A-Z

Acne (young people)

Impacts of acne on skincare, make-up and styling

People often developed skincare practices which suited them and fit in with their lifestyle. One product or routine would not suit everyone and finding the right skincare habits and products was a very personal thing. Some people also found that after a while they would have to change something in their routine to get the best benefits. Taking particular medications could also mean changing skincare routines, such as avoiding face washes whilst on isotretinoin.

Skincare practices

People had different approaches to their skincare. Some had no single routine or a very simple routine. Will says he would “sort of play it by ear” rather than have a set routine for skincare. Others had daily routines which involved many different products, including removing make-up, using face wash and moisturisers, and wearing sunblock in the summer. Most people had learnt about what suited their skin best over time. For example, Becky avoided exfoliators as they made her skin more sensitive. A few mentioned washing with warm, rather than cold water, to help open the pores.
 

Tom wasn’t sure about the instructions for his topical cream, including about when to moisturise.

Tom wasn’t sure about the instructions for his topical cream, including about when to moisturise.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 15
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And so what about the cream that you said there was quite a lot of complicated instructions for?

Oh, that’s, there’s, that’s most of the creams that I’ve used. There’s always stuff like, so like, I don’t know, the branded ones will always be like, “Put it in your hand, rub it, a thin layer round your face, wash it off with hot water and then pat dry.” Which is really stressful. And then the other one was sort of like, “Rub it in until it disappears.” But the problem with those ones is I don’t know whether I’m supposed to moisturise before or after, or whether I’m supposed to wash my face at all before that. I probably am but like, whether I’m supposed to wash my face before or after in case it comes off. So like you kind of have to work out. So like I stopped using moisturiser when I used the one that you just rub in, because I figured that you wouldn’t like, and [sister’s name] was like, “You probably shouldn’t do both.” But then again that didn’t help because I wasn’t moisturising. So that left like dry skin and stuff. So it was kinda, it wasn’t very well explained on the back basically.

So were some of the instructions more complicated than they needed to be?

Yeah.

But also missed off stuff –

Yeah.

- that you needed to know? 

Yeah.

Okay.

It would be nice if they were like, “Put it on your face, wash it off, apply moisturiser afterwards.” Because then at least it’s just all there and then you know what you need to do and you don’t have to worry about, “Should I be doing this? Should I be doing that?” Which is quite annoying. Because it’s already stressful enough having spots without having to worry about what sort of treatment you have to do and how you have to do the treatment.
 

Tom used to have a complicated routine using creams and moisturisers but now just washes his face with soap each morning and night and takes medication.

Tom used to have a complicated routine using creams and moisturisers but now just washes his face with soap each morning and night and takes medication.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 15
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At the moment it’s just wash my face every morning with like warm water, soap. Eat breakfast. Straight after breakfast swallow a pill with water. And that’s pretty much it. And then in the evening wash my face. Oh, and moisturise in the morning and moisturise in the evening but after washing my face with soap and water. But before that it would be a lot more like stressful because it would be a lot more like wash my face with soap and water. Apply cream stuff. Apply moisturiser, Go on with my day and do that at the end of the day. Which made it kind of like less me wanting to do it in a way. Because at least with the pill it’s really quick and easy. Because I just take that and I’m, hopefully that gets to work hopefully. But unlike the topical where it’s a lot more, like you get, if you miss it and you get into bed you’re a lot more like, “Oh, I don’t really want to get up.” Because that takes a good five, ten minutes to do all that. Unlike this tablet which is just like, if I forget to do it and I’m about to go out to school I’m just quickly like, “Oh, yeah” quickly and just take it. So it’s not the end of the world. So I don’t know. At the moment it’s a lot quicker than it used to be.
 

Fatima explains the 6 step treatment she uses every other night.

Fatima explains the 6 step treatment she uses every other night.

Age at interview: 21
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 12
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So you said that one of the components in the 6 step treatment you use is a moisturiser. Do you remember what any of the others are? Sort of cleansing and toning?

