Sharing Our Acne Journeys

June 19, 2020

Sharing Our Acne Journeys

It’s #acneawareness month and we care about normalizing acne. Mama Joy and I want to share our acne journeys with you. People often comment that we have great skin but the truth is, we have, and still do face struggles with acne. Acne is normal, common and can come and go with the seasons of your life. It’s not just for teens and is not always easily treated with products. We don’t consider ourselves a “beauty” brand, but a self-care brand. We care about your overall skin health and mental health and are not about achieving perfection because it does not, and should not, exist. 

Sylvan’s Acne Journey

I’ve always had dry, eczema, psoriasis and keratosis prone skin. I’ve pretty much been dealing with skin issues since I was born. One thing I never dealt with as a teen was acne. Let me tell you, when I graduated high school having never experienced breakouts I thought I was home free. Like it was the universe repaying me for all of the other skin conditions I had been saddled with. My celebration was a little premature. 

Fast forward to me at 23. I began getting cystic breakouts during my period mostly around my mouth and jaw. Then I started getting ovarian cysts and noticed when my ovaries were acting up, my face followed suit. I’m a picker and also have a weak skin barrier due to years of overuse of steroid creams for my eczema. These factors sent my skin into a cycle of breakouts that was very difficult to manage. 

During this time, I worked at an esthetics institute and had access to every major brand at a discount. After years of trying every system and eventually turning to very harsh chemicals, my acne was still no better and the products had worsened my eczema. I was very lucky that my breakouts were mostly on my forehead and under my jaw so I could cover them with bangs and makeup. But it still affected my confidence as my husband still saw me without my makeup and I just didn’t feel great in my skin. I wanted to go makeup free with confidence (and I wanted to go a day without having to style my bangs!)

I started working at a natural skincare retailer, got my hippy on and made some changes to my diet. Using natural ingredients in my skincare helped my dryness and eczema and finally balanced my sebum production reducing my forehead breakouts. Discovering my food allergies, improving my gut health and eating a hormone balancing diet helped my cystic breakouts. With time and patience my skin cleared for the most part. 

At this point I still experienced redness, hives, small breakouts and irritation pretty often but it was 100 times better than before. Through many trials of eliminating and reintroducing specific ingredients, I discovered that my sensitivity was coming from preservatives in my skincare. 

I was able to eliminate the irritation by using only preservative-free products. Now my only issue was that I didn’t feel fully plump and hydrated and using water free products left my skin with an undesirable finish. I had a goal and dream to create a product that gave my skin hydration and locked in water moisture without needing a preservative and that had a beautiful skin feel (which is what I did, but that’s a story for another time..)

Now my skin is finally in very good health, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect and blemish free. When hormones and stress come knocking, I still get cysts under the skin (thank goodness for Bibbidi Spotibi Boo!) It’s important to remember when faced with skin struggles that the vast majority of breakouts come from within, not all can be prevented and it’s not your fault. Your skin is beautiful. Acne is common and normal and experienced by nearly everybody at some stage in life. 

Your skin does not determine your worth!!!! You are radiant and loved. 


Mama Joy’s Acne Journey

Warning, this is rather graphic to read! But it is as it was.

I was blessed with what seemed to be 'perfect skin'. People often commented on and complimented me about this, though I pretty much took it for granted.

Then, when I was 33 years old, everything changed. I developed cystic acne that was so severe that I used to spend my evenings, after the kids were tucked in for the night, sitting at my kitchen table with a bowl of epsom salts in hot water, dabbing all the eruptions on my face with a face cloth. This was in the attempt of soothing the soreness, and hopefully bringing the breakouts to bursting faster, which I hoped would make them go away. 

My doctor prescribed me medications that never really made any difference at all. I often had to have cortisone injected into the cysts which was painful and traumatic. I even had a few eruptions that ultimately needed to be sliced opened and drained at my doctor's office. My previously 'perfect skin' was now dented with acne scars.

Because I have long, curly hair, and most of my breakouts were around my hairline at the top and sides of my face, most people had no idea just how extremely I was breaking out. A small blessing, I suppose. As long as the wind did not blow my hair away from my face. 

It took nearly 5 years for this cystic acne to finally calm down. Changing my diet and hormones finally leveling out, helped a lot. But I was left with facial scars, and every now and again, especially if I am unusually stressed, I will feel a breakout coming on, even after all these years. 

My eldest daughter, Sylvan, was old enough at the time to be aware of my skin issues, how could she not be, watching me dabbing my face with hot salt water, and occasionally even coming with me to dermatologist appointments. I wonder if her empathy for me might have been the seeds of her lifetime interest in skin health. 

Sylvan grew up to make a career in skin care, and ultimately to formulate The Potion. 

How I wish there had been Bibiddi Spotibi Boo already invented in the 1980's! It would have saved me from years of skin suffering. 

The rare time that I have had my cystic acne begin to occur again in present times, I have just put a drop of Bibiddi on the area, and within a day or two, the breakout has shrunk, and disappeared, without ever erupting into a full-on giant pimple. 

And here is something interesting. I have been using The Potion for Youth for the past two years. And the dented scarring from cystic acne has reduced dramatically. It goes to show that it is never too late to improve your skin health.

If you are suffering from this type of painful breakouts, I truly feel for you. Take heart, it will one day improve and until it does, know that you are perfect the way you are. You are not alone, we are all on this skin journey together.


It's important to recognize that there are many causes and treatments for acne. Some people can address it with only lifestyle changes, for some, natural solutions are the magic ticket. Some people require prescription medications and some go through multiple rounds of internal medications and still find no relief. No matter where you are in your acne journey, your skin is beautiful, you are worthy, and most importantly, your glow comes from within. 


Sylvan & Joy


For more information on skincare, skin types and skin concerns check out our BLOG What Great Skincare Can Do (And What It Can’t.)


*Information contained in our blogs is designated for education purposes only. The opinions are of us, our families, friends, customers and human testers. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.*


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