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One of Our Own: Amber's Before & After

One of Our Own: Amber's Before & After

We love a good before & after around here, and we especially love it when it comes from one of our own.

On-staff Holistic Nutritionist and resident skin-obsessed, glow-up girl Amber shares her story on how she figured out the secret to healthy, vibrant skin - from within:

“My Skin…”

Two words that defined over a decade of my life:

My skin hurts.
My skin broke out.
My skin itches.
My skin is reacting.
My skin is so dry.
My skin is so oily.

From my very early teen years I have suffered with acne, but in 2014, after worsening into unbelievably painful, cystic bumps all over my face, neck and back, I’d had enough.

Having terrible acne drastically impacted the course of my life, my confidence, my social life and my perceived self-worth; a tremendous impact for something that I spent so much time hiding, hating and covering up.

Getting to the root of the problem and discovering healthy, happy, balanced skin was (and has) been a truly time consuming and expensive experiment that took me through almost every affordable (and not so affordable) skin care and acne range under the sun.

And after all the experimentation through topicals, acids, cleansers and treatments I was constantly disappointed to find that nothing worked - and I mean nothing. In fact, the drying out, peeling, scrubbing and bleaching (thank you ProActiv) made my skin exponentially worse.

Having lived a decade+ of your life with brutal, painful, unrelenting acne is the quickest way to become obsessed with the facts, and the fact of the matter was (and is) that healthy, happy, balanced, radiant skin doesn’t start on the outside.


Getting to the root of the problem and discovering healthy, happy, balanced skin was (and has) been a truly time consuming and expensive experiment that took me through almost every affordable (and not so affordable) skin care and acne range under the sun.


In fact, it is the opposite of everything we’ve been told - because skin health starts on the inside.

So as a result of this knowledge (and a designation in Holistic Nutrition) here are my two new defining words and the key to my skin transformation: GUT HEALTH.


Stage 1: Inflammation

First, acne is an inflammatory condition and to heal inflammation, you must first remove the causative culprits.

With a focus on facts and strategic investments I completed a comprehensive blood allergy test with my naturopath, uncovering a high histamine reaction to both eggs and bananas, both of which I was eating almost daily.

After removing both from my diet completely, and cutting out smoking (gross and inflammation causing) I immediately saw an improvement. Within three weeks the reoccurrence of the painful cystic acne on my back and cheeks was fast diminishing and I was on my way.

The other part of inflammation is stress: jobs, work, schedules, partners, kids …

Life can be stressful and the way our bodies perceive stress is completely different than how we allow our minds to perceive it. I began a healthy 5 minute morning meditation practice and also Pranayama, or controlled deep breathing. I was shallow breathing (something I discovered) which prevents oxygen, circulation and fresh blood flow to the skin's surface, a crucial component to your skin's ability to heal. I consider this a significant aspect of my skin journey and one that I absolutely need in my everyday life now.

For anyone struggling with their skin, I highly recommend starting here.



Stage 2: Gut Repair

Inflammation in the gut causes the gut wall to lose its integrity and essentially become permeable. With a permeable gut wall, undigested foods and proteins, instead of being fully broken down in the digestive system, pass through the gut wall to enter your bloodstream, hit the liver and BAM cause even more inflammation.

When the liver and digestive system become overwhelmed and overworked, your body naturally falls back on the body’s largest detoxifying organ to help out - the skin. So, in short, healing the gut removes this stress and allows your body to detoxify through other natural pathways (like pooping).

This is also where the single most important tool in my arsenal came into play, completely revolutionising my efforts: Miracle Collagen.

To heal and repair the gut you need abundant and very specific amino acids available for the body to create new skin cells and to rebuild the integrity of the cellular matrix (in particular L-Glutamine + Glycine). These amino acids are then able to act as the foundation for rebuilding skin cells, to pull together those permeable tissues and effectively begin to heal and repair the gut wall.


 This is my can’t-live-without piece of advice: Repair + Rebuild the gut.


Over time and consistent use with Miracle Collagen, not only did my digestive upset and bloating go away, but my skin became clearer and clearer by the day. Not only did my active breakouts begin to diminish, but my hyperpigmentation started to clear, my skin became incredibly soft, bouncy and dewy and intensely hydrated. A big misconception in acne treatment is to dry, dry dry it out, when in fact, hydration is the key to letting the bacteria naturally come out of the skin and to then allow healing and repairing.

Once the gut begins to heal, your body is better able to absorb nutrients from food, detoxify properly, maintain hydration and revive your skin and soft tissue cells.

This is my can’t-live-without piece of advice: Repair + Rebuild the gut.



Stage 3: Skin Food + Skin Barrier Repair

And this is where we are today; once the root of the problem (my inflamed, irritated gut) was on the mend, I began to focus on what I was feeding my skin in order to create new, healthy skin cells and strengthen the active skin barrier: essential fatty acids, nutrients, water and probiotics.

Your skin, like any other organ, needs vitamins, minerals and healthy fats in order to continually rebuild with healthy foundations. With a newly healthier and healing gut, I was able to focus on this aspect of reviving my skin.

I obsessively use the IMBIBE skin care system, with a focus on the hydrating and marine based healing properties of Collagen Restore and Collagen Protect, completely embracing hydrating nutrients and oils to replenish my skin.

With a focus on what I put Into my body to hydrate, heal and repair, I was able to add in the topical applications that soothe, hydrate and nourish the skin barrier (after robbing it of it’s integrity with all the other products I had tried). Organic, cold-pressed, all natural oils rich in nutrients, fatty acids and repairing ingredients, UVA and UVB protecting antioxidants and repairing and hydrating marine extracts are now my absolute everyday staples. Morning, noon and night.

Showing off my skin is not something I ever dreamed was possible, least of all the idea that I would be complimented on having nice skin.

But more importantly, I feel good, because I am taking care of myself, my gut and my skin - all from within.

And that is the only place to begin.


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This blog is based purely on the author's personal experience. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. The author is neither a medical nor health professional and cannot guarantee that the information in this blog post is accurate, reliable or complete. If you use this information, you do so at your own risk and should consult a qualified medical or health practitioner before relying on any information contained in this blog.