Since when does "flaws" need to mean something negative? Just like our freckles, dimples or moles, acne can be as much of a defining feature of our face as any other ingredient – and that's what gives our skin character. Despite the thousands of #flawless selfies, there's a whole community over on Instagram that's ready to shake up the stereotypes around blemishes and reclaim them as a distinctive and innate part of their identity.
Among those who regularly breakout or live with acne everyday, there's a growing tribe of trailblazers who don't aspire to or relate to the "flawless" frenzy, mainly since it isn't achievable.
At GLAMOUR we're all about embracing the skin you're in and doing what makes you feel most comfortable, whether that's discovering acne treatments that work for you, or letting your face just do its thang.
Despite its faults, social media has given us the chance to build communities and find like-minded folk we share an affinity with, so we can fill our feeds with people who look like us and face the same skin complexities. It's here that the Skin Positive and Acne Positive movement has been steadily building momentum. And it's here that the images and language used around acne, spots and pimples is open, honest, accepting and celebratory.
Find your squad and you can tap into a wealth of experience to can share or absorb with others. Currently, #acnepositivity has over 65,000 posts, #acnecommunity has a further 64,000 and #acnesolution has a whopping 115,000 entries.
Influencers like Lou Northcote are creating destinations for embracing acne, sharing stories and barefaced pics. Her account Free The Pimple is a movement in itself. Likewise, experts are setting up accessible bases from which to dispense professional advice. Dr Anjali Mahto, a leading dermatologist, has used her account to share her own experience with acne (proof that it can affect all of us, even the experts) as well as insider tips and sensible skin care plans. It's a comfort to know that advice is there at the touch of a button – if you know where to look.
These are the 10 acne-positive influencers to follow now…
Swedish, Sofia Grahn, is the acne positive activist and girl next door "normalising acne one selfie at a time." Her grid is a smorgasbord of beauty inspo that celebrates rather than hides her skin.
Though influencer and illustrator, Whitney's account isn't dedicated to acne, she sprinkles her feed with acne realness. She's even made a video of products she's found to help.
Makeup artist Rocio has been upfront about her struggle with her skin, but her makeup techniques seek to embrace her acne rather than hide it (apart from the one when she's bedazzling her complexion with sequins and stickers).
Post-roaccutane acne activist, Ella Gorton, documents her skincare journey and uses the platform to post helpful resources and advice on everything from skincare ingredients to lifestyle factors.
Dr Anjali Mahto
Top dermatologist, Anjali Mahto, has experienced acne from both a personal and professional point of view. She's open about her own relationship with the skin condition and has written a book (aptly named) The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide To Great Skin (which is exactly what it is). She uses her platform to share professional advice and resources with followers.
Kadeeja Sel Khan was dropped from a L'Oreal campaign after being told the brand couldn't work with her because of her "skin issues". Even so, the model proudly posts pictures of her barefaced skin regularly to help bring "reality to social media."
Activist, model and creator of the #freethepimple movement, Lou thought she'd overcome her teenage acne until it made a return during her stint on Britain's Next Top Model, after apologising repeatedly on set for the state of her skin, she realised, she has nothing to apologies for. She began sharing pictures of her skin without makeup and started the Free The Pimple Instagram account.
Free The Pimple
Rather than an influencer, this is a "page to celebrate embracing your acne." Instead of featuring one single face, this shares the images of hundreds of people, all of whom have shared pictures of their acne to celebrate and normalise it.
Jace recently shared her acne journey with followers on Instagram, but while she shows her acne in her photos, it's not the main focus. This picture, for instance, she posted with the caption: "My eyebrows needed to be photographed today, that is all."
Dr Sam Bunting
While studying as a junior doctor, late nights and stressful shifts led into a flare-up of acne for Dr Sam. Now a fully qualified cosmetic dermatologist Sam wanted to make access to skincare professionals more accessible, so she set up her own brand of over the counter products and regularly shares advice for everyone to access on her Instagram.
Written by Elle Turner.
This article originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK.