For nearly as long as I can remember, I've always had a pimple on my face. This is expected in the teenage years, and certainly an annoyance, but when those breakouts never cease and you're interviewing for your first job – well, let's just say that if I could define my relationship with my skin on Facebook, it would definitely be "it's complicated."
For more than a decade, I've been trying everything to get rid of my acne, and I'm not just talking about zits that show up just in time for date night. Unfortunately, I also suffered from a severe form of acne vulgaris – cystic acne. Picture dime-sized (or larger) inflammations that rest painfully under the skin and take months (and months) to go away.
I've tried an exhaustive list of natural and unnatural treatments including:
- Numerous brands of clear skin face washes and lotions
- The now infamous 3-step systems, such as Proactiv
- Antibiotics and birth control
- Exfoliation scrubs, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide
- Microdermabrasions and light therapy treatments
I refused to try severe treatments such as Accutane and didn't like taking antibiotics – not to mention that they didn't work. I knew there must be a more natural way to clear my face.
The road to clear skin
Then I started working at New Hope Natural Media last year and became privy to all the information we have on NewHope360.com about health, beauty, supplements and natural living. All roads pointed to veganism in my life at the time, so I became vegan, in part lured by the promise of clear skin.
And wouldn't you know, after a month of being vegan I noticed my cystic acne had nearly disappeared. My diet was the only change I had made to my skin care routine. Of course! Hormones can cause acne, and dairy products contain hormones, not just the dreaded rBGH injected into cows, but the cows’ natural hormones. Why hadn’t I made this connection before!
The problem was, I was still having breakouts – just not of the cystic kind.
It wasn't until this February when I discovered, and began writing about, nutricosmetics for Functional Ingredients magazine, that I even considered a dietary supplement as an aid to clear skin. These ingestibles are supplements taken to benefit the skin in many ways, not just for acne. Many nutricosmetics focus on anti-aging perks, such as more elastic skin, improving wrinkles or the whitening/brightening of skin discoloration.
I wrote about many different products in my "6 inner beauty strategies to sell nutricosmetics" article, published in Functional Ingredients' April issue. After I turned in the story, in which I posed the question to all my sources: "How do you market a nutricosmetic knowing that many people still don't make the connection between a supplement and outer beauty?" I decided to make myself a guinea pig.
The nutricosmetic that cleared my skin
Beauty brand BORBA announced that as of January 2011 several of its products would be available in Walgreens nationwide. So I went and bought myself BORBA Clear Skin Capsules and commenced taking them twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. In an effort to control for variables, I kept everything else the same – same facial wash and lotion, same skin care routine, same vegan diet.
Disclaimer: I was not asked by BORBA to do this and in no way am I affiliated with or compensated by the company. In fact, they weren't aware of my experiment.
The results: One week after taking two BORBA capsules a day, I noticed a huge reduction in the pimples I already had and the formation of new ones. Two weeks in and my skin was, dare I say it, nearly flawless. It's been a whole month of clear skin due to diet and nutricosmetics. Can you hear me shouting from the rooftops with joy?
When I look in the mirror I still can't believe what I see (and who would, after 11 years?). But the results speak for themselves. Beauty from within is real – and, most importantly, it's natural.
Have you had an experience with beauty from within products? Help convince the masses - share in the comments.