9/1/15

How I Cleared My Skin!


Hello my loves! VERY EXCITING VIDEO TODAY :) I wanted to wait a while to film this to make sure my skin wasn’t just going through a “good phase” but that it was clear for a consistent period of time so that I could share exactly what had been working. Well the time has come!! If you’ve been following me for a while, it’s no surprise that I’ve been dealing with a lot of skin breakouts this past year and it affected me tremendously! I was the “cleanest” I had ever been (in terms of diet and products I used), but my skin looked at it’s worst. It affected my desire to film, socialize and honestly I just felt like a total alien. On the days that I DID film, I of course wore makeup (mineral) and camera lighting can be quite forgiving.



About a year and a half ago I discovered the high raw vegan diet and read about all the amazing benefits it can have for your health, including your skin – and being curious and open minded, I decided to try it! One of the recommendations by all the experts was to ditch the skincare products and allow your body to heal naturally. I was a little apprehensive but decided to give it a try. I was of course expecting to have the most amazing glowing blemish-free skin of my life… but what I got was quite the opposite.

As mentioned in the video, some people experience amazing results right away, but for others it can take a little longer. Whether it’s really a “detox” or not is arguable, but nonetheless introducing a new diet / lifestyle can take some getting used to. Personally however, the combination of a new diet, totally new beauty routine and some stressful personal stuff I had going on at the time resulted in tons of breakouts – I was so unhappy dealing with it.

Is it to say that this diet gives you acne? No… to an extent. In my experience, it also depends on YOUR body and on SO many other factors apart from food, such as stress levels, skin care and your over all feeling of well-being. Taking on such a major change with both diet, lifestyle and beauty became a little too overwhelming. Also remember what works for one person might not work for you. For example I noticed a big decline in breakouts when I stopped eating lots of dates and bananas, they were my staple for a while, but they just broke me out like crazy. This could be due to their lack of water and high sugar content. Some people however do well with this combination. It's all about experimenting and seeing what works best for YOU.

As of today, after a good few months now of my skin being almost consistently blemish free (some discoloration and acne scars remain but they will fade in time) I finally feel like myself again!! SO THANKFUL :)

I am using some really amazing skin care products now, taking Zinc and Maca supplements and most importantly have eased up on being “so clean” with both my diet and the skin and makeup products I use. But with that said, my diet is still probably super clean in comparison to average but that’s just because I love to eat healthy anyway as it makes me feel good – BUT what I mean is, I am not eating only fruits during the day or super low fat like before. I still eat plant-based, eating till I’m full, never counting calories, and it keeps me energized and lean.


How did I do it?
1. Patience
I knew this diet was the best for my body, but my anxiety and stress around why my skin was acting up did not help. The stress that came from worrying was worse for my body than any “bad” food or makeup product I put on my skin, plus was most likely hindering the positive effects of the healthy food I was eating. Relaxing, trusting and believing is so important.

2. Skin Care 
As mentioned, I totally went all natural and hardly used any products for about 8 months.. as much as I wanted it to work, it simply didn't. It might for some, but not for me. It’s important to note that it doesn’t have to be these EXACT products, as we might not have the exact same “skin chemistry”, but the products mentioned is what’s really been working for me. Cleansing your skin off excess oil, debris and any external pollution is very important. Treating your skin with either Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid (also Retin-A) is optional but can be very effective. Restoring balance and light moisture is also good. I love occasional treatments like the scrub or mask mentioned. I also have some great DIY ones if you search back in my videos :) It’s important to not overdo it though as that could backfire (just like underdoing it can) so my advice is to experiment until you find your happy balance. 


3. Supplements
Zinc is a skin savior!! It’s a totally natural element and although it’s not as strong and effective as antibiotics, it still works really well – minus the medicine of course. Tests have shown that zinc can kill acne causing bacteria and is a powerful antioxidant which helps reduce inflammation and sebum production. Highly recommend doing some research into it. Maca is another amazing little skin hero. Maca is actually a root that belongs to the radish family which is grown in the mountains of Peru and has been called the “Peruvian ginseng”. It’s very rich in vitamins such as B, C, E and is high in calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. It is really good for balancing out hormones in women, thus optimizing energy levels, mood, SKIN and general health.

Note: I've heard from a few viewers that biotin, as I mentioned briefly in the video, can be an irritant and actually worsen breakouts so keep this in mind - it might be one of those supplements that work wonders for some but are terrible for others. I haven't heard of any bad effects from either Zinc or Maca though so those I would definitely recommend. They have worked really well for me.

SKIN CARE ITEMS MENTIONED:


FACE BRUSHES:


SKIN CARE SUPPLEMENTS:



4. Nutrition
I love to eat lots of fresh plant based foods, not just because it’s good for my skin but because it makes my body feel good, gives me energy and keeps me lean without calorie restricting. Something I do avoid though are dates and bananas (and too many sugar-concentrated foods) as they are not very rich in water and I notice they irritate my skin. I will of course eat them from time to time in small quantities but NOTHING like before where I would literally make an 8 banana smoothie haha J live and learn! 


