Long before Kim Kardashian's nude Paper shoot, Em Ford broke the internet with her viral acne video.
The 27-year-old acne sufferer from London, who runs YouTube channel My Pale Skin, posted a video on her YouTube Channel in 2015 called 'You Look Disgusting' detailing some of the comments she'd received about her appearance.
Her video broke the internet, with 10 million views in its first week alone. Since then she's worked with major brands, media outlets and trend setters from Kylie Jenner, to L'oreal. Here, she shares her skin story with GLAMOUR UK, how the viral video changed her life and the skin-saving products she swears by.
"As a teenager my skin was relatively flawless. Acne wasn't ever something I had to deal with, until I hit my early twenties, and it developed seemingly out of nowhere.
When you suffer with acne, it can affect every part of your life. At the start, it made me want to cancel plans with friends and I never dreamt of blogging or posting selfies on social media like normal millennials. You know when you have a spot and it feels like someone's talking to your skin? That literally became my life. I felt that I couldn't go out and enjoy myself because people weren't talking to me, but focusing on my skin instead.
Then, in 2015, I decided to turn everything on its head and take control of my skin by sharing my acne journey and images of myself both with and without makeup on my social media and YouTube channel.
After opening up about my acne, things changed. My makeup tutorials started to be seen by more people but I started to receive negative comments on social media. At first the comments really got to me, and I found it difficult. But what really kept me going was the messages and comments I'd receive from others who were going through the same thing and felt equally as alone.
In July 2015, I published a short film on my YouTube Channel called "You Look Disgusting" detailing some of the comments I'd received about my appearance. I wasn't sure anyone would watch it, or how my YouTube subscribers would react. What I didn't expect was for the whole world to take notice. The film received 10 million views in its first week, thousands of positive messages from other women and men who are on the same journey as me - and now stands at over 27 million views. That's a lot of people who have seen me without makeup!
Reading the kind and heartfelt messages I receive through social media really helps me get through days when I am struggling with an outbreak - but I channel that feeling into my work. One thing I experienced, (and also my audience experienced, too) is that through learning to apply my makeup, I actually became more confident to go out without it.
Treating acne can be a little tricky and sadly there's no "one size fits all" approach as everyone's skin is different. I've had treatments, which have made my skin much worse, and others which have helped. However, I've always found that the right combination of products has worked to help clear my skin.
One of my favourite skincare brands is . I've used their products for years, and they never fail to leave my skin feeling good. Plus, if you ever find yourself in LA, their spa is the BEST place to get a facial. I'm also a big fan of Pixi Beauty, while have some great affordable products, too.
Ultimately, as hard as it sounds, try and be patient with your skin. Try and make friends with the person you see in the mirror, and instead of focusing on the things you don't like, work out the things you do. It's going to take longer than two days to bolster your confidence but once you do, it will change your life.
I've learnt to accept that some days may be better than others. Anything from hormones, to stress or allergens can cause me to have an acne outbreak. However, the most important lesson I've learnt from my skincare journey is that it doesn't change or define who I am as a person.
It is so important to give back and take time for yourself. Ensure you give your skin and self the respect you deserve - no matter how flawed you feel."
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