Interview with @karaoliviabeauty on her experience with acne

by Tommi Skin

We love learning more about our communities skin journey and discussing the impact it has within our lives. We asked Kara from @karaoliviabeauty about her experience with acne, heres what she had to say!


How old were you when you first started experiencing acne?
I was actually around 18/19. And I had gone through my whole teenage years acne free, I had pretty much clear, flawless skin up until the age. And when I was 18/19, I decided to come off the pill that I was put on, when I was 14, which I was put on for heavy and painful periods. And in turn doing that I just exploded in cystic acne. Basically, I had acne all over my face. I also have back acne, and I also had chest acne. And but now I'm nearly 24. And I feel like I've definitely found what my acne triggers are, I have a really good skincare routine. And I really feel like I'm in a good place finally.

What ingredients do you look for in skincare products?
Now, there's actually a few that I look for depending on what type of issue I want to tackle. But overall, I look for noncomedogenic which means they are not going to clog my pores, I also look for perfume free. Because for me personally perfume irritates and dries out my skin however, I can tolerate natural fragrance, such as essential oils. And I also look for alcohol free. And overall with different products if I'm trying to tackle breakouts and I will look for an active ingredient like a retinoid. And if I'm looking to help improve the look of my scars or hyper pigmentation, then I will look for vitamin C. And if I am trying to have moisture to my skin and help my skin barrier, then I definitely look for hyaluronic acid.

How did you start your acne positivity journey? Was there something that made your mindset change, or was it a long road to acceptance?
So a year into having acne I actually created the acne positive account I currently use. And I was at the time really self-conscious of my skin. However, I had seen over accounts on Instagram that had really put me in a place of where I want to get to and how I want to view myself in terms of like self-acceptance and self love. So that is why I created my account because I wanted to document my journey and find self-love along the way. Now when it comes to where am I am now I definitely feel like I'm in a really good place with my skin. And even though my skin is not perfect, I have accepted that it will never be perfect. I've accepted that it will never be flawless because I have acne scars, hyper-pigmentation and I also have the acne breakout every now and again. But I don't let that hinder my, my well being like I still have positive days. I still have happy days despite what my skin looks like. And I remember that I'm always beautiful no matter what. And I I'm me like I'm unique. So yeah, I feel like that's where I am now.

Are there any myths you want to bust about acne, whether it be the cause of acne, products etc?
And there definitely is because on a daily basis, I do receive unsolicited advice. And as I assume most people do, but and personally a few of those unsolicited advice come from people that don't actually understand acne. So the myth of just wash your face is like what like, of course we wash our face. And washing our face alone is not going to clear our acne because most of the time we need to look at internal factors. And other times we obviously need to add in different ingredients on our skin to help tackle certain skin issues. So just washing your face is not going to clear your acne that also insinuates that we are dirty or we are un-hygienic.

How do you think social media has shaped the way people feel about acne?
Now, this is a really important one for me because I feel like I've been a part of this. And I feel like people don't feel alone anymore because there's this safe space community that you can go to where other people are going through and feeling the exact same issue. And that is how I felt when I found the acne community. I felt like I wasn't alone. I felt like other people have this issue of people have had these problems and other people feel stressed and frustrated with these problems as well. So I definitely think that it's been an amazing, safe space for a lot of people. But in terms of people who don't have acne or for people who don't understand acne, I also think it's been an amazing space for them to be educated because there's so many positive type accounts that share all of this knowledge about acne and skin. And how to heal your body and everything that people are understanding now that Oh, acne isn't just a skin disorder, you know, you could have a hormone imbalance, it could be from gut issues, it could be from your diet. And when I first had acne, I didn't know any of that. So I definitely think that is educated people. And it's definitely a safe space for people with acne or with skin problems to come to and to not feel alone. And I've personally made and found so many cool accounts and made some really amazing friends, which I am forever grateful for. And yeah, I absolutely love the space that this acne community skin positivity community has created for everyone.

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