26 June, 2019

My 5 Steps to Clear Skin




I started dealing with adult acne when I was 20 or 21. Pretty much since I became an adult. Adult acne is generally acne located on the lower half of your face and it's usually big, painful cysts that don't go away overnight. I feel like I've tried almost everything they make to get rid of it and some worked, most didn't, or if they did, it didn't last for long. Since having kids and being pregnant and breastfeeding, it helped me discover what was the cause of my acne and how to fight it. I learned that when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, which meant I didn't have a menstrual cycle, that my acne was practically non-existent. That taught me that the rise and fall of my hormones was the cause of it. Once I did get my cycle back, I learned that I broke out more when I was ovulating. Especially if I had eaten lots of processed foods, fatty foods, and sugary foods right around that time. Once I learned all that, it helped me come up with regimen that works for my skin. I decided to write this post in hopes it will help someone else out who's suffering from acne as well. It's surprising how many women get acne in their 20's and 30's!



1. Have a simple skincare routine

Acne prone skin gets irritated very easily if you use too many products at once. Less is more when it comes to getting rid of and preventing acne and I learned this the hard way! This is what works miracles for me:

AM
Wash face with Osmia Black Clay Soap
Apply makeup



PM
Wash face with Black Clay Soap
With a soft cotton pad, use Bioderma Micellar Water all over face to get rid of makeup and sunscreen, keep using it til the cotton pad no longer has makeup on it
Tone with Lotion P50
Spot treat with Kate Somerville EradiKate 



2. Micellar Water

This is one of those simple products that was a total game changer in my skin.  I didn't realize how much makeup, dirt, and sunscreen that was left on my skin after washing it. All that build up was causing more acne. I've had amazing results with Bioderma Micellar Water. I also think that using these very soft cotton pads make a difference too. They're so gentle on your skin and don't irritate it like the thicker, more coarse ones do. I think if I had been using Micellar Water years ago I probably would have avoided lots of breakouts and leftover scars.



3. Spearmint Pills

I took a prescription for years called Spironolactone that is used off label for acne and it worked really well. It's an androgen blocker. Androgens are the hormones that cause hormonal acne, testosterone being one of them. It was originally used for heart failure/liver failure patients because it's a diuretic and somehow was discovered it worked amazing for adult, hormonal acne. You can't take Spironolactone while pregnant so I quit right before I got pregnant with Oliver. I thought about going back on it after I stopped nursing him, but I'm funny about taking pills and I also knew I was going to start trying to get pregnant in a few months for baby #2 so I never went back on it. After I stopped nursing Elsie, my acne of course can back and this time I wanted to find something more natural and came across Spearmint. It has similar androgen blocker benefits as Spironolactone. You can drink Spearmint tea or take pills and I found taking pills was easier than trying to drink 2-3 cups of tea a day.  I take 2 pills a day, one in the morning, one at night. It took about 2-3 months to notice an improvement, but I can honestly say it has a made a big difference in my skin. I don't get pimples like I did around ovulation or if I do, it's like 1 or 2, not 6-7 like it was. Spearmint is super cheap and has zero side effects. 



4. Omega-3 

I went to a Naturopathic doctor a few years ago and she recommended Omega-3 pills for acne. I was trying to get pregnant with Elsie and it was taken longer than I had expected, plus my skin was insane. I'm sure from the stress of not getting pregnant. I wanted to know if something was hormonally wrong with me since my skin had gotten so bad and I wasn't getting pregnant. I got pregnant with Oliver on the first month and it just wasn't happening that way for baby #2. As luck would have it, I got pregnant that month I saw the Naturopath and my acne went away because I was no longer having a period. I always remembered what she said about taking Omega-3's for acne and recently started taking them. I picked up this bottle from Whole Foods and I've been happy with it. I've also heard you need an Omega-3 with more EPA then DHA, and this one does.



5. Eat whole foods, and stay away from processed ones

Like I said earlier, my skin would get pretty bad if I ate lots of junk around certain times of the month and plus it just makes you feel yuck eating fake food. I drink a green smoothie every morning and avoid processed foods as best as I can during the day. I don't beat myself up if I eat Chick-Fil-A for lunch or have a cookie, I just don't eat that way all day, everyday. A lot of websites will say to stay away from dairy if you get acne and I don't notice dairy making a huge difference in my skin as much as I notice high sugary foods do. I recently heard a podcast and the speaker was a woman who's written lots of books on hormones and she even said the week of ovulation to eat raw foods to avoid acne from your hormones spiking.  It kind of confirmed what I thought was going on with my skin all along.

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