Updated: Apr 24, 2020
What is Acne???
It's a disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles.
says Merriam-Webster! There's an array of different acne types, from blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and more. What do these even words mean?
Heres a little explanation:
Papules: Small red or pink inflamed bumps. Might be sensitive to the touch. Picking or squeezing can make the inflammation worse.
Pustules: Another kind of inflamed pimple. They show a whitehead with a red ring around the bump. The bump is normally filled with white or yellow fluid.
Nodules: Firm and inflamed bumps. They are painful, developing deep within the skin.
Cysts: Large, fluid-filled bumps, it can look similar to boils. They feel painful. Those who develop nodules and cysts are usually considered to have a more severe form of acne. Yup, that was me!
Having cysts acne- I preferably like to call them spots, it has a softer approach to a somewhat sensitive topic. It's a personal and heart-breaking journey that not everyone can understand. For me, it's been a journey of tears, of frustrations, and struggles with self-confidence. When you're amongst the breakouts, pimples, zits day-in, and day-out, it can feel emotionally tiring.
...Bewildered without a clue on how it all started. I remember I would avoid looking into any mirrors for a good 2 years, scared to see what was looking back at me. Coming from the beauty industry there were unwelcomed comments. I'll always remember this comment "I had acne and I used (named a product), you should use it." We weren't even talking about acne, where did this come from? Oh, he was looking at my pimples!
It had my head spinning! How can I fix this asap? Where to start? What should I use? What are the best products? Can I just walk around with a mask on my face? So many questions, and so confused.
I firstly tried by cleansing my face up to 4 times a day, putting on spot treatments to "dry" out the pimples and only a small amount of moisturizer, so it doesn't clog my pores. I would cleanse that many times because I thought my skin was "dirty" and that's why I was breaking out. That may sound strange but often people think they need to get in there, cleanse and scrub their skin raw to make it "squeaky" clean and that would be the solution to seeing improvement. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect. My skin went from bad to worse. I wanted to get a face transplant, sad but true.
Think about these spots being a wound, would you rub salt on it?
Over-cleansing and facial scrubs can almost be the worst thing you can do for your skin when it's going through breakouts. Because your skin is wounded and inflamed, NOT dirty.
I then thought it must be my makeup that's clogging my pores. I tried wearing no makeup. I didn't wear makeup for 3 months, still not much had changed. Frustration set in.
I came across research about the body being an alkaline pH level and how most foods are an acidic pH level, which throws your body out-of-wack. Hmmm... that made me very curious! What if that was my solution to healing my skin? I had to find out and put it to the test.
As a family, we went full speed into an alkaline food lifestyle. No dairy. No meat. Plant-based, alkaline foods only. Yeah, it was a little on the extreme side! But the pros outweighed the cons. Not only did my skin improved, but puffiness under my eyes also reduced dramatically. I had more energy, didn't wake up groggy and a slimmer body... incredible! Why would I ever want to stop?
Here's more information on the diet we followed drsebiscellfood.com
"Dr. Sebi is a pathologist, herbalist, biochemist, and naturalist. He has developed a unique approach and methodology to healing the human body with herbs that is firmly rooted in over 30 years of experience." "Our African Bio-Mineral Therapy Program examines and identifies the causes, not merely the symptoms, of disease. Our system of nutrition replaces depleted minerals and rejuvenates damaged cell tissue eroded by the acid, diseased state. The primary organs of elimination are the skin, liver, gall bladder, lymph glands, kidneys and the colon. If all toxins are eliminated from the above mentioned organs they will be recycled throughout the entire body, manifesting disease. Eventually the body breaks down in the weakest organs due to its inability to dispel the influence of toxins."
3 years later, I'm fully plant-based and not going back. Maybe not alkaline pH level all the time, but I do try. My grocery list always has tones of fruit and veggies in all different forms; canned, frozen, dried and definitely fresh.
Top recommendations for reducing skin inflammation;
Burdock root tea- Antioxidant powerhouse it helps reduce inflammation, protect cells in the body from damage, removes toxins from the bloodstream, effectively detoxifies the blood and promotes increased circulation. Burdock root has long been used to treat skin conditions. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the root can help resolve skin issues.
Quinoa- high in protein, fibre, magnesium, vitamin B and E, iron, potassium, calcium, and various beneficial antioxidants. But wait, it's one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids... WOW! Amino acids are the building block to our skin.
Hemp oil and powder (cold-pressed)- Has an ideal ratio of fatty acids along with other nutrients to reduce inflammation. Absolute key for healing spots.
Avocado oil- The fatty acids in avocado oil appear to be beneficial to enhance wound healing and improves skin. It also stops free radical damage in its tracks, thanks to its antioxidants and healthy fats- omega 9.
This has been my journey of research and finding what works for me, but not only fixed my skin but restore it from within. I gained the solutions to treat the cause, not just a quick, temporary fix.
Even tho I have found food my skin medicine, I'm a big believer in an active skincare routine catered to your skin concerns. I live for an easy 3-4 skincare steps. Being a full time working mum, brand building Joanna Ndaba Artistry, healthy foodie researcher and new CrossFit addict.
Here's my 3-minute skincare routine:
Morning time- Cleanse with a cream cleanser, brightening or hydrating serum and moisturiser.
Nighttime- Double cleanse, exfoliating or retinol serum, eye cream and moisturiser or facial oil.
A few minutes doesn't cost much when the results of smooth, juicy, plump skin are there for the taking. Especially when you compare it to how long it takes to put makeup on. Makeup on average takes 30 minutes- 1 hour to put on. Surely 3 minutes will feel like zilch.
This is all easier said than done. But what you put in, is what you'll get out! Remember your skin is your own unique protection from the environment, treat it with as much love and respect and it will serve you a lifetime of good.
Do your own digging to weight up what best suits you, your lifestyle, your skin.