By Prudence Wade and Katie Wright, PA
Former I’m A Celebrity winner Georgia Toffolo has spoken about her experiences with adult acne after she exited the South African instalment of the ITV programme.
The Made In Chelsea star, 28, better known as ‘Toff’, was among the famous faces and former I’m A Celebrity contestants who returned to compete in the all-star edition of the reality series to battle it out to become the first I’m A Celebrity Legend.
Speaking after leaving the show, Toffolo said: “I’ve been on a really big journey with my acne. When I was in there, my skin really flared up and it was really aggressive acne.
Unfortunately for @ToffTalks and @andywhyment81, this Trial wasn’t their gold rush, and it’s time for them to catch the boat home 😢 Thanks for being top sports! #ImACeleb pic.twitter.com/4debzQBH5Q
— I'm A Celebrity... (@imacelebrity) May 8, 2023
“There was a part of me that kept on thinking, ‘I really want my concealer.’ Because I’m being really honest, I’m not totally myself when I haven’t got my war paint on. But I’ve been suffering with it now for 15 years and it was really important to me that I didn’t hide behind my concealer.
“There are so many people that struggle with it like I do. And I wanted people to see that A, that’s normal and B, that even if you’ve got every single privilege in life that I do, you can still have it. It doesn’t matter how well off you are, what school you went to or if you’re a celebrity – you can still suffer with it. And that’s all right. It’s not something to hide behind.”
She continued: “I feel like it’s important to show that you can have the spots, but you can also be beautiful at the same time. I had to break through that so I’m really proud of myself.”
Toffolo won I’m A Celebrity in 2017 and has gone on to write romance novels, including Meet Me In London.
In 2022, she fronted ITV documentary Georgia Toffolo: In Search Of Perfect Skin, exploring the extreme lengths people would go to in a bid for perfect skin.
What the experts say
“Adult acne is incredibly common,” said consultant dermatologist Dr Derrick Phillips.
It’s important not to underestimate the impact skin problems can have on mental health.
“It can be emotionally distressing, especially for adults who may feel like they should have outgrown the condition,” added Dr Omar Tillo, plastic surgeon and medical director at Creo Clinic.
How does adult acne differ from teenage acne?
“Teenage acne occurs in males and females during puberty,” explained Phillips, who said it is “driven by the hormonal changes that lead to development of adult physical characteristics”, and affects men and women roughly equally.
“Most people will ‘grow out of it’ and in many cases it can be managed with skincare alone.
“The skin is generally greasy and acne lesions (pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and nodules) are found on the forehead, cheeks, chest and back.”
Adult acne, on the other hand, is more common in women, and the location of blemishes tends to be different.
“Teenage acne often appears on the forehead, nose, and chin, while adult acne is more likely to occur on the lower part of the face, including the jawline, cheeks, and neck,” Tillo said.
Phillips added that breakouts can be “a continuation of teenage acne, however, in some people it will be their first experience of acne”.
What are some of the most common causes?
Hormones are often the culprit when it comes to women’s skin issues.
“In adult female acne, the oil-producing sebaceous glands become sensitive to normal circulating levels of androgen hormones, leading to increased oil production and acne breakouts,” Phillips said.
“Oestrogen plays an important role as it suppresses androgen levels, reduces oil production and has anti-acne effects. The fall in oestrogen at the end of the cycle is responsible for the pre-menstrual breakout.”
A number of other lifestyle and diet factors could be to blame.
“Stress, which can trigger the production of hormones that can cause acne,” Tillo said.
“[As well as] certain diet and foods, such as those high in refined carbohydrates or dairy products, and some medications including corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium.”
Make-up can also trigger a breakout. Phillips said: “Particularly when worn for prolonged periods or left on overnight. Make-up traps dirt and environmental pollutants on the skin. It can also clog the pores.”
I’m A Celebrity… South Africa continues on ITV1, and viewers can catch up on the full series on ITVX.