A Natural Beauty Story: The Unconventional Way I’m Overcoming My Skin Issues

Today I’m getting really raw and honest – because I have always been committed to being totally transparent with you and I am tired of the fake veneer so many people on the internet display about their lives.

So here goes…

When I was 12 years old, I remember sitting in my room – surrounded by ‘N Sync posters, dried flowers hanging from the ceiling, and covers of InStyle plastered in-between.

My definition of beauty was dictated by popular culture. By the air-brushed versions of celebrities that accosted my eyeballs each time I was checking out at the grocery or drugstore.

I was young. My body was changing. I desperately wanted to liked and accepted. And so this became my beauty ncompass: look like a version of someone else that society has deemed “beautiful”.

I had stepped outside of myself.

I rejected the natural progression of my own beauty – the growing circumference of my muscular thighs, my blooming breasts, and my oily, freckle-dappled skin.

I would go to the drugstore and buy everything from hair removal cream to skin-burning face masques to every brand of blackhead removing nose strip I could find. Beautiful was what I was not. And it was my mission to change all the parts of myself I deemed “bad” in an effort to be more like the covers of the magazines that lined my wall.

My definition of beauty has shifted a lot since then.

It took years of trying to be other people’s versions of successful and beautiful for me to finally realize that I am the best version of beautiful for me. And it all starts with taking care of myself.

Want to know my recipe for natural, radiant beauty?

A beautiful girl is one who is happy and loves herself. When you love yourself, you take better care of yourself and you begin to naturally radiate beauty.

It’s the kind of elegant design I have come to trust in from the human body. She wants to glow.

Skin has been my nemesis for most of my life. I’ve been battling breakouts for over 20 years now.

My typical approach to skin issues was to treat it topically with expensive creams and medicines from dermatologists. It was from a place of thinking that my body was against me or something was wrong with it. And the only way to fix it was to attack the invader with a killer ingredient like salicylic acid, topical retinoids, accutane, or even hormonal birth control.

But, as much as I tried (or spent), my issues would still come up or morph into something worse.

The change came when I shifted my mindset to one of loving kindness and care to my body and not to battling an invader.

More honesty time.

This is a photo from me just 3 months ago:

My Natural Beauty Story

This was me in the final week of launching my holiday program.

It was an intense time. I was juggling a lot of different things at once, managing a team in different timezones, while also supporting the women who had joined the program. My sleep, body movement, and stress levels weren’t at their best and my body started talking to me.

Yes, I’ve realized my body talks to me through my skin.

For some people it’s through their digestion, a muscle in their back, or maybe their nervous system. For me it’s my skin and I’ve learned to really listen. She was telling me to sleep, to slow down, to drink more water, and to sweat more.

I’ve also learned that the skin is also an organ in the endocrine system {the one that regulates your hormones}, and is the last line of defense for your hormones. If it’s breaking out in acne, rash, or other skin irritation, it’s a sign that something is detoxing from your system.

This made sense for me. Over the last year, I’ve gone through some pretty major hormonal shifts. I went off hormonal birth control after being on it for 14 years. As my hormones have been leveling out with each month’s cycle, my skin has been showing the process the whole time. And any addition of stress or instance of not taking amazing care of myself would show instantly – usually on my chin and forehead areas which, according to Chinese face mapping, indicated imbalances with my hormones, liver, and digestive systems.

So here’s what I’m currently to take care of my body and help regulate my breakouts:

  • Hydration is a priority. I thought I was drinking enough water…turns out I wasn’t. A well hydrated body is a balanced body.
  • Incorporating more fermented foods into my diet. I’ve been meaning to write a post on the health and beauty-boosting amazingness of fermented foods. I have sauerkraut with my breakfast every morning and even make my own sauerkraut and kimchi.
  • Hormone balancing supplements are herbs including tinctures of Vitex Berry, Burdock Root, and Milk Thistle. {Talk to a naturopath or herbalist to see if this is right for you.}
  • Got really real with myself about skin picking. This might be TMI alert, but if you are a closet picker like I was, listen up. The way I’ve been able to reduce chronic (and often unconscious) picking has been by reading about the very real damage you are doing to your skin every time you pick it. This in-depth guide really changed my life. I finally see skin as a precious organ. I wouldn’t poke at my liver until it bled, so why would I do that to my skin? I hope that helps.
  • I’ve simplified my skincare routine significantly. If you can’t eat it, it shouldn’t go on my face. My current regimen includes cleansing with manuka honey and moisturizing with jojoba oil. Both are simple ingredients from nature that work wonders on your skin.
  • Talking to a hormonal health coach about my symptoms and getting a customized food protocol that heals from the inside out. Two of my fave gals are Stephanie Burg and Nadia Munla.
  • I make nearly all of my personal care and beauty products. From deodorant to mouthwash, I create them all in my apothecary corner or kitchen – knowing exactly what’s going into them and infusing love into and onto my body. Natural beauty from beginning to end.

But what’s mattered the most to my skin health and natural beauty has been seeing myself as precious and worth taking amazing care of. From what I eat to how much I sleep to what I put on my skin in the morning, it’s the infusion of love and care for myself that has shifted me from the magazine model-obsessed teenage girl to who I am today.

If you’d like to read more about healing your skin holistically, check out this amazing blog called The Love Vitamin. Tracy is amazingly helpful and has a beautiful skin story to share.

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