Skin deep.

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My skin isn’t perfect.

My skin was perfect for a pretty decent amount of time in my life (back when I was the Team Britney campaign manager) and then one day, bammo. Adult acne. At the ripe old age of thirty-three.

Like my Dad said on my thirty-third birthday, “Hey! You’re the exact same age Jesus was when He died!”

It was almost as if those words set my horrifying face journey into motion.

Thanks, Mel.

My acne seemed to be of the cystic variety so very painful and not at all cute. Not that acne generally is in any form.

I did everything. I stopped all vitamins and face products. I started all vitamins and face products. I gave up caffeine. I started caffeine back up and then gave it right back up again. I ate nothing but vegetables. I washed my face all the time. I never washed my face.

I prayed that it would go away.

But nada. There were small improvements along the way but then something would set it right back off again.

It was psychological torture, especially for someone who likes to “get ‘er done.” There was no getting anything done. There was just me, my terrible face, and my unchecked anger at God.

He could fix this. But He refused.

I’m sure you realized what I learned along the way. That my skin doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be loved. You might not know it, but back in the day, Ericka wasn’t hard on the eyes. And I was constantly reassured of that fact from several different sources. So having something horribly marred that used to define me was a real eye opener. Not to mention the fact that the slow march of time wasn’t helping anything.

If I’m not pretty, then who am I?

A child of God.

I really had to soul search hard on that one. As anyone who battles acne knows, it’s not just the acne itself that’s a pain. It’s the scars and severe changes to your skin that take their toll. My face is a new face, and no longer a pretty one (at least not like it used to be). BUT it is mine, and I’m severely aware that it no longer has a right to define me.

Only God can do that.

I imagine you’ve hung around this far to find out what “cured” my acne. Well, truth be told, I still get break outs. In fact I’m sporting a few right now. BUT my skin is a lot smoother, my scars fading, and when I do break out it’s not even close to what it was when I was battling acne hardcore.

This is my new normal, and I’m fine with it.

My biggest win? Using Myo & D-Chiro Inositol. After studying up on my symptoms, I realized a lot of what I was experiencing (and have experienced most of my life) seemed very similar to PCOS (polycystic ovaries syndrome). One of the main issues of PCOS is insulin resistance which this supplement combats. Another? Hormonal imbalance. Lo and behold, after just two days of taking it, my skin majorly cleared up. Not just the acne, but the general redness I was experiencing as well.

Like I said, my skin isn’t perfect. In fact, I’m back on the caffeine which I know is contributing to this last round of skin issues. It really is a holistic approach that tackles something like this. A supplement might do a lot of the work, but you still have to take a hard look at other areas in your life. Making sure you’re cautious of things like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, and dairy is a good start.

Skin care’s also key. My regimen?

Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin
Use hot water and microfiber cloth to wipe off
Put on SPF and/or makeup

Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin to remove makeup
Use hot water and microfiber cloth to wipe off
Use organic rose water as a toner
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin as a moisturizer

Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin to remove makeup
Use hot water and microfiber cloth to wipe off
Use Paula’s Choice BHA liquid exfoliant
Mix aztec healing clay with apple cider vinegar and use as a mask
Remove with hot witer and microfiber cloth
Use organic rose water as a toner
Rub 2-3 drops of Sky Organics rosehip oil into skin as a moisturizer

I think the most important thing for me to remember is the why behind this. I used to be an incredibly vain person. I was a sorority girl at one point in my life, and I had the long hair and fake nails to prove it (I know, if you know me now, you’re probably like “Say what??”). And when you’re disillusioned by what you see in the mirror, you’re also disillusioned by the darkness of your own heart.

I’ll take a majorly wrecked face any day if it means I can be with Jesus and not the destructive workings of my own mind.

Also, I’m reading When Faith is Forbidden: 40 Days on the Frontlines With Persecuted Christians, which is a great read if you want to realize how absolutely asinine your American problems are in comparison to those who put their lives on the line every day for simply believing in Jesus.

Just sayin.’

If you have any acne busting tips, leave them in the comments. In the meantime, remember nothing is wasted when it comes to God. This too shall pass, but hopefully not quickly enough where we miss the entire point.

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