Success Spotlight – Real Women’s Stories Clearing Up Acne & Breakouts
I LOVE featuring success stories! Not only because they’re super inspiring, but everyone’s stories are full of gems of great advice and different approaches.
Recently I reconnected with Olivia Dufour. Olivia used to follow my first website/blog Raw Radiant Health many years ago, and recently she left me the coolest message on Instagram:
About 7 years ago I began watching your videos, and believe it or not you are the reason that my skin cleared up after almost a decade of suffering with hormonal acne triggered by chemical products and consuming dairy. You were the first person on YouTube who promoted using raw honey as a cleanser, and it has changed my life.
Thank you… for bringing hope and brightness into our lives!
How cool is that?!!
So of course I had to ask Olivia if she would be willing to share her clear skin success story with all of us, and she agreed!
Interview with Olivia Dufour
Tell us about your skin, when did you start having breakouts or acne?
I started having breakouts in 2007, at the age of 12. During that same time period, I began displaying symptoms of possible PCOS, which lasted for 6 years.
Was your skin issues affecting your everyday life or self esteem?
Definitely, both my everyday life and self-esteem were impacted. It affects your life spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.
What were you using or doing to treat it, was that working for you?
My first lines of defense were benzoyl peroxide-based products and visiting a homeopathic physician.
My homeopath put me on a regimen of a probiotic with 8 billion live cultures and Evening Primrose Oil. The Evening Primrose Oil made a significant difference, but the effects lasted for only two months.
I was then seen by four different dermatologists, all of whom neglected to acknowledge the critical connection existing between diet, cortisol levels, and healthy skin.
I tried Tretinoin creams and oral antibiotics, which completely cleared my skin. Unfortunately, it caused my skin to become intensely photosensitive, and had to discontinue the product usage.
At age 15, I tried Spironolactone, which my body rejected and resulted in temporary gallbladder failure.
As a last attempt at dermatological solutions, I tried AcZone, which was intended for hormonal breakouts, but made my skin very dry.
I wanted to breathe life and hydration into my skin, and none of these options offered that.
What made you try a different, or more “natural” approach to healing your skin?
At 16, I had run out of cleansers, astringents, and topical treatments to try.
I turned to YouTube for advice. After typing “Natural Clear Skin Routine” into the search bar, I was directed to RawRadiantHealth, where I was informally introduced to Natasha.
She recommended getting rid of all facial products and only using Raw Honey and Aloe Vera. Natasha’s optimism resonated with me on many levels, she knew from first-hand experience that by harnessing nature’s potent properties, blemishes and scars could heal. She taught me that we must listen to our bodies, as they are sending us signals in the form of inflammation.
What diet, lifestyle, and/or skincare changes did you make? And was it easy or hard?
Between the ages of 17-18, my skin abruptly entered into its worst phase due to stress.
With great hope, I revisited RawRadiantHealth to find that Natasha had created a blog and I swiftly signed up for the free 5-day email course. She explained the connections between dairy consumption and hormonal imbalance. I stopped eating dairy that same day, and have been dairy-free for four years. Being dairy-free hasn’t been particularly difficult for me because I added other forms of protein to my diet.
Using the Raw Honey was the easiest aspect of the transition, because it leaves your skin smooth and supple, making it an enjoyable skin ritual.
I also began acupuncture targeted for PCOS symptoms, which greatly helped my reproductive system to return to its harmonious state.
What really worked for you, and what didn’t?
1- Being dairy-free was the key to my skin’s success. It has been blemish-free for over four years.
2- Identifying my Ayurvedic Dosha, adopting an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet, and using homemade skincare returned my skin to its natural pH.
3- I decided to retry the Oil Cleansing Method, by making my own recipe and doing it only once a week in conjunction with the Raw Honey cleanser and fresh Aloe Vera.
4- Consuming fermented foods and taking a strong probiotic supplement (between 25-50 billion live cultures) once a day continues to bolster my immune system and skin clarity.
5- Saving the most influential supplement for last, taking a Complete Omega 3-6-9 Complex was a game-changer.
Anything that really surprised you?
I learned about the connection between scalp health and skin health. As a result, I massaged Jojoba Oil mixed with Oregon Grape into my scalp 2-3x per week and it had a noticeable effect on my face (click here to see Olivia’s scalp treatment: recipe & video demo).
How long did it take to clear up your skin?
It took a total of four months to clear my skin and heal the remaining scarring. The healing process was expedited by religiously applying Vitamin E Oil and Rosehip Seed Oil, which promoted skin rejuvenation.
How is your skin now? Do you still have to take extra care not to have breakouts, or is this now a non-issue for you now?
At 22, my skin is at its most radiant and healthiest stage it has ever been. With that being said, prevention and maintenance are necessary.
If someone were to come to you struggling with breakouts and acne, what advice would you give them?
My advice to anyone who is struggling is to try following these steps:
1- Before starting your new path to skin clarity, find a mantra or inspirational quote that you can refer to throughout your journey. It will keep you grounded and serve as a reminder to live in the present and that your skin does not define you as a human.
2- Find an expert or specialist who has overcome a similar skin situation, mine continues to be Natasha. This will give you hope and provide you with a point of contact to reach out to. Acne can make an individual feel isolated and stigmatized, so camaraderie within the natural beauty community is essential to succeeding.
3- Know that your skin’s health and clarity may fluctuate over time, this does not signify failure. If you see recurring breakouts in a specific region of the face or body, consult a Face Mapping guide. Our organ health is shown on the face, neck, and back.
4- Use acne as an opportunity to grow. Had I not struggled, I would not have learned all of the benefits of holistic remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or pushed myself to learn new skills. Now, I try to create a vibrant new juice and vegan meal each day.
Do you have a website/blog, or social media people can find you or connect with you?
Please reach out to me on Instagram at @peacefulprimrose, I look forward to getting to know you!
Thank you Olivia for sharing your story, and such great skin clearing tips. Super inspirational I must say (I’ve already switched my weekly scalp treatments to jojoba oil, and currently looking to find Oregon Grape – I’ll let you know how that goes!).
Do you have a success story clearing up acne or breakouts you’d like to share with Inspire Beauty community? Anything you’ve discovered or you’ve been doing that’s made a big difference in your skin? I would love to feature your story in an upcoming Success Spotlight. If you’re interested, please email me at: [email protected].