My rosacea journey
It all started in highschool...
It all started in high school... Back in the 2000s teen skincare was all about harsh scrubs, pore strips and foaming face washes... I was one of the lucky people who never had major acne, yet I used all the products I was "supposed" to use...
Over time, I noticed my skin would get red after washing it, but eventually... the redness would stick around and I'd look flushed all the time.
Instead of turning to skincare to fix the problem, I tried to hide my redness with makeup. It worked, until my redness turned in to more than that...
Fast forward to when I was 25 and getting married... My skin was an absolute wreck... Red, irritated, bumpy, sensitive, oily yet dry, an absolute mess and I was so self conscious. I couldn't leave the house without lots of color correcting makeup, but even with it, the texture of my skin was terrible (see unedited photo below from my wedding day).
It's easier to see the bumpy skin on my forehead in this photo, but I promise you that my cheeks were just as bad (if not worse). You also have to remember that I have LOTS of makeup on in this photo and the lighting was super flattering.
The summer after my wedding, I decided to go to the dermatologist and finally, after all these years I was diagnosed with rosacea!!! Finally, I had something to work with and research!
I got my rosacea diagnosis in summer of 2016,
And was told to wear sunscreen every day, use gentle skincare, and I started using a prescription for Soolantra. At this time, my moisture barrier was trashed from using too harsh of products and it was super sensitive. I also had quite a few rosacea papules that required removal at the dermatologist.
Finding gentle cleansers was impossible, because if it was too gentle it wouldn't get my makeup/sunscreen off, but if it was too strong it would perpetuate the dryness I felt in my skin.
Moisturizers were impossible to find too, because I'd have to slather products on for them to feel like they remotely helped my skin.
The top things that helped heal my skin:
Instead of telling you all that I tried and what failed, here's the GOOD things that stand out to me most in my rosacea journey (and approximate dates of when I started incorporating them):
Sunscreen was a big struggle for me because chemical sunscreens made my face sting and get even more red, but most mineral sunscreens in 2016 were very drying and not cosmetically elegant. They were thick, heavy and hard to wear. I never found one I really loved until trying All Good and I currently use the tinted version every day.
After my initial diagnosis, I was hooked on my prescription for Soolantra. It worked very well to diminish my papules and bumps, but after a few weeks or so my skin couldn't tolerate it because of how dry it would make my skin. I used it as often as I could tolerate to keep my papules in check, but I wanted something I could use daily that didn't damage my skin barrier.
When searching for non-toxic skincare, I came across the technique of oil cleansing, and when I finally started to use avocado oil instead of coconut, the redness of my skin really diminished! I still had some redness, but nothing like how it was when I used coconut oil. Using avocado oil and a glycerin + apple cider vinegar + distilled water spray was how I moisturized and started to heal my moisture barrier.
Continuing my non-toxic skincare research, I learned about essential oils and dabbled with tea tree and blue tansy. Tea tree does kill demodex mites (which was the problem I had) but that in conjunction with blue tansy was very helpful at reducing my inflammation, almost as good as my Soolantra prescription, but without the dryness. I should note that using these oils every day has not been as effective for me as using it every other day at most.
Any time I rubbed my face from cleansing, it would get red. Manual exfoliation with a scrub made it so much worse, so before I discovered chemical exfoliation I avoided exfoliating completely, which wasn't the best idea. I initially started using the exfoliating serum by Mad Hippie, but now use the overnight resurfacing peel by Beautycounter which has been way more effective at improving my skin texture.
Beautycounter Countermatch line
I eventually got tired of DIY-ing all my skincare and tried to find two things: a moisturizer that I didn't have to slather on to work and a cleanser that didn't strip my skin. Eventually, I tried some samples by Beautycounter and the two items from the Countermatch line that I cannot live without are the cleanser and lotion. These two things have helped my skin become way more resilient, to the point where I can exfoliate regularly and even use chemical sunscreen every so often without irritation. I still have some flare ups depending on what I eat/do, but I always fall back on the Countermatch line to get my skin back to normal within 24 hours.
What does my skin look like now?
My skin definitely isn't perfectly smooth and I still battle a much less severe version of my papules, but my redness is so much better that over the past couple years, the amount of correcting (green/yellow) makeup I need has diminished immensely. I attribute this to the resiliency my skin has gained from using Beautycounter products! Basically now my entire face isn't more pink, it's just tiny spots on my cheeks, chin and my nose. But as I said, it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be and I no longer feel like I need a full face of makeup to look "human".
Below is a photo of me now, without makeup:
And here's a photo of me with makeup, but one that shows the remaining texture I have on my cheeks and am still trying to fix (Azelaic Acid is what I am trying out now):
In case you'd like to follow along my current journey, please follow me on Instagram where I post about my favorite rosacea friendly skincare and makeup products!
