Acne: Tough on Your Skin and Your Self-esteem

Acne: Tough on Your Skin and Your Self-esteem

Charlotte Berglund Thomsen,

Red, swollen, blocked and tender—and more than anything—extremely irritating! Yes, we're talking about pimples.

If there’s one thing that’s sure to make you want to stay at home and skip the party, it’s the unwanted pimples that suddenly appear on your face (most probably in a place where there’s no hiding them). But it’s maybe the lucky ones who only have a random pimple on Saturday night. Many live with breakouts day in and day out for months, and even years. And it takes a toll on your skin, your wallet, and your self-confidence.

Breakouts and pimples have nothing to do with poor hygiene

Acne includes everything from blocked pores, black-heads and white-heads to deep-set pustules that require medical treatment. In other words, acne of some form is something that the vast majority of us encounter at one point or other during our lifetime.

Acne, pimples, blocked pores, spots and impurities. The symptoms come by many names, but perhaps the most unfair one is “impurities”, which seems to indicate a kind of uncleanliness. Acne breakouts have nothing to do with the skin being dirty but is rather an inflammatory condition that occurs in the hair follicles where sebum is produced. The reason for acne breakouts cannot be narrowed down to one single cause. Some people are genetically disposed to them, and for others hormones play a big part.

Even if you were lucky enough to make it through your teens without acne or pimples, the condition is not something that is reserved for those under 20. Many are battling breakouts well into their adult life, and for others the breakouts start much later in life.


Research is ongoing on the cause of acne

During the teenage years testosterone increases, and this leads to an increase in sebum (oil) production in the skin. When the sebum builds up it can block the pores and create pimples. Initially the blocked pores will appear as black-heads or white-heads. If these subsequently become inflamed, a pimple appears that’s red and and pus-filled.

 Beyond genetic disposition and hormones, there are certain life-style factors like stress and diet that can play a large part in a person having breakouts. Research remains limited and is still on-going, but they have identified a correlation between acne and the consumption of low-fat dairy products and simple carbohydrates like candy and sugary drinks. So, reviewing your dietary habits is a good idea if you’re suffering from breakouts. It’s often easier said than done, but managing stress in your lifestyle can also help to reduce breakouts.


Difficult feelings and loving care

But aren’t pimples in themselves a stress factor in life? Well, unfortunately yes. And your self confidence can really take a nose-dive as the pimples start to multiply. Some may feel they're silly or shallow for getting so hung up on some pimples, but most of us still feel a bit self-conscious about it. Many who suffer from acne start to isolate themselves, battle with feelings of shame, and feel anxious or depressed.

A British survery from 2018 showed that 54% of British adults with acne suffer with low self-esteem (Source: British Association of Dermatologists), and other studies have shown that people with acne have social and mental anxiety on par with people who suffer from chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes and epilepsy.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and that talking about it with someone trusted can be a great relief when you’re suffering from the mental effects of acne. Of course, you should also seek professional help, both for the acne and for the low self-esteem if it’s getting very bad.


A gentle approach, supported by nature

If your breakouts are still mild then you can start with making some changes in your routine. Don’t touch your face or pick the pimples and stay away from harsh skincare products that strip your skin. Focus instead on natural, microbiome-friendly products, and let probiotics get to work.

In a double-blind clinical study BAK’s Serum for Acne-prone Skin was tested on mild to moderate acne. The results showed that 71% of participants saw a reduction in pimples. The reduction in pimples was on average 62% after using the serum for 28 days.

Serum for Acne-prone Skin (for dry and combination skin) and Oil for Acne-prone skin (for oily skin) takes its superpowers from two strains of live, probiotic bacteria: LB244R® og LB356R®. They inhibit the problematic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Cutibacterium acnes—both of which often play a part in people struggling with breakouts. In addition to the probiotics the moisturizer contains natural, organic oils like jojoba oil and olive oil that improves the skin’s condition and strengthen its barrier function.

Treat your skin with gentle products and nourish your mental well-being by talking openly to trusted friends and family about what you’re going through with your skin. And never feel that your skin is not normal—pimples are just as normal as having clear skin.