What to do when you get shamed for your acne

I often think that we expect too much from beauty influencers. We form a bond with them as they share the innermost details of not just their skincare and makeup routines, but their lives. We believe them when they rave about a product, or discard it as not worth anybody's money. We trust them to look out for our beauty and happiness but at the end of the day, they are just normal people too. They say or do shitty things that they regret afterwards and they are just as flawed as the next person on the street - only more glamorous with the perfect cat eye, of course!

It's not cool for Michelle Dy to acne-shame her followers no matter how rude they get. Considering her job, one would expect her to be more conscious of how terrible women can feel about the way they look. We have enough insecurities already and we don't need someone else to remind us of them. I have a pretty simple rule in social media that helps me keep my peace of mind: if someone makes me feel bad about anything, I unfollow them. No one is worth any amount of anxiety.

But there's a bigger issue here: what should you do when you get shamed for your acne?

It's important to educate yourself about why you get acne in the first place. I'm actually surprised that this is not common; many women don't want to visit the dermatologist because they consider it expensive, they don't know who to reach out to, and they aren't able to make the time for it. I know someone who has serious acne and was on this scorched earth, super drying and irritating routine. I asked her if she has seen a doctor, and she said she was holding off on it to see if the new routine would work. Then she tried self-medicating with over-the-counter antibiotics. She eventually did see a dermatologist when her acne got worse. The doctor prescribed her oral medication suitable for her condition.

Researching online may be a bit helpful but is not very effective, because what works for others will not necessarily work for you. Each one of us has a specific set of conditions so there is no one-for-all cure for acne! Those with PCOS for instance will need more than medication; they need a complete lifestyle overhaul. It's actually more expensive to go through trial and error because the damage may be difficult to reverse or worse, it may be irreparable.  

Going to a doctor will empower you with the correct knowledge about your condition. If you know exactly what the issue is then you will stop blaming yourself for it; you are now able to do something about it. Acne is caused by many factors, which are either within or out of your control. Doesn't matter which one it is. As long as you can understand the cause, you can decide on a course of action other than self-pity or willful ignorance. You are then able to own your acne and then maybe even come to make peace with it.

Remember, you're not less of a person for having acne and it is certainly not something to be ashamed about. People should be more accepting and understanding of it. But acne shouldn't be a way of life you resign yourself to just because. If you don't like it and are able to do something about it, you should. When you do then there is no one on earth who can shame you for it. You can't feel shame for something you understand and have actively made a decision about.