I had written this blog post twice already. I am hesitant, uncomfortable, nervous and worried. But then I thought to myself, if I want to be authentic and I want to be me, then I must share all my sides and all my faces including the one that was filled with acne…. Pun intended!
I never struggled with acne as a teenager and was always happy with my skin. One day out of the blue in Jan 2015 (I was 25 at the time), I started getting a few painful pimples. As it got worse, I went to my doctor to see if he can help with it. He agreed that it’s off and prescribed me Retin A and an antibiotic!! Now, Retin A definitely works for some people, but for me it just made a bad situation worse! My face just kept having more and more acne each day, it was red, irritated and dry. Each day, I grew more and more insecure and more and more upset. I was literally uncomfortable in my own skin.
I saw another professional who deals with acne, he advised to discontinue the Retin A. He told me this was text book Adult Acne. My inner cynic and paranoia had a field day! Of course this will happen to me. What did I do wrong? I must have caused this somehow. It was the facial I got, it must have been that! Whatever the reason was it didn’t matter, my face was not getting better and I grew more and more anxious about the whole situation. I hated going out. Cancelled a lot of outings. Didn’t want to take pictures. And yes I cried about it.
This was about the time I started transforming my lifestyle. So I knew it was definitely something on the inside not just the outside. Now, with all the antibiotics I took my gut bacteria was not in balance. I looked at the products I was using and did more research on them. I came up with a holistic plan to save my face.
What I did on the outside:
First of all I threw away all my expensive Chanel creams, my conventional face wash and my serums. I did extensive research on all of the products that I spent hundreds of dollars on! They are filled with chemicals, parabens (which mess with your hormones) and a bunch of bad news! I limited the products I used on my face, maximum number would be three.
With my face wash I chose a gentle brand called Skin Essence. Its vegan, cruelty free, non-GMO, Certified organic and Canadian. It has 9 ingredients which I can read and understand. They have a few different cleansers but I used the one called “Pure” because my face was so raw and irritated. I love this cleanser. Note I was not using any makeup, this cleanser was solely for washing my face from any build up I accumulated during the day.
I bought this Gel from Nature’s Aid not only for my acne but for everything skin related. It’s great for cuts, burns, irritation and of course acne. What I love about this gel it’s so powerful but light at the same time. It has aloe vera, Tea Tree, Witch Hazel, Rosemary, Vitamin E. These properties are not only anti-bacterial but they help with hyperpigmentation and scarring. Now I know you think antibacterial = drying. It’s not drying at all, in fact it’s very soothing due to the vitamin E and aloe vera. This is also vegan, cruelty free, non-GMO, Certified organic and Canadian (Yes I love to local and Canadian businesses!)
To moisturize I alternated between jojoba oil and Green Beavers green tea moisturizer. Jojoba oil is great for acne because it’s the most similar to human skin oil (sebum). It is theorized that applying jojoba to the skin can “trick” the skin into thinking it is producing enough oil. And it doesn’t clog pores! The Green Beaver cream has super clean and simple ingredients it moisturized without making my face feel greasy. It has Aloe vera concentrate which soothes and renews red, irritated and sensitive skin. Jojoba and grape seed oils keeps skin moisturized and balanced throughout the day.
Green tea provides antioxidant protection to neutralize free radicals.
What I did on the inside:
I can honestly expand on this and write a whole blog post just on probiotics and the connection to acne. But I will just quote Dr. Bowe “By taking oral probiotic supplements or by eating probiotics in your diet, you can theoretically restore a healthy environment in your gut and keep the skin from getting inflamed.” In 1961, a case report found that of 300 acne patients given a probiotic, 80% had clinical improvement. 1961 people! This isn’t anything new, but yet when we go to the doctor’s for acne they prescribe ANTI-biotics. Not going to rant.. Not going to rant.
Because I had inflammation not just in my face but in my entire body. I tried to eat as clean as possible. Organic whole foods that can only contribute to the healing process. Foods filled with minerals and vitamins. I should also mention that I cut out dairy products as well.
Sometimes the body is overflown with toxins and releases them through the skin. I really wanted to help flush out these toxins so I would have a green juice every morning to alkalize and gently detox my body (I still do!).
This was a longer post than intended but I really wanted to detail everything I did in hopes that this can help at least one person!