Acne for me has been a personal struggle (and embarrassment) for as long as I can remember.
Even at 28, I still experience the odd the blemish, but it no longer holds the power over me like it once did.
Working through my health struggles, I found that acne was a complicated one. I didn’t understand how I could be doing “all the right things” and STILL have acne!?
Nope, for this emotional being it wasn’t necessarily about what I was ‘trying’ to do.. it was more about what I started subtracting rather than adding.. things like..
What I subtracted
- I stopped using skincare products
- I stopped wearing makeup EVERY day
- I stopped buying “popular” commercial products
- I stopped caring what people thought
- I stopped taking every random persons advice
- I stopped eating HIGH amounts of simple carbs, refined sugar and fast-foods
- I stopped trying and buying weird gimmicky things
- I stopped micromanaging, touching, fixing, poking, overthinking….
- and ultimately I STOPPED all of the negative self-talk and hiding my face from the world.
What I started
- I started fundamentally BELIEVING in what I was trying to accomplish and genuinely TRIED to accomplish it
- I started fundamentally HEALING my negative biases, pent-up trauma, negative habitual narratives and subconscious/conscious societal conditioning
- I started prioritizing self-care, positive self-talk/affirmations and understanding what self-care looked like for me; mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially and environmentally
- I started educating myself, reading labels and learning about products that would actually benefit my body and the planet
- I started genuinely listening to my body and give it exactly what it needs.
If you don’t know me personally, then you most likely wouldn’t think that I struggled with acne or how severely it impacted myself and my self-esteem.
It started at a young age in early middle school which is why I always brushed it off as teenage acne. What I didn’t notice at the time was that my anxiety and depression was starting to take hold and increasing during the same time.
During high school, my anxiety, acne and depression were so severe, I would go days without attending school because I felt so ashamed and embarrassed by how I looked and felt.
I had such an incredible team of Doctors, Dermatologists, Naturopaths and more. They first started me on the Birth Control Pill to help manage my hormones and suggested a few supplements.
The pill never worked well for me – lots of highs and lows – which transitioned me to anti-depressants, different supplements and new creams.
Alas, none of this felt like it was working and instead kept feeling like things were getting worse with bigger band-aids put on. I would ask about diet but not many of them knew what would work. My Naturopath suggested lots of cleanses and awesome serums/supplements but nothing every quite “hit-home”
After graduation and traveling/working for a few years, I finally went to complete my Holistic Nutrition training. This helped me to understand what to look for within in my diet, supplement and lifestyle routine – opening my eyes to A LOT and connecting me with even more practitioners!
This schooling, along with a lot of other workshops/classes/books, has truly shown me how integrated our body is. Our skin can tell us SO much about what is going on internally. This is when I started connecting and understanding that perhaps my skin was trying to tell me that it was sad. And it was time to get happy.
WHAT I DO NOW
Finally understanding how MY body worked and what my skin was trying to TELL me was a big game changer. Yes, I was trying to “heal and work through traumas” but you either try, or you DO.
When I actually started DOING, everything started aligning! And although this works for me NOW, it does change depending on my age, the season, what I’ve eaten, etc… because we are always evolving and changing human beings. Don’t expect the same performance or APPEARANCE from your body every day!
- Still use minimal to no makeup or skin products. If I wear make up it is usually just mascara and I get a different brand each time!
- The only skin care products I use are DoTERRA essential oils (but generally make my own blends – which yes I sell if you are interested in 🙂 and keep them straight/simple with carrier oil. I use my Skin Blend in the evening and only in the morning if I am not going directly into sunlight. Miiko for washing off make up and sun care.
- Intermittent Fasting has worked wonders for me and eating a whole foods diet rich in local, seasonal nutrient-dense ingredients; including quality meat, eggs and some quality cheese but no milk or other dairy
- Collagen was a big game changer for my joints/skin health
- No refined sugar, foods and no longer go to fast-foods or eat pretty much any preserved foods while limiting simple carbs, gluten and alcohol.
- Moderate exercise but not over exercising
- Moderate cleansing but not over cleansing
- Cold water therapy as well as regular MSM or Epsom Salt baths with oils
- Always focus on quality > quantity with any of the products I use
- Address digestive issues or imbalances first to understand if there are any allergies, sensitivities or digestion issues.
- Stick to whole-foods diet low in sugar and saturated fats
- Limit/remove refined and fried sugars/foods, alcohol, dairy, gluten and fast-foods
- Add-in more whole-foods and whole-sugars such as quality honey and maple syrup, complex carbohydrates, seasonal leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, quality meat/cheese/eggs/organs, wild seafood (especially shellfish!), home cooked meals, fresh juices, fresh water (with lemon/ginger/herbs), herbal teas..
- SUPPLEMENT – can get from diet or as an actual supplement
- Probiotics and/or digestive enzymes
- Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 primarily with some 6)
- Vitamin A, E, C, D3 and B9 (Folic Acid)
- Zinc and Selenium
- Ideally, avoid multi-vitamins
- Address allergies or digestive issues
- Address any pent-up energy or trauma that you may be aware of and seek out help
- Remove, avoid and limit conventional skin-care and home-care products (think of your detergents, cleaners, skin products, car fresheners, perfumes, etc.)
- Don’t over-cleanse but don’t under-cleanse. Generally speaking, the skin can be gently washed with soap once a day if necessary. Hair can be washed every couple of days.
- Use dry-brushing, lymph massages, gentle stretching/exercising and regular mindful movement to support healthy cleansing/detoxing
- Stress management – focus on self-care and what that looks like for you. Try meditating, journalling, yoga, walking, putting your animal, etc.
- Get the EWG or Think Dirty app – NOW! And start scanning/using/learning!
- I love to use DoTERRA, Nezza Naturals, Miiko and will generally buy make up from a high-quality health store or cute little organic shop locally
- Use simple simple ingredients such as: apple cider vinegar, colloidal silver, manuka honey, aloe, epsom salt baths and castor oil packs. Be mindful of any open wounds when using topical products
- Fellow nutritionists I know also love to use the Beautycounter and The Green Kiss
For more info on me and my story, watch the LIVE Wellness Wednesday event for this topic! Available on Instagram.
Heidi MacAulay, R.H.N.
“Eat more plants. Do more yoga. Read more books.”
Learn more about me, my credentials or how to work with me here!