As a teenage girl heading to castings for acting roles, confidence is key.

But BAFTA nominee Jasmine Jobson had more than the usual pre-audition jitters to worry about.

“I was covered head to toe in psoriasis,” says Jasmine, who is best known for playing Jaq in the 2019 Netflix hit, Top Boy.

“I’m very aware that because I am an actress my condition may cause issues. It’s always playing on the back of my mind when I enter an audition room.”

Casting agents definitely weren’t shy about addressing the issue.

“There were a few jobs where my skin was definitely a problem,” she says. “I was asked to cover up either by dressing completely from head to toe in long sleeves and trousers or using tattoo make-up or other form of concealer.”

Top Boy star Jasmine has battled with her skin since her teenage years

While she has never turned down a part because of these stipulations, they definitely make the 25-year-old uncomfortable. “Why can’t I show my skin?” she asks. “We pride ourselves in showing real life and being so raw on screen, so what’s wrong with the rawness of my skin? It represents so many people who suffer, like me.”

Jasmine was 16 when she first developed psoriasis. “I just remember this one little patch appearing on my arm, like a little spot, and didn’t think anything of it,” she recalls. “And then the next day I suddenly had loads of them all over my arm.”

An appointment with her GP didn’t go as smoothly as she might have hoped. “I spent years being misdiagnosed by different doctors,”
she says, clearly still frustrated by the experience.

“They kept telling me I had ringworm, which made me feel really dirty, but I knew that wasn’t the problem because I have family members who suffer from psoriasis. It took two years for doctors to finally listen to me.”

Psoriasis is an immune condition, which speeds up the body’s natural skin replacement process, taking just a few days to replace skin cells, a turnover that usually takes up to a month. It causes raised ‘plaques’ on the skin which can be itchy, flaky, scaly and red on Caucasian skin and darker on those who have a darker skin tone.

The actress was up for a BAFTA last year

Unfortunately, even the correct diagnosis didn’t solve the problem, which became an “ongoing struggle” for the actress, who doesn’t react well to standard treatments.

“I can’t use steroid creams, they’re just not good for my skin and burn the whole top layer off,” says Jasmine, who recently starred alongside Ben Whishaw in movie thriller Surge.

“It used to turn the areas where I applied it really, really dark – like I had bruising or scar tissue.”

While psoriasis left her uncomfortable and itchy, it wasn’t just how it felt physically that caused issues. “You have people staring at you 24/7, so I would be wearing long- sleeved shirts in summer, trousers or jeans even on the hottest days.

“In the past I’ve felt depressed and anxious because of people staring and making presumptions. I’ve received horrible comments – people tend to jump to conclusions thinking you have a contagious disease. It makes you feel no one wants to be near you or touch you which can make socialising tough.”

Jasmine has finally found what works for her skin

However, it was a trip to the Caribbean that allowed Jasmine to accept herself. “When I was 18 I went on holiday to Dominica for three weeks and it was so hot I just had to learn to be confident in my skin instead of hiding away,” she explains.

While Jasmine may now be happy to wear outfits that leave her psoriasis on show, its appearance in red carpet shots began raising questions among her fans. The actress, who has almost 80,000 followers on Instagram, found people felt the need to “keyboard warrior into [her] comments” to ask if she was self-harming, in an abusive relationship, or to troll her.

“Everything I posted would get comments and there’s only so many sticks and stones you can take before bones actually fracture, so I wanted to address it before I started to be affected by it,” she says. “It was a matter of sticking up for myself, while making people aware that you can feel comfortable in your skin.

“Nobody wants this, but I’m proud of my psoriasis. It has been part of me for almost 10 years now and I’ve accepted it. So sorry, you can’t bully me.”

One of her followers suggested she try a cream, Farmologie Pink Grapefruit Moisturiser by Childs Farms, which combines colloidal oatmeal, oat oil and moisturising agents to soothe and hydrate.

Childs Farm started life making children’s bath products, but Farmologie was created when the makers discovered that over a quarter of their customers were adults struggling to find creams for dry, sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

“I have been using Farmologie for three months now and I can honestly say I saw a difference in three days,” says Jasmine, so thrilled with the effect of the £3.49 lotion she has become a brand ambassador. “The psoriasis has calmed down by around 50% and the big patches have cleared up. I still have a few smaller areas but these have separated, making it easier to control.

“My skin isn’t as raw or itchy any more. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating when I say it has changed my life.”

Farmologie is available in Boots and at farmologie.co.uk