THE EARLY YEARS
My terrible skin and I go back a long, long way. Back to 2001 in fact, when I was only 11 years old. I remember it well, I was on holiday with my family and overnight my forehead erupted in pimples. My parents put this breakout down to the greasy sun lotion but despite returning to our colder, cloudier life in the UK, my skin never ever healed.
My early teens were before the digital camera age so I'm still on the hunt for pictures of me during that time to show just how bad my skin was from a very early age. However, here are some of me at 12 and 16. Still struggling with my skin. Still battling spots constantly covering my face with layers of thick make-up.
POO, PILLS + A POOR DIET
When I hit 16 the doctor put me on Dianette – a contraceptive pill that’s often prescribed to acne sufferers due to it’s high levels of synthetic oestrogen and cyproterone acetate – a synthetic anti androgen. It is recommended that Dianette should only be taken for a maximum of 2 years at a time. I however, was on Dianette for 4 years before switching to Microgynon for a while then finally Yasmin up until the age of 23. Being on the pill improved my skin, but I was never totally clear and I NEVER confident without make-up.
Working as a Make-Up Artist meant I became aware of the toxic ingredients that were found in cosmetics and skin care. I switched to natural and organic beauty products when I was 18 but despite my knowledge and concern of what I was putting ON my skin, I never once considered the effects of what I was putting IN my body.
3 years ago my diet consisted of beige, beige and more beige. I very rarely ate vegetables and fruit. Never ate healthy fats from avocado, ghee or coconut and I stuffed my face with milk chocolate, bread and fried foods as often as possible.
Years of unhealthy eating habits left me with chronic constipation. I literally never went to the toilet and when I did (about once every 2-3 weeks) it was uncomfortable and unsatisfying. Looking back, it’s painfully obvious that my diet and chronic constipation were the reason my skin was never fully clear, despite being on ‘clear skin’ contraceptive pills.
THE WORST WAS YET TO COME
In May 2014, I decided to come off The Pill and go down a more natural route. For the first 3 months my skin and cycle stayed the same but during month 4 post-pill, my skin started breaking out and seemed to be getting worse and worse on a daily basis. At first I thought it was just a bad patch. I went to my GP, desperate for advice, but after various appointments and tests, I was labelled with PCOS (without proper testing) and told that my only option for clear skin was Accutane and controlling my hormones with The Pill.
I reached breaking point. Leaving the health center that day, I felt utterly helpless and lost. My doctor led me to believe that unless I followed her advice, I would face a life of acne, infertility and zero sex drive. Despite this bleak prognosis, I knew in my heart there was another way. I was not taking the advice of my doctor, but at the same time I couldn’t keep living the way I was. I had spent years telling myself that I had tried absolutely everything to beat my acne, but I knew there was one thing I was yet to focus on. My health.
Having tried all the antibiotics and creams available on prescription and countless over-the-counter beauty products that all failed to work, it suddenly dawned on my that these pills and potions were never, ever going to give me real, permanent results.
Why? Because they only treat acne from the outside.
FINALLY UNLOCKING THE TRUTH
I became obsessed with healing my skin and learning everything there was to learn about acne. I bought books, read scientific studies, online forums and scoured the web for any information I could gather. I learnt the importance of a nourishing diet and began to truly understand its effects on the skin. I experimented with food, diets, supplements and exercise to learn, first hand, how these different factors can help heal yourself from the inside out.
After nearly 2 long years of experimentation and research into the natural treatment of acne, I finally discovered the key to unlocking clear skin for good. It was the most challenging two years of my life, I felt like a total failure at pretty much every stage of my journey, pinning my hopes on the next diet or supplement. Surely this next 'miracle cure' was going to be THE ONE. Then feeling that crushing, suffocating despair when 3 months later, my acne was worse than ever.
But I got there.
Hell yes, it would have been nice if I'd worked it out in the first couple of months. But if that had been the case, I'd unlikely be here today, helping others clear their skin naturally. My 2 year struggle means that you don't have to waste hundreds of pounds on supplements that don't work, or waste days, weeks and months trying diets that just don't work.
Acne comes from deep within. It’s not just a bunch of lumps and bumps on the surface of your skin, it’s a deep rooted condition that needs to be fully understood before it can be effectively treated.
SKYN THERAPY WAS BORN
My blog originally started as a gluten free food blog called Gluten Free By The Sea, but quickly changed direction after I wrote a piece of content about cleansing wipes causing acne. This post was so popular, I simply couldn't ignore it and promptly re-branded after about a month(!) and started my green beauty and acne blog Get That Glow. This blog was my own space to document my natural healing, share my thoughts on everything I'd learnt about acne along the way and gain a wonderful and loyal following on Instagram before starting up my own virtual acne clinic; Skyn Therapy in February 2016.
By sharing what I’ve learnt over the years, I now help other women struggling with acne to regain complete control of their skin, helping them understand the underlying root cause of their acne and giving them the power to change their skin and change their lives.