A year ago today, there was one thing that consumed my life 24/7, and that was acne.
Being a sufferer myself, I know how horrible it is and isolating it feels having acne, and often suffering from what I call “Skin Anxiety”. Today, thankfully, I can finally say my skin is clear (A very long time coming!). With the exception of a few hormonal spots here and there, I no longer suffer from adult acne and no longer have to deal with huge and painful cysts. This is my life after acne.
THIS IS HOW INFLAMED MY ACNE WAS:
THIS IS WHAT MY SKIN LOOKS LIKE TODAY:
So, YES, it is possible to clear your adult acne naturally without the use of the pill and harsh cleansers/lotions from companies that claim it will clear up your skin, only to find your break out 3 weeks later. Once you find the underlying cause in why you’re breaking out (read the main causes of my acne here) from a professional health expert, your body will soon follow.
The food that was on my plate definitely contributed to my breakouts. But changing the foods on it helped even more in clearing up my acne. Today I don’t eat as strict as I did whilst healing, as I believe in balance, but I still like to include foods high in essential fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants such as tuna or salmon, avocado, olives, seeds, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, berries, coconut, and inflammation fighting foods like lemon, ginger, turmeric, spices, garlic, apple cider vinegar and herbal teas. As well as an abundance of vegetables and fruits that are going to promote healing in your body. Processed foods, alcohol, sugar, etc are only contributing to this cause of your acne; creating an inflammatory response in your body.
MAINTAINING MY GUT FLORA
Whilst healing my acne, I underwent a LOT of gut healing for my digestive condition leaky gut. I took supplements such as probiotics to help boost my good gut flora and L-Glutamine to shield the coating of my digestive tract (so undigested proteins wouldn’t leak; literally!). These supplements are only a short term plan and don’t need to be used long term. A couple of times a week, I still like to include fermented foods (such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha) and prebiotic rich foods (such as pistachio nuts, garlic, onion, and bananas) which will all feed your ‘good’ gut flora.
- Exercise: I like all sorts of exercise, belly dancing, running, walking, cardio or strength, exercise is great for your skin! By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. It is also clearing out the toxins that are building up and causing inflammation in your body.
- Spiritual Living: Anyone who knows me or follows my social media accounts know that I am a spiritual person and I believe in living with an expanded view of the world, and everyday practicing gratitude, hope, and believing in the ‘divine’. One of the amazing things that I learned from a healthy lifestyle was opening the door to your soul; listening to your thoughts, feelings and body and every day trying to be happy and positive. Some of these activities include meditation, working with crystals and reading books and Youtube videos about other inspiring people. Spiritual living is a huge part of me now, it has taught me so much about self-love, confidence and reducing stress; which is one of the main things I focus on in keeping my skin clear.
- Stress: Did you know that if you are really stressed, you’re not absorbing nutrients from the foods you are eating? It’s like a vicious cycle of fight or flight mode, which was a HUGE cause of my acne. I use to work in a stressful job and live on a busy road in the city. I changed jobs to something that I enjoy and I moved to one of my favorite coastal towns Ocean Grove. Today I am very thankful for this decision. As I said in my earlier posts about acne, you are a result of your lifestyle! Have a deep think about yours; is it serving you in a good way? Or keeping you down and stressed? Things that keep my nervous system healthy is going on walks, breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and exercising.
Yes, unfortunately, I still suffer from my acne scarring. Although it looks much clearer and less pigmented today, I am still working on fading my scarring. Why does it take so long to heal? According to WebMD, “A few weeks after you break out and scar, new blood vessels move into the injured area to give nourishment to the skin, which is why most early scars look pink, Alster says. Months later, collagen starts to form, filling in the injured section of skin. Because cystic acne destroys skin and fat, it can take up to a year for the scars to fade”. My skin has been clear for about six months now, but unfortunately, there is still the scarring that remains, especially as my acne was so severe and deep. These are the current treatments I am receiving:
LED Lighting Treatment:
What is LED Lighting Therapy? According to Huffington Post, LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a computer chip encased in a glass-like resin, which emits therapeutic wavelengths (or colors) of light energy. LED gives the cells a ‘full tank of fuel’ and these fibroblast cells start to produce collagen and elastin. This promotes healing of wounds and scarring. LED is good for reducing breakouts and fading scarring, as well as maintaining your stress levels; it is like meditation for me!
Back when my scarring was highly pigmented, I received a lot of skin peeling treatments. A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Some of my peels were very potent which took a couple of days to heal, and others were not as potent but still effective.
This is a treatment I received a bit later down the track when my breakouts were 90% clear. Skin Needling or Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) is an exciting new natural treatment to improve your skin texture, smooth wrinkles, fine lines and soften scars. This treatment actually goes way back in time used in Chinese Medicine. Today I have a Derma Roller which is an at home needling treatment which I use once a week. This is a great beauty tool to use to keep treating scarring and something that I will use forever as it is great for anti-aging!
If it weren’t for these treatments I personally think my scarring would still be quite red and visible. I have been getting them done with my skin specialist Martine, The Skin Goddess who also provides me with the skincare range that I use O Cosmedics; which works on infection and toxins on the outside of your skin, and prevents blemishes. I’m in love with it! My whole experience and treatments with Martine has made a huge difference in the appearance of my skin and regaining my confidence back. If you are suffering from acne or scarring contact her for more information on her facebook page. Located in Victoria, Australia.
Are you suffering from adult acne yourself or have overcome it in your life? Share it in the comments below!