liesse's journey to clear skin

close your eyes and think back to the first time you came to skinSALVATION. you sat in a comfy art deco chair for two hours and listened to us teach you about the sS protocol. we asked about your diet and lifestyle, the products that you were using and educated you about the treatments. at some point during that initial consultation you probably asked how long it would take for you to get clear (if you didn't ask, you were probably at least thinking it.) the answer is that it's different for everyone. for many people who are religious about their lifestyle and regimen they can see clear skin in 3 to 6 months.

as an esthetician and clear skin educator, i am dedicated to the acne safe lifestyle 100%. that means that i don't eat dairy, soy, cloggy cooking oils, high androgen foods or coffee and limit my sugar intake. in addition, i don't eat grains and am currently cutting eggs and nuts out of my diet to manage my inflammation and oil production. i take dairy free probiotics and 4 zyflamend per day. i do stress relieving activities like riding my bike to work (and wash my face of sweat when i get here), meditate and do yoga. i am religious about my regimen and ice twice per day. i don't have a single cloggy product in my house (even my boyfriend uses safe body wash and lip balm.) i get regular treatments from the other estheticians at sS, including our most intense chemical peel - dr. fulton's pro peel. all in all i am an ideal client.

it has been 3 months since i started receiving treatments here at sS. i was 55-60% clear when i started which means that nearly half of my face was congested with deep inflamed acne. in the first couple of weeks my clarity increased quickly to 70% and i was 80% clear a month later. 80% is the most clear i have been since i started breaking out with acne when i was a young teen. needless to say, i was really excited to see my skin clearing and anticipated that i would be 100% clear in no time at all. it has been 2 months since then and i am still hovering between 80% and 85% clarity. what gives?

3 month progress pic. the active acne is mostly gone but i have a lot of post inflammatory pigmentation remaining. this redness will lift over time with chemical peels and home care products.

i discovered that i had an allergy to gluten and most grains five years ago. some research shows that with developed allergies (in my case i ate grain with no problem throughout my childhood and late teens) you can take them out of your diet for a period of time and then successfully reintroduce them. a few months ago i decided to try gluten free oats, which i had been sensitive to in the past. turns out i can eat them now with no digestive or reactive problem at all! i was so pumped that i decided to wait a few months and then try the next safest thing - rice. when i had built up the confidence, i went to the best sushi restaurant in my neighborhood and ordered a simple roll. that night i felt fine and thought that i had conquered another food group! unfortunately, by the next morning i was sick to my stomach, lethargic and had a splitting headache. i believe that this weakened by immune system so much that i was extra sensitive to other foods. the combination of these reactions lasted for nearly a month! the inflammation in my digestive tract influenced my skin and the acne seeds that were deep in my skin and hadn't been extracted yet (remember it takes 1-3 months for an acne lesion to form and show up on the surface of the skin) became inflamed and painful again. one delicious little sushi roll ended up being a month long set back on my clearing process.

since then, i have introduced gut healing bone broth and fermented foods to help get my digestion and skin back on track. i am beginning to get regular acupuncture and am taking a closer look at what's going on inside of my body. i've had one pro peel and a handful of extractions and mandelic acid peels and i can happily say that my skin is back on track towards that ultimate goal of being 100% clear.

one of the most rewarding aspects of my job here as sS has been walking on the path to clarity along side my clients. i am sharing my story because it's so important to understand that what is happening inside can manifest as acne on the surface. for me that was eating something that my body couldn't process which will not be the case for all of you (most of our clients can eat grains without a problem.) getting clear is so multifaceted and it takes a lot of patience to figure out your perfect combination of diet, lifestyle and products. for any of you out there who are feeling anxious about how quickly you are clearing up i encourage you to take a moment to think about how far you've come. next time you're in for a treatment ask us to see the photos that we took during your initial consultation and ask what percentage of clarity you were when you first came to see us. when you see progress happen in tiny amounts each day it's hard to calculate the sum of your accomplishment.

be proud of how far you have come and have faith in yourself that clear skin is closer to your grasp than ever before.

with love (and a few stubborn acne seeds),


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