Melissa Armstrong
Melissa Armstrong of Cleanse In Truth

The following is a reader story by Melissa Armstrong, the wonderful woman who brought us the recent posts on clogged pores & enzyme exfoliation.

This is her full story of healing her own cystic acne and bringing her life to a place she loves, not only through natural skin care, but also a major key: deep emotional healing.

Her story is dramatic and uplifting, so please have a read!


The average client of mine and casual acquaintance may merely see me as a successful esthetician, product formulator, and skincare clinic owner, performing my dream job that I love.

Add to that an awesome husband and two beautiful kids – and I seem to have it all.

This is all accurate. I count my blessings every day.

But my average client and casual acquaintance does not know what it took to get me here. Here to the place where I love myself, I love my life, and I am finally free of the cystic acne that plagued me for so long.

It wasn’t long ago that I was lost in life and severely depressed, unable to acknowledge that I had issues that needed healing.

I was so heavy hearted and walking in the dark, that I couldn’t notice the light shining directly in front of me.

If you are experiencing any emotional pain while suffering from cystic, inflamed acne, let my story be a beacon of light for you to find your own path of healing.

My Acne Story From the Beginning

I was a typical teenage acne patient. Without the diagnosis, thankfully. Who knows how much more damage my skin would have endured had I been taken to the dermatologist in my teenage years.

However, I did purchase every skincare kit that I could buy. With absolutely no guidance, nothing seemed to help my acne as promised so I kept buying and applying.

Surely something would help clear it up, I thought.

By my late teens I was diagnosed with severe depression and shunted through endless therapy sessions, cycling through medication after medication.

Pair that with cystic, inflamed acne mostly to my cheeks and severe stomach inflammation and I was a mess.

I hated myself but I didn’t know it.

All I knew was that I was severely depressed, but I had no idea the effect all of these medications had on my body, all of my stomach issues, and my skin.

I was too far depressed and immature to realize that this was an emotional and bodily issue … I didn’t realize a mind body connection existed, and perhaps was always present.

Getting Diagnosed with Rosacea; Piling on The Dermatologist’s Creams

While I was in college studying psychology my acne became so aggressive I didn’t want to leave the house or attend classes or work.

I quit school and my current job and I enrolled in skincare school for the makeup courses. I thought I could at least learn how to cover it properly if I was going to be stuck with it.

My self esteem was at an all time low… I could barely hold my head up during the interview for it.

At the age of 22, I was also diagnosed with mild rosacea by the dermatologists I began working for immediately after obtaining my esthetics licensure.

It was considered a job perk to receive so many expensive high end prescription creams and oral antibiotics for free, so I piled these on.

Plus, my skin was already so damaged and inflamed that I had to wear thick makeup to cover scars in order to feel professional enough to counsel and treat other patients on their skincare needs.

Not surprisingly, my skin had taken a turn for the worst.

My skin hated these creams, but I was told it was normal to have peeling, flaking, more redness and even increased cystic acne.

haaay... just trust me
haaay… just trust me

I was told these vitamin a, benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotic creams were healing my skin! These were still the days where I believed everything I was told by any skincare professional, doctor, dermatologist, etc.

So I kept piling the creams and the makeup on, but little did I know these things were damaging my skin with every application.

I later went on to become a medical assistant that performed deep chemical peels and laser resurfacing while perfecting ideal product and treatment sales pitches.

I also began lecturing to large crowds on behalf of the doctors on skin cancer prevention and general dermatology practices.

While researching for and preparing for these lectures, something inside changed and I began to question what I had been taught.

The medical grade concepts and high end ingredients shoved at me for high price selling purposes were no longer making sense.

I had several red flag moments. I just had a hunch something was amiss.

The more I researched, the more I learned the truth about the skincare industry. I couldn’t go on in the position I was in, teaching what I now consider to be lies.

So one day, with the birth of my baby girl, I immediately left the medical industry never to return. I decided to go renegade and start my own practice and start teaching the truth about skincare! No more industry fallacies!

