How to Deal with “Stress Acne”

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Can your acne really be caused by stress/emotional turmoil?

According to dermatologists, and my face, the answer is yes.

I think that there is psychological stress and there is physical stress, and I see changes in people’s skin as a result of the two. Both types cause a release of cortisol, which is our major stress hormone in our body. Cortisol works on the testosterone pathway, and one of the more common things we see in direct response to raising cortisol levels is acne – Dr. Anne Chapas (via Huffington Post

Since there are so many different things that can cause acne, “stress” never really struck me as a huge reason for breakouts until recently. For the first few months of 2018, my face was pretty close to flawless. I did have my annoying battle with PR, but luckily it spared my face. My face was thriving. It was living its best life.

Then in mid-March, my skin went insane.

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7 Things I Learned Being 27

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Gemini season is upon us! I always feel the most “me” when my birthday is approaching. Despite stepping outside and feeling like I’m in the heart of Satan’s den, there’s something magical about June. It’s a time for pool parties, ice cold margs, exploring new places, and my fave – NO PANTS. It’s hard for me to comprehend that I only have a couple more years in my 20s. CAN YOU BELIEVE? Because I can’t. I still feel like a 17 year old most days, and luckily still get mistaken for one often. This is probably the first year where I’ve been like…I’m a legit adult (even if I don’t feel like it). Worsham and I will have been married for TWO years this fall, I’m going on five years at my job, we own a house…not a ratchet college “starter home” but a legit house. 27 is when you can safely assume your friends are getting pregnant on purpose, and when your exes start dating 22 year olds. It’s also when neither of these things phase you anymore. You’re just like weird, but yes, this makes sense.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve taken away from this season in my life.

1. Let Go of the Outcome – This is really easy for me in some areas and insanely difficult in others. My fellow Geminis know that everything (literally, everything) about us is a walking contradiction. We can be chill AF and high strung at the same time. I think half of the battle is learning to live with the fact that we want everything and nothing all at once. The best thing we can do with life’s ups and downs is to let go of the outcome. The journey is the fun part anyway. I know I sound like a self-help book right now, but it’s true (also self-help books are the best so BYE). It’s always easier when you let go and trust that everything will work out. The example that sticks out most to me from this year is our house. Worsham and I bid on two different ones that we were both in love with and dead-set on getting. We were like THIS IS IT! FOR REAL. And it wasn’t it. After the second house fell through, I was like you know what you have to do. Quit being OCD and just let it happen. The third time was the charm, and such a better fit for us than the others. Don’t be afraid to let go.

2. FORGIVE – Forgiveness has been a theme for me this year. Forgiveness for myself, forgiveness for old wounds. You name it. I won’t get into all the details, but I had the chance to truly forgive someone who I hadn’t seen in years who played a huge part in my early 20s. They went from being my entire life to not being in it period, and as much as I tried to tell myself that I was okay with that and that I had already forgiven them, it wasn’t true. That changed this year when I was able to see them in person again. And even though it was hard, it was healing. I can finally say we’re all good and mean it. Forgiveness is something that has been a huge deal for me since I lost my dad almost 11 years ago, and it pops up in new ways throughout my life. Losing my dad reinforced that life is too short for loose ends and anger. At the end of the day, you’ll never regret replacing it with love.

3. Babies are Not for Me - You already know, I’ve never been a “baby” person. I’m a cat person. Babies aren’t cats. It’s a pretty simple concept. However, if you’re a breathing human with a vag you’ve had someone say, “you’ll change your mind one day! Just wait until you get older!” Well fools, I’m older now. I’m nearing 30 at this point and nothing has changed. I used to think maybe they’re right, maybe I will…and then I hear a screaming baby in Target and I’m like BYE, FELICIA! Also Worsham and I adopted a puppy this year and it has been ROUGH. She’s very sweet and beautiful, but she’s insane. I honestly cannot comprehend how people go through having a puppy and then are like YEAH, BABIES! WTF? To each their own, but I’ll keep my beauty sleep and money. Thank you and good day.

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2018 Summer Essentials

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I don’t know about where you are, but in Oklahoma we basically just skipped spring. It’s in the 90s here and I’m not ready for it. Fall is my one true love, but at least this heathenous heat means that pool time is almost here! Here are some of my must-have items for when it’s too hot to be alive.

Pacific Deodorant Wipes - I’ve been contemplating buying these for months now, and I’m so glad I finally did! These are perfect to keep in your purse or gym bag. I’ve committed to switching to natural deodorant and these are making the switch much easier. Sometimes I smell a little funky by lunchtime and these wipes are a life saver (I’ve come to the conclusion that some funk can’t be avoided no matter what organic deodorant you use). I’m never going anywhere without them again.

