Throughout my life I’ve gone through stages of pimples, (doesn’t everyone?) but never anything too severe. However, in the fall of September 2014, I noticed I was getting more pimples than usual.
For the next few months, it continued to get worse. I read many different articles online/heard of other people’s experienced, and I tried a number of things to help. I stopped wearing all make-up, I started washing my face with coffee scrub, at one point I tried cutting out bread/gluten because I read that certain people can get sensitivities to it that cause breakouts. I knew it wasn’t my diet because I was eating a plant based vegan diet comprised of all healthy foods. In high school I would breakout if I ate greasy/fatty foods, or even when I drank alcohol. So basically, I didn’t know what else to do, and I was so distraught.
In December 2014, it got really bad. I still didn’t know what was causing it and it continued to go on for a few more months. Finally, I made an appointment with a dermatologist, but that would take 3-4 months before I saw him. In the meantime, I visited a natural path, who helped me immensely.
We talked for a long time and basically she narrowed my acne down to one thing: stress. She analyzed my personality type, my life stressors, and basically told me how I’m the type of person who takes on other people’s stress and makes it my own. I’m also a very neat freak/perfectionist type person, where everything has to be perfect/in order/my way. I guess that could be quite damaging to me. So once we knew it was my stress, we had to figure out a way to cure the acne. She gave me these natural remedies, and while they helped a little bit, what I’m about to tell you next helped the most:
I went to Australia.
Here’s something you should know about me. 1) I’m a very structured person. I can’t be spontaneous about anything because I always have to plan every single detail. 2) I’ve wanted to go to Australia for a long time and even planned to go to school there and live there.
So in June 2015 when I woke up one morning thinking, “anything could happen. We don’t live forever. I need to go see Australia”, I booked a flight within days before I left. Spontaneous. Wow.
You can read my journal entries from Australia here, but what I’m basically trying to say to you is this: from the moment I booked that spontaneous flight, to the entire time away traveling, I experienced something that I couldn’t at home: I wasn’t thinking about my stress and worries. I forgot about all my problems and left them back home in Canada. I explored the country, traveled on different trains and planes, saw places I’d never even heard of. I went biking a lot, and when I didn’t know what to do, I started biking to different fields or parks to do yoga and to meditate. I’ve never done that before!!
And then I forgot about my acne. I stopped staring at it in the mirror every day and I didn’t even notice when started to disappear.
It wasn’t until the day before I left that I remembered my acne. I looked in the mirror, and to my surprise, there was barely anything there. I took a photo and made a collage to compare how it was before and my eyes started to water. I was so happy. For so long I had to look at it every day and feel the pain it brought to my face (pimples hurt), and it just wasn’t a fun experience, especially when I couldn’t solve it.
Australia didn’t cure my acne – I did. My lifestyle choices and mindset did. But traveling there, getting out of my comfort zone, and just doing things to relax and find myself truly helped me immensely.
And afterwards, I changed myself and brought all of that positive thinking back with me. I stopped being so uptight and worrying about every detail. I noticed myself starting to relax a bit and not caring if my room was a bit messy. (That is a big deal for me). I tried to keep up with stretching my body every morning and taking time to meditate and relax with my own thoughts per day.
So if you are experiencing a similar problem, I truly hope this can help you. I am by no way promoting that aesthetics and looks are everything – in fact, I think looks are very irrelevant. You should feel confident in your own skin and acne does not define you. However, acne is not random. It happens for a reason, and it is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right.
Acne can be caused my many different things from stress, hormones, foods, not enough sleep, dehydration, bad living environment, etc. Narrow down all the things in your life and try to determine what could be causing your acne? Hey, it could be food; too much fat, not enough fat, who knows!? Nina and Randa had acne and once they cut out soy and fat, their acne disappeared. Maybe you have a gluten insensitivity. Maybe you’re stressed. Maybe you’re a teenager and going through hormones. WHO KNOWS!! But you can figure it out 🙂