I found a solution and I’m beyond excited to share it with you! Here is the predicament I was in…
I’ve struggled with acne for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried all the suggested remedies numerous times. I’ve bought every cream, serum, cleanser and more. In college I even went the medication route and although it helped, I later found out it shifted my hormones into a place that was less than ideal. Had I known the implications, I likely would have opted for the breakouts.
With any health issue, as a Nutritionist I can’t help but question the root cause. Acne is no different. The theory of not just treating the symptom, but treating the root cause makes SO much more sense to me. I don’t only want to get rid of my acne, I want to know why my body is breaking out to begin with. Most symptoms are a sign of an imbalance. Acne is certainly a signal that something is off balance internally.
There are many causes of acne, and I’m not an Esthetician, so I promise to refrain from suddenly pretending I know all things skin related. However, I know the link between Nutrition and our bodies. I also know our skin is the largest organ in our body, therefor what we put IN our body and what we put ON our body has a vast effect on our overall system. If your hormones are off, you’re going to see a poor reaction in your skin. It’s all connected!
So much of acne is caused from a hormone imbalance. I personally suffered from cystic acne. It was painful, it was annoying, and it had the ability to dampen my day if I’m being honest.
Here is the situation I was in…
Off the charts PMS
Anxiousness that seemed to be unexplained
Poor quality sleep
The list went on!
When I asked my OBGYN about it he mentioned it’s all “normal” in your mid 30’s after having kids. Another doctor explained that many females end up on medications for acne, anxiety, sleep, and thyroid by the time they’re in their 30’s. YIKES!!
When I chatted with clients, they told me to brace myself because it would get worse and last a good 15 years until I hit menopause.
When I talked to girlfriends about it, they were all experiencing the SAME things.
When I looked at my own sweet 9 year old daughter, I thought “I better figure this crap out to help her through it all later”.
When I looked at my family and myself in the mirror I realized we all deserve a better version of me…the run down, easily annoyed, self conscious about breakouts version of my wasn’t ideal.
I had already dug into the nutrition side of hormones and balanced out as much as I could and although that helped significantly, it didn’t solve this puzzle 100%.
I had my hormones checked via blood work and was technically in a relatively normal range, depending on which doctor you asked. Keep in mind one of my doctor’s also told me my symptoms were “normal” and encouraged me to “keep on keeping on”. Ugh.
When I saw a Nurse Practioner, she recommended an invasive treatment of placing a hormone pellet in my hip along with other supplements that cost $3,000-$4,000 and required monthly blood work to test for toxicity from the recommended supplements. No thanks.
When I began to research the symptoms in hormone terms it was obvious my body was out of balance. Here is why…
Your endocrine system (the system in which all of your hormones are secreted into the blood) is affected by everyday toxins and pollutants. These pollutants trick our hormones into acting in different ways than they’re naturally supposed to behave-and so they’re called endocrine disruptors. These changes to your hormones can cause anything from irregular periods, hormonal breakouts, and in extreme cases birth defects, illness, and cancer (elle.com)
Basically these toxins and pollutants interfere with the body’s carefully regulated hormone system and artificially increase hormones or prevent the proper break down.
Here is the connection…what I was putting on my skin was messing with my hormones and making me break out (among other awful symptoms). Everyone and their mom was recommending beauty products to solve my “acne” but every product was so full of toxins that they were essentially screwing up my hormones even more. Imbalanced hormones led to more acne (among the other symptoms) and the viscous cycle just kept repeating.
If you’re wondering how important that Endocrine System of your’s is, here is a visual of all that it involves:
The task of cleaning out my beauty products seemed daunting and overwhelming but with new found purpose and understanding the connection I felt more motivated than ever.
I set out on a mission, similar to when someone starts a new diet; I carefully read and researched every ingredient that would hit my skin. This tedious process lasted approximately 24 hours…and I was over it!
This is the site I used to look up every ingredient https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Sure, I could continue to research every product, standing in store aisles googling chemicals on skin care ingredient lists but there were a few problems with this:
It takes too much time
Products change so even if it was “clean” one month, I would need to check it again the next time I bought it
Tricky marketing made way too many ingredients appear clean when they weren’t
There was no one around to tell me what each product really helped with. Like I mentioned, I’m not an Esthetician and I know the value of someone who can really break down what “resurfacing night treatment serum” actually means in my “get rid of acne scars” terms.
Then it dawned on me, what if I could just trust a brand to do the research. Kind of like how my clients can all trust that if I recommend a nutrition product they know I’ve already researched the ingredients and tasted the food to know it’s a good recommendation. I needed someone I could trust had already done the research so I could just but simple products with confidence and solve my situation.
Guess what, that someone was already there! My sweet, and knowledgeable friend Nathalie had recently announced her love for Beauty Counter…
I researched the company and found these fun facts:
There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that regulates cosmetics in the United States does not have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies and our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day.
Beauty Counter has a Never List that includes 1,800 chemicals they will never use in their products. This includes over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union.
There you have it, everything I needed easily accessible in one spot, backed by research and recommendations I can trust!
And those pesky symptoms I mentioned? They’re GONE. Just like low rise jeans (phew!) they are 100% out of my life!
No sleep issues
No period problems
I’m back to that better version of myself and feeling great about a super easy solution!
Here is a little before and after because I love a good transformation…I wish there was a picture for how much better my insides feel! No filter on either, in fact in the picture with my skin broken out I actually had some makeup on. The clear skin picture is one week into my Beauty Counter routine with a fresh washed face.
Feel free to ask me any questions!