12 Beautiful Images of Real Women's Acne Scars

Clinical studies suggest that up to 55% of adults aged 20 to 40 struggle with persistent acne. Since scarring is often an inevitable part of the breakout process, and one that such a high percentage of adults struggle with, it's a wonder we still consider acne scars so shameful: "How to get rid of acne scars" is a term searched over 60,000 times a month. 

Why exactly do acne scars occur? They happen when an inflamed blemish tears the skin. Pimples cause our pores to swell, breaking the wall of the follicle. When the tear is shallow, the injury heals quickly. But when it's deeper, bad bacteria can leak out, worsening the lesion. The skin tries to repair itself by forming lattices of collagen, but when the lesion is deep, the collagen doesn't lay smoothly, causing a rough scar to appear.

We're taught that uneven skin texture is imperfect and unsightly, but the following images from 12 skin-positivity Instagrammers prove that if you just reorient your perspective slightly, acne scars are not ugly. They may be "flaws," but they're beautiful. Here are 12 pictures of acne scars that prove it.