A mother-to-be who found it hard to look in the mirror and became anxious going to work after red sore patches spread across her face has regained her confidence after finding a solution to her rosacea.
Jade Merrilees, 28, a nail salon owner, says her face was in so much pain that the water pressure from her shower was agony. She even struggled to put her face on her pillow at night.
Jade, who is 31 weeks pregnant with her first child and lives in East Wittering, West Sussex, with her husband, James, who works for Rolls Royce, said: “I was so conscious about the state of my skin that I felt worried going to work as customers would sometimes comment on it. It was so embarrassing.”
She added: “Even though James and I have been together for more than ten years, I still felt very self-conscious in front of him when my skin was at its worst.
“I didn’t even want my family to see my skin and I found it hard to look in the mirror as it would upset me.”
After months of trying both high street and prescribed treatments, it was a skincare product that James ordered online that has finally cleared Jade’s skin.
She said: “He found the Kalme Skin Care range after searching online and, though I never expected it to work, it’s completely cleared my skin.”
For Jade, issues with her skin began to arise in her teens.
She said: “I suffered quite badly with acne as a teenager and had a couple of different prescriptions from my GP for it.”
She added: “As I got older, the acne started to subside, but I never had completely clear skin.
“In my twenties, I suffered a lot with dry skin.”
Over the years, red patches started to appear on Jade’s face.
She said: “They were dry and quite sore so I went to the doctor in 2018 and he thought it could be psoriasis, so he gave me a medicated soap to use.
“The soap burned my skin so much it was agony every time I used it, but I thought it was just the soap doing its job, so I continued using it despite the burning.
“The severity of my symptoms reached a peak at the end of last year. By this time my entire face was red and swollen. My skin was so sensitive it hurt to put my face on the pillow at night when I slept.”
She added: “My skin on my face felt like it was on fire all the time, like I had really bad sunburn, but the rest of my skin anywhere else on my body was totally fine.
“My lips started to swell up and all the skin around my eyes was red and swollen. I looked like I’d had a serious allergic reaction or severe hay fever.”
And Jade says that other people started to comment on her skin.
She said: “I had become so conscious of the state of my skin that I felt worried going to work as customers would sometimes mention it.
“To avoid the concerned stares from strangers and questions from customers and family I started to wear more and more make-up.
“I spent ages every morning applying layer upon layer of foundation to try and camouflage my skin.”
She added: “There was no way I could ever have left my house without make-up but even that wasn’t easy as it was so painful to apply. It stung terribly but was better than having people staring at my skin.”
Jade returned to her GP and was diagnosed with rosacea, a skin condition that can cause redness across your nose, cheeks, forehead and chin, and causes a burning or stinging feeling when using water or skincare products.
She said: “I was put on medication and prescribed creams to help ease the symptoms but nothing I used seemed to do the trick.”
Jade admits that it was starting to take its toll on her self-esteem.
She said: “I would wear a lot of make-up to try to cover it but that didn’t really work. My skin was bumpy and dry, which foundation couldn’t hide.
“Then the make-up would irritate my sore skin, making the red blotches worse. It was a vicious cycle.”
She added: “My skin was so sensitive that even the water pressure from the shower would hurt my face.
“My eyes would swell up and my skin was so dry that it was incredibly painful. I was very conscious of it too because it would be dry around my hairline so it would look like I had awful dandruff. It was just horrid.”
Jade says her condition affected her socialising with friends.
There was no way I could ever have left my house without make-up but even that wasn’t easy as it was so painful to apply
She said: “Putting make-up on before a night-out was an ordeal because I’d get very stressed that it didn’t look good. It never hid the dryness completely, my skin didn’t look smooth even under all that foundation.
“I’ve tried all kinds of products for sensitive skin but nothing seemed to work. It would either help with the dryness or bring down the redness but nothing really fixed all of it.”
And Jade says that James began to notice how her skin was affecting her.
She said: “He could definitely tell that it was bothering me and knocking my confidence.
“That’s why he starting looking up different products online. He read an article about Kalme and ordered some products for me.”
James purchased the Kalme day and night creams, which retail for £21.95 each, as well as the concealer.
Jade said: “I had tried so many different things at this point that I didn’t have high hopes but I decided to give it a go anyway.
“I started using the creams morning and night, and used the concealer in the day and, within a week, I noticed a difference.
“My skin felt smoother to touch and the pain wasn’t as strong. I kept it up and, within about two months of using, I had clear skin. I couldn’t believe it.”
My skin was so sensitive it hurt to put my face on the pillow at night when I slept
The red patches across Jade’s face are now completely gone and the mum-to-be says she no longer suffers with dry skin.
She said: “When I fell pregnant, I started to get some spots which I think was hormonal but that has calmed down now.”
The products have worked so well for Jade that now, she says she does not use them regularly.
She said: “I just don’t need to put a lot of product on my face everyday anymore so I don’t tend to use anything unless my skin gets really dry.
“I get comments all the time at work now about how amazing my skin looks.
“Now, I happily pose for photos whereas before I was hiding from the camera, and I’m back to my normal happy confident self.”
Within about two months of using, I had clear skin. I couldn’t believe it
She added: “I wear less make-up for work or when going out, and some days I won’t even bother at all.
“The transformation in my skin is truly incredible. It has really changed my life.”