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Getting creative for the cause: three women’s skin stories

We know that taking care of your skin means taking care of your mind too (it’s what we call the skin-mind cycle). Getting creative can be a great way to help; not only can it work wonders for you and your mind, but it can help others too. We spoke to Alexis, Marcela, and Sophie, who’ve each harnessed their artistic flair to create amazing things – all with the aim of inspiring skin positivity. By starting conversations and challenging perceptions, their creativity has strengthened the community and inspired others.


Three women, three unique points of views, and three amazing projects – each one helping countless people make peace with their skin.  

Alexis

Alexis set up her Instagram account @eczemalove as a place to share the unfiltered realities of having a skin condition – something she hadn’t seen much before. "Until I started my Instagram, I always thought it seemed like I was the only one with eczema, and then I was like, ‘wow, a lot of people are opening up about it too’,” she told us. “I think that it’s a super helpful way to come to terms with it.” 

Alexis’ next step was taking her creativity offline: partnering with the National Eczema Society to create a range of slogan t-shirts. With the aim to improve attitudes towards eczema, she emblazoned sassy, tongue-in-cheek phrases like “It ain’t easy being itchy” and “Yes, I have tried coconut oil”, onto her designs: phrases inspired by her own experiences and, of course, those of the new community she’d created. 

 

Marcela

When Marcela’s son developed severe eczema, she realised that none of his books featured any characters he could relate to. And when she couldn’t find what she was looking for, Marcela decided to solve the problem herself – with a book called ‘Michael’s Eczema’. “It’s something we needed. It didn’t exist, so I created it,” she told us. “I didn’t want anybody else to go through it alone.” Inspired by her son’s experiences, Marcela designed the story as a tool to help children learn about their condition – with one important detail: she made sure the main character was a child too. “All of the books I had seen were comparing the child to an animal. With this book they can relate to another little boy, or little girl,” she explained.  

Now at home on school bookshelves, ‘Michael’s Eczema’ has had a much wider impact than Marcela expected. “It’s helped children in kindergarten realise that skin conditions are not contagious, and to have respect and empathy for the child who is going through it,” she told us. And with the proceeds from the book donated to START (a charity that supports clinical research into skin conditions), ‘Michael’s Eczema’ is helping to deepen our understanding of skin in more ways than one.  

Sophie

Every scar has a story – and Sophie started her photography project ‘Behind the Scars’ to celebrate each one. “Photography is a good way to spread a message, as it’s something a lot of people can relate to, especially when it feels ‘real’,” said Sophie. “We’ve become so accustomed to seeing edited images that when we see someone who looks like us, it stops us in our tracks.” Stepping in front of the camera to show what society often deems as your ‘flaws’ can be a huge step – “It can be a daunting prospect for anyone, especially when confronting scars and stories you have hidden from public view”, Sophie explained.  

Alexis, Marcela and Sophie are proof that great things can come from celebrating what makes us unique – and a reminder that self-expression and self-care often come hand in hand. How have you used creativity to embrace your skin condition? Let us know at @DoveDermaSeries. 

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