Acne: Why Your Skin Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better


Acne is a skin disorder that we see a lot of in the clinic. It has many causes, triggers and effects on people, one of those main effects being emotional distress. Causes of acne can include diet, emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, coming off the pill, topical skincare, makeup, or a combination of any of these things. In this blog post, we want to look at the emotional effect acne has on people, and to encourage you that your skin getting worse before it gets better is actually a good thing, and a sign that your skin is becoming stronger, healthier and moving towards long-term health and vitality.

We work with a synergy of skin, body and mind, because we know that all three need to work in harmony in order for your skin transformation to occur. Topically, our goal is to strengthen your skin’s barrier defense systems - that is, make sure we keep your epidermis intact so that every cell is strong, able to communicate with the cells around it and go through it’s life cycle in a normal and healthy way. Long term this leads to pro-aging (healthy aging), stronger skin, more hydrated and glowing skin. The reason we don’t go for a quick-fix (such as extreme removal of the epidermis and more aggressive treatments) is because long terms this leads to sensitization of the skin which increases redness, dehydration and faster aging. To work in this longer term way, we hold your hand through the process - we educate you that things may get worse before they get better, and create treatment plans to help reduce as many of the symptoms as quickly as possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the epidermis and dermis. Treatments such as LED are recommended during this phase, as often as 4-5 times per week, Lymphatic Enzyme Therapy or an extraction facial every 2-3 weeks. Our facials serve not only to help your skin topically, but we also want to promote increased and enhanced self care and self love practices, which in turn leads to less emotional distress and enhanced mood and wellbeing, which we will discuss the effects of later in this post.

Since we are not treating your skin by simply removing the problem (rather treating the cause), if you have underlying congestion in the skin this needs to come out somehow, and is often the reason why things get worse before they get better. Congestion in the skin is often able to fly under the radar of your skin’s immune system, so once we start to rebuild a healthier acid mantle with free-flowing (rather than sticky) sebum, your body actually becomes aware of the congestion that’s been sitting under the skin. How amazing is this?? Your body is so smart, it’s aware of this congestion and now says “hey, we need to get rid of this stuff!” and so it sends it out via the most effective channels - directly through your pores - which for a while makes you freak out and think things are getting worse. It may seem on the surface that they are, but once you realise this process is actually your body getting rid of the sh*t, you’ll understand it for the healthy and beautiful process that it is.

So your immune system (aka your lymphatic system) is back on, and working hard. Ways you can support your lymphatic system through this process include lymphatic massage (which we include in all our facials), lymphatic enzyme therapy (landing next week at The Beauty Elixir!), dry body brushing, daily body movement, and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids such as water and herbal teas.

Understanding the beautiful and intricate connection between your lymphatic system and your skin transformation provides a deep and beautiful sense of clarity, calm and kindness towards your body throughout this process. Make sure you are nourishing yourself with healthy and nutritious foods, do things that make you feel truly good (hang out in nature, spend time with friends and family, take a long hot bath, spend time reading, journalling, meditating, being creative - whatever really gets you excited and inspired) and see this process for what it is - a process. It’s a process that is making you physically and emotionally stronger, happier and healthier. It’s instilling in you practices that will lead to long term health and vitality. It’s increasing your life force energy.

Our goal is always to hold your hand through this process but to then let you fly - we want you to understand the beautiful process your body and skin is going through for long term skin health and happiness. This intertwined marriage between the skin and the lymphatic/immune system is one that is often overlooked, especially when someone wants a quick fix (and when you’re struggling with acne we understand this!) however hopefully you’ve come to us because you know deep down that long term health and happiness is more important than instant results.

With any client, but especially clients who are really struggling with skin disorders, we want to make sure you always feel safe, loved and looked after. We design our treatment plans, skincare plans and nutrition to best support you, but then need you to rise up to the challenge and meet us, so we can work together to achieve your healthiest, strongest and most beautiful skin.

Romy Grbic