So today I’m back on the blog with a subject that matter for me, because I suffered for a long time, skin issues, most specific acne. It is really important to me to talk about it, because everyone that have a clear skin don’t seem don’t understand that it’s a real issue and a though one. When we talked about acne in general or skin problems, everyone told you « yes it’s a puberty thing, you’ll get over with, just wait it will passed. » well well, I truly believed them when I was young and naive, but no, acne doesn’t go away like that, it’s not that simple.
First what is the definition of acne ? I found that this from Wikipedia (yes I know that it’s not the best source, but this time I think that define it pretty well) : « acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. It characterized by blackheads or whiteheads, pimples, oily skin and scarring. It primarily affects areas of the skin with a relatively high number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and, in extreme cases, depression or thoughts of suicide. »
I put the last sentence in bold because, I think that it’s the most important part of the definition of any skin issue in general, and I will go deep into that subject later on this article.
Causes factors :
Hormonal imbalance : there is a possibility that your acne is linked with a hormonal imbalance if it’s that, it’s probably because there is a specific hormone level who is higher than it should be, it calls “testosterone”. So yes it’s a proven fact that during your puberty period all your body become to change and it’s “fine” that you had some health issue or more specific issue like skin problems. Because your body needs to make some changes to have his stability at all levels back. And more important, everyone is different and every bodies need his own time process to stabilize. Firstly, this hormone belongs to the male class sex hormones called androgens. So everybody has this hormone but « we », girls, have in less quantity than boys. It has been proved my many research that there may be a link between testosterone levels and acne. The explanation that the scientist gave is that this hormone can over-stimulating the oil glands and make the pores clogged.
Mechanism : inside the pore of the skin there is tiny glands and they produce an oil called « sebum ». The role of this one is to carries dead skin cells from follicles to your skin’s surface but when you have sebum in too much quantity, that clogged your pore and pimples can emerge. The link between testosterone and acne is that testosterone increase the sebum’s level and over-stimulating the oil glands. So there is too much sebum produced that is not needed from the skin.
Androgens levels : there are male hormones like testosterone, like I told you before. They act the same way by over-stimulating the oil glands and altering the development of the skin cells.
Genetics : unfortunately today, we don’t have enough strong clear evidence between the link of acne and genetics and how it works, but I found one research study from PubMed that show some interesting investigations about genetics basis of this common skin disease. It was a twin study and show the contribution of genetics factors on the liability to acne. It show that 40% of the twins reported a history of acne, 81% of the variance of the disease was attribuable to addictive genetics effects and the remaining 19% was attribuable to environmental factors. To conclude with this study it show that a family history of acne is associated and increase the risk of developing acne.
What do we know about genetics and acne issue ? We don’t have found yet a direct gene mutation linked to acne, but research have shown that there is a tendency for acne to run in families and specific genetic mutations may increase your risk of developing acne like the twin research told before.
When I rode these two last lines in the study, it made me think about a picture that I saw on Instagram and it confirms at 100% my personal convictions ; « that disease in general runs in families because bad eating habits run in families. » I’m convinced that this sentence is true and so powerful, that many of others people we don’t believe any of what this sentence means because it’s hard to be in front of the truth. I’m not able with my actual knowledge to explain myself in deep and to prove to you that I’m right but I believe that most disease genetics prevalence could be modified or prevent by changing our lifestyle habits in general. That’s my personal thoughts and I don’t force anybody to believe them as much as I do. But everybody should be able to ear it and meditate about it on their own.
Food health : Now that you know my personal opinion, I can talk about what I think and learn about food health, since my transition to a plant-based diet. If you want to read about it, check my first article on « Food health » category on my blog. Again I believe that you decide what lifestyle you want to live, your food diet, cosmetics etc. This is who you are and what you decide to give to your body/skin that will show how your body will works, that is your fuel. If someone have told me that like two years before, I wouldn’t have believe it, because there is no true evidence yet that show the link between food and skin problems like acne. There is so many theory research but nothing proven yet.
