Updated: Nov 10, 2020
As a Holistic Skin Therapist, I am constantly educating myself on various topics about how the skin works and in specific, the pathogenesis of acne.
Alongside constant learning and education, I find myself analysing my client's treatment plans. I do this so that I can see trends in what is and isn't working.
And over the past two years of operating and owning Soul Awaken Skin Therapies, I have witnessed so many beautiful skin transformation journeys. And because of my specialisation in acne, I have paid particular attention to the things that help my clients to successfully heal from this skin condition.
In this blog article, I would like to share with you the top 5 things that my clients will do in order to heal from acne in the quickest time possible to successfully rid themselves of this very annoying and depressing skin condition.
I take my hat off to these clients, not only for their dedication, but for their ability to reflect on their journey and to adjust course when needed. This is the mindset that will help you achieve anything in this life.
PS. I also filmed a YouTube video on this topic too! Watch it here.
They stick to a skincare regime, 100% of the time. When starting a new habit, I understand that it can take time to adjust and commit to something new. However, for those clients who are committed to the journey and are wanting to make the most out of their time with me, they will stick to the skincare regime set out for them. Not only will they stick to it, they will ask me several questions about how they can optimise their regime and how they may or may not be executing it properly. Following a skincare regime is actually pretty simple, as it only takes about 10 minutes per day. However, understanding and reading your skin is another thing, and this is what you will learn when asking questions and taking notice of the subtle changes in your skin. The clients who do this, always come out on top because they are being responsive to their skin and always looking for ways to improve their skincare regime.
They treat their skin internally and seek advice from other health professionals. I would love to say that skincare can magically fix skin, and in some cases, it can appear this way. However, in most cases, and in particular with acne, most clients will need to consider all of the internal factors relating to their skin. Depending on the client and the complexities of their internal health condition, I may recommend them to seek the help of a skin specialised Naturopath and many other trusted allied health professionals. Quite often a Naturopath will be able to work alongside your GP, analysing your blood test results and guiding you towards optimal health. A Naturopath will often recommend supplements and specific health and nutrition interventions that can actually make a huge difference to your skin. The bonus of seeing a skin specialised Naturopath (FYI, I recommend this amazing woman, Pia Kynoch) is that they will understand your skin much more deeply then a generalised Naturopath. They will be able to tailor your treatment plan in order to allow your skin to heal in the quickest time possible, whilst improving your overall health and wellness at the same time. All in all, working internally is very important when treating acne. And in most cases, it will speed up your recovery time.
They are patient and open minded, focusing on the outcome instead of the doubt. They believe that their skin will heal and they trust the process. Do not skip over this point, this is not just another motivational speech about how a positive mindset can change your life, this is science. And adopting this mindset can dramatically improve your outcomes when it comes to healing from acne. When athletes are training for the olympics, they will often take on the daily practice of visualisation. During this time, they will close their eyes while sitting in an upright and comfortable position. They will focus on their breathing and put themselves into a meditative state, and once they are there, they will begin their visualisation. During a visualisation they will picture themselves being successful in their chosen sport, they will see them selves perfecting their technique and they will feel the emotions of winning and succeeding. They envision the outcomes that they desire on a consistent basis which ultimately brings them closer to their desired outcome. This is a practise that is applicable to all aspects of life, and it is easier then you think. To relate this to a skin transformation journey you can try a variety of different methods to work on your mindset, to overcome self doubt and to trust the process. Depending on your learning style, you may want to experiment with different methods to suit the way that you uptake information the best. Visualisation is just one method. I will use myself as an example, I am an audible learner, meaning that my learning is enhanced when I hear spoken words in contrast to reading, writing or visualising. If I am wanting to enhance my mindset or learn something new, I will utilise the sound of my own voice. I may do this by talking to myself out loud whilst doing my skincare routine, however I will always speak in future tense. I may say things like "my skin is improving every single day" or "my skin is free from all inflammation, irritation and redness" or if you want to relate this to acne you could say "my scars are fading and my acne is disappearing". I may also sit in silence, in a meditative state, repeating these positive affirmations in my head and visualising myself living with my desired outcome. Trust me souls, this is not magic, this is a science that has been studied, with a plethora of accompanying research for you to delve your teeth into (if you are that way inclined). If you want to read more on this topic, I highly suggest you looking into Dr Joe Dispenza and reading his book 'You Are The Placebo'.