I think the first one is to like dry your skin like thingy. It’s called glycol I think? Yeah it’s to make your skin dry so that your skin can peel and then like you won’t have scars. And then the second one it’s something to, wait let me think what I read about it, oh it’s to reduce inflamed acne. So like when you have acne and it’s usually like red and stuff so when you put the second one it won’t be too inflamed. The third one it’s to remove the bacteria I think, like to prevent the spread of acne. The fourth one is the moisturiser. The fifth one is. I’m not too sure what the fifth one is but I think it’s like, it’s to. I think it is also like to make your skin dry and then it will peel sort of thing. Yeah and then to make your skin look like more smooth like not shiny but like more nice I think. And then, oh there is also sun block…
Keeping up with a routine could be important, but also challenging. Ollie and Rachael didn’t need much extra time to get ready in the mornings. Others found it hard to carve out the time needed for their routines. Having acne could interfere with other daily routines like shaving. Some people who were on isotretinoin chose to shave, as they heard that waxing could damage their skin.
 

When Ish forgets to do his routine it has a big impact on his skin. He finds it stressful having to use several products on his skin every night and sometimes doesn’t have the energy to do it.

When Ish forgets to do his routine it has a big impact on his skin. He finds it stressful having to use several products on his skin every night and sometimes doesn’t have the energy to do it.

Age at interview: 22
Sex: Male
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But now it’s just having that daily routine when you go up you actually have to use that face wash. Then you have to make sure it hydrates it. Then you come home, then you’re going to use a tonic to make sure, you know it smoothes everything out. Take the dirt of. Then you can also hydrate it again. Also wash it. So that daily routine is just a little bit stressful to me and when you forget it, it just makes everything worse because you forget it one day or one night, it just messes up the whole thing and you’re going to have to basically restart it again. So, yeah, just that routine of it, like, cleaning your face and you’re using three or four different types of products so that’s like, you know, if you’re tired, you don’t really have energy to do it. But if you don’t do it then your skin does suffer in the end. 
 

For Ollie, shaving with acne can be painful and leave scars.

For Ollie, shaving with acne can be painful and leave scars.

Age at interview: 16
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 13
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Was pain or soreness part of the acne for you?

Yeah and [laughs] and it still is unfortunately. It's just, you know just particularly nasty spots randomly breaking out - sometimes several, and sometimes only one – it's really, really painful especially with shaving as well, as that can be quite …cos you're sort of like, you know you're chopping them all off which is really unpleasant. And especially if sort of you knock it or pick it or whatever is it makes it worse and it can be really, really painful and uncomfortable. But i- it's not…I mean it's manageable but it's definitely uncomfortable, so I much prefer not to have any, any sort of thing. 

Could you tell me a bit more about shaving and sort of how you dealt with that whilst you had sort of active acne?

When my acne was quite bad, with shaving it was actually sort of…because I was breaking out a lot of sort of yellow-heads and not very nice, sort of looking infected, and with shaving it actually seemed to clear my skin up a bit because it, it got rid of all the horrible bumps and stuff like that, but that leaves behind quite bad scarring, cos I'm sure like on my cheeks and stuff like that there is a bit, and that’s probably is from shaving, and as I said it can be pretty painful. But yeah sh-, it's not particularly bad except it does make your…cos I sort of had a bit of redness around my chin, and shaving makes that quite a bit worse I think. But it's not, it’s not too bad shaving with acne except it can lead to scarring and a bit discomfort pretty much.
Skincare products

Some products used by young people in their skincare routines include:

•    face washes, scrubs/exfoliators, cleansers and toners
•    moisturisers and serums
•    face masks
•    lip balms
•    sunscreen
•    products for scarring

Most people used a face wash once or twice a day. Alexandra has a mild scrub for her face and a coarser one for her body. Moisturisers were said to be especially important for people on isotretinoin (e.g. Roaccutane) because the treatment dries out the skin. Will had very dry lips when he was taking isotretinoin and used to take lip balm to school, which “set a trend” amongst his peers.

However, ‘over-cleaning’ the skin could make it dry and irritated. Shu En says she tries to get a balance between oily and dry skin in her skincare routine. Becky and Hester pointed out that acne is not caused by how often people wash their faces.

Generally, people preferred products ranges made for blemish-prone skin. Harriet and Marga use oil-free moisturisers. Some found it helpful to look at the ingredients list of their skincare products and opt for certain ones, such as those containing tea tree oil or salicylic acid. Chris found products with aloe vera helpful. Another feature of skincare products that some people looked for was the label ‘hypo-allergenic’ (meaning it is less likely to cause allergic reactions).
 

Before she went to the doctor for the first time Hester had tried many different products, but most things were ineffective.

