We Talked to the Model Who’s Acne Transformation Went Viral on Instagram
Sometimes, Instagram can get a bad wrap for it's perceived lack of "realness". Everything's airbrushed, filtered, or got a little bit of love in the form of a Valencia filter. Skin is perfect, teeth are white, hair is glossy, and limbs are long and lithe. But, there's a handful of influencers who are standing up and reminding us all that what we see on IG is usually only a very small part of someone's life. Influencer and model Belle Lucia is one of them.
Lucia recently posted a before and after shot of her acne journey, and the post took off (in true social media style). The usually baby-faced model opened up about her skin struggles, and how it affected her life and career as a result. We asked Lucia a few questions about the post, and how she looks after her skin now (because one look at her will prove it's actually perfect).
Keep scrolling for the full Q&A.
No one is perfect - Left is me as a teenager. I struggled with acne for many years as a young girl, not only was it isolated to just my face but it affected my chest and back. This severely affected my self esteem and I had to stop modelling as a result. I'm posting this to hopefully help those out there suffering with acne or anyone worrying about the way they look because when I was young I wish someone would have told me that your looks don't define you and even the "models" you see on advertisements aren't perfect. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ For anyone wondering - I cured my acne with Roaccutane, many years ago, it was really harsh on my body but it was the only thing that worked, also anyone wondering about scarring - I'm really lucky I never scared ❤️ (got to thank mum for stopping me from picking)
A post shared by ???? B E L L E L U C I A (@belle_lucia) on
Byrdie Australia: What was it that made you decide to go ahead with the Instagram post?
Belle Lucia: I wanted to show young girls and boys that "models" like myself are not perfect. I know a lot of people look up to me and probably compare their lives to mine, so I wanted to show something real and hopefully help others feel to okay about their flaws.
Byrdie: How did you respond to negative feedback on the post?
BL: I don't think it's productive to respond to negativity. I usually leave it, or if it's bullying I will delete the comment. I know there will always people out there that see the negative, no matter what I post.
Byrdie: What’s your take on Instagram in general? Do you like to curate your feed, or keep it as close as possible to your authentic self?
BL: I really love Instagram, it's opened up so many doors for me. I love being creative with what I post and being inspired by others. But of course, like all things in life, there are negatives that come with it such as cyber-bullying and addiction, but in general, I love it. I never thought I would have such a large platform. I've always posted what I've wanted to post and stuck to my authentic self. I wouldn't ever post something that isn't me, that's why you wouldn't see me advertising protein powder—because I don't eat it, ever!
Byrdie: You say that Roaccutane was what eventually cleared your skin— were there any other products you used that you felt helped?
BL: Roaccutane is usually a last resort medication. It's not to be taken lightly, and all other options should be tried before taking it. Before that, I had tried the contraceptive pill, topical creams, diet changes, ointments and three different antibiotics, but my acne was very aggressive. Both my parents had cystic acne so for me it runs in my family. It doesn't have much to do with my diet or hormones, just my skin type I believe.
Byrdir: How did your body react whilst on Roaccutane?
BL: Luckily I didn't experience any negative side effects—apart from dry lips, but nothing a good lip balm can't fix. But before I went on the drug, I was informed of the severe side effects I could have faced such as depression, permanent liver damage, birth defects, hair loss and the list goes on. I was lucky to not experience any of these.
Byrdie: How did you look after yourself while you were on Roaccutane?
BL: My dermatologist put me on a low dose so the side effects would be minimal. I did avoid the sun at all costs throughout my treatment, and I needed to undergo blood testing every month to check if my liver was functioning like normal. I took vitamin E internally to combat the dryness and used a lot of moisturiser throughout my treatment. I think I also used a whole tube of lip balm a day!
Byrdie: What does your current morning skincare routine look like?
BL: I don't like to wash my face too often because I don't want to strip my face of natural oils. In the morning I'll usually wash my face with water only, and I use sunscreen every day.
Byrdie: And what about your evening routine?
BL: My evening skincare routine is a little more complicated. I'll start with a cleanser, and every few days I'll use either a face mask or face scrub. I use toner followed by a light moisturiser, eye cream, and always sleep with a very thick layer of lip balm on (I don't know why I still do this—I think it's a habit). Most importantly I'll never go to bed with makeup on, no matter how tired I am.
Byrdie: What holy grail skincare product can you not live without?
BL: Sunscreen. I think it's the most important skincare product you can have, and it's usually quite cheap.
Byrdie: What about your diet? Do you try to eat with skin health in mind?
BL: I feel like I have a very standard Mediterranean diet. I don't follow anything crazy, I just try and keep my portions in check. I'm a big foodie, so I could never cut things out. I grew up eating a Mediterranean diet and feel like it naturally contains a lot of foods that nourish my skin, like olive oil, dark leafy greens, and lots of fish. I love seafood, so eat a lot of that too.