13 Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Acne

I’ve been dealing with skin issues for what seems like an eternity at this point. I accepted the fact that I have adult acne and will likely continue struggling with my skin for a while. When I was younger, it made me extremely insecure. I still get self-conscious sometimes, but not nearly as much.

I won’t lie: having acne sucks. I wish I could wake up and be ***Flawless like Beyonce, but that’s just not how things are for me. I know that I’m taking good care of my skin and feel good about what I’m doing. Some days are better than others, and that’s life! Anyway, dealing with acne isn’t fun. And it’s even worse when people feel like they have the right to comment on your skin. You should never (never, ever) say these things to someone with acne:

1. “Have you tried ProActiv?”

The next time someone asks if I’ve tried ProActiv, I will lock them in a room and make them listen to Adam Levine talk about ProActiv on repeat.

2. “You should wash your face more.”

You should be aware that you have no knowledge of my skincare routine.

3. “Do you eat a lot of chocolate?”

Do you eat a lot of jerk?

4. “Ugh I’m breaking out.”

Really, where? Oh you mean that one blackhead on your nose? Stop talking.

5. “I’m so lucky I was just blessed with great skin.”


6. “You’ll grow out of it!”

Well, that doesn’t help in the present. And acne isn’t just puberty-related for a lot of people.

7. “You should go to a dermatologist.”

What? I LITERALLY NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT. I’ve been seeing a dermatologist since I was, like, thirteen. Shut your face.

8. “[Insert treatment here] worked for my friend! You should try it!”

You should try not recommending things to me because you have no idea what you’re talking about!

9. “It’s just acne, I don’t get why it bothers you so much.”

Oh, okay. Let’s talk about how one of your insecurities isn’t a big deal then.

10. “Tanning really helped clear up my skin.”

You’re kidding, right? Do you know how bad tanning is for your skin? You might get cleared up in the short term, but tanning will actually cause you to break out more. Oh, and also skin cancer.

11. “Are you drinking enough water?”

Are you the aqua police?

12. “You’re probably breaking out because you wear makeup.”

You probably should stop telling me why my skin is doing what it does!

13. “I can’t even notice it though!”

But I notice it.

Do you have acne? What are some annoying things people have said to you? Tell us in the comments!

You’ll definitely know these struggles if you have oily skin

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  • Abigail

    I went to this page to figure out how I can support my friend who’s 19 with PCOS and struggles with acne. This is really good stuff to hear. So many of the comments and the items in the list make me flinch–how could people be so stupid and cruel? Bodies are just different and everyone’s individual struggle is so different. I’ve had clear skin my whole life with only a few pimples here and there, but I’ve struggled with obesity since I was little–and these comments strike a familiar chord in that area–seeing the lack of empathy people have for one another sometimes in both areas. Is there anything I can do to support my friend? I always tell her she is beautiful–because she is! Her acne doesn’t affect her beauty to me, it’s just a characteristic she has. Is there anything else?

  • Lewis

    My friend has got a bit of acne, his reply to someone noticing is: “Yeah. I’m going to get cream, because, no offence (looks at me) but I don’t want to turn out like that!” I was quite offended and I don’t even get offended that easily.

  • Nope

    “Well you obviously haven’t tried enough to get rid of it.” After 16 years, I think I have exhausted all possible ‘solutions’

  • Liliana Moline

    “You’re such an airhead. That’s probably why you have so many pimples.” Ok, that makes a TON of sense. “You’re wearing makeup.” Yeah. “Why?” …Because…

  • Svetlana Krylova

    “Aww you poor thing, it looks so sore”

  • Hazel

    Once my friend was being silly and pinching everyones cheeks and when it came to me she stopped like my acne is contagious or something, I was so embarrassed! but then my other friend came to up to me and pinched them and said “Hazel you know your really pretty” and her best friend said “yeah I love how your so confident and don’t get these minor things get to you” Aww I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such awesome people!

  • Yolo

    I hate it when people who have perfect complexions always complain about how they get like two tiny blackheads. I just want to strangle them cause’ they don’t realize how lucky they are. Oh, and then they get the nerve to say, “You should wash your face more.” Well, obviously that doesn’t work.. FML

  • Pink-eye

    I had a family event last weekend and broke out about a week before it was happening. it didn’t heal in time, and one was on the tip of my nose.

