Skin Stories is a feature series written by Atolla members about their relationship with their skin.
When I was asked to share my Skin Story, I wanted to create something compelling and original, filled with lots of transformative imagery and life-changing moments, something that would shock and amaze and draw the audience in with tales of boils and blisters and blackheads, oh my! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that is not my story, and while that may make for better theatrics, there’s nothing wrong with going on a more understated skin journey. For all of you out there who are on that same journey, this one’s for you!
Apart from the standard teenage fare, I’ve been lucky enough to have fairly cooperative skin throughout my life. After taming my hormonal acne flare ups in high school (thank you birth control!) and going for bi-monthly facials, I thought I was in the clear, never worrying too much about what would happen if I forgot to take my makeup off one night or didn’t use enough SPF during the day.
But unexpectedly, my skin (along with my metabolism) switched up on me during my freshman year of college. Suddenly I was dealing with clogged pores, painful pimples around my jawline, and terrible acne scarring that I just couldn’t seem to get rid of.
In response, I went into skincare hyperdrive, poring over every ingredient list, YouTube video, and product review I could find to figure out what would work best for me and, for the most part, it worked! My skincare obsession bore fruit – my skin started to clear up, I knew more about chemicals and compounds than I ever had before, and people wouldn’t stop telling me how good my skin looked. By the end of college, I had begun looking for jobs in the skincare industry, eventually settling on social media management and copywriting for several skincare and cosmetics brands. In short, I thought I knew everything there was to know about my skin.
While I was still receiving plenty of compliments on my complexion – I even worked for a celebrity facialist at the time who would constantly praise my “beautiful skin” – I felt more self-conscious than ever.
However, as time went on I began to notice that, although my acne was mostly gone, I was still dealing with seriously uneven texture and skin tone. Small, skin-colored bumps (which I would eventually identify as milia) lined my cheekbones, and my nose was pocked with seemingly immutable sebum build-up that wouldn’t go away no matter how much I exfoliated. Additionally, the facial eczema that had laid dormant in my system since I was a young child finally began to rear its ugly head once again, causing itchy, pinkish-red patches to pop up along my browbone, the corners of my eyes, and around my mouth and chin whenever I felt stressed.
Despite some assistance from my dermatologist, these problems continued for months, and while I was still receiving plenty of compliments on my complexion – I even worked for a celebrity facialist at the time who would constantly praise my “beautiful skin” – I felt more self-conscious than ever, never letting anyone get too close to me out of fear that they would discover my “secret.” I’ve never been a daily makeup wearer, but as my skin became more unpredictable, I became more dependent on concealer and tinted moisturizer to get me through the day.
That’s where Atolla came in. After one of my monthly facials at Facehaus in NYC, I was introduced to Atolla through their collaboration together. Intrigued by their MIT-designed algorithm and Skin Health Kit, I purchased a kit and took it home to learn more. (Editor’s Note: This was a limited-time offer for our Facehaus collaboration and we don’t offer the option to purchase kits separately anymore.)
This serum has totally rocked my world! I can honestly say that my Atolla serum has made a noticeable difference in the texture and tone of my skin.
While I was fairly stocked on skincare products (my mom rolled her eyes when I told her I had purchased yet another serum!), I couldn’t help but wonder whether Atolla could provide me with something the over-the-counter products from my favorite beauty supercenters could not. After taking my top skin concern (uneven texture/discoloration) into consideration and determining my Skin Sequence (S-3655), the Atolla algorithm combined 2% salicylic acid, .15% turmeric extract, and Vitamin B5 to create a personalized serum for my skin.
And honestly? This serum has totally rocked my world! After using it every other day for a little under two months, I can honestly say that my Atolla serum has made a noticeable difference in the texture and tone of my skin.
I also love that Atolla allows you to skip shipments if needed — because I use less product than traditionally expected, I don’t need to re-up as often as the website suggests, so it’s great to have the option to halt my subscription for a few months while I finish up my current bottle.
I thought I knew everything there was to know about my skin… [Atolla taught me] it’s okay to surrender control and give over the reigns to someone (or, in this case, a very detailed scientific algorithm) that may know more about your skin than you do.
Skin is unpredictable – you never know what it’s going to do, or how it’s going to change over time. All we can do from the outside looking in is work with our skin to nudge it slowly and patiently in the right direction and hope that it takes the hint.
While my Skin Story is probably less exciting than most, I’m thankful for these small but impactful changes that have made me feel more confident in my appearance over the years. I’m especially thankful to Atolla for popping into my life at a time when I thought I knew everything there was to know about my skin and teaching me that it’s okay to surrender control and give over the reigns to someone (or, in this case, a very detailed scientific algorithm) that may know more about your skin than you do.
If I can leave you with one final thought, it’s this: Everyone’s skin journey is different, and even those who may be referred to as #skingoals in their Instagram comments section are most likely dealing with their own set of issues you may never know about! The more time you spend focusing on the health and wellness of your own skin, the more likely you are to see positive changes in your skin’s appearance (and the less you’ll care about what other people think of it). Do you, boo!
And remember – change doesn’t happen overnight. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so take it slow and listen to your skin. It’ll always point you in the right direction!