This is Aimee's story which has been published in The Telegraph today 7th May 2022.
I am lucky enough to live near this wonderful young lady, who tells her story. Aimee once felt so unhappy, lonely and sad about her skin and herself and now, she has completely changed - feels happy and confident and wants to give others hope.
Please read as Aimee is an inspiration to so many. As Aimee says 'Don't give up - you are beautiful'
Aimee 15, has had acne since the age of 11. It started suddenly, almost overnight, as she hit puberty and went to secondary school.
The acne appeared mostly on her cheeks which quickly became red, ‘angry’ with white filled spots and bumps. Having gone from having a clear ‘English Rose’ complexion Aimee’s skin was out of control. None of the family had suffered from acne, not even her twin brother who remains unaffected.
Her mum, Kirsty, started Aimee on high-street brands that she’d seen advertised for acne but none worked. Worried that Aimee’s choice of make-up - which she used to try and cover the problem - was affecting her skin, she bought some of the most expensive, high-end products. They didn’t help either.
They also visited a specialist teen acne clinic which was their ‘last resort’ before going to a GP and seeking medication. The clinic tried facials, light treatments, peels - but nothing touched Aimee’s acne.
Aimee says “I felt disgusting - the spots were horrid to look at, my skin was sore and looked really red and bumpy. I started to feel quite depressed about it as nothing seemed to be working.”
Kirsty noticed a stark difference in Aimee and worried for her mental health. “She went from being a really bright, happy child to suddenly not wanting to do anything.
“As a mum you just want to help and I wanted to take that anger out of her face. It didn’t matter what it cost - we threw a lot of money at it to try and sort the problem. But I didn’t know what avenue to go down: there’s not enough advice out there. It was awful seeing Aimee like this: if I could have taken the acne for her I would.
“I was worried for her mental health and confidence. My son was going out doing all the things they should at this age, but Aimee just didn’t want to socialise. I wanted to take her pain away.”
“I felt disgusting as my skin was horrible to look at - all bumpy and red with white filled spots. It made me feel very self-conscious and I just didn’t want people looking at me so I avoided going out,” says Aimee. “I was forever cancelling friends and parties because I just didn’t feel able to go because of my appearance.
“I really didn’t want to go out and when I did I tried to hide behind layers or make-up. I got to the point that unless I HAD to go out I just didn’t. My twin brother went out all the time, but I just didn’t want to socialise. I couldn’t face it,”
Lockdown initially helped Aimee as she wasn’t in school or able to go out with friends. The relief was short-lived, however, as everyone went on social media instead which left Aimee feeling more exposed. “I didn’t post many selfies and always used the filters as I was so worried about getting negative comments. I couldn’t help comparing myself to others who had lovely clear skin: it got me down that I couldn’t share my own photos in return.”
Another challenge for Aimee was online lessons. “We had to turn the cameras on during online lessons at school so all I could see was my face on the screen. Of course, everyone else could see me too: I felt like I had nowhere to hide.”
Aimee agreed to take photos and track her progress with Skin:Genius and the transformation over time is clear to see. She started using it in October 2021 and uses the face wash in the morning and both the moisturiser and purifying gel at night. If a spot starts to form, she’ll dab on the Hits The Spot gel straight away. It’s now at the point where make-up will pretty much hide Aimee’s acne and she hopes in the summer of 2022, she will be able to go make-up free with confidence.
“I love using Skin:Genius products,” says Aimee. “They have a lovely fresh smell, which is a relief after some of the awful smell of products I’d tried before!
“Skin:Genius feels really comfortable on my skin, it doesn’t sting or irritate. It soaks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling soft. They are super easy to use as well - just one pump of each product and that’s it.”
The improvements in Aimee’s skin came gradually but are lasting.
Firstly, the bumps went down, then the redness reduced and now the scars are fading. She gets the occasional spots but not as badly as before and they quickly recede.
“It’s such a relief! My skin’s now at the point where a natural looking make-up will pretty much hide my acne and by the summer I want to be able to go out make-up free.
“I feel far less anxious because I know that any spots I get are quickly sorted out. It’s good to feel I’m back in control of it. I do still get a few spots but not as bad as I used to - I get one at a time rather than a whole load together and when I dab on the purifying gel I know it will go quickly.”
“People who don’t have acne don’t understand how helpless and self-conscious you feel,” says Aimee. “There needs to be more awareness and acceptance of bad skin so that people who do suffer don’t feel so bad about it being seen by others.
“I would say to anyone else who’s struggling with acne please don’t give up - keep looking until you find products that will work for you. You are beautiful"