Finding comfort

Louise Sharkey’s daughter, Lauren (17), experienced extremely dry skin while undergoing treatment for acne. The RELIFE Relizema range offered comfort.

Lauren developed acne vulgaris at the onset of puberty. The Relizema range helped ease the dryness caused by her acne medication

Louise Sharkey’s daughter, Lauren (17), experienced extremely dry skin while undergoing treatment for acne. The RELIFE Relizema range offered comfort.

Lauren developed acne vulgaris at the onset of puberty. The Relizema range helped ease the dryness caused by her acne medication

Finding comfort

Louise Sharkey’s daughter, Lauren (17), experienced extremely dry skin while undergoing treatment for acne. The RELIFE Relizema range offered comfort.

Lauren developed acne vulgaris at the onset of puberty. The Relizema range helped ease the dryness caused by her acne medication


“At age 13 or 14, as puberty set in, Lauren developed acne on her face, it started with a few pimples and spots,” Louise explains, and Lauren was subsequently diagnosed with acne vulgaris. “It had an effect on her self-confidence, her self-image, how she felt about herself. She hated her skin, she wouldn’t look at herself in the mirror. Her consultant said when Lauren first came to her, she wouldn’t make eye contact. It really did affect her emotionally and psychologically.”

Lauren was prescribed a low dose antibiotic plus a topical antibiotic. Her acne improved until she stopped taking the medication. “That worked for six months and the doctor took her off it, but the spots started to reappear again with a vengeance. They were quite red and angry with pock marks, particularly on the cheeks and forehead.”

A friend of Louise’s, a plastic surgeon, suggested an acne treatment. “It involved expensive cleansers and exfoliators and a topical tretinoin. Within two weeks she got amazing results and it worked for about six or seven months. Then her skin started to deteriorate again.”

In 2019, Louise brought Lauren to a dermatologist who started her on acne medication that works by reducing the amount of sebum produced by the skin. “Lauren produces a huge amount of oil, it is a genetic condition, her father’s side of the family suffers from acne. The medication really dries out the skin and for someone who had chronically oily skin, this is a whole new experience. She was anxious about the dry skin before it even came.”

As the medication took effect, Lauren developed very dry patches around her lips, forehead and cheeks and her skin began to peel. “The acne was very sore, and when she got the cracks that was very painful. Which is worse? ‘Now I have this scaly skin and I look even more ugly.’ Before she might have been able to put on make-up to cover it, now she couldn’t as it just stuck to the dry skin and made it look even worse.”

Louise’s sister-in-law had undergone the same treatment as Lauren and suggested emollient-types creams to help combat the dryness. “Anything that was being offered to her was really thick, lanolin-based to get into those deep dry pockets and she didn’t like that at all. We didn’t know what to use, no-one really had an answer for us. It was going from the frying pan into the fire.”

Louise was introduced to the RELIFE Relizema range and Lauren began using the Relizema lipid-replenishing cleanser and the Relizema ultra hydrating lotion and noticed the difference very quickly. “She used the cleanser morning and night to wash her skin and the moisturiser on her face and body. Within a week she noticed her skin didn’t feel tight anymore and the dry patches were pretty much gone. She said her skin looked dewy and hydrated and, for her, that was important, that it didn’t look dull. It looked healthy and that’s what she wanted. She got great results with it: the dry skin that is associated with the treatment actually didn’t become an issue for her.”

The texture of the products was very important to Lauren. “Lauren doesn’t like that feeling of stickiness and this was brilliant because it’s not thick, it’s not gloopy, it was really hydrating. It didn’t leave that slick oil on her skin: you’re trying to clear up acne and don’t want to clog up pores so that was one of the best things about it. She could cleanse and moisturise without leaving a film on her skin – she loves it.”

As a competitive swimmer, Lauren spends 16 hours a week in the pool and the RELIFE Relizema range offers an easy way to care for her skin. “Chlorine aggravates the skin and she just didn’t know what to use. Having a cleanser and moisturiser that worked together, for her it was an easy solution.”

Louise has noticed a marked improvement in her daughter’s self-confidence. “When she talks to you, she’ll look you in the eye, she is standing taller, her hair is off her face. Her consultant could see the difference in her self confidence. She loves her skin now.”

Lauren would absolutely recommend the range, she says and has shared information about the products with a friend who is undergoing the same acne treatment. As a sufferer of very dry skin, Louise has also enjoyed the products. “I get very dry patches and have really flaky skin, I'm the complete opposite to Lauren. I have used all the expensive salon brands over the years and I use this as my cleanser and moisturiser now and I love it.”