Sneaky Causes of Summer Breakouts

Sneaky Causes of Summer Breakouts

Here I am, thinking about how only a few months ago I had my winter skin regime down to a science. I had found the perfect combination of skin products to use and when to use them. Then, summer comes along and reminds me that our skin is a living changing organ and that we need to rotate our skin regimes throughout the year.

The changing of the seasons doesn’t usually mess with my skin, mainly because I have spent so much time testing a regime that works for me. However, the years that spring is non-existent and we leap into summer without warning can without warning, lead to unexpected breakouts.

This is one of those years. I have had several breakouts and have been trying to track all the things that could be contributing to this annoying part of my life.

Diet? Just fine.

Skin care products? Even better.

So what gives?!  I am sure there are a few things you can think of that could contribute to summer breakouts. Hotter weather means more sweat, etc. The following are the most common sneaky causes of summer breakouts.

Sneaky Causes of Summer Breakouts

 

  • Sweat : Sweat doesn’t necessarily clog your pores. It is only when sweat mixes with oil and bacteria on your face that these breakouts occur. If you are using a lot of product on your face and are sweating on top of that, all that goodness starts to mix up and get stuck in your pores. If you are in a situation where you need to wear product on your face and happen to be in a sweaty environment, then just make sure you are washing your face afterward with a gentle cleanser. This brings me to my next point:

 

  •  Overwashing : When we are sweating and moving all day we tend to feel stickier and like we need to shower more often. This can lead to over washing, which will strip the face of its natural oil causing it to overproduce oil. This reaction caused from unbalanced oil composition can result with more breakouts. Stick to washing your face in the morning or evening, and try to only spot treat after that. If you are curious about other tips for info on keeping your skin clear, check out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked.

 

  • Sunscreen : Sunscreen can be full of ingredients that clog your pores. There was a time as a teenager when I would break out constantly because of poor quality sunscreen. My skin burns very easily and I would grab whatever sunscreen was accessible to prevent this. Because the ingredients in sunscreen vary, the results it may have on your skin will vary. If you are looking for a safer sunscreen that won’t clog your pores, check out this one.

 

  • Sunburns : If you are foregoing the sunscreen all together, then you are probably getting burned or some type of mild sun damage. Sunburns are truly awful for our skins composition. The skin burns and dies and peels off, forcing it to regrow. This may sound like a rejuvenating thing, but it really is forcing your skin into overdrive, drying it out which can lead us back to point 2. If you do get a sunburn, apply aloe as a natural moisturizing remedy.

 

  • Other Foreign Products : Things like bug spray, artificial tanner, heavier moisturizers, and general environmental toxins will cause breakouts, especially with the increased amount of time we spend outside in the warmer months. Try sourcing safer products with non-toxic ingredients when possible, and if not possible, try to limit your exposure to these products.

 

  • Outliers : If none of these reasons add up, I highly recommend checking out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked. My no-strings-attached program can help you decipher whether hormone imbalance, autoimmune conditions, or even leaky gut amongst other things can be contributing to breakouts. Get it here.

 

 

My Summer Regime:

I think I may be suspect of overwashing this time around and have been careful to tread lightly around my washing regime. Currently, I have been using the following to keep breakouts at bay:

Lightweight Hydrating Moisturizer : I typically apply a thin layer of this in the morning and it allows breathable moisture all day. Get it here.

Countersun Sunscreen : Beautycounter’s sunscreen is well known for being free of chemicals and junk, and it also doesn’t make me break out which is rare for a sunscreen. Get it here.

Portable Face Wipes : These are great on the go for when you are traveling and may be extra sweaty. I keep these on hand to wipe off my back and chest when I am traveling. Get them here.

 

Do you get summer breakouts? Is it just me? Let me know what works for your pesky summer breakouts.

 

<3 Me!

Why You Should Be Putting Probiotics On Your Face

Why You Should Be Putting Probiotics On Your Face

It’s no secret that probiotics can have a positive impact on our happiness, health and wellbeing. Leading industry professionals advocate that a balanced gut microbiome can lead to a healthier life overall. And even more recently, balanced gut bacteria has been studied in cases revealing a reduction in insulin resistance,  better overall mental health, reducing effects of autoimmune conditions, and even weight loss.

These studies have been conducted using oral consumption of probiotic supplements or eating probiotic foods. Think kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, unpasteurized milk products and kombucha, or an actual probiotic supplement like this one.

