Your cousin suggested applying toothpaste to your zits. Mom told you to stop eating French fries. And your best friend’s flawless complexion comes with an entire medicine cabinet of expensive elixirs—and even more suggestions.
While your family and friends may be trying to help, their advice and recommendations may hurt more than your ego.
"Everyone's skin is a little bit different and sometimes it takes more than one type of treatment to get a good result," said Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, a professor of dermatology at University of Minnesota Medical School in an article about acne treatments.
Acne-care suggestions from people with blemish-free skin can feel ignorant and often insulting. Receiving a pimple crème in your stocking on Christmas morning or unwrapping a gifted starter pack of Proactiv isn’t going to make anyone yelp with overwhelming joy. Instead, you may feel self-conscious and just plain annoyed.
Emails filled with new clinical research results and full-fledged acne discussions at the dinner table often make those suffering from acne feel like their own efforts to calm their complexion aren’t being recognized.
While good intentioned, the advice from those with clear skin often come with negative assumptions about the hygiene of those affected by acne. When others don't know the lengths you'e gone to to treat your acne, chances are you've already tried cleansers and creams that have failed, it's hard to avoid getting frustrated with acne advice from friends and family.
What’s important to remember is that often the suggestions you receive come from a place of love and concern. The people who care about recognize your struggle and want to help—it’s the way they communicate their support that needs tweaking.
If your loved ones aren’t getting the hint that their attempts to clear your skin feel hurtful or awkward, be honest and upfront about your feelings. While this may seem like the perfect way to add to the embarrassment or frustration, a direct conversation may be just the fix to avoid the next round zit-zapping Valentine’s Day handouts.