Pimples are a standard part of every teenager's life—hellooo, hormones—but the severe acne that cropped up on Rachel Crawley's face, starting at age 16, took a major toll on her confidence and social life.
Crawley, of Preston, England, told The Daily Mail that she missed family gatherings, stopped going out with friends, and wouldn't make eye contact with others because of her acne. She even turned down a spot in the Miss Preston beauty contest when she was 18 because of how self-conscious her acne made her feel.
But after following this ONE simple diet trick, Crawley, now 22, has cleared up her skin and is currently a finalist in the 2017 Miss Preston competition—the very same pageant she was asked to compete in four years ago.
The secret to her skin transformation? Saying "so long!" to refined sugar, and sticking to raw, natural foods.
Crawley is now documenting her skin care journey on her popular Instagram account, which gave her the confidence to enter the beauty contest: "The spots have been replaced by scars, but I don't feel I have to cover them up anymore," she said.
Crawley emphasizes that making tweaks to one's diet isn't a magic cure-all for everyone's acne, but it was something that worked for her personally.
"What we don't realize is certain foods do effect (sic) our hormones. Such as dairy, meat and sugar," she told her 18,500 followers in a recent 'gram. "Everybody is different and there are different success stories out there."
While trolls pop up in the comments section of her posts occasionally—"disease face" is one of the cruel names she's been called—Crawley told the Mail that many other girls who suffer from acne call her journey "inspiring."
As for the Miss Preston contest, whose winner will be announced at the end of April, Crawley said winning would "of course be amazing" but thinks "it's more to show myself I can do it and hopefully give other people confidence to feel good about themselves."
"I don't want other girls to feel the way I did," she added, "and hopefully I can show them they don't have to."