Beautycounter products have been great for healing my skin and my blemishes! In this post I share my before and after photos, the products and routine that I use plus other strategies that I used to help heal my skin.
If you have followed me for a while you know that I am very open about my acne journey. Five years ago my skin was a mess (you can see my before photos below). I had pretty severe acne and felt like I had tried everything! For the longest time I just kept trying anything that my dermatologist recommended. I tried so many different topical creams, washes, gels etc. including products with retinol, benzyl peroxide, antibiotics and more. But my skin just kept getting worse and worse.
Disclaimer: These are my results and I cannot guarantee that you would see the same.
I was never willing to try medications such as antibiotics, Accutane or spironolactone which are other common acne treatments, so I can't say that I tried EVERYTHING that is out there, but I tried so many different topical options and spent so much money trying to fix my skin. It was beyond frustrating.
It was just over four years ago that I became totally fed up. At thirty years old my skin had never been worse and I was tired of it. So I started doing my own research on how to heal my acne. I knew I wanted to take a more holistic approach to healing my skin, as I realized that there must be underlying internal factors contributing to my acne.
I have done a lot of work on healing my skin, and switching to Beautycounter skincare products has been one big piece of that puzzle. But I don't want to give you the false impression that that is the ONLY thing that I have done to heal my skin. Besides switching my skincare products I have done a number of other things including:
- Following a real foods based, paleo diet. Dietary factors can play a huge role in acne. Foods like dairy, gluten, refined sugars, crop oils and other processed ingredients can wreak havoc on the skin, so eliminating these foods can help acne heal. You can read more about the paleo diet here.
- Diagnosing and treating SIBO. Gut issues can also play a huge role in acne. If your gut is not healthy, your skin won't be healthy. I had had gut issues for years that no one could figure out. Being a physician I was able to get myself tested for this and found a great GI doctor to help me treat my SIBO (you can read more about this in this post if you are interested). Now I am not saying that everyone with acne has SIBO, but there are many things that can compromise your gut health so if this is a factor for you you may need to look into different testing options to try and figure out what is driving your GI symptoms.
- Fixing vitamin and mineral deficiencies that lead from years of undiagnosed SIBO and leaky gut syndrome.
- Increasing my fat soluble vitamin intake. I had genetic testing done and found out that genetically I need to ingest higher levels of these vitamins and so I now take daily liver capsules and extra vitamin D. If you are interested, these are the liver capsules that I take (I take 4 capsules per day).
- Working on liver health and liver detoxification. Impaired liver detoxification can play a big role in acne. This topic is beyond the scope of this post, but let's just say that if your liver isn't functioning optimally, you are likely going to see acne or other skin issues develop.
- Balancing hormones and removing my Mirena IUD. Hormone imbalances can play a huge role in acne development, especially for women. I had had a Mirena IUD for years, that in hindsight was definitely contributing to my acne. My body did not do well with the synthetic progesterone found in that device.
- Removing hormone disruptors from my environment and skincare products. This was a huge factor for me. And was a topic that until four or so years ago I knew nothing about. I will discuss this in more detail below as I think it's so important and I know that many people aren't aware of this issue.
- Decreasing stress. My acne was at it's worst when I was in residency and working crazy hours and getting very little sleep. It is clear to me now that all that stress was contributing to my skin issues.
Now I realize that is a long list of changes that I made and internal factors that I worked on. I could probably write a full post on each of those topics alone, but for the sake of this post I want to focus on why switching to non-toxic skincare products was so crucial in healing my skin.
Hormone disruptors: what they are and why you should know about them:
Before I discuss exactly what products I use on my skin, I think it's really important that we talk about hormone disruptors, which are also known as endocrine disruptors, because this is a big reason why switching to non-toxic skincare products is so important, and is one of the main reasons that it can help heal acne.
Hormone disruptors are chemicals that act like our bodies’ natural hormones. For this reason they are also known as endocrine disruptors since hormones are what make up the body’s endocrine system. The problem is that these chemicals are everywhere. In food storage containers, on receipts, in our cleaning supplies, in our skincare and makeup products, in perfumes, on our clothing and other fabrics etc. So when you are exposed to these chemicals (either by ingesting them, inhaling them, touching them, or applying them to your skin) they get absorbed into our bodies where they mimic our own natural hormones, in turn confusing our bodies into thinking that the synthetic chemical is actually a hormone. This ultimately leads to hormone imbalances within the body.
