If you’ve gone through acne, you’ll know that getting clear skin is always the number one goal.
But for many of us, it goes deeper than that.
In a world dominated by the idea of perfection, we can find ourselves not just striving for spot free skin, but for skin that’s a blank canvas. Smooth, supple, blemish free and “how it should be.”
But the road to ‘flawless skin’ is a frustrating and never-ending battle which you can never win, and here’s why.
I’ve struggled with acne on and off for the last 15 years and it took 2 courses of Accutane before my skin finally stopped breaking out. But the relief I felt that my spots had gone was short lived as I instead began to fixate on the scars left behind.
I began obsessing over them, peering at them closely in the mirror every night and monitoring how much they were fading. This led me to start scrutinising other parts of my face which I’d never noticed before. Like the fine lines on my forehead and the pores on my nose.
I tried everything, thinking ‘if I just do this, I’ll have the skin I want’ but nothing ever seemed to work. I would stare at my skin, hating it and wishing I could somehow have the beautiful porcelain smooth skin I’d always wanted. It was exhausting.
But I’ve come to realise that the problem never was my skin. It was the way I looked at it.
The more I obsessed about achieving a complexion I was happy with, the further away from it I got. And I think that’s true for so many people out there.
There will always be something you can pick out about your skin that you don’t like. But the truth is that’s how skin is supposed to be.
Flawless skin isn’t possible for anyone. And I know the voice in your head is saying ‘but I know the skin I want exists. I’ve seen it on other people’.
It’s true some people don’t get many spots and some have less wrinkles than others. But whether you’re comparing yourself to photos you’ve seen online or a friend with naturally clear skin, first ask yourself: is this really fair? Have you looked at their skin up close every day in the mirror? Have you seen their face in every different unflattering lighting without make-up and noticed every pore, blemish or wrinkle? No, you haven’t.
These idealistic images of skin we have in our heads aren’t real and aren’t a fair comparison. They don’t do your real skin justice.
It’s easier said than done but when you stop trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ complexion and instead reframe how you relate to your skin, you can learn to accept and love it.
Every discolouration, blemish, pore and fine line is completely natural and unique to you. And it takes time to accept this, so be patient with yourself and know that you’re not alone in feeling like this.
I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings around ‘flawless skin’ in the comments below. 😊