne is not the same as getting a breakout because you went out on the lash and fell asleep with your face in a half-eaten kebab. So, a little louder for the people at the back:

There. Is. No. Evidence. That. Diet. Plays. A. Role. In. Acne.


‘Drink more water?’

I shall refer to my friend Chandler Bing: SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UUUUUUUUUUP. 

‘I feel ya, I get bad spots all the time.’

A bad headache is not a migraine. Mount Vesuvius momentarily setting up camp on your chin is not acne. 

Annoying, for sure, but still not acne. 

‘You’ll grow out of it.’

I’m 26. I have not grown out of it. Even my mum is willing to admit she can no longer use this as a way to comfort me. For the majority of people, acne disappears in their mid-twenties. Still clinging on to that hope, although my 27th birthday does appear to be fast approaching… 

Have you tried…?

It’s been 11 years Brenda, I’ve tried bloody everything.

I cured my bad skin by drinking grapefruit juice, worshipping the moon and washing my face in dog poo.

Or something of that ilk. That’s a cool story bro. Brb whilst I roll my eyes so hard I see my brain.

Shout out to anyone else plagued by the red-faced bugger that is acne.