College Student With Severe Acne Shares Her Selfies To Empower Others

Dating in our modern world can be hard for anyone. There are loads of different apps to contend with, the pressure to use misleading photo tweaking techniques, and the general difficulties of trying to click with someone via impersonal text messages. But for some people, the overall judgmental atmosphere of the modern dating scene can be traumatizing enough to swear it off altogether.

19-year-old Abigail Collins has completely given up dating due to her fear of being called a “catfish” over the amount of makeup she wears to hide her cystic acne. Collins, who has been suffering from severe acne since the age of 10, spends two hours every morning applying concealer and foundation to her face to mask her breakouts.

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just slathered my face in moisturiser in this one so we look glowy on a horrible day but thats okay. - - one thing thats been on my mind recently is the way other people act towards people with acne in particular. the stares and the questions are bad but I never understand people who grimace at the sight of my skin or have something rude to say about it but enjoy watching spot popping snd blackhead squeezing videos?? it confuses the hell out of me how my redness can bother you but that doesn’t? it. makes. no. sense... - - the other thing that pushes my buttons is when people offer to squeeze your spots/blackheads! I’m not here for your enjoyment or for you to get your grubby hands all over my skin, it just makes me more self conscious as if you notice it then god forbid everyone else notices it too, even worse when they tell you that you need to squeeze them yourself or point it out to you in general. annoyingly, if you retaliate snd say something in defence YOU become the bad one 🙄. - - as well as all this, I actually feel judged by people for not taking accutane, not within this community (I love u all) but by people in my day to day life, its something I only thought about today but I feel as though some people around me believe I’m not wanting to better my skin and yeah just some of todays thoughts. - - long story, I have just had enough of people and looking different today, so to cheer myself up I’m off to do a shopping spree on asos, treat your self 😘. - - - - - #acneskin #acne #acnescars #acneproblems #acnecoverage #acnejourney #acnehelp #acnecommunity #acneprone #acneproneskin #acnelife #adultacne #acnesucks #skinpositivity #freethepimple #pimple #pimpleproblems #pcos #pcoslifestyle #pcossupport #pcossucks #pcoslife #pcosjourney #pcosawareness #pcoscommunity #acneappreciation #acneawareness #cysticacne #acnepositivity #selflove

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Today’s before and after. . . . This morning was really tough for literally zero reason, got upset and teary over my skin. Despite it looking better, I have broken out on my forehead with never happens and now I’m upset that that may be my new problem area ☹️ Fingers crossed its not though!! . . . This morning meltdown left me with like 30 minutes to get ready which caused me to be sloppy with my contouring 🤦🏼‍♀️ . . . . . #acneskin #acne #acnetreatment #acneproblems #acnescars #acnecoverage #acnecommunity #acnejourney #acnehelp #acneprone #acneproneskin #adultacne #cysticacne #makeuptransformation #transformationtuesday #pcos #pcoslifestyle #pcossucks #pcoslife #pcosskin #pcoscommunity

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Collins toldDaily Mail,

I’ve struggled to get into relationships as I was so self-conscious about my skin and how it looked, especially to someone romantically, so I tried, and still do, to avoid this.

I don’t date purely because I don’t want anyone to think I’m a catfish or that I’m not being honest about the way I look. It’s so difficult to understand and see how another person interprets you.

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❗️ TEXTURE ❗️ Without fail I would edit this to get rid of my bumps and texture to try and make everyone think I had flawless skin when in reality - I don’t. For me, my skin is very bad on the lower portion of my face. from my eyes down in the very centre of my face it is genuinely like the alps. The amount of texture and spots that occur there is unreal. The most annoying thing is the spots that never seem to disappear or the ones that only get bigger and bigger. I absolutely hate when people constantly stare and whisper in public places about my skin or the people that offer their opinions and tips on things that they think would help 🙄. If I had a pound for every time someone suggests some miracle product from lush I would be a millionaire! But let’s be real, texture is not the worst thing in the world at all and I’m very grateful that this is all I get. • • • • #cysticacne #acne #acnescars #acneproblems #acnecoverage #adultacne #acneskin #hormonalacne #acnepositivity #acneprone #acnecommunity #pcos #pcoscommunity #pcossucks #skinpositivity

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Collins explained that as she began reaching puberty, her acne started to appear. By 2014, she developed cystic acne and it began to expand all over her face. She said that some of the breakouts have left her with life-long scarring. And, Collins said it has severely affected her childhood.

