Is stress causing your acne?

12 May

I have a little story to share with you–one that started about 6 months ago. Starting around November last fall I had a number of circumstances that were causing me a lot stress. I was maintaining my current workload while taking on more work and new challenges. I would experience prolonged episodes of stress– to the point where my chest would constrict, breathing would get heavy, and it could take up to an hour for symptoms to subside. If anyone has experienced this before, you know that symptoms can persist well after the stress trigger has past; leaving the body to constantly pump out stress hormones (epinephrine and cortisol) which in any normal ‘fight or flight’ situation allows your body to function optimally. For me, my body had become so accustomed to this state of stress that any minor daily occurrence could trigger symptoms at any time during the day.

If you are finding that you have persistent breakouts (especially painful cysts along your jaw), you are eating a ‘clean’ diet (low in processed foods and high in plants),  and you are using all natural products, than you may want to take a look at your stress level and investigate how it’s affecting your hormones.

Acne affects both our mental and physical state and it takes a lot of patience and self love to heal. After many weeks of anxiety and frustration over what I saw in the mirror, and having no other ‘remedies’ left in my arsenal to try, I finally went to visit a naturopathic doctor.

My doctor confirmed what I had already suspected: my body’s chronic state of stress had affected my hormones (which are  triggers for acne). I would do a great disservice to the workings of the body and to the medical field if I were to try and expand on the details of this exchange. What I can say though is this: of all of the terrible effects we know stress has on our bodies, hormone imbalance is one of them and it takes a lot of patience and the proper healing supplements to reverse its affects.

Estrosense, supplement for hormone balance

EstroSense, supplement for hormone balance

I was prescribed the following supplements for my treatment plan:

  • Daily high does of EPA (fish oil) with primrose and borage oil
  • EstroSense – this is not a hormone replacer but contains Indole 3 Carbinol which is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables and aids the body’s hormone metabolizing function
  • RelaxMax – this is a neurotransmitter and hormone support supplement that helps the body stand up to stress

****This is what was prescribed for me based on my body, diet, and symptoms, but please speak to someone before spending money and taking supplements that may not work or may not be right for your body. ****

I have begun to see improvements since starting this treatment plan, and I will certainly keep you updated on how it goes.

I want to give people hope when it comes to acne. Most often than not, it is our body’s way of telling us that something is not right internally and we need to heal it gently. . . not wage war with harsh chemicals and drugs.

Be well xx



DIY Minty Toothpaste

9 Apr

Hey there lovely readers,

As a follow up to a recent post I wrote on natural dental care, here is a toothpaste recipe for all of those DIY mavens in the house. This recipe is very simple and, I must say, leaves you feeling extremely gratified because you can make something (*you thought*) only giant corporations with names that rhyme with ‘best’ and ‘tollgate’ could produce.

Go on and try your hand at this toothpaste, even for the sake of saying you did. If you realize the handmade stuff is not your thing, than as I suggested in my previous post, there are tons of great natural options out there (no assembly required). 🙂

DIY Minty Toothpaste

DIY Minty Toothpaste- cut the end off of a used toothpaste tube, fill with handmade version and seal with a clip or a toothpaste rolling key.

Minty Toothpaste

2 Tbs baking soda (mild abrasive and whitener)

2 Tbs coconut oil (antibacterial and good for gums — use cold-pressed, virgin, and if possible organic)

1 Tbs vegetable glycerin (clear, odourless liquid produced from plant oils and can be easily purchased at your local health food store)

1/2-1 tsp of stevia (to sweeten, otherwise baking soda is bitter –optional)

20-25 drops of peppermint essential oil (or try other essential oils like clove or lemon)

Mix all together into a creamy paste. Store in a airtight jar, a squeezy bottle, or I like to use a tip that I got from nutritionista Meghan Telpner and use an empty toothpaste tube. Cut the end off of the tube, wash it out, dry, and fill with toothpaste. Seal with a food clip, or a toothpaste tube rolling key (as shown in picture).


Weekly Inspiration

2 Apr

Hey lovely readers,

Lately I have had some trouble keeping focus; mainly on goals and where I want to be in 1,5,10 years. I have found that reflecting on the present moment and observing activities that make up my time helps to garner some perspective.

Last week I had a visit by one of my beautiful sisters who had just come back from living in Argentina. Time with my family is always so special and reinvigorating–this visit was no exception. One morning I awoke to a quote transcribed by my sister on my kitchen chalkboard and it has stuck with me:

“Let the beauty we are, be what we do. There are many ways to kneel down and kiss the earth”. – Rumi

What a beautiful message! So much of what we do reflects who we are and where we aspire to be–even if we don’t realize it. Where do you spend your free time? What are you watching and listening to? What makes you soar? Come alive? Invigorates and brings you life?

Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to:

Listening to moody winter tunes- Volcano Choir has become my anthem for the long and cold winter days. If this music sounds vaguely familiar, your ears are not mistaken. Volcano Choir is a collaboration between Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Collections of Colonies of Bees . . .  Amaaazing!

Visiting the Integrative Health Institute (IHI)– I absolutely love this place. As the name suggests, IHI houses a number of holistic health practitioners all under one roof — which happens to be a gorgeous, airy, loft-like space. Each month they host a number of (free) wellness workshops on a variety of topics, check them out!

Eating comfort food- I love weekends! (I am sure there are more than a few who agree 🙂 ). Weekends for me are definitely the time when I regroup, recharge, and get inspired . . . and that always calls for some life-giving comfort food! I find myself making these pancakes more often than not because they are so00 delicious and full of goodness . . . at least more so than their regular counterparts.

Learning from others– Lately I have been inspired by the highly knowledgeable skin guru, Fran Kerr, who turned me on to the wonderful properties of hemp oil (especially great for acne). Watch her video here.

Hemp Oil has a comedongenic rating of '0' so it will not clog pores. I put some in a dropper bootle for ea

Hemp oil has a comedongenic rating of ‘0’ so it won’t clog pores. I pour mine in a dropper bottle for easy application.

What’s inspiring you lately? Do share!


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