Sometimes, it can be the little things in life which can be the scariest when you have acne. When my skin was at its worst, I remember well the feeling of looking in the mirror and being unhappy with what I saw reflected back at me. Knowing that I had a dinner event, or a party to go to often caused me so much anxiety and worry that more often than not – I would cancel my plans and rearrange for 'another time'.
But what if those spotlight moments where it feels like the whole world is staring at your skin rather than your eyes happen every day?
I recently discovered 45% of British women avoid posting images of themselves on social media when they have a bad skin day – and up until 2015, I was one of them. I often think back to how I was feeling during that time period, and what could've helped me more and the truth is, one of the biggest issues we face is communication and how taboo the subject of acne really is. One of the things I found helped me improve how I really feel about my skin was simply talking about it to other people who were also going through the same thing. Being able to talk openly and honestly about something you're going through or feeling with people who also feel the same can be a huge revelation and confidence boost. It turns out I'm not alone in this thought process as 71% of women seem to agree too.
When 67% of women have received negative comments or judgement about their skin, it's difficult to break down those walls and start the conversation. How do you really open up to someone about the way you're feeling - if your skin is more often than not the punchline of a joke from your family or friends. When you're told to 'wash your face' or 'stop eating so much chocolate' to help improve your acne it's difficult to move forward in a meaningful way.
When Neutrogena® approached me to become an ambassador for their #ShineYourLight campaign, it felt so right, and I just knew it was something I had to become a part of as I'd experienced first hand how opening up and talking about what you're going though can change your life and improve your confidence.
As part of the campaign, I recently got to spend time with four incredible strong women from different walks of life, with one thing in common – their skin.
From a talented athlete, to a musician, data analyst and actress – acne doesn't discriminate by profession, age or country and when I first met up with Billie, Sofie, Yvi and Ana earlier this year, we had a frank, open and honest discussion about how acne can make you feel.
It was heart-breaking hearing some of their experiences and how they felt like they had tried everything and nothing was working for them – I could definitely relate.
Each of the four women has agreed to take part in a trial using the brand new Neutrogena Visibly Clear® Light Therapy Acne Mask and Spot Proofing™
cleansing range and I am excited to see how it worked for them. I’ll be sharing an update on their progress in the coming weeks, so check back for an exclusive video which documents their trial.
The Neutrogena Visibly Clear® Light Therapy Acne Mask is a product I've been using over the past couple of months. It may look like a futuristic mask left over from the set of the latest Sci-fi film, but don't let that sway your thoughts. It's a wearable LED device that delivers red and blue wavelengths deep into the skin to help fight acne. The blue light kills bacteria while the red light reduces the inflammation linked to acne.
I like to keep mine on my bedside table, and to my BF's amusement, I usually wear it in the evening for 10 minutes in bed whilst browsing social media or reading an article before I get some sleep – It couldn't be easier to use.
Light therapy and laser treatments have often been used to help treat acne – but these treatments often come with high price points from private health care clinics that are simply out of budget for many people. By taking the technology behind a premium professional treatment and making it accessible to everyone at a more affordable price, the mask is an opportunity to experience this treatment at home.
Alongside the Neutrogena Visibly Clear®Light Therapy Acne Mask, I've also been testing out the Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ cleansing range.
The Neutrogena Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ range comprises five products: Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ Daily Wash, Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ Daily Scrub, Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ Purifying Toner, Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ Daily Moisturiser and Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ 2in1 Wash-Mask.
One of the things I love about this range is how it leaves my skin feeling cared for, rather than stripped, dry or irritated as many spot and acne focussed products can.
I'm a huge fan of double cleansing and I think my favourite product from the range has to be the Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ Daily Wash. I've easily incorporated this into my routine as my second cleanse. First I'll use the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm to remove my makeup and follow up with the Daily Wash to cleanse my skin.
The Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ Purifying Toner is another product I've been enjoying from the range. It doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped, and I'm confident after using it that all traces of makeup have been removed and my skin is left feeling refreshed.
If you're after a quick fix, or something to help fight back against an emerging breakout, then the Daily Moisturiser and Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ 2in1 Wash-Mask could be the product for you. I don't usually use foaming cleansers, but love how this product can double up as a face mask. A quick 5 minute application on any problem areas as part of my skincare routine can make all the difference.
I truly believe that the more open and honest we are about how acne and how our skin issues can make us feel – the more accepting society will become of these issues and the emotional effect they can have on us, and I commend Neutrogena® for taking such a strong and powerful stance on starting the conversation.
If you want to check out the spotlight moments film, and hear all about our acne journey's then check out the film below!
Shine Your Light! from em ford on Vimeo.
The Neutrogena Visibly Clear® Light Therapy Acne Mask retails for £59.99 which is a fraction of the £500 per treatment price many clinics charge. The accompanying activator is priced at £14.99 are available from Boots and Amazon, launching April 2017. The Visibly Clear® Spot Proofing™ range will be available in UK stores from June 2017. If you’re based outside of the UK, check the Neutrogena website for details of which products are available in your country.