face talk

by lori on June 27, 2012

Hello friends

It is has been some time since I have talked about my face. If you have been following this blog for awhile you would know that lately I have been struggling with adult acne. It all started when I got off birth control 3 years ago and it has been a HUGE battle ever since.

I have my good days, weeks, months but then I have my really low months, weeks, and days. Days where I just cry and do not want to go in public. Hard to explain all the different emotions I have gone through, but for those of you that have or are experiencing major acne or pimples then you understand what I mean.

A quick update on my skin/face this past few months.

Well, before my wedding I did really good and my face was (well I thought) getting better. But on my wedding day I had a few pimples,  I did my very best to not let get to me on my wedding day. Believe me it was EXTREMELY difficult, as you want to look your best on your special day. But for me my face had another plan.

And ever since my wedding I still have been struggling with getting clear skin.

I have some new face products that I am trying, so far so good. I will share more about them once I use them a little longer. (Michelle keeps researching and finding me new products to try or articles to read, thanks for the help sis)

I went to a dermatologist this past week because I felt like I just needed someone’s help. I tried going natural for 3 years and things worked but my acne just kept coming back. And I just do not want to go back on the pill, so I keep researching other options. The  dermatologist gave my a few things to try topically and an oral anti-biotic, but I have not full-filled the prescriptions yet, as I keep deciding if I want to do it or not. I admit I am scared. Scared of what is going to happen to my face, to my body.

I do notice that I get my worse breakouts the ‘week’ before my period, though I do not get my period every month. It varies. But no matter if I get it or not, my face still breaks out like crazy. Now for those who tend to over analyze everything we say here on the blog, it is not just one or two pimples. It is major deep cystic pimples, and they are all over the face. They seem to come in large groups too, never just one, always a handful. (which makes it even harder to stay positive)

One thing that frustrates me, is that I feel I have tried everything over these past 3 years to help my face. I have listened and tried things from others (many things from our readers here) advice but nothing really worked long term. Things work at the beginning, but after a long period of time they stop and the breakouts continue.

So I am back to the drawing boards to figure out what is going on with me. I did a hormone saliva test, I meet with my other doctor this coming Friday to go over my results. We shall see.

I will keep you all updated. Thanks for the continued support!! I am doing my best to share my journey, and to stay positive about my struggles. Like I mentioned I have my good days and bad days, mostly good days :)

I know I will get through this journey, as Michelle had bad acne for years and now has clearer skin. She has been so helpful during this difficult time for me.

I know I mentioned before in blog posts and videos that I was getting my clear skin, gave my recommendations to get clear skin, but it looks like my skin was not ready to be clear to just yet. I still believe in the things I mentioned to get clear skin will work for some people, but not all. As I am a good example of it. I had to cut way back on majority of my supplements I was taking for my face as it was getting too expensive.

At the moment I am not really taking any supplements besides fermented cod liver oil which is supposed to help with acne/poor skin, but I have been taking it for a few months and I am still struggling. I still take Vitamin D, and off and on with the DIM plus take a probiotic just about every morning and night (when I remember).  I just got panthothenic acid to try, as I have heard it can help with acne.

I feel my breakouts are still hormonal, but not sure what to do anymore to help, as I feel I have done all the natural things possible to help. I eat very clean, I workout daily, I drink my water, I do not eat fried foods or processed foods, I am not overweight, etc etc etc. My body seems to be a mystery.

I will continue to fight this battle and learn more about me along the way.

The journey continues….




{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey June 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

I’ve experience bad acne (cystic) too after going off birth control pills. I know you want to go the natural route if possible, but if you’re open to the derm and their prescriptions you might be open to Proactive. I started using it and it cleared everything up immediately. We have a vending machine type thing in our mall and I just buy it from there instead of ordering online. It really works wonders for me.

I wish you the best; such a hard thing to deal with emotionally and physically. I just know I couldn’t deal with all the food eliminations so that’s why I threw this out there.


Erikka June 28, 2012 at 8:09 am

Hi Lori, I have struggled with acne all of my teen years. I am finally getting clear by drinking green smoothies everyday, washing my face twice a day with natural soap, and using witch hazel after I wash my face. I have been vegan for over 3 years and have been told that since I no longer had dairy in my diet I shouldn’t have acne. I felt horrible and that something was wrong with me. The only supplement I take is a multivitamin (vegan) and drinks lots of water during the day. I also do yoga to help a neurological condition I have but yoga is also detoxifying so it is good to help cleans the pores. I also make sure to get outside everyday. Acne needs to sun exposure to dry the oil (all acne is associated with oil that clogs the pores).

