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My Struggles with Adult Acne {Part 2}

September 27, 2016

Thank you all for your incredible support and sharing of your journeys in last week’s post. If you didn’t read part #1 of my struggles with adult acne, I highly recommend you take a walk down memory lane HERE.

For those of you who need a refresher, in the last few years I’ve developed a bad case of adult hormonal acne. A lot of factors played into it as explained in part #1, but today’s post is going to focus on the changes I’ve made to try to improve the situation.

We left off where my doctor suggested I try antibiotics to control my acne and attempt to clear it up. Since I was feeling fairly certain that the acne was being caused by my birth control, it just didn’t feel right to combat one medication with another. So instead I decided to remove my IUD.

acne-part-2

Here’s where things begin to look up (slightly). Within two weeks of removing it, my skin started to clear up. I saw massive improvement on my chest and back and slight improvements on my jawline, cheeks and side of forehead. It certainly wasn’t back to where I was before this whole debacle began, but I’d take it.

I decided to try healing my skin naturally using all-natural skincare products and diet.

My skincare regimen has been pretty hippie natural for years so it wasn’t as though I was changing anything drastically, just adding in more hydrating and cleansing face masks and eliminating most dairy. I tried following Alissa Vitti’s Woman Code protocol and truthfully didn’t notice anything dramatic.

For about a year my skin pretty much stayed the same. Redness and little bumps throughout the month and large cystic acne around my jawline/mouth around that time of the month. It was disheartening and I began to worry that something deeper was going on.

A friend of mine suggested that I see naturopath to see if there was anything I hadn’t explored yet. This would end up being the best decision I could have made for my skin.

I ended up setting up a session with Dr. Makoto Trotter in Toronto (who I highly recommend) to discuss naturopathic dermatology and how we might be able to improve my skin condition. He was patient and open-minded and I never once felt pressured to do anything dramatic like an elimination diet or restrictive protocol. He suggested we start with blood work to see if anything obvious was going on and take it from there.

After getting blood work done, nothing hugely obvious stood out which was a huge relief to me. I also kept a food diary but then opted not to get a food sensitivities test. I’m confident and comfortable in my diet and would rather not feel like I had to eliminate food groups or ingredients. For me, this type of approach toward food can be dangerous and I’m better off letting my intuition guide my food choices.

We still had some digging to do in terms of the greater issue going on, but it made sense to start incorporating some supplements to help support my body’s natural elimination processes and see if that could help at all.

Simultaneously, I was connected to an awesome local supplement company called Orange Naturals (owned by Can Prev) who reached out about me trying some of their products. Their line of supplements is vast and includes pretty much every supplement, tincture and homeopathic remedy under the sun. Their products are designed by licensed, Canadian naturopathic doctors and are made from the cleanest raw materials from local Canadian suppliers.

orange-naturals

If you’re anything like me, purchasing supplements can be an overwhelming and confusing process, but with my list of supplements from my naturopath and confidence in my supplement products, I felt a lot more comfortable starting a daily supplement regimen.

This regimen consists of:

Zinc
B-Complex
Adult Multi (includes 1000mg of Vitamin D for two)
Omega-3 fish oil

I’ve never been a supplement person because of the caution and confusion I mentioned above, but I have to say, I was BLOWN AWAY by the results. I wouldn’t call it an overnight success, but a definite and very clear improvement in the state of my skin. I started to feel more confident going outside without makeup on (finally!) and was starting to feel more optimistic about tackling this issue.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I’m sharing my skincare regimen and other helpful tips that have actually helped me clear up my skin.

Are you a supplement person? If so, what supplements do you take?

*note: I was provided free samples of Orange Naturals but was not compensated for this post. The links are not affiliate links. I genuinely just love the product and highly recommend it!

