I’m a huge believer in transparency, but for privacy reasons I won’t be disclosing my full name at this time. I’ve always been a bit of a shy person, and the idea of having my name plastered all over the internet isn’t very appealing (to say the least haha).
I hope you can understand and respect my concerns. Perhaps in the future when I feel more comfortable about sharing that information with you all, I will. But for now, we’ll use my initials — f.c.
So…. Who Am I?
Just another person passionate about skincare after years of being plagued with skin conditions myself. However, unlike many “beauty gurus” and “experts” out there who claim they once had “terrible skin,” I actually took photos along the way to document everything for proof.
My goal in showing these pictures is to help encourage others in similar positions, and show how much progress you can make when you understand the science behind skincare.
When Did Your Skin Problems Begin?
Oh boy. A long long time ago. It all started at the age of 10 in 5th grade when I was bullied for having cheilitis (inflamed rashy lips). Kids would call me “kool-aid” and tell me to wipe the “ketchup” off my lips. Dicks.
And that was just the beginning of my skin woes. I started breaking out at the age of 14 like most teenagers, only my acne lasted a whopping 11 years. -___- I can write a whole section about the different skin problems I’ve had but the most severe were:
2. Malassezia Folliculitis / Seborrheic Dermatitis.
3. And of course: Acne / PIH + PIE.
This is my skin in natural outdoor lighting. Do know however, that I was using a light tinted sunscreen in this photo (Coola Mineral SPF 30), so some residual redness is subdued.
Sometimes I look at all the skin problems I’ve had in my life and wonder how someone got so unlucky. It almost feels like the universe is testing me to see how many different skin issues I can solve. I try to think of it as a blessing though, because without them I wouldn’t have learned so much and been able to help as many people.
Disclaimer: I know my skin is NOT perfect. Have I made tremendous progress though? Absolutely. And if I was able to clear my skin after years of thinking it was permanently damaged, along with thousands of other readers of this blog — SO CAN YOU!
But just as importantly, I urge you to remember that part of our skin journey is about practicing self-love as much as it is treating disease. We are chasing vulnerability and being real, not perfection. I cannot stress this enough, and I think no other person better explained why than Margery Williams in her children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit:
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Why Did You Make This Website?
To help you out. It’s insane how much misinformation is spread around the web and even among experts you’re supposed to trust. This photo was taken at my FIFTH dermatologist’s office. He asked me to tie my hair back and smile. That half grin was all I could muster.
As lame as this sounds, I began crying the first time I tried writing this “about me” section because of this photo. My eyes say it all and reminded me of so much. I know you can’t see them here but they’re tired, hallow, red, and swollen from all the nights I spent crying alone. Here’s an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote back then:
“Crying alone is really really hard, and all I want is to feel normal again and not be afraid to look into the mirror, and move on from this disease that has caused me so much pain and plagued too many years of my life.”
To be honest, it’s often the heartbreak that keeps me going; what keeps me writing and researching even when I don’t want to. I know someone out there feels just like I did, and my only hope is that this website reaches them one day.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say that they have tried everything. It’s kind of become a cliché phrase among skincare gurus and heartless assholes that exploit other’s insecurities for profit. But duuuuuuuude, I DID TRY EVERYTHING. Strict diets, fancy supplements, natural remedies, a whole lot of skincare — you name it! Here’s some proof:
Yeah…. I guess you can say I’ve been around the block. HA! Looking at that picture is almost like a “Where’s Waldo” game with products you recognize. There are definitely a few skincare-addict favorites in there. See how many you can count!
Anyway, it occurred to me early on (after multiple failed trial and errors) that if I ever cured myself of this god forsaken condition, showing my readers exactly how many stuff I’ve tried would be an invaluable way of building trust — so take a good look. That’s approximately 7-8 years worth of products.
Looking back at this hurts my wallet. I don’t even want to think about how much money was spent for all this. After years of navigating through the skincare scene I’ve obviously developed a solid grasp on what works and why.
What Skin Problems Do You Deal With Now?
None these days, which is such a lovely thing to be able to say. I’ll never take it for granted, and if you have clear skin neither should you! The only real thing I deal with now is the aftermath of bad skin.
I still have some minor atrophic scarring I’m trying to fade, but for all intents and purposes it isn’t there. I’ve asked a few family members and they say it isn’t noticeable. However, if I slack off on skincare or nutrition some problems do start creeping back in (particularly Malassezia Folliculitis and Acne).
A Final Word:
My promise to you is that i’ll never give you false information. That I write everything here from the heart, and with as much of my knowledge possible. I won’t endorse any products or companies unless I absolutely believe in them. If I think a product or claim is shit, I have no problem telling you it’s shit.
I’m here to help guide you through the limited bad skin days you have left. Together, we’ll kick their ass and help you achieve the radiant, bright, beautiful, plump skin hiding somewhere in there so you’ll have the courage to explore the world confidently.
If there are any other questions you’d like me to answer, let me know.
Share my story!