Reposted from one of our client’s blog posts. In it, she talks about why great skincare takes a “full-stack” approach, and what results can come from doing so.
We’re not trying to flex or anything 😁 but she gets monthly facials with us, and uses skinfood 1.0.
Taylor’s words below here:
I’ve been going back and forth on whether this topic is actually interesting or I’m just trying to hold myself accountable. It’s actually been sitting in my drafts for months. And to be honest, it’s mainly because I’m embarrassed of my before pictures. A lot of the time I feel like breakouts or hormonal acne is brushed under the rug and we’re just told it’ll go away in time. For the person suffering, it’s hard to build up your confidence when you’re constantly worrying if your makeup isn’t covering up your blemish anymore or if people are looking into your skin instead of your eyes. So for that reason, I want to share my journey.
I was 11 when I started suffering from my hormonal acne. I read countless articles saying “this is a normal part of puberty, it’ll pass”, but this message never sat right with me. I felt there was something wrong, something deeper than puberty. Fast forward 14 years, I think I should have trusted my gut. I have tried every drugstore product, tried a variety of expensive skincare from high end stores, went to a dermatologist and played around with antibiotics, hormone pills and prescribed topical treatments (All of which either made my skin crack/peel or destroyed my stomach).
After seeing my dermatologist, I was diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance causing my acne. My body cannot evenly distribute estrogen or testosterone, therefore the oil in my sebaceous glands overproduces faster than my dead skin cells. Ultimately, it’s a breeding ground for white heads, blackheads and every other kind of pimple out there. Nasty, I know.
Basically after trying everything under the sun, my Dermatologist said the only route to go would be to use Accutane. Although I was desperate to do absolutely anything to stop my breakouts, my gut was trying to speak to me again and this time I was going to listen. Although I know the medication helped a lot of people I knew out with their acne, I had my concerns on the side affects. Between the arguments on chances of fertility after the drug, the over-dryness of your skin all over your body and the sensitivity to the sun I just felt that this wasn’t the medication for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-medications but I do stay cautious when it comes to highly concentrated products that go into my body. I would only do it if I felt it were absolutely necessary and to be honest, I didn’t feel like this was it.
So I started taking matters into my own hands. When I got engaged last year, I started researching as much as I could about skin care. I was on a mission to work hard on my skin in hopes of having what I wanted for my wedding day in two years. I went back out and researched key ingredients for certain skin types and started experimenting. There was a lot of trial and error. My skin was getting incredibly sensitive and started breaking out even more. I was starting to lose a lot of confidence and hope. Although I had the support from my family, Jamie and my best friends, I was ready to give up and just accept the fact I won’t have the clear skin I want for my wedding. My mom knew I was reaching that point and suggested I look around for a facial salon and see if that helps.
Although I’ve tried everything else, I’ve never tried a facial or skin treatment at a salon. I started to research a bunch of different places by my home to see what was best for me. That’s when I stumbled upon Nefaire.
I click on the website and read all about their mission as a business. They talk about how the founders themselves were acne suffers and were practically in the same boat as me trying multiple prescriptions and spending money on countless “miracle” skin care products. They started Nefaire to help acne, wrinkle and discoloration sufferers with more than just a facial. They help create overall regimens for people including their diet and lifestyle habits.
Their message intrigued me and I called to book my first appointment. As I got there about a week later and sat with my esthetician, I learned way more about my skin than I ever had before. She helped me redesign my entire routine between the foods I eat, my workout routine, my overall skincare routine, supplements and hygiene routine. Some of which are as follows:
Low glycemic foods and no dairy: I had been on a paleo-based diet for about two years but definitely indulged in a cheat day every now and then. Paleo did wonders for me and my weight loss journey and helped me maintain my weight since the end of college. Although my esthetician liked that I cut dairy from my diet (minus the occasional day… queso has my heart), she recommends that I completely cut it from my diet and that I add low glycemic foods, such as sprouted grains, legumes and oats, back in. Although I’ve always heard dairy isn’t the best to have, I was never really explained why. According to her, when you drink dairy from a cow, it’s either from a cow that just gave birth or a cow that was given hormones to constantly give milk. Either way, the milk itself is FILLED with estrogen perfect for a baby cow… not a human. So when a person already with a hormonal imbalance tries to put more than enough estrogen in their body… your sebum produces even more creating an oilier surface and trapping more dead skin cells on your face. Basically meaning milk = estrogen + hormonal imbalance = ACNE ON ACNE.
Drink more than enough water. This honestly may be the most important step. I consume 64oz of water everyday and try to consume even more if I’m able to. This helps keep my body hydrated and functioning to the best it can for repairing my skin or fighting off the bacteria on it. Drink your damn water!
