Michelle and I first met in 2013. Strangers from opposite sides of the world, both in need of a little recuperation we found ourselves in Ibiza at a yoga retreat run by Rebekah Fensome and Lara Davies.
Synchronicity has bought us together again. I am delighted to be featuring Clear Skin Holistically as part of Yummy Things and The Creative Review.
Michelle since our last meeting in sunny Ibiza you have a certain buzz about you can you reveal your secret to us of radiant beauty?
I have always been someone to believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in synchronicity, right time, right place, right reason. Like when you think of a friend you haven’t seen for years, then you bump into them in the street the next day. Or chances when love has been looking you in the face for years, but you haven’t been in the right headspace to see or feel it? I believe that if something keeps coming into your peripheral, then it makes sense to look into it, right?
My issues had been staring right at me in the mirror for almost 20 years. Acne. That four letter word that to this day still fills me with dread… thoughts of ugliness, self-loathing and depression. Thoughts of not being beautiful, of being judged by others, and the fear that you will always be unlovable.
What was your defining moment for change?
From age eleven I was plagued with bad skin… acne that lasted on and off until my early thirties. I tried endless remedies, saw countless doctors, dermatologists and skin specialists. Took every pill, potion, prescription. All of these helped to a certain degree, but they never helped me to address the underlying root cause of my acne. So it kept coming back.
I reached breaking point about three years ago, when a doctor told me there was nothing they could do for my skin but put me back on Roaccutane – an extremely high dose of vitamin A which has its fair share of negative side effects… from excessive dry skin & hair, blood nose, depression, & even causing birth defects to new babies. I had been on this drug previously with little success, so I wasn’t so keen on poisoning my body again.
I left the doctors in tears, but I believed and had faith that there had to be another way. And it was this defining moment where I decided to take the healing of my skin into my own hands.
I am intrigued to learn how did you find the positive in this negative situation? And did this breaking point offer you a new route to learning different strategies for dealing with your health?
This day propelled me forward, to learn about nutrition, self-healing, yoga, meditation, and about natural skincare. I carried on to study Natural Skincare and Nutrition at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) I was then further inspired to study further at CNM, studying Herbs for Everyday Living, which really taught me how important nature and herbs are to healing on all levels. I began to understand how much of an impact food has on our wellbeing, especially our skin health and how what we eat really affects how we look – in more ways than one!
Eat your way to clear skin. Treat your body as your temple – and nourish it with nutrient rich, whole foods.
Wow! Your passion for eating your way to clear skin is inspirational. Tell me more about what lead you to launch the Clear Skin Holistically range.
I became intrigued and inspired about nature’s pharmacy, its healing properties and traditions through different cultures and lifestyles. I delved into natural medicine and plant based, organic skincare, studying from beginner through to intermediate and advanced courses in Organic Skincare Formulation at ‘Aromantic’, and then enrolling in a Diploma of Organic Skincare formulation at ‘Formula Botanica. ‘ Research has shown that up to 60% of what we put on our skin enters our bloodstream, so if we are eating well and doing the right thing by our body internally, it makes sense to treat our skin with the same respect.
Beauty is skin deep – at YYG we love this saying. What was the final ingredient which lead you to loving your beauty beyond skin level?
Through all this however, I discovered the final ingredient to healing acne is through self-love and appreciation. The effect Acne has on the psyche is more than skin deep, and brings with it a multitude of emotional traumas and fears alongside it – that continue well after the acne has gone away. One time during a deep meditation, I asked myself, ‘what is the core root of my acne?’ The answer I received was… ‘You have acne because you don’t love yourself, and you don’t love yourself because you have acne.’ So to me, it became evident it was a vicious cycle… of negative self-talk, lack of self-worth, and mostly lack of love for myself. I truly believed I couldn’t love myself, or be loved until I was perfect, and completely clear from acne.
The Clear Skin Holistically self care philosophy “Learn to love yourself. Stop Judging. Stop Criticising. Learn to manage stress” is crying out to be shared, enlighten us to how we too can follow this regime.
So within the last few years…. I have learnt to love myself, completely. I dealt with my emotions, stopped criticising myself, and nurtured my needs. I started self-care rituals, meditating daily, giving myself positive affirmations, and learnt to manage my stress. I learnt that suppressed emotions can often manifest itself through the skin, and for me this was a big realisation (and relief!) once I could fully understand this. Acne has taught me to be good friend to myself, through good times and bad, and to be more accepting, compassionate and gentle with myself and others.
What advise would you give to someone who seeks more balance in their life but feels nervous, as they believe they don’t have the time to change?
I believe acne shows up in our lives to reveal to us an imbalance – for me it is a reason to look at what’s below the surface, exploring emotional connections through self-reflection and personal development. It has inspired me to a new way of life, healthy eating and discovering and creating natural remedies. And through my own personal experience, I am now inspired to help others on their journey to healing their skin too.
In your experience what are the top 3 steps to healing imbalances within the mind and body?
Nutrition. Skincare. Love.
I started ‘Clear Skin Holistically’ about two years ago, after I had healed my own skin by using these natural methods, and feel compelled to teach others how to clear their skin holistically too.
In my experience, by making simple changes to diet, embracing natural, organic skincare products and being kind and compassionate with yourself, I hope that people too can love their skin from within; unconditionally.
Amazing you Michelle. Your story is inspirational. Where can the readers find out more about you and continue being inspired?
For updates and inspiration, please follow me on Instagram @clearskinholistically or Facebook @clearskinholistically, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.