My Skincare Journey
Growing up, skincare and having clear skin wasn't something that I necessarily needed to think about; I was fortunate enough to have really clear skin throughout all of my adolescence as well as teenage life. Throughout high school, I also wasn't one to ever wear hardly any makeup with the exception of a little mascara; the same went for my earlier years at University.
In my early twenties, I started taking the pill daily--which at the time seemed like the "natural" progression of what + how things were supposed to go as a young adult; and at the time, I wasn't necessarily overly concerned (or even educated for that matter) about some of the hormonal imbalances that being on the pill can cause, etc. Fast forward five years when I wanted to come off of the pill in the hopes of adopting a bit more of a natural approach to my lifestyle, along with some dietary changes that I had begun to implement. Within probably two months of halting the consumption of the pill on a daily basis, I begun to see small little bumps popping up over the surface of my skin, mainly around the chin area for starters. The little bumps then started spreading upwards over my cheeks and eventually inwards towards my nose and mouth. Over time, it changed into a mix of those irritating little bumps and the apparition of larger acne spots that were big, red, and super painful. I'll spare you the bulk of the details, but things gradually got worse as more and more acne begun to appear (and stick around!) over the entire lower half of my face; my forehead was the one area that was almost barely affected by the new hormonal imbalances. One of the worst parts for me--aside from this whole new insecurity that I had never before struggled with--was that the marks would linger (and still do) long after the main acne spots were gone, leaving little acne "scars" or dark spots where the painful acne used to reside.
I don't want to use the term breakout because my acne was more so something that was constant with the exception of it getting even worse in a cyclical pattern, but there were even little breakouts that flared up on top of the ever-present new reality. My initial reaction (and sometimes still what I resort to now) was makeup, but during those beginning stages as well as throughout probably the first 6-8 months, makeup only made the acne all the more noticeable, as well as more than likely irritated the skin that much more.
Without sharing a complete rendition of my life-with-acne-over-the-last-18-months haha I'll just share with you a few of the remedies that I have tried, all without yielding too many (if any) results. I know that there are chemical + medicated alternatives for skin care, but I wanted to start with a more "natural approach" before turning to those. Also, by the time that I had begun to consider medical treatments for acne, I was already in the early stages of pregnancy, so starting a harsh medical treatment was--and is since--out of the question for the immediate future.
I started by making dietary changes to my diet (things like eliminating soy, not having gluten (which I was already doing), cutting out sugar, eating more root vegetables, flaxseed, probiotics) but little to no changes were happening after 2-4 months of doing so. I also tried out a few various skincare products (again with a more "natural" approach), changing from my classic Clean n' Clear facewash + Aveeno lotion to:
- a combination of lush products
- a rose line from Neal's Yard Remedies
- natural face oils from a local company
- a pregnancy-safe medicated lotion intended for pregnant women (since pregnancy acne is something that happens)
And it's not to say that these options don't/won't work for others, it's just that they didn't work for me at the point in time that they were tried and tested with my skin. There are also obviously countless factors that play into what our skin is doing, and that could range all over the spectrum from something as simple as dehydration all the way to the obvious fact that there is a baby in my belly with the addition of incredible amounts of hormones that aren't always present within my body.
The point of this massive blog post (sorry for all the writing, I didn't foresee this story/post being so large haha), was that I finally wanted to visually document a skin care line/process that I've been so eagerly anticipating seeing as it's not something that I've documented chronologically yet up until this point. Pranic Forest was brought to my attention probably around the same time as my acne problems started, but it was never in the forefront of my mind until I actually met Amanda months and months later, who is the wonderfully quirky and seriously knowledgable glowing-soul behind the brand. If you know Amanda, then I'm sure you're as fascinated as I am by her and her vast expanse of plant + herbal knowledge, as well as her sheer passion for using what the Earth has given us in all areas of life + wellbeing. Magical really is the only way to describe her.
This past weekend, I finally picked up a portion of her skincare products that I've been eyeing up now for months. I'm going to list the three things here for you down below, but I encourage you to read more about them right on her website so that I don't make this blog post even BIGGER than it already is:
I also plan on picking up her Veda Oil in the hopefully near future as a facial cleanser to use prior to the toner + moisturizer steps that I've listed above.
The makeup free photos of my above were taken the day that I started using my new products, and I'm eager to visually document and monitor the changes that my skin will go through over the next little while. Granted; I am still pregnant haha so there are some hormonal situations still at play here, but nevertheless, this is the first time that I truly felt like I was wanted to keep track of the progress that I'm making with my skin care. Also, in order to give this a true shot, I'm committing to starting with a FULL makeup-free two weeks (and then hopefully longer!), which is a pretty big + hard thing for me to do; but, it's something that I feel is really necessary not only for my self confidence, but also for the commitment that I want to make to these products.
Okay seriously, if you're still here (haaay!) you're the bomb.com. What was supposed to be a "start of my journey with new products" brief blog post has turned into an entire novel, BUT I guess it's all part of the explanation process. Nevertheless, thank you for reading + potentially even relating to what I've been going through. This is just another one of those times for me where I want you to know that you are not alone in your skincare struggle if that is something that you've found yourself facing on one or more occasions throughout your life. I also know that acne is something that can be so much worse (or so much better) for each and every one of us, but I believe that our journeys are unique to ourselves, and although what we're going through might not look worse or better on the surface than what someone else is facing, it's still a big deal for us if it's not something that we're used to dealing with.