PARENT OPINION: The emotional toll of my daughter's acne.

Posted by Team @skinB5 on

Originally published in Mamamia

PARENT OPINION: The emotional toll of my daughter's acne.

These are the names my 12-year-old daughter has been called at school about her acne. She comes home, throws her bag at the bottom of the steps, and says that she wishes she could put a bag on her head. 

She has experienced skin challenges since she was a baby with eczema. She now gets subtle patches of skin discolouration, something which is very noticeable on her olive skin. These things, she tells me, don’t bother her because she can cover them up if she wants to, but for the pimples, blackheads and blemishes on her face, it's not that easy.

As I sit here now, watching her suck on frozen strawberries on the lounge, the thought of her wishing she could hide her face from the world hurts my heart like nothing else. She has no idea how often I just stare at her during candid moments of quiet like this, in complete awe of everything she is, just wishing that she could see herself the way I do. 

But, as she tells me, what I say doesn’t matter because I’m her mum. At 12, the only people who matter are her peers, and right now, they’re tearing her up inside.

Reading SkinB5's 2022 research study, I found my daughter isn’t alone in feeling down because of her acne. 

Young Aussies have the highest prevalence of mental illness, and the pressure to look a certain way is increasing. 95 per cent are feeling self-conscious because of their skin. Skin conditions like acne are well-documented to have significant impacts on mental health, with acne linked to anxiety, depression, and a decreased quality of life. 

The effect acne can have on young people is saddening. Although I can’t directly change the behaviour of her peers, I can work with my daughter in navigating her skin challenges so she can start feeling like her bubbly, incredible self again.

Here's what we've been trying.


The way we feel about ourselves has a massive impact on how we move through life. SkinB5’s study shares a reduction in self-esteem can lead to changes in behaviour, like avoiding social situations or saying no to opportunities we wouldn’t typically turn down. 

Tweens and teens are at such a vulnerable stage of life, and when my daughter comes home saying some kids at school have said unkind things about her skin, she retreats to the safety of her bedroom.

To help encourage her to push forward and continue to enjoy being a kid, I have booked her in to participate in things that I know she loves. Activities like netball with friends, playdates and nipper training sessions allow her to focus on how incredible she is with hope she'll see that her acne doesn’t change who she is or what she is capable of.

Skincare routine

My daughter plays a lot of sport, and goes in the surf almost daily, so is constantly covered in zinc and sweat. With congestion, hormones and her monthly cycle, her skin has fast become incredibly prone to a breakout. Her T-zone is most affected on a regular basis, and she has just recently started noticing tiny pimples on her shoulders and at the top of her back.

The usual acne-fighting washes and creams have been used as part of a daily skincare routine, and I've recently learnt that acne can be targeted from the inside too. SkinB5’s Extra Strength Acne Control Vitamins help target the internal causes of acne rather than only focusing on external symptoms like pimples, oily skin and blackheads. 

Their patented formula uses a potent vitamin B5 + B3 complex with zinc, folic acid and copper to help manage the root cause of acne, and target overall skin health. The vitamins are suitable for over 12s, so can be a convenient twice-daily addition to any skin routine, along with topical skincare too.

Social media

My daughter doesn’t have access to much social media, but she does google pictures of celebrities and watch YouTube influencers on TV. And now with the prevalence of AI images and ‘hot’ filters, the pressure to look a certain way has never been more overt. 

We've had many conversations at home about the fact that what she sees online, isn’t necessarily a true representation of real life but sadly, the study reports that almost 59 per cent of young Aussies hate photos of themselves, 40 per cent edit their images to hide their skin, and 23 per cent won’t leave home without wearing make-up.

To help my daughter feel more at ease with her skin, I don’t wear makeup. I leave the house bare-faced and free, showing her that our true faces show the world our true selves. And when I post pics on social media, I don’t use filters or touch up anything. I want to model to her that people appreciate a true representation, not a faux version of ourselves. 


SkinB5 found that 24 per cent of young people are bullied because of their skin, with one in four admitting to being scarred for life because of hurtful comments about it. This is something my girl is unfortunately very familiar with, and we have worked hard for a while now on how to block out the negative, and instead, embrace the positive. 

We have looked at understanding why bullies pick on others; that their insecurities often make them feel the need to point out others’. When she sees their behaviour and how it affects her and those around her, she can empathise with their situations and see that she really isn’t the problem, and her skin is merely low-hanging fruit to make them feel better about themselves.

We’re a very big solution-focused family. When we're faced with a challenge, we like to face it head-on to find a tactic that helps. I'm not naive enough to think that a few conversations and changes to habits are enough to make my daughter’s acne worries float away. 

But I do know that two hearts are better than one, and she doesn't need to face anything alone. We can work through anything together, from the inside, out.

Shop SkinB5 at your local Priceline, or use the code mamamia20 for 20 per cent off online.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use. 

If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant do not take Vitamin A without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. This information is general in nature and does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Always seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.

Author: Rikki Waller 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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