Ellie's Story (20s)
Ellie always had lovely skin and only occasionally experienced a few small skin bumps. However, three years ago when charcoal-based products were all the rage, she spotted a charcoal face wash and decided to give it a go to help ‘draw out’ impurities, as it promised, to keep her skin clear.
She followed the instructions carefully and applied the face wash, massaging it in as directed. Immediately her skin felt ‘squeaky clean’ but she was soon to release this was NOT a good sign. The product had stripped all the oil from her skin….
An hour later, Ellie’s skin was very red and lumps started to appear. By the morning she had blister-like spots and her skin was weeping. “I looked as if I had boils on my skin that I’d tried to scrape off,” says Ellie. “My whole face was stinging and really red. I was horrified!
"My mum wanted to take me to A&E but I refused to leave the house – I was in a total meltdown. Her friend, a beautician called Julia Vearncombe, was working on a new natural range of products and had given mum some samples to try. She suggested I try the products as they were developed to calm irritated and spotty skin.
There are three products – a face wash, purifying gel and moisturiser – that you use as a set. I washed my face gently, applied the gel and once that had sunk in, put on the moisturiser. Within an hour the redness started to go down and the puffiness and swelling reduced. I and my skin felt calmer and the following morning I could see an improvement. I used the products for the next week and my skin cleared up well with just a few of the deeper marks still visible.
I felt relieved and looked forward to my clear, soft skin returning. Sadly, that didn’t happen and three years after the initial flare up, I still have problems with my skin. It’s super sensitive when before it hadn’t been and if I use any products other than skin:genius or put on make-up without applying the soothing moisturiser first, my skin reacts. Not as badly as the first time but badly enough.
My doctor said that the charcoal face wash had stripped all the natural oils from the first few layers of my skin. I had lost that natural protection barrier and my skin was – and still is – susceptible to infection and flare-ups. If I’m unwell or even just run down, my skin reacts.
I’m relieved to have found skin:genius but saddened to know that one impulsive choice of a harsh product has left me with on-going problems that means I’m likely to have hives and rashes from most products. My friends were very understanding of my situation and would let me know if they could see my face oozing! Sounds awful, but in those early days that’s what happened: I felt disgusting next to them.
What’s even more upsetting is that aged 23 I had pretty flawless skin and I didn’t need to use a treatment product in the first place. I just wanted to try the latest miracle ingredient without even thinking it through. Now 26 I’m living with a daily challenge to keep my skin clear of rashes, blister-style spots and redness. skin:genius has been a wonderful help and without it I don’t know where I’d be.
I now work as a diamond dealer and have to meet clients and buyers every day. If my skin is bad, I’m self-conscious. It’s never been as bad as the day I refused to leave the house to go to A&E but it’s at the back of my mind that my skin could flare up at a moment’s notice.
I will never take my skin for granted again and thank my lucky stars that my mum knew about skin:genius which, at the time, was very new."