In all honesty, when I first began attempting this lifestyle change it was for a very vain reason. I wasn’t near as concerned about health for it’s own sake- my primary concern was my skin. I’ve struggled with acne since I was a preteen and though I’ve found some good temporary fixes along the way it always inevitably came back as my skin adjusted to the treatments. So I would end up searching for the newest and best thing all over again and the vicious, emotionally draining cycle continued. Getting your hopes up just to find yourself back in the same spot again is no fun… I knew that I wanted to find and cure the underlying cause but I had no clue where to start, so after years of trial and error my mom finally suggested that I try adjusting my diet. As horrific as that sounded to a sugar loving, recently married 20ish year old, by this point I was desperate enough to try practically anything.
Anyone who has struggled with any kind of chronic condition understands how absolutely frustrating and sometimes heart breaking it can be. Acne is such a small problem in the big scheme of things, but for some reason it doesn’t seem small when you feel like you can’t leave your room in the morning without caking on makeup. When it was at its worst I would have rather done just about anything than show my freshly washed face to a single soul. Though I really loved sugar and bread, I hated acne more. So the next day I cut out as much processed food as possible and started researching whole food, gluten free, and sugar free recipes and our lives changed in so many ways from that point on. It was one of the biggest and most difficult changes that I have ever made and lead to so many wonderful discoveries that truthfully had nothing to do with my skin. I started because of how much I hated my acne, but I continued because of how much better I felt physically. I realized what a significant impact the food I ate had on my body, and I knew there was no going back from there.
Oddly enough, although I felt indescribably better physically and lost quite a bit of weight, my acne didn’t improve as drastically as I had hoped. As I began researching a healthier diet, I also started to dig deeper into the reasons why our bodies react the way they do and what can cause these problems that so many of us seem to face. I slowly discovered that issues like acne are dreadfully multifaceted and are rarely cured by one or two changes alone, and it’s almost never a quick fix. I discovered that for me personally hormones played a huge part in my acne problems. I won’t even attempt to explain everything I’ve learned about hormones here (we’ll save that for another blog post!) as there is SO much information out there, but instead I want to share some of the things I’ve done to start the process of balancing out my hormones and heal my skin from the inside out.
It is most certainly still a work in progress and I have so much left to learn, but I am so thrilled that I’m finally at a point now where my daily makeup routine for my skin consists of some light powder and blush only. Guys, you have no idea what a miracle that is to me! I know it seems so shallow to care so much about your skin, but this was a serious insecurity in my life that was a constant source of stress. I’m a relatively secure person in who I am, and I typically don’t care that much about what others think, but deep down I always worried that people were just staring at my skin and that it was distracting them from seeing who I was as a person. So that is why I want to share this with you all. I don’t want you to struggle like I did, and I want you to learn how to begin the healing process!
Even though eating healthier foods didn’t immediately solve it the way I hoped it would, I still fervently believe it was the necessary starting point in allowing my body to heal. Without a healthy body it’s quite difficult to have healthy hormones. So please watch what you eat! Are you eating greasy, sugar filled, processed foods, or whole, raw, healthy foods that are nourishing your cells and providing you with the nutrients you need to rejuvenate you day after day?
I also looked at the products I was using on a daily basis, and looked to see if they contained hormone disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates that can wreak havoc on your hormones. This was definitely a slow process, but I’m now finally using all natural makeup, shampoo and body wash, deodorant, cleaning supplies, detergents, perfumes, and more. The chemicals in so many of the standard versions of these products that we use all the time can cause so much more harm that we realize! Please, please research the ingredients in what you’re using. It’s incredible how much my mind has been set at ease knowing that I’ve eliminated the majority of these harmful ingredients from my life.
My everyday makeup! -Just powder, blush, eyeliner and mascara – All from 100% Pure
Lastly, my skin care routine! This may sound like the most insane skin care routine you’ve ever heard of, but it’s what works for me at the moment! I’ll probably blog more in detail about it later, but to summarize –
I massage oil (typically jojoba or sweet almond) into my skin, especially the problem areas. Then I soak a washcloth in very warm water, and place it over my face. I let it sit for about a minute or until the cloth cools, and my skin gets steamy. Then I gently wipe the oil off as best I can and let it dry. If there is any eye makeup remaining I use a little of my always useful coconut oil to remove it! Then I dab some essential oils (I use and love Young Living- I’ve tried other brands but they didn’t work on my acne!) onto the problem spots, and then I’m done! Currently, my essential oil routine is what I feel is helping my skin and hormones more than anything else. I use primarily Tea Tree oil on my skin and sometimes a little Geranium or Frankincense, and I feel that they truly have made a huge difference. My skin is so much clearer and more even. I’ve also been using oils like Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, and a Young Living blend called Endoflex to help regulate my hormones since they’ve all been known to help with hormone imbalances. If you’re interested in learning more about how and why I decided on these amazing oils, check out this post!
As I’ve said, this is all still a work in progress and I’m still discovering new things every day, but I feel so grateful when I look at how far I’ve come. I am healthier, and it’s showing in my skin! I was so sick of covering up the problem with makeup or even using medications and skin care products to make it temporarily “go away” without actually healing the underlying problem.
Ultimately I know that these things that are only skin deep and are so unimportant when you step back and take a look at your life, but I know exactly how they can affect a person physically and emotionally. It’s so freeing to be able to move forward and focus on the things that truly matter instead of stressing about something as simple as skin. I can’t explain the joy I feel knowing that I’m actually discovering the causes to the issues I face and am learning to take control of them instead of suffering helplessly.
Yay!! We love YL too!! I’d like to know more about cuttinfmg out sugar. My recent research showed how drastically sugar slows the body down….but I’m clueless as to where to start. Do you use natural sugar substitutes and how do you steer clear when sugar is in almost everything? Thanks girl!!
Absolutely! There is SO much to say about sugar and I definitely have more upcoming posts with more info 🙂 But some of my absolute favorite substitutes are coconut sugar (I mention this is my Peace and Coconuts blog post!) Stevia (mentioned in my Every Day Coffee post) syrup, and honey! Using a combination of these has pretty much allowed me to stop using refined sugar completely.
I agree though, it is so hard to avoid when it is literally everywhere! But the key for me has just been cooking as much as I can at home and making sure to read food labels and avoid anything with sugar or it’s myriad of other “names”! Hopefully I’ll blog more on that soon 🙂
I quit sugar for almost a year and have sorta relapsed, but besides using honey or stevia, I read labels a LOT and if something had more than four grams of sugar I didn’t eat it. But later I noticed that I craved carbs bc of no sugar. So you have to be careful about anything processed. Must go back to being more disciplined about it. Love your blog Kelsey.
My husband has very sensitive skin (perks of being a red head) and it always got so irritated when he shaved. I started having him use coconut oil and tea tree (YL) on his face post shave and his face has started clearing up tremendously!! We need to get better about the products we use on our skin and hair. If I won’t put it on my babies I probably should put it on myself either.
Amen! I completely can relate to that, being a red head too. Exactly, that’s what really made me get so serious about all of this! I didn’t want to put anything on my babies that I wasn’t confident in!