In support of Psoriasis Awareness Month we interviewed Bree Pease (@psoriasis_beauty), who was diagnosed with Plaque Psoriasis in her teenage years. She shares what it's like living with plaque psoriasis and advice/tips she's learned along the way to help fight it!
PH (Psoriasis Honey): What was it like growing up with Psoriasis?
Bree: It was challenging. My psoriasis advanced dramatically during my teenage years, which is usually an exciting time in youth. It was also a time when girls my age cared about appearances, and what others thought about you.
At the age of 15 my parents split, which affected my stress and anxiety level. At this time, I started at a new school, which was much bigger than my previous school. I would get extremely self – conscious, because my school uniform barely covered all of my skin. Outside of school, I was also working with children, who are innocent and like to speak their mind. They would often ask me if I fell, got burnt, or had some sort of accident after looking at my spots. This made me very uncomfortable in my own skin and was challenging having to explain myself to others.
PH: What age did you develop psoriasis at? Is it genetic?
Bree: I have had one spot of psoriasis on my elbow since the age of 13 (I’m 18 now). This spot stayed moderate until the time of my parents split-up. During that time my condition
worsened and spread to greater areas on my body. Now I have psoriasis head to toe. My three sisters have mild psoriasis, but mine is more severe. My father also suffers from psoriasis, which is how we genetically inherited the condition.
PH We understand you have plaque psoriasis, can explain what this type of psoriasis is to those that may be learning about it for the first time?
Bree: Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis which appears mainly on the elbow, knees, scalp and ears. They form in red circled patches and can grow/spread overtime. The body produces excess skin cells in these areas causing to create a layer of dead skin cells on the surface. These tend to become white patches. People who suffer from plaque psoriasis produce 10x more skin cells than the average person.
PH: What triggered your psoriasis and what are your psoriasis triggers?
Bree: My psoriasis was originally triggered by stress and it remains the biggest contributor to my flare-ups. I also try to avoid certain foods which may trigger inflammation. I practice an anti -inflammatory diet. This means I avoid red meats, alcohol, sugar, smoking, dairy, gluten and night shade vegetables. Even the slightest bit of sugar can aggravate my skin and worsen my condition. I have been careful, due to this!
PH: How is your day to day life affected by psoriasis?
Bree: am a live in Nanny and I work with kids 5 days a week. Psoriasis often affects my sleep patterns and keeps me up, due to the itching and pain. It also effects my energy levels making it challenge to be productive in the day due to lack of rest. It’s starting to affect my social life as well when trying to eat out with friends. I cannot eat of lot of the foods served at restaurants, parties, or events; due to my diet limitations.
PH: What does your daily skincare routine look like? What specific products do you use and can’t live without?
Bree: Morning: I moisturize my skin with coconut oil and/or pure aloe vera jelly head to toe. This replenishes moisture back into my skin. I always carry a small bottle of aloe vera with me just in case my skin needs a refresh during the day.
Night: I take a lukewarm shower 5 minutes so it doesn’t irritate my skin, then pat dry before applying products. I apply the Psoriasis Honey Skin-Renewing cream then wear a long sleeve top so products don’t transfer while sleeping. If my scalp is itchy, I apply coconut oil to my scalp and sleep with it overnight.
I also love all the QV products; they have a full range of deep moisturizers which work absolutely amazing.
PH: What are your top 3 skin concerns?
- I’m concerned that my psoriasis will result in psoriatic arthritis like my fathers.
- That there will never be a cure to relieve symptoms.
- I’m concerned that my psoriasis will continue to spread and grow despite all the lifestyle changes I made.
PH: What does your diet look like? Have you found certain foods to help improve your psoriasis? Are you allergic to anything in particular that triggers your psoriasis?
Bree: I have started practicing an anti-inflammatory diet. This means avoiding anything that is too harsh on my stomach including red meats, dairy, gluten, alcohol, sugar ect. I am on a pretty clean diet thanks to my skin for introducing me to this! By adapting this lifestyle change I have not only seen results in my skin, but also my hair and energy levels.
PH: How did you hear about our brand?
Bree: Your brand was actually one of the first psoriasis skincare focused brands that I came across on Instagram. I was looking for an inspirational page that would support me through my journey and would provide me with positive information. I found this page and the feed was so uplifting and inspirational. I then decided to order some of your products, and I was not disappointed. They are all calming, gentle, contain clean ingredients (which I love), and worth the price!
PH: What type of products did you use prior to psoriasis honey?
Bree: Prior to psoriasis honey I was using prescribed medications by my dermatologist. These prescriptions were very expensive, harmful to my body and were the complete opposite of natural. I was looking for a healthier alternative in relieving my symptoms and most importantly for products with ingredients that wouldn’t give me side effects.
PH: What is your favorite product in our line and why?
Bree: I love the Soothing Bath Soak! I have spent many glorious hours lying and relaxing in this amazing product. It truly calms my body inside and out and leaves my skin feeling soft. Also I found that my skin is itch-free for several days after. I love this product SO much!
PH: Did you see a difference in your skin condition after using our products? What results did you see?
Bree: No product can heal psoriasis that I’ve learned, but these products have made it easier to live day by day with the condition. Psoriasis honey definitely helped with my skin’s itching, flakiness and redness! I bought the bundle and have used all of them. Each product brings a unique calming and healing feeling.
PH: Any suggestions in terms of any new products that you would like to see from PH?
Bree: I would love to see shampoos and conditioners in the brands range for anti-itching and dandruff. I feel like so many people would benefit from the use of this product considering that scalp psoriasis is so common.
PH: How has it been talking about your psoriasis with your friends, family, followers?
Bree: I am a very confident person and I look at my skin now and think it’s beautiful!
I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for overcoming all the hardships and experiencing all the emotions I had during this journey. No one could take this love for my skin away from me and if they don’t want to accept me for who I am then I would rather remove those toxic relationships.
My condition has changed my lifestyle for the better. I have developed healthy habits such as eating healthy, staying active, and taking care of my skin. I am so open about my disease with everyone around me and through my social media, I want to spread awareness through positivity and smiles!
PH: What advice would you give to people who are also suffering with psoriasis?
Bree: My advice would be that everyone is different and we are all born the way we are for a reason. Our psoriasis isn’t a burden but a gift for life improvement and good health! I would also tell you that you’re beautiful and you’re psoriasis only adds too it! It’s not our fault society sometimes isolates us, it’s their fault for not taking the time to understand our struggles.
Everyone is scared of the unknown, let’s smile our way through this! Sending positive vibes always.