I wish you the best on your journey.


Katie June 28, 2012 at 8:13 am

I want hug you
Katie recently posted..We are a family of {free}My Profile


Roxana June 28, 2012 at 8:32 am

I’ve heard this cream works wonder. http://www.buynoni.co.uk/natural-plus-vitamins/details/65/6/lenil-noni-cream/lenil-noni-cream-1-x-50ml-tub.html I did not try it myself, but it might be helpful. I wish you success. :)


Paige @ Running Around Normal June 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

Are the antibiotics long term? If not, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to try ‘em out. I know when something’s not right on my face, it makes me feel super vulnerable. I feel for ya, Lori!


Reyna June 30, 2012 at 4:05 am

Dear purelytwins,
I have been following your blog since the days of your socca experiments! Perhaps 2 or 3 years ago. Let me say you guys have been truly amazing. I am glad to have this chance to possibly give something back to you, after all you’ve have given by sharing.

Lori, I would like to share with you something I did to CURE my personal struggle with cystic acne. I have PCOS, which you might already know is a hormonal problem, irregular menstruation, high testosterone levels etc.
Have you heard of a 3-day apple fast? I did that and it totally cleared my face. I seriously hope you consider this. I am a great advocate of it because it was nothing short of magical for me.
You can read more what I did at my website below:

As for skincare, after my face cleared up I slowly and carefully tried different products. One thing definite is that I always go for oil-free products. They may not always be a 100% natural but definitely oil-free. Also, right now I am using Obagi, which is only to be used temporarily. They are not natural, they contain paraben but they work for my skin. The first week is harsh because it peels away oily dead skin but after finishing the one set, I end up with great skin. After that I will go back to my oil-free minimal skincare.


bri @ In Love & Words July 6, 2012 at 5:48 am

Oh my gosh, I completely feel your pain here.

I just discovered your blog after reading your guest post on Fitnessista’s blog (immediately subscribed!) and when I came across this post, I was really happy I decided to start reading.

I went through the EXACT same situation. I had clear skin all through high school and college, then when I went off birth control, all of a sudden I broke out like a teenager. My skin became greasy and pimply to the point where I’d be in the shower washing my face, so completely in shock at how bumpy it was when it used to be so smooth. I know it may seem kind of vain to some, but it was so upsetting. There was a good 6 months where I hid from the world – didn’t hang out with friends or anything – because I could barely make eye contact with them. I Felt like my acne was all they would see.

I tried all the stereotypical things like ProActiv and all those things, but nothing worked. I finally started going to the dermatologist & started taking pills (which freaked me out because i’m not a big pill-taker, but I was desperate) and it started to clear up (this is after about 3 or 4 years). However, I still had scarring.

Then I got pregnant and, obviously, had to stop taking the pills (i’d actually started cutting back significantly on taking hte pills as soon as my face started clearing up, anyway.) I still have a bit of acne (i’m still pregnant right now , 34 weeks) but it’s not as bad. Very likely from the hormones. I have no idea what my face is going to turn into after I have my baby, but I’m certainly interested in more natural remedies since I’ll be breastfeeding & I really don’t want to take any dangerous medications or topical creams. I’ll definitely be following this journey with you & if I come up with any solutions, I’ll let you know!


Lori and Michelle July 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

Bri glad you found us! And sorry to hear that you are having acne issues as well. Yes I will keep everyone updated on my face journey over at purelytwins.com (our new blog).

