I spent most of my life wishing, praying and hoping that someday I would wake up and have clear, beautiful skin like everyone around me seemed to have been blessed with. I remember my mother telling me that I would “grow out of it”, that by High School I’d be the one with the pretty skin and all the kids who made fun of me would be the ones with the bad complexions. Ha! While it was so sweet of my mother to give me that little kernel of hope, alas Mother Nature continued to make my life a living hell. My skin not only wasn’t clear, it was worse and it was scarred. And all the kids who had tormented me continued to have gorgeous skin. Sigh…
It wasn’t like I didn’t try to get rid of my acne, on the contrary, I tried EVERYTHING. I went to dermatologists, used everything on the market, even tried some different natural remedies. Nothing worked.
By 16, my skin had finally calmed down and stopped breaking out constantly. But I was left with scars. I’m not talking about those red marks that eventually fade away either, I’m talking deep, pitted, indented scars. The kind that you can’t really hide. I told you Mother Nature was a jerk.
When I was 18, I had full face dermabrasion done to try and lessen the appearance of the scars. After my skin healed, it seemed like it had improved greatly. I felt like I could actually have a normal life. Ha!
This time around, Mother Nature was even crueler. I started breaking out in cystic pimples, the kind that no matter what you did, left deep scars behind. Yep…bye bye normal looking skin, hello again scarface.
I became an expert at camouflaging my skin with makeup, so it wasn’t quite as noticeable. But you’d never catch me without full makeup on…ever. And I never wore my hair off my face. I also had a very difficult time looking at people directly face to face. I was too self-conscious, worried that they were repulsed by my flaws.
I spent years searching for products, remedies, anything that would make my skin better. I coveted the beautiful skin of the women around me and my self-esteem was non-existent. I wondered what I did to deserve this since I knew I wasn’t a bad person, I’m actually quite nice, a bit sarcastic and eccentric maybe, but still a pretty ok gal.
At 36, thinking that no man would ever want to marry me unless I had perfect skin (thank you very much social media jerks), I found someone who fell in love with me, scars and all, and thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. We’ve been annoyingly happily married for 6 years now. 🙂
Around that time I met Kathryn Mazierski, owner of Pur Skin Spa (at the time it was Seyant in Lewiston). She asked me what I was using on my skin and at the time it was Bare Minerals, Proactiv and Oil of Olay – all of which she told me to stop using immediately. She explained that Bare Minerals, while popular, contains Bismuth Oxychloride, a cheap mineral that can cause skin irritation and breakouts. Proactiv contains benzoyl peroxide (but also parabens and other toxic ingredients), which actually damages your skin because it generates free radicals, causing the skin to heal slower and age quicker. Oil of Olay contains ingredients that are not only comedogenic (like mineral oil) but like Proactiv, generate free radicals, in turn speeding up the aging process. I ditched them as soon as I got home. For the next few years, I put my skin in her capable hands, and the results were wonderful. She not only used healing products on my skin and introduced me to Jane Iredale make up (which I no longer use due to the silicones in their products 🙁 ), but she also gave me nutritional guidance as well.
Sadly, I had to take a hiatus from seeing her due to having back surgery (and losing my job). I’m still recovering, so it will be a while until I can go back. I do highly recommend her – you can find her on facebook under Pur Skin Vitamin-Powered Skin Therapy on Elmwood in Buffalo. She is amazing, I cannot say enough good things about her. 🙂 I not only learned a lot from her, but discovered a passion for skin care and nutritional beauty.
But as much as my breakouts were helped, my scars were still very prevalent, and they bothered me more than the actual blemishes. Soooo..back to research mode. Now, I had already started switching my diet to a more organic one, but I soon discovered a dietary lifestyle that would change my health and skin for the better….
The Raw Vegan/ Vegetarian Diet. I will explain more on this in my next post.
Until next time. Peace and love.