Hey friends 🙂

I’ve been on quite the blogging streak lately, but this week I’m taking a break to let someone else take the mic!

The following is an interview with the lovely Elise of the website The Healthy Yuppie.

This is part of 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!

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?

I have had mild acne for my entire adult life. I could ignore random pimples, but when I had a particularly bad breakout, I would feel terrible.

What kinds of things did you try prior to holistic healing that didn’t work?

When I was in middle school, I used to try to cover up pimples with makeup. However, the makeup usually led to more pimples, so stopped covering them up.

My skin seems to improve when I get sun exposure. When I was in high school, I lifeguarded in the summer, and my skin was basically clear during that season. In college, I went tanning to dry out my skin. However, as I got older and saw the aging effects of tanning, I stopped going regularly for acne prevention.

Once I started working, I went to a top dermatologist in NYC, who prescribed me Ziana and Epiduo.

These acne medications cleared up most of the acne, but they dried the crap out of my skin and made it super sensitive.

After my experience with those, I once got my eyebrows and upper lip waxed, and my skin came off in addition to the hair. I still have scars.

After the waxing debacle, I stopped using Ziana and Epiduo.

How did you discover that acne could be treated holistically?

First, I want to thank you, Tracy, for your amazing blog. Your posts about hormone testing and seeing a naturopathic doctor motivated me to do the same.

Prior to finding your blog, I had tried an assortment of holistic remedies, including oil cleansing, natural vitamin c cleansers, and pineapple enzyme cleansers, but nothing helped.

What were the specific things that made the biggest difference to your skin? What worked for you?

I believe my acne was likely caused by a combination of stress, poor dietary choices (excess added sugar), dehydration, and harsh topical treatments. These are all areas to consider and address if you’re struggling with hormonal acne.

I now cleanse with manuka honey and use it as a mask.

I am also working with a naturopathic doctor, who is helping me to address my hormone imbalances holistically.

After determining through saliva testing that I had elevated DHEA, my naturopath guided me through a 3-month candida protocol, in case yeast was causing the imbalance.

During the candida protocol, I progressively replaced my former sugary food staples (protein bars, chai lattes, cold-pressed juices, etc.) with whole fruits, and then replaced the sweeter fruits (papaya, mangoes, etc.) with low-sugar fruits and plant-based fats (nut butter + cucumber/berries).

My skin has improved dramatically due to my decreased sugar consumption combined with the candida protocol supplements.

Now that my candida protocol is complete, my naturopath is helping me with additional diet modifications and stress maintenance.

In addition to the dietary changes and holistic supplements, I also started toning with lemon juice. The manuka honey cleanser combined with the lemon juice toner seems to be helping more than the honey alone.

Lastly, I started going to yoga more frequently and swapped out my bikram classes for hatha flow classes, which seem to be less mentally and physically stressful.

Were there any obstacles? Things you found difficult about the whole process?

I’m a recovering sugarholic. Going from 75-100+ grams of sugar per day (not uncommon in the US) to 25 grams or less has been mentally and physically challenging.

How did you feel once your skin cleared up?

Here is a bit of a before and after, although my skin in the first picture is far from its worst state

I feel much more confident now that my skin is 70% better. I still have some non-cystic acne around my jawline, but the improvement is remarkable.

I think that years of excess sugar consumption, yo yo dieting, going on and off hormonal birth control pills, and stress culminated in my horrible cystic jawline acne.

Since last June, I have been healing from within and plan to continue my holistic healing until the acne and scars are a entirely in the rear-view mirror!

Bio: I’m the healthy yuppie The Healthy Yuppie. I am a real estate banker from 9 to 5 and a health blogger the rest of the time.

Years of yo yo dieting, stress-fueled sugary food binges, and over-exercising took their toll on my hormones, causing cystic acne and mood swings! But I am now happily on the road to recovery 🙂