For three years while I was in college, I worked at a spa in Blowing Rock, NC called Westglow Resort and Spa. And it was there that I got a free facial for being the employee of the month. Little did I know that that facial would change so much for me.
I was 21 or 22 years old and still had acne. Like, bad acne. And I had had it since about 7th grade. It was so bad that I got put on an antibiotic from 9th grade to 12th grade. But it wasn't helping. So I decided to stop taking it in college.
I remember loading up on makeup every day to try and cover up the pimples that never went away. (My husband still tells me to this day "your face tasted so bad" whenever he would kiss my cheek while we were dating). But I knew that had to be making it worse, so after a no make-up November that my christian sorority did freshman year, I stopped wearing makeup except mascara.
I just thought I was doomed to have acne for the rest of my life. Up until this facial.
I told her my frustrations about how I was in college and still had acne. Like, I thought it would be gone after my teenage years. And she began to ask me how I washed my face.
I told her my mom had taught me to use a washcloth and scrub my face with Ivory soap. (Keep in mind, I had tried every single product offered... even Proactive). She told me "well, that's not great for your skin for multiple reasons." It seems silly now to me, but I didn't realize then that by scrubbing my face with a harsh wash cloth and soap while cleaning it took all of the natural oils out of my skin. And since I didn't use any toner or moisturizer- because I thought my skin was too "greasy"- my skin had excessive oil production that made me not want to use toner/moisturizer and make it worse. But that's exactly what my skin needed!! (ugh!)
Secondly, she asked me if I had any food sensitivities. I said, "not that I'm aware of". But she encouraged me to try cutting out dairy for 3 months.
[Now let me tell you something. I ate dairy all day long. I always had cereal with skim milk in the morning and would pop cheese cubes like candy. Cheese was my favorite snack! So when she tells me this, I'm thinking it is impossible! But at this point, I was willing to try anything- especially if it was for only 3 months].
So I am getting ready to leave this appointment (I was actually heading to the beach the next day or so) and she gives me samples of a certain type of cleanser, toner and moisturizer by the brand name Dr. Hauschka.
She says use these three every morning and night in that order and cut out dairy for 3 months and I bet you will see a difference in your skin.
Y'all. I could tell a difference after one week. First off, my skin didn't burn once I was done washing it because i was using a cleanser that was gentle on my skin. secondly, because i used the toner and moisturizer, my skin wasn't so dry to make my oil glands work so hard.
Fast forward 3 months. my skin is clear. like, no pimples.
I was sold.
But fast forward a few more years, i was ready to try something new. honestly, I wanted to try something that was cheaper. i even tried beauty counter's face wash line so that if I loved it, I could join their network marketing biz. but i really didn't like it.
I just keep coming back to Dr. hauschka.
Now, please note: I don't make any money from this company. i have just been a customer for 5 years now and am truly impressed with their quality and effectiveness. all of their products are certified natural and every ingredient has a purpose behind it. (their website goes into a lot more detail about this!) they even have an expert advice section where you can go to their website and tell them your skin type and they make recommendations on the products you need.
One confession: i do not buy their toner anymore. now that my skin is healthier, i have found that i can save money not buying their toner and just use witch hazel (which most toners include anyway!) and add in some frankincese essential oil.*
If you're like, i need this: you can use these links (link 2, link 3) to go straight to amazon*. but since all of our skin is different, it might be a good idea to go to their website and see what they recommend for you. make sure to tell them I sent you so i can get some referral points! ;)
And hey, if you're like, i'm all in. try going dairy-free for 3 months. and i mean no cheats. read your labels, it can sneak in there.
And if that doesn't work, try getting rid of grains. those are the top two inflammatory-causing foods that most of us are sensitive to.
finally, let me know in the comments if you've found a natural skincare line that has worked for you. who knows, it may be able to help someone else!
*not all essential oils are made the same. i only use Young living essential oils because they provide the highest quality essential oils on the planet. their seed-to-seal process is beyond compare. owning most all of their farms (and partnering with the rest) and with rigorous integrity/quality standards, i only trust my health and my money with young living. if you're interested in finding out more about essential oils, use the contact form and i'll make sure to email you.
**I am an amazon affiliate. basically, that means whenever i offer a link to a product and you use that link, I get a small kick-back whenever you make a purchase through that link. don't worry, It doesn’t cost you anything extra. but it does allow amazon to give back to people like me who are sharing their products on their websites. win, win!