5 signs you have hormonal acne

I know I told you the story takes a turn for the better, so here it is: I met a wonderful representative from a Canadian company called LORNA Vanderhaeghe. She could tell I was self conscious with my skin, so she made me tell her my story and she told me hers.  With a background in sales, I hated being tied down in a sales pitch, but I had a gut feeling that I should trust this woman. Little did I know, she was introducing me to the most magical pill I would ever start taking: ESTROsmart . I grabbed 2 bottles while I was at Finlandia Pharmacy in Vancouver (since they were one sale) and I went with my gut feeling and a damn good sales pitch.

I was told to take 4 capsules a day for the first 2 months, I almost went cross-eyed when I heard that, but I did it because I was so committed to fixing my hormone imbalance.

Let me tell you a little bit about ESTROsmart before I go any further into my experience:

ESTROsmart is a hormone balancing pill for women, recommended for ALL women to take, especially those with acne, PMS, weight problems and abnormal cell growth.

What to expect when taking ESTROsmart:

  • Maintains healthy estrogen-to-progesterone balance
  • Protects and treats your fibrocystic breasts
  • Detoxifies toxic estrogens from plastics, pesticides, cosmetics and more
  • Halts abnormal cell growth, including breast lumps, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, and thick uterine lining
  • For those with PCOS and ovarian cysts
  • Halts conversion of good estrogens (2-hydroxyestrone) to bad estrogens (16-hydroxyestrone)
  • Eliminates PMS and makes periods effortless
  • Maintains healthy PAP smears
  • Eliminates hormonal acne


ESTROsmart pills contain (click on ingredients to find out more): Calcium D-GlucarateIndole-3-Carbinol(plant based), Green tea extractTurmeric (Curcuma longa-L), DiindolymethaneRosemary Leaf ExtractSulforaphane (from BroccoPhane broccoli sprout extract)

This product does not contain irradiated rice flour, artificial preservatives, colors or sweeteners, dairy, soy, wheat or yeast.

Now that you have learned a bit about ESTROsmart, you will see that it contains few, but effective ingredients, many of which have anticancer properties. This means you know exactly what is going into your body. ESTROsmart will benefit any woman as a maintenance pill, whether for PMS, or Menopause symptoms.

For me, ESTROsmart cleared up my hormonal acne in 2.5 months, I now take 2 pills a day to maintain my over all health, and my hormones are back on track.

The gut feeling I had while talking to the LORNA representative in December was that I would overcome my acne with this pill and that I would one day share my story to help women just like me. I have already started changing the lives of my family and friends by introducing them to the ESTROsmart pill as well as the IRONsmart pill from LORNA.

1.5 million women in the U.S rely on the birth control pill for non contraceptive purposes. My hope is to inform women that there are safer, more effective ways to control their hormones.

One day 1.5 million women will rely on ESTROsmart. 

*please visit LORNAs website for more information on how ESTROsmart will benefit you

5 signs you have hormonal acne:

  1. Breakouts during your menstrual cycle
  2. breakouts around your chin, mouth and jawline
  3. Deep, cystic and sensitive to touch
  4. Topical treatments do nothing
  5. Gets better or worse with hormonal birth control pills

* Remember to speak with your doctor before you make any switches to your medication. This is my opinion, and I am not a doctor - merely a girl sharing my opinion, my trials and successes.


get them straight to your inbox, plus my top 20 ingredients to avoid PDF

How is your birth control pill destroying your health?

Tossing my birth control pills in the garbage was the beginning of my adventure to clear skin.Ironically, I started taking the pill to clear up my skin. I am happy to inform you that this is where my story eventually takes a turn for the better, and you will start learning my secrets to clear, acne free skin. First lets talk about  the birth control pill:

If you are taking the birth control to clear up your skin or help with painful PMS symptoms I beg you to reconsider, although for some, the clear skin achieved from using this form of contraceptive is just a positive side affect. Acne is caused by your bodies reaction to the internal problems it is having, and can be the result of stress, thyroid problems, colon, lymph or liver toxicity or hormone imbalance. Unfortunately the birth control pill will not fix any of these problems, but merely cover them up temporarily. On top of that, there are many risks to taking a birth control pill such as:

  • increased risk of cervical cancer
  • migraines 
  • blood clots and 
  • high blood pressure. 

These are side effects that you hear about in so many commercials, or on the giant unfold able pamphlet that comes with your pills but do you ever pay attention, or take the time to read about them?

For me, my 5 year adventure on birth control turned my hormones into what looked similar to a 2 year old drawing of the universe, messy and all over the place.