I am no stranger to using probiotics to improve my gut health. I frequently use probiotics to improve my skin health too. I have been using topical probiotics for years as a way to combat my incessant acne.

I know it seems weird to use probiotics topically, but intradermal consumption is one of the fastest and most efficient ways for probiotics to penetrate our skin barriers.

Medical professionals argue that acne is caused by bacteria. If you have ever experimented with an elimination diet or eliminated foods like dairy (or any other inflammatory food) for a period of time and immediately been the victim of a breakout shortly after, you know that facial bacteria may not be the sole cause.

And usually we have a gut feeling about what is causing our acne, at least to a certain extent. If you are still unsure what may be the root cause of your acne, check out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked for additional ways to narrow down the acne causing culprits, like a true detective.

If you already have a clear idea of what may be causing your acne, and you have eliminated the culprit but are still having breakouts, then an imbalance of facial bacteria could be in effect.

And that’s where topical probiotics come in.

Are They Necessary?

If you are consistently struggling with breakouts but have had absolutely no luck in treating them, I really recommend giving topical probiotics a try. We already know about the insanely amazing benefits that probiotics have on our gut, and these benefits occur because a balance is being restored. Which points to an important clue to why we may be having breakouts.

Everyday we are frequently being subjected to toxins and bacteria and a combination of external things that shouldn’t be on our face. This is well known amongst my city dwelling friends who experience pollution particles, often on a much broader scale. All of these foreign particles can cause an imbalance of bacteria on our face.

It’s pretty disgusting to think about so I try not to stress myself out obsessing over it. One thing I changed was correcting my habit of touching my face frequently.

To bring it all in – Topical probiotics allow our skin to continue to cultivate its natural microbiome and remain balanced.

Added Benefits of Topical Probiotics

I know from my own personal testing that probiotics can have a positive impact on my skin. I am able to maintain a healthier glow and a better grasp on keeping my skin acne free almost all of the time. Topical probiotics can have the following additional effects according to one of our favorite, no-nonsense beauty scientists at AnnMarie:

—Naturally calm skin that is reactive to environmental stressors

—Strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier, combating dryness

—Balance skin pH, restoring a healthy complexion

—Improve overall skin hydration, enhancing skin suppleness

—Eliminate harmful impurities that disrupt the skin’s defense mechanisms

—Reduces the appearance of temporary redness and other skin burdens

Bonus Ingredients

I recently have been using this probiotic serum from AnnMarie, and it has been stabilizing any acne on my face while also not being harsh on my skin (Y’all know I have very sensitive skin, so this was a great relief knowing that it worked well for me). This particular topical probiotic has only a few ingredients, including Tremella mushrooms. Tremella is known for its medicinal properties, and its use dates back centuries. Read more on everything awesome Tremella Mushrooms can do for us, here.

We recently discussed the properties of adaptogenic herbs including mushrooms. It is enthralling how a fungi has existed for so long and continues to benefit us in so many various, unexpected ways.

A few other bonus ingredients in the Probiotic Serum with Tremella include:

Bio-ferments – Biofermentation means that fermentation occured to increase the stability and nutrient availability. Basically, it is mimicking the fermentation process in nature.

Plankton Extract- this extract has been thought to delay the aging process (Yay!)) Plankton is an excellent moisturizer and humectant to boot.

Natural Herbs – this probiotic contains a medley of herbs to provide a natural scent and powerhouse of nutrients. Ingredients include plantain, dandelion, comfrey and nettle.

I also want to note that AnnMarie advocates that the product is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. I obviously only have the skin I have, so let me know if you try it and have similar or different results. I have tested a few different kinds of topical probiotics and would love to get feedback on the types that are working for different skin types.

How to Use Topical Probiotics

I typically use this serum after I have washed my face and before I apply moisturizer. It carries a scent that I like to think it the AnnMarie signature scent…It is woodsy and almost slightly smoky but in a refreshing, satisfying way.

 

So, do I have you convinced that topical probiotics could really benefit you? If not, check out this bonus blog post discussing in more depth the reasons why topical probiotics are here to stay.

 

How My Favorite Program Will Keep Your Skin Glorious & Bright AF

How My Favorite Program Will Keep Your Skin Glorious & Bright AF

Hey you! Today I wanted to share a little blurb about my newest program, Clear Skin Unlocked, with you.