Schmidt’s Geranium Flower Sensitive Skin Deodorant - You guys, I’ve tried SO many natural deodorants over the past two years that I can’t even remember all of them. This one is definitely my fave! It smells amazing and lasts the longest of any of them that I’ve used (though I still need to freshen up some days). It’s great for people who are allergic to baking soda as well. Worsham used it (stole it from me) for a week and it lasted really well on him too.

Crude Oil Cleansing Method - The struggle is real when it comes to converting to an organic skincare line. I’ll be doing a full review on this later, but so far Crude Personal Care’s Oil Cleansing Starter Kit (along with their Bloom oil at night) is the only thing that works as well as my beloved Rodan and Fields. My best friend swears by this stuff and has been trying to get me to use it for a while now. I couldn’t be more obsessed! Plus it takes like 10 seconds to use, which is extra nice in the lazy summer months, and it gives you a supermodel glow. For 15% off click here!

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2018 Spring Beauty Favorites

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Spring has brought some magical new beauty products into my life, and brought back a few former faves too! Several of these products are organic and several of them aren’t. Per usual, the Gemini in me wants ALL of the things.

Live Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Serum  - This is the green beauty equivalent of Rodan & Fields’ popular Active Hydration Serum. While I love it, R&F’s breaks me out if I use it too often! The minimal and clean ingredients in Live Botanical’s serum don’t irritate my skin and it works great as a primer. Plus it’s a fraction of the cost and contains just as much product!

Rodan & Fields Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask – This is my favorite face cleanser right now! It’s from the Redefine line which is geared toward aging skin, but it’s great for acne-prone skin as well due to the kaolin clay in it. I prefer this over the Unblemish cleanser by far. It’s worth it!

100 Percent Pure Bright Eyes Mask – This eye mask is GOLD! It’s the most hydrating thing I’ve ever used on my eyes in my life. I wish it came as an eye cream too because I’m so obsessed with this! At 27, I do have some fine lines going on under my eyes. When I use this eye mask for an hour or so, they’re GONE for at least a day or two. This is a must-have for brides-to-be, or for any time you want to treat yourself.

100 Percent Pure Healthy Skin Foundation - This is one of the few liquid foundations I’ve actually repurchased! I used this last year in the palest shade (Alpine Rose), but this time I got it in Creme because of the golden undertones and it works much better for my skin tone. If you want a clean version of Estee Lauder Double Wear, this is as close as it gets! It looks really pretty with the Live Botanicals serum under it as a primer and some Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation dusted on top.

Alima Pure Mineral Concealer - Speaking of Alima Pure, I finally tried their mineral concealer and I’m obsessed. The jar is tiny AF so at first I was like “uhhh?” but it doesn’t take much at all to get the brightening effect that I want! I layer this over my NARS concealer and it makes a huge difference.

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How I Treated My Pityriasis Rosea

Photo Cred: Into the Gloss
Photo Cred: Into the Gloss

For the past 2+ months, I’ve been dealing with an obnoxious skin condition called pityriasis rosea (PR). PR is a red, scaly rash that looks similar to ringworm and has no proven cause or cure. It usually just vanishes by itself after 2 months or so without treatment. It starts with a large herald patch or two and then spreads from there. While it’s not contagious and doesn’t mean you have something wrong with you, it can take a toll on your self-esteem. The other sucky part is that there isn’t much a dermatologist can do for you besides assure you that it is PR and you’re not dying.

I could be wrong, but I believe mine might be linked to stress. The first time I had PR was shortly after Worsham and I got engaged and started wedding planning. It wasn’t that bad of an outbreak – I only had two or three larger spots on my stomach that went away after a month of using coconut oil and lavender essential oil.

This time, however, was another story. Mine has been on my stomach, back, arms, and even my neck (luckily, it spared my face). While it’s not completely gone yet (it’s still a tiny bit noticeable on my neck), it’s about 99 percent gone. Whether this is mostly due to time or what I’ve been doing, I can’t say for sure, BUT I noticed a significant and quick improvement using the products below. If you’re anywhere near Oklahoma, I highly recommend going to see Phyllis at Rock Creek Vitamins in Sapulpa. She’s an amazing iridologist and told me what supplements I needed to be using. I tried a million things before this and none of them worked as well as the products below. Seriously, I was so upset and desperate that I googled PR remedies every single day. I even went to a tanning salon and tanned once (it was free since I was a “new person” – little did they know I used to be addicted to tanning!). It did nothing except remind me why I stopped tanning in the first place. Spare yourself the effort and at least try the supplements. Also, if you’re itchy take some Benadryl at night!

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