Feeling confident in your own skin is a struggle at any age, but it’s even more challenging when you're fighting the battle of acne and don’t have the clear skin you want.
When it comes to social media, it’s become the norm to be constantly bombarded with photoshopped images of people holding unrealistic beauty standards. Having to see this all day every day has made it difficult for anyone to feel comfortable in their own skin, especially teens
But despite the rising pressures to conform to these unfeasible standards, there have been a number (ten, in fact) of inspirational Instagrammers who we think are perfect examples of people embracing and feeling confident in their skin, acne and all
We’d like to share them with you:
1) Hailey Wait
Eighteen-year-old Hailey Wait has suffered from severe acne since the age of eleven, but has only recently become confident in her own skin. In an interview, she states that she “decided to stop wearing foundation” because “it was only hiding me, and I felt like every time I walked out the door I wasn’t being myself”.
Since becoming more comfortable with her skin, Wait has posted numerous makeup free selfies on Instagram, sharing self-care tips and inspiring ways to feel empowered in yourself and your skin. “I’m still in the process of loving myself for everything that I am...I believe in you all and self love does take time”, and she later explains that the journey to accepting your skin is long, but everyone is capable of it.
2) Louisa Northcote
Founder of the ‘freethepimple’ hashtag, Louisa is one of the most inspiring people out there when it comes to skin and acne positivity. As a former contestant on Britain's Next Top Model 2017, she has never let her acne get in the way of her dreams. And although she stated in an interview with i-D that “it actually has a huge mental impact on people”, she’s embraced her natural skin and pursued what she loves doing regardless
3) Lili Reinhart
Riverdale star Lili Reinhart has been very open on social media about her journey with cystic adult acne
Taking to her instagram story, Reinhart states that “I feel the need to talk about my struggle with acne because maybe if I normalize my broken out skin, more people...including myself...will be able to feel okay about their skin”
She shares photos of her breakouts on social media as well, in an attempt to help her, and others feel confident with their skin regardless of breakouts.
She also created the hashtag #breakoutbuddy to build a community of people sharing their experiences with acne as a way to help each other through the process. Reinhart is a prime example of someone using their platform to help people embrace who they are and be comfortable in themselves.
4) Peter DeVito
New York based photographer Peter DeVito is another iconic example of people helping to normalise acne by spreading skin and body positivity messages.
His acne photography series started as a way for him to accept his own skin, and then went on to share other people’s stories. Now, his photographs cover a range of taboo topics such as race, ethnicity, body size and self-love - he is a pioneer spreading the message that people should truly accept themselves for who they are.
5) Em Ford
Struggling with adult acne for almost eight years, Em Ford is possibly the first acne positive influencer out there. Her YouTube channel has over one million subscribers, and is where she shares her makeup tutorials and tips for covering acne breakouts. In a recent interview with Glamour, Ford states that “one thing I experienced (and also my audience experienced, too) is that through learning to apply my makeup, I actually became more confident to go out without it.”
She shares the majority of her acne positivity posts on Instagram, showing how empowered she is in her skin with or without makeup. Her video ‘You Look Disgusting’ went viral three years ago, and she has been a highly admired advocate for skin positivity ever since.
6) Sophie Harris-Taylor
Sophie Harris-Taylor is a photographer who captures images celebrating the human body in all its forms. She created her Epidermis series to help overcome the “stigma surrounding skin” by focusing it solely on people suffering with acne and rosacea. The above picture is one of her models @my.beautiful.acne from the photoshoot.
Harris-Taylor’s Instagram highlights the beauty in people regardless of their size, skin, age or gender and helps to inspire people to embrace their whole being, despite their so-called ‘flaws’.
7) Jemma Thomas
Known mainly for her fitness videos, Jemma also shares her experience with adult acne on her Instagram. In one caption she states that she has had acne “for a good twenty years now” but “owning what’s on my face has been the best thing I’ve ever done!”
Her online platform promotes a healthy lifestyle full of fitness and wholesome foods, making her a prime example of someone who can live life to the fullest regardless of a breakout.
8) Cassandra Bankson
On her YouTube channel, Cassandra shares her story battling chronic, cystic and hormonal acne. Her content covers her acne journey, what treatments and diets helped her and beauty tips for those suffering with acne now. She has created an online community with a central focus on loving and embracing everything you’re insecure about.
Her Instagram shares her life outside of acne, and is a brilliant example of how your skin doesn’t define you and what you’re capable of. She is undoubtedly an inspiration to many, with over 40,000 Instagram followers and 800,000 YouTube subscribers.
9) Belle Lucia
Bella Lucia is an Australian model who, despite having a job focused solely on her looks, suffered with acne throughout her teenage years.
In this inspirational Instagram post, Lucia writes that she “struggled with acne for many years as a young girl” with it affecting her face, chest and back. She used her platform (of over 1.3 million followers) to share that “your looks don’t define you and even the ‘models’ you see on advertisements aren’t perfect”.
Her Instagram posts show how you can be confident and happy within yourself, even if you don’t have perfect skin.
Jake suffered from acne as a teen, resulting in him finding his passion for makeup, not only as a way to cover acne, but as a way to express himself. He’s now used this mentality to build a platform with over 235,000 followers, where he shares his beauty tips and tricks, with some videos specifically for acne-prone skin.
He uses his following to help people feel comfortable and confident in their skin, and spreads the message that you need to focus on what makes you happy - he truly is an influencer who helps people overcome their insecurities.
The truth is: acne is not something to be ashamed of. You have nothing to hide. Share your #skinpositivity pictures with us, and if you ever need a helping hand and someone to talk skincare with, we’re always here.