An Australian model who had to stop working earlier this year because of her acne has shared the products and dermatologist advice she followed to clear up her skin for good.
Harmony A’Bell, who lives in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire region, uploaded a blog post to her website titled ‘Let’s Talk About Skin’ on August 3, where she opened up about her two-year battle with pimples.
‘I never had issues with my skin until I turned 19. My first experience of mild acne was in 2018,’ the 21-year-old, who is engaged to NRL rising star Nat Butcher, said.
‘I received some professional help from my doctor who put me on some antibiotics. These worked for a while and my skin was back to normal. However, at the start of 2020 the mild acne resurfaced and it continued to worsen.’
Harmony, who has 36,000 Instagram followers, has worked for iconic Australian brands like Kookai and Seafolly, but was forced to stop modelling during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown because of her skin.
She visited a dermatologist in an effort to heal the angry red dots and was placed on a very low dosage of Roaccutane.
Roaccutane belongs to a group of medicines called retinoids, which are similar to vitamin A, NPS Medicinewise reported.
Retinoids work by reducing the amount of the oily substance, known as sebum, made by glands in your skin, reducing bacteria and inflammation and opening clogged pores.
‘Some mornings I would wake up, look in the mirror, and just cry. I disliked what I saw and I felt helpless as my skin condition was out of my control and everything I was doing wasn’t helping it,’ Harmony wrote.
‘I believe that seeking medical advice is just as important as the things that I can do for myself. A balance of both is needed! Health care professionals are here to help so it is absolutely necessary to utilise their help.’
She believes a balance of all five areas of her health – physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual – was the key to clearing her skin.
That meant diminishing stress and managing negative self-talk to prevent her emotions from taking over her day-to-day life.
When it comes to skincare she’s a big believer in ‘less is more’ and steers clear of a complicated routine.
She uses QV Foaming Cleanser ($19.99) and QV Oil-Free Moisturiser ($12.99), which are available at most supermarkets and chemists.
A hot face washer compressed to an active pimple can help bring the sebum, cells and bacteria to the surface – creating a white ‘head’ – that can then gently be popped.
She rubs a small amount of tea tree oil into the sore after popping it because of the oil’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Harmony’s blog post was met with words of encouragement from her followers, who thanked her for her ‘authenticity’ in addressing a common problem.
‘It is amazing that you use your social media platform for good. I have struggled with acne for the past eight years and it has really taken a toll on my mental health. THANK YOU for sharing with the world that beautiful models like you struggle with the same issues,’ one woman said.
‘Thanks for your willingness to put yourself out there! You’re really brave and strong,’ said another.