‘Growing up it was very difficult to accept my skin and do normal teenage things.

Some days, Collins would show up to school late because she wanted to make sure her entire face was covered—hiding all of her acne from the world.

I felt like I had to wear make-up every day for school and I was often late because I had to make sure everything was covered, so it would take me one or two hours to get ready.

In school I felt as if nobody wanted to associate themselves with me because of the way I looked, which meant I had very few friends and a poor social life at this point in my life.

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the glasses of absolute doom and demise - but this is a good example of why I get breakouts where they sit, I have to compromise my vision or get spots so stay off the roads because best believe I’d rather be blind 🤷🏼‍♀️ - just wish my dermatologist would listen to me and realise that the breakouts I have had for years there are caused by my glasses ( sometimes the only breakouts I have had on my face while seeing her ) ((but thats none of my business)). - hands up though if you have feel failed by dermatologists and feel like they don’t listen to you at all 🙋🏼‍♀️ - but on a positive note, my momma said my skin looks better so it must be true 💛 . . . . . #acneskin #acne #acnescars #acneproblems #acnecoverage #acnejourney #acnehelp #acnecommunity #acneprone #acneproneskin #acnelife #adultacne #acnesucks #skinpositivity #freethepimple #pimple #pimpleproblems #pcos #pcoslifestyle #pcossupport #pcossucks #pcoslife #pcosjourney #pcosawareness #pcoscommunity #acneappreciation #acneawareness #cysticacne #acnepositivity

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Throughout school, Collins was bullied because of her skin and felt that she always needed to cover it up to make sure she fit in. But she didn’t let it get her down.

After moving away to attend college, Collins began to get more comfortable with leaving the house make-up free. She noticed that no one cared about how she looked and around her second year in university, she stopped wearing makeup to classes and lectures.

I realised that none of the people around me noticed my skin to a great extent. Also, being a student doesn’t leave you with a huge amount of time to get ready in the mornings either, so I made myself skip make-up some mornings and then it became more frequent.

Now, it’s rare I wear any to university. If I’m going out somewhere nice with friends or family, then I will wear make-up, but if it’s just to do something casual like going to the supermarket, then I will skip it.

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my eyes always look HELLA crazy in my night time selfies 😩 I’m just blind I promise! - - - I personally think my skin is looking smoother (bar the two breakouts I’ve posted about on my story) buuuuuuut time will tell! - - - Been feeling good about my skin recently mainly because of how smooth it is but today kinda changed. I have an active on my cheekbone and a biiig whitehead on my chin thats been on show all day ☹️ I have been trying different foundations which just don’t make my skin look too great either so think this factors into things! I have broken out badly on my body too which is annoying so I’m just fed up at this point. - - - It is always one step forward, two step backs but you just gotta get on with things I guess, I will be feeling fine tomorrow. - - On a side note!!!!! @maccosmeticsuk skincare range is soo underrated! I have been using their cleanse off oil and it smells AH MAZE ING but it does such a good job of clearing everything off my face and the best part?? it doesn’t break me out 🙌🏼. - - - Does anyone have some nice skincare recommendations too? I want some new masks to treat myself to 🤔. - - - - - #acneskin #acne #acnescars #acneproblems #acnecoverage #acnejourney #acnehelp #acnecommunity #acneprone #acneproneskin #acnelife #adultacne #acnesucks #skinpositivity #freethepimple #pimple #pimpleproblems #pcos #pcoslifestyle #pcossupport #pcossucks #pcoslife #pcosjourney #pcosawareness #pcoscommunity #acneappreciation #acneawareness #cysticacne

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Collins has also used Instagram as a way to connect with others who are undergoing the same struggles and skin issues. She frequently shares all-natural photos online, trying to empower those who felt as uncomfortable and ashamed as she did at a young age.

Instagram has helped me so much as I’ve seen so many other people who look like me and made me feel less alone. It’s nice to be able to chat to people about how I’m feeling or how our skin is doing that day, which is something you can’t discuss with most people.

I hope to show others that acne doesn’t define you and that you’re never as alone as you feel. There are always people out there who can relate and understand what you are going through and can support you.

h/t: Daily Mail


Written by Lex Gabrielle

Lex is a writer from New York City who supports messy buns and all things covered in buffalo sauce. You can find her in your local coffee shop buried in social media and celebrity content, listening to Led Zeppelin on full volume.