They make sure to avoid acne triggering foods while increasing water intake. Did you know that the food you are eating could potentially be triggering your acne? It is an unfortunate truth, yet very easy to understand. You are the food that you eat. And if you stuff your self with foods that are nutritionally deficient, inflammatory and even toxic to your body, then the cells in your body will be compromised. However, in contrast, if you nourish your body with whole-foods and you drink plenty of water, your body will be able to produce much healthier cells that will work for you, not against you. If you would like to me to a seperate blog article or video on this topic, then please reach out and request this. However, the main foods that you will want to avoid are as follows: Dairy products, sugary treats, refined carbohydrates, processed foods and foods high in omega 6 which will ultimately cause an imbalance of your omega 3 to 6 ratio (to understand this better you may want to read this article). There are plenty of other foods that can potentially exacerbate acne such as coffee, chocolate, spicy foods and gluten. However, the research is limited and I have found that these foods are usually very personal to the individual. By simply becoming aware of the foods you are eating you may be able to pick up on what foods uniquely trigger your acne. Again, this topic deserves an entire blog post.
They look at lifestyle factors influencing their acne, and make adjustments accordingly. This is just as important as all of the above points because sometimes, it might just be your lifestyle or even your workplace that is playing a big role in your acne. Let me give you some examples that I have seen. Sweat and friction induces acne because it encourages the formation of a plug on top of the hair follicle, ultimately causing a blockage and exacerbating acne. Countless times I have found that my clients aren't cleansing their skin straight after exercise and instead, they are leaving sweat on their skin for hours at a time. On other occasions, they may be touching or holding their face throughout the day without even noticing. And during this particularly strange time, I am seeing an increase in mask related acne ultimately caused by the presence of face masks (COVID-19). Makeup is a big culprit, as well as dirty pillow cases, phone cases, hair products and so much more. As your Holistic Skin Therapist, I will help you to assess all areas of your life to figure out what lifestyle factors could potentially be aggravating your acne.
They reduce their stress levels and manage their nervous system (BONUS TIP). I couldn't finish off this blog post without mentioning stress because of how profoundly a heightened stress response will negatively impact your life. Not only will stress decrease your overall wellness and vitality, but it too, will negatively impact your skin causing an increase in acne. If you aren't seeing a decrease in your acne after several months of implementing all of the above tips, then it may be well worth addressing your nervous system state by becoming aware of your breath and how your stress response is being triggered. I could talk all day about this topic, but let me tell you this. The clients that address their stress levels and actively seek out activities such as walking, meditating, long baths and spending time in nature will have better outcomes with their acne. Stress will activate the same signalling pathways (igf-1) and correlating inflammatory cytokines as dairy and sugar when it comes to acne. Simply said, feeling highly stressed a lot of the time can have a negative effect on your skin. Understanding the science behind this can get a little complicated and quite often is unnecessary for most people, however, if you would like to read about IGF-1 and acne, then check out this article. The short answer to this is to become aware of when your stress response is being triggered and finding ways to unwind and relax on a consistent basis. You may also want to reduce stressful activities and make healthier lifestyle choices that reflect a happy and wholesome life. Because I have personally endured traumatic and stressful situations in my life, I have a big handful of stress reducing activities that I lean on on a daily and weekly basis. Here are some of my favourites: long baths, walks along the beach, deep belly breaths, caring for my plants, listening to calming music, meditation, cooking, hot yoga, walking, bike riding, spending time in nature, massage, sensory deprivation tanks (I go to The Float Room), dancing and reading. The key is to find the activities that best soothe your soul and reduce stress in within your body. Only YOU can dictate this and you will only find out through experience.
Wow, what a long blog post! I hope that you have found this helpful and informative.
And if you are not yet one of my clients and you are wanting to embark on a skin transformation journey to improve your skin and heal your acne, then please feel free to contact one of my friendly admin assistants (Emily or Tamika) to book in for your Initial Skin Consultation. Also, please stay tuned for the correlating YouTube video on this topic. With love & gratitude,
Your Holistic Skin Therapist
& Director of Soul Awaken Skin Therapies