Rachel July 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Hi Lori. I just found your and Michelle’s blog today and I am loving it. My husband and I have been sitting here gushing over the amazing, yummy looking recipes. We are vegan and eat a lot of raw foods. We’ve already made some lists of ingredients to buy tomorrow so we can start making some of these awesome looking dishes. And you guys are getting me excited about Bodyrock – I’ve always been a gym-goer but maybe it’s time for me to try this method. Anyway I somehow found these posts about acne and wanted to leave a comment because I’ve struggled with it for years. I’m 28 and started getting bad acne in college. Maybe when I went off birth control, not sure. I tried a lot of prescription topical creams and gels over the years, and various antibiotics, and Proactive, and natural remedies. It was so frustrating because like you, I eat so clean. Finally in Dec 2011 I went on Accutane. (Well Accutane is no longer available in the US actually, I was on a generic called Claravis.) And it worked. Not to sound like a commercial but I finally have clear skin and I feel like it is a miracle. I know what it’s like to feel so low, depressed, ashamed of one’s skin, and embarrassed to go out, be social, or even make eye contact with people. My doc had me on the drug for 6 months. I experienced no serious side effects, just dry, red skin, chapped lips, and some hair loss (not a ton, not noticeable). I was really hardcore about moisturizing (so actually the dry skin wasn’t really a problem), never being without lip balm, and avoiding the sun. I know Accutane is a risk as apparently there are some potentially serious side effects. But I feel my body can handle it for 6 months, and then I’m good forever (hopefully) as far as clear skin. Before I was always rationalizing — “I broke out because I ate too much sugar” “I didn’t give that treatment long enough to work” — stuff like that. But I finally realized other people are able to eat those foods and live their lives a certain way, and they don’t have acne, so it’s not about the food or the supplements or whatever (just my opinion). Now I’m clear – I don’t even have to wash my face. I don’t use any follow-up treatments, I’m just clear. It feels amazing, I can’t put it into words really. I wish I’d gotten my act together and done this years ago, but I try not to beat myself up about it. Well anyway I wish you all the luck in the world dealing with this thing. Know that there are fans out there who support you. Thanks for the amazing blog and keep up the great work. -Rachel


Marina July 11, 2012 at 4:55 am

Hi Lori and Michelle,
I really feel for you and can relate to your feelings. I came across your blog a year ago through bodyrock and stopped by occanionally ever since. I experienced just the same problems at the beginning of this year and had trouble with it until now. Fortunately, my acne completely vanished after I startet the Paleo Diet. I can highly recommend the book of Loren Cordain : The Paleo Diet. Just like you, I had digestive problems since ten years. I had been suffering of depression for many years and for a very long time I just felt hopeless about it. But Bodyrock gave me back my lost energy and thanks to the paleo diet I finally regained my overall health. Please, give it a try! You both still eat things that might cause your problems. Grains such as buckweat, legumes such as garbanzo beans and starchy foods like potato (or even sweet potato) all contain ingredients that can cause permanent inflammation. However, I know, that what works well for one, maybe won’t do the the job for others. But I really would love to see you recovering and feeling better. Keep up the good work!


Carol July 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Bio identical hormones could help with acne. A compounding pharmacy or a natural doctor could test you.



Chrissy July 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Hi Lori, I’ve had issues with adult acne also, so I know how you feel. I never had it as a teen, started in my mid 20′s. I did some research too and recently cut out milk and try to limit dairy as much as possible. Although I love cheese so much, hard to not have a little! Limiting dairy has helped my skin. I’m also currently using Eminence Organic face products. My routine is to cleanse with Mineral Cleansing Concentrate (morning and night), moisturize with Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer and use the Clear Skin Probiotic Masque 3 or 4 times a week in the evening. The products are expensive but they have helped me the most of anything I’ve tried for problem skin. I don’t exfoliate a lot as I find it makes things worse. I think the masque helps to exfoliate gently. I had a problem with the cystic acne, not a lot of them, but they are painful and would take a while to clear up. My skin in so much better!!! I do get a few pimples still, but not the large cystic sore ones that would stick around for a month. Not sure if you’ve tried Eminence but it’s something that could help. I truly love the masque, it feels so good and takes the redness out, very soothing. Hope you find something that works for you, keep trying :) )


Elena August 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

Let’s see how briefly I can summarize this. Have you tried acupuncture?
Eastern philosophy has always been the best answer when it comes to my very crappy health, I mean, very crappy. (Chinese and Aryuveda). (Diet included).

I was to the point my body could not eat any gluten, dairy, coffee, nightshade veggies, nothing…everything would cause some kind of inbalance that reflected in muscles, joints, hair, skin, mind, immune, hormones. There was NO BALANCE and it seemed hopeless. After 3 years of considering being on disability, and only 4 months of (not even that much) acupuncture and only one inexpensive bottle of chinese herbs that lasts me two months at a time, my muscles are growing again, I can eat more normal, my skin is better, my hair doesn’t fall, I can stand in the heat without hive breakouts, I don’t go crazy on periods. My body cleanses toxins again!!!

They find the energy blockage in the organ that causes the symptoms. The needles open your bloodflow and life force to help that area heal itself (especially as healthy as you already eat).

I never believed in it, but my husband said we must try it at least once. Living Social had a ridiculous sale and now I can’t believe I had almost given up on health. Doctors said it was autoimmune, it can’t be cured, blah blah blah. Chinese medicine said it’s your spleen and stomach that needs attention. I find a new improvement every week. Inflammation is manageble, stress is managable, hence my skin glows again.

