Watch this first...
Here is the whole story:
I have to admit, when my skin began to go haywire I was baffled. I had flawless skin in high school. So at 19 years old, I thought it was odd that I was getting these painful blemishes on a semi regular basis. It started out by being one monster cyst every couple of weeks, then it soon turned into a couple. By the time I was 21 it seemed like a new cyst would emerge overnight regularly, especially if I had a stressful day one or two days prior. There was a condition I learned about called "phantom acne" which described my situation perfectly. It is basically when you your body is stressed it can cause acne to show up sometimes overnight.
I am a big believer in finding the root cause of the problem, not just treating the symptom. So clearly my skin was saying something was wrong on the inside of me. That, more than anything, caused the most mental and emotional anguish. "There is something wrong with you." I would tell myself. "You have caused this somehow, it is your fault." "I am ugly, gross, and unlovable." This may seem extreme, but it was part of my normal internal dialog throughout my junior high and high school years long before my skin started acting up...
I was working as a makeup artist at the time and I tried many many many product lines, as well as proactive, antibiotics, seeing natural paths...nothing helped. I struggled with it for years...
“My heart was very broken and my thought life was full of lies that propelled me to strive and try to find acceptance in other people.”
So let's back up again. What was going on in my life at the time things started to flare up?
When I was 18 (high school senior) I had a falling out with my Mom. She told me to move out so I packed up and moved in with a friend and her family. I chose to cut off contact for several months to give our relationship time to cool off and heal.
My heart was very broken and my thought life was full of lies that propelled me to strive and try to find acceptance in other people.
Some common toxic thoughts were..."See, even your mom couldn't stand you." "Nobody wants you around" "Nobody loves you." "You are a fake, you don't care about anyone else but yourself." Thoughts like these would swirl in my mind on the daily. I was basically confirming over and over that I was unlovable, unwanted, and rejected.
My relationship with my mom stayed rocky over the next 2 years. I got married at 20 (I know I know...my brain wasn't fully developed yet). I often tell my husband Joe "Thank you for not being a jerk ." That major life choice could have been a doozy with the wrong person at such a young age...
Because I was vulnerable, newly married, and in a hard place mentally, Joe and I had to present some clear boundaries to protect my heart and our marriage. We shared the boundaries with my mom when I was 21, my mom responded "I will love you from afar".
Creating these boundaries caused our relationship to be estranged for the next several years.
So...do I think it was a coincidence that my body started to act out the way it did at that time? No. Was I physically manifesting rejection for everyone to see? Absolutely.
“I was exhausted and afraid. Afraid that someone I loved would not want to put up with me anymore.”
When I think back on that time in my life, it's like looking at the life of a different person. I worked so hard to make sure that I was pleasing everyone around me. From work, to friends, to church, to my marriage...I was drowning in racing thoughts constantly and covered in feelings of not being enough.
I was exhausted and afraid. Afraid that someone I loved would not want to put up with me anymore.
Now clearly, like we all do, I had taken in some pretty BIG lies. I had also made people my determining factor on whether or not those lies were true or false. Not a great method considering we are all broken and putting my worth and identity in relationships was completely unfair to everyone involved.
During my pregnancy with my daughter Charlee, my skin cleared up. It stayed clear throughout nursing and as I began to wean her, the problems started to return. It was clear to me that my skin and hormones were linked. I decided to reach out to my good friend Tracie Fountain who is a nutrition consultant and life coach. She taught me that there are some ingredients in food, cosmetics, and cleaning products that act as hormone mimickers. I wanted to learn more about how to eliminate anything that could compromise my hormones. I ended up looking closely at labels to identify these mimickers (phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens). Tracie also suggested I see an aesthetician named Lea Dolan-Stroncek to talk about getting on a clean skincare regimen.
“I still wasn't truly free.”
Making these drastic changes did help treat the symptoms of my acne, however, there was no room for error. I had to watch my food all of the time and stay on my skincare regimen or it would return. My mental and emotional health was still toxic. I still wasn't truly free.
It wasn't until about 3 years ago where I started to see a true change. I was tired of carrying the weight of striving for perfectionism. I found that the only way I would truly be free from it all is if I surrendered to an identity that had nothing to do with a checklist, measuring success, or needing people's approval. It had to do with finding unconditional love and grace. God was my source. Where His grace and love were present, no matter what I did or didn't do, Jesus covered my mistakes and swallowed up my sorrow.
I had a taste of what it was like to be fully accepted and loved. Compared to that, nothing anyone could say or do would take that from me or give me more life.
It has been penetrating my heart ever since and creating change I could never have imagined 10 years ago. I am not the same person. I can recognize the lies because they are so clearly not who I am. I do belong, I am lovable, and I hold significance in this world. I am motivated by love not fear. My life is full of hope that is not contingent on me or my surrounding circumstances.
“The major light bulb moment was, we cannot separate our minds from our bodies...it is impossible.”
My skin is now settled, calm, and beautiful. I don't care if I sound conceited...I spent plenty of time cursing my skin and hating it, it deserves some love <3 If I stray from my normal eating habits or need to wear "unclean" makeup for a photoshoot or event it is totally fine.
The major light bulb moment was, we cannot separate our minds from our bodies...it is impossible.
Whatever we choose to dwell on grows. In time it affected my body. Once I started to uproot the rejection, anger, fear, and bitterness my body and mind truly healed. It was then I was able to rest in God's unconditional love and grace for me.
I would LOVE to hear from you on this topic. Can you relate? Have you noticed if your mind and emotions affect your body? Please leave a comment with your thoughts below...
Krystle's Clean Skincare Regimen
Some of these suggestions may surprise you...I believe simplicity is the best policy in regards to skincare. So here it is without chemicals, hormone mimickers, parabens (preservatives), and other unnecessary junk. *Note: I have the regimen and products links laid out for you below the video. Enjoy!
Step 1. Cleanse
Cleanse your skin with water using the Norwex Body Cloth
Because this cloth is antibacterial, it will guard from bacteria spreading and creating more topical acne.
Step 2. Tone/brighten
On a cotton pad, use Hydrogen Peroxide to dry out and lighten any existing blemishes. Add a drop of Hibicleanse (Antiseptic Skin Cleanser) to the cotton pad to sterilize and keep the bacteria from spreading.
*The Hibicleanse may not be for everyone. If you do not struggle with ance or regular blemishes you can skip this step.
Step 3. Moisturize
Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment Small 0.16 Large 1.0oz
Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil Small 0.5oz Large 1.7oz
What do you think?? Did anything surprise you?!? I am so excited to hear your thoughts and questions on this post! So let em rip in the comment box :)
P.S. A question I ask when someone is struggling with acne or consistent breakouts: "Are you suffering from feeling rejected by someone or are you living in fear of being rejected?" What do you think their answer is 98% of the time?