Banish Skin Care Blog

Banish Skin Care Blog

Is Soy Safe To Eat? February 20 2017, 0 Comments

 Guest Blog By VeganAcneSufferers 

soybeans to eat

At least once a week I get a question about soy and whether it is safe to eat, especially for people with hormonal acne. More than once a week, I also see misinformation about soy as I peruse through my Facebook feed. 


In these fear-mongering posts and articles we are often told that soy disrupts our hormones and can cause things like cancer, gynecomastia ("man boobs"), and even more subtle issues like migraines due to genetic engineering. Most of this misinformation is coming from the mouths of Americans who, not coincidentally, eat a lot of meat and somehow feel threatened by a plant-based protein source that could out-compete the meat industry given the undeniable health benefits of eating plants and the damning side effects of eating meat and dairy.


The irony here is that this is coming from Americans. Americans as a whole actually consume very little soy protein. Based on 2003 data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, per-capita soy protein consumption is less than 1 gram (g) per day in most European and North American countries, although certain sub-populations such as vegetarians, Asian immigrants, and infants fed soy-based formula consume more. The Japanese, on the other hand, consume an average 8.7 g of soy protein per day; Koreans, 6.2–9.6 g; Indonesians, 7.4 g; and the Chinese, 3.4 g. Although the common assumption is that Asian populations consume soy in small amounts, as a condiment-style food, and only in fermented forms, this is simply not true. 


Most of the misinformation out there is sparked by the fact that most of the epidemiologic studies of Asian populations that demonstrate health benefits involved whole soy foods, while the negative side effects were seen only in animal and human intervention studies using soy concentrates or isolated isoflavones; some animal studies used pure genistein, something we would simply never be exposed to in our regular diets. Thus, the results of the latter studies are less useful than the results of the former. If you want to study something, study it properly, not using bits and pieces of food and applying them to non-human animals, to then try and extrapolate these findings to inform human dietary guidelines. 


Sure, there's a lot of information out there on soy that is negative. Between 1990 and 2010, there were over 10,000 peer-reviewed journal articles on soy. A large percentage of these were conducted in animals, though, which as I discussed above can make the results irrelevant to humans because species differ in how they metabolize soy isoflavones and because the amount of isoflavones given to the animals is often much greater than any human would eat.


This difference may have obscured what the health effects of soy actually are.


Health Benefits of Soy


The most popular ways to consume soy are as edamame, tofu, tempeh, and miso, although it is also consumed in the Western world largely as soybean oil or soy concentrates added to foods. But just because parts of soy (like soybean oil) may not be very healthy, this doesn't mean that soy as a whole food is bad. 



Edamame is one of my favourite ways to eat soy. They're an easy-to-make finger-food that's great for when you're on-the-go or short on time. Edamame are basically immature, green soybeans still in the pod.


Edamame contains 8 grams of fiber in every cooked cup. For a man, this is over 23% of his recommended daily intake; for a woman, it's 28% of her requirement per day. According to the American Heart Association, consuming fiber-rich foods can lower your risk of heart disease. In addition, edamame has a high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid, or AHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that your body can convert to EPA and DHA, compounds linked to lower blood cholesterol and a decreased risk of stroke and heart disease.


Each cup of cooked edamame also contains about 1.6 milligrams of manganese, or over half of the recommended daily intake for adults. Your body needs manganese to build strong bones. A serving of edamame provides over 20% of an adult's recommended dietary allowance of vitamin K, a nutrient that the Harvard School of Public Health reports is crucial for increasing bone density. The beans are also high in potassium and magnesium, supplying at least 10% of the RDA of each mineral for both men and women in a single cooked cup. 


And of course, edamame is an excellent and complete source of protein. Eating half a cup of green soybeans adds more than 11 grams of protein to your diet. Soy provides a complete source of dietary protein, meaning that it contains all the essential amino acids needed in the diet.



Tofu is a very popular way of eating soy. Tofu, which is made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie; it contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.

