Yes, this blog is all about living a natural lifestyle.  I love when I can find products that are ethically and naturally based that work wonderfully and can take the place of conventional products that have hidden toxins lurking inside.

But what happens if you get to a point where all your research and naturally-based products aren’t touching an issue that you are suffering with?

You’re in a bind, right?

I’m here to be completely transparent and say that I have been there.  As much as I love plant-based goodness, there are times when I have struggled with it too.

Does that mean I throw in the towel?  No!

What it does mean though, is that sometimes in life you have to find YOUR balance.  Sometimes you need to take the holistic and make it work with the medical.

I’m sure that many will disagree with me, and that’s OK.  I want to show my readers that I am a real person, with real issues and sometimes I have to resort to something that is not 100% natural to help with problems that pop up in life. You always want to find the root of the setbacks, but sometimes it is a bumpy road and no matter how far you travel, you still haven’t found the destination, the origin where the original issue begins.

My story starts with finicky skin.  I’ve always had it.  I’ve gone years with beautiful skin and barely any break outs, to years with skin that always seems congested and bumpy.  Unfortunately, the last few years it has been the latter.  I have struggled with the texture of my skin and figuring out the root causes.  I’ve tried everything from changing products to dietary alterations, to working on my gut, and still found that I was struggling.

This past March, I noticed that my skin seemed extra reactive.  One day, I was putting on my concealer and noticed that my chin was extra bumpy and looked really dry.

And that is how it started.

Nothing really changed.  I was eating healthy.  I was using the same natural products.  But all the sudden my skin was freaking out.  So, off I went to Google to find some answers.  After looking at a ton of skin conditions online, I narrowed it down to a branch off of rosacea called perioral dermatitis. It was bumpy (check), it was slightly red (check), it was irritated (check), and dry looking (check). Now what to do?

I started searching for healthy, natural ways to beat it and I stumbled upon this article here by a clean brand called Osmia. I read through it and bought a few sample products to try.  (I absolutely love that you can buy sample sizes to see how it works with your skin!)  I bought samples of the Black Clay Soap, Active Gel Toner, and a regular size of the Purely Simple Face Cream.  And off I went to try them with hope that they would help my skin get back to a healthy place.  I also started taking the supplement suggested for those with this condition Evening Primrose Oil. It has a source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) that supports healthy skin, hair and nails.  Not only that, but as we age, we lose the ability to convert dietary fats into GLA. This supplement can help compensate that lose or give GLA to those whose bodies don’t make enough of it.

The products worked well for me, but I went through April and May and still was having an issue. I will say that my skin was less inflamed and looked healthier, but I was still dealing with color and texture complications.

Here is where I thought, I need an expert to look and tell me what is going on here.  So, I talked to a few friends who liked their dermatologists and looked them up and picked one.  I had gone through 3 months (and almost 3 years before that!) trying to work through this skin condition that wasn’t getting better. It was affecting me, my confidence and overall outlook and it needed to be stopped in its tracks.

After going to the dermatologist and having her look closely at my skin, she also thought it was perioral dermatitis.  I asked her a bunch of questions, but at the end of the day she highly suggested that I start an antibiotic and a cream.  I rarely take antibiotics because I know that they mess with your gut flora, and I know that most of our health resides there, but I also decided that I needed some medical intervention. The bonus is after talking with her about my hesitation, she prescribed a lower dose so that it didn’t mess as fully with my gut microbiome. To me that was a win!

I went ahead and filled those prescriptions. Stocked up on my pre and probiotics and kombucha and started my new routine.

And I was surprised.

I was surprised how well the holistic and medical worked together.  I was still doing my natural skincare routine and taking my evening primrose supplement at the same time as taking one antibiotic a day and putting a pea-sized drop of prescribed cream on my face at night. I’ve seen a good shift and while it is not back to 100%, I’m feeling a little more like myself. Soon my medical intervention will be over, and I will work hard at maintaining my skin with my natural skincare routine, while bringing my gut back to its best shape.

The point of me telling you this whole story is to show that there is not a magical answer.  If you get to the end of your rope, there is nothing wrong with seeking help or medical advice.  We all do the best we can and from the beginning, I have always, always believed in balance.

In life it is all about natural balance.  Eat healthy but enjoy ice cream with your kids.  Live a natural lifestyle but seek help when you need it. It’s what I call the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time be as healthy as you can and 20% of the time life live, have a treat, enjoy a cookout with your little kids.  You can never take all the toxins out of your life, so do your best and let the rest go. Permit yourself to live your best life and don’t ever feel like a failure if you need some extra help and it isn’t all natural.  Sometimes, you can use the holistic and conventional together to create a result that suites you best. I never thought that would be the case for me, but it is.

When I went back for my follow-up appointment, my doctor recommended me using an over-the-counter cream in the mornings (differin) to help combat the rest of my issue that was left.  It gently exfoliates my skin without the physical exfoliation that I can’t seem to do (because my skin acts poorly and reacts badly to it.)

I, also, have my eye on a new brand of skincare that is mostly clean, but it mixes in ingredients that directly benefit the skin’s biochemistry and biocompatibility. I am going to slowly start incorporating this into my routine and then will give you a review of the products.

So, I am living in a new balance and I don’t care.  I feel good, my skin looks healthier, my confidence has increased, and I still follow the 80/20 rule. It feels right for me.

If this helps just one person, I’m happy.  I believe in a balanced life and natural balance even sometimes when it isn’t exactly what I had planned.  Always do you! Don’t worry about being 100% natural, do the best you can and what makes you feel good.

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