These hormone disruptors can or may cause a multitude of different health problems, everything from infertility to weight gain and possibly even cancer, as well as acne. This is why eliminating hormone disruptors from your environment is so, so important, especially when it comes to your skincare since you apply these products directly to your skin. In fact, one study (reference) showed that when teenage girls stopped using skincare products with hormone disruptors for just 3 days, the levels of hormone disrupting chemicals in their bloodstream reduced by 27-45% in just 3 days. It’s pretty incredible. What we put on our skin really does affect our entire body. I will include other references about the health impacts of hormone disruptors at the end of this post if you are interested in doing further reading.
Now that we talked about why switching to skincare products that are free from hormone disrupting chemicals is so important, let me discuss which Beautycounter products I have used to help heal my skin and my blemishes. If you aren’t familiar with Beautycounter, you can read more about them and why I choose to use their products, here.
In brief, Beautycounter formulates their products with ingredients that are known to be safe for our health, and they also test all of their products for contaminants to ensure that no unwanted hormone disruptors or other toxins sneak into their products during the manufacturing process (contamination of products with hormone disruptors and other unhealthy ingredients is a huge problem in the skincare and beauty industry – if you want to learn more about this just reach out to me and we can chat).
The Beautycounter products that helped heal my skin:
First off, I want to share that I have dry blemish prone skin. So if you have a different skin type than me, this regimen will likely not work for you. But, I am happy to find a regimen that would be right for your skin type. Just fill out my skincare survey and I am happy to help! Also note that these are my personal results and I can't guarantee you would see the same as we all have different skin types and reactions to products.
My daytime skincare regimen:
- Cleanse with this charcoal bar
- Hydrate with this Countertime Essence
- Then apply the vitamin C serum (you can read my full review on this product and see my before and after photos in this post)
- And last I apply this day cream
- Most days I will also use this tinted moisturizer on top, to give some SPF protection and to give my skin a nice air-brushed, dewy finish
My nighttime skincare routine:
- If I am wearing any makeup, I will double cleanse, first with this oil cleanser, then with this charcoal bar. If I am not wearing makeup I will just use the charcoal bar
- Then I hydrate my skin with this hydrating essence
- Then apply the Countercontrol All Over Acne Treatment
- Then I apply the Countermatch Recovery Sleep Cream
- And last, I apply the Charcoal Mask to any blemishes or areas of congestion - I have actually written an entire post about how much I love the charcoal mask and how to use it if you'd like to learn more
Additional treatments that I do:
There are a couple other Beautycounter products that I use that have also really helped heal my skin.
- Two nights per week I use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I love this product so much that I have written an entire post on it which you can read here. On the nights that I use the peel, instead of my usual nighttime routine, what I do is wash my face with the charcoal bar, dry it, then apply the peel and let it dry for a few minutes. Then I apply my night cream and then use the charcoal mask as a spot treatment
- A couple times per week I use the charcoal mask as a full face mask to help clear out my pores, and allow all my other products to work better!
Frequently asked questions:
Yes! Beautycounter products have been designed and formulated to not clog pores or irritate the skin.
Just use this link and be sure to choose me (Erin Carter from Calgary Canada) as your consultant when you checkout. And if you have never shopped Beautycounter before, be sure to use the code CLEANFORALL20 at checkout to get 20% off your purchase!
If you are interested in getting recommendations for your skin, please fill out my skincare survey and I will get back to you with my suggestions. Before you order I also recommend contacting me as I always do something special for my first time customers! Just email me at email@example.com and we can chat!
I hope you found this helpful! Please let me know if you have other questions!
Other posts you will like:
- Why I Became A Beautycounter Consultant
- Is there mercury in your mascara?
- Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel Review
- Beautycounter Charcoal Mask Review
- Why you should use non-toxic deodorant
References and Further Reading:
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - a great resource for information on hormone disruptors and their health effects
- Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study
- Endocrine disrupting chemicals and impact on male reproductive health
- Exposure to endocrine disruptors during adulthood: Consequences for female fertility
- Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update
- Endocrine Disruptors and Obesity
- Sicker Fatter Poorer book
- Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: implications for human health
- Hormones and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Low-Dose Effects and Nonmonotonic Dose Responses
- EDC-2: The Endocrine Society's Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
- Burden of disease and costs of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the European Union: an updated analysis