For many of us, a face full of acne doesn’t really scream “sexy,” but feeling attractive is a huge part of how we nurture our confidence and maintain a positive self-image. If you’re constantly worried about those pimples on your cheeks or forehead, it’s often difficult to feel attractive with acne.
Obviously, if we could cure our acne, we would. But when your acne is beyond your control, feeling attractive can sometimes seem like a lost cause.
However, it is possible to be attractive with acne. And, actually, there are many things you can do to feel more attractive and confident that have very little to do with the quality of your skin.
Because many people view attractiveness as being a little different for men and for women, I decided it would be easiest to break this post down into two sections.
However, anyone can pull tips from both sections. You definitely don’t have to identify as one gender or the other to get some takeaways from this post.
With that in mind, keep reading for my tips about how to look attractive with acne.
How to Look Good with Acne (For Guys)
So, I’m not a dude. I don’t personally know what it feels like to be a man with acne, but I do know what it’s like to be a woman looking at a man with acne. So maybe I can offer the fellas out there some insights from that perspective.
If you’re a guy, I think it’s 100% possible to be attractive with acne.
Honestly, I think acne on men is a lot less noticeable than acne on women. That could be because I’m a woman, but I figured I’d at least throw that out there.
General awareness aside though, I’ve known many guys over the years who had acne to some extent, especially in high school.
Here are a few things they did or characteristics they had that, to me, made them seem attractive even with acne.
1. Speak up
There’s a world of difference between the quiet guy with acne and the loud guy with acne. I think the attractiveness in this tip comes from a projection of confidence.
Any guy with acne who isolates himself in a corner, doesn’t talk to anyone, or generally tries not to be noticed is likely to seem less attractive to others.
Granted, it’s hard to not want to isolate yourself when you don’t feel good about your skin, but by feeding into those ideas you can actually appear less attractive to others.
However, a guy who constantly participates in discussions, cracks jokes, or shares intelligent insights with others is much more likely to seem attractive even if he does have acne.
Not only does speaking up more show that you’re more confident, which is attractive, but it also lets other people learn more about you, which can make them like you more.
For example, many people like a funny guy, while some are really drawn to intelligent men. It’s just hard for anyone to learn those things about you if you never talk.
2. Style your hair
Sometimes having acne can foster a “why should I bother?” kind of mentality, but having a nice or interesting haircut or hairstyle can be really attractive to a lot of women (or men).
Even if your hairstyle of choice is the grungy, just-woke-up look, as long as you’re rocking it intentionally, it’s likely to be attractive to someone.
Plus, when you intentionally style your hair to look a certain way, you’re likely to feel more confident, which in turn makes you look more attractive.
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3. Take care of your skin
It’s actually a bit unfair how one-sided the acne treatment industry is in terms of men and women. Many acne products are geared towards women, especially ones that are gentler and more appropriate for sensitive skin.
Despite the fact that acne has no overt gender identity associated with it, acne treatments for men are almost always marketed as being stronger or more robust than acne treatments for women. This includes things like facial cleansers, spot treatments and body washes.
However, what your skin really needs may be something more soothing. Try to avoid using hard chemicals on your skin, and stay away from products that burn your face or make your skin feel very tight and dry.
Instead, try using natural oil products, or get a dermatologist to recommend prescription products to treat your specific kind of acne.
Basically, don’t just grab the most “masculine” acne treatments you can find and assume that’s going to work.
Acne is more complicated than gender-based marketing. To cure it, you’ll likely need to expand your search a bit more.
4. Put on Some Makeup (Or Makeup-Like Products)
Look. It’s 2018. There is nothing wrong in this day and age with a man wearing a little makeup. There’s actually nothing wrong with a man wearing a lot of makeup, but I understand that isn’t everyone’s style.
If you’re not opposed to wearing makeup but just don’t know how to use it, here are two essential makeup tools you can use to cover up your acne:
- Foundation: This is usually a liquid makeup that goes all over your face. The key to wearing foundation without anyone knowing is to get a shade that matches your skin tone and be sure to apply it all the way down your neck, so you don’t get that jaw-to-neck makeup line. It’s a dead giveaway.
- Concealer: This is a smaller tube of liquid makeup that is meant to cover specific spots on your face. This would be good for dabbing onto a pimple here and there. To make concealer look more natural, you’ll want to blend it into the surrounding skin, rather than leaving it as one obvious blob in a single area.
And, if you don’t want to wear makeup per say, but still want something to cover up your acne, opt for a tinted moisturizer or tinted sunblock.
These products aren’t technically makeup, but they do have skin-tone-like shades that can help cover acne.
However, most tinted moisturizers and sunblocks don’t have the shade range that foundations and concealers do, so you may have to work a little harder to make the products look natural on your skin.
How to Feel Pretty With Acne (For Women)
We all know it, but it can never be said enough: Our society places an extreme amount of pressure on women to look good. Scratch that: to look perfect.
And, even though we know looking like a movie star or model is a completely ridiculous goal, many women still feel extremely self-conscious of anything that makes them feel less-than-pretty.
I’m not saying this is right or wrong or anything about that. I’m just here to let you know that, if feeling beautiful is something you want and you have acne, there are ways that you can feel good about yourself and your appearance.
Here are a few of my personal go-to’s:
1. Wear neutral and earth-toned makeup
Because having acne generally makes your skin more pigmented and red in some places, reaching for heavily pigmented eyeshadows, lipsticks or even hair coloring can draw attention to your acne.
It’s kind of like adding that extra color to your face draws more attention to the colors you were trying to distract from.
A good alternative is to stick to skin tones and neutral colors in your makeup. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Instead of black eyeliner use a white or peach eyeliner on your lower lash line. Not only will this do less to enhance your acne, this can make your eyes look bigger, which is generally also considered attractive.
- Instead of bright red or burgundy lipsticks, try some nude shades instead. This has been especially popular in beauty circles in the last year anyway, so why not take advantage of it?
- Instead of super sparkly or tinted eyeshadows, opt for more matte, earthy tones. I’ve personally found that playing around with eyeshadow shades in ranges close to my skin tone tends to look good and not emphasize my inflammation too much.
All that said, if you feel at your best with super bright eyeshadows and lipsticks on, you do you, girl!
Whatever makes you feel the most confident is what you should use.
2. Dress nicely
While there’s nothing wrong with wearing athletic clothes all day (god knows I do this 70% of the time), you’re likely to feel more confident and attractive with acne if you dress up a little bit.
Wear a cute sundress or a nice top with some form-fitting jeans. Basically, just wear something that you like and that makes you feel good.
3. Wear accessories that make you feel fierce
This might sound a little materialistic, but sometimes some cute shoes, a different pair of earrings or a new jacket are all it takes to give yourself an extra confidence boost.
Do I think you need these things to feel attractive as a woman? Hell no. A new tattoo or piercing is actually closer to what makes me feel more attractive than a handbag or a pair of shoes.
Again, just do what makes you feel good and find confidence in that.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, there really isn’t much difference between the things that can make guys feel attractive with acne and what can make women feel attractive with acne.
You could really use all of the suggestions above no matter what your gender is.
Obviously, all of these tips are based on my own personal experiences and opinions. But what do you guys think? What makes you feel attractive or more confident despite your acne?
Submit your tips in the comments below!