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26th Jan 2024

Can having acne impact your mental health? What researchers have discovered

Kat O'Connor

Acne is something millions of people suffer from, but is it also damaging our mental health?

Acne is one thing that has troubled me since my teenage years, but it’s just part of who I am. My skin will never be as perfect as Kylie Jenner’s or Blake Lively’s but I’ve started to accept it, flaws and all.

I go through phases with my skin, sometimes it doesn’t look too bad, but there are days when I look like I’ve contracted the chicken pox. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realised that having acne or bad skin isn’t something to be embarrassed about. It’s something that affects 1 in 20 women in Ireland after the age of 25.

It is so much more common than you realise, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, especially when it comes to the impact it can have on your mental health.

I often find that my confidence, self-worth, and mental wellbeing diminish when my skin is particularly bad.

And science has backed up these feelings in multiple studies.

One study explained that acne can negatively impact your mental health, especially in young adults.

“Acne vulgaris can severely affect psychological functioning and especially may cause anger, anxiety, and depression among adolescents and young adults. It is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease that usually develops on the face, chest, shoulders, and back.

Another study found that “psychological issues such as anxiety and depression are found to be more prevalent among acne patients”.

We spend so much money looking for skincare products that’ll mend our acne. We try skincare hacks and search for tips on TikTok that’ll banish our acne, once and for all, but if it’s having an impact on our mental health then shouldn’t we start investing in that too? Seeking mental health support, resting as much as possible, avoiding stressful situations and focusing on your wellbeing is just as important as buying all of The Ordinary’s products.

Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.