Exactly a month ago, I wrote about my recent battle with severe acne and how I’d begun taking supplements to see if I can balance-my-hormones out of that mess. And a month later, I have an update and some good news to report!!
As I wrote earlier, I’d had clear skin through most of 2015 and started experiencing a ton of breakouts on my chin and even areas that used to be super clear, like my cheeks and between the eyebrows. I had no idea why this was happening! At first I started washing my face after every sweat session, which is harder than it sounds because I teach back-to-back barre classes. This seemed to help a little, but not completely. Guessing that my hormones are to blame, I started taking Zinc (important for your hormones and not in many vegan sources), sea buckthorn juice (Omegas), and DIM, which reduces your “bad” estrogen and promotes “good” estrogen.
In the name of journalism, I was so good about taking these! But 2 weeks in, I still was breaking out. I was staying with my sister at this time, and she gave me some good tips like applying antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) on your inflamed spots, rather than acne treatment, which can scar and inflame even more. But overall I was disappointed that DIM didn’t magically start working at the snap of my fingers. I was even obsessively taking selfies every night, to track my progress.
And then one day, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when something struck me. I could pinpoint exactly when my skin started going downhill–and it coincided with the time this summer when I started using a BB cream with coconut oil in it. Because it’s all-natural and it looked so great on my skin on, I never suspected that this could cause breakouts.
I immediately stopped using that BB cream, and within 2-3 days my skin was noticeably clearer. I was jumping up and down for joy!
But I didn’t stop there (because the breakouts didn’t stop, either). A few days later, I also stopped using jojoba oil to take off my makeup, using argan oil or rosehip oil instead. And guess what? Within 2 days of doing that, my skin was about 90% back to normal.
Last but not least, here’s what got rid of final few stubborn spots. I was browsing around Whole Foods beauty section (you know you do it, too 😀 ) and noticed Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick ($8.99). I put some on my inflamed spot and went to the freezer section–and voila within 5 minutes, it was instantly reduced. You better believe I went back to the beauty section and got that bad boy! This acne spot treatment and I have since become best friends. Not only is it great for reducing red pimples, it makes clogged pores and whiteheads disappear overnight, better than any clarifying scrubs or masks. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Here are some things I learned due to this self-experiment:
–My acne was probably not caused by overall hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency, as much as using the wrong products for my skin. Therefore, it always is worthwhile checking products first if you experience unusual flareups.
–Not all oils are equal! You have a unique skin just like your fingerprint, and an oil that works for someone else may cause you to break out. For me, coconut oil *and* jojoba oil were too comedogenic–and you can know this when you start getting whiteheads or inflamed spots where they previously never existed. On the other hand, Amal argan oil that I got as a sample in my LOVE GOODLY box has been incredibly healing, softening, and clearing. I’m getting it in full-size STAT. It’s not cheap ($48) but considering how many different things I’ve bought and not seen the effects of, that investment is nothing.
-Last but not least, if you’re having skin troubles, it’s definitely worth being stubborn about it and trying many things systematically until you find a solution that works for you. And once you find it, stick to it! My error was just haphazardly putting stuff on my face without considering that what I was doing before was working for me. Don’t rock the boat too much. 🙂
-When you’re trying these solutions, keep a progress report with record of what you did that day. Like I said, I took a lot of selfies. 🙂
I’m probably going to continue to take the supplements since they don’t seem to be harming my skin, either. Let me know if you have any questions!
Related: How I Fixed My Hormonal Imbalance
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling