This is probably the hardest thing for me to share, but I am sharing this post with you today because I wish I had advice like this to help me through my struggle with how to cure acne. Finding real, honest resources such as youtube bloggers or friends (vs. skincare companies) was always the best advice. I learned how to take this advice from others and turn it into my own “self-healing” program!
How I Cured My Cystic Acne and Rosacea
First of all, I want to say that I understand. I understand how you’re feeling; having acne is really tough! It’s so easy to feel down and feel “embarrassed” and “ugly”. When I had cystic acne, my face was hurting all the time and my skin was completely damaged. But after some time, I turned it all around. Here’s how I did it:
When I first moved out on my own and started a new internship, I began to see increases in my stress levels. I noticed a rash on my face which I later was told was rosacea. Basically, this consisted of an itchy, red spotty rash on my eyelids, chin and forehead area which was stress-induced. I ignored this and hoped it would go away.
I soon also broke out into cystic acne. This is where I really had no idea what was going on. I picked at the zits, scarred my face and encouraged more breakouts. I went to several doctors, who all prescribed me weird rash creams that just seemed to make things worse. At this time, I was on the birth control pill, used drugstore makeup, ate foods I knew I was allergic and sensitive too (like wheat and cheese) and didn’t exercise very regularly. I was also constantly stressed and lonely. I was angry and confused because I had never had any real problems with my skin in the past.
SO, I decided to take action!
Here are the following things I changed in my lifestyle that have helped cure my cystic acne and rosacea:
Update: read my updated and in-depth post here.
Update: get The Acne Protocol guide here.
Organic, plant-based all-natural makeup.
Trust me on this one. Most makeup plugs up your pores, so choosing non-toxic and acne-friendly makeup is always a good option. Here are some of my all favourite all-natural makeup products if you’re having trouble finding some!
Try and avoid wearing makeup whenever you can (lounging around the house, at the gym, hanging out with friends). You really want to focus on letting your skin breathe and heal.
This is so, so important. Your body can deal with the acne/virus on its own, and picking and popping your zits will only cause scarring, cuts, and infection. Some cystic acne actually spreads beneath the skin, so once you pick at one, it can spread to all different parts of your face. If you’re struggling with scarring, I would suggest rubbing a little jojoba oil on the scars every so often.
I used to think sweat was my skin’s worst nightmare, but I’ve actually found it is the complete opposite! Getting a good sweat on really helps your skin rid of any built-up toxins. I always make sure to wash my face with a gentle cleanser and exfoliant right after my workout to avoid any bacteria build-up or clogged pores. Taking a steam shower also does wonders as it helps open up your pores, but be careful not to burn your skin with the hot water. Also, do yourself a favour and remove all makeup before hitting the gym (do you really want your skin to absorb all that makeup!?)
Plant-based, whole-foods nutrient-dense diet.
I definitely notice a huge difference in my skin depending on the foods I eat. Certain foods at different times can trigger breakouts or rashes. I took myself through a nutrient-dense healing plant-based diet and noticed such a huge difference. This consisted of 3 months of lots of fresh smoothies, salads and soups. Consuming dairy products was a huge trigger for me, as well as wheat products, so I definitely recommend avoiding those and see how your skin/body reacts in return (don’t mistake this for purging or detoxing, where your skin can break out within the first few weeks of using a new product/following a new diet). Also incorporating lots of skin-friendly foods can help loads (leafy greens esp. dandelion greens, wheatgrass, turmeric, beets, asparagus, avocados, mangoes, papayas, cabbage, grapefruit, berries, lemons). Check out The Acne Protocol for more information on this.
Using all natural cleansers and light exfoliants.
I love using all natural cleansers that are locally made. You can find the products I use also here. I found that charcoal-based products did wonders for my skin (this is because charcoal has detoxing properties and can actually pull toxins from your skin). I do a face mask twice a week and a pure raw honey mask three times a week for 30 minutes each.
Maintaining a positive, stress-free environment.
I think this ties into the whole topic of self-love, which really is the center for everything! In this post, I talk about my 5 Healthy Habits which help me live a happy and stress-reduced lifestyle. Surrounding yourself with positive people, lots of love and a happy work environment can actually drastically change your skin’s appearance for the better.
Sea salt and sunshine.
I am really blessed to live by the ocean, which has really helped my skin recover from living in a polluted city (Berlin, Germany) for a year. In the warmer months, I try to dip into the ocean at least 3 times a week and used a gentle all-natural SPF moisturizer or a bit of coconut oil on my skin whenever I was in the sun for long periods of time. Salt water is naturally anti-bacterial, so go makeup-free in the ocean as much as you can!
Water (are you surprised?).
We all know this one, so why do we ignore it!? Drinking 2L of water a day has helped keep my skin hydrated and nourished. Water helps eliminate toxins from the body, so it’s sort of a no-brainer. Find a good-sized water bottle, like this one here and drag it with you everywhere you go, you will see (and feel) such a difference! Try adding fresh herbs like basil and rosemary and fresh lime or lemon wedges.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but noticing a difference in your skin can take anywhere from a few days to a year! For me, it took a total of 4 months to see a drastic change. Be patient, persistent and positive! Staying positive will truly affect everything else around you (including your diet, wellbeing, and skin!).
Here is a photograph showing my transition from unhealthy skin to glowing, happy skin! The photographs on the left were not taken at the worst point, but they show clearly how damaged and upset my skin was at the time. In the middle photograph, I was dealing with lots of rashes and breakouts, heavily depending on the foods I ate. The photographs on the right was about 2 months after following all my tips above!
Disclaimer: Please note that this post was written prior to my R.H.N. designation. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I do not heal, treat or cure symptoms or illness.