Listen to the full article here:
Or, you can read the condensed version:
You know that feeling when you know you have to have a tough conversation? Like when your stomach is in knots and you just can’t stop thinking about what might end up in an argument? One of my clients came to workout with me recently and was feeling these exact things. Her husband had said something she didn’t appreciate, and she knew it had to be addressed.
Normally, this client is quite relaxed and bubbly, but I could tell something was wrong even before she said it. Once her story started coming out, I asked her if she wanted to prepare for this conversation by getting some of her energy out, that way she could approach her argument in a much calmer way. Seriously, she was so angry that when she was on her way to see me, she said that she was yelling in her car, almost acting out what she thought might happen in her real upcoming argument.
You’ve probably heard that when you’re angry you should punch a pillow right? Well, that is good advice and doing that can get you anger out before an argument, but it’s not easy to do when you’re in a situation that requires quiet… Like at work? It’s very hard to slip away and punch a pillow.
Or, maybe you’re fighting with your partner at home? If you’re mad about something and preparing for the conversation, sometimes it’s best to prepare in silence so you don’t let the other people at home know what’s coming. And let’s be honest, it’s much easier to get real emotions out if we are positive no one ones we are doing it. It’s not that you’re hiding, it’s that you’re letting your real and unbridled emotions out with nothing holding them back. Perfectly healthy!
So, on to what you can do instead of punching a pillow… Instead of that, just try punching the air. Even better, if you have a resistance band around, you can hold that with your hands and continue to punch. I promise, you’ll get your heart rate up and these pent up emotions out.
Another option, and my favorite method, and what my client liked too, was to stand in place and hike your knee up as high as you can, as if you were going to knee someone in the stomach. You can imagine whomever you’d like in this situation! Ha.
The next time I saw my client, I asked her how the conversation went. She told me that by getting these emotions out before her argument, she felt much calmer and ready to speak clearly about what was on her mind. She told me that her therapist even agreed and that what we did was a great idea.
Obviously, you won’t always know when fights are coming, but hopefully these movements can help you be prepared for whatever might come up!
Again, the full details are in this podcast episode below, thanks for reading!
How OFTEN should you workout?
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "live to workout" right? Well, even as a personal trainer, I think that phrase is bull. No offense, but if your life revolves around exercise, that's a pretty sad life. You have better things to do with your time!
This episode of The LIFT YOUR LIFE Podcast talks about how even as a personal trainer, I think that instead of living to workout, we should workout to LIVE. I also share with you an amazing resource that goes in depth into how often you should exercise and what specific types of exercise are best to achieve your goals!
how to stop feeling overwhelmed
Today's episode of the podcast talks about a 4 step process to reduce your feelings of overwhelm and finally take control over your health goals and make them happen. Listen to the episode using the toolbar below or search for The LIFT YOUR LIFE Podcast wherever you stream your podcasts.
If you want immediate help with overwhelm, here's the four steps:
Today's episode of the podcast talks about how to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder from taking over your life. As a midwesterner, it's hard to stay motivated in the winter! Listen to the episode using the toolbar below or search for The LIFT YOUR LIFE Podcast wherever you stream your podcasts.
These are the resources I refer to in the podcast that can help you prevent SAD:
Sunrise Alarm Clock
Citrus Essential Oils
midwest FEBRUARY PRODUCE guide
Yes, it's still cold, but the promise of spring is closer for us Midwesterners! Some of February's produce is the same as January, but this month we have the lovely addition of Endive and Radicchio.
Want to learn more than what's on the images below? After clicking the button below, I'll send you the full video training PLUS 2 recipes that use these seasonal ingredients.
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Seriously, it can be done! Eating healthy is NOT just about calories and you CAN overhaul your nutrition without starving. What you are going to learn today is the easiest way easiest way to improve your nutrition.
First of all, if you are new to the realm of cooking, and you're thinking, "I only have like two recipes that I know how to make", I promise you that skill of being able to cook and not need a recipe, it will come with time. But in the meantime, I want you to rely on recipes. There is no shame in that. Because really, they're just serving as inspiration for you. They're teaching you about new food pairings about new spice blends. They're teaching you all of those basic skills. And then over time, once you get better at making those tried and true recipes, you will finally start to feel like a home chef or a foodie.
Now on to my actual tip that I have for you. You need to eat seasonally. Think back to summertime, I'm assuming that every single one of you has probably had a homegrown tomato, and you know how much better that tastes, then which then the tomatoes that you buy at the grocery store. I think we all know that right? Now part of that does have to do with like the dirt that the tomato was grown in. It does have to do with that. But the biggest part is that that tomato was picked off the plant at its peak of freshness. What does that mean? Well, it means that that tomato had as much time as it needed to gain all of the nutrients and vitamins and minerals from the dirt from the sun from everything from the water. It had all of that time to get as nutritious as it can.
