So it’s been passed one year since I finally got some control over my acne! It’s been a slow process, but the result is significantly better than what it was a year ago, or even two! From trying out the Korean skincare routine, using face masks regularly, and getting treatments, I now understand why people used to say that consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Without continued use, I may not have got the results I do now.
I’m excited to share with you my complete process, in this update I’ve included pictures way back from the beginning of 2013 when I started documenting my acne journey, which I hope won’t gross you out too much. I’ve learned much through my acne and skin problems to say that I AM NOT MY SKIN, and therefore I share these pictures with ease and no shame. I hope it inspires and gives someone out there hope that there’s a natural way to treat acne, and that it can be controlled without spending lots of money on expensive treatments, regimes and medication with severe side effects.
That was me just two years ago, in the beginning of my green beauty journey. Just before this in 2012, I went on roaccutan and antibiotics for a third time in my life, but the acne just wouldn’t quit, and it got more aggressive. Matters got worse when I got struck by chronic dizziness and ringing in the ears which practically happened over night that autumn. After three months of doctor appointments and tests, they couldn’t find any cause for it, and I was faced with the thought that it would always be like this for now. This was heartbreaking for me to comprehend, it was like my life was over – actually, getting a cancer sentence at the time sounded better than for the rest of my life not being able to do simple tasks without getting a headache.
The stress over what was happening to my body made my skin even worse, I hated not having control over my body, and the more I worried the worse I felt. My worry was making me even sicker.
I couldn’t control my dizziness, there wasn’t any information on how to reverse it or treat it, it was simply to just “live with it”. I resented the fact that there was a chance I would never be normal again, so I decided to switch my focus on what I could try to cure–my acne. Because I couldn’t be actively focused, a simple thing like reading was very hard for me, I spent most days in front of YouTube researching beauty tips on how to cure acne naturally.
I quickly learned that vitamins are important, but I didn’t see the logic in spending money on expensive supplements to take for the rest of my life to control my acne, there has to be a better and cheaper option. Why not just get my vitamins through food? I thought. And one day I came across one video that would change the way I live my life. In many ways, my mission to heal myself from acne is what also cured me from my chronic dizziness, helped me back to a vibrant state of being and brought me into the perfect health I am in now.
So thank you Acne! ;)
These pictures were taken in conjunction to my new regime of Dermalogica Medibac Clearing-line of products, Clarisonic, Pai Rosehip Oil and Caudalie Vinoperfect Radience Serum… Which I never bothered to review because I had conflicting opinions about it and I later realized Pai’s rosehip oil was actually doing all the work. I also started taking B5 with L-Cysteine, hence why my acne doesn’t look too severe, it actually looks like it’s winding down. I basically started documenting my face when I had the brilliant idea of sharing my experience of B5. Before this, my face was looking pretty severe thanks to REN ClearCalm3 regime…
Around May, I found out about the Raw Food diet and wanted to try something more sustainable than popping 10 pills a day for the rest of my life. I dropped B5 + L-Cysteine, and as expected, my acne came back.
That summer wasn’t too good to my face, a mix of detox and I don’t know. I thought it would get better so I waited months to take a picture, until November when I realized it’s not getting better, it’s actually getting way worse! As you can see on the two last pictures, my skin had just turned smooth with no breakouts to turn all bumpy and aggravated again after I’ve gone off B5 and switched to a pretty strict HCLF raw food diet.
2014 – Present
At the end of 2013, I started to turn to alternative methods again. I had tried everything diet wise I could think of at the time: no dairy, no gluten, vegan, plantbased, low fat, high fat, eating fermented foods, juice cleanse to monomeal cleanse, together with yoga and distressing tools, but I wasn’t seeing the result I wanted. It started to get cystic and itchy again. One thing I hadn’t tried was an Ayurvedic eating and thinking, and quickly jumped on that. I knew that many mix raw food with the teachings of Ayurveda with good results. I took it a step further and looked into different herbs for detoxing and skin problems, as well as incorporated the methods into my skincare. I started caring for my face as it was sensitive and reactive, not just acne-prone. I switched to milk and cream cleansers, and only used oils on my face. This helped a lot, and after a month or two of taking the herbal supplementation some acne started to resolve, but it wasn’t significantly better. Yep, I’m high demanding, but for good reason! I didn’t want to turn to pills again, but after starting to dabble with it again I felt less conflicting to try more alternatives.
