How to Feel Pretty in the Midst of Acne - 3 Practical Tips

"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.

acne, clear skin, how to feel pretty with 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.


 

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, clearskin, hormonal acne, how to feel better about yourself, how to feel pretty, how to feel pretty with acne, women's adult acne, women's hormonal health.

Acne and Omega 3's

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.


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:

  • Clear skin
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve learning
  • Mellow mood
  • Lessen colitis and IBS
  • Improve the health of your gums, vision and hearing
  • and the list goes on....
What I want to share with you specifically is how you can use omega 3's to help improve the appearance of your skin. Fortunately, there's been a lot of good research done in this area. While there is a lot to say about this topic I'm going to break it down for you into a few simple ideas.

Acne and essential fatty acids, acne diet

First, some basic science.

Omega fats are called long-chain fatty acids. The longer the chain, the healthier the oil and the greater benefit for your body and skin.

Omegas are categorized as:
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which has 22 carbon atoms and 6 double bonds.
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which has 20 carbon atoms and 5 double bonds.
  • ALA (alpha lineoic acid) which has 18 carbon atoms and 3 double bonds.
There are two ways to get omegas into your diet: plant sources and seafood sources. DHA and EPA are only found in seafood, while ALA only comes from the land.  As mentioned above, the taller an omega gets (22 and 20 carbon atoms) the smarter it is and the greater the health benefits.  It's clear to see that DHA and EPA (seafood sources) are the taller omegas.

This isn't to say that plant sources of omegas don't have their place in a healthy diet because they absolutely do. Flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are a few examples of plant based sources of omega 3's. These foods also have many other health and skin benefits as well, so don't hesitate to add these to your nutrition plan.

However, there is one key thing to consider if only using plant sources and that is....

Rate of Conversion

When you consume plant sources of omegas (ALA) your body must perform a series of biochemical steps in order to convert ALA into DHA or EPA so the body and brain can actually use it. The conversion rate of this process can be as low as 1%. Some people are naturally "low converters." In other words, you may be eating plenty of plant based omegas but your body isn't able to utilize them well.

How do you know if you are a low converter or a high converter? The only way to know for sure is with a blood test and it's not exactly inexpensive.


When it comes to seafood based sources there are two that I recommend. The first is wild caught alaskan salmon. I wrote an entire post about this amazing fish and you can read that here.

I recommend purchasing wild caught salmon from a trusted source such as VitalChoice.com.  Vital Choice Seafood offers wild caught fish, never farmed, offering only sustainably-caught seafood. Use this link to receive free shipping on your $99 order.

FREE SHIPPING ON WILD SALMON ORDERS OVER $99+ At VitalChoice.com! Click Here!

Wild caught salmon is a superior choice for omega 3 fatty acids. This fish contains DHA and EPA as well as astaxanthin which is a powerful antioxidant. Astaxanthin is what gives wild caught salmon it's beautiful pink color.

Notice I keep saying wild caught. This is important because farmed raised salmon does not contain the same powerful antioxidants nor the same amount of quality omega 3's. In fact, farmed salmon often has pink color added to it to make it appear more like it's wild caught counterpart. Therefore, I recommend you always opt for wild caught.



FREE SHIPPING ON WILD SALMON ORDERS OVER $99+ At VitalChoice.com! Click Here!

What should I do if I'm vegan?

If you are vegan you can still get a "seafood" source of omegas by choosing a supplement that contains algae. This is the plant that the fish eats so it's a little bit like "cutting out the middle man." Some people who aren't vegan have found they prefer a vegan based supplement over a fish oil supplement because there is no fishy aftertaste. Personally, I have found that there is no fishy after taste if you choose a high quality fish oil supplement. I recommend Vital Choice not only for their delicious seafood products but also for their omega 3 supplements



Omega-3 Therapy + Vitamin D3 - high potency - 850mg softgels - 180 ct

None the less, if you prefer a vegan option they are available.  Juice Plus offers an Omega blend that is a superior option for vegans or those preferring to steer clear of fish. You can click here to find out more about this wonderful option.

omega blend, essential fatty acids for clear skin


It's not enough to consume omega 3's. You must also must limit the amount of omega 6's you consume. The same enzymes that metabolize omega-3 into nutrients for the body, are also responsible for metabolizing omega-6. A diet high in omega-6s will use all these enzymes. Then there aren't enough enzymes left to metabolize the omega-3s. Unfortunately, most diets are very high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s.  The ideal ratio of omega-6s to omega 3-3s is 2:1. The standard diet is 10:1. I've even seen research that points to diets being as high as 30:1. The good news is this can be shifted.