5. FEELING GOOD / Eliminate Stress
I know this is easier said than done, but to say this is important is an understatement. Ever notice when you're stressed, you experience more breakouts, hair fall, tiredness etc? Stress is no good for us and I strive to live as stress and drama free as possible, surrounding myself with good energy from positive people and environments. When my skin was at it's worst, my stress was very high. I think it's pretty obvious that the sight of your face totally red and irritated would make you stressed, but I was also dealing with a few things in my personal life that really took a toll on me. When that problem started to disintegrate, so did my breakouts - they kind of went hand in hand. When it comes to feeling good, this is an area where we all differ as we’re not all passionate about the same things. I personally love eating healthy, exercising, wearing makeup, doing my hair sometimes, wearing cute clothes or a beautiful perfume, pampering myself with a bubble bath and face mask... you might enjoy this too or have other "pleasures" but whatever it is that makes your soul happy! I honestly got into a bit of a cleanaholic-mode for a while where I was so bummed about my skin and was too afraid to put makeup on it, too afraid to put any products on it and literally just wanted to cry every time I looked in the mirror. My life turned into skin-saving mode and it wasn't fun. I eventually managed to pull myself out of that hole and started switching my mindset. As of the last few months, I’ve really been getting back into my groove and it's such a relief to not stress over little things again.

So I’ve definitely learnt A LOT about skin care throughout the last few years and as I know a lot of you guys are going through the same thing, I just hope you stay positive and confident – even though I know it can at times be so frustrating. Be open minded and try different things, but remember what works for one person might not work for you. What I do know works for A LOT of people, including myself are GREENS – especially green juices due to their high alkalinity. I made a video on it which you can watch here.

Additional Quick Tips:

  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Avoid picking at your skin - it might be tempting, but it's not worth the bruising / inflammation / scarring... trust me haha
  • Eat a vitamin, antioxidant and mineral rich diet - lots of fruits & veggies
  • Take note of your digestion - it is closely linked to your skin
  • Keep your makeup brushes clean
  • Find time to relax and have fun!


So what shall we call this? Annie's biggest beauty experiment of all? As a beauty and health blogger, I try A LOT of new things, but this would have to take the cake - vegan cake haha :) Well I am very happy that I have gained so much insight on health, diet and mindset this past year but most of all that I have my healthy skin back!! CELEBRATION!



HAIR
Sleeked back pony using Giovanni Eco Chic Styling Gel

FACE
- Becca Ever Matte Shine Proof Foundation (Tan)
- NARS Creamy Concealer (Biscuit)
- Tarte Contour from "The Sculptor"
- Cover FX Blotting Powder (Medium)
- Bare Minerals Bronzer in The High Dive
- 100% Pure Blush in Healthy 

EYES
- Sigma Warm Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette 
- Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Liner 
- Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown 
- Eyeko Tinted Brow Gel 
- Bare Minerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara

LIPS
- Tarte Lipsurgence in Bare
- Tarte Power Pigment Lipstick in Glisten

TOP
By H&M 

I will be doing a few more skin care related videos in the future as I know this is a topic you guys are quite interested in, and I've definitely learned a lot! :) Please leave me your comments / questions or personal stories about acne below, I always love hearing from you guys. Hope you found this post and video helpful!! XOXO

26 comments:

  1. Wow good for you! Your skin looks amazing now, all that hard work paid off :)
    XO Janina
    http://janinafran.blogspot.ca


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  2. Annie your skin looks amazing! thank you so much for sharing your story and experience. You are such an inspiration and I will definitely be checking out zinc supplements and the sulfur mask! I especially love how you are an advocate for BALANCE in life and not stressing over being super strict because as you mentioned in the video, it does the body no good! love you so much! I just want to give you a big hug haha <3 :D

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  4. Annie your skin is amazing! I am watching your video on this now but I always check your blog as well because I know there will be lots of info here. Thanked do much for sharing. Wishing you the best! <3

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  5. This is so inspiring to read! I have tried a lot of different diets for my skin (paleo, vegan, low carb, low fat) but the only thing that helps me is calorie restriction because of the effect it has on hormones ): I hope I can find less restriction and more clarity with what you are doing! Thanks for the post girly!

    www.hintoflindsey.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks for sharing - whatever you are doing is definitely working because you look gorgeous and you are glowing! Definitely important to listen to your body and stress less...I always break out when I am stressed. xx

    http://diariesofabride.blogspot.com.au

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  7. Annie, could you go more into how molasses has helped your skin? Loved this video.

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  8. Gorgeous, I suffer with acne on my cheeks and neck when its around that time of the month. I have tried everything and my skin is still bad, Any recommendations??
    www.canvasfashions.blogspot.com

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  10. Hello sunshine Annie! Thank you for being so inspiring, for me and I know for sure for a lot of people!
    I'm wondering; you eat less superconcentrated sugarrich products. But, what kind of fruit do you still eat? Mango and apples are also very sweet... I'm really curious!

    And what about the fat consumption. I'm remembering you ate around 10% fat, how much more do you think it is right now?
    Because I was also in doubt with the fat consumption, 'cause in a lot of products are fat and it can be hard to eat for only 10%....

