My Acne story
This is my story about how I started suffering from acne in my early 20´s and how I have managed to gradually cure it and get relief for my acne without taking any hard medications.
When I was a teenager, I never had a problem with acne. My skin was relatively clear all the way to my 26th birthday beside one or two hormonal pimples before my period. I started to notice that my chin area was getting a lot of blackheads and small pimples and I got worried about what was going on.
I went to the dermatologist and asked about my skin situation but was not taken seriously and only sent to buy Benzoyl Peroxide as many other people. Benzoyl Peroxide is a chemical used topically and created to kill acne-causing bacteria. It is prescribed by a dermatologist to cure acne problems and very often prescribed in combination with antibiotics.
“Some versions are sold mixed with antibiotics such as clindamycin. Other uses include bleaching flour, hair bleaching, teeth whitening, and textile bleaching. It is also used in the plastic industry.”
During the time I started using Benzoyl Peroxide I was very ignorant about skincare. I was searching for a quick fix to a problem I never had before.
I started applying the cream as recommended by the dermatologist and realized that my skin became very irritated. The product had a very painful peeling effect on my skin. I continued using it because anywhere I searched about the effects of Benzoyl Peroxide it will describe irritation as “normal”. How can something that makes your skin so angry be normal?
After using it for some months I noticed a pattern in my skin. Although I got some acne relief and it was drying out the pimples I had, it also dried out my whole skin. This caused sensitivity and flaky skin. The acne would eventually reappear and I would need to apply more Benzoyl again. It would not fix the problem permanently.
It turns out that Benzoyl Peroxide DOES kill the bacteria lying on your skin. ALL the bacteria, the good ones and the bad ones. When your skin is removed from all the bacteria it makes it more vulnerable for infections.
Additionally, to killing all the bacteria and making your skin really sensitive, it can promote skin aging, skin bleaching, sun sensitivity and it does not work on severe acne.
I stopped using it because my skin was in so much pain that I could not touch it. So although it gave some acne relief i feel it would have permanently harmed my skin.
After I stopped using Benzoyl my skin just got gradually worse. From having one or two pimples my new normal was having cystic acne constantly. I felt so frustrated and confused about what to do that I started researching solutions on the Internet.
I tried everything: Candida cleanse, Ketogenic diet, Creams, Estroblock, I quit dairy, soy, all beans, and legumes… you name it!
By the time I turned 30 I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I was terrified of eating anything for fear of breaking out. I obsessed over cleansers, creams and anything that could offer a solution to my increasing problem and nothing helped. The acne was still there, my wallet was empty and I felt very unhappy.
When you are an acne sufferer your psyche pays a toll. For me was isolation. Although I have never been a person who paid a lot of attention to my appearance I became so self-conscious of my problem that I started avoiding social situations. I felt everybody was staring at me and thinking I was unhygienic. It was really bad. I woke up every morning and the first thing I will do was check my skin condition in the mirror as well as the level of pain I had. All I could think about was how could I get rid of the physical and emotional pain I was experiencing without poisoning my body.
Now looking back I wish I would have been more mindful about the way I approached my skin condition. I could have identified the causes of my acne easier if I would have kept a systematic approach to my healing journal instead of trying everything at once and getting desperate and hopeless in the process.
I realized that the cause of my Acne was more complex than what I wanted it to be. It was a combination of a sedentary lifestyle, over-cleansing and unhealthy sugar and carbohydrate intake. All these things leading to chronic inflammation.
Finding solutions inside my body
After trying everything in the market I decided to test myself for PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). having a conflicting diagnose I have left again with uncertainty and was prescribed antibiotics again. Once again I refused to use antibiotics.
That was when I started getting acquainted with Korean skincare, Insulin sensitivity, and plant medicine. I might talk about these in-depth in a further post.
Another interesting self-discovery was to learn to listen to my body. Get in tune with my food sensitivities, vitamin deficiencies and anxiety, and stress triggers.
Food sensitivities are a big contributing factor for acne. Not only because each of us has sensitivities to food. One o the symptoms of having a food sensitivity is skin irritation. During my years of obsessing with Acne, I found out that some people react to different foods and it is a very personal discovery. If you suspect that you are suffering from acne triggered by a food sensitivity I recommend keeping a food diary and get yourself tested for food allergies.
We face a modern problem and it is that our food source is not clean.
Nowadays the food we consume is picked, sprayed with chemicals, slaughtered and filled with antibiotics, radiated, packaged in plastic or other poisonous materials. Filled with food preservatives and sent our way where we purchase it in the supermarkets.
Finding natural solutions as a complement to my skincare routine.
Herbs played an important role in the improvement of my skin. In part because they helped me to reduce the levels of inflammation. I have them to thank for starting to heal myself and with the help of them internally and externally I managed to get some acne relief!
You can also find my acne store as an instagram story where I documented my journey with acne. I hope it helps you and let me know in the comments below if you try my herbal recipe ok?