It’s pretty often that I hear from women looking to leave their acne-ridden skin in the past. With my notorious reputation of struggling with acne for so long, (and eventually dominating my acne prone skin); I am the farthest thing from shy when it comes to sharing my experience. Because the PfW community outcry for a permanent acne situation has been so prominent, I have bundled all of my years of research and personal experience into one comprehensive package for you.

I had tried everything, from skin burning creams to crazy diet plans, to oatmeal face baths just to get relief from my acne! There were days where I would cry in frustration, pouring over research on my computer wishing I could wake up one day and the acne would have disappeared.

Sound familiar?

I didn’t want just acne relief though! I wanted radiant skin- skin that reflected the confidence I wanted to exude. I knew I was an intelligent, sexy woman, but acne wanted to reign over my life and left me seriously self-conscious.

So I picked myself up by my bootstraps and dedicated my energy to finding a solution that works. I studied the delicate interplay between nutrients, inflammation, and hormones, and put the knowledge I had gained into action.

I bundled up all of my expertise into the most comprehensive clear skin guide available, Clear Skin Unlocked.  With 100% seriousness and not to sound pushy at all – this is my favorite program that I have ever created because I really believe it can help you obtain clearer skin.

The reason this program worked for me, and so many other women, is because the research behind this program gives us the ammunition to take down acne with precision, instead of guessing or combining methods and crossing our fingers, hoping it will work.

You deserve radiating, beautiful skin without the heartache. If I can spare even one woman the agony and frustration of persistent acne, this entire program will be worth it to me.

 

Exclusive Items Covered In Clear Skin Unlocked

I discuss acne a lot between the podcast and the blog. There are a handful of items I elaborate on that are exclusive just to Clear Skin Unlocked.

  • Which varieties of birth control cause acne and which help it
  • How showers can be bad for your skin
  • Why the paleo recommendation to focus on fatty meats may be flawed
  • The risk eating organ meats can pose to your skin
  • Why certain types of moisturizer containers can cause acne
  • The role carbohydrates play in maintaining healthy skin
  • Why skin gets worse during menopause
  • The relationship between wrinkles and acne
  • Two effective ways to pop pimples
  • Why I never use facial cleanser ….. to name a few.

 

The Four Week Jumpstart to Acne Freedom

I have created a set of general guidelines to follow for four weeks to get you on the path to clear, possibly permanently clear, skin. Throughout the program I share a lot of information about various health conditions and factors that may contribute to your acne; in the Four Week Jumpstart, I tie it all together and share some new information about the best way to clean your slate and start fresh. I do not promise, but I find it entirely likely that after four weeks of following this advice you will make progress in terms of healing your skin, and permanently.

 

You Literally Have Nothing to Lose

I never created this program with the intention that it would be another item on the list towards achieving clear skin. I really wanted this program to be a final solution for you.

Clear Skin Unlocked empowers you to heal from the inside out, so it can repair your skin and make it resistant to acne for good.

I’m not trying to sell you on Clear Skin Unlocked, necessarily, but I am in some sense only because I believe in it so deeply. And of course – as with all of my other programs – if you do not like it for whatever reason I will be more than happy to refund you. I simply want to be here for you and share with you the healing joys that I finally found.

Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin is NOW AVAILABLE. And don’t forget – as ever – it is 100% risk-free; I will happily refund you for whatever reason.

Check it out further by clicking here or the image below:

clear skin unlocked

The Ultimate Hormonal Acne Treatment Plan

The Ultimate Hormonal Acne Treatment Plan

If you suffer from hormonal acne, you are not alone. Up to 23% of adult women experience acne! This number is nearly twice that of men.

Why do women suffer acne twice as much as men do?

Because of hormones.

Now there are many different factors that affect acne. Inflammation is very important. Gut health is important. Anti-oxidant status is supremely important (learn all about these factors in my program for overcoming acne Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne  Freedom and Flawless Skin).

But hormones make all the difference for women.

Today, I provide you with the hormonal acne treatment plan that I used to personally overcome my own hormonal acne, and which I use today to cure my clients all over the globe.

Here it is:

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 1: Is Your Acne Hormonal?

How do you know if your acne is hormonal or not? This is a very important question to ask. You don’t want to try to fix something that isn’t broken.

Here are some things to look out for to determine if your acne is hormonal:

-if your acne fluctuates with your monthly cycle

-if your acne is cystic and located around your chin, mouth, and jaw

-if your acne has also spread to your shoulders, upper back, and buttocks

-If you experience other hormonal symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles, male pattern hair growth (facial hair), balding, PMS, mood swings, hypothyroidism, or difficulty maintaining or losing weight

You can read a more in depth description of hormonal acne and things that cause it in this popular post.