Once I quit using the birth control pill I figured my skin would just bounce back to normal, but I was SO wrong. My hormones had no clue what I was doing to them, they were spastic.  I needed an extra large dose of hormone balancing, but i didn't know where to get a hit. 

Using prescription pills has its risks. I encourage you to think before putting your body through hormone hell just for the benefit of clear skin. Its time to start treating your body with respect, and this is why I say "Girl, its time to say goodbye to the pill".  

This week I will talk about how I balanced out my hormones after taking the birth control pill out of my daily routine. In the meantime, you may be curious about how to remove the "hormone" out of your birth control, as it is still very important to prevent unwanted pregnancies. There are many safe and healthy ways to do this. Take a peek at this article from SexualityandU about Non-Hormonal Birth Control Methods. 

* Remember to speak with your doctor before you make any switches to your medication. This is my opinion, and I am not a doctor - merely a girl sharing my opinion, my trials and successes.


get them straight to your inbox, plus my top 20 ingredients to avoid PDF

How to deal with acne

It is easy to look at someone who struggles with acne and think: "Gee, I am so lucky my skin does not look like that" or "I would hate having to deal with constant acne". It is unfortunate that we believe that only perfect skin is beautiful. We do not know the struggle of dealing with acne until we have experienced it ourselves.

In many cases acne can be a blessing...How you ask? Our bodies are sensitive. The way we treat out bodies radiates to the outer layers of our skin. Stress, unhealthy choices, medication and even lack of sleep shows up on the surface in one way or the other. If we are harmful to ourselves, and do not take the right precautions to flush out toxins and pamper our insides, our outsides will do everything in their power to let us know, and let us see.

For myself, developing acne was a blessing in disguise. It taught me to sit back and take a look at my life. Everything I was eating, everything I was doing, everywhere I went and every pill that was going into my body was studied. I took the time to learn about myself, deal with my acne, and do my best to see past it. Here are some tips for dealing with acne:

1. Look past the acne and focus on you.

Our insecurities take up so much of our time. You may not realize this, but even when we are not 100% focused in on them, our subconscious mind is still lingering on these flaws. These thoughts stress us out, and can get in the way of our daily lives. Looking past your acne will be difficult at first, but the easiest way to do this is finding characteristics and attributes about yourself that outweigh the way your acne makes you feel. Start featuring and focusing on your favourite facial features, or learn an awesome new hair style to rock. Feel good about the things you love and show them off. 

2. Take time to study your life.

Go to the book store and pick out an awesome journal, or create a private blog on your phone or computer. Its time to start documenting your life. Record your lifestyle: everything you eat, do, apply and consume. Study your life and record the results. Write down the pros and cons to these actions. Change it up - and commit to the changes you make. What makes you feel good? what makes you feel crappy? what irritates your skin and what makes you break out? Do you break out during your period or during exams? this will help you figure out what type of acne you have and what triggers it. Once you have enough information you can apply strategic plans to your life. 

3. Turn your struggle into a positive journey

The last thing you think of when you think ACNE is positive. Exploring ways to make a (lets be honest) shitty situation positive will a) take your mind off of the (shitty) part and b) change your outlook on life. When you flip your way of thinking opportunities appear out of thin air, your mind opens up and you will start becoming a more positive person. If you can turn a negative situation into a positive it will be a piece of cake making an O.K situation into an amazing experience. Look at it this way: Your acne has opened up a door for you to re mould your life, explore your creative side and test yourself as an individual. I never said it was easy, but it is possible.  

4. Cover it up with YOU, not makeup. 

You are missing out on opportunities by concealing your acne. Ditching a coffee date after hitting the gym because you forgot your makeup bag at home. Choosing stay on the beach while your friends swim around the lake because you don't want your makeup to come off. Makeup will come and go, but your personality and individuality is constant. Humans are notorious for picking up on body language, so when you are trying to hide your acne by hanging your chin or always having your hands near your face to distract from your acne it becomes more obvious. Covering your acne up with makeup is not always the solution. Let your acne be apart of your life, whether you want it to be or not. Don't let people love you more when you have to take time to look a certain way, don't give them a choice and make them fall in love with you by being your true, genuine self. 

5. Have some fun with it

With anything, there is only so much sitting around and sulking you can do before you become tired, upset and a big old grumpy pants. With the previous 4 tools now under your belt it's time to have some fun with your acne. Research delicious concoctions that you can whip up with ingredients in your house and spread over your face while relaxing in the bath or reading a great book.

Try a mix of:

Honey+Avocado+Plain Yogurt = Antiseptic, Moisturizing, Softening Joy.  