Consuming tofu as an alternative to animal protein lowers levels of LDL cholesterol, which is also referred to as "bad" cholesterol; this, in turn, decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure


A half-cup serving of tofu contains 10 grams of protein, providing 44% of our daily calcium needs, 9% of our daily magnesium, and 40% of our daily iron. 


It also contains small amounts of vitamin K, thaimin, riboflavin, niacin, B7, folate, choline, phosphorous, manganese and selenium. Tofu is also high in healthy polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid.



Tempeh is an interesting little food I've only recently come to appreciate and actively add to my diet. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that are then pressed into blocks. It is nutty and firm in texture, and makes an amazing meat substitute, especially as it is rich in protein and other important nutrients.


Each 1-cup serving of tempeh contains 31 grams of protein, which is a whopping 55% of the recommended daily intake for men, and 67% for women, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tempeh contains high-quality, complete protein, and provides all the amino acids you must obtain from your diet. Tempeh's protein is as easily absorbed and utilized as protein from animal sources, such as eggs or meat.


A single serving of tempeh provides 930 micrograms of copper, or your entire recommended daily intake, and 2.2 milligrams of manganese, which is more than the 1.8 milligrams required daily for women and 96% of the recommended daily intake for men. Both minerals support wound healing and promote tissue strength by boosting collagen synthesis. The manganese in tempeh also helps clear glutamate, a nerve toxin, from your brain, while copper promotes brain cell communication.


Each serving contains 18 grams of total fat, although most of this fat comes from beneficial poly- and monounsaturated fats.




Soybeans and soy foods contain a variety of bioactive components, including saponins, protease inhibitors, phytic acid, and isoflavones. Isoflavones belong to a class of compounds generally known as phytoestrogens, plant compounds that have estrogen-like structures. 


Previously, there has been confusion regarding the safety of consuming soy after a breast cancer diagnosis. This is because isoflavones have a chemical structure that looks similar to estrogen. Indeed, soy isoflavones are frequently referred to as "weak estrogens", and depending upon the specific circumstance, they can act as agonists, partial agonists, or antagonists to endogenous estrogens (such as estradiol) and xenoestrogens (including phytoestrogens) at estrogen receptors. This means that they can help to raise low estrogen, as well as lower high estrogen. They are not especially potent, however, and activity varies by tissue concentration, cell type, hormone receptor type, and stage of differentiation.


In fact, despite all of the hype, regular soy intake may actually decrease breast cancer recurrence. The vast majority of the evidence is that soy is either neutral or protective against breast cancer, including for women previously diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (tumors stimulated by estrogen contact). Genistein, the predominant isoflavone in soy, even has antioxidant properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.


Breast cancer is one of the most lethal diseases world-wide. However, there is a large difference in breast cancer incidence among Caucasian, Hispanic, African and Asian (e.g. Chinese) women with Caucasian women being the highest and Asian women being the lowest. It has been suggested that dietary factors may account for approximately 50% of the breast cancer (studies have shown that when switching to a more "Westernized" diet, the risk increases in Asian populations). One of such dietary components which are typical to Asian but not Caucasian diet is soy foods. A number of epidemiological studies have suggested that increasing soy consumption could be related to the decreased risk of occurrence and/or mortality of breast cancer. Several lines of epidemiological evidence indicate a linear relationship between increasing soy consumption and a decreased risk of recurrence and/or mortality of breast cancer, particularly among Chinese women.


In their 2010 review, Hilakivi-Clarke et al. sum up the evidence on soy and breast cancer:


Results reviewed here suggest that women consuming moderate amounts of soy throughout their life have lower breast cancer risk than women who do not consume soy; however, this protective effect may originate from soy intake early in life. We also review the literature regarding potential risks genistein poses for breast cancer survivors. Findings obtained in 2 recent human studies show that a moderate consumption of diet containing this isoflavone does not increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in Western women, and Asian breast cancer survivors exhibit better prognosis if they continue consuming a soy diet.