Gut health is a bigger factor than you think: I never really thought I had a bad stomach. I got occasional bellyaches from medications or certain foods, but I never thought it meant anything. Sometimes if you can’t digest properly, certain pieces of waste can stick inside your intestines and absorb into you body.. meaning you can have literal. shit. coming. out. of. your. face. Again. NASTY. She said the key to a healthy gut is following a diet that best suits your body and giving your body the aid it needs to digest. Probiotics can help the good bacteria in your stomach and aid in digestion, ultimately helping your entire body, including your skin. My esthetician recommended any probiotic that’s refrigerated, because the bacteria can die off if it’s exposed to extreme weather during travel from the truck to the store. Products like refrigerated probiotic pills, kombucha, probiotic shots or probiotic yogurt (they make dairy free!) are all helpful in aiding digestion.
Hit the Gym! Not only is this good for your overall health, but exercising helps stimulate the blood flow in your body which ultimately helps your skin. It can also help sweat out any toxins within the body that create acne. Just be sure to drink up so you don’t lose any hydration!
When you don’t eat the vitamins and minerals, get the supplements! I believe that our bodies don’t need supplements if we have a balanced diet. However, it’s impossible to eat every single vitamin and mineral out there every single day. So I started taking regular daily women’s vitamins to give me a strong base every morning as well as a skin-focused gummy that includes Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium and botanicals like Spearmint, Aronia Berry and Dandelion Root for detoxification.
Clean your sheets often. Honestly, I did not follow this one. I kinda just cleaned my sheets whenever I felt they needed to be, I never had a routine. So when my esthetician asked, I was a little embarrassed. She told me I need to clean my sheets literally every week on the dot, and change my pillow cases every 3 days. I had NO idea how much bacteria can grow on sheets and I encourage you to take my word for it and not google it like I did, because it’s NOT a fun thing to read. I now have a routine where I clean my sheets on the dot every single week, and I switch every 3 days (and do the big cleaning when i do my sheets!). ALSO– I refuse to even touch my bed until I shower from being out, at work or at the gym. My bed is only to be used if I am clean, and yes I am that OCD about it.
Be conscious of what products you use, outside of skincare! Speaking of laundry, be conscious of what you use. I am a tide girl. Always have been, always will be. I am not impressed with any other detergent, and I tried when I was in college to experiment. I will always pick the products without dyes, fragrances or skin agitating chemicals. I basically always go for the hypoallergenic products, even though I’m not officially allergic to anything. Tide Free & Gentle Detergent, Downy Free & Gentle Softener and Clorox 2 Free and Clear are my three favorites for my clothes and sheets. I also always use gentle antibacterial handsoap (remember, your hands touch your face too!), I use Briogeo hair products that are free of silicones, phtalates, parabens, harsh sulfates, dyes or DEAs, Aveeno hypoallergenic body wash, a Coola mineral sunscreen for my face and body, and I use makeup only for special occasions! I am always looking out for new products that are in my end of the market, but at the end of the day these are the products I end up repurchasing a million times. They work wonders!
Being on top of my routine every single day. Since starting the change, I refuse to go a day without washing my face. Even if I am sick, too tired or whatever the excuse is I always push myself to do my morning and night routine. I also immediately shower or wash my face after the gym, which is something my esthetician recommend too. Sometimes I would come home from the gym and make dinner or breakfast, watch YouTube videos, dillydally… not anymore. The second I get home I hop in the shower and clean my face. I make myself stay on top of it, and now I actually look forward to that part of my day!
Stay on top of my monthly facials. Lastly, I go into my salon once a month to have deep extractions and treatments done on my face. My esthetician customizes each session to whatever issues I have that month and adds in products to help protect my skin until my next session.
This all seems like a lot of work, mainly because it is. I work really hard at maintaining my skin and following all these steps. And it’s definitely not cured, but for the last 4 months my skin has been the best it’s ever been. Breakouts still happen and I can still feel insecure, but they aren’t nearly as bad as they were before this journey. It’s a slow process but I am finding it to be worth every penny and time I’ve put into it. If you live in the Southern CT area, I definitely recommend Nefaire to you. As someone who’s struggled with this most her life, I know what it’s like to feel like there no other options. It’s nice to finally have that hope.
I actually have an appointment set up with my doctor to get to the root of my hormonal imbalance and working on ways to possibly treat it. I’ve also been looking into Naturopathic doctors and remedies too, which I’ve never done or considered before. I will definitely post an update after more time has passed to let you guys know how it went!
I’m incredibly excited to continue this journey! Thanks for following along and all the support.
Until next time,
To find out more about your skin, take our skin quiz here.