- Taylor's Journey with Acne Part Deux -
Hi all, Taylor here again!
I wanted to share a recent update with my ongoing battle with hormone-induced acne. For those who are late to the game, about six months ago (and practically overnight), my skin broke out horribly. This isn’t just a little bit of acne; it’s deep, painful breakouts that are all over my face. I hadn’t changed my routine, nor had my diet differed in any way out of the ordinary. I knew from day one it happened because of something internally. I went to an Endocronologist (hormone specialist), and they told me I had high testosterone, which they then diagnosed me with PCOS. Three additional doctors later, and they still cannot confirm whether it’s true PCOS or just something that happens to some women in their mid-twenties. I’m still getting tests done to see if I have PCOS or not, but so far, the signs are pointing to yes. It’s an everyday struggle, and can affect fertility, so I’m taking it one day at a time!
Lately, my skin is in a much better place. It’s not perfect, but it’s miles better than it was five months ago. My confidence is back! I’m here to tell you that whatever you’re going through, it will pass. I think about all the amazing moments I missed out on because I felt so sensitive and insecure about my skin. In one instance, I went out to eat with a friend when she told me she was pregnant, and I was so genuinely ecstatic about this wonderful news! I ran to the bathroom to wash my hands after dinner and caught a glimpse of my skin in the mirror, and lost it. I sat in the bathroom for a solid 5 minutes completely in tears before I gathered myself together and went back out, acting completely fine. I typically try to avoid mirrors these days, because at the drop of the hat I could start bawling. I find it’s best when I simply don’t care what I look like.
When I first started Maude 18 months ago, I, not-bragging-but-kind-of, had flawless skin. I hadn’t always had great skin, so once I entered my twenties and realized my acne-woes were gone (or so I thought), I was elated. However, I was also incredibly insecure about my skin, and I would let it affect FAR too much in my life. Who knew your skin could be so life changing? One small blemish and I would attempt to hide my face when I talked to people. Nowadays I have such noticeable acne that’s difficult to hide, even with makeup, but I don’t let that stop me from growing every single day.
During our twenties, many of us take for granted our health. We load our bodies with non-nutritional food, don’t sleep or exercise, and we don’t worry about aging. Before this acne, I didn’t worry about any of these either. I would come home from work and eat out of the 5 lb bag of Cadbury Eggs I bought on Amazon, and somehow, it never affected my skin. Nowadays, it seems as if I can’t eat four small Cadbury Eggs without breaking out. No, this is not an ad! I just really love Cadbury Eggs any time of the year. I am incredibly grateful for this experience because it taught me humility, sympathy, and how deeply pertinent it is that we care for our bodies starting in our twenties, if not earlier.
This was by far the most challenging part of this experience. It was magnificently tough to own a skincare business and have not-so-perfect skin. Who wants to hear advice from someone who doesn’t have good skin, is that right? Well, that’s what I felt like: a complete fraud. Even though I have estheticians, medical spas, and dermatologists who give me the advice that I then give to you, I still felt wickedly guilty about this. I wanted to quit Maude and shut it down MANY a time, but I had a ridiculous amount of passion about skin and bringing that knowledge to other people, so I stuck with it. We have so many loyal followers and customers who are always wanting more information and adore our products, and that’s what we want to give to you. I decided to suck it up, keep moving forward, and continue doing it. And now, I’m so much more informed about the connection between gut health and hormones with your skin, which is extremely beneficial for the other women who are going through a similar situation. I take my journey as something that will, and already has, make me stronger as a human being. As we let go of our judgments of ourselves and embrace our imperfection, we strengthen our inner self, soul, and character.
Maude was created when I couldn’t find an affordable treatment for acne scars, thus, the dermarollers came to life. I remember being in high school and being unable to afford the serums and treatments that really worked, and I knew there was something that could be done about it. On top of the professional treatments of lasers and chemical peels I’m getting, I still dermaroll (never on the active acne) every week. I use it in conjunction with our Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid serum. My favorite benefit besides helping with the texture of my skin is the fact that it increases absorption of my serums tenfold. Our serums were formulated to prevent what can hurt your skin in the future. My trial, and what I’ve endured, is helping me prevent what can hurt my confidence in the future.
Nutrition is the very basis of all great skincare. It is literally what feeds your skin. I learned the lesson the difficult way when it comes to the relationship between food and your skin. Yes, many of us are blessed to eat whatever we want and just use Dove soap on our skin, but a large portion of us are not able to do that. Also, don’t use Dove soap on your skin. When it comes to nutrition, I have to be careful when I limit food groups because I have a rough history with food, so I make it a priority to balance my diet. When I was 19, I started cutting out groups of food that I deemed “bad” for my skin, only for it to evolve into me eating just a bowl of grapes for the day. With the help of my parents and some friends, I got out of that terrible cycle and learned nutrition from its basics. That’s why nutrition is such an important topic for us here at Maude. For my sanity, I still have my treats and french fries, it’s just not as often as it used to be. I focus my nutrition (the word diet is terrible) on vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Stop eating out and you will see a world of a difference in your skin.
I’m also taking supplements that help balance my hormones, like Ashwaganda and Evening Primrose Oil. As always, I take my Turmeric, Fish Oil, and Probiotic everyday as well. If you’re thinking of adding vitamins to your diet, make sure you talk with your doctor first. I got the “okay” on all of these. It’s unbelievably easy to simply buy every vitamin in the market thinking it’s going to solve your issue. It’s very likely not going to do that, and it’s also likely you’re buying from non-reputable sources.
Whether your insecurity lies in your skin, your so-called under-eye bags, your boobs, your butt, your thighs, your stomach, your arms, WHATEVER, people do NOT think less of you. And they sure as hell do not notice what you consider flaws. 99% of people curate their photos in some form or another on Instagram, to some extent. Knowing that information will remind you that social media is 99% not real. I was late to the game with Instagram, with Maude being my first account, and I thought I was safe from feeling pressure from social media. Boy was I wrong! I’m just glad I didn’t have social media as a teenager. Your journey is different from every other individual on this planet. Make it yours! And don’t let something like acne, weight, money, hair, or anything else, stop you from enjoying life. I’ve learned that I would choose to be a better person than to have a “perfect” appearance ANY single day.