The Anguish of Acne.
A year ago I decided to come off the Pill. After doing a tonne of my own research on the detrimental side effects the Pill can have on our bodies (check out the work of Dr. Nat Kringoudis if you are interested in learning more), I took the plunge and went for it.
What I didn’t realise was the havoc this was about to wreak on my skin. I am one of those genetically blessed freaks that, growing up, never had a pimple.
My skin was constantly blemish free and I was often going without makeup. Coming off the Pill, I started to experience my first lot of breakouts.
Then they became more frequent. Not only was I breaking out, but I developed cystic acne – huge welts all over my face, that were confronting, damaging my self-esteem and, even worse, freaking HURT!
I understood what my friends had complained to me about in the past – there is no getting past that self-conscious feeling of adult acne when you are looking at yourself in the mirror.
I started piling on the makeup to cover up, but it only brought more attention to the bumps on my face. I cried a lot, because how could I possibly teach other people how to live their healthiest lives, when my face was no longer the picture of health?
I knew enough to realise that my body was detoxing – having been on the Pill for 9 years, there was a LOT for my body to release. I am also grateful I knew better than what my GP told me – to go back on the Pill – because at the end of the day, this would only be masking a symptom, not treating the underlying cause.
That being said, it didn’t make things easier for me. No amount of positive affirmation work or gratitudes alleviated the self-conscious feelings I had when I caught sight of my spotty reflection.
If you see me now, my skin is back to a picture of health. The only breakouts I have are monthly hormonal ones. The cystic acne and small lumps and bumps are a thing of the past. And I haven’t gone back on the Pill – I stuck it out.
Here is the adult acne healing protocol I went through – I really encourage any of you experiencing similar to try all of these things, for a good period of time (pardon the pun) before jumping back on the Pill. Your body really will thank you for it…
I actually didn’t realise how powerful an effect getting the blood pumping has on the quality of our skin. I started upping my cardio activity to walking out in nature 4-5 times a week, and within a matter of weeks my skin was noticeably clearer, not to mention my mind!
Walking is wonderful as you don’t have to get too sweaty, but your body is still moving, your blood is pumping and you release those feel-good endorphins while also detoxing your skin at the same time.
See a naturopath
My naturopath was amazing support in clearing up my skin. We ran a number of tests to rule out any hormonal challenges like PCOS that may have caused my skin to flare up.
She also was able to provide additional supplementation support to my liver, as my body was clearly detoxing (which is one of the reasons we break out). The herbal tonics and supplements gave my body the internal cleanse and support it was craving while alleviating the pimply symptoms.
Check out Kate Johnston from Kore Wellbeing if you are seeking a naturopath who can help.
Invest in Frankincense oil
This has been a game changer for me, and is the main reason I am so in love with essential oils. After doing some of my own research, I decided to add a drop of Frankincense oil into my morning moisturiser – the effect in two weeks was incredible.
It is now a non-negotiable part of my day. I am constantly being complimented on my glowing skin and I know it is because of my beautiful Frankie. I swear by it, and I know you will too.
Get a good quality facial or peel
Kim from the Bondi Beach clinic really looked after me when I came to her complaining about my acne. She sat me down and explained how my body was detoxing, what foods I should be avoiding (more on that next) and how a facial or peel could really give my skin the extra support and nourishment it needed.
I loved my facial with Kim – my skin felt hydrated, smooth and full of life again – the perfect boost needed after months of dull, dry and lifeless skin. You can find out more about the facial I experienced here.
Change up your diet
You really want to avoid inflammatory foods if possible, given your body is in a detoxing state. I cut out gluten, dairy and sugar and really upped my green leafy veggies. I also, sadly, had to cut down on my beloved eggs – high in estrogen, they were not supporting my hormones and I was advised to steer clear for a little while, while we focused on getting them back on track.
Obviously, plenty of water is a MUST to flush out any nasties, and liver supporting foods like lemon, apple cider vinegar and broccoli. PLUS up the good fats: salmon, avocado, nuts and seeds, coconut oil. There are so many amazing ways we can support our skin health with what we put on the
INSIDE. This is just as important as what we put on the outside.
Read in detail the importance of water here part 1 and part 2
Switch to natural
Speaking of, try and switch some (if not all) of your beauty case to natural products. I have done this recently and my skin is thanking me for it.
Download the app Think Dirty and check out just how damaging the chemicals are that we are putting on our skin. It is so important to seek out natural alternatives wherever possible.
Keep in mind that between 60-90% of what we put on our skin is absorbed straight into our blood stream.
Our body then works on overdrive to detox anything carcinogenic, including parabens and other toxic chemicals found in mainstream beauty. Brands like The Beauty Chef are a wonderful alternative.
Ride the waves
What my adult acne taught me most is, we can have the best intentions with our health, and do EVERYTHING right on paper, but sometimes life happens – and we are going to break out regardless. I have started to ride these waves, and not judge myself.
Yes, it isn’t ideal to have a big pimple smack bang between my eyes, but rather than feel self conscious, I have started to own it. We are human, and the pursuit of perfection at all times can come at a damaging cost to our emotional and mental health and wellbeing. If you truly are doing all you can, then that is enough.
Read some of our tips on battling hormones here.
What are your adult acne remedies?