 Use this time to do some research, read a good book and learn something about yourself and your body that you didn't know before. 


get them straight to your inbox, plus my top 20 ingredients to avoid PDF

How I turned my acne into soft, beautiful skin


Acne; as a teenager this word did not exist in my life. I was blessed with clear, even skin; the kind my aunt would pinch and talk about for 5 minutes every time I saw her. I admit, I was lucky. I made it through middle school and high school without a breakout of more than 3 pimples (which I would usually blame on dance makeup). I also managed to make it through college acne free, which was surprising to me considering how much stage makeup and prosthetic glue was applied to my face during makeup school. This was also the year I consumed a lot of crap food, and was absorbed in a lazy relationship. It was not until my 20's when the acne decided to make a presence in my life. But lets rewind 4 years....

Lets start this story from the beginning. I like to call this "The Dark Ages: when all hell broke loose". Bless my parents.

Chapter 1: I  was 16 years old when my doctor slapped a pack of birth control in my hand to help with my excruciating monthly cramps...16 year old's do not know the term "suck it up". Unfortunately for my parents the house now had not 1, but 2 (enters older sister) dramatic teenagers pumped up with hormone packed birth control pills...you could only imagine the terror. I continued taking the pill throughout high school and I developed a slightly crazier than normal attitude. But my cramps went away.

Okay...I know I'm a little wacko, but looking back now, I had no clue how out of whack my body was until I was off the pill. Its like looking through a mirror from the other side, or finally realizing {queue diva voice}  "how did I ever date him, what was I thinking?".

After years of frolicking through daisies with my pinch worthy skin I finally developed acne at the age of 20 (I know..I somehow deserved it). I ran as fast as I could to my doctors office. "WHAT IS HAPPENING" I cried "Something has taken over my body. This is not supposed to happen to me". A little dramatic for the situation? yes, BUT at the time it was a hard to deal with. As most doctors do, mine had a "brilliant" solution. "Try this birth control, Diane 35, It will clear up your acne in no time" said my doctor; ironically my birth control and skin complimenting aunt shared the same name. I grabbed as many sample packs as I could and started the popping process. Within 2 months on the pill I had my flawless skin back, I was ready to strut my stuff and show off my glowing skin. The pill made me grumpier, more tired and extra emotional, but my skin looked great. 

At 21 I was ready for a new life, to be wild and free, so naturally I packed up my bags and moved to New York City. I was warned about the humidity, but no one could have described the amount of sweat that would pour down my back, forehead, and cleavage while waiting to catch a subway. I couldn't wear makeup during the day because i would sweat it off by 11am. Life in NYC was magical, but my acne came back, worse than ever. It could have been the change of weather, the stress of living alone in a big city, it's still a mystery to me. Since I couldn't keep makeup on my face, I had no way of covering my acne, I was horrified. The acne took over my life. I was constantly concerned about the way I looked, and if people were staring at my acne. 

It was not until I personally experienced acne that I realized what everyone was going through, what It really felt like to have no control over the situation. I tried everything, although I was not willing to slap any "Proactive" crap on my face. I wanted to clear up my face it the most natural way possible. I sat and thought about the situation, and decided it was going to take a lot more than a few creams and a tube of tooth paste, it was going to take a lifestyle change.

I grabbed my last 3 packs of Diane 35 and chucked them in the garbage and never looked back...until I had to tie up the bag and take the trash to the curb...then I never looked back! 

Can you see yourself in any aspect of my story? If so stick around all of April. I will be diving deeper into this story and discussing my skin breakthrough. Opening up about how I turned this tale of a tragedy into a true success story. 



get them straight to your inbox, plus my top 20 Ingredients to avoid PDF

5 + natural products that will clear up your acne

Ensuring you are using proper skin care products is crucial to achieving clear, glowing skin. After years of neglecting my skin with apricot scrub and clean&clear, I decided it was time to become more conscious of the products I was choosing. Why do I say I was neglecting my skin? Well…I have always gone through life with the confidence that everything I was consuming and using was safe for me because everyone else was using the same products, and they were safe…right? In fact, It never crossed my mind that the apricot scrub I was purchasing was just a marketing scam - a bottle of chemicals and irritating fruit pit pieces that would damage my skin, not heal my acne. I say neglect because I was not treating my body as a shrine, or like a child that I would do anything for, to nourish and take care of properly.

Your body is the most important body in the world, and in this world it is your responsibility to take care of yourself because none else is looking out for you, especially large corporations.

