The following is an interview with reader Lilla!
This is one in a series of short interviews with peeps who have cleared their skin naturally & holistically to find out what worked for them and what didn’t.
These are posted every other week, and if you have cleared your skin naturally and want to fill out your own interview to be featured on The Love Vitamin, then just click here!
What was your experience with acne? How many years did you have it and how did it make you feel?
It started when I was around 11 or 12, which was normal for puberty I guess, but when I turned 16 my face was completely covered in zits and my skin was super oily.
It was more than just teenage acne, but it was still a few more years until I finally learned that I have PCOS.
I struggled a lot, from the time I was 15 till 19, those were absolutely the worst years. I had extremely low self-esteem and I just wanted to hide. For a while I couldn’t go out without makeup, even though I knew it wasn’t good for me.
It was like a vicious cycle.
What kinds of things did you try prior to holistic healing that didn’t work?
I was willing to try ANYTHING, whatever it took to get rid of my acne… and that’s how I ended up taking Roaccutane and birth control pills (Diane), on and off, sometimes together and sometimes separate, for about 6 years.
And of course, I was also washing my face with super harsh chemicals. I was addicted to my facial wash and would panic if I ran out of it or had to leave it behind while traveling.
How did you discover that acne could be treated holistically?
First I decided to quite Diane. I had been feeling chest pain for a couple of weeks and that really scared me. Also, I was really depressed at the time.
After I quite the pills I almost immediately felt better mentally.
I think I discovered natural alternatives through this website (thank you Tracy!). In the autumn of 2013 I finally dumped my expensive, super-drying face wash and started using jojoba oil.
It wasn’t easy during the first month, but I was so fed up with everything that I just developed this “whatever” attitude- which was probably good for my skin in the end!
What were the specific things that made the biggest difference to your skin? What worked for you?
I eliminated milk, cheese, anything with white flour, and sugar from my diet. Those are still the main things I avoid. Generally, I just eat more fruits and vegetables and cook everything fresh if I can.
Exercise has been great help as well.
I should also mention that, since I have PCOS, I started looking for supplements that could help with that. I’ve tried saw palmetto, inositol, vitex and DIM.
The ones that have really worked for me are inositol and DIM. I also take magnesium, zinc and MSM, with a bit less consistency, but I think they do help.
Were there any obstacles? Things you found difficult about the whole process?
Letting go was the most challenging part I would say. When you realize that taking birth control pills and/or Roaccutane are just temporary solutions, it’s hard to accept that at some point you will have to go without.
For me, since I travel a lot, something that I still struggle with is keeping healthy habits and a healthy diet; it’s not always possible to eat my own fresh, healthy, home made meals.
How did you feel once your skin cleared up?
After 8 months of taking the holistic path my skin improved quite a lot, and now it’s been 2 years and I feel so free and confident.
I don’t have perfect skin – once in a while my pores get a bit too clogged or I get a small pimple on my chin or forehead, but that’s nothing compared to how it was 8 years ago.
Having to go through this journey has made me stronger, more empathetic, and now I know my body very well.
Bio: Lilla has been living abroad for about 5 years, recently moving to Germany, where she studies a masters in conservation biology. She’s an introvert who loves nature, music, swimming & painting 🙂