Watch: How I treated my acne

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Why are we so obsessed with having clear skin?

Skin experts tell us that clear skin is beautiful, clean, and healthy. Pimples are definitely a warning from our bodies, letting us know that something is not right internally.

I’m not a doctor but I’ve been to many who all say the same thing: watch what you eat.

That’s a topic for another blog post but if you really want to clear your skin, it’s important to understand what’s causing it first.

Watch my story on how I’ve been treating my acne below:

Here’s some pics of how bad my acne was. I’m wearing makeup in all of them because, for some reason, it made me feel like it was less noticeable. Ironically, you can see it clearly here:

Taken 2015: I had just stopped using the strong medication prescribed my dermatologist because it was affecting my health. After a few months off YAZ, the breakouts returned.
Taken 2016: New year, new breakouts. My poor pores on my forehead were covered in a Mac foundation which just made my breakouts worse.
Taken early 2017: I’m not wearing any makeup here. I had changed my diet after seeing a homeopath and my breakouts had begun to clear but I still had a lot of scarring.
September 2017: I still get some breakouts before menstruation but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. I’m not wearing foundation in this photo and my hair is covering the sides of my face but that’s where I mostly still have scarring.

Here’s what I’ve been using to help reduce my acne scarring:

Toner

A toner is one of the most underrated products of a skincare routine. It helps to balance your body’s PH levels so that after you’ve cleansed, your body won’t try to produce excess oil to keep your skin hydrated. I’ve been using a Beaucience alcohol-free toner that you can get at Wellness Warehouse for around R 89.

Exfoliating Brush

I’ve recently upgraded from my sorbet face brush to the Clarisonic Smart Profile. The Clarisonic is the Porshe of face brushes.

I immediately fell in love when I started using it. Aside from cleansing and exfoliating my skin, the visible difference is how polished my face looks after using the face brush. I use it in the morning and evening.

Head over to Clarisonic shop SA to get 25% off, using my discount code: CLSNC-25-962

I apply a face wash to the bristles of my brush and then scrub my face gently to help remove dead skin and lighten my acne scars. It’s made a huge difference.

Clay Mask

Before acne, masks were a rare treat but now that clear skin has become a mission, I’ve started using masks more frequently. I was gifted the Loreal Detox Clay Mask at the launch of Loreal Elvive’s Curl Pride and decided to try it one night after my skin was looking dull. It really works! I use it once a week now.

Sunscreen

Brown people need sunscreen too! I never bothered applying sunscreen because I’d always worn a moisturizer or foundation with a low SPF. But if you have acne scars and get sunburnt, your scars will be darker so make sure that you protect your skin by applying a good sunscreen.

I use the YungSkin SPF 40 sunscreen which isn’t greasy at all. It has a matte finish, light, creamy texture, and smells really good.

A natural way to clear zits quickly

Cue the angels for tea tree oil.

It has a distinct minty aroma and feels a bit burny if you apply too much.

Pure tea tree oil will dry your skin if you apply oil to areas that aren’t excessively oily. My oily t-panel is where pimples show themselves first but then I apply tea tree oil and the bumps disappear within days.

Was this post helpful to you? Let me know in the comment section below and share it with a friend who may want to reduce his or her acne scarring.

Giveaway! Capture your 2018 moments with a Nikon Coolpix camera

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Stand a chance to win this cool Nikon CoolPix camera by subscribing to Be Whole.

You have a whole year ahead of you.

No matter what, it’s going to be an adventure.

There will be moments so beautiful that you’d wished you’d had a cool camera to capture the moment to look back on it.

One lucky reader will.

Subscribe to join the tribe below for your chance to win:

*Giveaway closed! * Congratulations Tarryn-lee Veldsman

What’s cool about the Nikon Coolpix?

nikon coolpix, be whole. robyn ruth thomas

It’s super lightweight.

Its 20-megapixel camera is great for taking those spur-of-the-moment pics or videos. You could pop it into your bag or carry it in your pocket with ease if you’re heading to a concert.

The pics are high-resolution. There’s nothing worse than having an awesome night and taking lots of pics, only to find that most of them are blurry and the only clear photo didn’t capture your good side. You don’t have to worry about blurry pics with the Nikon Coolpix’s auto-detect feature. The camera will focus on your intended subjects automatically to make sure that your snaps are clear.

It also has a tripod portal so that you can connect your selfie stick to make sure that you’ve got the best angle.

Zoom for days. The optical zoom feature lets you zoom in on objects a good distance away and snap them at a high resolution. No grainy pics unless that’s the look you’re going for.

How many pics can you take?