Here are 3 key products that helped heal my skin, and guess what, they are very safe and are made of natural ingredients:

Viva Health Products:

Viva health is a very unique product line. I was convinced these products were amazing after meeting the creator of Viva, who was an adorable 30 year old woman, or so I thought. After speaking with her I learned that she was actually 50 years old and about to celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary. I was absolutely blown away. Of course I begged her to tell me all of her skin care secrets. A skin diet of Chinese medicine practices and simple, sensible skin care products - Viva. My skin was presented with the 4 step acne program - A cleanser, toner, spot treatment and moisturizer.

The cleanser is gentle, but powerful. Unfortunately my bottle of toner spilled in my bag when I was only half way through it, I cried…for 5 minutes. The sport treatment works like a charm and is not overly drying and the moisturizer is magic…mattifying but not tightening or drying, leaving my skin silky and smooth, overall I was not one bit disappointed with this line. My father, who is currently struggling with patches of acne is constantly stealing my moisturizer and telling me everyday that I should buy him a tub, I can’t say that I have ever had my father ask for such a thing. Bravo Viva.

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Coriander -To sooth, calm and care acne. It is also an inflammatory, detoxifier, has healing properties and relief itchiness and redness.
  • Sugar cane- its enzymes gently dissolve dull surface cell and crystallizes acne to help the healing process
  • Beta Carotene- an antioxidant and anti aging micronutrient. It is converted to Vitamin A for the maintance of healthy skin and re-new the cells.
  • Water Chestnut- An aquatic vegetable that grow in marshes. Contains fiber and vitamin B6. It also can detoxify your skin
  • Aloe Vera- A healing herb that improves circulation, speeds up the skin repair process, moisturizes and softens.
  • Citric Acid- A cleaning agent and it also acts as an anti-oxidant and lubricant. It is a natural preservative and binding agent.
  • Germall Plus- Preservative. Derived from vegetables
  • Essential oil of Mandarin- Essential oil from mandarin peel. It is gentle, astringent and can benefit complexion that are prone to greasiness and/or acne
  • Geranium- Treats acne, balances the P.H. of oily skin and dull looking skin.

Essential Oils

My journey to natural skin care started with a tiny bottle of tea tree oil. Unfortunately the smell too me back to the days of sitting in the bathtub with a head full of lice and a very brave mother. I had read that tea tree oil was great for healing acne prone skin and gentle enough to use directly on the skin. I found the tea tree oil worked best in a carrier facial oil such as sweet almond oil or almond kernel oil. I felt that using tea tree oil as a spot treatment was safer and gentler on my skin than clean and clear salicylic acid treatment, and it worked!

Facial Oil

I was so sad for my poor dry, sensitive and raw skin when I returned from muggy NYC. I could barely wash my face without it stinging and peeling, and any makeup I applied would ball up and crumble away, which made my acne a whole lot more obvious.

Like any woman, I was browsing the “Winners” skin care aisle one afternoon and found a bottle of organic face oil. Now, I know what your thinking…”Why would you put oil on your acne prone skin?” Let me tell you a bit about facial oil:

Quality facial oil has numerous benefits such as:

  • Hydrating and Nourishing
  • Repairs fine lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidants
  • Barrier against external toxins
  • If used on top of your moisturizer, it will trap in moisture. 

Cheap facial oils may be harmful and pore clogging. Make sure to avoid MINERAL OIL. 

Facial Oils will penetrate your skin much deeper and quicker than a cream or lotion. This means the oil will not sit on top of your skin and create a greasy look.

Facial oil will benefit an oily skin type by mocking the natural oils your skin creates. Eventually your skin will stop creating excessive amounts of oil. This will especially benefit those with acne. 

I made it a routine to apply my facial oil before my moisturizer every night. I noticed a difference within 2 weeks and by a month my skin felt like butter. I did not experience breakouts from the oil or any sensitivity from the product. I even learned to create my own facial oil using oils from a local soap making shop. The best oils to use on your face should be light:

  • Argan oil (great for dry, aging, oily, normal, or acne-prone skin)
  • Jojoba oil (great for dry, aging, oily, normal, or acne-prone skin)
  • Apricot kernel oil (great for any skin type, but especially good for normal, dry, and aging skin)
  • Sweet almond oil (just an all-around great facial oil, but it takes a bit longer to “sink in” than the first two)
  • Grapeseed oil (great for normal, oily, or acne-prone skin)
  • Avocado oil (great for dry and aging skin)
  • Hemp seed oil (great for any skin type, also very light)

To create an acne fighting facial oil combine 1 ounce of your selected light carrier oil (above) with 4-7 drops of tea tree essential oil.


get articles straight to your inbox, plus my top 20 Green Beauty Alternatives PDF