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  • Reply
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life
    September 27, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I started taking vitamins about 8 years ago after getting sick in college and discovering I was vitamin D deficient. I am curious about how my vitamin levels have improved but havent shelled out the money for a test yet. I have noticed my acne clearing as I have eliminated a lot of processed foods. It is amazing how much diet can play a role in how our skin looks.
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life recently posted…A Day in NYC

  • Reply
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat
    September 27, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Plot twist!! I didn’t know you got the IUD taken out! I’m sure it was the right decision for ya. I also love how you declined to take the food sensitivity test. Too many people walk away with a GROCERY list of things they can no longer ‘eat.’ I just think it picks out every little thing that might affect you, even if the chances of something happening are slim to none.
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…10 Minute Apple Walnut Salad

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      September 28, 2016 at 10:58 am

      I SO did not want to go down that road. Because I have my favorite foods that I eat a lot and I guarantee they’ll show up on the “list”. And then all the fun in food will be sucked out. What the heck is the point then? If I was eating a boat load of processed food I’d feel differently but if my intolerances include coconut, eggs and carrots then I clearly am doing something right! Glad you get my perspective!

  • Reply
    Carmy
    September 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I’ve been very lucky that my adult break outs correspond with my period and if I spent the month eating junk. I find that for myself, once I clear up my diet and remember to drink at least 1L of water a day, my skin clears up.
    Carmy recently posted…10+ Free Things to do in New York

  • Reply
    Bri
    September 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Ahhhhh we’re in the same boat! I also started seeing a naturopath after 16 years of no help from my doc (other than suggesting accutane), stopped the birth control pill, started taking zinc, b complex, magnesium, b12 and folate and have had the best skin I’ve had in years. I’m excited to hear about your progress! I’m on month 2 of this regime and am coming up on when I should get my period (some more zits but nothing around jawline like usual) but no period yet… Figured that might happen since I ve been on the pill forever.
    Bri recently posted…Running to BQ and running for a good cause

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      September 28, 2016 at 11:02 am

      I’ve been on mine for about 6 weeks and have noticed tremendous results! I’ll keep you posted on my progress and definitely keep me up to date on yours!

  • Reply
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday
    September 28, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Oh wow. That’s so crazy and awesome that it worked! I take L-theanine and a magnesium supplement for sleep/stress/IBS help, calcium + D3, and a multi. I took B for a while, but my body had the weirdest reaction to B-complex supplements and I was super jittery. Is there any sign of what caused the sudden need for the supplements?
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Muffin Tops

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      September 28, 2016 at 11:03 am

      No 🙁 I wish I understood why but I guess as I’ve gotten older, my body just needs an extra dose! I also take a mag supplement for post-workout muscle soreness. Magnesium can do no wrong!

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    September 28, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Glad to hear your skin has improved! My problem with supplements is that I don’t take them regularly, just when I remember, and I guess they can’t work their magic that way, or at least their effect isn’t as obvious. Any suggestion how you do it to incorporate it in your daily routine and not forget about it?
    Stella @ Stellicious Life recently posted…Blueberry Cheesecake (Gluten and Refined Sugar-free)

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      I take them at the same time everyday – after breakfast! It’s ritualized because of this. I’d totally recommend taking them following a routine you already do daily!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
    September 30, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Supplements totally overwhelm me too! Having (what I think) is a pretty good diet full of lots of whole foods and veggies, I’d like to think I am getting most of what I need from food. And then if you add supplements how do you know you’re not over-doing it on one thing?! Yes, confusing… but I do take fish oil about once every other day and vitamin D most days. I wish going to see doctors and getting the right info wasn’t so damn expensive -__- Maybe I’ll just switch career paths (again) and become a Doctor. Dr. Ashley? Dr. FMK? I don’t know.

  • Reply
    The Wooden Spoon
    October 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Ok, I’m definitely going to have to try this. And yes, I am a big supplement person :).
    The Wooden Spoon recently posted…Roasted sweet potato smoothie

  • Reply
    Kates
    October 16, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Thank you for sharing about that supplement, Orange Naturals. I just want to ask on how much is that supplement? If its ok. And can it bought online? Or do they have local stores? I’m curious about how that supplement works on me, since I’m taking a separate zinc supplement and an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. It would really help my budget since I can have both vitamins in one supplement. Hope you reply thank you!
    Kates recently posted…4 Best HCG Diet Drops on Today’s Market : My Reviews

  • Reply
    Skylar
    April 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    So glad to hear this helped you with your acne! Do you have an update for how your skin is doing now? Would you be able to share what are you currently using for birth control? I’ve been on the pill for about 10 years and have never gone off it and I was thinking about getting an IUD, but I’m worried about how my skin will react to it… I haven’t heard good things from people like me who are already acne-prone. Just curious on how you are currently managing :).

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