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Before she went to the doctor for the first time Hester had tried many different products, but most things were ineffective.

Age at interview: 21
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 15
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Before you'd been to the doctors for the first time, had you been trying like sort of treatments you'd bought in the shops, or? 

Yeah [laugh]. I think there's generally nothing I haven't tried. And even just the sort of stuff people put on online. Like homemade treatments and stuff like that, like we used a lot of those. And I think I've tried some really odd things. Like we tried like aloe vera juice. Like some, someone online was like, “This works really well for skin.” So I remember my Mum buying like from a health, a website online just like this jug of aloe vera juice, and it was really grim. But we used to have this like syrup, and did like the typical kind of washing in salt water. Tried toothpaste, which actually burnt my skin really badly. So that was, I would not recommend that. And I tried like Sudocrem, which actually works quite well. And then just a lot of face washes and all those kind of Clearasil like gels and stuff like that, so I think I probably went through most product ranges.

At their best, a lot of them are just pretty useless. The toothpaste was probably the worst idea [laugh]. That actually left me with like a burn mark across my face. I think most of them are just pretty ineffective.
These could be shop-bought or prescription products. Some people had tried products from abroad, which they had bought over the internet or while on holiday. Some felt particular brands suited their skin better than others. More expensive or well-known brands were not always seen as better. Most people felt shop-bought products only worked for mild acne though, and medical treatment to clear ongoing acne would be needed beyond this.
 

Although Harriet has tried lots of different brands she now goes for the “plain brands” (not scented or coloured).

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Although Harriet has tried lots of different brands she now goes for the “plain brands” (not scented or coloured).

Age at interview: 21
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 12
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And then you start, you go to a supermarket with your mum and you’re like, “Oh, that one’s oil free. I’ll get that one. That’ll be good for my skin. And that one’s got, you know, soap free” or anything like that. And you slowly start to, you know, one thing works and it, or it doesn’t work. And then you google that and you’re like, “Why, why did that work and something else didn’t?” So it’s just like detective work, trying to figure out what works for you, I guess.

And in your experience what sort of things did you find were helping?

I just use, I kind of went through a phase of being like, you know, all the brands you see on tele and like, “Oh, that, that’ll clear my skin.” And it never does. So I just tend to use really plain brands, so just like one, one face wash, one moisturiser. And I just leave it at that. And don’t, I try not to fuss too much because I think that will probably aggravate it, yeah. So just face wash, and then you pat your face dry with a towel. You never rub it cos that will scar. And then moisturise. And that’s it, yeah.

I tend to now stay away from anything with like anything scented or coloured. You just, I try and avoid, I use face wash but I try and use soap-free face wash because soap has, is really drying for my skin. I try and use, I used to just use oil-free moisturisers but now I use ordinary ones, but again just sort of plain things. I now use facial scrubs occasionally, but that’s something that I never did when I had acne. Because it sort of like takes off, it’s only, cos it’s only really good, they say, “Oh, yeah, it’ll clear your spots.” But it’s only for blackheads cos that’s, like it scrubs away the blackheads. But if you’ve got, you know, whiteheads or cystic acne or anything like that, it just like scrapes away the top layer of your skin. It just makes scarring a whole lot worse. So I’ve got a friend who’s, he’s got quite bad skin at the moment and he, he just uses these, like a scrub every day, and I’m like, “No, you, you have to stop, because it’s not helping” yeah. So I use them now but I didn’t used to. And things like you shouldn’t scrub your face with a flannel and you should pat it dry. 
A few people preferred getting products from their doctors rather than pharmacies. Shu En thought that “if I go to a dermatologist the creams are medically tested, so they’re definitely, they’re much more effective”.
 

For Molly, over-the-counter brands didn’t work well and were too expensive in the long term. She thinks it’s better to get products from the doctor.

For Molly, over-the-counter brands didn’t work well and were too expensive in the long term. She thinks it’s better to get products from the doctor.

Age at interview: 20
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 11
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I’m personally I’m not for like buying from a pharmacy a lot of medications just cos I was saying like it’s difficult to sustain financially for the amount of time I think you would need to have it and also like it’s just there, there’s so much stuff out there that I feel like I’m unlikely to find like a miracle cure on the market that I’ve never found from like a doctor. So yeah I don’t really use them. But for a long time I did but I didn’t see any change personally.

