Skin Health ‘Journey’

Hello friends. So I wanted to talk about a topic that does get a lot of attention and has been a significant player in my life. And that is the topic of skin. Now I've gone from everything from dehydrated skin to cystic hormonal acne as a teenager to more perioral dermatitis at the moment.

I wanted to give you my experience with what I have used that I feel has worked for me.

Keep in mind that this may be totally different to you. I just wanted to give you some insight into my personal skin journey and who and what has helped me on the way. And because I am a big one for total transparency, some of the treatments were gifted over the years. However, I am not monetarily affiliated or benefiting from this review with ANY of the products or services I name. As you will see, I have been self-conscious of my skin for years so I am hoping to help you with yours.

So initially, when I was growing up, I didn't have any skin issues. It wasn't until around University, my first year of university in Brisbane, where I started developing some cystic acne. If you didn't know what cystic acne or hormonal acne is, is the acne that comes around at that time of the month. And it's predominantly around the chin and jaw line. So for me, it was quite cyclical. And every month, I would expect similar little formations in similar spots. And these were a bit annoying because as I'm sure you've heard about they often under the surface of the skin and can be quite painful. So every month, I would develop a few of these. And of course, it would cause me a lot of anxiety and self confidence issues. Because I am that person who wouldn’t leave them alone, they would often come out looking worse them if I had just left them alone. And then this meant that I was even MORE self conscious about my skin. I remember at some points, I would say no to certain events, or I would tell my friends I will only come if my skin is good on that day. So it really did have a huge impact on how I felt during the day. Often I wouldn't be able to look people in the face or in the eye when my skin was really bad. And that was just something that took me years and years and years to get over. And now that my skin is finally cleared it is a lot better. But obviously if it breaks out again, I have hints of those types of feelings again.

So back then, when I first started getting my cystic acne, I tried so many things. At that point I was using makeup that was well known. Brands that I would buy cheaply from Big W or from Priceline because I didn't have a lot of money to spend on good quality makeup. And I also didn't see the point of it. So I was using big big brands that were around $30 for some foundation and I was using mineral foundation. I was probably not in a good routine with my skin care just using whatever I could purchase. I think at that point I was using a brand called ‘Acure’ which I got from overseas and then I had bits and pieces from everywhere with what I thought would cure my hormonal acne. I even tried natural remedies that I got from ‘googling’ ‘how to stop cystic acne’. At one point I put ginger and garlic on my spots. I've tried tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal. I've tried bentonite clay masks to try and dry out my skin. I feel like my current beauty therapist might be reading this and laughing or maybe shaking her head because I tried everything. And to be honest, I wasn't educated in skin health at all. So whatever was promoted or marketing to help cystic hormone hormonal acne, I gave a go. And just keep in mind that during this time at university, I was extremely stressed and unbeknownst to me, but I also was developing a autoimmune condition which I believe was a combination of stress and a pre- disposition to this autoimmune condition.

But, now we know there is a huge link between gut health and skin health.

So, looking back this might have been one of the reasons why my hormones were acting out a bit. And other thing I did was to reach out to a Medical Doctor (GP) to get some help for my cystic acne. They told me the only way to help it was to go on the contraceptive pill. And then from there, I've tried seeing a Naturopath at one point. I don't think I was very strict with anything they gave me so I didn't see great effects. After then I started to get some skin treatments. I tried about six months of microdermabrasion first of all. I'm sure there's a more technical explanation for this but it feels like the surface of your skin is being brushed away and a little vacuum is sucking out any dead skin and getting rid of blackheads. And so I tried this for about six months. But even though my skin felt great afterwards, I didn't feel it got deep enough into the hormonal acne part of it. So then from there, I went and saw the team at Brazilian Beauty in Teneriffe. And they put me on a prescription, of LED light therapy facials. Now if you're not familiar with this, my understanding is that it is a type of light which penetrates underneath the skins surface. And it's a heating light without the UV rays. So you can put it on different settings. But it can be really healing or hydrating or whatever they choose. So for me, I think it was hydration and trying to get deeper underneath my skin, not just on the surface. The ladies also put me on a series of cleanses, exfoliants and peels to really help. Now I was with them for probably one to two years and I noticed a huge difference. When I finished my LED treatments, I didn't develop hormonal acne anymore. And so there was a few things I think that I did at this point. I not only got LED light therapy, but I also changed and fixed my gut condition. If you didn't know, I did develop a auto immune condition, I believe through stress and probably too much coffee. But then through my diet, I was able to modulate my gut and I believe that I have fixed it by lifestyle. So from there, it was great. I have a blog dedicated to all things GUT HEALTH which can tell you what I was doing. Examples of meals are below.

But then I noticed that I had another condition actually called perioral dermatitis, which is where you get little raised bumps around my mouth and my nostrils. This might not sound like the worst thing but I couldn't go without makeup because I had a bit of a red rash around my mouth, which is again, self conscious, but a different type of self conscious. So I really delved into seeing how I could heal my skin a lot more naturally. Now I felt like I'd fixed the hormonal issues and my diet was quite adequate. So I went and saw The Functional Nurse Madilyn, and she pointed out that even though I was on some great products, but they might be too harsh on my skin and so, since then I’ve really cut down on all of my product use.

She recommended a few LED light treatments from The Derm Lab in Kedron, Brisbane and a Skin Needling Treatment. About a week after the skin needling session, I had no visible signs of perioral dermatitis. Since then it has come back a little bit I still think that it's linked to something I'm eating, but that's still for me to figure it out at the moment. Madilyn also helped me to realise that your makeup and tanning routine can contribute to your skin health as well. I have used a ‘natural’ makeup brand for several years (BeCoyote) for natural, everyday makeup. And I use “Young Blood” for a more ‘going out’ look (this is only a few times a year so it doesn’t get too much of a run, haha).

What I am using at the moment.

1. I use a cleanser from “Vayda Organics'“, CLEANSE which is just a nice combination of oils.

2 .Then I use a nice skin nourishing serum from “L’Elu”, and my skin's feeling really, really good.

That is it. I used to have a pretty intense skin care routine with a lot of steps. It’s refreshing to have it a more ‘minimal’ approach.

So this is what I'm doing at the moment. And then we will see how I progress. So I hope that's helped you. If you need to know anything specific with brands that I've used or things that really work but I'll tag everything just so you can help you on your journey if it's similar to mine.

Claudia Cramer