If you have been following me for this past year, you know that acne is something that I have been struggling with for a couple of years now. I started out just thinking that it was normal, and as the years went on and it wouldn’t go away/kept getting worse, I knew there had to be some underlying cause. It wasn’t until I started doing research on my specific acne location that I discovered it was probably some type of hormonal issue.
As I dove deeper, I discovered that hormonal birth control is a major contributor to acne when the pill is stopped. When I discovered this, I was so mad that no one ever told me that there is such a thing as “post-birth control syndrome”. If you have read my post about some harmful effects of the pill, you know that there are many side effects other than acne that can happen to people when going off the pill. Acne is just the tip of the iceberg.
Anywho, let’s get back to my acne. Since I am passionate about health, I try to be as “natural” as possible with anything that I put in and on my body. For a couple of years I tried all of the products that are “natural” and not toxic to my body. However, none of them helped my face whatsoever.
My acne wasn’t getting any better. I was also starting to see horrible scarring and very dry/wrinkly skin. This was super frustrating. I kept bouncing from product to product to see what would help me, and nothing was helping. I thought that I was going to have to switch to products that are super expensive and toxic in order for it to work.
It wasn’t until the last few years that I have discovered how toxic personal care products are in the United States. From the Environmental Working Group’s website,
“Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. “
The Environmental Working Group is an amazing resource to check specific products and how toxic they are for our bodies. On their website, they have listed specific ingredients to avoid for certain products. They also have an app called “Think Dirty” that you can download on your smartphone and you can scan bar codes of your household products to see how toxic they may be. Let me warn you, once I started doing this I discovered how toxic just about everything I was using for skincare, haircare, and household cleaning products. Since then I have been making the switch gradually to better products that don’t have a toxic effect on my body.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
You might be asking, how are these products so toxic? How can breathing something or putting something on my skin really have that much of an effect on overall health? Without going into too much detail, the effects of these chemicals include carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental complications, endocrine disruptions (aka hormones), organ system toxicity, allergic reactions, and many more. I often wonder if some of the health problems that so many of us have today could be completely avoided if we didn’t have so many chemicals all around us in our products.
So as you can see, knowing all of this, I was super frustrated that there wasn’t any products out there that actually WORK and are not toxic to my body. I had heard of Rodan and Fields and saw so many people have such great results, however, I just wasn’t comfortable putting all of those chemicals in my body. (If you go to their website FAQs, they do not recommend you use their products during pregnancy without consulting a doctor… that is a RED FLAG to me.)
Beautycounter to the rescue
Enter, Beautycounter. This company makes safe, non-toxic products that actually work. Their mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. You can read all about it on the website.
I found out about Beautycounter from a Dietitian’s blog post about her acne struggles and what she was doing to get rid of it. After reading her post, I looked at the prices on Beautycounter’s website and was very reluctant to purchase anything. To be honest, I don’t really spend a lot of money on anything but student loans! So I waited a while to purchase, but couldn’t stop thinking about it. I finally decided that I was desperate and had to try something. It was expensive and I was taking a risk to see if it would help my skin like it has for others.
Let me tell you, it was WORTH THE MONEY and more! Within 2-3 days, I was already noticing an improvement in my skin. It was softer, glowing, and just looked overall healthier. I was mad that I didn’t get it sooner.
I want to point out that Beautycounter doesn’t have a specific “acne” line. I purchased the nourishing collection because that is what I decided would work best. It helped my acne by smoothing my skin, healing it, and nourishing it overall.
I STOPPED USING BEAUTYCOUNTER
So, I have to admit, after using it for about 4 months I had forgotten how bad my acne was before starting Beautycounter and I decided to stop purchasing it because of the cost.
I regret that.
My acne came back with a vengeance! For about 6 months, I dealt with horrible acne along my cheeks, jaw, and neck (which is what you see in the pictures below). I tried supplementing, changing my diet, cutting caffeine, different face cleansers/ masks. Anything, you name it. I tried it! I was so frustrated! I was starting to give up completely and was starting to think that I was going to have to deal with it forever.
I don’t think that stopping Beautycounter is what caused my acne to come back, because I have underlying hormonal issues that I am getting taken care of (will be talking about in later posts). But after going through 6 months with horrible skin, I decided to re-think Beautycounter and eventually decided to give it a go again.
I am so happy I did and I will never turn back! It is by far the best products I have ever used for my face and not to mention the least toxic. It almost seems too good to be true… it’s not. (In fact, I even became a consultant because I believe in their products so much).