    Thank you very (!) much :))

    Love, Louise

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  11. OMG. So helpful ! Beautiful skin !

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  12. Biotin actually made things worse for me and it took me a long time to realize this. Supplement wise what really worked wonders for me was Curcumin (Turmeric) capsules + Krill Oil capsules twice a day.

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    1. Thank you for the info about the biotin - I have heard the same from a few other people. I will add a note of it on this post! I've also heard that Turmeric is amazing for the skin both internally and externally. Much love xoxo

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    2. What brand of turmeric would you recommend?

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  13. Hi Annie, hello everyone,
    I had bad skin for about, let's see, 25 years? Maybe more. I'm 40 now. Had all kinds of spots and deep ones that hurt (cysts?) as well, that would stay on my face for months! A nightmare. Having bad skin at 40 was really frustrating. But, now, since January this year, I'm almost 100% "clean" (having a little thing here and there, mostly hormonal and quick to disappear).
    So, what I did: I stopped eating bread, pizza, candy, chocolate, biscuits, stopped drinking all kinds of soda, cut down on milk (I only put a little bit in my espresso). And started drinking 1,5 to 2l of caffeine-free unsweetened herbal tea every day (I don't drink water). Previous to that diet change I was always a bit dehydrated - I could drink just a glass of water for the whole day (terrible, I know). I started eating just a bit more fruit (I used to not eat fruit and veggies at all, or rarely), and for snacks I eat only roasted peanuts. I lost weight along the way and my skin got transformed.
    I don't know exactly which of those dietary changes helped, but I'm glad I don't have to hide my skin anymore! I go out with absolutely nothing on my face (except moisturizer) and I'm so happy. Could've never imagined that. At 40 years old! It was high time to have nice skin! So, it is possible. If you have bad skin only because of the food you eat, it's changeable, and it's really easy.
    Try it, please. I know how you feel, I felt the same way for so long. Good luck! Julia
    (p.s. compose a good breakfast as well, it will keep you satiated and you'll not get hungry very soon, and not crave junk food. For example, every morning and evening I put in a bowl a fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, peanuts, cinnamon, chopped raw beetroot and dried raisins. I love it, so yummy. When I don't have beetroot, I take a carrot or even cucumber. It just has to be fresh and crunchy)

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  14. I've never heard about maca before, I stopped using birth control pills a few months ago and my skin is going crazy, I did some research and I will definitely try using it! Thank you Annie for doing this video, it's nice to see that I'm not the only one with this problems. I'm also on a HCLF plant-based diet and I believe that my skin would be so much worse if I wouldn't eat so healthy. But I still have a long journey ahead to get my perfect skin. Love, M. xx

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  15. Hi Annie! Your skin now is truly amazing! Well done!

    I have a question - so what do you typically eat in a day? Do you have a blog or video on that? Am curious... I noticed too that my skin breaks out when eating too many dates or any other dried fruit since, as you mentioned, they are very sugar concentrated and don't contain water.

    Thank you!

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  16. Annie your skin looks incredible - glowing and all! I absolutely love how positive you are and always inspiring so many people so thank you!
    I'm a fellow vegan too and I really think the best thing to do is to experiment and see what works for you :)

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  17. Substituting a meal for a green smoothie keeps me on track and energized. If you live an active lifestyle and you want to improve your overall health, I highly recommend Green energy drinks. Let the healing begin!

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  18. Hi Annie!! I really hope you eventually get a chance to read this! I am almost 30 and have suffered greatly with the ups and downs of acne. Ive tried so many things, and had been at my lowest in terms of self confidence. Then I saw your video and recommendations, and said hey why not, lets give this a try. I bought all the products you listed and started using them asap. It has now been almost 3 weeks since my last big breakout and ive never gone this long without some kind of acne pimple on my face!!! you have cured me, you are an angel!!!! Thank you sooooooooooooo much. I can't believe all this stuff worked. My face looks all glowy now, and thats with some scarring, i cant imagine what itll look like once its completely healed! I love you and thank you!!! -JenniferMP

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  19. Hi Annie! I Love reading your blogs. You are truly inspirational and beautiful. I wanted to try the maca root and zinc but was wondering how you take them? Did you take them at the same time? Or split them up? How many did you take a day? And for how long did you use the products? Thanks Annie!

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  20. Hi Annie! I love reading you blogs. You are truly inspirational and beautiful! I suffer from acne and wanted to give Maca root and zinc a try. I am wondering how you did it. Did you take both at the same time? Or split them up? How long did you take them? How fast did you see results? Thank you!

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  21. Hallo Annie. thank you for your videos, i am from germany and i also have a problem with my skin. i watched your video and i was surprised of your results. now i orded a spin for perfect skin and a also will buy another prudekts from your video. i hope it will be also helpfull for me.
    i have many smoothies recipes, if you need it just say it.
    thanks

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  22. Very interesting blog, looking forward to more wonderful! Wholesale Clarisonic

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  23. Thats very great.I am also suffering from acne from last 2 years and I hate them.From last 6 months I am trying natural acne cream by Revitol and it is very effective for my sensitive skin. But I would love to try what you did for your face.Thanks for sharing its very helpful!!

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