Me & My Skin: Confessions of an Acne Sufferer

Way back when, I went out with a guy who I thought was God’s gift. It was a summer romance of my late teens and I thought I was in heaven. He went on holiday for a couple of weeks and we were set to go on a date on the Friday he returned. And I was so excited.

I had the outfit, the shoes, the slim figure (which I wish I still had) but not the great skin. The breakout came at completely the wrong time. I tried to cover it up as best I could and let my great outfit try and mask the spots on my chin.

We went out but when he saw me, his expression changed. His demeanour did a total 180. The following day he broke up with me and I was devastated. I took a hard look at myself in the mirror and I had convinced myself that he was that superficial, that my bad teenage skin caused him to break up with me. I saw him looking at my skin the during the whole date. My skin was always causing me trouble; I had a professional modelling contract from the time I was 14, and I constantly missed castings thanks to the joys of acne. 

IMG_0028 The unedited me

In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad but hormonal breakouts were my nemesis. I tried everything. New skin care products, endless trips to the dermatologist (with an outright refusal to take Roaccutane) and oodles of money spent on make up to hide it. The skin issues carried right into my twenties. Nothing worked and as a result of the teenage breakup and lack of modelling work, it ruined what little self-confidence I had already. I didn’t want to go out, I compared myself to my friends with their perfectly flawless and pore free skin. Why did I get the bad skin gene? It sucked. 


My lack of confidence was very much linked to my face. I felt paranoid and uncomfortable. I thought every one peered at my chin covered in pimples, and I couldn’t convince myself otherwise. When it came to my wedding (as I was hitting 29 years old) I needed to get this whole thing addressed for once and for all so I went to see a lady who I can firmly say turned my face inside out. Elaine Butler-Doolin is a lady who knows skin like no other and with her acute knowledge of skin and the right products, over a four month period she changed my life. It turned out that my skin was so beyond dehydrated, that it took months to remedy it. I never thought to hydrate my skin despite it’s oiliness but your skin needs to drink water just as much as we do. 

Make up, but no photoshop! Make up, but no photoshop!

I used to default to make up with full coverage to mask my imperfections, but what I wasn’t addressing was the work I needed to do from the inside out. For the first time in my life, I had almost clear skin. I felt like I could leave the house without make up, confidently and there were actually days when I would go into the bathroom having woken up and cry with sheer happiness that I had improved skin. Getting the basics right meant I could wear less make up so BB cream has become my friend on down time, and now that I have a controlled and appropriate skin routine, make up sits better on my face. I’ve become an advocate of less is more and I never thought I would say that. 

It might sound a bit ridiculous to say that my skin was the source of self-confidence but for me, it was. I just needed the right advice. Now that I’m 33, my skin isn’t perfect, but it’s good. I make time for it: removing make up at night, doing a double cleanse, tone and oiling each night. I do a mask once a week to clear out my pores and my skin looks like it’s happy. Gone are the angry days. I know a lot of it has to do with hormones which we can’t control. But we can manage it. 


Has your skin type affected your confidence? Has sorting out issues relating to your skin done wonders for your confidence?

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