Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Ready for the ultimate guide to clear skin? If you raised your hand, I am right there with you.
Now before going into this, I want to be completely transparent with you. My skin is not perfect. It still gets break outs and is still balancing itself out after coming off birth control, which I will discuss in this post! With that said, these 5 things that I have done, have ultimately transformed not only my relationship with my skin, but how I interact with my body on a physical and mental level.
50 SHADES OF ORANGUTAN
Ever since I was 10 years old I had acne. At that age none of my peers had it… Ultimately I began to feel horrible about myself. It started as small spots near my nose that eventually became larger and encompassed my entire face. When I was twelve I began experimenting with makeup to cover the shame of having imperfections on my skin. I remember grabbing a foundation 3 shades too dark from my mother’s room and applying it on my skin, then adding the wrong shade concealer, and then powder. At 12 years old, I was cake faced and on a bumpy road to having clear skin. Let’s be real, more on the road to becoming a clown beautician. One day during recess, I began to sweat and I wiped a bit of my face on my shirt and it was orange. An orangutan had nothing on me that day, and to add to my worries I became even more self-conscious. Did I mention I was still one of the only people with ‘bad’ acne? Alas, my skin continued to betray me as I entered into high school and began trying loads of products from popular brands. Little did I know your skin shouldn’t feel tight or itchy after using them, but guess who used them continuously for the next 6 years? If you guessed me again you are great at guessing!
When I went to college I grew a beard. Not the kind of beard you are likely to be thinking of, but a beard of acne. It was painful and not cute. I doused myself in makeup and self-loathing trying to cover up issues that were trying to be made known. I should also mention during this time I went through some mental health troubles with situational depression and anxiety, so that became a major factor in why it got so bad. I eventually moved home and saw a dermatologist. I went on hormonal birth control and received topical treatments. My skin cleared up within 2 months. Then I stopped using them and those little pimples came back baby, but not as bad. A little while later I went vegan and noticed my skin looked better from cutting out the dairy and eggs.
I wish I could say this is where I got the skin I’ve always wanted, but it isn’t. I continued to struggle with clear skin and redness.
IGNITE YOUR DIGESTIVE FIRE
If your gut isn’t working properly it will let you know! Digestion is such a crucial component to our system. It breaks down food that gives your body nourishment and energy, and 70% of your immune system lives here. To diminish its importance would be quite silly. However, we live in an age where processed foods are more common than fresh foods. Preventative measures to stay healthy like eating properly, sleep, and exercise are pushed to the side and treating symptoms is the standard.
When I was 16 I went vegetarian. I began to eat more beans, soy, and my intake of processed goods increased a bit. This continued on and then I became vegan. The removal of dairy made my skin say thank you! Yet, my skin was still irritated and inflamed. After countless trying of eating more raw foods to eliminating oil, nothing was working. I was actually working against my intuition and what my body needed. I became afraid of eating anything with oil in it because what if it did break me out? For a few days, I wrote out a “Food Journal”. I have seen people do these in the past. Instead of doing them myself I thought, “Nah, I’m eating healthy”, which is true to an extent, but I was still feeding foods my body was sensitive to and continuously tried to communicate this through my face. After reading a lovely book titled, “Skin Cleanse” I decided I might as well try it. I kept a log of what I was eating in a word document. By doing this, I was even able to notice foods that don’t sit well with my body. I noticed I was consuming way to much sugar, soy, and I have a sensitivity to chickpeas. This process has taken a while of figuring out what I can and cannot consume. It did not happen overnight and continue to make tweaks to figure out what my body can handle and needs. It really is about getting in tune with YOU! Steps: 1. Food Diary - What foods are the most common/daily - How do you feel after consuming those foods: gassy, bloated, upset stomach, acne next day 2. Eat Intuitively to YOUR bodies needs - Your body will tell you what it needs. You can ask if you can’t tell!
YOU'RE LIKE STRESSING ME OUT
As a youthful teen, I loved going on vacation. Okay, who doesn’t? But I really enjoyed going out of town because each time my skin cleared dramatically. Back then I thought it was because of new air I was encountering (you read that right), but I have since realized it was because I was not stressed. I can’t tell you what was stressing me, probably school, friends, family, etc... Yet I have learned in the past 6 months that it can be a huge factor in your skin. I’ve begun meditation every day to combat stress in life and have done some internal work to see what is triggering me and reprogramming it! My favorite way to do this is through Lacy Phillips program. This happens to be a huge player in my skin for me, so trying to be as zen as possible and in the present moment is a MUST. Steps: 1. Dig Deep what is triggering you, journal, flow, connect with whatever is coming up 2. Begin a Relaxation practice: Salt Baths, Meditation, Yoga, Etc...
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BYE BYE BIRTH CONTROL
I was getting a nudge that the birth control that I had been taking for the past two years was not fit for my body. I started feeling weird about not getting my period. With that, I instinctively knew that it was messing with my hormones. I began getting hormonal acne, and I just felt weird. After doing tons of research about going off birth control, I felt nervous because of reading other’s experiences going off the pill. However, it ended up being the best thing I ever did. To counteract the inevitable rebalancing act my body was about to perform, I increased my intake of Vitamin C and started taking Maca Powder to help balance out my hormones. Long behold, after a few months my hormones went a little nutty and are in the process of rebalancing themselves out.
LETS TALK PRODUCTS
I didn’t want to admit to myself that my foundation was breaking me out. The days I wore no makeup my skin looked healthy. A day after wearing said foundation, my skin said, “Here’s a few more pimples to add to the face”. I became so accustomed to wearing foundation to cover my ‘imperfections’ I was failing to notice it was also a factor of it. I decided that I would stop wearing that foundation and only wear concealer that I know that doesn’t break me out on my skin. Now, it doesn’t just have to be makeup that may be breaking you out. It could be your cleanser, moisturizer, etc. that can be causing a reaction on your skin. I have tried using natural remedies and over the counter, but the one thing that I have found that genuinely works for me is a salicylic cleanser, benzoyl peroxide, and a moisturizer. Steps: 1. Ditch Make Up for a few days or day to see if any product is causing irritation 2. Find products that work for YOUR skin.
I know it is easy to say, “It is so unfair that [NAME A HUMAN WITH GREAT SKIN] has great skin and eats horribly!”. Well, yeah I have thought so too. My brother can inhale packages of junk and his skin remains smooth as a child's. I guess it is kind of lucky that we get to go through this because we can find out what works and clearly what isn’t working for our bodies.
It can be a long process, mine took me eleven years to get to this place of having skin I am not disappointed in. Like I said in the beginning, my skin still isn't perfect. I am still learning what works and what isn’t working. The best way to get clear skin is to figure out YOU and YOUR needs. Play around with certain foods, products, and maybe meditate a bit more!
Let's Chat! What are your tips or remedies for keeping your skin clear? Let me know in the comments below!