by Jude Jacob December 02, 2020
About me: I’m a graduate student studying Holistic Nutrition and as well as a yoga/meditation teacher and outdoor adventure/lifestyle blogger. Growing up in Colorado, I was a competitive snowboarder and through college, I fell in love with all things outdoors. I have always tried to follow my passions and feel grateful that I have been able to build a unique and unexpected career where I get to do the things I love and share about them.
Experiencing cystic acne
I was put on hormonal birth control at a young age, so I did not have skin problems as a teenager. Like many young women, I struggled with disordered eating and, as I worked through those challenges, I became really passionate about holistic health and nutrition. I decided I wanted my body back on a natural rhythm and made the choice to come off of the hormonal birth control. As soon as I did, my acne broke out in full force, with cystic acne on my jaw and bumps all over my temple and forehead. Basically, my whole face was breaking out.
It felt like I tried everything under the sun topically and internally. I got rid of dairy and gluten and made other shifts in my diet and daily routine. Sometimes, my skin got better, but it would bever be fully clear. I was eating well, meditating, doing yoga, and so it was frustrating to still be breaking out. A couple of years ago, I started working with a holistic nutritionist who specializes in functional, holistic, and diagnostic nutrition. She had me run blood work and diagnostic hormone tests. We got a picture of my health story and it turns out I had undiagnosed Hashimoto's disease as well as severe hormonal imbalance. Finally, I had some answers about why my skin was looking the way it was.
We came up with a plan starting with a protocol for liver and adrenal support followed by gut healing. I think most people want to be told certain foods are good and others are bad to make it simpler to know what to do but the truth is there isn’t always a simple set of instructions that works for everyone. Now, for my ongoing health, I like to focus on eating organic, whole food and eating abundant healthy fats. So many of our hormones are dependent on fat, and contrary to dieting culture, fat doesn't make you fat. High quality fats are essential for good health, especially as women. Another huge factor was getting enough rest and relaxation. Stress has a major impact on your health and skin. I started acupuncture once a week. As humans, we are holistic systems and nutrition is just a piece of the whole picture. It’s important to have the right physical and energetic practices and routines to nourish mind, body, and spirit.
Much of my skin transformation came from getting my hormones in check through nutrition and other lifestyle changes. The external products and treatments obviously keep it looking great, but the initial and major change really came from the inside out. The journey was both difficult and frustrating, especially when I was living a life dedicated to health and wellness, but still struggling with acne. For me, there was no quick fix. It took time, but the process shaped my understanding of my overall health and made me realize how systemic problems need holistic solutions.
This journey was a big reason I decided to go back to school and study holistic nutrition. I want to help as many people as possible avoid going through the frustration and difficulties I’ve faced.
These days, I’m outdoors all the time: I'm out in the sun, wind, and rain. Without a good skincare routine my skin would be dry and painful. Having had bad acne and scarring means skincare has played a huge role in helping my skin heal and making my complexion look bright again. While acne and breakouts caused by sweat, dirt and grime can definitely be cleared with good skincare, skincare alone won’t be enough to cure cystic acne or acne caused by hormonal issues. However, you can (and should) support what you do on the inside with what you use on the outside.
My current skincare routine has allowed my skin to heal and be more radiant than ever before. I now leave my house on a regular basis without makeup when two years ago I would have never considered it. Even when my acne healed, I felt as though I needed makeup to cover all the scarring. The right skincare has given me a radiant glow, and if I break my routine, I definitely notice a difference.
My daily routine
In the morning, I just splash my face with water. After rinsing my face, I've been using REVIVE ME followed by PROTECT ME. If I get super sweaty during the day, I might splash my face with water again and apply a few more drops of REVIVE ME, since it's very dry where I live.
It’s nice to have a good cleanse at the end of the day so, at night, I use PURIFY ME with an antimicrobial silicone skin brush. I like to use a mild toner, like rose water, after washing my face. Then, I'll use RECOVER ME, which I'm obsessed with! It's one of my favorite products. Finally, I’ll use a good amount of 100% Organic Argan Oil. I also use the DETOX ME mask twice a week while I take a lavender, Epsom salt bath. I feel like there is something really nourishing in taking the time to take care of your skin. I’m definitely a believer that self-care and self-love practices are an essential part of my skin care routine.
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