Of the studies done on populations with higher soy intakes, the Singapore Chinese Health Study, the Shanghai Women's Study (12), and the Japan Public Health Center Study all found that higher intakes of soy were associated with a reduced risk of cancer. The Japan Collaborative Cohort Study and the Japan Life Span Study found no association. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Oxford, which contained a large number of vegetarians, also found no association.


Overall, current evidence in humans suggests that there are neutral or protective effects of eating moderate amounts of soy, and there is not enough evidence to suggest that a well-balanced diet including soy adds any further risk to breast cancer or other cancer incidence. 




There have been 12 short-term clinical trials looking at the impact of soy on cognition, and all have shown soy to be helpful or neutral. A longitudinal study found tempeh to be associated with improved cognition. Three reports from longitudinal studies have associated tofu with reduced cognition in some groups, but increased cognition in another group, and neutral in others. This is likely due to confounding factors. Based on the research to date, there should be little concern about eating soy, including tofu, with regards to cognitive decline, as there simply isn't enough evidence to sway us in one direction or the other.


Mineral Absorption


Soybeans contain phytic acid, also known as phytate, which can inhibit the absorption of calcium, zinc, iron, and possibly magnesium. Many whole plant foods contain phytate, but soy has more than most. 


Absorption is typically assessed in response to the consumption of a single meal.  However, acute studies tend to exaggerate the effects of factors that both enhance and inhibit mineral absorption in comparison to the impact of these factors over the long term. This is likely because the body has physiological mechanisms to compensate for the differences in mineral absorption and perhaps also because in a mixed diet the effects of enhancers and inhibitors of absorption tend to balance each other out.


The evidence unequivocally shows that despite containing phytate and oxalate, calcium absorption from soy milk is essentially equivalent to calcium absorption from cow’s milk.  Calcium absorption from calcium-set tofu is also quite good.


Soybeans are quite high in iron but as previously noted, as is the case for most plant foods, iron absorption from soy has traditionally been considered to be poor.  However, recent clinical research indicates that this view may be wrong.  It now appears that the methodology used in older studies for assessing iron absorption from soy may have greatly underestimated iron absorption (12).  Further, because of the specific form in which the iron in soybeans exists, it appears that iron is extremely well absorbed from soy foods.  More research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn but so far the results are quite encouraging.


A newer 10-week study conducted at Iowa State University found that when pre-menopausal women consumed 2-3 servings of soy foods daily in place of 2-3 servings of similar foods made from animal products, zinc and iron status were unaffected.  This study is especially noteworthy because the subjects consumed soy foods as they typically would in real life.  Instead of drinking cow’s milk they drank soy milk, and instead of eating chili with meat, they ate chili made with textured soy protein.


While phytic acid has a bad reputation, it also has some benefits. In their 2002 review, Minerals and Phytic Acid Interactions: Is It a Real Problem for Human Nutrition?, Lopez et. al point out that phytates can prevent lipid peroxidation, iron oxidation of colorectal tissue, and calcium-based kidney stones.


In summary, incorporating soy into the diet has not been shown to adversely affect mineral status in people who consume them.  Calcium is well absorbed from soy, and new information suggests this is also true for iron. 




Almost everyone who has a reliable source of iodine can safely eat soy without it causing thyroid problems. Although most studies that have measured thyroid function and soy intake have found no problems, a 2011 study of people with subclinical hypothyroidism found an increased rate of progression to overt hypothyroidism. For such people, it might be wise to limit soy. People with overt hypothyroidism who substantially change their soy intake might need to talk to their doctor about adjusting their synthetic thyroid medication. However, for the remainder of the population getting adequate iodine in their diet (a quarter teaspoon of iodized salt will do the trick), there are no apparent issues with consuming soy for thyroid health.


