Don't give up.
Acne is one of the hardest skin conditions to deal with. It can wreck havoc on your confidence and is notoriously difficult to treat. For most people, their journey through it is something they try to keep as hidden as possible.
Kali Kushner, however, decided to break the stereotypes and document her struggles with her skin from start to finish with the entire world. The 22-year-old suffered with acne for most of her life, but during a month in 2014 her skin flared up massively.
‘I had always had some minor acne in high school, but one month in 2014, it went full-force crazy, covering my entire face,” she said.
“I tried literally everything: the oil cleansing method, which is where you wash your face with oil, the caveman method, which is where you don’t put anything on your face at all, plus every cream, potion and antibiotic that my dermatologist prescribed me, but nothing worked.”
After exhausting all other options, she decided to try Accutane, a potent acne clearing drug and post pictures of herself on an Instagram account called @myfacestory. She started the account 2 years ago and she now has over 22 thousand followers.
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Within weeks of starting the course he skin began to clear up. “It was honestly like magic,” she says. Although her new skin didn’t come without a cost. “The only downside was the side effects, which, for me made me dry literally everywhere, and made me feel achy all over, all day long, every single day. It’d take me ten minutes just to get out of bed in the morning, because my back was so sore.”
Kushner started posting before and after, unfiltered photos and slowly but surely her followers started rolling in. Pretty soon after people begun messaging her, asking for help and advice with their skin.
“I used to think it was odd, because I really didn’t do anything magical—I just took Accutane and a bunch of selfies, but now I realise that the reason people are so dedicated to following my story is because nobody actually posts stuff like this,” she said.
“Acne is so hush-hush and shamed in society, and having clear skin is the epitome of beauty, so if you dare have a spot or a breakout—and if you dare to take a picture of it—it’s almost like something’s wrong with you, which is so false.”
She’s now off the drug, but continues to post regular skin updates and has since been using a dermaroller to help combat her acne scarring – even the difference between her skin before and after using the dermaroller is pretty insane.
But the most important thing for Kushner is letting people know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed about it – it can happen to anyone and it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
“I’m genetically predisposed to acne, so I’ve come to learn that my skin will have its ups and downs, and it might get better or worse some months, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of,” says Kushner.
“I know it sounds cheesy, but you are so much more than your acne, and if you want to go on Accutane to make yourself feel more confident, then do it, but do it because of you, and not because you’re trying to look like this perfect image that matches our perfect standards of beauty.”