If you try it, or already have, let me know what you think.


Lori and Michelle August 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

Elena glad you found what worked for you, I cannot afford acupuncture at the moment, maybe one day.

Katerina August 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Maybe you have already tried this, but I wanted to mention acne.org
I have combination to oily skin and had a lot of different problems with cyst acne for a long time on and off. Using the “treatment’ mixed with AHA mourning and night is all that worked for me. I used those together because my skin just cannot seen to handle moisturizers. It is not a natural regiment, which I did not love, but it works, and is cheaper than many other options out there.
Best of luck


Miri October 28, 2012 at 7:18 am

I don’t have time to read all the comments, so maybe someone already suggested this, but I have found for my self, and my kids, it’s all about allergies!
My first child had severe asthma, and after trying everything alternative to try and avoid the daily steroids, I decided to go to an allergist. I knew he was sensitive to dairy products, but I hadn’t realized that he was allergic to the soy milk I was replacing it with. ONE WEEK later – no asthma, and not even once again in two years.
My second had recurring ear infections. Two days after we finished a round of antibiotics another infection would develop, until – you guessed it … the allergist said he was alergic to chocolate. I stopped eating it for the duration that I nursed him, and again, not another ear infection since.
But the best was my fourth. A month after he was born, he developed severe acne onall over his face, and it was starting to climb down his torso. The allergist took me (I was nursing) off grain, dairy, soy, nuts, fish and nightshades, and again, one week later he had a perfectly gorgeous face, and by the end of 3 weeks, his torso was clear. BUT the best part was… my face also cleared up! I assume that I am also allergic to one of those things, because it is like night and day!
You don’t have to start an elimination diet. It’s hard. But if you can get a recommendation for an allergist, I would really recommend it! Good Luck!


julie November 5, 2012 at 2:18 am

i am 24 and have been dealing with acne since 7th grade. I got off birth control about 7 months ago and my face went crazy!! I already had bad acne but it got to the point where i had like 20 new pimples in the morning and 10 more that night (not including the little bumps) I have gone through every emotion just like u said u did and tried so many things. this lady recommended femmenessence macaharmony. it’s not a hormone but helps balance them out. with that i also started taking the most natural state of aloe pills (for the inflammation) that i could find and cut out dairy as much as i could…and i’m telling u my face looks 80% better…people with acne are a lot of times sensitive to dairy and have inflammation …and these improvements happened within a month. …im not sure if all of these helped or just one of them but i dont want to stop taking one of them and risk my face getting bad again…..hope this helps and good luck :)


Lisa January 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hi Ladies,

I feel for you so much. I tried going off of birth control for a few months last year, and ended up right back on Yasmin because of an acne outbreak that scared the s*** out of me. I woke up every day and thought I was living in a nightmare. Maybe you know how I feel in that way. I didn’t leave my apartment in NYC, and it started to affect my self-image and my marriage, because I became extremely defensive and would burst into tears when my husband told me I looked pretty – something he did before I had acne and it made me feel good, but after acne there were so many emotions going on, I couldn’t handle him saying it. This of course, was extremely confusing to him as well. Overall, the entire experience numbers among my worst.

So, here I am, back on it with no plans of going off again. I’m 30 now, so we have talked about starting to think more seriously about having kids, but I really don’t know if I can handle the uncertainty. I never thought I’d be in a place where I’d have to weigh having kids with having acne. It is the worst. Let’s just say that going off of birth control is going to be very well-thought out. There will be no surprise kids in my future. :) I am going to go to a dermatologist and maybe an endocrinologist before thinking about kids to try to get a better idea of what might happen. I can’t risk losing my mind again.


Kat February 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Hi Lori,
I really feel for you. I’ve also suffered from acne for years now. It had/has devastating effects on my self-esteem. My story is a bit like yours, only I had acne pretty much all my life.I went on the pill and it seemed to work really well. Of course after years of being on it I really wanted to actually get better and not just ‘mask’ the problem. I also was stuck and didn’t know what else to do…until I tried acupuncture!

I agree with Elena, Western doctors just don’t know how to deal with skin issues.
It’s been working for me. It is expensive, but you can spread out the sessions. They give you a different diet requirements; for me it was to eat more ‘cooling’ foods such as bitter melon, green leafy foods and no coffee! This last one was really difficult, as I’m a major coffee addict.
At first, my TCM practitioner told me that it might get worse before it gets better; she explained it as releasing all the ‘heat’. She also said that skin is linked to emotions, period and circulation, apparently I had a lot of pent up emotions which I wasn’t dealing with, and this results in missing or weak periods, the other side of it is of course violent periods when they do come (and also violent emotions).
So a good technique is to be kinder to yourself and to accept yourself and your emotions as they are; I know this is much harder said than done, believe me. It’s not an easy journey but when you know where the problem lies it’s easier to understand that you CAN deal with what happens to your body.

