⇡ Those details in the title are important for several reasons. 

  1. I’m not a teenager (ie. My skin is not a result of teenage hormones)
  2. I’m not breastfeeding (ie. My skin is not a result of pregnancy hormones)
  3. I’m in my prime working and creativity years (aka stress, but I like to say the good kind)
  4. The bulk of the breakouts happened around my jawline and cheeks – where most cystic hormonal acne takes place although I’ve seen others’ acne spread all over their forehead and neck so needless to say, acne does not discriminate. Hormonal or not. 
  5. I’m active and healthy – I move my body more than half the days out of the week and eat a plethora of whole unadulterated healthy foods ranging from fruits and veggies to omega rich seeds and wild fish. I avoid all processed foods. I never consume wheat or dairy. Sugar is not an issue or something I resort to. I rarely drink alcohol but when I do I choose good quality wine or tequila/vodka + club soda. I drink up to 2 and never more, cups of espresso or matcha tea daily. All of these are important details because they give you a good sense of my food and lifestyle habits. 
  6. As an adult – not to say it’s any different at any other age – acne deeply affects my sense of confidence. Not only in my self but my professional life because I work in the health and wellness industry (and thank God also the mental health sector)
  7. Up until now I rarely supplemented my diet (ie. I got everything I thought I needed from food which – as you will see, was not enough) – as you will see and read this isn’t about having the perfect diet, though food is important, it’s about absorption and regeneration.
  8. Why Conscious? Well, more of my patterning is conscious than subconscious. At least I’d like to think so. I go to Therapy, I am a Therapist, I take ownership of the shit I bring to the table and take active accountability at changing what I need to. 

I really want to get to the bulk of this post and share with you how I’ve begun healing my skin because I know for a fact that is why you’re here. On that note – this is my solution and may or may not be yours but what I DO know is that if you’re truly devoted to healing your skin it’s time to drop the miracle cures and overnight solutions and begin targeting your healing holistically (aka, all angles). You may roll your eyes at some of what I’ve listed, e’hem, tea tree oil… This is coming from my research and tried and true experience. This is also coming from my will to heal from the inside out. There is a reason acne happens and it’s systemic – amazing, kinda like therapy… I love that word too because it brings in my gusto for functional health and wellness as well as for mental health. If you’re here, I’d highly suggest considering all of this information because even if it only plants a seed now, guaranteed you will read, hear and see others boasting about the root of skin healing too. So first and foremost thank you for taking this nosedive with me. I’ll try and keep it as simple as possible:

I’ve broken the process down into 4 categories:Internal, External, Spiritual & Lifestyle because healing is nonlinear. Take all of these into account when embarking on your genuine skin healing journey. Let’s begin:

Internal:

  1. Living Silica Silica is an important trace mineral that provides strength and flexibility to the connective tissues of your body — cartilage, tendons, skin, bone, teeth, hair, and blood vessels. Silica is essential in the formation of collagen, the most abundant protein found in your body. This is DIFFERENT than collagen peptides, please note. Collagen provides collagen, Silica boosts your body’s ability to PRODUCE it’s own collagen.
  2. DIM – promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism and helps restore a healthy hormonal balance.
  3. Cod Liver Oil – sorry to vegan/vegetarians, you NEED Vitamin A & D, a good reason anyone who obtains from animal foods who may be breaking out likely is a result of this reason. Even if you chose not to consume animal flesh you should at least consider consuming the oil. 
  4. L-Lysine – Lysine works in the body with other nutrients as a “building block.” It helps form muscles with dietary protein. It also helps your body better absorb calcium for bone health. Needs to be taken on an empty stomach so I take 1 tablet in the morning with water. 
  5. Zinc – both internally & externally. Which is why my Detox Blend can be a really helpful addition to your daily repertoire. Zinc is amazing for reducing inflammation and is essential for warding off the common cold. 

External:

  1. Sea Buckthorn Oil – for oil cleansing and hydration. See how to oil cleanse here and *only use this oil. Every other oil may cause more breakouts. Sea Buckthorn promotes skin hydration, elasticity, cell regeneration, and even helps treat and prevent acne. Sea Buckthorn oil has anti-inflammatory properties due to its omega7 content that help reduce swelling and redness associated with many skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. 
  2. Microneedle /derma-roller (mine is from Rodan & Fields but I’ve linked to one much less expensive as the RF one I use) – only once the bulk of breakouts have been reduced. I use this nightly with my oil cleansing regimen. Simply oil cleanse and before wiping the face with a warm washcloth or cotton pad, roll the face gentle. Massage the face again. Then wipe clean. This is amazing…
  3. Skin Icing – every morning, I take 1 cube of ice and run it all over my face and neck. This helps with redness, pore size and perks the face up after sleeping. Great for anti-aging. 
  4. Tea Tree – spot treat. Dab. Do not smother your face in this stuff. Simply use morning and night on any pimple or healing eruption. DAB…
  5. Niacinamide – supports the skin barrier (the outer surface of skin), increases its resiliency, and improves texture by making pores look smaller. It also helps balance oil production. Use one dropper full after cleansing skin morning and night.