Also, the Ayurvedic way of eating wasn’t for me, eating according to Pitta-dosha didn’t help my skin at all.
And when you’ve found something you feel comfortable with you kind of stick to it, so I went back to my 801010/Beauty Detox Solution-inspired way of eating. I started rereading Kimberly Snyder’s book, and Probiotics kept popping up everywhere in my research. So finally I decided to do her diet strictly all over again and this time do it properly. I ordered two bottles of Probiotics and this has been the on going result of that. :)
*Majority of pictures are taken with flash and on the more severe side, my left side.
What Happened to my Acne after I stopped taking Probiotics?
I was on the Probiotics for two months, and after I stopped taking them my cystic acne resolved and my skin problem continued–but slowly–getting better and better. With better I mean:
- Less eruptions – As there was fewer eruptions there weren’t any new scars developing, so the existing scars could finally heal with visible result. My defining of “eruption” is either a pimple/cyst or blood filled bump that cracks open itself without any picking or squeezing… or the help with that. The last time a blood filled bump erupted was in November, since then my skin has been rarely problematic or has created new dark-spots for me.
- No cystic acne and less pimples that hurt/itch – Within the two months and after, I’ve felt a lesser need to squeeze or pick a pimple which has helped keep the skin calm and avoiding aggravation. Because there’s never any sqeeze-me-whispering-bumps anymore, I’m less prone to picking. Though, I do sometimes, after some steaming, pinch out black heads now and then, but they’ve become less and less.
- No PMS/hormone-driven acne – Before my acne was very much hormone driven, I’d get cysts before and on my period, and just when they were about to heal, my next period came with vengeance. So my face never seemed to have the opportunity to heal, it became a build up of pimples over time. Wind forward, today I haven’t had the need to worry over my face during my period, I’ve actually experienced my face becoming more calm during that phase, and a bit agitated around ovulation instead, but it’s far from calling it acne.
- Scars being able to fade – Every 30 days you could see a difference in my skin, from being covered with red dark-spots to them slowly fading and revealing a more even skin tone. Most of my red-spots has gone, what I’m left with is a few ice-pick scars that seems to be fading with time. I’ll be on the look out for some serums or laser treatment for that – I’m open to any suggestions! I’ve gone through two recoveries from severe acne in the past, so I have the confidence to say that with the right tools ice-pick scars can be minimized to almost non-existent.
- Acne isn’t as much aggravated by food anymore – I wouldn’t go to the extent to say I now can eat whatever I want without getting acne, because I did end up with a total avoidance of any type of food that’s been processed made of 50% fat/50% carbs from my diet to keep my skin clear and calm. But my digestion is now much better and so I can get away with meals that aren’t typically properly food combined.
All of these things has gotten better and better with time, that today I can almost say that my skin isn’t an issue for me. But I’ve had some minor non-face related skin issues, and I’m still waiting for my skin to become Impeccable.
Still some issues…
During this year, my face has been in a grand scale “cleared” with some occasional unexplainable exceptions that has cleared itself wonderfully, but my throat/neck and décolletage has been bothered by small lymph-bumps that just hasn’t given in. You can’t squeeze them (not that I’ve tried…), they’re deep under, and when one goes away (after several weeks) another one has formed on a different spot. They sometimes hurt as cysts and can itch, get blood filled and then develop into real cysts that can potentially explode on its own, but usually they’re just sticking out and are bothersome. I don’t know what to do, I’ve tried everything from massage to lymph drainage to you name it diet-wise. I thought it would be fixed with probiotics, but it hasn’t come to that. And sometimes I have periods where they will just disappear… If anyone has any idea of what to do or what could be causing it, I’m all ears and happy to discuss this further!
Side Note: Around January I decided to take Probiotics again, and to keep it as a tradition of a yearly maintenance. Kimberly Snyder, one of many diet gurus, swears by and takes probiotics daily, but for me, that would be too expensive. So I figured a cure of two months a year would be just about right as a maintenance. It’s also very good to take to boost immune system around the seasons of disease and when traveling to a foreign country to avoid food poising.
What Happened To My Bodily changes After I stopped taking Probiotics?
