This Woman's Acne Journey Is All Over Instagram For The Best Reason

This post was originally published on October 3, 2017.
For some people, uploading an unfiltered, makeup-free photo to Instagram can seem scarier than all those naked-in-public nightmares. Part of it has to do with the vulnerability of it all, and spotlighting your bare skin for 150 followers isn't any less nerve-wracking than when it is for 22,000. At least, that is the case for 22-year-old Kali Kushner.
The former is exactly the kind of content Kushner (also known as @myfacestory on the social media site) has been uploading for the last two years. Her Instagram feed is covered in a grid of #nofilter selfies to record her skin journey. Back in 2015, Kushner made the decision to go on isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane). But the medication that's often used as the last-ditch effort is one that changed her life — even though, as Kushner tells Refinery29 — it wasn't an easy decision to make.
On days when the physically straining physical effects, it seemed as if documenting her journey was how she coped. "At the time I was in school full-time and working full-time but had to cut back on hours at work because I just couldn't keep up," she says. "It was so hard on my body. I had to take a nap almost every single day and my body pains were so bad that it sometimes took me 10 minutes or more just to roll out of bed!"
There was never a time Kushner's photos didn't consistently showcase her skin's evolution — from struggling with cystic acne to dealing with the scars from her prescription. After her experience with Accutane (she's been off it for more than a year now), Kushner transitioned to an almost-exclusively holistic skin-care routine, one she continues to document on her feed. Her captions offer up before-and-after photos alongside in-depth captions of what the products are really like. It's the safe space you don't usually see on Instagram, but it's one that will surely help anyone experiencing the mental health-plaguing side effects of a skin problem.
If you don't buy into her impact, just ask her thousands of followers. "They know we're fam and we always talk about our acne stories together on Snapchat or trade skin secrets," Kushner explains. "They've always got my back and I got theirs."
We get it, FaceTune is tempting. But there's something really novel about spotting a #nofilter post that's not about flaunting clear skin, but spreading the truth about the very opposite.
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hosted by Mi-Anne Chan.
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