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This post is divided into three sections: My Skin Story, My Makeup Routine, and My Skin Care Routine. I know it’s a bit more wordy than normal, but I truly hope you will take the time to read each section. You won’t regret it, I promise
My Skin Story
“It’s like peaches and cream.”, or “You look like a little porcelain doll.” are comments I remember hearing about my skin as a little girl. While I didn’t make much of the comments as a young child, I would come to long for those days of peaches and cream skin not too shortly after that… By the age of twelve to be exact. I remember going in for my fifth-grade school pictures and being worried about those bright red spots on my face. Why did I seem to be the only kid my age with these unattractive things gracing my cheeks and chin? I scanned the room looking for another student I could relate to, but all I saw was peaches and cream. Little did I know that was the start of a very long, challenging journey with troubled skin.
By seventh grade, I had paid many visits to the dermatologist with the hope that they could remedy my skin situation. After testing out various topical treatments that simply weren’t strong enough for my oily, cystic acne prone skin, we found a solution. The solution required me to take medication, twice daily, coming to a total of five pills each day. I was on my way to peaches and cream skin, but at what cost to the rest of my body?
I remained on this medication from the age of fourteen to the ripe old age of twenty-two. While I struggled with break-outs at times along the way, this remedied the situation enough for me to go through high school and college without being known as “pizza face.” Any time I tried to go off the medication, the acne would come back with a vengeance. So, on that medication I remained, dreaming of the day when I would be back to peaches and cream skin for good.
It was at the age of twenty-two that the medication began to rear its ugly head through various side effects. Melasma (a dark brown discoloration of the skin) covered my face, and stomach aches started to be my new normal. I began to question just how negatively this medication might be affecting my body. Thinking about how long I had remained on that five pill a day regiment started to seem a bit outrageous, and I knew I couldn’t continue any longer. That’s when I finally agreed to take Accutane, the king of all acne medications, with the hope of clearing my skin for good. Accutane was my final resort and seemed to be my only option as I was going on my tenth year in a battle against cystic acne that didn’t look like that was about to end any time soon. I knew the side effects of this drug had some risks, but I was willing to go through with it in order to have clear skin. At this point, I was growing very weary of this battle, and so I began my six-month long treatment on Accutane.
My Accutane experience was what I would describe as, well, TERRIBLE. The drug was not working as it had on other patients, so my doctor increased my dosage. Once, twice, and finally a third time until we saw an improvement in my skin. Sure, my skin was clear now, but over half my hair had fallen out and my joints began to stiffen as a result of the increased dosage. These extremely challenging side effects proved to be a lost cause when after six months of treatment, my cystic acne came back just as strong as before. Only now I had barely any hair to mask my face. Here is a photo of what my skin looked like once I finished Accutane.
Am I going to have acne the rest of my life? I didn’t know any eighty year olds with cystic acne, but I felt like I had a good shot at being the first. I felt like doctors had failed me. Allowing me to remain on medication for such an extended period of time, and increasing my Accutane dosage to three-times the recommended amount for my body weight seemed like very poor practice in hind sight. I decided my only option was to take my health into my own hands. And so, I began my research. Countless hours were spent on the computer researching and learning about acne, it’s causes, and possible solutions. Here is a summary of the three main things I learned that helped me reach my life-changing solution:
- The skin is our body’s biggest organ. If our skin is showing signs of sickness, it’s being caused by something internally. This is usually related to the gut, hormones, or stress. (Make sure to get all of those in check if you deal with any skin conditions).
- Food and digestion have a lot to do with the inflammation in our body. Inflammation displays itself in many different forms, acne being one of those.
- Foods like gluten, dairy, caffeine, and sugar are known to cause inflammation in our body.
I stared into the computer screen, the light illuminating my sick skin. YES! I thought. THIS COULD BE ME! By the next day, I was passing on all foods that fell into any of those four categories. No gluten, dairy, caffeine, or processed sugar. Within a few weeks, my skin was 100% clear and I have not had a cystic pimple since. AHHHH! I honestly had never felt freer or more accomplished in my entire life!
Years of acne concealing techniques and strategizing how I would mask my skin were now a thing of my past. It was back to peaches and cream for the first time in over eleven years. Now, honestly, every time someone comments on my skin I have to refrain from sharing my skin story that I am oh so passionate about. Often times I respond with an, “Oh thank you so much, that means a lot to me.” But all of you, my faithful blog and Instagram friends, prompted me enough to share the FULL story. Thank you for being interested enough to ask and to listen. It means the world. I hope that you find this story inspiring and please be sure to pass it along to anyone you know who struggles with their skin.
It was truly my skin story that inspired me to start Halfway Wholeistic. I learned that living a holistic lifestyle is the best way to live a beautiful life, but living it without becoming consumed by holistic remedies is even better. Living a Halfway Wholeistic lifestyle means following the rules of being holistic about 85% of the time, while still enjoying a scoop of ice cream or a bite of my husband’s pizza every Friday night. It means buying high-end, natural products for things that matter most, and learning to compromise when it doesn’t. Most importantly, living Halfway Wholeistic is a reminder that we will never be WHOLE, or complete during our lifetime. Curing my acne and living a holistic life has improved my life in so many ways, but it is in no way the end to all challenges I still face and will face in my lifetime. For this reason, I am still only halfway whole on my own. The only way to be truly whole comes from within. For me, that wholeness comes from the Lord. He is the one I rely on to make me completely whole in this broken world. I know I will face many more challenges in my lifetime, living a holistic lifestyle and relying on the Lord are the two ways I see most suitable for facing those challenges.
For healthy skin, I suggest:
- Eating organic.
- Cutting out or limiting gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed foods.
- Drinking a lot of water!
- Managing stress.
- Using quality products on your skin.
My Makeup Routine
Pictures of Jennifer Aniston and J-Lo seemed to find their way to my Pinterest boards whenever I was searching for my ideal makeup look. Now that I had clear skin, I wanted that dewy, glowy makeup look to go with my peaches and cream. Can I get an amen? I went to just about every beauty counter in the mall and collected samples so I could find the one that worked for me. I narrowed my search down to a small list of makeup essentials that I use to create that dewy look I envied for so many years. I’m a minimalist, these are literally the items I use every day… I own nothing more than what you see here. I don’t want to spend money on endless beauty products (let’s be honest, there’s A LOT to choose from) so I stick with what works. Below you will find all the products I use as well as a video tutorial of my makeup routine. Make sure to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and I will get back to you!
My Skin Care Routine
Like I mentioned before, living a Halfway Wholeistic lifestyle means finding a middle ground in the holistic world. I do not purchase the most expensive, holistic products. I have found products that are paraben free and get the job done well. Alba Botanica has been my brand of choice. By the way, this post is not sponsored in case your “This is a fake sponsored post” antennae are going up. This is just a list of products I’ve come to love and use every day!
Natural Acne Topical Treatments
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read. I hope you found encouragement here, and maybe a few makeup tips as well! Have a great weekend my friends!