Melasma and Acne.. Did It Get Worse On Vacation?
Melasma and Acne.. Two skin problems that took over my life for a period of time, took over my thoughts, and ruined my confidence.
Whilst learning how to control both of them, I still see a relapse in my symptoms when I eat badly or I don't get enough sleep/drink enough water.
This in itself is a big sign that my issue is internal, which I have devoted my time to solving what really is the root cause of both.
For the last 2 weeks I have been travelling around Spain and Italy, I did not wear sunscreen, nor did I wear a hat for most of the time. The only reason I would wear a hat is to protect my face from sunburn. Funnily enough, the melasma I have above my lip would not darken unless I was out in "HUMID" heat for more than 2 hours, and even if it did, by the time my body cooled down in the hotel room, it would return to its lightened shade. This got me wondering, is melasma heat provoked?
In previous trips abroad to sunny destinations I have been left with a permanent sunstache which has took months to lighten, now it seems to lighten once my body temperature has cooled down. Is this because my diet has been so clean? Have I managed to speed up by bodies healing ability and balance my hormones? Maybe. But either way, my stache is not staying dark for long which is a very relieving feeling.
My theory is that melasma is essentially a gut issue, gut issues can be caused by long term birth control, anti-biotics, medications, stress, poor diet, high alcohol intake and much more, gut issues often lead to candida which is a fungal overgrowth of yeast. Fungal problems are exacerbated in the humidity, so therefore, I think melasma is the outcome of this. Gut issues can also cause many hormonal problems which is why the medical community believe melasma is hormonal. Vice versa, hormonal imbalances can lead to gut problems, so this all works as a big messy pot of hormonal imbalance and gut issues combined.
Have you ever heard of women who are on the Ketogenic diet seeing improvements in their melasma and acne? This is because a low carbohydrate and low sugar diet does not feed the yeast, whereas sugar and high carbs are what yeast loves the most. Avoiding sugar and anything that breaks down as sugar seems to work for many women in reducing their pigmentation.
Same goes for acne, it can be a symptom of yeast overgrowth, which is why many suffer from acne after eating badly, or drinking alcohol, or even humid temperatures.
Whilst on Vacation, I noticed my acne got worse. This didn't come as a shock to me as my diet was so poor. I'm now working on cleansing my body and resetting, by taking part in a 72 hour water fast. (I can only drink water and tea!) - I'm actually salivating at the mouth writing this, but i'm committed to dishing up the results once it's all over. Any changes to my skin, I will post on my Instagram and write a detailed blog afterwards.
All in all, I feel my diet over the past 6 months (minus the vacation) has been super clean, eating only whole real foods, lots of water, minimal alcohol and lots of fresh vegetables and good healthy fat sources, this, combined with my supplements, has really helped my skin to heal and my health to flourish. Not only did my skin improve, my hair grew much thicker and my nails, my skin tone seemed to even out all over my body also.
Take away from this blog post is that, if you look after your body and clean up your diet, take some supplements to help along the way, and lower your stress, you will have a much better chance of reducing your melasma, and keeping it at bay even during the summer months. As for acne, it is a matter of controlling what you eat to avoid the breakouts. For me, I think a lifestyle of healthy eating is the only way to keep my acne at bay. When my acne is at its worst, I don't want to go out. It was particularly hard on holiday because I really didn't want to wear makeup, I was craving that natural tanned sunkissed glowy skin, but my diet didn't allow that to happen. So I dealt with the consequences.
It's easier to deal with when you accept that your body is unique and we are so lucky that they communicate with us to tell us that whatever we are doing, whether that be eating/drinking/lifestyle, is causing inflammation in the body. So look after your body ladies, eat good quality healthy food, exercise, lower your stress where possible, and drink lots and lots of water to flush out those toxins! And with patience and time, your melasma should fade, and your acne will be kept at bay. It's all about controlling the triggers and managing the inflammation that are key to solving your skin issues.