Scroll through the skincare section of most beauty websites, and you'll find dozens of products and articles advertising ways to "get rid of" your "horrible" and "unwanted" acne. From the verbiage used, you'd think pimples were the Bubonic plague.
But the reality is that even though acne can be painful and not necessarily ideal, it isn't something to be ashamed of. Acne doesn't mean you're unhygienic, unattractive, or doing something wrong. In fact, in a way, those bumps can be beautiful. Because they're real (and up to 55% of adults under 40 have them).
Recently, hashtags like #acnepositivity and #skinpositivity have started trending on Instagram—proof that those with acne are sick of hiding and stressing out. Click in for 10 inspiring acne-positivity images.
@tsaskinting identifies a "long-term acne sufferer" who is very open about sharing her skin journey and experience with Roaccutane on Instagram. She may be on the road to clearing her acne, but in the meantime, photos like this demonstrate how real and beautiful "imperfect" skin can be.
@accutane.tara starting taking Accutane in October of last year to clear up her skin and has been documenting her progress on Instagram ever since. She took this photo of her makeup-free face two months after starting her treatment—try to argue that it's not absurdly beautiful.
@badassbrownactivist from India identifies as an intersectional feminist and a body-positivity activist. Sharing this photo on Instagram, she writes, "My face is peppered with acne scars from years of PCOS-related acne. And even when I'm wearing foundation, like in this picture, I can't hide them completely because a lot of them are pitted, textured scars in addition to the concealable redness. I've hated this pitting for years, but guess what—they're a part of me and will probably never go away completely despite my ongoing treatments."
In @pigss's Instagram bio, she calls herself "Pro pizza face." And looking this impossibly beautiful, why wouldn't you? If you ever feel like you can't look like a whole snack with acne, definitely scroll through her feed for inspiration.
The more you share photos of your pimples, the less "scary" they become, and that's exactly what @loveyourskln's Instagram is all about. In this photo caption, she writes, "I got a new pimple on my cheek there and some small ones on my chin but also some tiny like such small ones on my forehead and idk why. But that's okay. Acne is okay and we've got to learn to love it."
A little redness doesn't get in the way of Instagram makeup guru @flairei's stunning looks. (PS: If you're a fan of surreal, mythical makeup, her account definitely deserves a follow.)
"I've battled blemishes for most of my adult life," writes @thekunyeway, who advocates for self-care and the holistic treatment of acne, on Instagram. "Acne is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not blemished or flawed."
Designer, stylist, and model @chloebarcelou gets super raw in this shot on Instagram, writing, "As you can see, I am (and have been for 10 years) an acne sufferer—often dealing with the worst kind of acne there is: cystic. This is a part of myself that I have kept hidden (or, tried to hide) for most of my adult life. For many years it felt as if my battle with acne would claim my youth and beauty, my self-confidence, sense of worth and often times, my very happiness. Today, although not completely free of acne, I feel quite free (almost free) of the mental weight it has plagued me with."
Em Ford of @mypaleskinblog is one of, if not the first, acne-positivity advocates to share her bare skin and story on Instagram. Whenever we need a little self-esteem pick-me-up, we click over to her inspiring account.