I endured acne on and off for 14 years.
It went through phases. It went from being non-existent to pretty intense. Luckily, it never got to the point of cystic acne. But nonetheless, I spent years using an arsenal of products to keep my acne at bay.
My first boyfriend experienced the brunt of my acne because I was young, hormonal, had a crappy diet and used harsh products like Proactiv. He loved me too much to care. Thankfully, my products, diet and skin got increasingly better after that relationship.
My routine awaited me every morning and every night. It didn't matter how late I stayed up or who I was with. I always resumed my skin care ritual of three products in the morning and four products in the evening. It was what kept my skin clear.
Just two weeks ago, my man and I rejoiced at the fact that my skin was finally clear. But then, I decided to venture into unknown territory by experimenting with new products.
Experimenting with skin care is not something I'd recommend if you have great skin. It's been an emotional roller coaster, and I've officially destroyed my clear skin. One day, I was hopeful. The next day, I started feeling helpless. Two weeks of experimentation followed.
My boyfriend saw what I was going through. But I wondered how things were for him. Most men don't care about acne or makeup, as long as you look presentable and have a nice butt, right?
Well, instead of asking him (because he'll tell me the truth I want to hear instead of the real truth), I decided to ask a group of men what they really thought about women with acne.
How does a woman's acne make a man feel? Read on for their surprising answers.
On the one hand, I like women who look natural and not all 'makeupy.' On the other hand, when my girlfriend puts on well-executed foundation, she looks better. I felt bad that I liked the way they looked with makeup on more. It's not that I cared about the acne per se, or when they had blemishes. I felt more upset that I was affected when they covered them up. If they are cool as sh*t, a blemish is not going to affect my love for them.
-- Brian, 32, Writer
Well, I think the acne isn't the unattractive part: It's the layer of cake on her face. Makeup is more of a deterrent than acne. You wear a nice suit, and then her face rubs off on your shoulder. That's, like, a $15 dry cleaning.
-- Luke, 28, Accountant
It never mattered at all, since I was aware of my own self-consciousness to do with my spots. But I was never put off, since I idealized the total beauty of any girl I went out with. I had chosen her, after all. So, I couldn't contradict my innate good taste. I think, if anything, a girlfriend having spots shows a human or vulnerable side, in contrast to the tendency toward arrogance or vanity that sometimes comes with beauty. I know it may sound bizarre, but a mutual spot pop can be a bonding bonus.
-- Ben, 40, Artist
I think we all have warts and pimples at times, whether physically or through intangibles like character. We're human. Imperfect. I understand the social pressures when it comes to women and this stuff. Men have different pressures.
-- Joe, 28, Producer
It's not a big deal unless it's severe. If it's genetic, then it's understandable, But if she has an unhealthy diet, then I wouldn't be interested.
-- Roman, 27, Public Relations Specialist
I have dated a few girls with acne issues. I didn't notice it too much, but they were both very sensitive about it. Personally, it doesn't bother me that much. Honestly, I've never really thought about it that much.
-- Alex, 37, Bartender
I have never dated a girl with acne or any real skin problems as such. It's mainly just the normal spots here and there that are easily covered. But to be honest, it made me feel more human, as I used to suffer with acne myself. As much as I liked them feeling good about themselves, it was nice that we both had the same issue. I wasn't getting judged or having to feel like she didn't want to touch me.
-- Tom, 28, Musician
My ex had acne. It didn't gross me out because I loved her, but I knew she was prettier without acne. So, I tried to find solutions to help her.
-- Marc-Andre, 27, Entrepreneur
If you want my honest opinion, I have never dated someone with skin problems. But I had acne in my early years of high school that I was pretty self-conscious about, and that may have played into the fact that I have never ended up being with someone who has the same issue.
-- Marty, 27, Pro Hockey Player Turned Accountant
I always felt like it bothered them much more than it bothered me. I was only drawn to it because they'd remark a lot about how it looked, and they'd constantly be trying to fix it and cover it up. So, I felt bad that they had to go through that.
-- Tim, 34, Podcaster
I've dated a girl with acne. It didn't bother me because I had it really bad: Accutane bad. So, I was understanding. I never judge based on acne. I only hated it when she caked on makeup, It was, like, flaking off as we were hanging out.
-- Chris, 29, Success Coach
The thing is, it never really mattered to me. Although I myself had acne growing up, while I looked at her, I was always looking at her eyes or her lips. I think the personal connection I shared with her made it so that I looked past it. I barely noticed it. It's possible if I were on a first date with someone and she had a whitehead on her lip, I might feel odd about kissing her. But a girl I've been dating for a year? Meh. Don't care. In my experience, the women I've dated have cared much more about their complexion than I have. Some even point out their pimples to me, without me having even noticed.
-- Thomas, 29, Actor
I've definitely dated girls who have had breakouts, and the truth is, if it's a girl I'm in love with, it's not a big deal. In some respects, it actually humanizes her, if that makes any sense. If a girl's pimples are a big deal to me, it's a sign I don't truly feel the way I should about her.
-- Brett, 38, Doctor
The Moral Of The Story
It's easy: Be the confident, badass bitch that you are, instead of projecting insecurity or drawing attention to your acne. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Make sure that if you're hiding these flaws, you're not applying cake-like foundation all over yourself (or his nice suit). Less is more when it comes to makeup and acne. Pounds of makeup can exacerbate the problem instead of making it better.
If you're super insecure and don't have the confidence yet, fake it 'til you make it. Act like you're confident and brilliant because you are.
In fact, remember that he is insecure too. He's just worried about other things. Your flaws can actually make you more lovable, more real and less terrifying. Let's be honest: An all-too-perfect woman can be frightfully intimidating to a man.
Men don't really care about your acne. As long as you love and take care of yourself, he'll love you back.
We women care about and notice our own flaws more than anybody else does. So, you can relax and stop stressing about them.
The right man will love you whether you have acne or not. If a pimple is going to keep him away, is he really the man you want in your life?