My personal experience : I remember when my mom told me « you should stop eating sweet things like chocolate, candy etc » or when I heard that there may have a link between acne and dairy products. I was like there is no way this is true.. Because I was so sure that my personal skin issue that I have since teenage time was not from my food diet, it was not logic.
I was looking for another cause. In fact I wanted that my dermatologist tell me that « Oh yes, we have your blood test results and you have some hormonal imbalance, that could explain your acne. » I was convinced myself that, but no no there wasn’t as easy as I wanted to be. That never happen !! And I was really disappointed when in reality my blood tests results came back totally fine.
So I will have to continue to find my cause factor, because I believe that when you have some body/skin issue you first have to find what part of your body hurts or is dysfunctional and then you can work the healing process from there.
This possibility that food choices could impact the look of your skin was hard for me to believe and most important to accept that it may play a huge unknown role. Because yes, you have been told so many myths that are not been proven but you will believe them or not ? Since I have acne I never made food change or try any diets that you can see in most of the publicity talk about because again I didn’t believe that it could possibly works. So all those years I never pay attention to my food health, to be honest with you.
When I was craving for sugar, I will eat something that will stop my cravings, that’s the truth. But one day my mother told me to try to cutting out dairy products because a friend of her told her this, if I remember right I tried this change during maybe one month and that’s it. Because I was young and terribly impatient, when it comes about my skin issue I have always been impatient, for everything than I tried. I wanted to see results right away… HUGE MISTAKE ! If I didn’t see results in like two or maybe three weeks, I was disappointed and I was asking myself why was I so dumb to think that this product will actually works on me..
With some maturity and the years passed, I know now that in the past and in the beginning of this journey I should have been more patient, conscientious and involved with every routine that I have tried. Since my interest about Food health and long walks/talks with my bestfriend, Mathilde Flury, I was interested to search the link if there was one between food habits and skin problems like acne. Let’s talk about it, they are though right ? I’m talking about food habits, you know the ones you have since you could eat some real food after you were born. During all you life you have been used to eat your food diet without knowing how it will affect your body. Because nobody talk about that, you have to educate yourself and make some research like I did.
Nothing has been proven yet, because it’s not enough interesting for the Pharmaceutical industry or the marketing in general or maybe it’s an issue that don’t matter enough, I don’t know. But I think that this cause should be more take seriously and we should can ear more about it.
What actually works for me
Before beginning with the products that I trust with the ingredients and works actually on me, I wanted to let you know that yes I made like a lot of you, the mistake to try a lot (a lot) of products on the market that for me didn’t worked at all, like I didn’t see any change.
I wasn’t checking the composition of every product, huge mistake again ! It’s so important to know what you’re putting on your face, despite the marketing fact that each product « promise » to you, the ingredients list is the most powerful thing to read before buying anything, because today you cannot trust brands with « all natural » « made with natural products » etc, in general it’s not true, they said to make you want to buy it but you must take time to read every details and yes it’s boring but it’s so worth it in the end, I swear.
I’m not gonna list all the products
that didn’t worked because it’s not the point of my post, when I read myself an article on others blogs, I actually want to know which products has potential to work on me, despite the fact that everyone will have different reaction to every product you cannot believe that you will have the same result that one other person. You have to anticipate that this can not work on you, that means that you have to pursue you search for your perfect routine and yes again it’s a long process.