As many as you’d like. Similar to most digital cameras, the Nikon Coolpix has a memory card slot for you to decide how much storage space you need. While the camera itself doesn’t come with a memory card, once you have your own memory card, sharing photos and videos is made easy by simply inserting the card into your pc.

Increase your chance of winning by letting me know why you want to win in the comment section below:

NOTE:

  • This competition is valid for South African entrants only.
  • Only one entry per person will be allowed.
  • The winner will be announced on this post on 6 February 2018 and contacted via the email address provided.

Skin Renewal Review: Facial Peel for Acne

azelan facial peel, robyn ruth thomas, be whole, skin renewal

If you’ve watched my Instagram stories, you’d have seen snippets of what my first facial peel experience was like.

I had high expectations.

This mission to regain clear skin has been going on for years – before I even big chopped in 2014. By modifying my diet, taking natural supplements, exercise and trying to get more sleep (the last one is still quite difficult), I’ve managed to massively reduce the number of breakouts I experience.

No more painful red bumps that make my face feel like a grater.

I usually only experience minor breakouts when I’m due to start my period now or if I’ve had a lot of sugar. You’d never believe how much sugar there is in fruit. Despite what traditional dermatologists will tell you, it’s possible to treat acne by modifying your diet. At least three doctors who practice functional medicine – which is to treat the cause of a problem rather than just treating the symptom – have recommended that I modify my diet to treat my acne and it has really worked.

It’s the scarring that I’m battling with. Well, up until I found out about facial peels.

Watch the entire process below:

How much does it cost?

It depends on what you’re having done, where you go, and who is doing the treatment. I paid a total of R575 for my facial at the Skin Renewal Institute in Claremont/Newlands, Cape Town. One would normally have to pay a separate fee for a dermatologist’s consultation at the spa but if you book a treatment for the same day as your consultation, you only pay for the treatment. This was a nice surprise.

I’d researched many salons in Cape Town but opted for Skin Renewal when it was recommended by a friend who experienced great results.

Is it painful?

The duration of the entire treatment is one hour but the chemical peel only sits on your skin for 3 minutes before being rinsed off. Once the chemical peel is applied it does sting but it’s not unbearable. I think that this also depends on the intensity of the treatment and I was fine with the heat of the Azelan peel on my face.

Does it clear acne scarring completely?

Yes and no. My skin is considerably smoother and clearer than it was before but not all of my scarring is gone. The doctor advised that it was going to be a process and that I would need a few more treatments before my skin would clear completely.

What is the maintenance involved?

After getting the treatment done, my skin began to flake so that it could shed my old layer of skin and invite new, clearer skin to the surface. I was advised to wear sunscreen of at least SPF 40, to avoid unnecessary sun exposure, no harsh cleansing, and no moisturising until my skin had peeled completely.

My skin flaked for about 4 days which seems to be unusual since I was told that it wouldn’t really peel but perhaps mine is a special case. The flaking wasn’t really noticeable unless someone stood 5 finger spaces away.

When Is the best time to get a peel?

When you have a skin concern, the on-duty doctor will advise whether a peel is suitable for you. As everyone’s skin is unique, you may not receive the same acne treatment as I did.

Would I consider getting another peel?

I’ve already booked my next treatment. Needless to say that I was happy with the service at Skin Renewal.

Did you enjoy reading this blog post? I’d love to know your thoughts. Post your comment in the section below 🙂

Yungskin: energy infused skincare

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What a time to be alive.

As more people are opening up to the concept of functional medicine and natural remedies for healthcare, Homeopaths like Dr Phillip Sherwin are demonstrating what wonders natural-based products can achieve when matched with innovation.

After years of research, experiments, and watching acupuncture face lift procedures, Dr Sherwin, who’s also an Acupunturist, Naturopath, and Reflexologist, wanted to find a solution to achieving the same youthful benefits of acupuncture, without using needles.  The result was Yungskin – a plant-based skincare range said to be the world’s first energy-infused products using the principles of homeopathy and acupuncture.

Can you imagine a product so advanced that it beats acupuncture?

According to Dr Sherwin, what makes Yungskin unique is that the products stimulate targeted acupuncture face-lifting points on the face and neck. They’re designed to help restore the skin’s vitality, reduce visible signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, and rejuvenate and regenerate skin cells for a more youthful appearance.

Applying the products should result in the same effect as the traditional acupuncture face lifting technique, but without the pain and needles.

The range includes a face wash, day cream, night cream, oral energy supplement, sunscreen, and tissue oil. I will be reviewing the products myself and will be sharing the experience with you in a follow-up post.

For best results, it’s recommended that the full range be used so this should be interesting. I already love the invigorating scent of the day cream but since I have a combination skin tone with an oily t-panel, I hope that the concentration of the products won’t be too rich for my skin.