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 2: Learn about causes

This is the hardest part of hormonal acne treatment, but it is the most important, and the aspect that makes your healing the most effective in the long run.

Hormonal acne is caused by an underlying hormone imbalance. Period, that’s it, no questions about it!

The only questions remaining are: what type of imbalance is it, and what caused the imbalance?

Hormones can become imbalanced a number of different ways. The fastest way to heal is to figure out why your hormones are imbalanced, and then correct that problem.

The most likely problems affecting you are:

1) Elevated testosterone

Testosterone is one of the primary causes of female acne. Testosterone causes oil production in the pores of your skin to increase. Excess oil causes pore-clogging. This in turn creates more food for bacteria to eat, and therefore more possibilities for infection.

How does testosterone get elevated? Insulin signals to the ovaries to produce testosterone. Testosterone often becomes unhealthfully elevated as a result of insulin spikes and insulin resistance. 

This means that insulin-related problems are one of the primary causes of hormonal acne for women!

As an important side note:

Usually when testosterone levels get high women develop a fertility-threaning hormone condition called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I personally had PCOS and figured out how to overcome it (which finally made my acne go away!).

I share the secrets I learned in my journey overcoming PCOS in a manual I wrote that has now been used successfully by thousands of women all over the world. You can read about the success I and my readers have been having at this page or in this program.

2) Elevated DHEA-S

DHEA-S is another male sex hormone, so it has the same oil-enhancing effects on the skin as testosterone does.

DHEA-S is unique however because it is produced by the stress glands, instead of reproductive organs.

DHEA-S rises in response to all different kinds of stress, from the mental to the physiological. You can read about the health effects of mental stress at my blog here, or of physical stress here. You can read about the biological mechanism “pregnenolone steal” that makes DHEA-S rise here.

DHEA-S is another big problem for women with PCOS. My own DHEA-S levels were personally through the roof, due to the level of stress I was putting on my body. I talk about the intersection of stress and hormones at great length in that manual on overcoming PCOS I mentioned.

3) Reduced estrogen

Estrogen is important for clear skin because it provides a counterbalance to testosterone. It is one of the best molecules out there for creating dewy, radiant skin.

Estrogen levels can fall for any number of reasons.

Menopause is one big reason.

Low body fat percentage, extreme weight loss, excessive dieting, calorie restriction, and excessive exercise are some others. These are often related to hypothalamic amenorrhea or PCOS – and were a big factor in my own PCOS, despite the fact that most medical professionals refuse to recognize this.

Estrogen levels may also fall as a result of birth control pill usage (especially when you come off of the pill. For more on how to deal with side effects of the pill, check out my quick guide to birth control.)

4) Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is not a hormone problem in the sense that sex hormones are produced by the reproductive cycle, but it is a hormone problem in the sense that thyroid function is intimately tied to reproductive function. The components of the thyroid system that are the most important for effective thyroid function are considered hormones, too.

Hypothyroidism causes cells to weaken and be susceptible to DNA damage and inflammation. It can be caused by a low carbohydrate diet, by stress, or by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 3: Figure out your cause

Which of the forementioned causes of hormonal acne is yours? It could be just one of them, or it could be all four. For me, personally, it was all four.

You could simply guess which problem is your own based on the information I provided.

You can also get tests done. Here are the things you would want to test:

Free testosterone (bad for acne if elevated)

Fasting insulin (bad for acne if elevated – is a likely cause of elevated testosterone and indicates what I call type I PCOS)

Estrogen (estradiol and estrone) (bad if low)

LH (bad if improperly balanced with FSH or bad if low)

FSH (bad if improperly balanced with LH or bad if low)

DHEA-S (bad if elevated)

And for thyroid hormones test:

TPO (indicates Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis if high)

TSH (indicates Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or other thyroid issue if high)

T4 (indicates Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or other thyroid issue if low)

T3 (indicates hypothyroidism if low)

Your doctor or another health professional can help you go over these tests. Basically they will tell if you have elevated testosterone or low estrogen and the like. Then you can work on overcoming these issues.

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 4: Overcome the issue

Now that you know which hormone imbalance issue you have, you can work on correcting it.

