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Racked loves skin care. This isn’t much of a surprising admission: We’ve written about how it’s not a scam (and when it probably is), the best products, the notable trends, the steals, the brands you want to know more about.
But for all our talk about skin, we don’t talk very much about acne as anything other than an issue to be solved. “Body positivity” is such a popular concept that it’s considered a movement (a movement that has its own Wikipedia page, no less), but skin positivity is, well, not nothing, but certainly less of a thing.
We wanted to explore why that is, look at how we’ve understood pimples through history, break down what the different types of acne really are and how they’re treated, find the people who are bonding through shared acne concerns online, and find out who is profiting off our insecurities about our skin. Plus, we wanted to take some cool, glamorous pictures of people where their zits aren’t covered up.
These pictures can be seen throughout the stories. The models were generous volunteers, and they certainly don’t cover the full breadth of people with acne, so to that end, we’d love to see your own photos and hear your stories. You can share them in our Facebook group, Racked Shopping Lounge, or email email@example.com. We’d like this to be the beginning of a conversation, not the final word.
By Cheryl Wischhover
Because health care is broken.
By Jaya Saxena
Having imperfect skin can have real sociocultural ramifications.
By Tracy E. Robey
A history of the scientific blistering of maggot pimples, pustules, and papules by the most efficacious substances such as mercury.
By Aditi Shrikant
Acne.org’s very, very active forums are a place for tips, commiseration, and empathy.
By Cheryl Wischhover
Yeah, acne treatment can be complex, but this is how doctors think about it when coming up with a plan.
Editors: Meredith Haggerty, Alanna Okun
Creative Director: Lauren O’Connell | @loconnl
Photographer: Charlotte Bae | @charbaelotte
Hair & Makeup Artist: Shideh Kafei | @shidehkafei
Hair & Makeup Assistant: Maya Rene | @maya_rene
Special thanks to Ellie Krupnick, Nisha Chittal, Julia Rubin, Margaret Lin, Amy Plitt, Patty Dietz, Marine Parra Gonzalez, Kelsey Weekman, Jenna Stoeber, Breanne Thomas