21 Years of Life & A Skin Story

I was the girl in high school that wore makeup every single day. I couldn't leave my house without it on. I was terrified of the thought of going to school, or anywhere, with a bare face. I began loving makeup so much, I packed more and more on my face, in turn, spending gobs of money at Sephora at a time. (If only I could get those years and money back!) My 20s came, and that trend continued on.

Being where I am now in my health journey, I never pack my face with makeup. I can go weeks at a time without it. I know conventional beauty products and a bad diet affect you negatively in so many ways - including your skin health. If you've taken a peek around my instagram, you know clean living is a passion of mine. I try to be conscious of the food I buy and the products I use and put the purest things in and on my body as much as possible. 

Now, I never had troublesome skin in my early teen years when I was packing on all of that makeup, never washing my face, and loving fast food. Redness here and there, but nothing to cause any major insecurities... But at the age of 19, a time where I was entering into the world of clean living with emotional and hormonal imbalances, I began having the worst acne of my life. Why was this happening to me? 

Maybe my acne was caused by all the hormone disrupting ingredients I once put on my face. Maybe it's what's in the air. Maybe I was eating the wrong things for my body. Maybe my gut needed healing... Truth is, I just don't know. Maybe it was a mix of everything. I got to a place where I felt like I was hideous. Like I needed to hide my face again. Acne=youth, and being a young business owner, I didn't need something else making me look 16. I was almost to the point of investing in some pretty intense, MLM acne care... When I realized something. 

Showing your body and skin love is so important. Taking care of my temple in the best way I know how is a great passion. And it is a duty we have as Children of our Creator. So I ditched the conventional acne care idea and continued doing what I was doing. I began embracing my face and trying my best to ignore the thoughts that told me I wasn't pretty or that I didn't look like the professional I am because of my face.. On this journey of embracing my skin, I decided to book a shoot with my super amazing photog friend, Kristina. I wanted to do a shoot of just me. Bare faced and raw. (We also did some updated headshots afterwards that you will see soon!) Kristina did such an awesome job of encompassing everything I wanted to capture with the session. You see, I prayed for a horrible acne day. I prayed she'd get my "bad side" I had once feared of being photographed (you know what I'm talking about, we all have one!) I also really wanted her to get a double chin in there... I wanted you all to see me for me. Not the polished, posed me. ME. The real raw me that I see everyday and that I have, only recently, accepted as beautiful. And I am still working on it! It's a daily thing to wake up and decide to love the skin you're in. I was texting my friend, Lauren, yesterday about these pictures because I was so nervous about this blog post!! As always, she gave me the last little boost of encouragement I needed.

So here I am, world! A 21 year old business professional with acne. I love plants, even though I tend to have a black thumb. I am Grey's Anatomy Obsessed, and I am still missing McDreamy. I love Greens, and a little wine for good measure.. I am a dream chaser, a world changer and a big, bold, passionate creative. I am truly blessed and happy beyond belief. And I am so thankful for 21 years of life!

For those curious about what I DID do for my skin in response to horrible acne,  I have been trying new things for a while now. I finally found a routine that is helping my face. Collagen, tea tree oil, Pure + Radiant's new face wash blend and Beauty Dust are my saving grace as of now. (No active zits for almost 2 weeks!!) If I get intense breakouts again, though, I will embrace them just like I did for these photos.

Love yourself. Be informed. Care for your body. Put good, life-giving things on and inside it.

Cheering you on always,

Shelby