She first appeared on our screens in last year’s Love Island, then had further wild antics on Ibiza Weekender. Now, Chyna Ellis is settling down with her new beachwear brand and ihas a new-found interest in beauty. Here, she speaks exclusively about her struggle with psoriasis, and explains why she got cosmetic surgery.
What’s behind your new-found interest in beauty?
‘I’ve been working with loads of beauty brands recently and trying out new products because I suffer with psoriasis and have really bad skin. So I’m trying loads of creams that have an all-natural base.’
We never noticed you had bad skin when you were on Love Island – how did you cover it up?
‘When I was on Love Island and Ibiza Weekender I was so self-conscious about it, but nobody knew I had it because I did so well to cover it up. I use a lot of makeup. I also use Sally Hansen, which is a fake tan. It’s so good, I know Kim Kardashian uses it because she has psoriasis. And it literally covers the patches in your skin.’
When were you diagnosed with psoriasis?
‘I’ve had it since I was 13 and I’m 24 now. I lived in Spain for five years and it was really hot there, then when I moved back to the UK I had red itchy patches all over my body.’
How do you cope with the symptoms?
‘I think it’s a lot to do with diet. It’s not just about what you put on your skin, it’s about how you look after your body. So I drink three litres of water a day, I eat a lot of vegetables and I train a lot as well. It’s about keeping your body and mindset positive.’
What particularly triggers your psoriasis?
‘I think alcohol is a trigger for me because it must dry my skin out. Also I recently had my boobs done, and when I came out of the operation I flared up with psoriasis. I didn’t realise that my skin would be so sensitive to an operation.’
Why did you decide to have breast augmentation surgery?
‘Before I had the job, my boobs were really small – I think they were a really small B because I’m quite petite. Now, I think I’m a big C or a small D. I feel a lot more confident with them, and I do think if people want to have surgery they should have it done. But it is something you have to look into, be absolutely sure about and go with the right surgeon who’s got experience.’
Do you think you had the surgery for the confidence boost?
‘Yeah, 100%. I hadn’t been fully confident in myself with my boobs – I used to put chicken fillets in my bra and get them from Primark. But now I don’t have to do that, so I’m really happy with the results. And my boobs look natural – I went for a really small implant and fat transfer.’
Megan from this year’s Love Island has received a lot of criticism for her plastic surgery. Did you understand what she was saying about how surgery made her feel more confident?
‘Definitely. I think as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons and it’s for yourself then you should get what you want to get. I do agree that there is a certain limit to it, though – people need to be careful with how far they take it, cosmetic surgery is so addictive. And with social media now, people like me or other celebrities get offered a lot for free. I’ve been offered a lot for free, like veneers, that I have turned down because I thought to myself, if I keep saying yes to everything, I’m just going to be a completely different person.’
It must be hard to adjust to life after a reality TV show. Was there any psychological support from the Love Island team after the show?
‘They do support you when you come out and they support you before you go into the villa – they give you a massive leaflet, they tell you the pros and cons and you see a psychologist to make sure that you’re mentally stable. So everyone who goes into the villa is utterly aware of the possible outcomes from being on a TV show and is mentally prepared.’
And afterwards, do you get to see a psychologist regularly or is it a one-off?
‘For me, I only saw one the evening we came out. But then, I don’t think it’s their responsibility to provide you with psychological help for the foreseeable future. If you signed up for something that you’re more than happy to do, then I think that’s down to the person that signed up for it.’
What is your life like now you’re in the public eye?
‘It has changed so much in a year. I’ve had so many opportunities and I don’t regret anything. For this year’s Love Islanders, they’re on a massive scale now – the majority of them have come out with a million followers. It’s even more intense, so I can only imagine what they’re going through because there’s a lot more pressure on them. If I felt the pressure, then they definitely feel the pressure.’