When it comes to living a healthy and natural lifestyle, what you put on your body is just as significant as what you put in your body. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it. Did you know that much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream? Just think about nicotine and birth control patches. It is easy to see that what we use on our skin ends up inside our bodies, so it is important to pay close attention to the ingredients in our skin care products. If the products you use contain harmful ingredients such as harsh, toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances, those ingredients make their way into your body, your blood, and lymphatic system. The majority of mainstream body care products contain a cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, allergens, and irritants. To eliminate many toxic chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances that are harmful to our bodies, choose certified organic and natural skin care products (or make your own like me!). It is important to read labels and become educated about what ingredients to avoid when selecting body care products. A good motto to go by is if you can’t pronounce it or have only seen it in chemistry class, don’t use it! One of my favorite tools for selecting any personal care product is the free app, Think Dirty. Scan your products and find out just how filthy (or clean!) your bathroom currently is!
Growing up, I was constantly receiving compliments for my skin. I am incredibly thankful for my genetics because for years my skin was effortlessly clear. People would ask what my secret was and I didn't have one because to be honest, I didn't take care of my skin. I would wash my face with a bar of soap and sometimes I would even sleep in my makeup (it was a rare occasion for me to even wear it). I was lazy when it came to my skin. It wasn't until six months before my wedding that I first experienced adult acne and it. was. mortifying. I obviously didn't know what to do and the timing couldn't have been worse.
When you have a fever and go to your physician, they're most likely going to prescribe a fever reducing medication. That medication will make your fever go away, but it's only silencing the fire alarm and not putting out the fire. Chiropractors don't treat symptoms such as a fever. We put out fires, or interference to your nervous system which control every cell, organ, and tissue in your body. So naturally, I did some digging to see WHY I was experiencing adult acne and how to put those fires out...
There are 6 main causes of adult acne in women:
- Hormone changes. Typically beginning in a woman's mid-to-late twenties and persisting into adulthood, many women experience hormone-caused acne. This acne can be attributed to androgens, which are the hormones responsible for stimulating the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin. When this hormone overstimulates, a woman's facial acne can flare up. Dermatologist Diane Berson says, "When adult women experience acne outbreaks, hormones are usually the primary culprit." And this is exactly what the issue was for me. After 7 years of being on birth control, I decided to go off the pill 6 months before my wedding and start the Natural Family Planning Method, but that is another story.
- High stress levels. Those darn androgens! They also overproduce during times of stress, overstimulating oil production and causing breakouts for women. Many dermatologists believe that women who are able to get their stress under control may also be able to clear up their complexion. This might have played a role as well considering I was in 27 credit hours of school in a doctoral level program while planning a wedding.
- Medications. Certain types of medication can trigger breakouts in women; chemicals like anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, sobriety drugs, and even some birth control pills can make skin worse.
- Diet. This can be another blog post by itself, but basically ditch the processed foods, drink more water, and eat more fruits and vegetables. You are what you eat!
- Environmental Factors. Humidity, pollution, and weather can all contribute to acne. But there are some things that I hadn’t thought about as well. For example, if you’re talking on your cell phone a lot, you may experience more frequent breakouts. Your screen is not clean, and the bacteria it gathers can negatively affect your skin.
- Products and Cosmetics. Pay close attention to not only what you put on your face, but also what you put near it! Hair styling gels, sprays, and other products can clog pores and cause breakouts. If you have bangs, try pinning them back for a few weeks and see if your skin clears up. Try changing your makeup regime to something more natural if you feel that your cosmetics could be causing your acne.
This is what fueled my chemical-free skincare routine because while hormone changes and high stress levels were most likely the causes of this bridezilla breakout, I realized everything I was putting on my skin to cleanse, moisturize, and cover up were only making it worse. I was only able to achieve a clear complexion after totally overhauling my beauty routine by simplifying to a few natural and gentle skincare products.