Skin specialist, 25, with bad acne starts successful skincare business

Skin specialist, 25, who worried clients would ignore her advice because of her bad acne starts successful business after finding a £36 ‘miracle’ oil that helped clear her spots

  • Phoebe Carter, 25, has suffered from acne on-and-off since her teenage years
  • When fiancé Aaron Ali proposed in Bali in 2019, her skin had an angry outbreak
  • She began to spend up to £100 a month on different products to ease her acne
  • The skin specialist came across Monday’s Child Skin Perfecting Oil for £36 

A skin specialist who had terrible acne is now running a successful business helping with problem complexions after finding the ‘holy grail’ product for herself.

Phoebe Carter, 25, who lives with her fiancé Aaron Ali in Essex had a series of particularly angry outbreaks after the couple got engaged on holiday in Bali in 2019, and she began to feel very stressed and anxious by her inflamed skin. 

She had suffered with acne on-and-off since her teenage years, but this recent bad outbreak led her to spend £100 a month on different products to ease her angry skin.

Phoebe also has to manage the hormonal condition polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which further aggravates her acne.

In despiair over lockdown, she creating an acne positivity page on Instagram, which is where she discovered the ‘miracle’ product in the form of a £36 face oil with anti-inflammatory properties that’s given her back her glow. 

Phoebe Carter, 25, began spending up to £100 a month on new skincare products to try and help her acne after suffering from an outbreak after her trip to Bali in 2019

Phoebe said: ‘For a long while, I felt like a fraud, as I was recommending treatments to clients, yet I had such bad skin.

‘I worried that they would think, “Why should I listen to her, when she clearly doesn’t know how to manage her own complexion?”

‘Strangely, however, when I was working at a spa in Mayfair in London, a lot of customers asked for me.

‘They found me very relatable, as I would happily talk about my own skin and the problems I had.

Pictured at her engagement party in September 2019, Phoebe said she felt anxious about her skin following her outbreak after the Bali holiday

‘Then lockdown came in March 2020. I wasn’t seeing customers every day, I didn’t feel very useful and with all the stress and the fact I’d had quite a lot of antibiotics for a really bad flare-up, I was feeling really low.

‘That was when I started an Instagram page about my acne and everything changed.’

Phoebe says her flare-ups have often been triggered when she came off the contraceptive pill, as well as the PCOS aggravating her skin.

She continued: ‘My skin really affected my confidence.

‘I had a huge break-out in the build-up to my engagement party, which made me feel awful.

Phobe found a lot of helpful anti-inflammatory products like Chinese herbs, and while she was exploring the anti-inflammatory approach she I discovered the Monday’s Child skincare page and noticed a huge difference in her skin (right)

Thanks to her lockdown journey, Phoebe has completely changed her attitude to her skin

‘I don’t like wearing a lot of make-up, but I really didn’t know how I was going to cover it.

‘All I could do was be grateful that at least it was only my engagement party and not my wedding I’d be covered in acne for!’ 

‘The Pill can help to control acne, but it’s just a sticking plaster really. It’s often even worse when you come off it.’

It is usually advisable to stick to just one treatment for six to eight weeks to give it a chance to become effective, and now Phoebe realises by trying out new remedies each week probably did more harm than good.

Phoebe says that after coming off the contraceptive pill, she suffered from a bad outbreak

The products and remedies she used stripped her skin of the good things it needs, rather than replenishing it with oils out of the fear it might have become oilier and spottier than normal.  

She said: ‘I was really scared of oils.

‘If you have acne, you think, “No way will I put oil on my face.”

What is PCOS? Causes, symptoms and treatment explained…

PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.

Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. 

Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity.

Fertility may also be affected.

While the exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, insulin resistance caused by a highly refined and processed diet is believed to be one of the biggest triggers.

PCOS can be managed through diet, the contraceptive pill and other oral medications.

Source: Mayo Clinic 

‘At beauty college, we did facials for each other every day and I remember this horrible, cheap, sticky oil being used on my skin that made it all horrible and congested.

‘The smell and everything was horrible, so I always said to myself I would never use oil in my routine.’

Despite not expecting to work in skincare after college, where she was more interested in eyebrows and semi-permanent make-up, she was surprised to discover that her own skin problems helped her to bond with clients.

She said: ‘I think they related to me and I found being able to help them very rewarding.’

But when Covid struck, lockdown was a very difficult time for Phoebe.

After following an exfoliating beauty routine to try and strip her problem skin away, her face was red and angry.

Feeling fed up, she started an Instagram blog called Bare Faced Fi aimed at the acne community.

She said: ‘I suddenly realised how many acne bloggers there were and started following them.

‘I was really open about my skin and got a bit of a boost from it.

After discovering the £36 skin perfecting oil by Monday’s Child, she realised the products she had been using were really harsh and stripped her skin of the oils it needed

‘I spent a lot of time videoing my skin routine and I was able to help people because of my knowledge through my job.

‘I also found a lot of helpful anti-inflammatory stuff, like Chinese herbs, which were really helping me.

‘And it was while I was exploring the anti-inflammatory approach that I discovered the Monday’s Child skincare page and found this skin perfecting oil for £36.

‘After reading a lot of success stories, I realised that while I had become so interested in Chinese herbs and healing my body, I was still using really harsh skin products that were stripping my face.

‘Reading the ingredients on this oil, they were anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, so I ordered a bottle. 

Suffering from acne on-and-off since her teenage years, Phoebe had a particularly bad outbreak after her fiancé Aaron Ali proposed on holiday in Bali and it continued when she got back home to their new flat in Essex

‘I used it over a couple of evenings and the soreness and scabs on my face were really repaired.

‘A lot of people with acne need repairing, as their skin has been really under duress.

‘After starting with a few drops, by the end of the week I was squeezing it over my face.

‘I decided, “This is my holy grail product. I’m going to always have it in my routine.”‘

Using it ever since, in September 2020 Phoebe started her own business, Face Glow By Fi and uses it for customers, as well as in her own beauty routine.

‘My routine is very heavily oil based, I do use a lot of botanicals, plants and anti-inflammatory things, too,’ she said.

‘I am also really into face massage and face yoga. I learned through my Instagram page how important this is for removing toxins from your skin.

‘But you need to use oil and Monday’s Child means I can do this now. 

Phoebe is now excited to enjoy the festive season with healthy skin and is ‘no longer completely obsessed’ with having clear skin

‘This oil is like a magic product and knowing that I can use it, particularly when I have a flare-up, is really reassuring.

‘I am no longer obsessed with having completely clear skin. As long as it glows and looks healthy, that’s what really matters to me. ‘ 

Feeling confident once again, Phoebe is sure she will have clear skin for her wedding.

She said: ‘I haven’t started planning my wedding yet. I’ve put a hold on it because of Covid. When it happens, it will happen.

‘We’d like to go abroad maybe to Spain, but we haven’t been able to go there and see any potential venues yet, so we think it may well be 2023.

‘Then we are hoping we can have it exactly as we want it.

‘And with my family, friends and clients always commenting on how good my skin looks now, I am hoping it will stay that way for my big day.’ 

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