This blogger documented her acne treatment with makeup-free selfies and her transformation is breathtaking
Certainly, although we may be seeing greater diversity when it comes to body types on social media, it's still considered taboo to showcase blemished skin in editorial campaigns or on the runway - despite the fact that we all, at one point or the other, have had to contend with a bout of bad skin.
One blogger, however, has taken it upon herself to change our attitude towards acne one selfie at a time. Kali Kushner is the face behind the popular Instagram account @myfacestory and since October of 2015, she's been documenting how she's been treating her cystic acne and the ensuing scarring. Her honesty and openness about skin issues - and her dramatic before-and-afters - have garnered her a legion of fans, and she currently has over 50,000 followers on the platform.
"People think you have acne because you're dirty, or you don't wash your face, or you're just generally unkempt," she told Marie Claire. "But it's about hormones, blood sugar, and genetics, more than anything else, and yet people look down upon it as if it's something you're not trying hard enough to fix, which is what I try to dispel in my Instagram."
Kali never had to deal with any serious breakouts as a teenager, but out of nowhere in 2014, she started getting deep, painful cystic spots.
After a year of trial and error, the 22-year-old was prescribed a drug called Isotretinoin, or Accutane. While it's side effects are well documented, and can be severe, a single four- to five-month course can permanently cure acne for around 85 per cent of those who take it, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. And this is when Kali started posting photos of her progress to Instagram.
It's now been more than a year since Kali stopped taking Accutane, and she's since found a new approach to treating her cystic acne: cutting out dairy produce, and then eventually transitioning to a vegan diet, which she claims has made all the difference.
Kali's currently in the process of treating her acne scars, and you can bet she's documenting it all.
Speaking to Insider, the Instagram star said, "It's not 100% where I want to be, but I am so ecstatic with the progress I've made. Besides that I've switched to all natural skincare and no makeup which has also helped my skin in healing."
Kali swears by a line of products called Banish Acne Scars, but she also espouses the virtues of leading a healthy lifestyle and practising self-care along the way.
"My confidence definitely took a hit during those years I dealt with cystic acne, and the scarring left behind has been a constant reminder of that time in my life. Everyday I’ve looked at my scars and remembered the pain I went through- but they remind me that I am a warrior and I am winning this battle," she wrote on Instagram.
While it's important to remember that everyone's skin responds differently to acne treatments - and that the products that work for Kali may not work for me or you - it's evident that we can all take something from her approach to acne.