"I'm so ugly."
I see this stated OVER and OVER again in the acne community.
Have you ever felt this way? I know I have, especially when I was in the midst of dealing with severe acne.
While I believe this is a natural emotion, I don't believe it's the most constructive way to talk to yourself and about yourself to others. I want to pose to you a few ideas that may help give you a shift in perspective.
First off, let me say that I have met a lot of women who struggle with acne. Some of the MOST beautiful women I've ever known have struggled with this issue.
Acne is a nuisance for sure, but it doesn't make you ugly.
Remember, you will always be the biggest critic of your own skin.
Here's a little exercise for you that will help you see your true beauty. Write down two or three things that you like about your appearance. Yes, this sounds a bit vain, but we are talking about feeling pretty here so go with me on this one. Think about features that people often compliment you on. Maybe you have fantastic hair, striking eyes or awesome cheek bones. Don't be shy when completing this exercise -- write these things down. Refer back to this when you start to feel overwhelmed by the appearance of acne.
Second, I want you to consider how often you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Constantly checking your skin to see how your acne looks at the moment can be quite detrimental to your mental and emotional health.
Step away from the mirror.
Let the focus lie on other areas of your life. The people you are with, those who love you and support you, your goals and dreams. Where are you going in life?
You are not an evolutionary mistake - you were created with a purpose. Don't lose sight of that. Rather, focus on it. Always remember that you are more than just your skin. Never let your skin define you. If this is a struggle for you, you may want to read my post on how to develop a clear skin mindset. You can find it by clicking here.
Lastly, consider how often you compare yourself to others? I think we all do this to some extent. I know I have this skill nailed down pat and I know there have been countless times I've let this one thing kill my joy.
Ever heard the expression, "Comparisson is the thief of all joy."? It's true!
When you are comparing yourself to someone else it robs you of enjoying the moment you are in.
Just so we're clear, there's a difference between being inspired by someone and comparing yourself to someone in a negative light. You can absolutely and should have those women in your life that you look up to and admire. Let them inspire you! But be careful to recognize as soon as it stops becoming about feeling inspired and starts becoming about comparing. Be sure to put on the brakes once you recognize it happening.
Next time you catch yourself saying, "I feel so ugly." or "I just don't feel pretty." remind yourself that you are a person of value. Surround yourself with those who love you. You might find it helpful to have a designated friend you can reach out to in these moments for some encouragement and uplifting talk.
Do you ever find yourself saying these negative things about yourself? Tell me one thing you plan to do when this happens so you can nip this negative self-talk in the bud.
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If you want clear skin that lasts, and I am pretty sure you do, I encourage you to look beyond just skincare. Skincare is important, there's no doubt about that, but to truly get the skin you desire you have to consider what you are eating.
Your skin is only as healthy as each cell in it.
Think on this a moment. That's a powerful statement, right? The same can be said for every organ in your body and the skin is really no different. After all, your skin is your body's largest organ.
Let's talk about the benefits of omega 3 essential fatty acids for clearer skin. The term "essential" in this case simply means that your body doesn't make these fatty acids, you have to consume them.
The benefits of omega 3's reads like a laundry list of things you definitely want in your life!
Omega 3's are shown to help:
Have you ever wondered about detox skincare? ⠀
This idea is gaining popularity, but is it actually necessary? ⠀
It's important to remember that your main detoxifying organs are your liver and your kidneys. So each time you go to the bathroom YOU ARE DETOXIFYING.
For the average person, this process works well, meaning the liver and kidneys are good at doing their job!
Of course, there are simple things you can do to help these organs function at their best but for the most part there's no extreme measure that needs to be taken here. ⠀
Now that we've established this fact, we can look at detoxifying skincare. ⠀
The idea that you need to rid your skin of toxins isn't entirely accurate. Your skin is your body's largest organ but it's not a main detoxifying organ and actually acts more as a barrier to keep out outside junk.
