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!
When it comes to healing acne with nutrition, there is a lot of talk about what you can no longer eat.
The first things to leave your diet are gluten, dairy, processed foods and refined sugar. To a lot of women that is a bit overwhelming. However, it is true that these foods are inflammatory in the body, especially when eaten in excess, which we tend to do.
While it's important to reduce our intake of inflammatory foods, it is equally as important to increase our intake of foods that reduce inflammation and are full of antioxidants.
When I first began changing the way I ate to heal my skin, I almost fell into a state of depression around food. I knew the foods I shouldn't be consuming, but I didn't yet have a strong taste for the foods I needed to be eating. I longed for the comfort foods I grew up with. Because of this I oftentimes felt hungry, but didn't feel like eating.
This struggle left my body lacking a great deal of nutrition. In fact, my body was so nutrient deficient that my hair started falling out. Hair may be our crowning glory, but our bodies don't recognize it as being necessary for survival. Therefore, it's a go to place for the body to stop sending nutrients when necessary. It wasn't until I visited a naturopath (although not before I ended up with a bald spot on the side of my head) who informed me that I simply wasn't nourishing my body well.
The amazing thing about your body is you can teach it what foods you want it to crave!
The concept is simple. Feed your body the foods it should be having and thanks to metabolic reprogramming you'll be craving those foods in about 30 to 90 days. So cool, right? The old adage, 'you are what you eat' is correct. Your cells are literally made up of what you feed them!
Now that you know, the next step involves making a decision: Keep doing what you're doing while getting the same results or change the way you eat and possibly get better results.
If you're ready to start making some changes I encourage you to take small steps. Don't go buy a ton of produce you've never cooked with before. Start with the fruits and vegetables you know and are comfortable with. Find a few recipes that suit your tastes and build from there. I often eat the same few dishes for several weeks before I tire of it and find something different to add in the mix. I recommend you do the same.