Feminizing Effects


Many men claim to avoid soy because they don't want man boobs, but the fact is that moderate amounts of soy does not cause feminine characteristics in men. At high amounts, as in twelve servings a day or more, a small percentage of men who are particularly sensitive to soy might develop tender, enlarged breast tissue. It requires upwards of twelve servings of soy (and probably much more for most men) to have any sort of noticeable feminizing effects. One case study saw a teenage boy consuming more than 18 servings a day of soy develop gynecomastia, although his symptoms disappeared once he stopped consuming such large amounts.

While one epidemiological study raised concerns about soy and sperm quantity, two clinical studies have shown no effects of soy on sperm quality or quantity (12).


After all of this mounting evidence in humans suggests that soy has more health benefits than it does risks, it's shocking that people are still so vehemently against consuming soy. I guess it all boils down to misinformation, and the meat and dairy industry stifling the proper research with animal studies that correlate with their agenda. 



*Some soy meats or foods containing isolated soy protein are processed with hexane and there may be small amounts of hexane residues in the final product. It is not known if this is harmful, but it might be a good idea to use soy foods from companies who do not use hexane in their processing methods.


About VeganAcneSufferers:

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I first got acne in high school, and it came back in my early adulthood. I was able to struggle through those difficult times and come out of it a stronger, wiser, healthier person as a result. I'm here to help you do the same thing!

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Pour Some Sugar On Me (and My Face!) February 19 2017, 0 Comments

By: LaTesha 

I’ve been obsessed with sugar scrubs ever since the first time I added it to my shaving routine. I can’t believe all I had to do to fall in love with them is shave my legs!  

First, you shave your legs as you would any other day. Second, you rub your sugar scrub all over your legs (it’s quite relaxing and therapeutic!) Next is where the fun part comes in! Bring out that razor for the third step, and with a very gentle hand, shave the sugar scrub off of your legs. For the fourth step, rinse off your legs and pat them dry. Finally, enjoy the softest legs in all of the world and try not to shove them in the face of every single person you meet. Legs aren’t where the benefits of sugar scrubs stop!  

The great thing about sugar scrubs is that they’re so versatile and have unlimited uses and benefits. You can use them for the face, lips, body, legs, and the list goes on and on. 

The most obvious benefit sugar provides for our skin is the topical exfoliant properties. Sugar has very small particles and will exfoliate dead skin cells, leaving behind soft and supple skin. Sugar scrubs are the most natural way to soften, exfoliate and to freshen up the skin.There are various other reasons that sugar should be a staple in your skin care routine. 

Sugar is a humectant, which means that it draws any available moisture from the environment into the skin. This is perfect for the winter or for dry climates where havoc can be wrought on skin, making it dull and dry.  

It is also a great source of glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that penetrates the skin and encourages rapid cell turnover. Additionally, the gentle massaging involved in using a sugar scrub increases blood circulation. This increases collagen production and reverses the effects of aging. In turn, this contributes to the fresh, young-looking skin that we all desire and spend so much money to achieve.  All we have to do is check out our pantry! The only downside to the glycolic acid in sugar is that it exfoliates the top layer of the skin and sunscreen should be used afterward to avoid damaging the tender skin.  

Sugar also diminishes acne and other blemishes on the skin by removing oil and dirt from clogged pores.  

There are so many uses for sugar when it comes to the skin and it’s so cheap to buy that the only con to introducing more sugar into your life is cleaning up the mess!

Top 5 Gift Guide for the Cold Weather February 19 2017, 0 Comments

By: Maryam

If you live somewhere cold like me, (hello, Canada) this time of year can only mean one thing: dry skin. Whether it comes in the form of chapped lips or rough elbows, it happens to every one of us. That’s why I wanted to share my seasonal guide for killer moisturizers that are essential for keeping that dew locked in.

1: Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
This is my number one moisturizer for all time. First of all, it smells absolutely heavenly. Like toasted caramel marshmallow. Second, of all, it leaves my skin glossy and soft, instantly! Like the name, it’s meant for the bum and I have always aspired to a perfectly smooth posterior – it really achieves results in that area. I also put it on my neck and décolleté since it’s a zone of mine I’d’ like to keep taut and healthy. Since it’s a higher end moisturizer I generally keep it to those two places. If I could afford more, I’d slather it everywhere!