When you look at products marketed as detoxifying skincare, it doesn't tell you which toxins they are targeting. They are relying on your trust that the product does what it says. ⠀
Not only is detox skincare not necessary, it may cause more damage than benefit. Acne sufferers, in particular, are likely to worsen the problem rather than alleviate it. Detox skincare tends to contain many ingredients that aggravate acne such as witch hazel, menthol and denatured alcohol. ⠀
The best thing you can do for your skin is choose a proper cleanser, moisturize and wear a good sunscreen daily. This will do FAR more to benefit your skin than any detox skincare possibly could. ⠀
Mindset talk seems to be everywhere these days. Am I alone on this or do you notice it too?
I believe having a proper mindset effects outcomes, and having clear skin is no exception.
There's an expression: What gets your thoughts, gets you. Start paying attention to this and you'll be amazed at the validity of this statement.
A key difference between women who clear their adult acne for good and those who struggle for years and years is their ability to believe it can be done.
I've spoken with many women who have acne and there are two main themes I've discovered.
Some say to me, "I've tried many approaches but I'm willing to keep trying until I find the answers to clear my skin."
Others say, "I just don't think clear skin is possible for me. I've already tried everything and nothing works."
To the woman who is willing to keep trying the answers will come. To the woman who believes nothing will work she already has her answer. In her mind she's decided that nothing else she tries will clear her skin so she will most likely continue to feel disappointed with any new approach.
Mindset really does matter. Below are a few ways to develop a "clear skin" mindset.
1. Change your language. Don't allow what ails you to define you. Instead of referring to it as "your acne" or "my acne" just say acne. Be mindful of the way in which you speak about your skin to yourself and to others.
2. View it as a problem seeking a solution. A key element in the women who do finally clear their skin is their ability to believe it can be done. I fervently believe acne can be stubborn and acne can be resolved. Yes, some women take longer to heal their skin than others. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible. You just don't have all the pieces to the puzzle yet. Believe it can happen and your mind will be open to the answers.
3. Treat yourself as if you have clear skin now. Make an impact now. It's easy to feel like once you have clear skin you'll have the confidence to move forward with life. I know I felt this way myself. There was a lot I held myself back from because I was waiting for my skin to clear before I could move forward. Looking back I see that was a mistake. You have a purpose in life. You are here for a reason. Discover that reason and start doing! Surround yourself with people who love you and support you.
4. Practice saying, "I believe I can have clear skin. There is a solution and I am open to receive it." The mind is powerful and your body will believe the things your mind says.
We live in a world of quick fixes. It seems like everywhere you look there is an advertisement for something that will help you to "look good and fast." This can be tempting and many of of us fall prey.
After all who doesn't want to look good in a bikini by Friday or have perfectly clear skin in only one month?
I know there was a time in my life when I fell for this stuff all the time! And guess what? Some of it worked!
The problem was nothing worked for long and then I was right back where I started.
Today I want to talk to you specifically about treating acne and how those changes may look.
We tend to think of acne as being only an external issue. After all, it's clearly visible on our skin so a really good face wash should clear that up, right?
It may not be that simple.
Proper skincare IS incredibly important. However, let's not ignore the fact that acne can often be a sign of a deeper internal issue. Where I see women face trouble is they only address the visible signs of acne. There's a lot to be missed by not looking a little deeper.
In fact, by looking deeper you may discover improved digestion and better energy levels among other whole body benefits. I know this was true for me!
For years I was on an acne specific skin care line. My face remained clear as long as I continued using the product and it worked for a decade!
I falsely believed that the acne had been eradicated. I thought it was gone and all I had to do was continue to buy this certain face wash. I could not have been more wrong!!
Not only would I later learn that this particular skin care line is actually quite damaging to the skin, but I had also spent an entire decade neglecting my total body health. I failed to address any internal issues that were, in fact, affecting my skin.
When the above said skin care line failed to deliver it's usual results, I was left with an enormous mess. My skin had never looked worse. I was devastated.
For the first time in my life I was forced to look at other options. I naturally tried a few other acne specific skin care lines all to no avail. This prompted me to do more research on acne as well as how to treat acne.
I learned there was a holistic side to healing acne. What?!
I had never before even considered that there was a root problem to my acne, never mind addressing it.
This didn't mean that skincare wasn't important. Quite the opposite - I finally began to understand how to properly care for my skin!
It did mean though that I had a lot more control over the situation than I previously believed. Through simple nutritional and lifestyle changes I experienced great improvement in my skin and my health.
These changes don't happen overnight and some people (while well intentioned) simply say the wrong things. These are some questions you may receive (I know I did!):
Shouldn't your skin be completely clear with all the dietary changes you've made?
Is your body getting proper nourishment?
Why are you doing this to yourself? Aren't you miserable? You know I have a friend who sells acne skin care. You should call her.
With all the self-doubt that can go along with these comments, it may be best to tune them out.
Here are a few thoughts I'll leave with you:
Remember who you are doing this for - YOU! You deserve to look and feel your best. If it takes a bit longer than expected to get where you want to go, won't it still have been worth it to arrive? There's much to be said for perseverance.
It's important to remember that external remedies are only a band aid. It's not that you can't use them, it's that you have to also address the underlying issue or you will never truly be free of your acne.
It's important to quiet the external voices. Don't try to argue or reason with those who find your new dietary lifestyle to be crazy. You'll never win the argument! It's better to smile, thank them for their concern and move on.
Which brings me to my final point don't overshare!
I know this may seem odd because when we're trying to lose weight or step up our fitness game, we're often encouraged to tell lots of people so we hold ourselves accountable.
Treating acne is different though and is often misunderstood. Because of that it is better to not overshare with too many people. Having one or two people close to you who you trust is the best option. They can help hold you accountable and offer encouragement and support. This support may not come from immediate family. It's nice if it does but it doesn't always happen that way.
Where are you on your journey to healing your skin? What approaches have you tried? Do you feel you have proper support? Leave a comment I'd love to chat!
Do you pick at your acne? I recently saw an article that might help you break the habit.
Picking at your acne is one of the worst things you could do. Yet it is a common problem among acne sufferers. It can even feel slightly satisfying to squeeze pimples and it can certainly turn into a bad habit quickly.
Each time you squeeze and dig at blemishes on your face, you increase the chances that you'll suffer scarring. I know I have some scars on my face that wouldn't be there had I simply left my breakouts alone! You also are potentially making your acne worse. As you squeeze blemishes bacteria underneath the skin gets pushed around and can lead to further breakouts. What may begin as a pimple or two can easily lead to three or four if you mess with it, so you're better off leaving it alone.
If this is an area you struggle in, try these few tips to stop skin picking for good.
Does discipline trump motivation?
I recently read an article that struck a nerve with me.
It was written by a fighter pilot and the topic was motivation and discipline. His viewpoint was that discipline trumps motivation every time.
The fighter pilot said that when it's time to run head first into the enemy you don't feel motivated to do it. After all you're full of fear and would rather turn and run the other way. He said rather it's discipline that's so important at this moment. It's the discipline you've developed, your knowledge on the subject, the training and practice. You know what you have to do so you simply do it.
As I read this piece I felt immediately drawn to what he was saying. I realized that although he was referring to war time battle, the same principle applies to just about every area of our lives.
In fact, for many areas of our lives if we only relied on how motivated we felt to do something, nothing would get done. Am I right?!
I see this often in my private coaching. Women come to me feeling motivated to make a change. They are tired of the way they look and feel. vThey know they need a change and at first the prospect of it all is really exciting.
They feel motivated to do something different.
But then reality begins to set in and the truth is changing the way you eat isn't always a straight, easy road. At this point discipline has to step in and take over. Otherwise you find yourself right back where you started.
When I had adult acne so severe that nothing I tried was working, I began to look at my issue for what it was.
A sign of a deeper rooted problem that needed to be solved.
This is when I decided to change the way I was eating to bring restoration and healing to my body and therefore, ultimately heal my skin.
Motivation didn't play much of a role during this process. Initially, I felt motivated by the prospect of clearer skin but that quickly faded. One thing to understand about using food as medicine, is the results are not always immediate. Obviously, this can feel frustrating.
More than that is what others around you see.
To my friends and family, the dietary changes I made, seemed extreme (although they really weren't).