And so those would have been like the branded ones like…

Yeah.

…Clearasil and Neutrogena and stuff?

I feel like they probably work for milder acne and like a few spots or whatever but I nev-, I didn’t find them very helpful. But that, but that was potentially because I couldn’t afford to sustain them, like had I been able to afford, cos some of them are like £14 for a small bottle, had I been able to afford to have that over, and also you can get through those bottle in like two weeks, three weeks or something. I’m not sure what the impact would have been, but that’s a difficult method to sustain so I would always say go to a doctor if you can just like purely financially it’s a lot more like, it’s a lot easier to afford and potentially even it’s free.
As well as skincare products, people talked about other products that were useful. Quite a few people talked about sunscreen, especially those whose skin became more sun-sensitive due to treatment. Some talked about the difficulty of finding a suitable sunscreen for acne-prone skin. Devan also had to find shampoos that don’t irritate the sensitive skin on his scalp. 

Night time routines and the practicalities of skincare

Sleep was often seen as a good time for skin to repair and most people had a skincare routine before bed (see also the section on sleep). A few people mentioned changing their pillow case frequently to avoid bacteria exacerbating their acne. Harriet said she tried to avoid sleeping on one side for the whole night, which would make it difficult for her skin to breathe. 

Quite a few people talked about having to change their pillows and sheets due to blood stains from their spots or bleaching from face creams they used. This could be something they were very conscious of when staying over at a friend’s house or a guest house.
 

When she was using a cream with a bleaching agent Harriet had to be careful about staining her clothes and using other people’s towels.

When she was using a cream with a bleaching agent Harriet had to be careful about staining her clothes and using other people’s towels.

Age at interview: 21
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 12
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And you mentioned with the benzoyl peroxide as well having the bleaching agent in it and causing problems with towels and so on. Did that cause any other problems in terms of like ruining clothes or?

Clothes wasn’t too bad, cos I was always, I didn’t realise it would bleach things. And it was only when I looked, I started to use my towel, then it’s, it was like, “Oh, okay, it’s.” And then I looked into it and I found that it was sort of a bleach-based thing. And from then on I was really conscious of, so like when I’m taking a tee-shirt off, I’d like carefully lift it over my face. I remember being quite conscious of other people’s towels in, if I went to stay over at someone’s house. So after I washed my face, I’d make sure I’d do it really thoroughly, and then just like try and pat it dry as gently as possible so I wouldn’t stain anyone’s towels.
Staying out late or being away from home also meant taking skincare products out with them.
 

Emma prefers to remove her make-up before going to sleep, which can impact on her social life and hobbies.

Emma prefers to remove her make-up before going to sleep, which can impact on her social life and hobbies.

Age at interview: 20
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 10
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Because I like to try and get any products that I have on my skin off in the evening. if I am going out now or staying over with friends now - that can be a bit of a pain, because if I can’t take it off, I feel quite like, ‘oh no, I am going to end up with really bad skin tomorrow’. So I do always try and come back and take it off, but. I ‘spose that’s a bit annoying. And also when I go on things like the Duke of Edinburgh Award and my assessor was like, “Why do you have all these products in your bag?” I was like, “Well, I don’t want my skin to be really bad after four days” [laughs] of hiking. So he thought that was a bit strange but I wanted to take them with me [laughs].

So he didn't quite understand that it was quite important for you?

Yeah, I don’t think he understood quite how important I thought it was to make sure that I had the right products and how much I cared about yeah making sure that my skin was okay. 
Make-up

Many people used make-up to cover up or distract from their acne. A few young women said they wouldn’t leave the house without make-up. Other people used foundations, BB creams and/or concealers only for nights out or other special occasions. Wearing make-up could boost confidence and make people feel they had more control over their acne and scars. Some found their acne would often still show through, flake more or be more visible when the make-up wore off. As Hester found, applying and removing make-up could be too painful with sore spots.
 

Chris sometimes uses Blemish Balm (similar to tinted moisturiser).

Chris sometimes uses Blemish Balm (similar to tinted moisturiser).

Age at interview: 20
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 17
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If you’d, if you’d gone back to me then and said, “Look, here’s, here’s make-up product, try it out”. I probably would have tried it out. It’s just I’ve never actively seeked out a make-up product like a foundation or anything to sort it out, but now my mum, sort of, recommended me like something called BB Cream.