Here are a few oils that are high in omega-6s:
  • cottonseed oil
  • corn oil
  • safflower oil
  • grapeseed oil
  • soybean oil
While you may or may not be cooking with these oils in your home, these oils are often found in abundance in packaged, processed foods. Turn over almost any box of crackers, chips, cookies and you'll most likely see at least one of these oils listed in the ingredient list. They also sometimes lie in unexpected places such as jarred marinara sauce. This is why I encourage you to always read the ingredient list. The nutrition label has important information as well, but you can often learn more by reading what is actually in a food product.

Also important to remember is that anytime you are eating in a restaurant you are probably consuming these oils which are higher in omega-6s.


The are two main reasons why these oils are so commonly used:
  • they are inexpensive
  • they are shelf stable - meaning the food will have a longer shelf life

So now that you have this information, what are you supposed to do with it?

Never go eat in a restaurant? Never buy any packaged foods?

Absolutely not!

Not only is that unrealistic but a large part of life is enjoyment and that includes having a meal in a restaurant as well as being able to enjoy a packaged snack on the go. 

And remember, you aren't trying to ELIMINATE your intake of omega-6 essential fatty acid. That would not be wise! You simply want to be mindful about how much of them you are consuming.

It's what you do MOST of the time that matters.



Here are a few tips to increase your omega-3 intake while reducing your intake of omega-6.
  • Cook at home using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Making your meals in your own kitchen is really the only way to ensure what oils you are consuming. You have complete control as the chef of your kitchen and that's exciting!
  • Become an avid label reader. Read the ingredient list of items you commonly buy. The good news is for most packaged foods available, there is always a healthier alternative. A perfect example, is jarred marinara sauce. There are versions that include added sugar and cheap vegetable oils. Keep looking and you will find one that does not contain these things.
  • Consider adding wild caught salmon to your diet a few nights a week.
  • Consider choosing an omega-3 supplement. Vegan seafood source (find that here) or fish source (find that here). *Always talk to your doctor before beginning any supplement routine.
  • Start slow. If this feels like a lot of changes for you, please don't make them all at once. Choose one thing that you can start doing and focus on that. I firmly believe that when making nutritional changes, slow and steady wins the race.
How is all of this related to the appearance of your skin?

It's simple. Acne can be a sign of excess inflammation in the body. Acne itself is a form of inflammation. By reducing the amount of excess inflammation in the body, it is possible to reduce the amount of excess inflammation that makes it appearance on the skin. The beauty of your skin goes far beyond your skincare routine.


Did you enjoy this? Please share with a friend!

Have you received your free copy of 10 Things in 10 Days  for Blemish Free Skin? If not, click here to download it now.

Resources: William Sears, MD "Prime Time Health: A Scientifically Proven Plan for Feeling Young and Living Longer."

Nicholas Perricone, MD "The Clear Skin Prescription: The Perricone Program to Eliminate Problem Skin."

This blog post is not intended to be used for medical advice. Before beginning any supplement routine or making changes to your diet it is advised that you seek counsel with a medical health professional.



 

Posted in Acne, Nutrition. Tagged as acne, acne and essential fatty acids, acne and omega 3's, acne diet, adult acne, skincoach, vegan diet and acne, women's acne.

Developing a Clear Skin Mindset

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. 

#clearskin #acne #mindfulness #skinpositivity

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. 


 

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, adult acne, clear skin, healing acne, healing acne naturally, mindset, positive thinking, women's hormones.

What to Do When Acne is Slow to Heal

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!

What to do when acne is slow to heal #acne #clearskin #acnefree #clearskindiet


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!













 

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne scars, acne skin care, acne treatment, heal acne, heal acne holistically, health and wellness, how to eat to heal acne, skin care.

How to Stop Picking Your Face so Acne Can Heal

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.

How to Stop PIcking Acne #clearskin #acne #acnefree #stoppicking

If this is an area you struggle in, try these few tips to stop skin picking for good.

