The Acne Diaries Volume 5 – "Don’t Let It Get You Down"

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Kendall Jenner shielding her face

A pre-date spot is enough to send most of us spiralling into a pit of despair but for those of us suffering from acne (it’s estimated up to 80% of us do at some point between the ages of 11 and 30) it can feel seriously debilitating, and, news flash; even supermodels get it.

When Kendall Jenner confessed that acne “completely ruined my self esteem” on her website  we felt her pain. Revealing that she started having skin issues aged 13, she goes on to describe the way it began to affect how she interacted with the world around her; “I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them. I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face.” Kendall owes working through her feelings about her skin to her family but we've turned to top cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting to gives us her top tips on how to stop acne getting the better of you:
“I'm often struck by how acne takes away all the femininity from a woman as self-esteem is eroded beyond repair and it distorts the way she sees herself,” says Dr Bunting. “So many women stop seeing themselves as sexy or desirable.  There is often a frustration that, despite a pristine diet and exercise programme, nothing they do makes it any better. And therein lies the problem. Frustration….anxiety…. the downward spiral of acne doom. Which leads to the frenetic skincare hopping behaviour that is so often a key driver to the skin blowing up.” Dr Bunting goes on to explain that as well as adopting a sensible skincare regime, a lot of how we feel about our skin is down to adjusting our mindsets and to stop beating ourselves up about our skin; “Women will ritualistically get home from work, remove make-up (‘because it’s bad for my skin’) and then spend the evening playing peekaboo with their magnifying mirror, squeezing everything in sight.” A habit that spells disaster for our skin as it can lead to pot-hole scars and pigmentation (a particularly disabling variant of acne known as acne excoriee is largely a result of human behaviour). The solution? Follow these 5 tips from Dr Bunting to help break some of those confidence-blighting habits; “They may seem silly, daft or even frivolous – but anything that might give you a bit of skin-control back is worth a try.” Here here!

1) Bin the magnifying mirror.
Start to view yourself as others do. From 1m away. People are simply not as observant as you think.

2) Adjust the lighting in your bathroom.
If it isn’t kind (think harsh, overhead and megabright), soften it. This is a simple frame-shift that takes the pressure off and helps you to stop obsessing about every potential bump in your skin.

3) Keep your make-up on until bed.
Yes, that’s right – in this instance, make-up is not your enemy. It’s your shield. This is based on the assumption that you have made smart choices.
Winning brands are labeled non-comedogenic ; good choices include Nars, Vichy Dermablend, Armani and Lancome. Then whip it off last-thing, do your skincare regime before going straight to bed. No dilly-dallying at the mirror.

4) Stage a weapons amnesty
Fingernails are usually the weapons of choice when it comes to picking or fiddling – so perform damage limitation by embracing a short, chic mani.

5) If the urge to pick is very strong, try meditation.
I think the Headspace meditation app is absolutely brilliant for calmly asserting authority over that swirl of thoughts in your head that can drive certain types of behaviour – anything that gives you ‘headspace’ from acne is of value, in my book.


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