Acne sufferers share inspirational recovery stories that anyone can follow
Acne can be a terrible curse for sufferers of all ages who have to contend with bullies and body shamers - on and offline - along with the personal torment that comes with a condition that's been linked to complex mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Rather than bombard you with too many before and after pictures, here are some uplifting personal accounts from women who have improved their acne and want to share their success stories.
Hollywood twins Nina and Randa Nelson, 22, cured their acne with a strict fat-free diet
Identical twins Nina and Randa Nelson were raised on a vegan diet that kept them in great shape for their singing career in the world’s beauty-obsessed capital, Los Angeles.
But despite their super healthy diet, the twins developed cystic acne aged 20 that dampened their confidence when performing. In a Youtube video on how they beat their acne, they said: "All hell broke loose on our face, it was the worst acne you can image."
They were already on a red meat and dairy free diet, so they focused on topical cleansers, medications and antibiotics to try and cure their itchy and painful breakouts.
After consulting a number of dermatologists, nothing conventional improved their condition. As with many acne sufferers, they were told Roaccutane was their only option.
At this point, their father suggested the girls consult with diet specialist, Dr. John McDougall – the same doctor who helped their mother overcome an autoimmune disease a few year’s earlier.
Dr. McDougall warned that any kind of fat, even the good fats found in avocados and nuts, could trigger horrific acne when your hormones are ‘going crazy’.
"What Dr. McDougall said on his website about acne and excess fats made complete sense to us, so we tried it," they explained to the MailOnline.
"Within three days, we had no new breakouts! It was just a matter of healing up the scars."
Now 22, the twins eat loads of vegetables with low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats and sweet potatoes. They’ve cut out condiments like peanut butter and soy milk in favour of extra fruit to keep them at a healthy weight.
After five weeks of sticking to the strict fat-free diet, they said: "It was a miracle, it was the first thing that actually worked. I think we cried of happiness.
"The food still tastes amazing, you’re not missing out on anything. What I’m eating is going to make me look the best I can."
Make-up artist Keeve Angeline, 27, used silver serum to beat her acne and fear of dating
Make-up artist Keeve Angline was left so depressed by her acne, she felt "like a monster" and was terrified of speaking to men, let alone dating and having a boyfriend.
She told the MailOnline: "Earlier this year I plucked up the courage to try and get chatting to a guy at work.
"I was so desperate, I tried to scrub off my acne with a wire exfoliating mitt and ended up removing half the skin on my face.
"We chatted for about ten minutes and it was going well and then he asked me if I had been in an accident as he said my face was all swollen and raw on one side.
"I hadn't been in an accident of course, it was my acne. I was so mortified that I made an excuse to leave work and went home and cried."
Keeve tried different medications and antibiotics over the years but like most sufferers, they left her skin dry, flaky and hyper sensitive to sunburn.
Concerned about her daughter’s unhappiness, Keeve’s mother ordered a product called silver serum that contains the anti-bacterial agent, anti-microbal silver.
Keeve’s skin immediately felt calmer and she started seeing real results after a month.
She said: "The deep cysts that never cleared up started receding.
"I was able to return to work after a week and face people as my skin had improved enough for me to feel just about confident enough to leave the house.
"I was also able to wear makeup without it stinging if I put the silver serum on first."
After two months of consistently apply the serum, her skin was completely clear.
She added: "I now speak to guys and I've even managed to flirt a bit. “Its early days but I feel confident that I'll meet someone soon."
Julie Luu, 28, believes Chinese tea improved a decade of serious acne
Essex girl Julie Luu suffered from severe acne with typical red, angry spots since the age of 14.
Becoming a beauty blogger focused her desire for a wonder cure.
She told the Express: "You flick through magazines and every page has people with flawless skin and you think, 'why is mine not the same? Why is this happening to me?'
"You do feel ugly, like you're not as pretty as every one else. It knocks your confidence. There are people who wake up with clear skin and I wake up with more spots."
After trying conventional medication for years, she started drinking Chinese tea with extracts of dandelion, mulberry root bark, red peony root and rhubarb root.
Although not completely spot free, Julie has seen a marked improvement within six months and says her skin is the clearest it’s ever been.
She’s also made important dietary changes, cutting out junk food, sugar, dairy and tomatoes.
Julie is now blogging and tweeting about her success to help other acne sufferers cope with the psychological distress of not feeling beautiful.
She said: "Now when I look at pictures of me I think: 'wow, it's made a big difference,' and I wake up in the morning and feel a lot more positive. I look in the mirror now and feel confident."
Blogger Stina Sanders took ‘wonder drug’ Roaccutane when all else failed
She said: "It was like a scene from a horror film. I went to bed with normal skin, to wake up in the morning to discover a newly-formed pizza face staring back at me in the mirror."
Stina’s doctor suggested her acne was caused by the stress of university exams and her parent’s divorce. A reasonable assumption, but the antibiotics he prescribed made no difference to her skin.
Stina explained: "For two months, every day, I took my antibiotics religiously.
"The doctor promised that eventually the bacteria causing the acne would be killed off and my skin would go back to normal. But it never did."
After being referred to a dermatologist, Stina was prescribed the so-called acne ‘wonder drug’, Roaccutane.
Anyone with severe acne would have looked into the pros and cons of this controversial drug. The active ingredient is a vitamin A derivative called isotretinoin that has delivered amazing results for millions of acne sufferers.
But the solution comes with a long list of frightening side effects, including serious skin reactions, vision problems, depression and birth defects.
Stina was asked to sign a form agreeing to an abortion if she fell pregnant and met with counsellors to ward off potential depression.
She admitted: "It is definitely not a medication to be messed with, but it changed my life.
"After six months of taking the horse-sized tablets every day, four times a day, my acne was eventually cured. My skin glowed – it was smooth and I didn’t have a single spot, not even a black head on my face. I was finally back to being my pouty old self."
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