Did you know that if you have two or three spots, a doctor might diagnose you with acne? Wow, that’s got to be most of us, right? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it affects up to 50 million Americans annually, and people of all ages, race and gender. Alexia Inge, co-founder of Cult Beauty says, “Acne questions are on the rise and it makes up about 35 per cent of all skincare queries on the site.”
Realising acne is a normal occurrence may not be the easiest thing to live with, but it’s not something to be embarrassed by either. Photographer Peter DeVito has created a series of photos to show acne is normal, saying, “I’ve struggled with acne for a while, but recently, it has been getting progressively worse. I’m working on some photos that portray acne in a more positive light, that aim, at the very least, to show that having acne is normal.” His 40k Instagram followers seem to agree, with some of his slogan portrait shots – images of models with acne, un-retouched – stating: “perfect doesn’t exist”, “retouch”, and the one Cara Delevingne reposted: “sick and tired of the photoshopping” amassing over 15k likes apiece.
In addition, hashtags like #skinpositivity and #acneisnormal are all over our feeds. People exposing their skin struggles for what they are is empowering, and fits snugly with the current move towards inclusivity and diversity. Remarkably, it’s one of the Kardashian clan who has led the way. When Kendall Jenner arrived at the Golden Globes sporting a Giambattista Valli gown and pimples, we thought she looked beautiful, regardless. However, the response on social media was phenomenal, with Kendall replying to both the good and bad with, “Never let that stop you!”
She also posted an open letter to fans, saying: “I had such bad acne when I was younger. It completely ruined my self-esteem – I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them. I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face.”
Others are championing an authentic, real approach, shunning Facetune and Photoshop. One of them is blogger Em Ford from My Pale Skin Blog, who has over one million followers and whose feed is filled with brilliant make-up tutorials and messages of positivity. She declares, “Confidence is knowing you’re not perfect and accepting your flaws.” More accounts to tap are @pigss for her ‘pro-pizza face’ stance, and @roaccutanediaries and @myskinstory, who document the rocky road of being on Roaccutane acne medication.
Whatever the state of your skin, just remember that over 80 per cent of people have encountered a breakout at some point in their lives – meaning you are not alone: #acneisnormal.
Photos: Peter DeVito