People wondered if I was nourishing my body properly. I began to feel a bit of a stigma because I wasn't eating what everyone else was. The biggest struggle was that my skin didn't clear overnight and as it was healing it went through a few purging stages. You know the old adage, "Things get worse before they get better"? In my case I experienced this. Therefore to those around me it appeared that all my efforts were in vain.
During these times I didn't feel motivated to keep pushing forward and pursue my goal. In fact, at times I felt downright defeated. Was I completely crazy?! This entire process required discipline on my part. I knew what I needed to do or I would never know the real results. If I quit half way through I would never realize the truth.
Worse, if I gave in to temptation or peer pressure to be normal and do what everyone else was doing, I'd have to start back at square one. I had to be disciplined everyday to follow the plan I laid out for myself.
Motivation is overrated.
If you want to accomplish real changes in your life, you have to develop discipline.
For many of us, this is a struggle to handle on our own. We need guidance and accountability.
Ready to take that step towards clearer skin and better health? Click here and I'll be in touch with you real soon.
Here's the link to the article I referenced http://www.businessinsider.com/top-gun-pilot-dave-berke-discipline-2017-7
Have you ever wondered about the role of fragrance in your skincare products?
For years and years I didn't care if fragrance was in my skincare products. In fact, quite the opposite was true. If my skincare products smelled good they were all the more enjoyable to use.
Nowadays its a different story. After researching and learning the truth I've wisened up a bit. I no longer choose a product based on its flowery scent.
Fragrance is a non-essential ingredient that is often added to pull you - the consumer - in.
It's Marketing 101. Make a product smell nice and people will want to buy it.
Unfortunately, while fragrance may make a product smell nice it can lead to potential problems.
Some of you may know that you have a fragrance allergy and you are already avoiding fragrance in your skin care products. If so that's fantastic.
However, for some having fragrance added to a product seems like a non-issue. If there is no visible physical reaction all must be well, right?
Fragrance compounds are sensitizers meaning you can develop a sensitivity or allergy to it over time. Just because you don't find that product irritating to your skin now, doesn't mean you won't later down the road.
Fragrance compounds are also co-sensitizers. This means that you're more likely to become sensitive to other ingredients in the product simply because fragrance is included.
Products with fragrance can lead to or exasperate rosacea, acne flare-ups, and dryness. Who wants that?
Are products with fragrance ever okay to use?
The only time I am okay with fragrance being in a skin care product is if it's in a cleanser and listed as the very last ingredient.
Because you don't leave cleanser on your face you are less likely to develop a problem. However, be sure you are properly rinsing after cleansing. Rinse, rinse and rinse again. You want to remove all traces of cleanser from your face before moving on to the next step in your skincare routine. This is true whether or not your cleanser contains fragrance. Rinse and rinse again.
Oh and that micellar water you love that is marketed as a no rinse formula? Sorry, but you have to rinse that cleanser as well.
Always keep a close eye on your skin. If you see any signs of irritation or feel a stinging or burning sensation, I recommend you stop using that product and find a replacement that is fragrance-free.
It's unfortunate that some skin care companies make incredible formulations and then add fragrance. I encourage you to check your products to see if fragrance is listed as one of the ingredients.
Is your current skincare routine comprised of products that contain fragrance? Leave a comment and let me know!
Lately I've been seeing an increasing number of women post about their acne on various social media channels. The most frequent posts have been in a number of private Facebook groups I belong to.
Did you know stress is one of the top 5 factors contributing to your acne?
Think about it. How many times have you had a huge breakout appear right before a special event?
How about break outs that show up before a job interview?
When healing acne you must look at the whole picture and stress is definitely apart of it.
Obviously, it's important to reduce our stress levels. I don't think anyone would argue that going through life while constantly worrying is a productive, healthy way to live. The problem is it would be impossible to completely eliminate all stress from our lives. I don't care who you are you deal with stress to some extent on a regular basis.
Stress doesn't only revolve around big, life issues. Although that can definitely be apart of it. It's also the smaller things that lead to stress and sometimes I think these may be worse. These little issues are easier to ignore and therefore they can build upon each other until you have a mound of stress.
What exactly happens when we are stressed that would cause a breakout? There are a few factors.