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Disclaimer: this is a personal experience of acne that hopes to offer some avenues for exploration without a guarantee. Each person’s body is different and it would be impossible to completely replicate all of the conditions outlined here.

As a teenager, I never really struggled with bad skin. Apart from the occasional pimple, usually corresponding to my monthly cycle or a bit of stress, my skin remained relatively clear throughout puberty and into my 20s.

As I approached my 28th birthday, I was in a terrible work place and subject to workplace bullying from my boss, culminating in an attempt to bring formal sanctions against me that could have destroyed my career. Thankfully, the attempt was seen for what it was and dismissed outright by those higher up, but the damage was done. My stress levels were such that my body started to shut down. Rapid weight gain and breakouts began to make themselves known. Although I could halt the weight gain, the breakouts slowly developed into deep cystic acne that would not go.

Up until that time I had rarely been concerned with my diet and ate pretty much what I liked, my skincare routine was negligible and makeup was nearly never worn, the most being a bit of dodgy eyeshadow inherited from my grandmother, maybe a mascara from who knows because I certainly didn’t buy it, and a lipstick that was a hand-me-down from my mum and totally the wrong colour for me.

In response to my acne, I began taking care of my skin and using makeup to cover the disaster that was my face. My skin looked like it was never going to recover and at one point (6 years worth) I resigned myself to the fact that this was now my lot in life.

After I joined a skincare and cosmetics company I began my journey of learning and training around skincare. What should and shouldn’t work and the dos and don’ts of looking after your appearance. However, even with the best skincare routine, I found that I still struggled with acne and I knew from research that skincare alone was not going to solve my problem. Thus began an 18 month journey of trial and error, spanning many aspects of health and wellbeing.

What Did Not Work For Me

  • Laser treatment: this left my skin swollen and oozing pus for over a week and once it healed yielded no real change in my acne
  • Capsuled Fruit and vegetable supplements: I gave these a long trial period of over 12 months to no noticeable difference in my skin or general health and well being
  • Coconut oil: this provided a fantastic soothing effect when my skin was at its most painful and inflamed but in terms of curing the acne made no noticeable difference
  • Honey: nope
  • Coffee facials: nope
  • Natural skincare product using olive oil base and lemongrass essential oil: caused increased inflammation, rawness and caused more breakouts on skin that at the time was in a healing phase
  • Standard over the counter acne skincare products based on Benzoyl Peroxide: caused massive inflammation and rawness to my skin. I had allowed sufficient time between skincare treatments as these can clash. Complete cessation of all treatment was required for over 2 weeks before anything could even touch my skin- terrible!

What sort of worked but kind of didn’t

  • antibiotics: this worked in a way. 3 months for my acne to start to go, another 3 months for it to go completely. A total of 6 months of antibiotics in order to clear up my skin only to have it reappear the moment I ceased taking antibiotics. This was just not a viable cure and no doubt destroyed my gut in the process!
  • Oxygen therapy: I felt this treatment definitely provided support to the healing process of my skin but did not cure it as such. It reduced the inflammation and strengthened it’s integrity whilst encouraging stress reduction

What worked for me but as a combination of treatments
(without being able to isolate variants these conclusion are hardly scientific)

Skincare:

  • 2% Salicylic Acid based acne skincare.
  • Thorough cleansing and hydration of skin day and night.
  • Skincare was tailored to my personal skintype requirements.
  • Use of non-comedogenic makeup

Disclaimer: I have a commercial interest in the exact products I used and have therefore chosen to only list process and active ingredients rather than the specific brand.

Diet:

  • Increased water intake (including but not limited to lemon water)
  • Cut out significant refined sugar and carbohydrate foods
  • Adopted a LCHF diet
  • Increased fruit and vegetable intake, including green smoothies- all pulp included (I do not recommend juice-based green smoothies due to the sugar content). Smoothies contained parsley, kale or spinach, whole lemon including peel, cucumber, sometimes apple, water and sometimes Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder (see below)
  • Magnesium supplement
  • Supplements: Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder and Beauty Chef Body Inner Beauty Powder

Stress Management:

  • Herbal tea using herbs know to assist relaxation
  • Weekly bath in the dark using essential oils and relaxation music
  • Creatrix(R) to address specific emotional blocks and baggage releasing emotional stressors
  • EFT
  • NLP
  • Established boundaries and reduction of negative associations
  • Monthly massage

Exercise:

  • Regular exercise to maintain general fitness
  • I had a personal trainer work with me weekly. Sessions per week over the 18 months varied. Predominantly strength and core work- I hate cardio!

I am now happily sporting clear skin and a healthy glow. Maintaining these treatments, skincare, stress management and diet are especially key. Not everything stays perfectly the same and the entire process took 18 months of conscious stress reduction and a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle. I also view what I did as a lifestyle change they I continue to maintain as opposed to a fix that I abandoned once my skin healed.

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