- Isabella was diagnosed with cystic acne when she was 9 years old.
- The acne disappeared for four years and came back in 2020 and became worse.
- She started an Instagram account to embrace her acne, and she is now the face of an international skincare brand embracing real skin.
Isabella (23) from Kent, UK, who now has 13 000 followers on Instagram, was diagnosed with cystic acne when she was just 9 years old.
Her condition started with a spot on her eyebrow, but she soon developed ‘bumps’ under the skin on her forehead, which were red and painful making her stand out in public. Isabella tried many different medications to cure her acne until she finally found something that caused it to temporarily disappear for four years.
In early 2020, her acne came back and was worse due to other health problems. Isabella’s acne spread all over her face, shoulders, back, and neck and is as painful as ever. After her acne spread again, strangers stared at her in the streets and offered unsolicited advice.
Isabella felt so self-conscious she would wear makeup all the time, however, the bumps and lumps of her acne were still visible. It started affecting her self-confidence and self-worth. Soon enough, Isabella decided she didn’t want her skin to affect how she lived her life anymore. She started an Instagram account to share photos of herself and embrace her acne.
Much to her surprise, the account took off more than she could have ever imagined, and she is now the face of an international skincare brand embracing real skin.
““I had suffered from acne all my life until I found a medication that made it completely disappear when I was (17). For four years after that, I had my cystic acne was the most manageable it had ever been. However, in early 2020, due to unrelated health issues, my acne came back worse than ever," she says.
Isabella say it was incredibly upsetting and jarring to have to deal with not only the pain of cystic acne but the psychological impacts it leaves.
“Soon enough, I got so fed up with worrying and covering it I decided to embrace my skin for how it is. I started an Instagram page to show pictures of myself with acne, and I couldn’t have imagined how much it would take off. It’s incredible to now be one of the upcoming faces for the Biore Pore strips. This campaign is in collaboration with ditching the label about real skin and skin esteem.”
Isabella is making a career of being an acne and body positivity Instagram influencer.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I wouldn’t let acne control me, and I wanted to show others that you can still love yourself and live a wonderful life with acne. Having acne is normal – it’s not dirty or bad. Sharing that on my account has made me so much more confident, and I now care even less about my skin," she says.
“It’s so fulfilling and heart-warming to connect every day with people who say I have helped them love themselves.”
Isabella believes the Biore campaign is a huge step forward for the acne community.
"It is also really significant for the acne community because it gives visible representation for those who have skin conditions. It is inclusive and helps show how acne isn’t because someone is dirty or doesn’t look after their skin," she says speaking of the campaign.
"It shows how brands and representation are changing. People have often come up to me and told me to wash my face more or drink more water. They have offered terrible solutions that made me more self-conscious. Hence, this campaign embracing real skin is a huge step in the right direction.”