What Is Acne Neutrality?
Acne neutrality is the next step in the mindset started by acne positivity. Rather than promoting acne as either a positive or negative part of life, acne neutrality is the concept of taking the focus off of our skin conditions and accepting and normalizing acne as a natural part of human skin variation.
We all have unique skin. Acne neutrality recognizes that having acne is a common and neutral occurrence, rather than a value judgment.
The concept is similar to body neutrality, which helps us to view our body as a vessel through which we can engage with the world around us, rather than as an object to be judged or evaluated based on appearance, either positively or negatively. Acne neutrality can be seen as an extension of that mindset. We can learn to value our skin for what it does for us, such as protecting our bodies from the outside world and allowing us to feel and touch, rather than what it looks like.
Why is Acne Neutrality Important?
Acne has historically been stigmatized, leading to what can be an intense burden for those who experience it. Many of us can probably relate to the financial and mental toll that the stigma of acne can create. We pour our energy and money into finding new treatments and might even miss out on fun parts of life based on the condition of our skin and whether we can cover it up.
Acne neutrality is important because it allows us to shed the negative attitude and shame of a natural aspect of having skin by encouraging us to view our skin neutrally rather than as tied to our feelings of self worth. Those of us in Acne Club know firsthand that our skin is not dirty, and we are usually taking better care of it than our clear-skinned peers. So why should we feel that our acne is a negative reflection on us?
The beauty industry has long promoted an idealized standard of beauty that is often unattainable and exclusionary. By promoting acne neutrality, we can challenge at least one of these unrealistic standards and create a more inclusive and diverse beauty culture.
What is the Difference Between Acne Neutrality and Acne Positivity?
While acne neutrality views acne as a neutral occurrence that should not affect us positively or negatively, acne positivity promotes the idea that having acne can be empowering or desirable.
Acne positivity can be a great way to view acne for many, but it can put too much pressure on some of us to feel positive about our acne which can be a large jump to make when so many negative real world attitudes continue to be directed at acne prone skin.
How to Implement Acne Neutrality in Your Life
To implement acne neutrality in your everyday life, try to make peace with your skin. Remember that no one’s skin can ever be poreless! Work on being gentle in the way you talk or think about your skin. Instead of thinking about your acne as a battle to be won, try to reframe it to how you can now support the skin that has supported and protected you every day of your life.
By promoting acne neutrality, we can focus on healthy skin habits such as using gentle non-comedogenic products, sun protection, and seeking medical treatment when necessary, instead of spending all of our mental bandwidth on how our skin looks. Focusing on the health and comfort of your skin rather than its appearance means that you can shift the priority away from set beauty standards and towards self-care.
You can keep working on treating your acne, but don’t punish yourself or give up on enjoying your life in the meantime. Our skin is a natural and changing part of our body that helps us move through the world and experience many wonderful parts of life. Go swimming, have fun on a date, say yes to a spontaneous activity with friends, try something new. You might choose to wear makeup to cover blemishes or maybe you prefer to be barefaced, just don’t let your skin hold you back from anything you want to do.