2: EveryOne 3-In-1 Lotion – Lavender & Aloe
This is a moisturizer you can find in most drug stores. It’s inexpensive and leaves the skin instantly silky. I put it everywhere I don’t put the Bum Bum Cream, and I find it really works! The lavender scent is lovely and calming while the aloe soothes irritated and dry skin. I love aloe as a natural combatant to irritation, especially dry itches!

3: Nude Advanced Renewal Overnight Repair Mask
When your face could use extra pampering, look no further. This is a whipped, thick cream that calms stressed out skin with such ingredients as honey extract and Cupuaçu butter, among others. Honey is such a great softener as well as antibacterial so that this overnight mask even works against pimples, as well as the signs of aging. I wake up hydrated, soft and revitalized!

4: Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
This cult favorite brand is on everyone’s list for good reason, they really know skin care. I apply this every morning under my makeup to lift and brighten my face. After a couple weeks, I can really tell the difference to my scars and overall skin tone. It’s a water cream, which means it’s really lightweight, yet thick. Absorbs quickly, and voila! And instant deep drink for your skin!

5: Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer
A classic! The lips are often the first to get dry, and while I have tried a number of different balms, both high-end and low, this one wins, hands down. Don’t mess with a good thing – especially with the added bonus of luxurious color that these Shimmers offer. This is definitely another testament to the softening and protective power of bee products. Such a staple for the cold seasons!

As you can see, I’m a fan of both high-end and low, balancing natural elements and cutting edge science. I hope this list helps in your quest for quenched, youthful skin!

My New Year's Revolution for 2017 February 18 2017, 0 Comments

By: Genevieve

I have never really been the person who sits down every December 31st and writes down my New Years resolutions. It always seemed aimless to me. Every year my friends would tell me, “I’m going on a diet this year and I’m NOT going to stop until I lose 10 pounds.” January 4th I get asked to go out for ice cream. The ridiculous goals that people set for themselves are more discouraging than motivating because they hardly ever are realistic.

Despite my skepticism of making New Year's resolutions, towards the end of 2016, I found myself reflecting on my life. I decided that despite my reservations on the notion, that I was going to make some changes in my life. I didn’t want to be basic and make just any New Years resolutions, however. So I decided to call my plan my New Years Revolution. This perfectly described my plan to make considerable changes to how I go about living my life.

My revolution is mostly focused on improving my mental health but also involve bettering my physical health as well. The main aspect of my life that I decided needed the most improvement is my level of happiness. All of my revolutions revolve around this main point. I wouldn’t describe myself as an extremely unhappy person, but I have noticed that over the past few years, stress, financial problems, sports injuries, and other parts of my life have caused me to be less happy than I used to be.

            Revolution #1:  Commit to a Regular Workout Routine

I know I know, this is so basic.  But as an athlete, I know the importance of keeping your body strong and healthy. Working out also releases endorphins which have been proven to improve your mood.  Exercise = Happiness

            Revolution #2:  Sing More Often

I grew up singing in my schools’ choirs.  I was very fortunate to be able to learn and have fun with music for my entire childhood.  I stopped singing in college, though, because of the conflicts that arose with softball.  Singing makes me so happy so I will find a way to bring it back into my life.

            Revolution #3:  Commit to My Sport

I have played softball since I was 12 years old and am currently playing in college. This sport has brought me some of the greatest friends and memories. In the past few years, my career has been riddled with injuries including tearing my ACL this past summer. I am currently five months out and am just being allowed to start running and playing a little bit which is amazing. I feel like I might have taken softball for granted before, but now that I have been taken away from it for so long, I can’t wait to recommit to the sport that I love.

Those are my revolutions for a happier life. They are all simple and things that I will enjoy doing. Here’s to the New Year and a happier me!