Depending on your results, you may have PCOS. This is possible if your testosterone and DHEA-S are elevated, and likely if your fasting insulin is high. If this is the case, you could honestly do no better than my innovative guide to PCOS, PCOS Unlocked.

You may have hypothalamic amenorrhea, which would be indicated by low levels of estrogen, progesterone, LH and FSH, or hypothalamic amenorrhea coupled with PCOS, which would have those problems too but also perhaps elevated DHEA-S or testosterone (generally speaking). It’s complicated. Most medical professionals don’t recognize that hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS can occur at the same time. I do.

You may have hypothyroidism. If you have Hashimoto’s then you will want to try healing your autoimmunity and gut with an autoimmune protocol diet like this one (it’s the best one out there). If you do not have Hashimoto’s but still suffer low thyroid levels you may want to consider reducing stress and exercise and increasing the carbohydrate content of your diet.

You may not have any of these conditions specifically. You can suffer from high testosterone but still not technically have poly cystic ovaries. In this case you would still want to address insulin resistance by eating an anti-inflammatory, lower-carbohydrate diet. (More about which here.)

Many women have a lot of success simply eliminating dairy and sugar from their diets, since these are both highly hormonal foods.

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 5: Address other factors

Hormones are a big factor in acne, but they are not the only one. As I mentioned in the introduction to this post, inflammation is a big factor. Antioxidant status is a big factor.

In this post I talk about the effects on acne by stress, UV rays, heat, dairy, inflammatory foods, phytoestrogens, topical irritants, sleep, and low carb diets.

In this program – Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin  – I discuss inflammation, hormones, antioxidants, irritants, UV rays, foods, various supplements, how certain renowned “health” foods are actually causing acne, and more. It’s the most in depth, comprehensive acne resource I’ve encountered to date.

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 6: Supplement wisely

While you heal your underlying hormone imbalances, it is also important to attack acne from other angles. One is to use the best topical regimens and products possible.

For some of my favorite topical treatments for acne, check out the antioxidant cleansers, serums, and topical probiotics (my absolute fave!) I use.

Several supplements have also been shown to be very helpful with acne, sometimes reducing acne by up to 50% over the course of six weeks! Zinc, selenium, and N-acetyl cysteine have been shown to be the best antioxidants for acne.

Hormonal Acne Treatment Step 7: Experiment with patience

Overcoming acne takes time. Many different things can affect acne, so it will take you a little while to figure out which ones are the most important for you to address. Here is the trick to doing so:

Only test one thing at a time.

Hold your diet steady, and remove one food. Give it two weeks. Do you see a difference?

Or hold your diet steady, and add in 100 grams more of carbohydrate every day. Give it two weeks. Do you see a difference?

You should definitely eat as healthfully as you can in the “steady” periods. Focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, wild-caught and grass-fed animal products, and healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil is an excellent place to start. Organ meats are great (here’s a supplement in case you do not like to eat liver), as are eggs, fermented foods (here are my favorites) and the rockstar super-suppelment that destroys acne, fermented cod liver oil.

But too much of anything can throw an already imbalanced skin environment even further out of balance.  (Did you know that the “superfood” liver, and the “superfood” goji berries can actually cause acne?) This is why I published Clear Skin Unlocked – I wanted to provide you with the most in depth information possible, so you’ll stop falling through the cracks. It’s 50% off this week, and, even better yet, fully refundable if you don’t like it for any reason.

 

And… that’s a wrap for my hormonal acne treatment plan! Following those steps (and doing years of research to finally figure out how to cure my PCOS) is what made my skin go from this on a good day:

stefanis acne before

To this:

stefani ruper

On every day!

So believe me when I say that if I could do it… you can too!

Here it comes! Introducing Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin!!

Here it comes! Introducing Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin!!

Goodness, do I have some lovely news to share with y’all today.

I finally, after years of preparation and waiting, am ready to share with you what I think might be my best program to date:

Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin

And it will be on sale for the first three days for 50% off.

(How I feel.)

So what is Clear Skin Unlocked, and why I am so stoked?

Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin is an acne-revolutionizing program.

This is because, so far as I can tell, Clear Skin Unlocked is the most comprehensive acne program on the market. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve encountered a couple of great programs on acne (I can think of two, actually). But I don’t think a single one of them has covered all of the possible causes of acne. They either focus on gut health, or on antioxidant potential, or topical treatments, or some other thing. I don’t  think any of them have comprehensively covered all the things you need to do to remediate those causes and relax into acne freedom. Especially, notably, in the case of female hormone balance. I have never encountered a program that goes through the various types of female hormone issues that can cause acne, and what to do about it.

