This post is sponsored by Weleda. A big thank you to Weleda for creating beautiful, organic skin care products that our family love to use, and that don’t irritate our skin. Read to the end to find out how to enter our Weleda giveaway!
Growing up, I always struggled with skin issues. The acne started in my early teens, and by my late teens my skin was so bad (and I was so embarrassed about it), that I began seeing doctors and dermatologists for help. I was put on the pill to try and balance out my hormones so that my skin would calm down (NOT a good idea, girls – here’s why!); and I was given a cream to use on my face that took off the top layer of skin, leaving it red raw and sensitive until the skin regenerated. For a couple of glorious months, I had lovely, clear skin! But it didn’t last. The acne soon came back and the cream stopped working.
Our skin is our largest organ, and it is greatly affected by what we eat, what we put on it, the water that we drink, the amount of sleep we have, and the health of our gut. However, I was never given that information. Instead, I was just told, ‘Take this pill. Use this cream. Don’t worry, you’ll grow out of it.’ I was at university and like most students had little money, so I wore cheap makeup, sprayed myself with any affordable deodorant and perfume, and ate plenty of sugar and junk food. I also reacted badly to dairy, but I just took enzyme tablets to support my dairy habit. I stayed up way too late at night, and got up early to go to uni, and certainly didn’t drink enough pure water. My poor skin didn’t stand a chance!
My sister comforted me, saying, “Don’t worry, once you have a baby your skin will get better!” It didn’t. Even after four babies I still had skin issues. I was more frustrated about my skin than I had been as a teenager. I felt like it was something I should’ve grown out of – most of my friends did, why couldn’t I?? Meanwhile, I kept subsisting on sugary, starchy foods, trying to keep up my energy to cope with four kids under seven years old. As you would have guessed, I wasn’t getting enough sleep, my gut health was worse, and I was still using cheap body products.
Eventually, the food intolerances, exhaustion, headaches and histamine reactions that I was also struggling with drove me to change my diet. I focused on cooking with wholefoods, and learnt to swap out foods that caused reactions. Not only did my health start improving, but also my skin! Those of you who know my story of returning to health know that I saw the biggest benefits when I went on GAPS, an incredibly healing intervention diet for gut health. (You can read our family’s story of healing with GAPS here, and learn to cook for GAPS here.)