Normalising Acne: Why I don’t edit my acne and blemishes anymore

Acne is totally normal. Just because we don't see it on the internet doesn't mean it doesn't exist - it does, and you are beautiful with or without acne.

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Mahima Bhattarai

I have a lot of insecurities – I’m sure everyone does, in some way.

My original coping mechanism for my insecurities was to ignore them as much as I could, but when your insecurity shows up in plain sight on your face and causes lots of pain, it is difficult to escape. My acne was all over my face, big juicy painful acne. Like everyone, my first thought was how to cover it up.

I started searching and learning. I was focused only on how I could hide my skin rather than on how to cure it properly. I made lots and lots of mistakes doing this – I only made it worse. People would point out my acne as if it were my only identity. I started looking in the mirror and all I could see was my imperfection, that was it.

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On one occasion, facing a really bad breakout all over my face because of a skincare mistake, I cried a lot, scrubbed my face even harder thinking it was going to erase everything, but I realised I was wrong. Then I started questioning my beliefs – why am I obsessed over my acne? It was the only thing I was focusing on for a very long time. That was the point I decided I would no longer think about and focus on my acne while seeing myself in the mirror. The minute I stopped focusing on my acne, I didn’t see it – I just saw myself in the mirror instead. It really helped me to get over my fear and obsession with my acne. I did my research and began a very simple routine, decided to take good care of my skin, and to post a picture of me once I’d completely healed my acne.

I was slowly getting over my insecurity; I gained more and more confidence every day. I then posted a TikTok video, just being myself, doing a typical lip-sync video – suddenly it caught a lot of attention. The comment section was filled with acne remedies that I was not asking for at all. I had my routine sorted and my acne was getting better; I was happy, but I was surprised to see how many people were relating with my acne and giving me advice for it which I never asked for. I then realised how important it is to see people with acne on social media because everyone tends to hide it. Acne is completely normal and most of us go through it but not everyone shows that on social media. We are so used to looking at pictures that are completely edited and filtered that we have started to believe that is what normal – which is completely wrong.

Mahima Bhattarai

When we have acne, we tend to become restless and start trying every cure we see on the internet. We only see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, but I realised we do not see the time between them; the struggle, the mistakes and all the behind-the-scenes that happen as part of curing acne and gaining confidence. This makes us doubt our routine and makes us want to introduce every product we see in the videos into our routine. It causes a lot of mental stress as well as stress in our skin, which only further damages it.

That is why I came up with an idea of this article to normalise the normal because what we see on the internet can make us feel like that is the only ‘truth’.
This blog is solely to convey my message to everyone dealing with acne that you are not alone. It takes a lot of time and patience to heal acne and it will eventually heal someday. Acne is totally normal. Just because we don’t see it on the internet doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist – it does, and you are beautiful with or without acne.

Mahima Bhattarai
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