Birth Control Pills for Acne February 18 2017, 0 Comments

By Maryam

After I had tried and failed painfully and miserably to cure my acne with an antibiotic known as tetracycline, I decided to give in and try the pill.

It’s been about 7 months now since I’ve started, and yes! I do love it. It does work for me. My acne has cleared up significantly, and I now, on most days enjoy a relatively clear face. I do get zits now and again. I still find that on the days drawing close to my period I break out, sometimes worse than others. At least now, I just break out in zits rather than full on cystic pustules, so I find it’s manageable and doesn’t leave as much of a scar. Still, I wonder if going onto stronger hormonal pills would really do the trick since these low hormonal, “lo-lo” pills, don’t seem to be dominating my hormones quite as much as I need them to. 

What’s up with my hormones anyway? Was it all that milk I drank as a kid? Anyway. I opted for a low-dose hormonal pill over a stronger brand since I’m wary it might make me depressed like so many women seem to report. Honestly, do I feel that sometimes that my I could be better, more like myself before the pills? Truthfully, yes. I’m not up to my usual standard. Do I feel that my overall mood could be better, happier? Yes, potentially. I had significant mood swings when I first started the pill. I hate feeling depressed. Would I consider Accutane and just getting an IUD? Yes. More and more, I’m considering it. 

Tetracycline is a horrible antibiotic and I would never wish that upon anyone. Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It comes with a lot of consequences, the dryness of the skin, the emotional highs and lows. Do I feel that it may be worth a sheet of clear skin on my face? Yes, oh heck yes. 

I suppose this is all part of my journey with acne. Right now I’m content with birth control, I even feel like the occasional zit still keeps me human. But who knows how I may feel in 5 months, a year, two years. I’m 25 and without birth control, my acne would still be going strong. I may just have to finally nip it in the bud lest I have to face the rest of my adult days carrying a painful pink flag on my face.

A Guide to Face Masks When You Have Oily Skin February 17 2017, 0 Comments

By: LaTesha 

In my opinion, the best facial mask for oily skin is one that will gently exfoliate as well as cleanse. Because my skin is already so oily, I find it hard to find a mask that doesn’t over dry or over moisturize. Skin care for oily skin is all about masks with ingredients that balance each other out. If the ingredients are balanced, then the skin will be balanced as well.  

That being said, there are definitely days when I want a specific kind of mask to counteract the way my skin is feeling. Everyone know that there is no one cure-all mask, especially for oily skin, so I just want to share my two favorite face masks for keeping my skin soft and clear. 

For the days that I’ve had a lot of activity, which means a ton of sweat and oil has built up in my pores, I leave it all up to clay to save the day! I really like the Indian Healing Clay Mask from Aztec Secret Health. It’s relatively cheap and one jar lasts for a long time. I prefer to mix the clay powder with apple cider vinegar to balance pH and to keep my acne in check.  

When mixing the mask, the ratio of clay to liquid is totally up to you. I personally like my mixture to have less liquid because it dries in a way that makes it easier to peel off. Overall, the mask is really awesome because it minimizes my pores and tightens my skin without being too over drying.  

When my skin is looking dull and I feel like I could use a good exfoliation, I like sugar scrubs. The best thing about sugar scrubs is that there are so many different ways to make them and you can customize the ingredients to maximize the benefit for your skin. You can learn how to make a basic brown sugar scrub from Wikihow and since I’ve tried so many, I’ll just boost my favorite variation.  

You’ll need brown sugar, olive oil, and honey (optional: vitamin E oil if you want to preserve and store your mask, and vanilla extract if you want the scrub to smell really nice). Brown sugar is really useful for the moisturization and lubrication of the skin; it also removes excess oils deep in the pores. Olive oil is beneficial for unclogging pores and pushing bad oils out. Honey is great for killing germs and removing excess sebum on the surface of the skin.  

There are so many great DIY masks out there for oily skin, and it’s just a matter of trying them out and seeing what works best for your skin.

