Thursday, 13 August 2015

Before and After - Why You Should Take a Photo When Your Acne is at its Worst

I wrote the following as a guest post for Tracy Raftl, owner of the amazing The Love Vitamin on why it can be beneficial to snap some photos (and save them) when your acne is at its worst. You can read the original here

There's no doubt about it, acne sucks. It can make you shy away from social activities, avoid all mirrors and fear having your picture taken, even in full make-up.

That's why what I'm about to say may surprise you.

Do you know the best thing about having a nasty breakout?

You get to take a 'before' photo!

A photo is truly worth a thousand words, particularly when it comes to acne. Most often, the painful inflammation is right there in front of you, on the surface and incredibly visible. It's one of the unfortunate realities of skin disorders.

But, I say flip this around and use it to your advantage by documenting it. It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can be a helpful part of your healing process. That way as you heal your skin and go through your own journey you have something to look back at and say 'Wow, I've come so far. I am so proud of what I've been able to accomplish and heal. My body is amazing. I am AMAZING!'.

It also gives you a photo to tell your story with down the road and help others with if you want to. Do you think as many of us would be turning to the Love Vitamin if we didn't know about the incredible transformation that Tracy has gone through by healing her body and her skin? I know I may not have chosen to heal myself from the inside out naturally if not for the before and after photos she has. It definitely had an impact on me. If it worked for her, it was worth a shot.

I could see the pain in her eyes in those photos; This girl knew deep down how desperate acne can make you feel.

Before and After Photos Tell a Compelling Story

I started taking my own 'before' photos during a breakout I had after using the Clarisonic Mia in the spring of 2012. At that point I had been trying to heal my skin for a year and a half using the conventional approach of benzol peroxide, antibiotics, chemical peels and laser genesis. It wasn't really working:

To tell you the truth - looking at those pictures now it doesn't look as bad as I remember it feeling. That's another nice thing about taking a few photos - it may not look as bad or be as noticeable to others as you think.  

Little did I know that a year later my acne would get a million times worse following the birth of my son. It makes the above photos look like a walk in the park:  

Looking at these photos now. . .  the tears are starting to well up. I was in so much pain - inside and out. (These are actually photos of the second round of a postpartum acne flare-up that I had. The first one months earlier, I refused to have my photo taken with my newborn son and would only have photos taken in full makeup with strategically placed angels to shield the lower half of my face). 

Thankfully, my body was telling me that it was sick. My gut bacteria had been destroyed and needed some major TLC. I was likely insulin resistant. Following Tracy's programs for over the past year and a half and working with a naturopath, I've been able to get 99% clear. You can read about my Love Vitamin journey here

Here's the photos of my body healing itself. It was a year of advances and setbacks:  

And, finally, here's what it looks like now, after over eight beautifully consistent months of clear skin.

I look at this photo progression and I can't help but shout a hearty - 'Hell ya!! Look at what I was able to overcome. Wow. . . " 

I show my 'before' photos to close out-of-town friends who weren't around to experience the worst of my skin days and they are amazed. It's a reminder of how far I've come. 

I finally have the skin I had been dreaming about and pursuing for years and those photos help me celebrate and remember that. 

So pick up your phone, snap a selfie, and file it away knowing that one day, you'll be able to pull it out to tell your own compelling story. 

I look forward to reading it. 




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