My story

My story

7 minute read

For the first time ever, I’m opening up about my acne journey and personal skin struggles. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What my skin has been through
  • How my acne journey has evolved
  • Why I started Skin Discovery 


Growing up, I had flawless skin. Although I didn’t need skin care products, I bought them because I loved trying the latest potions and lotions. This led me to trying everything from Proactiv to making my own skin care products, simply for the fun of it. Ten years later, I realized this was the calm before the storm.


My sensitive lips


It all started in the winter months when my lips would crack and bleed. In effort to move away from Vaseline and Blistex, I started creating my own lip balms.


Over time, I developed irritant contact dermatitis, a type of eczema from overusing lip balm! I later discovered that my skin became sensitive to beeswax, not the essential oils that I originally suspected was the cause. As annoying as this was, eczema was the least of my lip problems.


After university, I lived downtown Toronto working 10 hour days for $28,000/year carrying a lot of student debt. I was running a busy office with no experience, doing everything from managing executive calendars to sitting at reception on my “lunch break”. To say I was stressed was an understatement. 

Exfoliative cheilitis

One morning I noticed that my lips were so red, inflamed and tight like I’ve never experienced before. I had trouble talking and eating throughout the work day.


That night, my lips had completely peeled off. The same thing happened every day for the next 2 weeks. I was so embarrassed, I took sick days and vacation time so that I didn’t have to show my face in the office. 


After seeing a dermatologist, I discovered I had a rare reactive condition called exfoliative cheilitis where my lips would become extremely red and inflamed while the delicate skin on my lips would peel aggressively. He informed me that stress was the likely cause of my lip condition. He gave me a note so that I could take a bit more time off work and urged me to not to lick my lips or use lip balm. 


Luckily, I knew that calendula is a powerful healer so I created a simple ointment using shea butter and calendula oil. I avoided licking my lips and drank over 2L of water a day. This remedy soothed my lips enough to allow them to heal in just one week. 


This was my first time experiencing a skin issue of this severity. Little did I know, it would not be my last.


My acne journey


In my early 20s, I started getting intense migraine headaches that forced me to quit the birth control pill. In less than 8 months, my skin completely changed.


I started noticing breakouts in random areas on my face. The texture of my skin was different, it felt uneven and bumpy. My skin was oily for the first time in my life and yet I hadn’t changed any of the products I was using. I was confused, frustrated and embarrassed of my complexion.


Thankfully, I had just graduated as a certified Skin Therapist so I knew what to use topically to manage my breakouts - but that’s all I was doing - managing.


Being well versed in skin care ingredients, I quickly learned what products to avoid to prevent acne cosmetica. Even after I switched to acne-safe products however, I was still experiencing breakouts on most areas of my face.