  1. Don't look at your blemishes so often. You know the drill. You have acne so you stop at every mirror in your house each time you pass it and check just to see if it's magically disappeared or somehow gotten worse from the last time you checked. All this does is take any stress or anxiety you have around your acne and make it 100x worse. It also makes it more likely that you are going to touch your face. If you have to take down some of the mirrors in your house or cover them with a cloth. Just temporarily, of course. It may help remind you to back off a bit.
  2. Keep your skin care routine simple. Don't spend too much time in your bathroom taking care of your skin. Your skin care routine should be fairly simple anyway. Overdoing it can irritate your skin and make your acne worse. Whatever your current routine, it should only take you a few minutes to complete. Breathe, relax and enjoy the time of caring for your skin. Once you're finished with everything, leave your bathroom. Don't stop and stare.
  3. Ditch the magnifying mirrors. You don't need them and they will only make you feel worse about the state of your skin. If you don't currently own one, please do not buy one. If you do have one store it away or consider donating it.
  4. Visualize. If you are picking at your skin, visualize the bacteria that lie beneath the surface. Picture it in your mind being transferred around and potentially causing new breakouts. The temporary satisfaction you may feel from squeezing your blemishes isn't worth it.
  5. Recognize that squeezing the pimple often makes it look worse, not better. Enough said, really! How many times have you messed with a pimple and had it look better? Probably never. I know for me this has never played in my favor. It always ends up looking much redder, more irritated, and more inflamed.



Skin picking can be a hard habit to break. But it is that, a habit. It's like any other habit such as biting your nails. You do have control over it and you have a decision to make.


Are you struggling to find solutions to clear your skin? Book in a consultation today. I look forward to talking with you.


Joyfully, Hannah

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acnescars, preventacnescar, skin picking, stopskinpicking, wellness.

Discipline Succeeds Where Motivation Fails

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.

How to Stay Discplined When You Don't Feel Motivated #motivation #discipline #clearskin #acnefree

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

 

Posted in Acne, Wellness. Tagged as acne, discipline, health coach, holistic healing, motivation, nutrition.

The Last Course on Acne


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.

Responses include

  • skin care recommendations
  • cutting back on exercise
  • getting enough sleep
  • cutting out gluten/dairy
  • reducing stress
  • using progesterone creams
  • collagen supplements
  • essential oils

And the list goes on.......  

Some of them, like getting enough sleep, are quite valuable.

The trouble is the causes of acne vary, and the solutions must address the cause. There are different types of acne, and they require targeted treatment methods.

Even advice given with the best of intentions could be counter-productive if it doesn't fit the situation. In other words, it's easy to be given the right answer to the wrong problem.

A supplement or herbal treatment may greatly help your friend's acne. She then encourages you to take the same supplement and your acne becomes worse.

Honestly, acne is just too complex to be taking advice at random. And because acne takes some time to heal, it can even be a struggle to define what is working and what isn't working.

What's the solution, then?
#clearskin #acne #acnefree #hormonalhealth


The Last Course on Acne by Fran Kerr of High on Clear Skin 

I met Fran Kerr when I was working to heal my own adult acne. I had made some nutritional changes that were helping the appearance of my acne but I couldn't completely shake it. Fran offered me further guidance and I experienced greater improvement.

Fran has been helping women heal their acne for 10 years. She has put together the benefits of her research and education into a one stop shop, online course.  

Are you tired of struggling with acne?
Do you want to break free from feeling as if you have to hide your face from the world?
Are you ready to be in the picture and no longer behind the camera?
Are you confused about what supplements you should be using OR not be using to heal your acne?
Are you ready to discover how to find the right skin care to help the appearance of your acne?



If you answered yes to any of these questions then this course may be right for you.

Click here to check out ALL the benefits The Last Course on Acne offers

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. If you choose to make  a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I value myself and feel would be of benefit to you. Thank you for your support. 

 

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne supplements, adult acne, beautiful skin, fran kerr, healing acne, high on clear skin, the last course on acne.

the importance of gratitude for clearer skin

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.
How to practice gratitude for clear skin #acne #acnefree #clearskin #gratitude

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.

  • Stress affects your gut
    • 70 % or more of your immune system lies in your gut
    • 90% of your happy hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut
  • Stress leads to impaired digestion and optimal digestion is necessary for clearer skin

Bottom line: You need a healthy gut to have clear, healthy looking skin. An imbalance in the gut leads to too much inflammation in the body and acne is a form of inflammation.

