The following is an interview with reader Leah about her journey to clearing her skin holistically.
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What was your experience with acne? How many years did you have it and how did it make you feel?
My acne started in high school and continued through my early 30s.
Acne made me feel alone and ugly. I envied everyone who seemed to have perfect skin.
I wanted to hide my face during my breakouts and was willing to try anything and everything to rid myself of acne.
What kinds of things did you try prior to holistic healing that didn’t work?
As soon as I started to get acne in high school, I begged my parents to let me go to the dermatologist.
They struggled with acne in their teen years, so they were sensitive to my feelings about it.
The dermatologist put me on antibiotics and prescription creams that dried my face out horribly.
I remember looking in the mirror at school and my caked on makeup couldn’t cover my flaky, dry skin on top of the acne, too!
When I turned 18 I started birth control because I heard that it could help to control acne.
Birth control got my acne under control, so I stopped the antibiotics and creams.
However, eventually I started to get zits here and there and then more frequently, so I started using Proactiv.
After about 10 years of using Proactiv the acne started coming back.
It was then that I decided to fight the fight more naturally.
At first, I just tried more gentle cleansers, but they still contained chemicals. I started to do some research and came across The Love Vitamin.
How did you discover that acne could be treated holistically?
When I found Tracy’s blog I committed to curing my acne completely naturally.
Now, this was not smooth sailing.
There were many occasions when I just wanted to go back to chemicals, but I didn’t!
I stuck through the tough spots of my skin recovering and purging from all of the disgusting chemicals I had slathered it with.
There was also much trial and error as I found exactly what works for me.
What were the specific things that made the biggest difference to your skin? What worked for you?
I’d say the biggest thing for me was the moisturizer recipe Tracy posted on the blog a while ago.
Switching from jojoba to argan oil was completely the key.
My skin needed just a little more moisture and now I’m very happy with where my skin is.
I also do not wash my face with anything other than water, which I splash on during my shower in the evening and I follow that with the moisturizer.
In addition to the moisturizer, I try to maintain a healthy diet low in sugar.
I can definitely tell when I’ve had too much sugar- I will get a zit or two right above my upper lip, and that’s enough motivation to make me lay off the sweets!
Were there any obstacles? Things you found difficult about the whole process?
Picking has always been a struggle for me, but I’ve learned that 9 times out of 10 it will only make the zit worse. Now, I just dab a bit of frankincense oil on it and try to forget it.
Diet can also be an obstacle, but I just have to remind myself that the junk food is not worth the break out!
Lastly, patience was a struggle.
It has taken me about 3 years to get to the point I’m at now, and I’m definitely not known for my patience.
There were so many times I wanted to give up, but I didn’t and I’m so happy that I stuck with it!
How did you feel once your skin cleared up?
I feel free! Normally I don’t wear any makeup- just some mascara.
If I’m going to a formal event, I’ll through on some foundation, but that’s more for some lingering scars rather than any active acne.
Most days I’m clean-faced!
Leah is an elementary school teacher going into her 12th year. She’s an avid antiquer and proponent of using natural ingredients to clear acne!