plant-based for better skin

My parents have always been my inspiration to living a healthy lifestyle. My dad has been a long-time vegetarian, my mum a conscious eater and both life-long athletes. Thanks to my upbringing, I’ve had an affinity to healthy living from eating well to working out/exercising regularly. However, even with all of this, I still had my share of physical ailments. Specifically, hormonal imbalance and subsequent skin issues.

For over 10 years, the skin issue I dealt with was acne. No doubt, it was a struggle growing up. One that affected me not only superficially, but deeply and emotionally, affecting my self-image and self-confidence. Nonetheless, I managed and by looking beyond the physical. What I also did to manage the extreme breakouts was through medication, both topical and ingested.

From harsh and regular facial treatments to a collection of pills, it was an on and off battle with my skin. With such strong cycles of medication, my skin appeared clearer and smoother, spotless most of the time. But I knew it was not sustainable and that it was doing more harm to my body, internally, than good. Besides, you know when a medication has depression and birth defects or fetal death as side-effects, it can’t be healthy.

My plant-based journey began early 2014. 

So during my university years, I started digging deeper into ways to treat myself naturally. And by treat, I intended to find a long-term, sustainable and gentle cure that would not just suppress symptoms temporarily.

My research led me to testimonials about plant-based eaters, vegans and raw vegans that had cured all sorts of dis-eases from diabetes, hyperglycemia, obesity, psoriasis, asthma, acne, eczema, chronic fatigue syndrome, low thyroid function, terrible digestion… the list goes on.

I was instantly inspired. I educated myself on the topic through hours of watching videos and reading online articles and literature, and applied what I had learned:

  • I got rid of every sort of medication I had in my closet, all of my chemical-laden cosmetics and toiletry I owned (shampoo, conditioner, plastic toothbrush, toothpaste), everything.
  • I cut out dairy, meat (fish included) and eggs out of my diet overnight.
  • I stocked myself up on fruits (tonnes of bananas to start) and veggies (mostly potatoes).
  • I headed to my nearby health-store and re-stocked my toiletries with a bamboo toothbrush, eco-friendly detergent, all-natural shampoo, conditioner, soap.
  • I bought vegan make-up, which allows my skin to breathe and isn’t animal tested. Also, I’m not a huge make-up user anyway so I keep this minimal.
nov 2014: first year vegan

It took a lot of time to heal. I knew this because I had fed my body with harsh medication for over 10 yeras and not the most optimal nutrition even when I thought what was said to be healthy by the masses (i.e. cow’s milk for your bones and meat meat meat for protein) was not actually healthy (I was also a HUGE cheese fan and could eat cheddar by the block; I added spaghetti to my parmesan). I knew that healing would not happen overnight. So, even when things got worse than it had ever (and I mean EVER) been before, I trusted in the healing process that my body had  to go and was going through.

So before things got better, they got worse:

jan 2015 : this was my skin on a not-so-bad day.

And over time things started to clear up:

march 2016: this was over 1 year of healing. bottom left photo is me during my 25-day water fast, hence the tired look. lol.

Today, my skin is far from perfect, but it is also far from what it used to be. I feel my body is now in a much better place compared to before. My hormones are more balanced, indicated by my clearer skin (finally) without the help of synthetic medication that act to suppress symptoms of inflammation inside the body rather than cure it.

today: vegan lipstick by nabla as my only make-up on

What I have learned is to be kind to and patient with your body. To nourish yourself with a diet based on plants and to use products that are as close to nature as possible. We have been blessed with bodies that have the ability to heal themselves, we just need to allow them the time and space.

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