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!
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.
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.
What gets your thoughts gets you. What 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!
For optimum health it is better to avoid processed foods. But it can be difficult these days to do that.
Life seems to be busier than ever and it seems we have less time to dedicate in the kitchen than in years past. It's no wonder women resort to picking up boxed packaged items, and foods in the freezer section.
I'm a firm believer in balance. Nutrition shouldn't be viewed as all or nothing. It's all about giving yourself grace.
Do what you can with the knowledge, information, budget and time you have.
While I do cook mostly from scratch there are a few things I purchase prepackaged. However, there are KEY things I look for before buying a processed food; and there are certain factors I won't compromise on.
In order to manage acne it is best done from the inside out. Focus on nutrition to bring your skin to an improved state of health. Examine all facets of your diet.
Let me share with you some key things to look for in any packaged food you buy.
What raises your blood sugar levels more? Whole wheat bread or table sugar? Read on to find out.
"I could never go gluten free. I like bread too much."
"I've tried gluten free bread and I can't stand the taste."
"It's too hard to eat in a restaurant if you don't eat gluten."
"I don't have a gluten intolerance. I never have to run to the bathroom when I eat it."
Do any of these sound familiar?! These are among the top comments I hear when discussing gluten. There's a lot of buzz out there among the word gluten and there seem to be three camps of people: Those who are gluten free and are completely sold that it's improved their health, those who feel it's fine for other people to be gluten free but it's not for them, and lastly, those who believe that gluten free is a trend and will soon die out.
What is the truth? Is gluten bad for your health? If you're not intolerant should you be eating it?
I first discovered the concept of a gluten free diet when I read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. This book opened my eyes to an entirely new concept and much of what he wrote seemed to be written directly for me.
A few things I learned: