LET’S TALK SKIN
Let’s talk skin 🧚
This topic is something I have wanted to talk about for a while despite the fact I don’t have all the answers and I am still learning more about it every day. I think it is safe to say, at some stage of our life, our skin will affect us all. Whether it is acne, rosacea, eczema, stretch marks, pigmentation – you name it, society has taught us to be ashamed of it.
How many times have you noticed yourself apologising for your skin before engaging in conversation with someone? When my skin first got bad, and I dared to leave the house, my opening sentence would always be as follows…
“I’m sorry about my skin”
“Please excuse my spots at the minute”
“Ignore my face”
I realised a few months ago how damaging this habit can be to our self-worth. By doing this I was not only expressing to myself, but to the other person that my belonging came from the exterior. Before I get into my acne journey and how I started to live a life beyond my spots, I wanted to outline that your appearance does not alter your self-wroth, characters, ambition or ability to go out and enjoy yourself. Next time you find yourself wanted to apologise for your skin, apologise to nobody but yourself for being so hard on yourself, for believing in societies standards and for thinking you are anything less than perfect. Manifest confidence everyday & learn to love yourself.
Ok, so I personally started to struggle with my skin around 14 months ago when I out broke in big painful spots which covered the right side of my face only. They were best described as ‘under the skin spots’ (you know the ones that are big, painful but totally un-pickable). Naturally, I attempted to squeeze them, hoping that this would help speed up the process of getting rid of them however unfortunately this did the opposite. My face was now red, covered in marks and more inflamed than ever. For somebody with no previous history of spots, maybe the odd pimple, I was in total shock at where this sudden outbreak had come from. I remember that evening I cried to my mum, called myself ugly and threw myself on my bedroom floor. My diet was super healthy and I exercised regularly so naturally I was confused about the root cause behind my spots. I booked to see the doctor the next day where I was given acne cream and acne antibiotics - the prescription ran its course and I saw little to no improvement. During this time (where I put myself on a house lock down) I read every skincare article possible and filled a hole notepad full of ‘tips and tricks’. The basics included:
- Fresh pillow case every night
- Fresh flannel every use (morn & night)
- Cleanse in the morning & cleanse + tone at night
- Use a water based moisturiser
- Avoid putting your phone to your face – use headphones always
- Use antibacterial, especially when at the gym
- Wash makeup brushed once a week
- Reduce caffeine
- Don’t pick
- Use a glycolic spot cream
- Seek a doctor’s advice
After implementing these factors as well as being on antibiotics and using an acne cream I was naturally left disappointed when my skin still looked the same, and was still painful around 2 months later I decided to see a private dermatologist. I arrived at my appointment with a 2-week food diary, a exercise journal, my makeup bag, my wash bag and a list of everything I had been doing. He outlined that the cause of my acne was from excess sebum (oil) on the skin, which was a result of my hormones. He explained how the products I was using may help a little, but these would not stop the production on sebum, just contribute to reducing it once it was present on the skin. Given it was the route I wanted to go down he said he was happy to prescribe me roacutan (the leading treatment for acne). Whilst I went to the dermatologist determined to do ANYTHING to help my skin, in that moment I was totally unsure If this was the route I wanted to go down. I decided to give myself time to think about if I wanted to put such a strong drug into my system – especially given the long list of serious side effects. At this stage I had just got my anxiety under control and had to question whether my mental health was more important than clear skin.
A few weeks passed and I decided to try to heal my skin naturally, in the many other ways I had researched how. I had just started my holistic health coaching course so expected to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way. I learnt about my skin day by day, as I experimented with food, products and mindfulness. I realised my body rejected any soya product– both internally and externally (note to self: food has 3 days to react within the body – it may not be an initial reaction). I also found a spot cream by Mario Badescu called ‘drying lotion’ (link here) which was a massive saviour to the healing process when I did get a nasty outbreak.
As time passed I grew to accept my skin for what is what, unpredictable but mine. My skin was my skin. I began to change my perception on spots - I started to see my spots as if they were freckles, nothing more and nothing less, quite frankly full of character. I accepted that even social stars don’t have the skin they post so I wasn’t going to be ashamed of mine. I started to manifest the beauty of accepting myself in my own skin, spots or not. I was thankful for the lesson’s it taught me, the strength it helped me build up and the confidence I now have. When you truly believe you are a beautiful person, beyond your skin, you will see yourself in a completely new light.
Cutting to the point, I recently, for reasons beyond my skin, decided to change my diet (I have been vegan for 15 months). I re-introduced eggs and fish (in moderation) along with supplementing b12, calcium, vit d3 and kelp. A quick breakdown of how/why these may have implemented my skin…
1. Fatty fish, such as salmon is an excellent food for healthy skin. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is important for maintaining skin health. Getting enough vitamin E is essential for protecting your skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation. Research suggests it may also have beneficial effects on hormonal health, including reducing levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
2. Eggs are preven to be great for the skin. They can be used for improving skin texture; dry or oily. Egg yolks are rich in fatty acids which can lend moisture to the skin while the egg whites contain albumin, a simple form of protein that helps tighten pores and remove excessive oil.
3. Kelp Supplement. Sea Kelp contains minerals that penetrate the skin and remove toxins. It can help your skin retain moisturise, keeping it hydrated for longer and is known to reduce the appearance of breakouts.
Wow, what a difference these changes have made. My skin has been blemish free and so smooth for the last two weeks. Whether this is just a good 2 weeks, whether it is my diet or whether it is something I have mentally manifested I can not say; but I can confirm that confidence comes from what you tell yourself. Your home is the words you tell yourself so be gentle and kind. This post isn’t about me advising you to do what I have done, it is simply me wanting to share that 1. Acne is totally normal. 2. Your skin does not define you. 3. Do not apologise for your appearance. 4. Experiment with what works for you. 5. Learn to love yourself in your own skin.
Your skin is unique to you so embrace the journey; grow into your skin and love yourself for everything you are.