I have suffered with acne since I was 13 and have always been incredibly self-conscious about it. I rarely leave the house without make-up, and I once cried because I got on a train back to Southampton and realised I’d left my make-up in Reading (lol).
Obviously this has all stemmed from my skin being red, blotchy and oily in some places, dry in other places and from having large cyst-like spots all over my face. The amount of doctors appointments I had as a teenager was ridiculous and consequently, I was on every medication under the sun. I was handed endless prescriptions with antibiotics, topical creams, contraceptive pills (hormone inbalance) but not really given much instruction on how to use/take them.
My skin a few years ago
I went to consultations with dermatologists at the hospital who refused to prescribe me Roaccutane (a VERY strong drug for acne that can have awful side effects) due to its being linked with depression and suicidal tendencies. Retrospectively, I think this was probably a blessing considering the horror stories I’ve since heard about it.
When the NHS consultant told me that other than Roaccutane, there weren’t any options for acne prevention, my heart sank. I was at my wit’s end, I’d tried EVERYTHING.
It wasn’t until this year that I finally decided to suck it up and go and see a private dermatologist. I want to say now that I bloody LOVE the NHS. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to get so many doctors appointments so easily, and for FREE, while simultaneously being given free contraception. However, from my experience it does seem that dermatology is not high on their priority list. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that there are a lot of more important things out there, but considering that 85% of young people suffer with acne, you’d thing that there would be more help out there.
I’d been following skincare QUEEN Caroline Hirons for a while and embarked on an extensive skincare routine which cost me a bloody fortune. So when that failed to work, I thought: right, that’s it, I’m taking the plunge. And my oh my, what a plunge.
Dr Sam Bunting is a private dermatologist based on Harley Street. She’s been on Woman’s Hour, she’s presented on TLC, but more importantly she is recognised as arguably the best cosmetic dermatologist in the UK. I literally put my face in her hands.
I won’t bore you with the details, but in brief, she threw my skincare routine out the window, gave me a whole new medicated one, gave me a skincare plan to stick to, told me to stop using all the make-up I was currently using and instructed me on what new make-up to buy.
I have to admit that I was slightly apprehensive at first. I had to forget everything I’d learnt from other doctors, bloggers, adverts on the tele, skincare tips in Cosmo, and advice from friends who also had acne. But honestly, the improvement to my skin is unquestionable. The redness has gone down, the scars are fading, the spots don’t appear anymore – honestly it’s a wonder I haven’t been asked to appear on Made in Chelsea with skin this flawless (lol jk). I’ve learnt how to control it, how to prevent the acne and how to keep it fresh and youthful. In a world full of false beauty promises, Dr Sam Bunting strips your skincare routine and takes you back to basics. I couldn’t recommend her more highly.
If you have any questions about Dr Sam or anything skin-related feel free to email me [email protected]
WITH make-up that Dr Sam recommends