Yungskin products are only available online at www.yungskin.com. They’re all-natural, including spring water from Table Mountain. All products in the range are free from harmful chemicals, and are cruelty-free.

Are you using any natural skincare or make-up? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comment section below.

6 things to do for great skin

As a child and throughout my teens, I had really good skin. I didn’t have any pigmentation, dark circles, pimples or other skin concerns. But by my 22nd birthday, I’d developed bouts of acute acne that I didn’t know how to treat.

A lot of people told me that the contraceptive pill would improve my skin dramatically so I decided to try it. I went to a reputable dermatologist who prescribed Yaz, which improved my acne within a month. By month three, there were no visible signs that I had ever had a skin concern – only now, I was suffering from shortness of breath, depressive moods, fatigue and mild nausea. I had just begun progressing my fitness goals and these symptoms were holding me back. Aside from that, my shitty mood swings were influencing my productivity and relationships –  so I stopped taking it and went back to my dermatologist, who agreed that I was right to discontinue use of the pill. She then suggested Roaccutane – said to be the god of acne treatments – but wanted to me to write a letter saying that I understood all the symptoms which were potentially lethal. I wasn’t going to do that. I can live with pimples if it means I’m not killing myself.

Next, I consulted a homeopath – such a lovely lady. I went for a bio-resonance screening and was able to view all my body’s ailments.

My homeopath advised of some home remedies that were quite useful and some interesting facts about food that I never knew. This is now I look after my skin now:

Cut down on meat and dairy
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Fruit and vegetables contain lots of nutrients to maintain healthy skin.

I would never have pegged meat for an unhealthy food source but when you think about steroid hormone implants used for growth in food-producing animals, it’s great cause for concern. Animals are injected with hormones to grow quickly and once they are slaughtered for food products, where do those hormone implants go? Correct, into our bodies. The same goes for by-products like milk and eggs. It’s really hard to cut down on foods that you’ve been eating your entire life but I for one am not keen for a prolonged hormonal imbalance. I get most my protein from Veg and fish and opt for either rice or nut milk.

Get enough sleep

A lack of sleep literally makes you unattractive, you look tired and fatigued, your skin is dull and you’re not always in the best mood when you haven’t slept enough. Some people train their bodies to operate of little hours of sleep but there is no better cure for your body than a good night’s sleep. Beauty sleep is just an old wives tale. Ensure that you get up to 8 hours of sleep every night so that you are functioning at your full potential. Your body will also be able to fight any bacteria better when you are rested and recharged.

Exfoliate once or twice a week

Depending on your skin type, you should exfoliate once or twice a week. Exfoliation is the process of using a coarse material (gentle enough to use on your skin) to scrub and remove your dead skin cells. You’re shedding skin every day – a little gross fun fact about your skin: according to Howstuffworks.com, you can shed up to 3.6 kg of skin per year. Actually, it’s natural, not gross, but imagine that. You can find an exfoliator at any retail store or make one from ingredients you have at home. A great home exfoliator that I usually use is my ground cinnamon and honey mix. One the days when I’m too lazy to make my two-ingredient exfoliator, I use Lush Dark Angel charcoal scrub – it’s amazing.

Moisturise religiously
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Using the correct moisturiser for your skin type could be the make-or-break of your skin condition.

During my years as a beauty consultant, I would always stress the importance of moisturising to my clients. If you need to hydrate just as much as you wash your face. Every time you cleanse your face you are not only removing dirt but moisture from your skin as well. Failure to moisturise can lead to your skin feeling tight, dry, dull, prone to wrinkles and even stretch marks. Hydrating your skin helps to improve your skin’s elasticity so that you continue to look younger for longer.

Embrace a no-makeup day once in a while

I know exactly what it’s like to see your skin looking dull or wanting to conceal an unsightly pimple but there are times when you seriously need to allow your skin to breathe. That means no makeup. At all. For at least a full day. It’s one hell of a task for some women, especially my friends in the beauty industry – makeup has become like clothing for us, we feel naked without it.  Working out is a great way to open your pores as you sweat, your body will unblock any pores.

Drink green tea
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Green tea is a great, mild skin detoxifier.

Drinking Green tea is by far the cheapest, most effective way to detox. The tea contains essential antioxidants that promotions the flow of oxygen and blood in your system. A lot of people don’t enjoy the taste of green tea but you can camouflage the taste with some lemon or honey or both, otherwise, allow yourself to become accustomed to the taste.

What are you doing to maintain or improve your skin? Please share your tips with me in the comment section below. Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and pop me a comment to follow back <3