And that, I mean it might, might be OK for someone with acne, but for me who’s kind of got like a little bit damaged skin and I can still kind be a little bit red and blotchy sometimes it just gives like a nice matte finish to the skin, but when, like I said, when I had acne I didn’t, I didn’t really use anything. 

It’s just now after, it’s kind of nice but if I could go back I would have probably used stuff to cover it up.

So do you use BB Cream on like a daily basis now or? 

[Sighs] I’d say, out of the seven days of the week, I probably use it maybe three days. Like if I’m going out like - if I’m going to the gym, I’m not going to use it, but if I’m going say around town or, you know, I’m going to, you know, going out on a night out or I’m going to like a meeting somewhere…

Yeah

I’d probably use it then. Because you don’t really need to use that much and a, a little tube lasts quite a while so.
 

Although it can get her “down” some days, Sarah says acne has not been something that has really affected her social life. If she is going to see someone she uses make-up to cover it up.

Although it can get her “down” some days, Sarah says acne has not been something that has really affected her social life. If she is going to see someone she uses make-up to cover it up.

Age at interview: 22
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 16
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I don’t, I mean there have been odd days where I’ve felt really embarrassed about my skin but, well I mean there have been odd days and I would generally make sure that I wore make-up if I were going out to see people. If I were going out to the library I’d, I just don’t care but if I am actually seeing somebody then I would make sure I wore make-up. But while there have been odd days where it’s gotten me down they really have been odd days. I wondered when I say this kind of thing if I am protesting too much and actually it is terribly important to me and I’m just not allowing myself to acknowledge it but I, it’s just not really something that I’ve noticed myself worrying about that much. I don’t feel like it’s affected my friendships or my social life or my relationships. And obviously, given the choice, I would rather not have acne but given that this is the situation I am in, I’d rather just get on with my life and not worry about it that much.
 

Deborah usually takes a “little kit” with her when she goes out with her friends in case she needs to take her make-up off. She describes one occasion when she forgot her kit.

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Deborah usually takes a “little kit” with her when she goes out with her friends in case she needs to take her make-up off. She describes one occasion when she forgot her kit.

Age at interview: 25
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 12
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And I make sure I've got things to, take off make-up if it's bothering me while I'm out. So yeah, I seem to go everywhere with a little kit, almost if my skin decides it doesn't want to be in what it is. I was actually out probably a couple of months ago, and I'd left, I'd left it at home and taken a little bag out. And my skin decided it wasn't happy at all while I was out. And I actually cut the night short and said, "Oh, I want, I want to go home and sort myself out, and then maybe we'll go out afterwards again." Just because I was so uncomfortable. And I was aware that if I just tried to take it off with soap that was in the ladies bathroom there, then that was going to make it so much more worse. And I didn't want to be the girl that was furiously scrubbing her face in the bathroom. I didn't want to be red and blotchy and out, I wanted to be home and I wanted to take it off. And thankfully the friends I was with were completely fine with that. They're well aware of how, how difficult it can be. So they were great. They- we came back, I washed my face, and - I think we did go out again afterwards, I think we went to dinner or something, but. I feel bad that I had to do that. Whereas if I just had some things in my bag, then I would have been fine, I could have sorted myself out and we would have stayed out. But it seems like such a silly thing to have to do, like. You should, you should be able to have your skin not be a problem, like it's there to protect you not - not make things more difficult, so. But that, that's quite a rare event, that doesn't happen that often. But it does happen sometimes.
It was thought by some that wearing make-up was sometimes expected of young women. There could be social situations in which they had to rely on friends being understanding about their skincare regime. Harriet’s friends often wanted to do ‘makeovers’ and sometimes, when her acne was painful or when she was on medication, she had to tell them not to put certain make-up on her.

Some people worried that make-up might stop their skin breathing and ‘clog it up’, making their acne worse. Others, like Marga, felt strongly this is not the case and, far from being a ‘cause’ of acne, make-up offers her a “safety net” to feel more confident. Even so, some people bought special make-up suitable for acne-prone skin or avoided make-up. Although a few people mentioned having spots on their neck, wearing hair up in a bun was also seen as better for keeping it off the face.
 

When she was younger Shu En used to wear her hair down to cover her spots but thinks that made the acne worse.

When she was younger Shu En used to wear her hair down to cover her spots but thinks that made the acne worse.

Age at interview: 19
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 9
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Also I used to have like really, also like if you have acne and you have a fringe or if you have like hair that just falls over your face, you can really make the acne worse, because the oil and bacteria from your face gets under your hair- I mean from your hair gets onto your face and stuff, yeah.

So has that meant that you’ve changed your hairstyle?

Yeah, like when I was a teenager and back when I had bad acne, I used to have hair that practically covered my face. And I think I was also partially because of that cos you don’t feel comfortable with yourself. Yeah, but it’s fine now. 

That’s a bit of a ‘catch 22’, isn’t it. If you want to cover it but it’s making it…

It’s making it worse, yeah. 
 

Abbie preferred going to parties where it was dark and talks about doing her hair and make-up to make her acne less visible.

Abbie preferred going to parties where it was dark and talks about doing her hair and make-up to make her acne less visible.

Age at interview: 17
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 13
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I used to always wear my hair kind of like, like down like this, so that it wasn’t as obvious. Like say if I pulled it back in like a pony tail, then you could kind of see it. And I used to like prefer going to like parties or things when it was dark, so you, you couldn’t really see it that much. And I used to wear, I used to do my eye make-up like really nicely. So then people would kind of l-, notice that rather than looking at my acne. And, cos I couldn’t really wear any foundation or anything. So I used to do like eye make-up and then like really bold lipstick, so people would kind of like notice that rather than the spots.
 

It was “liberating” for Naomi when she wore make-up during sixth form.

It was “liberating” for Naomi when she wore make-up during sixth form.

Age at interview: 22
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 9
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Yeah so well because we weren’t, obviously we weren’t allowed to wear it at school in secondary school until well like sixth form they didn’t really mind so much so yeah I think I must, yeah I was in like the first year of sixth form when I started wearing foundation and it just, arr, that was so liberating and even though my skin was a bit better them because I’d had the first course of Roaccutane (isotretinoin) and it had helped but like my skin wasn’t always perfect and obviously it was, I think it was still kind of like recovering from you know, the sort of the treatment and stuff. So it definitely, like it didn’t look perfect all the time. And so like the fact that I could just like cover it all up and like, yeah, and just look like everyone else does, that was really nice. and, and obviously then like later on when I had to go back for more treatment I like when I went with my mum, the dermatologist said like, “Well so, you know, what’s it like?” and she said, “Well I don’t really know because Naomi always wears make-up so I don’t see it.” [laughs] and like, yeah then, oh then obviously people would say, “Well, you know, if you didn’t wear make-up then of course you wouldn't have bad skin,” and I just felt like they just didn’t understand [laughs]. 
Clothes

Some people talked about the impact of acne on their choice of clothes. This includes those who avoided wearing clothes which revealed acne on parts of the body such as the back and chest. Some people said they felt especially uncomfortable about wearing swimsuits or beach wear. Alexandra sometimes had spots on her back and around her bra strap and had to wear bandages to reduce the pain. When having acne impacted on confidence and self-esteem, people sometimes preferred to ‘dress-down’. Becky mentioned that she wore dull colours so she wouldn’t draw attention to herself.
 

Emma was “quite shy” and talks about avoiding certain clothes that would reveal acne scars on her body.

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Emma was “quite shy” and talks about avoiding certain clothes that would reveal acne scars on her body.

Age at interview: 20
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 10
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So in terms of going out when I had acne, again it sort of affected what I could wear and how comfortable I felt in situations particularly when there was people that I didn't know and so they didn't, they hadn’t seen that I had acne before and so that might be something that they would notice about me and sort of associate me with, whereas my friends sort of knew me as a person. So, I was quite shy, it always made me quite shy at social events.

Yeah, so because my scarring is in this sort of area [points to chest] I’ve got a high neck thing on now, but I didn't buy any clothes that could possibly show it for quite a long time. Because I didn't want anybody to see the sort of the scarring and the scabs and things. which was always a bit of a shame, because when I’d go shopping with my friends and it would be like, ‘arr this is really nice’ and I’d be like well, I’d sort of pretended I didn't like it so much, because I didn't want it to show. Yeah and that sort of, that didn't change until I was about sort of 16 and my mum went and did some shopping and she bought me some tops which I really liked and I wanted to wear despite them showing it, so. 
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