Bonding with your breakouts

It’s really easy to dismiss all of the wonderful functions your skin is constantly doing for you when you experience a breakout. You start to feel like your body is working against you just like that awful feeling you get when you’ve got food poisoning or a sprained ankle. “Why does my body hate me?” is usually the first thought that pops up for us when dealing with an imbalance but is that really true? Do our bodies really hate us? On the contrary, our bodies show nothing but love for us whenever we are experiencing imbalance and whatever is showing up is occuring after multiple attempts in communication by your body. It’s sort of like when you ignore an IOS update on your phone so much that all of a sudden your apps are working much more slowly. You have to update in order to get your device to work efficiently. Our bodies need that update all the time and we often silence the signals, or simply don’t recognize them until it erupts in (or on) our face.

So how do we shift this habit? It’s simple. You have to learn to bond with your breakouts. I know it sounds crazy but connecting to what is going on will help you determine the root source of inflammation or imbalance. Here are a few ways how;

Whenever I personally experience any type of skin imbalance I do have the mindfulness that it’s not the end of the world. I’ve spent years hating myself, my body, and every other circumstantial thing that may have caused my skin to flare. What I didn’t do was realize that of course, I’m going to break out if I neglect my health in any way. Now I can determine some of the markers that will lead to a breakout before it happens so I have the means to support myself or redirect my focus so that my skin stays calm.

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The first way in which I do so is that I keep track of my where I am at in my menstrual cycle. If you are not sure where you are at in your menstruation or you don’t menstruate, that’s okay, you can still tune into your hormone health in other ways. Keeping a tracker of any symptoms is ideal here. My personal favorite form of this is using the My Flo app so that I can see the expected levels of my hormones based off of my phase in my cycle. This isn’t difficult to do and usually requires less than one minute of effort. So when I see that my hormones may be at peak concentration, I make sure to support myself differently than when I notice I’m really low. Navigating this alone can completely change your health patterns. If you’re chronically fatigued or feeling as if you are about to get sick, your lymphatic system will be the first thing to become stagnant so toxins then become infections in the skin. You can track your hormones by taking your temperature, observing your own sleep patterns, or even just noticing if you have excess or little energy. Start cataloging these things for yourself so that when a breakout occurs, you can determine its potential root cause. This practice isn’t there to shame you, it’s meant to empower you with knowledge about your own rhythms.

So what do you do when you’ve skipped those steps and are already at a breakout? That’s okay too. Most of you have to know by now that self-extraction is a form of self-sabotage and not in any way beneficial to the skin. It’s like forcing your stomach to digest faster than it can or getting mad at a broken ankle to heal faster. In order to get better there needs to be some serious self-love in your life. The breakout didn’t occur to make you feel bad about yourself, it’s most likely telling you that you need to slow down, eat more beneficial and nourishing foods, and maybe even to simplify your skincare! The answer can start to unfold through the cataloging but shifting your need to pick habit is key to a self-loving skin ritual. Treat your blemish with kindness as it is already doing everything it can to resolve it’s issue. By the time you even start to notice or feel a blemish, it has most likely been brewing in your skin for a while. So instead you want to be able to give it what it’s asking for which is a calming environment in which it can heal faster. The best ways to do that are as follows;

  • Cool the area by avoiding any heat, acids, overly stimulating practices. This may not feel like the correct instinct for a while but that’s because we’ve been marketed to think that we have to KILL bacteria. There are bacteria all over your body and we need an equal amount of the good bacteria to balance our skin’s health. Overstressing the skin is not the way to do so and in fact, it can spread and bread more bacteria. Start with a cooling ritual for your skin like massaging an ice cube on the areas of concern. Avoid excess water and heated temperatures to help support your skin’s natural ability to regulate heat.

  • Drink lots of fluids including water and skin-supportive herbal teas. This helps flush any toxins in the body as well as support your natural flow. If the skin feels dehydrated, it’s ability to nourish and protect the skin is weakened so it cannot fight against external sensitizers. Lots of fluid intake will help your cells feel nourished and supported so that you can move past a breakout so much faster and get your glow back.

  • Support your detoxification! Your skin is a part of the systems that help you eliminate wastes so it’s important to know that the skin is simply doing its job in supporting other detoxification if your other organs are working too hard. A balance between your lungs, liver, kidneys, digestive system and your skin is essential since they all work towards regulating and eliminating waste. This doesn’t mean go on a cleanse, but perhaps visit an acupuncturist or naturopath who can help you determine which system needs the most support. Shifting to the area that needs the most care will take the pressure off of your skin.

Lastly, I think it's important to remember to express gratitude to our bodies whenever they are in transition. Your skin will never feel the same as it does today, yesterday, or tomorrow. It is in constant evolution! You don't have to dwell on the fact that it is doing it's job to self-regulate, because often times these experiences of severe breakouts are linked to more important matters that we need to shift our attention to. Without honoring what the skin is trying to tell us, we could have bigger issues to tackle later down the road. Remember that nothing is permanent with the skin, and no one has perfect skin either. We all have something we can improve upon just as much as we have aspects of our skin to be grateful for. So the next time you're feeling down about a breakout, think about how hard your body is working for you and say a little thank you to your breakout for letting you know. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week! xo - Hayley