Abi Dark shares her Skin Story

Abi Dark shares her Skin Story

Abi is one of our incredble therapists, a delight to have in the salon and equipped with a magic healing touch in her treatments. Abi is also one of our resident skin experts, she has a deep understanding of the skin and our product range.

2023 has been a challangeing one, as she has spent the past 9 months trying to heal her acne and restore the clear radiant complexion she once knew. Being in the industry, and equipped with knowledge added to a feeling of pressure for perfection. So we asked Abi to share her Skin-Story, in the hopes that if you are experiencing somethig similar you can feel seen, supported and empowered with the learnings to heal your own skin.


Hey Abi,  tell us about your skin?

I’ve always had forever changing skin. Throughout my teenage years I never struggled with acne but I did have oily skin. It wasn’t until I reached 20 years old where my skin started to change. Although it was still clear, I struggled with monthly hormonal breakouts only on my chin which were small and easy to manage and would typically disappear quickly. In the last year once I turned 22, specifically in February of this year, this is when I saw it really change. My skin became very dry and dull. Around this time I started to experience acne that would not go away and seemed to be getting worse each day. Spots became large, sore to touch and started to spread from my chin, across my jaw, down my neck slightly, and up my cheeks. I was also experiencing smaller breakouts on my forehead as well. 


In those early days how did your skin make you feel and how did working in the industry compound that?

In the early stages of my acne journey, I began to feel insecure. I found myself wanting to cover it up as much as possible with makeup, which somehow made me feel worse as my makeup would not sit the same and actually made it feel worse. For a long time in the beginning, I was also so fixated on my skin. I was constantly looking at it, touching and picking any chance I could, and it took a large toll on my mood throughout the day. Most of all I would feel frustrated and anxious that it wasn’t getting better, especially because I felt like I was doing everything I could to treat it. Being a facialist and working with the skin everyday almost made me feel as though I needed to have perfect skin. I felt pressure that because of how my acne looked, clients might not have trusted my knowledge and having to be face to face with people every day grew those insecurities more.


Healing your skin has been a work in progress… Tell us everything

The first step I took to healing my skin which can be difficult was to stop everything I was doing and reset. I first wanted to work out any triggers such as foods, hormones, lifestyle changes, stress levels and products I was using. 

I started with products first. My routine was all over the place. I was using a lot of different products on my skin which had been working for a long time, however they were not what my skin needed in this new season. Because I was very dry, quite sensitive and my acne was inflamed I knew I needed to strip my routine back and focus on repairing my skins natural barrier. This was through lots of hydration and nourishment. I turned to skin soaking every morning and double cleansing at night. At this stage I was only using a soothing serum and Synergie Dermacalm Moisturiser. Both of these products are designed for sensitive, fragile skin and help to repair and restore. After a few weeks of this routine, even though I still had acne, I noticed a massive changes; I was super hydrated and was able to retain moisture throughout the day and the redness had calmed down a lot. After a few months of this, I then introduced the Emma Lewisham Blemish face serum as my only serum morning and night. This product worked wonders for my skin!

I also knew that I needed to heal my gut. My diet consisted of a lot of dairy products, alcohol and sugars. I gradually started to cut out and limit as many of these food groups as possible. In all honesty, I did not cut out 100% of everything but I made sure to look for alternatives and consume far less than I was before. Working with your skin internally is so important. I started to take more supplements such as Skin Accumax, zinc and greens powder.  Once I had started to be more strict with what I was putting into my body, this is when I saw the most dramatic change in my skin. Treating my acne internally was what helped clear my skin the most. 

Regular facials were also important to keep up with. I found LED light therapy to be amazing, especially in the beginning when I wanted to focus on repairing my skin. 

Soooo to summize: Back to basics, focus on healing the skin barrier, only a hydrated happy skin can begin to heal. Then I added the blemish serum which uses skin prebiotics to rebalance the surface microbiome, and then the most dramatic results came once I addressed internal factors; namely diet. The skin absolutely mirrors what is happening beneath the surface.

Abi Darkk Skin Story - Before

Abi Darkk Skin Story - After Photo 


You have a deep understanding of the skin through being an expert in your field, testament to the fact there is no quick fix. So, with that in mind - what advice do you have for someone experiencing breakouts without the same baseline of knowledge?

  • Patience. It is important to remember that dealing with concerns such as acne takes time. Every skin is different and figuring out triggers for acne can take time, so seeking advice from skin therapists can help you understand where to start and will also give you a clear idea of what to do throughout your skin journey. 
  • Consistency. From the products you are using topically to what you are doing internally, you have to be consistent. it is okay to slip up sometimes, maybe if you are busy and can’t finish a full skincare routine, or you want to treat yourself to a dinner out. As long as you are remembering to do the basics every day, you will maintain the results you are working for.
  • Maintenance. Maintaining your skin and keeping up with what you have been doing to clear it is super important. It is also important to remember that the skin can change a lot and this may mean adding new products to target different concerns such as scarring which is really common. 
  • No picking, popping, squeezing. I know it can be hard to avoid this especially looking in the mirror all day. Doing this at home can actually cause the infection to spread which is why more and more breakouts will appear. Extractions in treatment during your facials are the safest option.


Where are you at now?

Now, 8 months later, I am finally at a place where I feel confident, less insecure and am loving my skin again and it is feeling the healthiest it has ever been. I am still working on clearing my skin completely as I still get the odd breakout, and I am also now targeting scarring. I have been slowly reintroducing products to do this. 

My current routine:


  • Synergie ultra cleanse
  • Skin soak
  • MV Rose hydrating mist
  • Synergie Effica C
  • Synergie Dermacalm
  • Coola SPF 


  • The Facialist Super Skin
  • Synergie Ultra cleanse
  • MV Rose Hydrating mist
  • Bestow soothing serum
  • Synergie Vitamin B
  • Synergie Dermacalm
  • Bestow Nourishing Oil


I use my Emma Lewisham Blemish serum during my monthly cycle to control the minimal breakouts I am experiencing. 

Remeber these products are after a months of pairing it right back, and might not be suited to everyone in a similar situation. Skin is so personal and full of nuances. If you need support, we are here to help! Come in for a Skin Consultation or try our online Skin Prescription service - which is complimentary!