This is a problem.

Because here’s the thing: having acne sucks. And most people really struggle to overcome it. Sometimes you might end up frustrated for years on end. You try different lotions, different kinds of diets (low carb, paleo, etc), different kinds of pills. You comb through forums online and find all these solutions that work for other people… but never find one (or a few) that works for you

Sound familiar?

I know I at least was like this. I spent years crying over my acne, scrolling through google searches trying to find an answer.

Eventually I figured out that I was shooting in the dark. I was somewhat blindly following the advice I found in various places online (like paleohacks). I didn’t have a good understanding of how acne works, and it was literally destroying my skin. 

So I dug deep. I started reading scientists I trusted. I built a solid understand of how skin and acne work. I studied the delicate interplay between nutrients, inflammation, and hormones. Then, I started applying what I learned.

And it worked. 

It took time, but I’ll be damned, it did finally work. Today I have soft and clear skin like I never would have dreamed of even in my wildest fantasies in my acne-despairing days.

The reason it worked is that my understanding was thorough. It was comprehensive. I finally knew so much about the skin that I could figure out exactly what my problems were, and how to fix them. I was no longer shooting at my acne in the dark: I was shooting with a finely-tuned, heat-seeking laser. 

The vast majority of acne programs fail to account for all the various causes and factors that contribute to acne, as well as the various techniques you can use to overcome it. This is why I kept falling through the cracks. Perhaps this is also why you keep falling through the cracks.

This is also precisely why I wrote Clear Skin Unlocked.

 I don’t want you to have to spend years crying in front of your computer screen like I did.  I also don’t want you to have to do as much work as I did. It took me years to learn everything I know about acne, and finally be able to fix my skin.

So I’ve taken those years of research and distilled the information. I’ve simplified it. I’ve turned it from a tangled web of complex science into a program you can actually navigate. I’ve compiled precisely what you need to know to get on the path to acne freedom as quickly as possible.

So what’s in Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin?

Clear Skin Unlocked begins with an overview of how the skin works. I dig into the science of it deeper than I have on the PfW blog. I then provide an overview of the main contributing factors to acne. I identify them as inflammation, nutrient status, and hormone balance. The hormone balance piece is really complex, so it receives a whopping 11,283 words of text.

I discuss various foods and supplements and how they interact with acne. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I recommend eliminating grains, dairy, and much of the normal paleo stuff. But I also make more pointed recommendations and observations about the way foods affect the body. Vitamin B12 has an interesting affect on acne almost no one talks about; so do collagen, protein, saturated fat, carbs, chocolate, liver, goji berries, and many more things. The specifics of how any diet–including “healthy diets” such as paleo–interacts with acne is crucial for clearing your skin. You can’t just go paleo to heal your skin. (You need to go paleo in a more specific way–in a way that is aware of the nuanced affects even the healthiest foods can have on your skin.

I then include a section on topical care, which I’ve actually never discussed on the PfW blog at all. But it matters. Here I focus on methods and products that nourish the skin without irritating it or posing a threat to your sensitivities. I talk at length about my own personal routine. I also link to all of my favorite products and the ones I use personally – something I’ve never done on the blog or social media.

I close the program with something I call the Four Week Jumpstart to Acne Freedom. Here, I make a set of general guidelines to follow for four weeks to get you on the path to clear, possibly permanently clear, skin. Throughout the program I have shared a lot of information about various health conditions and factors that may contribute to your acne; in the Four Week Jumpstart, I tie it all together and share some new information about the best way to clean your slate and start fresh. I do not promise, but I find it entirely likely that after four weeks of following this advice you will make progress in terms of healing your skin, and permanently.

In my opinion, the best part of Clear Skin Unlocked is its comprehensive and unique scope. Some cool and little known things you may learn in Clear Skin Unlocked include:

  • Which varieties of birth control cause acne and which help it
  • How showers can be bad for your skin
  • Why the paleo recommendation to focus on fatty meats may be flawed
  • The risk eating organ meats can pose to your skin
  • Why certain types of moisturizer containers can cause acne
  • The role carbohydrates play in maintaining healthy skin
  • Why skin gets worse during menopause
  • The relationship between wrinkles and acne
  • Two effective ways to pop pimples
  • Why I never use facial cleanser

And more 🙂


When I wrote Clear Skin Unlocked, I set out to cover my bases. I have said on the Paleo Women Podcast that this may be my favorite e-program I have published yet to date. It is possible that this is true. My understanding of acne and how to overcome it is truly deep, and is truly unique in terms of its scope and breadth. I cover skin mechanics, 11 different hormone issue that may contribute to acne, the relevance of antioxidants (something egregiously overlooked in paleo approaches to food, in my opinion), the specifics of how inflammation affects the skin, and more. I often say that Clear Skin Unlocked is comprehensive, and I mean it.

