Well Radiant Rebels, I’ve finally done what I’m always asking you lovelies to do – I’ve decided to share my before and after pictures!
Now this has been a long time coming, as I had to go from never EVER wanting anyone to ever see (or be reminded) of how bad my skin was, to a place where I KNEW sharing my before and after would encourage others!
And it turns out, when I went to hunt down a close up pic of my skin at it’s worst, I couldn’t find one! Which I suppose isn’t all that surprising, since I shied away from the camera at that point. Not that I’m a huge ham now (hiding behind the camera is still my preference haha).
So since I couldn’t find the worst of the worst, I used the worst that I had!
This before picture was actually from 2013. Yup, well after Batty’s Bath was underway and I knew what to do to keep my skin clear! “So what happened?” you’re probably asking. Well, this particular picture was taken after a 2 and a half week long flare up that had me bedridden and sleeping 16 – 20 hours a day. The hours when I was up, I rarely was out of bed, and when I was out of bed, the last thing on my mind was my skin!
So, a couple weeks of not doing any of my usual skin care routine, and not keeping my gut flora balanced, this is what happened to my skin!
Now before I continue, I want to stress that not all of you will have breakouts after getting your skin under control if you “derail” off your acne clearing path. In fact, some of you will just need a simple, soothing skin care routine to keep your skin looking great.
On the other hand, for chronic acne sufferers like myself, keeping our skin clear requires daily actions. After a while those actions are second nature; a simple skin care routine and whatever internal regiments address the root cause of our individual acne.
- a gentle cleanser that contains fruit enzymes. I use the BB pineapple facial scrub (daily)
- a super powered hydrator. I use the BB hydra healing gel and BB redness relief gel (daily)
- a healing moisturizer. I use the BB patchouli facial moisturizer (daily)
- a hydrating + targeted mask. I use the BB cystic acne mask (a few times a week)
For me, the internal / root cause of my acne is based in the digestive system. So while my skin care routine keeps external triggers from flaring up my acne (learn about the difference between triggers and causes here), keeping my digestion system happy is the key to keeping my skin from entering into a reactive state. Since our digestive system is constantly adjusting to what we put in it, it took me a while to get the right blend of actions. And, depending on what’s going on in my life, they occasionally need some tweaks. In a nutshell (without going into a ton of specifics), my internal routine requires:
- taking a daily mix of probiotics
- taking vitamin D (daily)
- taking zinc if my skin flares up (zinc speeds up the healing process)
- limiting dairy and processed sugar
- getting enough protein in my diet (for me this includes taking hemp protein powder)
- taking varying supplements of EFAs and antioxidants
Some other things I do for my health (to keep those AS/Fibro flare ups at bay) also put my body in a good state to reduce the chance of internal things bothering my skin, and help increase the rate that I heal from any blemishes that do pop up. I talk about some of those things in this video.
You can see from the after picture (which was approximately 2 months later), I have permanent scarring from my pre-teen / teenage acne days (my acne struggle started in grade 5!), but have been able to fade a considerable amount of hyperpigmentation (I share how here). When I get a bad blemish now, I still get hyperpigmentation, it heals much faster (weeks rather than years!). Knowing it’s not going to stick around forever helps me not get stressed out about it. The permanent scarring I mentioned is any textural damage (so pitting, dips in the skin, etc) from when my acne was cystic and full blown. These scars are not something skin care alone can fix, and would require procedures to eliminate them that I’m not comfortable with. Thankfully they don’t bother me that much as they are mostly along my hair line just to the side of my eyes. They are easy to miss unless you’re really looking for them. I’ve come to accept them as part of my body and my journey.
So. There ya have it! My occasionally requested, and long over due “before and after” reveal ;). I hope this encourages you Radiant Rebels to keep a documented journey of your skin’s progress, even if it’s just for yourself. If you’re brave and would like to share your before and after pictures, I’d love to see and share them! The more success stories we can share in pictures, the more hope and encouragement we can spread to those still struggling!
And if you’re still struggling, I can help! Just head over to the Skin Care 101 page to get started.
Love, light, and battle scars,
Do you have a skin transformation to share?
Find out what’s in it for you right over here…
Is it time to kick your acne to the curb?