Being the One with Acne in a Relationship February 16 2017, 0 Comments

By: Thea

Being in a relationship is such a wonderful thing. It’s amazing how you can go about living life all by yourself to experiencing new moments and sharing memories with a significant other. I understand that relationships aren’t for everyone. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of bumpy rides. But once you’ve met someone entirely new that makes you feel greater than you’ve ever felt before, you’ll realize that it was all worth it. This one person can make you feel as if nothing in the world matters. You put all your heart and trust in them because they can do no wrong. But, that all changes when they comment on your appearance. They adore you and tell you that you’re the most beautiful person they’ve ever met and you want to believe what they’re saying is true but you can’t; not with the acne on your face.

Acne is something I’ve struggled with since I was in my pre-teens. Every day is a self-esteem battle. When I go about in public, I feel like everyone can only see my acne. I don’t want their face too close to mine, or their hands caressing my cheeks. It’s hard. I built a barrier between myself and those around me. When someone compliments me on how attractive I am, I feel like they don’t really mean it. I’ve put myself down enough to only accept negativity and nothing else. I felt like no one would truly accept my appearance for the way it is.

But someone did accept it. They accepted my appearance, my personality, and every little thing about me. It felt wonderful and I was happy. But that didn’t mean I had doubts. I questioned whether or not they actually liked my face or if they only liked the way it looked with makeup. This really messed with my faith in the relationship. I felt like the moment they saw how bad my acne was, they’d feel less attracted and realize that maybe I’m not as pretty as they thought.

That moment never came. He accepted my acne. When we video chat, he tells me how cute I look with spot treatment all over my face. Sometimes he’d tell me about skin regimens he’d heard about and suggested different posts for me to read. He loved me for me and that did something to me. It made me feel more confident in myself and I slowly realized that I was loving my skin more. I didn’t feel as insecure about my bare face and began to see the beauty that he saw. It took a long time but I started to love my appearance.

My advice to those who have acne while being in a relationship: don’t be so scared to let someone love you because, in the end, you’ll learn to love yourself.

Bentonite Clay's Benefits February 16 2017, 0 Comments

By: Azemina

This all natural, yet super powerful, clay has been around for ages. You may or may not have heard of it, but I definitely recommend trying it! It’s usually sold out online for a reason.  

You may be asking “what makes this clay so special and different from others?” Good question. Firstly, this clay can be taken internally and externally. It has a vast array of benefits, but since this is an acne-related website and post, I will stick to the acne benefits.

Bentonite clay is also known as montmorillonite clay, which means that it expands when absorbing the liquid. It is composed of ash from volcanoes. This clay is unique due to its ability to change its electrical component and produce an electrical charge when added to a liquid. Since most toxins and heavy metals are positively charged, this gives bentonite the ability to literally “pull out”/absorb toxins and impurities from our skin. It also “pulls” excess hydrogen from our cells, therefore allowing them to replace with oxygen.

So here is a mask that is natural, healthy, detoxifying, and helps with acne, but how can we use it for optimal results? Many times I see reviewers that state that bentonite clay made them break out. While it may be true that these individuals did break out after using this clay as a mask, it is most likely NOT the bentonite that broke them out. 

Remember that bentonite clay has “pulling properties” so while it pulls out toxins, in a way it is also “pulling out” your pimples. Pimples form before they surface, so you may have had pimples forming and the clay just brought them out faster and more at once. 

Another concern I have seen many times is the redness that comes with using this product. When the clay begins to dry on your skin you will most likely feel your face pulsate, this is due to an increase of blood flow to the area with the mask. When you wash the clay off you will then experience a shade of pink/red, which is normal! This redness will go away in about an hour. 

Remember to never leave your mask to dry completely. Clay does its magic while it is damp, when dried it does nothing more for your skin other than dry it out (which is NOT what you want when you have acne, even if you have oily skin). I also recommend using ACV (apple cider vinegar) instead of water. This clay is alkaline, but our face is slightly acidic, so using ACV (which is acidic) will aid better results.