I found just now what potentially can work and help me to deal with my skin problem, yes after so many years, so it’s new and I’m literally so happy about it !! That time has finally arrived ! Yayyyy
Organic Olivia’s products : I found this amazing girl on Instagram, she’s from NYC and she’s soon to become an herbalist and she created her own website with her own natural products. I have to say she’s so interesting, I loved how she explains what she learns everyday at school and she does have a blog too ! I first read her article about her skin issue story and her Youtube’s video and she talked about how many years she struggled before found her skin cause factor, she did so much exams and everything in her power to know how heal herself from this issue. I’m not gonna explain in deep there but if you’re interested you can go on her website : https://www.organicolivia.com/shop/
After rode everything about her, I began thinking that my actual cause factor could be like her, gut health and digestive issue, so I wanted to try her products ; the Parapro cleanse and the Not your average probiotics, because there was this possibility that can cause my acne. Yes the price are high for a student like me, but I was so much suffering from this issue, desperate and the fact that I trusted the ingredients list that she uses, I wanted to give a try. Literally two months later, my order finally came !! She’s so trusted by everybody that you have to be on the waitlist to can order her products. I’m gonna write an article about it I think because this one gonna be so long if I continue here…
Rosehip oil : this product again I found on Olivia Organic’s website, I told you I believe in what she said. I ordered from Amazon. It’s good for scars, so I waited a little bit before using it, to see if I was healing from acne, because I wanted to try on the scars. Rosehip oil is packed with skin-nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids. You find vitamin C that is good to boost your collagen production, it’s help with inflammation too. I put this oil every night before bed, mostly on my neck where I have my scars and it take time to see any results because scars are long-term seen results. I try to be patient and conscientious.
Black seed oil : that powerful beauty tip was coming from my little sister, Eva, she’s 15, so a teenage girl. She unfortunately got skin issue like me, and my mother bought her one day black seed oil and she tried it during literally one year before seeing actually results on her skin. Even her told me to be patient ! I give a try too and bought it in a natural shop to be sure to have real black seed oil only and nothing added. Because you can find a beauty product with black seed oil but the thing it’s that there is so many others wrong ingredients added that you may not see the real benefit of this amazing oil. I’m so happy with it, it actually really worked on my skin, I put like the rosehip oil every night time and I saw a huge difference with just one month of wait. I think that if you are consistent and that your routine is the smallest you will have bigger results. That kind of routine worked for me.
Last part of this long article, it’s about how skin problems and more specific acne can give you insecurities and impact your self-esteem, remember the last sentence of the Wikipedia definition that I put on the beginning of my article ? That’s what I’m about to talk about, it’s my personal thoughts so it’s tough but everybody has some insecurities issues when you have skin issue and it’s better to share them than keep them inside, I did during a long time, so I know the feeling and it didn’t make good.
Nobody talk about it, because acne is so common but the physical problem we talk about not the other issue that brought you with, like insecurity, anxiety, reduced self-esteem and even depression. When you go to see a dermatologist, he will tell you what product put on your skin with just an ordonnance, he will not tell you the ingredients and how it will affect your skin. Even more he will not ask you how you feel about it, how you live with this skin problem, if it does or not affect your mental health. It’s so important, mental health, you cannot only live with a good physical health your mood has to be healthy too !
I think we don’t talk about this aspect of this disease, because yes acne it’s a skin disease, it’s because we focus on the physical problem and try to solve them with too much products. We didn’t really search the factors cause, we’re given the same acne cream than all other patients. But doctors didn’t think that it will probably didn’t work as good as his previous patient, but anyway he will give you the same cream. You will come over again with the same speech, that this product didn’t do anything to improve your skin and your dermatologist will give another cream just before talk about Roaccutane as the last thing to do. But it’s not the solution to give to your body this kind of treatment. Try first to be open-mind and try something more natural, yes it will take more time but you will see results at the end.
I personally think, it’s all about balance, listen to your body, if you want something sweet like chocolate, eat chocolate but on the other hand try to have all the nutrients and vitamins that your body need. Don’t try to avoid anything food that may can get you a breakout, you will be frustrated and stressed to not be able to eat everything you want and that will you cause breakouts, in fact. I believe that there is an unknown connection between food health and skin health, we don’t have prove yet but the time will come if the scientist try to focus on the real problem, factors cause. You need to find your own balance and routine, try to a have a very small cosmetic routine everyday and night and don’t jump to every new products you see on Internet or in the market. I hope this article will be helpful for some of you.