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Woman dubbed a ‘tomato’ because of ‘misunderstood’ skin condition

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Woman dubbed a ‘tomato’ because of ‘misunderstood’ skin condition

A  woman who was branded a tomato by a cruel workplace bully and told she was ugly by strangers due to her rosacea has learnt to love her skin again after finding a product that works for her.

 PA REAL LIFE blurb Natalie
PA REAL LIFE blurb Natalie© Provided by The Independent

Natalie Rose, 33, from Shropshire, suffered from rosacea from a young age, but after years of relentless bullying, strangers calling her ugly and an ex-partner pushing her to get plastic surgery to “get rid of her rosacea”, Natalie’s self-esteem was at an all time low.

But in June 2018 Natalie started therapy and realised she needed to learn to like herself again so she could love the skin she was in.

After years of self-work, Natalie was shocked when in 2020 she stumbled across Kalme skincare, which after just four weeks calmed Natalie’s rosacea so dramatically that for the first time in years she could brave the outside world with no make up on.

“I have learnt to start loving my skin for the first time in my adult life,” said Natalie.

“I always excused bad treatment of me because I felt I was so ugly so I just needed to put up with it. I really struggled to see any self-worth.”

Suffering with sensitive skin from a young age, Natalie was just 14 years old when she noticed red blotches appearing on her face.

“I started to get red blotches when I was doing PE at school,” she said.

“It started to be more like a daily thing. My grandad had also had rosacea so I think it might be genetic.

“The doctors suggested E45 cream, but even though it smoothed my skin it didn’t calm the redness.”

Developing a phobia of the cold, Natalie’s confidence plummeted.

“Winter has always been worse,” she said.

“I used to bleed and my face would go bright red and swollen. I didn’t want to go outside, not just because it was painful but I didn’t want people to stare at me.

“I developed a phobia about the cold as a result due to the reaction my skin had  and avoided going outside in the winter.”

By the time she was 28 years old Natalie had suffered relentless bullying, with a manager even referring to her as a tomato in front of customers.

“I’ve been called ugly by complete strangers and one boss called me a tomato,” she said.

“I worked in sales, and he would say it in front of customers. He would say ‘your face is looking awful today.’

“He even asked if it was contagious. He made me feel like an ogre. In the end he was sacked due to his behaviour but the damage to my mental health had already been done.”

An ex-partner even asked Natalie to get plastic surgery to calm her rosacea.

“My ex made a joke in front of his friends,” she explained.

“He said I should get cosmetic surgery to take my rosacea away. They all laughed. It was one of those moments where you just want the ground to swallow you whole.

“It definitely hurt. He would tell me I should just save up and get some surgery to have it removed. It became a running thing.

“But I just felt so lucky to be in a relationship. I felt ugly in my own skin and my body. I was putting up with these things because I felt he was alright looking, and I was ugly.

“My whole mindset was really bad at the point.”

By 2018 Natalie had fallen into a deep depression.

“In 2018 I lost my daughter late in pregnancy,” said Natalie.

“Everything became really overwhelming. I completely broke, I couldn’t cope with anything else. I ended up taking sick leave for a while and eventually left my job.

“I developed crippling anxiety and my self-esteem and confidence hit rock bottom. Then I started therapy.

“Part of that was unlearning a lot of toxic culture I’d grown up with. I had to start liking myself again.

“I had to speak to myself kindly. I had to learn to give myself the same love and appreciation that I would give someone else.

“I think when you hit rock bottom, there’s only one way to go.”

And in 2020 Natalie stumbled across Kalme skincare.

“I’d tried everything on my skin,” explained Natalie.

“I’d pinned my hopes on products before and they hadn’t worked, I’d spend £60 on some which is a lot of money to me.

“I was nervous about being disappointed again. I’d seen Kalme advertised on a few places, but I didn’t know anyone who had used it.

“Eventually my mum said she would pay half with me, so I tried a month.”

Despite her fears, Natalie spent £49.95 on her skin care and within four weeks was overjoyed.

“Within four weeks there was a noticeable difference, my skin wasn’t bleeding or flaky anymore,” she said.

“It felt smoother and calmer and much less painful. It’s made my skin the smoothest it’s been as far back as I can remember.

“Now I can go out with no makeup on. I don’t know how to properly express how it feels that I can walk out the house without makeup on.

“I can go on a night out without feeling ugly. Before, I’d not want to go out at all because of my confidence. I don’t hold back anymore.

“I can’t stop smiling when I say it, because I know how amazing it makes me feel.

“I know I’m always going to have rosacea as there’s no magic fix and I still get flutters of anxiety when I get a skin flare, but these products have helped significantly manage the symptoms better.”

And now Natalie is on the road to loving her skin again.

“This year I want to say yes more,” she said.

“My goals are to relearn the keyboard and to do more of what I enjoy, like taking photos of nature.

“I no longer have people staring in horror at my skin or calling me names. I’m learning to love my skin for the first time in my life.” 

Reference: Story by Harriet Bullough •

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