By Sarah Francis
A stunning woman born with a vibrant red birthmark has celebrated going make up free after decades of covering up.
Marina Isaksson, 25, was born with a bright pink birth mark on her left cheek.
Growing up, she had 50 laser treatments to have it removed but nothing worked.
As she got older, Marina used make-up to cover her cheek and refused to leave the house without it – even on an emergency trip to the hospital.
It wasn’t until she was 22 that the fitness junkie began taking steps to improve her self-confidence by showing friends her real skin.
Last month, she walked around her home city, bare skinned for the first time, after learning to love her look.
Now, the beautiful brunette from Haninge, Stockholm has been asked to model for fitness companies without make up.
Marina, who works in healthcare, said: “I was born this way, even if it’s called a birthmark I know people still don’t get the connection that I have had it since I was born.
“It’s most often pink and red but I when it’s cold and I go outside it gets purple and blue.
“I think it’s pretty cool that I can change colour like that.
“I don’t cover my birthmark anymore, this is me.
“I just want to be me and if people like that or not it’s up to them.
“I like myself now, it took meyears to realise but I want to have my birthmark, even if I could take it away, I wouldn’t.
“I never thought I would say this but I love it, it’s like a cool piece of art.”
Marina experienced bullying because of her birthmark and learnt to stand her ground.
She said: “As a child, I got used to people asking, staring, looking, pointing at me.
“And I think that made me understand that I needed to be strong from the start.
“If someone was staring at me, I stared back until they looked away.
“If someone said something mean, l always answered back.
“Maybe it wasn’t the “right” way but I did it and it got me respect I wanted.
At 13 years old Marina began to wear heavy make up to cover her cheek.
She said: “I started to really care how I looked.
“I realised I was going to look like this my whole life and started to cover my birthmark so nobody could see it.
“If I was home with no make up on and anyone ringed the doorbell I didn’t even open the door.
“I had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night and I had so much pain, but I remember saying to my mum to bring my make up.”
It wasn’t until three years ago that Marina realised she needed to boost her self-confidence.
She said: “I took small little steps. Started to show my friends, then to take a short walk with my dogs and then to go to the store buying just one thing and the go home again.
“Around one year after doing these things I showed my colleagues, and I realised that people really liked my birthmark. They thought it was unique and beautiful.”
This April Marina stepped out in her city without make up for the first time.
She said: “I walked around decided not to look down and felt proud of myself for the first time about how I looked.
“One guy lift up his sunglasses, one asked me if I got hit in the face and one person just asked me for the right directions.
“But I stayed strong and that day something happened to me. I liked the way I looked anyway.
“I was thinking that we all have our insecurities and that we all look pretty different anyway.
“I have two different colours in my face but much worse things have happen in this world.
“I got home and I posted my picture about my day on instagram, I didn’t think the response would be that big. It was like people could see through the picture that I for the first time had accept me.”
Now Marine never wears make up to cover her birthmark and post her daring selfies to her instagram to encourage others.
She added: “The good thing I really notice now is that I really help people with showing my birthmark.
“Many mothers that have kids with birthmarks and adults have written to me that I helping them on their journey to accept the way they look.
“That makes me so happy that I can help kids to try to make them see their birthmark as a superpower. Different doesn’t need to be bad.”