Like many of our AMPERNA® customers, Amy Saunders (now a holistic skincare consultant) was plagued by pimples from an early age. After struggling with acne for over 15 years, she finally got it under control in her twenties through a combination of diet and changes to her skincare regime.
Amy’s skin before and after discovering her holistic skincare journey
Image via Amy’s Instagram @skyn.therapy
We came across Amy’s story recently and it really resonated with us. At AMPERNA® we are big believers of healing the skin both from the inside and out, so we were really excited to find out more about her journey and how she helps others to heal holistically.
We asked Amy to share some of her best tips and insights with us, so that we could pass them on to you.
You struggled with acne for 15 years before finally finding a solution. Tell us a bit about your struggle.
My acne started when I was just 11. I struggled with acne throughout my whole teens and into my mid twenties!
Like most teens that suffer with acne I was prescribed topical, then antibiotics and when neither of them worked I was put on the pill. The pill calmed things down a little but there would always be a breakout lurking somewhere on my face.
During my teens my skin did affect me emotionally but not to the extent that it has as an adult. I think as a teen you just expect to grow out of acne, and if it doesn’t happen then it just crushes your soul - that’s what I think was the most frustrating part, It wasn’t until my acne got really bad at 23 after coming off the pill that I started looking at alternative healing.
“As a teen you just expect to grow out of acne, and if it doesn’t happen then it just crushes your soul - that’s what I think was the most frustrating part.”
When did you finally find something that worked for you?
It was a gradual learning over time, although switching my diet to be ‘healthy fat’ dominant was definitely an ah-ha moment!
Within two weeks of eating a high fat, low carb diet I completely stopped craving sugar - something that has been a struggle for me since I was a child. It was at that moment that I knew that I was on to something.
Image via @skyn.therapy
However, it still took over 6 months of tweaking, adding supplements and adjusting my skin care for my skin to properly start clearing up.
I think a lot people expect/hope for a miracle cure that will heal their skin overnight, but it’s just not possible. Holistic healing doesn’t mean just changing one factor and then all your problems go away, it’s lots of small changes that make a difference!
“Holistic healing doesn’t mean just changing one factor and then all your problems go away, it’s lots of small changes that make a difference!”
You now have a skin health blog and holistic acne skincare consultation service, tell us how that came about.
My skin took a turn for the worst when I came off the pill at 23 Overnight my face just erupted like never before. My periods also went crazy and I was taking time off work, as I was just so miserable.
I reached out to my doctor who diagnosed me with PCOS and told me the only option was to go back on the pill and take Accutane for my skin. Both of these were never an option for me as I knew, deep down, that it wasn’t the answer and there was another way.
I went home that day and started blogging and it all grew from there!
Over the past 5 years I’ve gained a diploma in Nutritional Therapy to support the work I do and have attended countless seminars to help give my clients and followers the best advice I can.
What does holistic skincare mean to you?
Definitely avoid toxins that can contribute to hormone imbalances such as parabens, phthalates and many UV filters.
But deeper than that, I believe natural skin care is more than just the formulation! It’s about the whole process of nurturing your skin, taking care of yourself and giving yourself a few moments twice a day to focus just on YOU.
Image via @skyn.therapy
A few of my favourite techniques are facial massage, dry brushing and facial cupping. To me, these are all part of a holistic skin care routine and can have such a positive impact on clearing acne due to their ability to increase lymphatic flow and promote healthy detoxification.
“I believe natural skin care is more than just the formulation! It’s about the whole process of nurturing your skin, taking care of yourself and giving yourself a few moments twice a day to focus just on YOU.”
What are the best tips you would give to someone wishing to follow a holistic skincare regime?
- Diet is always the first thing that needs to change - you cannot ‘out supplement’ a poor diet.
Eating more healthy fats, moderate protein and avoiding sugar is the route anyone with acne should head down.
- Don’t over complicate things and don’t switch around every few weeks.
I am a self-declared beauty addict and one of my biggest mistakes was trying a product for a few weeks, not seeing dramatic changes and switching to something else.
I think you need to give a product at least 8-12 weeks of consistent use to truly see the full benefits.
It can be frustrating as it often means you need to take a leap of faith with the brand and repurchase a second or third bottle before you really notice a difference, but your skin will thank you in the long run!
- Exercise is really beneficial. It doesn’t matter whether it’s running, dancing, cycling - just make sure it’s something that you enjoy and makes you sweat!
Getting the heat pumping around your body 3 times a week helps with lymphatic flow and detoxification and is such a key part of healing acne.
What are your views on gut health and acne?
It plays such a vital part!
I recommend good quality probiotics for all my clients, there’s evidence to suggest that the gut cannot recover from antibiotics without intervention (such as a course of probiotics to replenish the good bacteria).
Image via @skyn.therapy
If you were prescribed antibiotics as a child or teen - whether it was acne related or due to ear infections of tonsillitis - it’s likely that your gut STILL hasn’t been able to fully recover.
Taking probiotics and plenty of fermented foods is a really important part of healing, if your digestive system isn’t functioning properly, then neither will your liver or lymphatic system which will end up causing havoc with your skin.
“If you were prescribed antibiotics as a child or teen - whether it was acne related or due to ear infections of tonsillitis - it’s likely that your gut STILL hasn’t been able to fully recover.”
Tell us about your consultation services
My consultation services run like virtual appointments. When a client books in they have to answer a HUGE questionnaire, all about their health and lifestyle - this gives me a pretty good indication of where the problems lie so I can recommend a plan that’s right for them, as there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to healing.
Are you finding that there’s a common cause that most of your clients generally have for their acne flare-ups?
Unfortunately, I think modern life is the biggest issue here!
Whether it’s the contraceptive pill, fluoride in your water supply, hormone disrupting beauty products or just the social pressure to have ‘the perfect life’ - it all puts so much strain on our bodies that our skin just can’t cope!
While there are a lot of physical changes you can make to nourish your body and get it on the right path to healing, you’ll forever struggle with your skin until you address the emotional issues that will be contributing to your acne too.
Image via @skyn.therapy
Finally, if you could share your most vital tips with someone struggling with acne, what would they be?
- Eat more fat
Fat is essential for building hormones and creating balance within the body. Avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, butter and eggs are my favourite sources of healthy fats and I try to eat a least 2 portions with every single meal!
- Get moving
The lymphatic system is often overlooked when it comes to healing but plays an essential part in clearing acne.
If you’re suffering from acne around your jawline, neck or from you nose/corners of your mouth then there’s a high chance you could be suffering from lymphatic congestion.
Facial cupping is a new trick I’ve been using after reading ‘The Hidden Cause of Acne’ by Melissa Galico and I’m obsessed with it! It’s a cheap, simple and great way to release some of this congestion and you can easily pick up silicone facial cupping sets from Amazon!
- Address your emotions
I cannot stress it enough! If you feel that acne controls your life, you’re constantly thinking about it and it’s the first thing you notice when you look at your reflection then emotional healing could be the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle for you.
Many people can benefit from doing some at-home techniques like meditation or tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) but others may benefit from other forms of emotional healing with a professional practitioner.
Wow – thank you so much to Amy for taking the time to share these amazing tips and insights with us.