I followed my instincts with my new business, and it lead me to become trained in custom blended skincare, natural skincare ingredients, organic product formulation, herbalism, aromatherapy, Ayurveda, oncology esthetics, lymphatic drainage and healing energy therapy.

How Energy Healing Was A Major Key to Healing My Cystic Acne

reiki acne

Healing my cystic acne & rosacea was not only the result of a healthier external regimen. It was also in largest part to healing the emotions of my past.

Meditation had been a part of my life since I was nine, when I was introduced to it in therapy as a child. It was always there for me when I sought it, on and off, of course.

In my adult life, I started exploring Reiki. I had several healing sessions from it over a three year period.

It was during these Reiki sessions that I learned that despite all of the therapy I had undergone, my healing journey was just beginning.

I began to realize that I needed to heal all of the trapped negative energy inside me so that my body can learn balance for the first time in my life.

It was during these Reiki sessions that my cystic acne began to fade away.

I had to look very deep inside and this was not easy. It is especially not easy for those of us who come from any type of traumatic event or upbringing.

The trauma for me was three-fold.

As early as the age of four, I underwent sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse. I witnessed for the duration of my childhood more acts of abuse and violence than I care to recall.

My earliest memory I held onto was when I was four and it is one of my saddest memories, and since this age I began harboring negativity, shame, guilt and self-hatred.

As a little girl up through until my late teens, I was always afraid of what the day ahead would present me with.

I just didn’t know what to expect when I arrived home. I constantly lived in fear.

I recently decided that all these things encompass one word:  negativity.

It was all I have ever known and it found a home in my body, my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, my actions.

It took me over 30 years to realize that these feelings that had become me were not part of my true self.

They were not part of my plan or what the Universe had intended for me.

And the breakouts were a way of my body trying to show me that something wasn’t right inside of myself.

As I began to walk the path of freeing myself of negativity, my cystic acne began to disappear, followed immediately by my acne scars.

These scars were more than damaged skin structure.

They harnessed a lifetime of shame, guilt, regret, depression, self-loathing… fear.

As I learned to be in control of my new life and began to love my self and my body for the sacred, pure creation that it is, the past began to fade away.

It was the most challenging and rewarding path I have ever walked.

Now, I am free and able to guide others through their emotional healing. I have stopped the generational abuse and negativity cycle in my own family and in my life and now I have become a healer myself.

It is beyond my wildest dreams that someone ‘like me’ could guide others to healing their own trapped negativity and emotions but my healing skincare clinic has become so much more than healing the skin.

It is life healing.

And what a blessing that I now get to guide people to find their own healing story!

You Can Heal Too and Move Forward

Healing in NatureYou may be thinking ‘well I don’t have any trauma even close to what you’re describing’.

But it doesn’t matter because negativity comes in so many forms.

And the emotions become physical when they are appearing on our skin for the world to see our emotionally-trapped pain and negative self-emotions.

We all have our story.  What is your body holding onto for so long?  Are you ready to let it all go?

Thinking back and smiling on my life, everything was a stepping stone to bring me to where I am today.  I am so excited for this positive future to keep unveiling itself to me through new people that I meet and opportunities that come my way.

Currently, my skin is the healthiest it has ever been…  even with the stress of a business, a second child, and a severe lack of sleep. And my spirit is the happiest and lightest it has ever been.

By releasing all of the trapped negativity my body was able to relearn how to operate functionally and healthily. It now can quickly clear itself of any imbalances.

While it is an ongoing personal process, you have to be ready and open for the changes that energy healing will bring into your life.

I began healing but still tried to hold onto the past.

That didn’t work, and it didn’t until I closed those doors and continued to move forward.

I now continue to move forward into a life that is full of: promise, peace, contentment, joy, love, and healing as I help guide others who need to walk a similar path as mine.


Melissa Armstrong

Melissa Armstrong is an organic skin care educator from Schaumburg, Illinois.

She offers community skin care classes, custom made skin care blends, and in-person and online consultations through her website. She is happy to work with people from all over the world who would like her help.

She is also an official mentor in our Naturally Clear Skin Academy program.