    My sisters asked me if I had skin cancer.

    I love acne.

  • Ambrosia

    1) You have little bumps on your forehead.
    2) Did you get poison ivy on your face?
    3) You have acne. On your forehead. And chin.
    4) It’s because of that pimple she doesn’t have a boyfriend.
    5) You have acne. Have you ever tried ProActiv? Hey, it worked for Katy Perry!
    Just shut up… Just shut up.

  • Beth

    A kid at my school said to me “You should be called spot to spot, not dot to dot.” Wow okay, thanks!

  • Taavi Bee

    When I was pre-teen, I developed acne. One day, my grandmother looked at me and said,
    “You used to have such a pretty peaches and cream complexion.” Gee, thanks – “used to” huh? Just what I needed to hear to build my self esteem.

  • Paul

    Few people know (including most doctors) that dairy products (ALL dairy products) are one of the leading causes of acne. It clogs & blocks your pores. Remove dairy from your life (better yet, go Vegan) and you will be AMAZED at the improvement in your skin. This applies to everyone, not just people with severe acne. This isn’t a animal activist rant (although I see nothing wrong with that), it’s a legimate CURE for acne! I have several friends with teenagers. They looked at me like I was crazy every time I suggested this approach. Finally, out of desparation, they tried it, and they were all amazed at the difference that it made. A reduction in acne was seen within a week, and their faces were almost totally clear within a month. The change must come from within. Topical treatments will never be 100% effective.

    • Ali

      Bullshit. I went vegan for 6 months and my acne got 3 times worse. You need dairy for calcium and several other vitamins. Eating a variety of foods in moderation while being careful to stay hydrated is what will help.

    • Sara

      Not breaking bones all the time because lack of calcium is surprisingly really fun!!! Have YOU had really bad acne? I think not…..

  • Jan707

    So I remember in 8th grade, this girl I used to be friends with had felt for some good reason to point out my pimples, and even though she admitted to me that she had them, but they were on her breasts (which I find is worse than being on the face because you can’t hide it with make-up) she told me how I needed to take care of that and how gross it was. But lucky for me, this cool dude stood up for me though and pretty much shut her up.

  • Jules

    I have chronic cystic acne and it never ceases to amaze me when I hear “what happened to your face?!” I work with the public so I’m not really allowed to say half of what I am thinking out loud. Usually I can ignore it. For the ones who really nag me about it, I say ” I was born with this face and I love it, what’s your excuse for having no tact?”

  • Andrea

    It sucks when little kids point it out…like how do you explain it to them?

    • Faitden

      Ikr my little sister knows what they are and I tell her how much I hate it.and she says I’m the prettiest person she’s ever seen .

  • Amy

    What really gets me is little kids because they obviously don’t understand about it. I volunteer with young kids and they point out a lot ‘what’s that on your face’ or ‘how did you get a sore bit on your face’ and i have to try really hard not to cry because I know they don’t mean to draw attention to it.

    I can’t believe that people would ever say some of this stuff, like no one around me ever really mentions my acne and would certainly never try to recommend something to me.

    Also, I have acne and was on accutane about 3 years ago and when I talk to people in school now who knew me back then they are really surprised when I mention that i had acne because they can’t remember it which just proves that no one else notices it as much as you.

  • Kat

    Ok so apparently nobody can say anything without offending you. Pretty much everyone goes through pizza face, so cowgirl up and deal with it

  • Ariana

    Some of these I understand, but most of them just make you sound like a whiny bitch when people are just trying to suggest things and help you.

    • chloé

      Recomending stuff like proActiv and creams makes others unhappy because you (not you specifically) don’t get that when one thing works for one person it may not work for others. E.G) A girl in my class uses oxytetracycline and it works wonders for her but it made my acne worse.

  • Darcy

    My friends will comment about other people’s acne and how disgusting it is and how it makes them unattractive. They say this in front of me and I have bad acne. I’m trying, but nothing seems to work. Their comments on acne are very ignorant.

  • Stefani

    How about “You have something right there..” and then proceeds to point or “Have you thought about just popping them?” Ughhhhhhhh