A woman who spent thousands of pounds on expensive foundation to hide the angry red acne that had plagued her since her teens has finally cured her spots using an £18 fake tan spray.
What began as the odd blemish when she turned 14 soon became a sheet of unsightly and painful pimples, which medical records administrator Kerrie Dodd, 28, says wrecked her confidence.
Put down to ‘adolescent angst’ instead of disappearing with age, her spots worsened and, when medical creams had no impact Kerrie, who lives with her accounts officer boyfriend, Danny Brereton, 29, in Wallasey, Merseyside, coated her face in expensive foundation to conceal them.
She said: “My acne made me so self-conscious that I was always covered in make up to try and hide it. I wouldn’t leave the house without it on.
“I would do anything to make my skin look less red.”
With face masks to protect against Covid aggravating her spots, by April this year, she was so desperate to disguise her skin that, spotting an advert for a vegan CBD-infused fake tan, she decided to try it.
Hoping the CBD – a legal cannabis derivative – might somehow ease her anxiety and that the fake tan would boost her pale complexion, she was overjoyed when it also put paid to her pimples.
Hailing it a “miracle,” she said: “I thought the CBD might help with my anxiety and the tan might give me a bronzed glow. I didn’t think it would do much for my spots though, so I am amazed!”
First suffering with spots when she was 14, Kerrie has been fighting what was until recently a losing battle with them ever since.
“I was told I’d grow out of them, but I’m nearly 30 now and I never have,” she said.
“I started to wear make up to hide them, but that just made them worse.
“I saw doctors and tried creams, but nothing ever seemed to make a difference.”
Heavy foundations at least covered her spots up, but they did not solve her problem.
She said: “My acne would come and go in bouts. It would clear up a bit, never completely, but then it would always get really bad again.
“My spots were quite angry looking and they were really red.”
She continued: “Some friends who suffered with them were prescribed treatments, but nothing really worked for me.
“The spots were really quite painful, very tender to the touch and I had to sleep on my back, as pressure on them hurt.
“I was given a roll-on spot treatment which burned my face, but I didn’t want to get really strong prescription medication like Roaccutane, for acne, as I’ve heard it can have difficult side effects, including depression.”
Instead, when Kerrie started working at 20, she used her wages to upgrade her foundation – using makes like Mac and Estee Lauder, which gave better coverage to her troubled skin – spending up to £300 a year on pricey cosmetics.
But they were just concealing, rather than curing her problem and as her spots continued to erupt, her self esteem took a pasting.
She said: “I’ve always been quite anxious and this made things worse, as I was so self-conscious.”
She added: “Then, when the pandemic struck and I was wearing a mask eight hours a day at work, my skin got even worse.”
So, by the time she spotted an advert for Utan x Jamie Genevieve CBD Tanning Water, costing £18, which also claimed to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help clear acne, she was willing to try anything.
She said: “I was looking for a bit of a tan, as Covid meant we couldn’t go away and I was feeling pale.”
Kerrie continued: “As I wear so much make up my face doesn’t tan at the same rate as my body, so it’s always a bit paler.”
Buying it online, when the product arrived a few days later, she spritzed it on her face without rubbing it in, leaving it to develop overnight as instructed.
She said: “I used it that evening because I read you should do it after your skincare regime, although you can also use it as a setting spray.”
Kerrie added: “I was off work at the time isolating as I’d been ‘pinged,’ so I thought I’d go bare-faced.
“I was a bit scared about what it would look like, in case I ended up bright orange!”
But she was thrilled with the results – as the product had given her a nice, even tan.
“I woke up and it was great – it’s quite hard to go wrong with it,” she said.
And a few days later an even more welcome development took hold.
She said: “My spots started to die down after about four days and by the time a week had passed, I didn’t have as many and new ones weren’t popping up on my chin and cheeks.”
After using the product every few days for three months, Kerrie has seen her spots shrink, dry up and disappear.
“The colour of the tan is really good, so I started wearing less make-up to work, too,” she said.
“I got to the point where my skin was really glowing – so I knew it was time to go foundation free.”
She added: “Now I’ve stopped wearing make up to work altogether!”
And her fresh complexion has given her a massive confidence boost.
“Having clear skin has done wonders for my self-esteem,” she said.
She continued: “I used to spend so long getting ready and I still looked awful. Now, when I go out, I look so much more natural, as I’m not caked in make up.
“I look at myself very differently and more positively, too.
“I don’t think people are staring at me anymore!”
Even her colleagues have noticed Kerrie’s new look and newfound confidence.
“I’ve had a lot of compliments,” she laughed. “They can clearly see the difference in me.”
Meanwhile, a welcome side effect for her boyfriend, Danny, is that getting ready to go out now takes Kerrie half the time.
She said: “He doesn’t usually mention my skin as he wouldn’t want to draw attention to it, but he’s noticed how much happier I am and how little time I take to get ready now when we’re going out.
“I can only speak for myself, but I’ve been recommending this fake tan to everyone.”
With masks no longer being mandatory, instead of wanting to hide her face, she cannot wait to show off her clear skin.
She said: “I’ll definitely be going out without make up on more often – even when I’m not wearing a mask!”