Acne, blush & acceptance

The subtext of what she was saying, was that only people who have smooth, clear and pore-less skin can wear blush.

Published: 04th December 2019 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 10:20 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI : You should not apply blush on textured (read as: acne) skin,” I overhear a make-up artist berate her assistant, while a wide-eyed teenage girl sits on a high chair between them, looking a lot like a deer caught in headlights. She promptly takes a make-up removing wipe, removes some of the blush and blends some more foundation in. Now we hear the girl requesting them to put the blush back on, and sounding a lot like she is asking for candy for breakfast… expecting them to say no and scold her. 

The subtext of what she was saying, was that only people who have smooth, clear and pore-less skin can wear blush. Can someone please tell me how this adds up? Does having “textured” skin mean that it should not be accentuated in any manner with fun products like blush and highlighter, but only avoided and concealed? Is it fair to reduce someone to their acne? Who made these rules anyway?

While I can agree that powder blush doesn’t take too kindly to acne-prone skin, mostly because it can look flakey on top of foundation if it’s not brushed on correctly — it certainly does not mean that you should stray away from a product entirely. An oil-free cream or liquid tint is what you should be looking for. You don’t have to take anything out of your make-up routine unless you want to. Your acne-prone skin isn’t bad, or abnormal. 

I urge you to watch Em Ford’s video from 2015 titled You look disgusting. Here, she first shows her make-up-free acne covered face, with real-time comments where the viewers remarked on the state of her skin and called her “ugly”. What follows is a meticulous make-up routine, and the comments start to become more positive, until they turn to the ones where they start calling her “fake”. 

What is also surprising is the stigmatisation and prejudice that follows having troubled skin. You’re often told to “change your diet” or “wash your face more often” which just brings light to the common thought that having acne means not eating healthy or being unclean. This has nothing to do with hygiene. Skin treatments and dermatologists can get expensive which further creates a gap between those who have the means to better skin and those who cannot afford it, or try hard enough. 

The entire situation really just boils down to this: you will never be able to make everyone happy. Start with you. It is okay to work towards better skin but what is more important is to understand that you are not alone in this. There is so much to do apart from frustrating yourself into clearing your skin. The causes might be beyond your control and they really shouldn’t stop you from feeling like your best self. Your skin is just skin, and life under the skin acceptance umbrella is really the kindest and fulfilling.

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