Spiritual:

  1. Deep breathing and breath work – the skin needs oxygen so deep intentional breaths throughout the day can really impact grounding, presence and reduce stress not to mention bring much needed air flow to your cells. I can guarantee that half of my breakouts were silent-stress related. Not because I was stress eating or binging on foods that would cause me to break out but because of factors directly related to my life – such as being unemployed for 7 months due to Covid, raising children as a single mom, my boyfriend moving out of state. Etc. Stress. It’s very likely that if you have acne you are stressed and the breakouts are just making it worse but make every effort to go to the root of what ails you.
  2. Positive affirmations & Mantra – speak nicely to yourself. If you’re not doing this your skin won’t improve. Take my word for it. 
  3. Gratitude – whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re going through a rough patch or the universe seems like it’s conspiring against you, it’s not. It never does. Be grateful for anything that you have, make a list, repeat and add to it daily. In the wise words of my 4 year old son, “god is great, god is good, thank you for this sundae….AAAAAAAMAAAN.”

Read this Article – this is your skin on stress. New York Times by Jessica Defino

Lifestyle aka: Behavior

  1. Probiotics from FOOD and not pills. Aka: sauerkraut & kimchee, yogurt & kefir – from either dairy or non dairy sources (I use Forager which is available at most supermarkets)
  2. Antioxidants – from fruits and veggies
  3. Low Sugar/Low Starch – this means the bulk of the diet is based on foods that do *not spike insulin – white potatoes and white rice do this, as do sweet potatoes and many winter squashes and grains. They can be grounding, yes, but keep starchy foods to a minimum. 
  4. Protein – wild fish & pastured eggs. These provide amino acids. You don’t have to go straight Keto or carnivore but it’s crucial that you get your building blocks from food. Wild fish contains omega 3’s and eggs contain an essential nutrient: choline. Your brain and nervous system need it to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. You also need choline to form the membranes that surround your body’s cells.
  5. Fiber from flax meal & chia seeds
  6. Lower: nuts, excess, processed foods, alcohol
  7. Avoid/eliminate: dairy (in the form of drinking milk and eating non traditional cheese like American cheese or mozzarella. Traditional cheeses would be aged cheeses like European cheddar & Camembert in small quantities. These contain much higher gut friendly strains of bacteria while the others simply irritate the gut and cause inflammation). 
  8. Gluten. This is a given. Generic bread, pasta, crackers etc. Check ingredient labels. You can still eat a diet that spikes your insulin when going gluten free so be mindful in your gluten-free pursuits and choose whole unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables prepared in several different ways, smoothies, salads, fish and omega rich seeds. 
  9. Walk, do yoga, strength train 3-4 days out of the week but do not over exercise – ie. Keep workouts under 60 minutes, incorporate stretching and mindfulness into your exercise to lower cortisol levels
  10. Keep caffeine to a minimum. If you’re a coffee lover like me, have 1-2 espressos or 1 cup a day and consume green tea or 1 matcha for the rest of the day, stopping before 4 pm so you can get a restful night of sleep. Caffeine raises cortisol levels which increases sebum in the skin. This happens because the  adrenal glands go into fight/flight mode and leave the skin to fend for itself resulting in more oil production to protect itself. Only it attracts more dirt which clogs pores. Keep unnecessary stress to a minimum – that’s what “self imposed” means. 
  11. Finally. Sleep. It might be the most important and everything else you do on this list come second to sleep. Prioritize it. 

this list was written to be comprehensive and to include everything I do *CONSISTENTLY

So as you see – not only is skin health multidimensional, we are too. We don’t heal on a linear path. Traditional skincare that contains benzoyl peroxide, retinoic & salicylic acid ruin the moisture barrier of your skin which you will come to find out your skin relies on desperately for healing. When you fuck with its inherent healing process, you get its defense which is acne. Keep your cool and back off. Also keep things to a minimum which means do less to the outside and focus more on the inside. Your skin is the voice to your inner world – when it heals it has the strength to ward off environmental triggers like pollution and dirt which means it becomes less sensitive and more robust. Quite honestly, and I know you know this to be true – when your skin is radiant and clear, your confidence needs no outside boosting. Less makeup, less filters, less hiding… It’s a mental, emotional and physical miracle you have every right to experience. 

With love, glow & healthy regeneration, 

Katie

clear skin

makeup free morning selfie only brightened and not photoshopped

Katie Trussell - Therapy. Food. Movement.

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