You guys, I know, it’s been a while. Again. I guess I’m still learning to set boundaries and actively prioritize the things I love. I’ll get there eventually…
As my skin has been a huge topic for me lately – finally in a more positive context, I’d like to talk about a few things I wish I’d known sooner (like in my teens and my early twenties) that I just discovered recently. If you’ve followed my journey for a while (or maybe even know me in person) you’ll know that a) I never had perfect skin and struggled with breakouts a lot and b) this is a topic close to my heart in general. I think back to the countless times I’d cry after looking at my skin in the mirror. Or feeling insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin when I’m out running errands or going out with friends.
On this note, I’d like to point out that I’m not an expert or a professional in terms of health and/or skincare. Therefore I’d like to ask you to consider that I’m simply sharing what I’ve learned so far on my journey, the mistakes I made (which were plenty) and what has helped me.
Now that this is said, let’s get right to it, shall we?
Beautiful skin starts with a healthy inside
Eating crappy food, drinking alcohol and smoking isn’t exactly healthy and we all know it. What most people don’t think about though, is the effect an unhealthy lifestyle can have on our skin. For years I tried different supplements for healthy skin, hair, and nails (without any effect other than wasting money) while all I would’ve had to do is to look at my lifestyle choices. Today I make sure to eat healthy (I try to eat a great variety of mainly plant-based whole foods), I stay away from alcohol (mainly because my body no longer tolerates it anyway) and I said goodbye to cigarettes a long, long time ago.
As I’m getting closer and closer to the magic number 30 year by year (collagen production starts to decrease the older we get) I also started taking a high quality plant-based supplement (ALLKME ‘s Youth Fountain) which aids in collagen production and cell regeneration and I feel like this truly is a game-changer for me in terms of skin health and everyday well-being. Recommending a product to you guys was always something that came with plenty of terms and conditions for me, as I would never in my life recommend something that I haven’t tried and fallen in love with myself. As working with this brand actively improves my own quality of life and happiness though, I can recommend it to you with a clear conscience.
stress & worry
Okay, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that your skin won’t look the best when you’re super stressed out and/or constantly worrying about something. While stress wreaks havoc on our entire body it especially gives our skin a look we’re probably not aiming for. I mean, honestly, who is actively trying to look tired and worn down. Personally, it’s a look I’m trying to avoid as much as I can. Spending time out in nature is a wonderful way to get some fresh air and clear your mind. Other good ways to manage stress are meditation, yoga and any other kind of exercise. If you’d like to learn more about my yoga journey go ahead and click here.
Talking about rest, another important factor to consider when it comes to healthy and beautiful skin is sleep. Sleep is important to all of our body’s systems as this is the time for our body to regenerate. Regularly skipping a few hours of sleep could impact the body’s ability to repair and balance negatively which, in turn, can lead to higher levels of inflammation. To help your skin look it’s brightest and most beautiful self make sure you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Starting a bedtime routine can help you to unwind and prepare your body and mind for a good night’s sleep. I love to work with aromatherapy and a few other wellness tools to get ready for bed.
skin care mistakes
I can’t even begin to tell you how many mistakes I made when it comes to skincare. I’ve been struggling with my skin (breakouts and uneven skin) for a long time and all this time I basically knew NOTHING about skincare. Not only was I clueless about how to find the right routine or products. I also didn’t know what to avoid or what my skin needs and why I’m breaking out. Even though nutrition and hormones surely played a significant role in this as well, I do believe that the right (or wrong) skincare can make things a lot better (or worse).
playing ‘mix and match’ with different products
For the longest time, I’d go and buy different products from the drugstore. A cleanser from this brand, a moisturizer from another brand and that would be it. If I noticed that my skin is getting worse, I’d just go and get yet another product. Until recently I had never used a complete skincare line. In retrospect, I ask myself: WHY??? Sure, it seems quite expensive at first to buy products (the line I’m using right now consists of a cleanser, a gel, a day cream and, a night cream) for about 100€. Honestly though, it takes me a very long time to go through these products – I had to get a new gel and cleanser recently but the rest will probably last me more than 6 months.
cleansing too much
There was a time when I thought that my breakouts and impurities are caused by my skin not being clean enough. Oh boy, little did I know that cleansing too much and/or too aggressively can cause the skin to react with impurities as well. These days I cleanse in the morning and the evening and I make sure to wash my hands multiple times during the day. I try to use gentle products without alcohol which cleanse my skin without causing any dryness.
‘guessing’ what’s your skin type
For a long, long time I didn’t know what my skin needs. Because I was struggling with breakouts I assumed that I had acne-prone skin but the products I used were actually adding fuel to the fire. I highly recommend seeing a professional (who doesn’t have to be a medical professional but just someone who specializes in skin/skincare) to help you figure out your skin type and what your skin needs. This will probably save you a lot of trouble – as well as money wasted on products that just aren’t right for you. It would’ve spared me a lot of money and tears for sure.
finally…let’s talk hormones
My skin was never ‘perfect’, but things really started to go sideways when I went off the pill at age 21. My hormones were all over the place and so were my emotions. I remember crying A LOT. Severe breakouts were something I hadn’t experienced until then. If I had to do it all again I’d take a very different approach for sure. It took me about 7 years to finally learn how to balance my hormones and I’m still working on it.
Focusing on a healthy lifestyle has been a turning point for me. Supplementing has helped me tremendously in terms of gut health, resilience and deficiencies. It took me even longer to realize how all of these things are connected. If turning away from hormonal contraceptives is something you’re thinking about, I’d strongly recommend you to do some research and read a few good books like Alisa Vitti’s “WomanCode” or Jolene Brighten’s “Beyond the Pill”.