Embracing beautiful and unfiltered acne prone skin with Isabella

We are continuing our summer skin positivity with the beautiful and incredibly sweet Isabella from @spottylittlething. We had the pleasure of meeting Isabella at our sister company Rosalique's birthday event and were so inspired by her positivity and the work she does to support others who are struggling due their skin. Acne can hit us at any time in our lives, and while there are things you can do to aid your skin, the emotional impact it leaves can follow us for a long time. If you’ve ever felt alone and insecure because of your skin, Isabella’s been there too! Keep reading to find out how she’s embraced her skin and reclaimed her confidence.

Tell us about yourself and your skin journey?
I’m Isabella, I’m 23 and from Kent in the UK.  I started an Instagram account in the summer of 2020 where I began posting pictures of my skin.  My first post was created to show my friends and family I wasn’t ashamed of my skin anymore as until then I’d kept my acne a secret to most people. This picture garnered attention and I just kept posting! Since then, I’ve discovered the amazing acne community on Instagram and now post about skin positivity, skincare and body positive content. I want people to feel good exactly as they are without having to change themselves for anyone else.   

My acne story began very young, I was 9 when it first began. Whilst growing up I developed at a much faster rate than others around me, at 13 people at school started getting their first spots whilst I was dealing with severe cystic acne. From 10-17 I tried various medications, at home remedies and skincare without finding any success or pain relief. Acne can be a very painful condition to deal with, particularly if it also affects your body. At 17 I took Roaccutune and slowly but surely my skin began to clear. This was pretty life changing for me as I’d gone from having no surface of my skin without painful bumps to having relatively smooth, clear skin. However, I realised it didn’t make me happier, my life didn’t change overnight just because I had clear skin. Quite quickly after stopping Roacctune my acne began to return, and I’d continue to layer thick foundation hiding my real skin from family and friends. When lockdown happened, I took the time to do lots of self-reflection and focused on improving my happiness and opinion of myself. With this I found freedom in not wearing makeup and not being ashamed of my skin. As at that time we were unable to see anyone else in person I posted a picture of my skin unfiltered online - the rest is history! 

Since then, I’ve discovered I have severe hormonal issues and as a result it's likely acne will always be part of my life. I’ve developed a real passion and love for skincare, so I love being a guinea pig for my followers testing things out. Knowing I’d always have acne allowed me to accept it and focus on so much more in life - we are not defined by our skin. I’m now at a stage my acne doesn’t control me and I’m able to keep my acne at bay through skincare.  

What has been the hardest challenge?
Growing up I dealt with comments, judgements and my skin becoming the topic of conversation. This is what felt the worst, there were times I wouldn’t be thinking about my skin and someone would bring it up. It made me feel like my skin wasn’t normal and that it was my fault. I spent lots of time crying in bathrooms over it at that stage. However now, I’m able to reflect back and see it was that person projecting their insecurity onto me - acne is a really common skin condition and not one we can control ourselves.

What are your skin positivity rituals?
My biggest ritual is sitting down in front of a mirror as I apply my skincare, I really take time over it and show my skin some love. I use this time to think about affirmations and to find beauty in my skin. For example, the way scars frame my cheek bones.  

How do you make sure you always enjoy your summer?
My past two summers have been consumed by health issues being bedridden for a while so particularly for this summer, it’s to say yes to every opportunity and live it to the most. Life is so short, and we should be out making memories of it all whilst we can!

Do you have any final advice or tips?
Know that you aren’t alone - having acne can be so isolating but on Instagram there’s an amazing community full of people going through the same thing as you. I’m also hosting an event called Spotty Girl Summer in London so we can all meet people who’ve been through similar journeys to ourselves, to just celebrate our differences and feel empowered.

If you are feeling inspired head over to Isabella's Instagram and show your support! If you're looking for a gentle yet effective skincare range to aid acne prone skin, check out our unique Antiac range. Remember to be kind to your skin and enjoy the summer by doing what you love.