Often I am asked, can acne really be caused by stress? By certain foods? By slapping coconut oil on my face?.. And my answer is YES!
Before I jump into more, I want to introduce myself and give a little back story as to why I’m here. Hi, I’m Claire– lover of kombucha and CLEARSTEM products. Most of my life I was a healthy and acne-free person. It wasn’t until 2018, when I was diagnosed with Hashimotos (an autoimmune disease that affects your thyroid) and came off hormonal birth control, that my acne flared. In my path to healing, I found that not only the products that you put on your face really matters but what you clean your home with, what you put in your body and your mentality affects your wellbeing. Over the course of my healing, I became an expert in what it takes to get rid of acne when it’s deeper than just skin.
We are whole beings and in order to heal skin conditions, we really need to focus on three different areas in conjunction with CLEARSTEM products:
1. Reducing chronic stress and acne
This is the most important strategy of them all. I know, I know, before you’re like but Claire… HOW do I reduce stress and how does stress affect my skin? Well, it might not be possible to eliminate all the stress completely but it’s worth evaluating because acne and stress are really a thing. You can seemingly have it together, but do you have job stress, financial stress, relationship stress, etc?
When I took the time to evaluate the stress in my life, I noticed I didn’t have much “big” (my family was healthy, I had a roof over my head) stress but what I did have was underlying acute stress. So I took a step back from toxic friendships. I worked on the relationship with my parents. I found a new job that better aligned with my values. I got ahold of my budget and started making my financial wellness a priority.
Now, this does not mean you need to do all of that at once, but what small shifts can you make to help reduce the stress in your life? Pick one thing to work on and make it a priority. Not only can this help make improvements to your skin (high cortisol = inflammation = breakouts!) but in your life overall. I’ve found that my overall happiness plays a huge role in whether my skin is truly thriving.
2. Identifying triggering foods
Triggering foods can be often overlooked but they are SO important to healing your skin. I found that an elimination-style diet worked well for me in my journey to find my triggering foods. Aka finding my personal “anti-acne diet” and yes– it’s personal! There are so many ways to go about this but I suggest doing your own research or working with a functional medicine doctor.
Some of the most common acne triggering foods in my experience are:
- Processed foods
- Refined sugar
If you are extra sensitive, these may also be triggers:
- Nightshade vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, etc.)
Focus on whole foods as much as possible– veggies, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains and protein (preferably clean sources– look for “grass-fed and finished,” “wild-caught” and “pasture-raised” to avoid unwanted chemicals and antibiotics). Focus on gut health by incorporating fermented foods, bone broth and kombucha (my personal fav). If possible, work with a practitioner to make sure your digestion is moving properly and you’re producing enough stomach acid. All of these factors can contribute to your skin health.
Again, there is no blanket answer to: What’s the best diet for acne? Because it truly takes an individual approach BUT do know that the power lies in your hands. Food can be medicine if you want it to be!
3. Connecting with our intuition
Now, I know this can sound “woo” so stick with me. When we move further and further from our intuition we lose sight of what serves us– what foods work with our body, what relationships bring us joy, how many days our bodies want us to move, etc. It becomes nearly impossible to tune into our bodies when we don’t know ourselves well.
Take time to journal, meditate, work out, practice yoga, draw tarot cards, engage in spiritual practices, or walk in nature– do what lights YOU up. If anything has helped my skin, it’s getting in touch with what makes me happy and being true to myself. Loving yourself, not playing small and truly living is the best medicine we can find.
We are whole beings with so much to offer so treat yourself that way. Focusing on these steps helped me clear my acne in partnership with the entire CLEARSTEM product line and I know it can help you clear yours!
Don’t forget to always check your current skin, hair, and body products for pore-clogging ingredients using this list here!
If you’d like to know more about my journey, you can find me on instagram at @clairefletcher.co.
XOXO, Claire Fletcher