So obviously, you don't have to make your entire diet out of seasonal produce, but if you include at least some of the things that are seasonal, you can totally increase the nutritional value in your diet WITHOUT without having to take any extra time, or really take away any calories because who wants to be on a diet? No one.
The other reason that it is so great to eat seasonally is because it saves you money. Why? Because it is so much harder to grow things when they are not in season when they are just not naturally growing.
So I know I threw a lot at you. And especially if you are one of those people who is new to cooking, you're probably thinking, "Oh my gosh, this is a lot". This website (US only) allows you to search by your specific area and by the month to see what's in season:
You can search on Pinterest or Instagram for recipes that include seasonal ingredients, but in my opinion, I think that ends up becoming a major time suck, because I don't know about you, but when I go on Pinterest, I don't end up doing what I went on there for... I end up like designing my dream house or renovating my laundry room... Or if I'm on Instagram, I get sucked into videos of chickens.
So instead of wasting your time researching seasonal recipes, I recommend having a trusted source on hand. I've created this exact thing actually, a seasonal recipe membership where every single month you get 15 new recipes that are completely seasonal.
This recipe membership is only $7 a month (and you can get your first month free) PLUS you get a video training that covers all the produce that is in season, and it gives you tips on how to store and prepare those items.
This recipe membership is for you if you are someone who is just starting out in the kitchen. All have detailed instructions on how to create them, and they have beautiful pictures. And the recipes are just delicious.
YOUR THANKSGIVING PLATE
Seriously, it is.
You've probably heard the saying that "we all have the same 24 hours"... But if we do, then why does it seem like some people have an extra few hours in their pocket to workout, meditate, practice self care and cook nutritious food?
Simply put, they have more control over their time and to-do list.
Time management isn't just about color coordinated calendars...
I mean, a pretty calendar does make it nicer, but the real key to time management is prioritizing your to-do list and events for the day. This means, you have to get good at saying "NO" to things you just don't have time for, or don't want to do
What are your priorities?
These are the health tasks you should be including in your week, use this list and schedule them around your biggest to-do list items and scheduled events.
Use whatever planner is easiest for you:
It doesn't matter what type of calendar you use, whether it's paper or an app, but you must have a way to schedule and rank things of importance.
I use Google Calendar, and would be totally lost without it. It's how I schedule my personal training clients, track shifts for my second job, keep track of doctors appointments, notate social events, even plan out running errands.
I even plan things out to the half hour, sometime even 15 minute increments. This lets see how much free time you have outside of scheduled things like meetings, appointments, etc. Seeing that blank space can empower you to get tasks done with that free time.
I mean really, you can get a lot done in 15 minutes... I bet you can empty the dishwasher, load it back up and wipe down your counters in that amount of time. Or, maybe you could start a load of laundry and chop veggies for your family to eat throughout the week.
TOP QUESTIONS THAT WILL GIVE YOU MORE TIME:
WILL THIS TASK HELP YOU PERFORM OTHER THINGS BETTER?
What I mean by this is, are there certain health related tasks (like working out, reading, meal prepping) that will help you be more mentally prepared to tackle other things? Remember, if you can't serve yourself, how can you serve others well?
WHEN WILL YOUR TASKS BE MOST CONVENTIENT?
Don't stress about running across town to get one specific item if you're not already near there. Wait till you ALREADY ARE near there. Or if that's not going to happen quick enough, schedule a time when you have the time to travel and do all that you can in that area of town. Basically, make your drive times more efficient.
DOES THAT TASK REALLY NEED TO BE DONE TODAY?
Yeah, your kids might be out of their favorite snacks, or your husband might be out of his iced coffee, but do you really need to run to Target today for just that one item? Probably not. Instead, why don't you spend that half hour at Target on a run instead? You can always get those random items when you're already going to the store for your weekly needs.
CAN SOMEONE ELSE HELP YOU OUT?
Will your hubby be closer to the dry cleaner than you this week? If so, he can totally grab your dress... Just remember to thank him, and then you can both work on your emotional health.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU "WASTE"?
This might be a sore subject for most, but how much time do you spend on social media or binging Netflix? Now I will be the first one to say that down time IS NECESSARY, but do you really need that much? Most of us check social media more than once a day, so imagine the time you'd have if you only checked once, in the evening, after the dishwasher was loaded and your slippers were on?
To sum it all up:
You do have time to do what's important for your health, you just need to prioritize it and learn to consolidate all the little things.
"health comes naturally to me"
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So, what's this week's affirmation? Write the phrase below on a sticky note and start building your confidence!
"Health comes naturally to me."
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My name is Laura and I help overly tired 20something women overhaul their lives, energy and confidence without overwhelm.
Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and write to the best of my knowledge on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle practices, I cannot be made liable to know all information on a particular subject. Knowledge gained through this blog is to be used at your own risk and all lifestyle changes should be discussed with a doctor before starting.
I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I do receive a small reimbursement for sales made through the links provided on my blog.