There's not much refuting this these days. I've even been noticing skin care companies that make acne specific products, discussing the relationship between the health of our gut and the health of our skin.

The irony here is the more acne you get the more stressed you may become.

I remember thinking when my acne was at its height, that if my face would clear, I could finally get a handle on my stress levels. Waking up everyday to a red, inflamed and pimple-covered face automatically put me in high stress mode.


Since it's impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, what can be done?

I believe there are three actions.

The first is,
increase your resilience -- and it isn't complicated. Three resolutions will immediately help:
  1. get adequate sleep each night -- 8-9 hours are recommended
  2. eat a whole foods based nutritious diet
  3. exercise regularly 
The second action to eliminate stress is let go of things you have no control over. Stressing over issues we cannot control makes us feel trapped; a victim mentality.
  1. In situations you can influence for improvement, do so
  2. In situations you cannot influence, either disengage, or release it from your emotional domain of responsibility.     

The final component to increase your stress resilience is implement  a Gratitude Journal.  

Really?! Yes! Believe me, I was someone who always rolled my eyes at this type of thing. I feel grateful enough, what do I need to write it down for? 



Research has shown that changes take place in your brain that reduce stress and increase feelings of pleasure when you WRITE down what you are grateful for. Each day take a few minutes to write down 3 things you are grateful for. Research suggests doing this for 21 days straight in order for the changes in the brain to take place.

Here's the way I look at it. This gratitude exercise is simple. It probably won't take more than 5 to 10 minutes of my day. If it really can help why not give it a try? The worst thing that could happen is you notice zero changes in your outlook on life and you go back to your old routine.

I challenge you to 21 days of gratitude! Do you keep a gratitude journal? Leave a comment and let me know. 


 

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, clear skin, cystic acne, heal acne, heal acne holistically, heal acne naturally.

Tips for Stress Management for Clearer, Acne-Free Skin

Have you ever considered the connection between stress and acne?

If you're using quality skin care and your nutrition is on point but your acne still lingers, stress could be the culprit. In my own personal situation, my adult acne flared up because of a stressful event in my life.

Chronic, unresolved stress leaves us with excess inflammation in the body which then leads to a weakened immune system along with an increased likelihood that the body will attack itself, as in autoimmune diseases. All of this will do nothing to help improve your acne and could be a contributing factor as to why your acne lingers.

As for myself, I notice a direct correlation between stress in my life and the appearance of my skin.


How should you deal with this? Obviously, it's not possible to be 100% free of stress 100% of the time. Life presents challenges and unexpected circumstances do arise.

Let me share with you a few key things I recommend you consider.

Stress Management for Acne #acnefree #clearskin #stressmanagement #acnetips

What gets your thoughts gets youWhat do you spend most of your time thinking about? Answer honestly. It may help to sit in a quiet area and journal for 15 minutes to really figure this out. Let your thoughts come out on paper and see what's in front of you.

Do you find yourself constantly being negative in every situation? Then it may be time for an adjustment.  We have different personalities and some people are naturally more upbeat and positive, while others tend to see the glass as half empty. It may not be in your nature to put a positive spin on things in life. That's okay. I do believe you can train yourself to change your thoughts and the way you speak and think.

 I read somewhere that it's easy for people to be negative. It's easy to see the bad things in life and dwell on those. It's easy to complain and sometimes it even makes us feel good to stew over a situation that upsets us. Here is where you have to consciously decide to stop negative thoughts in their tracks. Like any new habit it will take time to develop but it's one that is worth the effort.


Look at who you surround yourself with. Speaking of
your thoughts, what are the thoughts of your friends and co-workers? Are you surrounded by positive people, or habitual grumblers and complainers?

First recognize you can't change the way those around you speak and react to situations. The only person you can control is yourself. However, when you speak positively and keep your cool in stressful situations, it has the potential to spill over onto those around you. Negativity breeds negativity just as happiness breeds happiness.

If you have a friend who is particularly negative all the time consider approaching the person about it. They may not realize what they are doing. If you're not comfortable having the conversation you may want to consider limiting the time you spend with that person.

Remember, you are in control of yourself and your time. It's your choice who you surround yourself with. Choose wisely.

Grieve it, be angry and move on. Things happen in life that upset us. Things don't always go our way.

Someone at the bank may cut in front of you in line. Another driver may cut you off. Someone may make a comment about your clothes that hurts your feelings.

