Skin update: What’s been helping my acne

As some of you may know I am constantly looking for ways to help heal my acne that I’ve had on and off since my early teens.

Of course eating healthy, whole foods, as well as a plant-based vegan diet that excludes dairy and processed foods certainly helps, but there’s more.

Recently I had been dealing with some more inconvenient blemishes, especially on my chin area. I was eating well, drinking lots of water, using natural products and cleaning my skin thoroughly, so I thought maybe something else is going on?

Luckily I got to speak to the founder of Miiko Skin Co. who has studied Ayurveda. She listened to my story, and there were a few tips she gave me:

#1: I was over cleansing, even though I use natural, high quality products, I was washing my face about 2-3x/ day. This was because I would be working out and wash my face afterwards, as well as morning and night. This lead to an imbalance in my skin’s natural pH balance, which made it more vulnerable to bacteria and an overproduction of sebum (oil). Plus I also sweat a lot on my face when I workout which I cannot change but that does make me more susceptible to breakouts because excessive sweat can also disrupt your skin’s pH balance.

#2: I was clearly stressed, from both work and recently moving. The winter weather we were experiencing certainly did not help either!

#3: I wasn’t supplementing my diet, this I know but sometimes when it comes to treating your own problems the hardest part is to take your own advice and put it into action.

So what I have been doing to improve on this and reduce  my chances of breakouts is:

  1. Cleansing smarter, not harder. I now aim to wash my face only 1-2x/day depending if I workout and sweat alot or not. I also started using jojoba oil to cleanse my face, I have done this before but for some reason didn’t continue with it, but oil cleansing helps you to pull dirt and makeup off of the skin without drying the skin out.
  2. I also initially started using Miiko Skin Co.’s natural toner which contains apple cider vinegar (ACV), as she explained to me that the skin surface is meant to be acidic, and when breakouts are happening that means the skin is likely more alkaline (which for your skin is not good!), thus ACV helps to balance this. It worked really well but I used it up really fast and so rather than spending more money I made my own toner! I mixed half parts ACV and half alcohol-free Aloe Witch Hazel then a few drops of rose geranium essential oil and lavender oil, it’s great!
  3. I started exfoliating with a gentle cleanser by Sukin which contains jojoba oil to keep the skin hydrated as well as activated charcoal to draw out impurities. I aim to exfoliate 1-2x/week.
  4. I started supplementing again, I have taken all of these supplements before but never all at the same time and frankly I was just lazy this winter with supplements… So first I started taking some high quality probiotics to help balance the good bacteria with the bad bacteria I most likely had. I also started taking Opti-Zinc which contains zinc with a bit of copper because you want to keep zinc-copper in balance (zinc helps with hormone production and skin healing, as well as many other functions). I also started taking plant based Omega-3’s DHA and EPA again which come from algae and flax and help to reduce inflammation as well as regulate hormones. I also began taking vegan vit.D liquid again because I was certainly feeling the winter blues aka vitamin D too low! and lastly I started taking vegan B12 liquid again because although I had before, I wasn’t keeping it up and B12 is very important for overall health, energy production, especially if you are stressed!
  5. Lastly I made a bigger effort to make time for things I enjoy such as being outside, going for walks and hikes, practicing yoga, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family which all help me reduce stress. I also make sure I get 7-9 hours of sleep and have time to unwind every day.

I hope this post perhaps helps others you struggle with their skin, and if you are interested in learning more about what I do to keep my skin healthy or want to learn more about the holistic approach please feel free to email me at holistichayleynutrition@gmail.com

7 Days Coffee Free Skin Results

So as I elluded to on my Instagram I have been struggling with worse than usual acne breakouts for the past year and looking at my lifestyle and diet not a lot has changed, I eat quite well obviously with some leniency and exercise and sweat regularly and wash my face right after, and have been working on managing my stress. I use natural products as well and exfoliated regularly. The one thing that has changed in my life is I’ve started drinking coffee! Not because I need the caffeine necessarily but because I enjoy it, and only buy fairtrade. I had been drinking about 1-2 cups per day for the past year and I have been dealing with way more inflamed and aggravated pimples as well as pimples in abnormal areas for me like my chin, jawline, and cheek bones. Through my studies I always knew coffee wasn’t great for the body for a few reasons, one of those being the caffeine increases your cortisol. Of course I was in denial that it was affecting me because I enjoyed it but I finally noticed my energy was lower than usual and my skin breakouts had to be something I was ingesting, and after re-learning that coffee actually increases your cortisol and spikes your blood sugar it can increase the production of acne aggravating hormones as well. Coffee also depletes various minerals and vitamins in the body such as zinc, vitC and Bvits which are essential to skin health. So I finally decided to take a break from coffee and after just 7 days great things have happened! My skin is way less irritated, less inflamed, my breakouts are healing and I’ve had hardly any new pimples pop up, because of this I’ve been more confident to wear less makeup or none at all! And my energy levels throughout the day feel like they used to years ago when I had endless energy! Here are some photos of how bad my skin was and how it was today after 7 days no coffee!

Before:

  
  
 I was trying to stay positive and smile abit for these photos but they are painful to look at 😦 . Not to mention when you have inflamed acne you can not only see it but you can feel it! Not fun!
Now, After 7 days no coffee and no makeup:


  
My skin is still not perfect but has greatly improved and feels better! For those of you who have flawless skin all the time never take your skin for granted because you are so fortunate! It was very hard for me to make this photos public but if my self trial helps someone else struggling with Acne then it is worth it! If you also struggle with acne and want to figure out a strategy that will help it to heal including holistic meal and supplement recommendations just send me an email hzedel@gmail.com 🙂 I would love to help!