Vacations and Humidity: The Downfall of Pimples? February 15 2017, 0 Comments

By: Andrea

Hawaii was simply too humid for makeup and it terrified me. Getting off the plane in Kauai, I felt it slip. It was breaking up in patches on my cheeks, my nose, my chin, and the panic were settling in. How would I get by without it?

Melodramatic as it might seem, the layer of foundation I nearly always had on my skin was a layer of armor I was unwilling to go without. It had been nearly four years since I’d let anyone see me without some form of cover-up and now, during a family vacation, it seemed inevitable that I would need to forgo it.

At this point, my skin had started to clear up. Cystic acne no longer plagued me as it once had and although I had scars on my cheeks from where I’d messed with past pimples, regular outbreaks were becoming less frequent. But still, I was embarrassed by its lack of clearness.

Waking up in the hotel room, I stared in the mirror, assessing myself. Hawaii’s humidity and heat settled over everything, pervading the bathroom. It would be impossible, I told myself and braced for what I expected to be the worst vacation of my life, embittered by a lack of self-confidence.

But what really happened was, in fact, the opposite. The humid air felt wonderful; my skin loved being able to breathe without its usual layer of concealer. I walked into places and felt lovely, fresh, as though I’d shed a painful memory. I went snorkeling and marveled at the way the salt water felt on my face, at how easily I could touch my skin without worrying about what it looked like. I started to appreciate what I had, rather than what I so desperately wanted.

In Hawaii, I realized the simple truth: I’d endured years of acne and because of it, I had acne scars. I still broke out around my period and I still occasionally messed with a pimple (no matter how many times I warned myself not to). Yes, my skin was different than others, and yes, it had made me self-conscious about my own beauty. But I shouldn’t let it diminish my self-worth, no matter how many times I had convinced myself that it should.

My skin wasn’t perfect. Perhaps it never would be. But finally, as I flew back to California, my face makeup free, I realized that was okay.  

Exercise and Good Skin Care Regimen February 15 2017, 0 Comments

By: Jyotti

By early August, I had done a lot of research and decided it was time to change my lifestyle. This meant clean eating, good water intake, exercise, and yoga. I had created a daily schedule which consisted of an early morning run, healthy breakfast, spending time with my family, healthy lunch, reading a book, healthy dinner, and skin care. I kept my schedule the same, in regards to the time I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

The activities I did during the day would change but I always went on my morning run or did morning yoga. From the YouTube videos I watched, I realized it is best to keep your skin care routine simple. I began to follow the three-step skin care which is cleanse, tone and moisturize. I made sure that I followed these three steps every night. 

Another thing I always did was make sure I drank 8 glasses of water a day. I tried to drink a glass every hour or so. By November, I had begun to see a huge difference in my skin, it was finally beginning to clear up.  I could not believe that by simply changing my lifestyle I would be able to clear my skin. Fast forward to June 2016, I had cleared my skin significantly, however, the acne I had left behind are now acne scars. 

I didn’t think there could be anything worse than having to deal with acne. I was so wrong; acne scars are 10 times worse than having to deal with acne. Acne scars are so difficult to cover especially if they are super pigmented like mine are. I know I had popped my pimples a few times but I had no idea that it would leave behind these nasty scars and make my face look even worse. Both sides of my face had dark spots on it. They were very pigmented and very hard for me to cover. 

I was left very upset and wondering what I should do. I went out and tried everything again, oils, mask, gels you name it I tried it. But nothing has worked and I still have horrible acne scars till this day. 

My friend had recommended that I try the Banish Kit. I was willing to give it a try however, I noticed that it is $99 Canadian dollars.  I don’t work at the moment and am saving so I can pay off my student loans. Any money that my parents give me I put in my saving account so I can save it up to pay off my loan later. My sister just got married recently and my parents spent a lot of money on her wedding, so they are not willing to give me the money either. My friend has beautiful skin and swears by the Banish Kit which is the reason I really want it.