There is no way to stop these inconveniences and hurts from happening. Again, the only part you can control is yourself and your response. How much energy do you put towards the guy who cut you off in traffic? If you need a few minutes to stew, take it. Set a timer for 10 minutes be angry, call a friend and complain and then when the timer ends let it go.

I'll admit this is a tough one for me. When something upsets me I want to be mad for awhile. I realize this does nothing to help me or better my health, and it only gives more power to the person who wronged me. Learn to let the little things go!


Don't worry about that over which you have no control. I confess, this isn't my strong suit. I tend to dwell on things even when all my worrying won't change the outcome.

The truth is many situations in life are this way. No amount of worrying will change anything. What will be, will be.

When a situation arises that has got you stressed, ask yourself, "How much control do I have over this circumstance?". If there is something you can do to better the situation then create a plan and put it into action. If the answer is that you have no control over it, then it's best to put it out of your mind. I find the only way I am ever successful at this is to leave it in God's hands through prayer.


What are your thoughts? How do you manage stress? Please comment and share your ideas you may be an inspiration to someone else!


 

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne and stress, heal acne, heal acne holistically, health and wellness, healthcoach, holistic healing, holistic healing for acne, tips for reducing stress levels.

Eating for Clear Skin

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.

#acne #clearskin #nutritionforacne #healacne

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.


  • Lemons. Lemons are one of the most cleansing, detoxifying foods. Juice from a fresh squeezed lemon provides support to the liver and and aids digestion. The liver is a our main detoxifying organ, so it's vital to support it in order to clear up acne. Enjoying fresh squeezed lemon in your water throughout the day is one of the simplest ways to do this.
  • Turmeric. This Indian spice is anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant. It keeps red blood cells from clumping and increases circulation. Better blood flow is vital to keep the skin glowing. Turmeric acts as a blood cleanser which helps prevent acne. I find you can add a dash of this to oatmeal or Juice Plus Complete. You can learn more about that here. By also adding nutmeg and cinnamon you won't taste the turmeric.
  • Arugula. Arugula is high in vitamin A, which may not only improve acne but also helps protect the skin from free radical damage. This dark leafy green is alkaline and will help cleanse the blood and lymphatic system. Arugula does have a strong flavor and is a bit peppery. I prefer to mix it with a portion of organic spring mix, which contains baby lettuces and spinach. It helps balance the flavor.
  • Bell Peppers. Bell peppers are a wonderful beauty food. One of the simplest ways to consume them is chopped in a salad. Red bell peppers are particularly high in vitamin C. Not only is this beneficial to help banish acne, but it also helps regenerate collagen in the skin which may slow down the aging process. I do recommend you opt for organic with bell peppers as they are one of the more heavily pesticide laden foods.
  • Onions. Onions are an amazing food. Not only do they add great flavor to many dishes, they also contain properties that help cleanse the liver which is crucial for the health of our skin. It's beneficial to eat this food both cooked and raw. The two onion varieties I use most often and that contain the most health benefits are yellow onions and red onions. Yellow onions have the most sulfuric compounds while red onions are high in antioxidants, which we can see from its bright purple color. Here is a great article on the best way to store onions https://draxe.com/onion-nutrition
  • Garlic. Garlic helps support your body's detoxification system and may aid in digestion; two things necessary for clearer skin. Garlic contains an enzyme called alliinase and a sulfur-containing substance called allicin. Pressing garlic activates the release of the these anti-inflammatory substances. In the store you'll see containers of pre-chopped garlic for sale. I recommend you opt for purchasing the whole garlic (bulk garlic) instead. Not only is it more cost effective, but also so much of the health benefits happen when pressing the garlic and then fade away shortly thereafter. Buying pre-chopped garlic isn't going to give you the same anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon. Salmon is so beneficial for the health of our skin and it is a large reason why I don't advocate for a strict vegan diet. I dedicated an entire blog post to this amazing fish. You can read that blog post here. 




Remember, when it comes to clearing your skin, changes probably won't happen overnight. A large component is restoring your internal health and those changes are then reflected in your skin. Opt for whole foods whenever possible and you'll begin to see positive improvements.





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Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne coach, acne scars, acne treatment, clear skin, clear skin diet, health and wellness, health coach, hormonal acne, how to heal acne, nutrition for acne, what to eat to heal acne.

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