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Acne Awareness & Caring for Your Skin with Scars

Posted by Jeriel & Bobbie on

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It's Acne Awareness Month ~ but for me, it's an everyday focus and I'm always learning how to heal my skin and my scars. I have spent most of my adolescence and adulthood struggling to maintain "healthy" skin. My obsession intensified as our brand began to grow and I felt like I was under a microscope - as the owner of a skincare brand, shouldn’t my skin be perfect? The reality is that for some of us "perfect" skin isn't in the cards. But we can establish healthy conditions by looking at our whole body to create change.

Acne scarring created a world of fear for me, self consciousness and embarrassment. People often judge you by physical appearance; studies show that those with acne scars are perceived differently, sadly, often with unfavorable attributes. Skin is often the first thing which is noticed if an individual has acne scars vs clear skin. Observers incorrectly infer that acne scars are a sign of neglecting one’s health and skincare habits as well as appearance. Those with acne scars already have a negative perception of their skin and often themselves, but worryingly it appears that others may also judge them as a result of our scarring which adds to the psychological burden.

The reality is that you can do everything right and still have breakouts. And I truly believe it's time for skincare brands to start stepping up in transparency of what their products can actually do as a topical treatment. We have worked so hard to create a product line that supports your skin in a 360 approach, but other factors have to be monitored including diet, stress, and any other product you are putting in or on your body.

Looking back at my skincare journey, there were so many missteps and misunderstandings about how to treat cystic acne in the 2000s. The main approach was to dry it out, so I was put on a heavy dose of Accutane while simultaneously covering my face with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. While these treatments “worked”, they created a host of issues for my skin and my gut health. I was so indoctrinated with this approach of over-treating and over-drying that even as my acne started to clear up my skincare routine was based around chemical products that irritated and exacerbated my issues and created deep acne scarring.

There are so many days I can see myself at 19 picking at my face, using drying, cheap masks, and comedogenic makeup. I often feel a deep sadness that I didn’t have the knowledge that I do now. Skin needs moisture to heal, antioxidants, humectants and a holistic approach to preventing scars. Especially when you are younger and your skin can produce enough collagen to heal most of the scars all on its own.

Here are some things that have helped me and recommendations I have made to our clients to help the healing process:

First and foremost, hydrate. 
Inside and out.

My fear of oil held me back from regaining balanced skin, but the healing antioxidants inside would have created a healthy microbiome and encouraged the healing process and lessened the scar tissue. Hydration is key, it supports cell rejuvenation and calms inflammation allowing the healing to begin.

Be consistent and Kind.

There were so many days that I hated looking at my face and would just ignore it, or try to do my routine without looking in the mirror. The consistency of a healing and hydrating routine is the only thing that will give you any reprieve. 

Acne is normal no matter how horrible or embarrassed it makes you feel. Love yourself by being consistent.

It’s okay to get cosmetic help

I am writing this partly as a warning, to care for your skin early and consistently, but also to share with full transparency the treatments that I have undergone to correct the damage done in my twenties. When I turned 38, I was finally and financially in a place to address the scars, and as dramatic as it sounds… I could not reach my full self, I could not fully love myself with these deep scars. I was deeply insecure and it affected every aspect of my life.

If you weren't able to care for your skin properly at an early age, and too much time has passed without addressing your skin, you may have extensive acne scarring like I do. It's okay to look for cosmetic help. For so many in the holistic field this is a sin to say, but it's your body and you need to feel good in it.

Though it's not for everyone, and I completely respect that, for me it has made a world of difference. I have done three rounds of cosmetic micro-needling with a CO2 laser on top. This has given my body the capacity to create new collagen and has lessened the depth of my scars.

post treatment

Please know that if you are in a current breakout, it's not always because you're doing something wrong. And despite how you feel you are powerful and beautiful.

~ Jeriel (founder)

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