My case was severe, but after 2 years of treatment my face and chest look pretty good, however I still have stubborn few on the back. They seem to keep coming back, I need to improve my diet.

Usually they say it takes about a year or so to get better. I know it’s embarrassing having to deal with this, it’s like telling the whole world there’s something wrong with you. But, I’m glad that an imbalance in my body is coming out this way rather than in more serious form down the track. At least I can deal with this….well because I have to, it’s literally in my face.
Good luck:)


Marie March 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I have struggled with acne since going off the birth control pill many years ago as well. I totally feel your pain in this area. I have cystic acne right now– the worst I have ever had– and am pregnant with our third. I sometimes don’t want to go out because it’s so bad. I actually had a visiting missionary from our church come up and ask me ‘What happened??’ And do a broad gesture to my face. I wanted to die. I said, I’m pregnant.

Anyway, I eat super clean, sugar free, no yucky oils, all natural, many organics. It’s awful to see no progress. And the only thing that has ever worked is Proactiv. I don’t want to go back to that! It’s so labor intensive plus it’s not natural. But right now I’m using witch hazel and ACV (separately) and seeing no progress at all. I don’t have a clue what to do next. I’ve tried everything in the world. The only thing that I haven’t tried is getting tested for food intolerances. I was such a junk food junky, I think that might be why. I guess my next step might be doing GAPS diet, but I don’t want to. :(


Laura April 4, 2013 at 11:52 am

Have you considered going dairy-free? I have had cystic acne in my adult years (after going off birth control), and several of my friends too. We have all gone dairy free at various points and for various reasons, and the acne has subsided (for all of us)! It often doesn’t matter if milk or cheese is organic, your body/hormones (and everyone is different) will react similarly with any dairy.

Good luck!


Kim June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

Have you ever read that your body detoxes via several means…one of which is your skin? I don’t have an explanation as to why it prefers the skin of the face, but sometimes drinking more water or eating cleaner (specifically eliminating a specific food item or group) can be helpful. Maybe you could track what you eat and then note how your skin looks the over the days that follow? I know you and your sister eat concentrate on eating very clean already…just a thought.


Miguel September 5, 2013 at 11:24 am

OMG you have just describes what I’m going through :( I was actuate for a few months and then I had no insurance. I still had a few occasional breakouts but it was fine, this was at age 18.. I’m 22 And the acne is back, like bad!! But it’s only on my neck, I’m scared that this will never end and I hate myself for it.. I’m a guy and this sucks, idk how you people do it,, you are all so strong but I don’t feel like I’m strong at all


Stephanie May 5, 2014 at 12:50 am

Hi I can relate to this. I am in my 20′s and my acne has just gotten worse. I feel like giving up because Ive tried so many things. And I went to the Dermatologist and we talked about Acutane; however, the side effects are a bit scary so I wanted to know if theres something else I can try before I decide to go on this medication. I know it has been a while since this post but I was wondering if anything ever worked for you?


J. Stokes July 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Hi Lori. My issue with my skin is almost exact as yours. However, i decided to get back on the pill, which reduced the amount of bumps, but did not get rid of them. It seems like i get at least one or two new bumps per day. I got checked by my doctor for other issues that i had regarding my cycle, and was told i had polycysticovarian syndrome. Well, that answered a lot of questions regarding my skin! Apparently, nothing i do on the outside will clear my skin, because i have these cysts causing my hormones to be imbalanced. And there is no cure, just treatment that is only temporary. So, i just try to do the best that i can to kerp yhe bumps at bay. Proactiv really helps. Good luck with your journey in finding something that will help for you.


loisk July 27, 2014 at 8:45 am

I have suffered from small acne all thru my 20s, esp during my menstral cycle. Im 30 yrs old and have dry skin mostly. I came upon the Citrus Clear face wash, and within 1 week, my acne cleared up 80%. I wear heavy makeup daily for work, and wash my face every night with Citrus Clear before bed. This really takes the makeup off well, makes my skin feel fresh and it can breathe. I apply the Citrus Clear Moisturizer (sensitive skin) as a moisturizer as well every morning and night.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: