Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic
If Victoria Beckham can overcome hormonal acne, so can I…
Or at least that's what I told myself when I read that Posh overcame her skin issues by eating a daily serving of salmon and following a strict skin-care regimen, prescribed by a renowned expert.
"I see a dermatologist in LA, called Dr. Harold Lancer, who is incredible. I've known him for years—he sorted my skin out," Beckham told The Edit.
I booked an appointment with the good doctor the next day. Little did I know that red-carpet-worthy skin would require an entire lifestyle change.
I recently celebrated my 37th birthday, and for the last year and a half, I've been battling terrible skin. Clogged pores, breakouts on my jawline, neck, chin and forehead and nothing I've tried has gotten it under control.
For reference, I barely had so much as the occasional pimple before 36.
At my consultation, Dr. Lancer confirmed that I, indeed, have hormonal acne—but turns out everyone is genetically pre-disposed to hormonal acne. It's a matter of when not if it will strike.
The No. 1 trigger for hormonal acne? Spikes in testosterone production, which can be set off by stress, lifestyle, diet and even caffeine. To put it simply, increased testosterone = hormonal imbalances = breakouts.
Dr. Lancer's advice is not impossible but definitely presents some challenges. Firstly, clean up my diet. The skin expert recommends eating a diet of 40 percent protein (focused on cold-water fish for ease in digestion—a.k.a. the Victoria Beckham salmon diet), 40 percent fats (like avocados and olive oil) and 10 percent carbs (fruits and vegetables count as carbs in addition to breads, pastas, etc).
The real kicker? Refrain from caffeine. Apparently, Dr. Lancer has not met the one true love of my life, coffee.
To complement my monk-like diet, there's Dr. Lancer's regime called The Method, which features products formulated and produced by the celeb dermatologist. Basically, gone are the days of washing my face with some random cleanser, putting on some sunscreen and heading out the door.
In the morning, my updated regime consisted of The Method Polish (which exfoliates), a cleanser, followed by a lightweight moisturizer and topped off with an SPF 30 sunscreen.
At night, I'd use the same cleanser. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I'd use Retexurizing Treatment with Glycolic Acid, and on the off days, Advanced C Radiance Treatment with Vitamin C Collagen Cofactor, followed by a different lightweight moisturizer made for sensitive skin.
It was a lot of product, formulaic and specific to my skin, to say the least.
I've been following Dr. Lancer's advice for almost a month now and I have to say I am seeing serious results. I have cleaned up my diet—bye-bye, Bagel Thursdays at work. I do, however, schedule in a cheat meal or two during the week. And I try to eat cold-water fish every other day (I obviously lack Victoria's dedication or bank account). And while I've significantly cut back on caffeine, I can't bring myself to quit my morning Americano.
The first week my skin went from bad to worse. I've never seen so many blackheads on my face, and my skin looked generally dull. I called Dr. Lancer's office, and they said that this was totally normal and my skin was purging. This process would take about a month to be fully over but my skin should start clearing up within the next week. Sure enough, I've been noticing a steady improvement and now there are very few blocked pores, the acne around my jawline is almost 100 percent gone and my complexion is even and clear for the first time in over a year!
I feel like my face is returning to "normal," but the cruel truth of age is it's now going to take a lot of commitment and dedication to keep it here. Call it vanity or determination, but I feel like I'll be in this for the long haul. I'm loving the results, and it's not impossible but Dr. Lancer was right—your skin is the outward projection of what you're putting into your health and your level of dedication to achieving the results.