Hello, my name is Carmen Popa and I am a licensed esthetician and owner of Luminosity Acne Skincare. Like many of my clients, I too was a sufferer of severe acne for many years. Here is my story...
I started breaking out at a very young age. I was in the 4th grade when I got my first three pimples, all located on my forehead. They were three small, red papules and although I was the only one experiencing breakouts at school, I didn't think much of it and figured I just needed to start washing my face regularly. As the years came and went, my breakouts became more severe. I remember being the only student in the 6th grade with full-on acne. My other classmates would get the occasional pimple or two, but it was nothing like what was going on with my face. I had blackheads all over my nose, big painful pustules on my cheeks and my skin was red and rough to the touch. I absolutely hated when it was time to take school pictures and I remember begging my parents to pay extra to have the portrait studio retouch my photos so that I wouldn't look any different than my other classmates in the yearbook.
Over the years I had tried many different skin care products incuding drugstore brands, department store brands, spa brands and countless other brands. I can remember rubbing my skin raw with St. Ive's Apricot Scrub, hoping that this would be the answer to my acne. Dermatologists prescribed me almost everything they had including antibiotics, birth control pills, and topicals. I also had a series of microdermabrasion treatments at my dermatologist's office. The only thing left that had not been prescribed to me was Accutane. As a teenager I had begged my mom to let me take it but she always refused due to all the side-effects. When I was 19 years old, I was finally put on Accutane. I had hoped it would once and for all clear me of my acne and at first it seemed to be the magic pill that I was hoping for. After 6 months of taking Accutane, my skin had never been more clear. There was not one pimple or blackhead on my face. Unfortunately months later once all the Accutane was out of my system, my skin became oily again and with that the breakouts and blackheads came back (although not as severe as before). While I am very grateful that Accutane lowered my grade of acne, it didn't completely prevent new lesions from forming and worse, I have night blindness as a permanent side-effect.
A few years later I became a licensed esthetician and began my journey of practicing my love of skin care. When I first earned my esthetician license I was very hesitant and worried about landing a job in the skin care industry because I was still breaking out, especially around my cheeks, chin and jawline. Fortunately I was offered a job at a day spa in the Preston area of Cary, NC and soon became their head esthetician. Years later I became so passionate about skin care that I opened my own business, Luminosity Acne Skincare. Due to my personal struggle with acne both cosmetically and emotionally, I decided to focus my business on the successful treatment of acne. I have been fortunate to be able to study acne under the guide of some of the most highly regarded acne experts in the skin care industry and use that knowledge to get my clients clear.
*Carmen is currently retired from the treatment room, but is still actively involved in every aspect of Luminosity Acne Skincare, including training other Luminosity estheticians in the proper techniques to successfully clear up acne.
Hi, my name is Amanda Wiltzius, I'm a licensed Esthetician and Acne Specialist at Luminosity Acne Skincare. Just like many of our clients, I've dealt and suffered from severe acne throughout my teen years and into my adulthood.
Signs of acne started when I was in seventh grade around the age of 12. I remember starting a new school and wanting to hide my face from the world. As if it wasn’t bad enough being very shy at that age, having to meet new people while suffering with acne made opening up even worse. Aside from having face acne I was also dealing with severe body acne. Trying to be trendy like my classmates was hard because I had to be very selective with my clothing. I had to make sure that I wasn't exposing any cystic breakouts for my peers to see because I was very self-conscious about it. So throughout middle school and most of high school I suffered from acne on a day to day basis. Having tried everything under the sun including prescribed topicals from multiple Dermatologists, buying any and every over-the -counter product and reading countless articles online about acne I was at my wits end. By this time my acne was starting to leave behind acne scars and that is when Accutane became my answer, or so I thought. For ten years after my course of Accutane my skin looked amazing except for the occasional flare up from hormones. I thought I was done suffering and dealing with acne but little did I know that at the age of twenty seven my acne would come back. Once again I was back on the hunt for the solution to all my acne problems. This time Accutane wasn't going to be an option because of the many side effects that I'm still dealing with today. This meant I tried more products that I had high hopes for but left me feeling defeated when they didn’t work.
I became an Esthetician and wanted to help others that were dealing with similar acne issues as I was. That is when I reached out to Carmen, owner of Luminosity Acne Skincare, and a longtime friend of mine. My answers finally came when I started to work for her as an Acne Specialist and she started me on her acne products and treatments. Finally at the age of twenty nine I found my solution for clear skin. These days I love seeing each journey that our clients take while on Carmen’s acne program. The best part is knowing that I can be a part of their journey and their solution.