For me, being comprehensive in my approach to acne was the thing that saved me. I spent years being frustrated by cures that worked for other people but wouldn’t work for me. I was only saved once I understood all of the possible factors that were causing my acne, and how to manage them. My skin healing today feels permanent and enlivening, and liberating.

I’m not trying to sell you on Clear Skin Unlocked, necessarily, but I am in some sense only because I believe in it so deeply. And of course – as with all of my other programs – if you do not like it for whatever reason I will be more than happy to refund you. I simply want to be here for you and share with you the healing joys that I finally found.

Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin is NOW AVAILABLE. It is a FULL 50% off from today through Friday the 22. Get it while it’s hot! And don’t forget – as ever – it is 100% risk free; I will happily refund you for whatever reason.

So you actually have nothing to lose.

Check it out further by clicking here or the image below:

 

From skeptic to fanatic: how Red Light unexpectedly saved my skin

From skeptic to fanatic: how Red Light unexpectedly saved my skin

If you’ve been around this community for some time, you’ve probably noticed that I have a somewhat silly obsession with the quality of my skin. I want to be youthful, radiant, dewey–and to do so forever. I know it’s ridiculous, and my self esteem doesn’t depend on it. But I would enjoy the look. For better or for worse, I would like to look as springy and vibrant as I feel.

 

About two months ago I stumbled onto this skin- and muscle- healing concept called red light therapy. Now, I’m really, really, REALLY skeptical about new age sounding therapies. “Red light therapy?!” I snorted violently. I may as well wear a crystal around my neck and call it a day. I almost dismissed the idea out of hand.

 

But, there were all these success stories staring me in the face, so I decided to do some research.

 

As it turns out, red light therapy is legit science. It was first discovered on a NASA spacecraft out in orbit, when light in the red  wavelength area of the spectrum stimulated plants to grow faster. (It has also since been shown to target  and kill cancer cells.) Dermatologists thought this idea was fascinating, and wondered if these kinds of regenerative growth processes could work in the skin, too.

 

And they do. Somewhat miraculously, even. Within years of the discovery of red light in space, salons providing red light therapy popped up around the western world. Some women spend hundreds of dollars a month to go to salons with red light beds. It is also now possible to purchase a device and use it in the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, these devices range from the scammy to the ineffective to the monstrously expensive.

 

I was therefore incredibly fortunate to stumble upon a company called Joovv. Joovv is a red light therapy company created by the wife and husband team of Melissa and Justin Strahan. Melissa first tried red light therapy at a salon, back when it was first emerging onto markets. She saw somewhat miraculous results on the quality of her skin and her stretch marks, and she fell in love with it. But going to the salon was expensive and inconvenient.

 

Justin, Melissa’s husband, is an engineer. He undertook the task of designing the most efficient and effective red light for Melissa that he could. Now with patents pending, the Joovv company services an enormous number of people with extraordinary customer service and care. If you go to their website, here: Joovv, you’ll see that they have more than 50 five star reviews, and are supported by people like the paleo fitness star Ben Greenfield and the Harvard doctor who specializes in photobiomodulation Michael Hamblin.
 

 

Joovv, amazingly, has a 60 day money back guarantee. So I figured I had nothing to lose. I ordered a light. They shipped it to the UK and it arrived in two days. After about three weeks of using the light for 5 minutes every day, I began to understand what everyone was raving about.

 

Do you know that particular dewey, radiant, sort of soft and sparkly kind of skin that magazine models always seem to have? And you think, wondering – that must be photoshopped. And it certainly is. But then every once in a while you make an acquaintance who has skin like that in real life, and you wonder, oh my, how does she manage that?!

 

Well. I always wondered that. I always thought, man, that would be the dream. And, I also always really hoped that I wouldn’t age like the other woman in my family did. That is, very early, and very wrinkly. I didn’t need smooth skin to be happy, not by any means, but I thought it would be nice.

