Siobhan’s Personal Acne Journey
For those of you who don’t know me, Hey! I’m Siobhan, a Skin Therapist at With Grace. I get asked a lot about why I became a skin therapist and so I thought I would share my own personal skin journey and my battle with acne that led me to my dream career -plus more!
It all started at the age of about 11/12 years old. Just like everyone else, I started to develop those lovely little red spots on my face -pimples. There were only a few, scattered across my forehead and chin. With my mum having experienced bad acne as a teenager herself, she made sure I had a skincare routine that I was following daily. At this point, my skin wasn’t getting any worse, nor any better.
Age 13 -the big boom.
Remembering back to my 13 year old self, it felt as though my skin erupted right after my birthday. I was experiencing cystic acne. My face was red, swollen with large painful cysts that hurt whenever I smiled. I remember covering my entire face with layers of foundation and powder, just to cover the redness! I was always a very active kid and ate a healthy, balanced diet too. Both of my parents experienced acne as teenagers so I guess I was bound to get it -woohoo.
Prepare yourselves, I’m about to talk about the B.S. that I’ve used on my poor skin.
Topically I was using everything under the sun. I remember using Benzol Peroxide over my entire face, I tried the “toothpaste trick” -it doesn’t work, lemon juice, tea tree oil, coconut oil, supermarket brands, glycolic acid based products, salicylic acid based products, witch hazel, serums, Proactiv… the list goes on! Internally I started taking antibiotics such as Doxycycline, which gave me some relief and then stopped working, causing my skin to get worse and not to mention, totally destroying my gut microbiome.
Age 14 -the band aid effect.
At this point, my skin had gotten worse. I was running a very high risk of developing deep scarring, so I made the choice to take Roaccutane/Accutane. For anyone that doesn’t know, Roaccutane is a very high dosage of Vitamin A and is recommended for individuals suffering with very bad acne. But, like all medications, there poses risks and side effects. I experienced very dry skin -especially my lips. If I didn’t have lip balm on, they would crack and bleed instantly. I would get nosebleeds, dizziness, mood swings, and I would have to receive blood tests every six weeks to ensure that my liver and bloods were at a healthy level and hadn’t been affected.
After nine months of Roaccutane, my skin had cleared! I felt amazing. Little did I know that 5 months later, my acne would come back again.. Medications have a band aid effect on the skin. They will clear the infection, shrink the oil glands but will not treat the underlying cause, which results in a rebound effect once the band aid is taken off. Unfortunately I didn’t know there were other alternatives out there such as skin therapists or naturopaths, I was after a “quick fix”. To this day, my skin still hasn’t recovered from some of the affects Roaccutane has.
The years following.
Acne is a journey. My skin would take 5 steps forward and then 10 steps back for years. Noting that I was still using cosmetic products that weren’t doing my skin any good and not supplementing with any internals. At this point, I was prescribed the pill to “control” my hormones, therefor reducing the breakouts -which I now know is not the case and it is only another “Band-Aid effect”.
I got my skin to a point where it wasn’t too bad acne-wise. I had congestion here and there and would get the odd large pimple, my skin was very red from the years of stripping my barrier and would always feel dry. My skin stayed like this for a few years, until I came off the pill and started a skincare range that just wasn’t suited to my skin -it then flared up again! At this point, I had been working in the beauty industry. Having acne makes you feel so self-conscious and down, but having acne and being a skin therapist -now that’s a whole new level of self-consciousness. I was my own worst client. After a few years of working with different brands and modalities, my skin became a lot clearer. Although, I still wasn’t using the correct products on my skin which left it feeling very dry, impaired and congested.
I started with DMK in August 2018. I had heard about the brand through the industry and I was super excited to start my very own DMK journey to clear skin. Having worked with Emma and Claudia previously, I knew I could trust them with my skin -yes, I was a client before working here!! I started on a full DMK home prescriptive range, internal supplements and commenced treatments. One of the hardest skin’s to treat is acne tarda (dry acne) BUT 15 treatments and 10 months later, my skin is the clearest it has ever been since I was 12 years old!
So to answer your question, why did I become a skin therapist?
I know first-hand about how it feels to have a skin condition that affects how you go about your daily life. I know what it feels like to wake up and hate the skin you’re in, to try hundreds of skincare products claiming to fix you. I knew my place in the world was to help people, and what better way to do it by working in an industry where I get to restore people’s confidence and make others feel proud of the skin they’re in!
Difficult experiences can lead us to opportunities we never would have thought about.
I’m looking forward to treating your skin! Make an appointment with me today!
With love and grace,