5 Ways to Preserve Your Self-Esteem Despite Acne

We all know how acne can affect the way we see ourselves. At best, it's an annoyingly frustrating problem. At worst, it can completely demolish your sense of worth. Even mild acne can leave your self-confidence feeling a bit shaky.

Child with acne looking in mirror
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Here are five steps you can use to help take your attention off of your skin and refocus that energy in a positive direction.

These tips aren't cure-alls. Like all things worth having, it takes a bit of work on your part, and a conscious decision every day to remain positive. The rewards are worth it, though.

Do Something You Enjoy

Between work or school, family obligations, and friends, you're a busy person. When you feel depleted or overwhelmed, though, it's hard to remain optimistic. Take a few minutes every day to read, garden or listen to music. Do whatever it is you enjoy if only to remind yourself that, despite acne, life is still good.

Nurture Your Talents

Instead of focusing on your skin, concentrate on the things that make you wonderful and unique. Are you a great cook? A talented musician? Do you crack everyone up with your hilarious sense of humor? Develop and foster these talents. Finding an area in which you can really shine will help boost your self-esteem and reaffirm that you are so much more than what you see on the surface.


Whether it's at a soup kitchen or your child's school, giving back is a great way to beat the blues. Get involved with a cause that speaks to you. Find a need and help fill it. The benefits are two-fold: a worthwhile organization gets some much-needed help, and you get to feel valuable, maybe learn a new skill, have fun and gain some perspective.

Spend Time With People Who Make You Feel Good

We all have that friend who can always make you smile, no matter what else is going on in life. Just spending time with people who accept and love you the way you are, despite imperfections, can remind you that you are a worthwhile person.

Focus on the Positive

Don't dwell on imperfections. Don't obsess in front of the mirror. Ruminating over the negative can color your outlook. Focus on the things you really like about yourself, and remind yourself that no one is perfect. You're a great person despite having acne.

Bonus Tips

If you haven't already, start on an acne treatment regimen. Doing something concrete to improve your skin helps you feel less helpless, more in control, and increases your self-confidence.

Take good care of your body, too. This means eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. When you feel better physically, it helps your overall outlook on life.

Be aware of the warning signs. If, despite all your best efforts, acne is impacting your life to the point where it's time to get help. This is especially true if you are constantly agonizing over your skin, are withdrawing from friends and family, or are showing signs of depression. Let your healthcare provider know right away. He or she can help you.

By Angela Palmer
Angela Palmer is a licensed esthetician specializing in acne treatment.