 

And I can say now with 100% honesty I actually have this kind of skin. I didn’t think it would ever happen, but here I am, it really did. There’s a particular smoothness and glow about my face that never existed before. So much so that light reflects off of it (lol). And my pores, I think, are smaller. The chronic redness I carried on my cheeks for as long as I can remember is gone. Last week I ran into an old acquaintance and they said ‘wow, you look really refreshed. like you’re really well slept, and golden.’ These were all real words that they used, and I promise you I was not well slept. The fine lines that have recently appeared as crows feet, I am a bit amazed to share, have also softened. On my right eyes they have disappeared. they’re still hanging out on the left eye, but I’m all right with that. I’m only about five weeks into the therapy, and already super happy with the overall results (I intend to keep you posted about it, and if my experience turns south, I will definitely let you know). I have zero desire to cash in on the money back guarantee. In fact, I’ve considered paying Joovv more money simply to say thanks.

 

Here is the science behind what’s transforming my skin:

 

1) Red light therapy stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen is responsible for firmness and elasticity, which is what causes the reduction of pore size, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve read that this can take a bit longer than the other effects to show, so I will keep you posted on any progress in this regard.

 

2) Red light therapy  increases circulation and the formation of new capillaries in the skin. This delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to your skin, which helps it rejuvenate itself. this may have something to do with my transition from a somewhat irritated red to healthy gold/pink glow I’ve got going on.

 

3) Red light therapy increases lymph system activity, which reduces swelling and puffiness.

 

4) Red light therapy causes the release of cellular ATP in the skin–which is the form of energy cells need to stimulate growth and repair.

 

All in all, I’ve been super happy with these results. I am not trying to sell you anything. But I do think this information is fascinating and important. Whenever I notice science doing something cool for my body, I feel compelled to share. If you’re into this sort of thing, science may be able to do a cool thing for your body, too. Red light therapy is known to reduce stretch marks (I have yet to shine the light on my inner thighs, but will let you know when I do), reduce certain kinds of acne, heal sunspots and other discolorations, even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and create a more healthy glow. This is because it actually does heal the skin, in a way that is deep and real.

 

If, again, you happen to be into this sort of thing, I couldn’t recommend Joovv more highly. They make a full face machine which is great; most red lights you’ll find online are tiny spot healers that can only do a couple inches of skin at a time. Joovv’s customer service is outstanding, and their dedication to crafting machines that make the perfect wavelength and intensity of light (very important for its effectiveness) is unparalleled. Most of all I love their money back guarantee. They could lose a ton of money this way, by shipping people their fragile lights all over the world with the possibility of having them all returned. But I am willing to bet this turns out great for the company. If other people have a similar experience to me–even starting out as a raging skeptic–they’re not going to want to return their lights, either.

 

Here are some photos of my skin. It’s hard to be accurate because cameras tend to be really forgiving anyway, so there’s less contrast between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ than in real life. Interestingly, today instead of being grateful for the camera’s typically glossing-over features, I am regretful that it hides the dynamic shine to my skin.

 

Here is a ‘before’:

 

 

 

Here is after 3 weeks:

 

 

 

Here is after 5 weeks:

 

 

 

 

Again, it’s really hard to show the contrast. What I’m seeing most of right now is a reduction in redness, a smoothness I’ve never experienced before, and this kind of healthy, glowy quality I’ve always wanted. Plus a little bit of progress with the fine lines.

 

Here I am with the cool light:

 

 

 

 So, that’s a wrap! Just wanted to fill you in on a cool experiment I’m up to. Do let me know your thoughts if you’ve got em!

 

 

PSA! If you click on one of the links above or this one, you might wonder if it’s an affiliate link. That is, does Stefani earn any money from talking about Joovv? Well, yes. I might if people purchase red lights after reading this post. A very small amount. But I signed up to be an affiliate for Joovv only after testing it for five weeks; I was fully ready to send my red light back and say ‘no thank you.’ As with all the other affiliate links on this site that I vet with my own experience, I use them only to keep the PfW team afloat while I labor away in the basements of the Oxford University library system. Of course, by using a link like this, you personally never have to pay more; the company simply shares some of their profits with me, as a way of saying thanks for sharing the good word. As ever, I am never, ever dishonest with you, and never share a product or talk about one at great depth unless it means a lot to me. No pressure at any time ever for it to mean a lot to you, too. <3