As you may recall, I gained some weight/fluid last time I took the probiotics. While I didn’t get to keep my fuller chest–buhu–I had some problem losing the weight gained for a while. Since changing my diet my weight has fluctuated a lot that it’s been a hard time adjusting and a resentment to buy new pants has grown… Well, the weird thing is that I haven’t experienced any extreme body changes with the current probiotic cure I’m on, but maybe that has to do with my hormones being balanced out since last time?
Other than going to to the bathroom a bit more than usual the first week, every thing’s been utterly normal with my body.
How about your periods, did they get better?
Well… They kept on being regular, shorter and less painful… until October last year. Suddenly my period started getting very late, irregular and back to being giving-birth-painful. This kept on until around when I started taking probiotics again in February. Though it didn’t stabilize completely as last time, but I wouldn’t say that it was thanks to the probiotics. I have another theory in mind that’s been revealed here.
What do I do for scar healing?
My left side that got attacked the most–which is also my best side… sad lol–has been left with a lot of rolled and box scars.
A few months ago I added Pai’s rosehip oil back to my routine and it has been the best product I’ve ever used for healing and fading scars and evening out the face tone. I can’t praise this oil enough! It has a way of transforming ones skin and you’ll see a difference in skin texture within three days! But then, it’s the only thing I do for my scars… that is, together with turmeric masks and fresh aloe vera.
I’d love to try Yüli’s PM Perfecto, but it’s over my budget. From the reviews I’ve read, everyone says it needs time to work, and so does Rosehip oil – even though you will notice dramatic difference in skin tone and texture within days, scars just needs more time. And to be honest, I do feel that Pai’s rosehip oil, is working even better than Living Libations Dew Dab serum for treating scars and preventing formation of new pimples… Hmm, but how would them together work? With the enormous love I have for the rosehip oil by Pai I should get paid to say this, but no, I just want others to know there’s a skin-transformation tonic for just under £25. I will stick to this one forever.
If you got any other tips on scar healing remedies, other than the ones mentioned, I’d love to know!
For brands: Do you have a natural product for treating acne scars and looking for a candidate to try your product? My face is available for testing! Just shoot me a message and I’ll get back to you! :)
What Kind of Probiotics do you recommend?
If you’re a fellow Scandinavian, I highly recommend Holistic LactoVitalis, containing 6 Billion Active Probiotic Cells and 10 Beneficial Strains, which is the one I’ve been taking over a two month period once a year. They not only contain good bacteria but also vitamin C and Zink (haven’t seen that in other brands) which are two nutrients known to improve skin, help with scar healing and immunity.
EDIT: Holistic LactoVitalis has been replaced by LactoVitalis Pro, now containing vitamin B2 instead of Zinc and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Same price.
For people living in the states, you can try Kimberly Snyder’s own 29 strain, high quality Soil Based Organism-Probiotics. Though, two more international, vegan and trusted one’s of SBO-probiotics are: Prescript-Assist Probiotics and GHC Latero-Flora or FloraTrex.
Otherwise, Kimberly used to take and recommend Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula, which I was going to try before I found some good ones produced in Sweden.
Reviews.com has also conducted a list where the Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotics Colon Care came at first place, and MegaFood MegaFlora running second. Renew Life Ultimate Flora was also shown to be particularly good as an immune-booster; Which is also the #1 probiotic to top Labdoor’s list for best quality! Runner’s up includes Life & Food Ultra Probiotic-50 and Nutrition Now PB8 for best value for the money according to Labdoor that updates their list yearly.
Other probiotics I’ve personally taken in consideration are: Garden of Life HSO Probiotic Formula and Innate Response Flora 50-14. I am, however, currently taking Now Foods 50/25 Billion as a maintenance.
Buy your probiotics on iHerb and get $5 off your first order!
What to look for when choosing a Probiotic Supplement?
Yes, quality plays a huge importance on how well the supplements will work! You’d be amazed at how two different brands with the same exact ingredients can differ in quality. In many ways I can’t tell you which one’s the best probiotic, sometimes you will have to try a couple of different ones.
But here’s three main things to think of when choosing a probiotic supplement:
- A well-known and trusted brand.
- Many different strains of bacteria, preferably 10 or above that go well together.
- Acid and bile resistant to ensure optimal survival.