I was so against getting any sort of antibiotic (which I still am) for my acne or any type of cream that could be toxic before I tried everything natural. I thought that I would be able to cure my acne with an all natural approach. But sometimes that isn’t enough. I had a clean diet, good sleep routine, exercised regularly, and took vitamins. But it wasn’t enough to combat the toll that hormonal birth control had on my health. I am STILL trying to “fix” my hormones and figure out what exactly is going on. In the meantime, I have to have something that gives me some relief from my acne and can start the healing process of my skin.
I decided to get a prescription for a topical retinol cream (tretinoin 0.1) from my doctor because I have used it before and that had helped my acne in the past. I also read about it on several blogs.
Retinol is listed as a “never” ingredient on Beautycounter’s website and they do not use it in their products. Many people avoid using it because they have heard that it is toxic and could cause skin cancer. However, the research that is done on Retinol is mainly the kind that is used in beauty care products and not when it is used as a prescription. The testing that was done is also done on rats in very high doses that may not even translate into human use. They also warn you to stay out of the sun when using it because the UV rays combined with the retinol is what speeds the tumor growth. If you stay out the sun, you minimize the risks.
SO, I generally considered this to be safe as a prescription for myself if I stay out of the sun and plan to use it short term. I plan to use it to clear up my skin and my scarring. Once my acne is settling down, I plan to discontinue using it.
BEFORE AND AFTER BEAUTYCOUNTER
My skin still isn’t perfect. But it is a heck of a lot better than it was and it is on it’s way to healing. Below are some pictures of my journey and where my skin is currently. I can honestly say my skin is healthier than it has been in a long, long time. (I have also been taking some supplements and changing my diet. I will go into more detail about that at a later time.) Just to note, the “before pictures” are all before I started Beautycounter and Tretinoin 0.1%. I started using Beautycounter November 27, 2017 and Tretinoin December 9, 2017.
All of the redness you see in the second picture, is scarring. I do not have any new lesions on my face right now (PRAISE THE LORD FOR RELIEF!) Now, I am focusing on keeping the breakouts to a minimum and healing these dang scars.
My Current Skin Care Routine
Cleanse with the Nourishing Cream Cleanser
Wipe a Rejuvenating Toner Pad over entire face… this really helps to clear dead skin off my face
Rub 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil over acne scars
Use 1-2 pumps of Rejuvenating Day Cream over entire face and neck
Apply the Rejuvenating Eye Cream under eyes and at top of cheeks
Spray No.1 Brightening Facial Mist either before or after makeup… this really helps to nourish my skin and make it glow
Note: I will sometimes substitute the nourishing cream cleanser with the Charcoal Cleansing Bar to cleanse (it’s an affordable option if you are wanting to try out Beautycounter)
Cleanse with the Nourishing Cream Cleanser or Nourishing Cream Exfoliator (2-3 times/week)
Wait 20-30 minutes and apply tretinoin 0.1%
Wait 20-30 minutes and moisturize with the Rejuvenating Night Cream
Apply the Rejuvenating Eye Cream under eyes and at top of cheeks
Use the Cleansing Balm as an overnight moisturizer if my skin is very dry from the tretinoin 0.1% (in my opinion, this is the best product Beautycounter has)
Apply the No.1 Brightening Facial Mask and let sit for 10 minutes… this really helps to smooth out my face and nourish it
Note: I am using the Rejuvenating Collection currently because I am trying to heal my skin from acne scars. After I heal my skin I plan to switch to the Nourishing Collection because it is a more affordable option and works great! (I used this line when I first started using Beautycounter)
In the End
Obviously, the products we use for our face is just the beginning. Since our face is something most women focus on the most, I think it is one of the most important. But using the EWG website and Think Dirty app to look into each and every product we use that could contain chemicals is super important. I am currently switching to a non-toxic lifestyle for all products I use because I am trying to balance my hormones and get rid of chemicals that may be disrupting the natural processes in my body (and I don’t care if you think I’m crazy!)
Beautycounter is just the start for me and I am so thankful I found them. I discovered them from a blog post so I am hoping that others can discover them by reading my blog post. They have changed the way I look at skin care.
If you decide to try the products and want to become a consultant yourself, click here!
Disclaimer: I became a consultant with Beautycounter because I have loved using their products and I want to help others discover safer beauty products that actually work! I may receive commission for any products purchased through my site and it will help me to continue to spread the word of safer beauty for everyone! Thank you for any support!