I didn't always have great skin as a teenager but by the time I left school, it had settled and I never thought I would have any issues again.
Of course I would get the odd blind pimple or angry red spot but nothing big enough to cause any dismay.
So I must admit, I panicked.
Cue a run on Dischem and Clicks' oil-zapping beauty products and stress-relieving and detoxing supplements, a visit to an IV drip bar and a dust off of my yoga mat.
Here's what worked:
1. THE IV DRIP
Recently People reported that Kendall Jenner had been hospitalised after experiencing a bad reaction to a vitamin IV drip she'd tried.
True or not, it certainly dredges up a few issues of whether these straight -into-your-bloodstream cocktails are effective and of even more concern, safe.
Previously the preserve of international celebs like Madonna, Rihanna, Chrissy Teigen and others along with, locally, personalities like Kelly Khumalo, Tatum Keshwar and Lalla Hirayama (according to an article in the Sunday Tribune) who have also been spotted and even snapped, hooked up to a plastic bag of liquids to get their fix of vitamins.
Now, a lot of us take at least one supplement (right?) to increase our energy levels, reduce stress, boost our immune systems and improve the health of our skin, hair and nails. But a lot of naysayers believe that all it does is create expensive urine. And might cause harm. The best thing to do is consult a health/medical practitioner.
A doctor quoted in the same People article says that the trend originally started 'as a hangover cure due to a mix of B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium'.
But now stars and the not so famous are also using certain formulations as part of their wellness regime. Was I skeptical?
Cue IV Bar in Blubird Centre, Melrose. You walk through the medical centre to a quiet small space at the back. It's doctor-affiliated, which means that there's a doctor on the premises to consult with should there be any concerns pre or post the drip and the supplies are ordered with his sign off. They attract a wide range of clients - from sportspeople to cancer patients and cosmetic junkies.
I felt safe knowing that a doctor was around the corner should anything go wrong and because I'd read this article from Health24 before heading in.
These were the key points that stood out for me (verbatim).
- 'Intravenous administration means that nutrients bypass your digestive system completely. This is not entirely without risk, as the digestive system offers several layers of defence, from saliva to antibodies. Under normal circumstances, however, the risk is small. In the case of intravenous ingestion of nutrients your body will only absorb what it needs and will discard the rest through urine.
- There is also the additional risk of infection if the spa or treatment facility is not properly equipped or if the staff aren't adequately trained to insert a needle.'
I went for the detox drip which costs R650 per session. Not too pricey if you consider how similar spots charge thousands of rands for the same. It's supposed to remove toxins, relieve stress, help with weightloss, clear congestion and just boost your well-being.
The entire therapy only takes 30 minutes - 15 minutes for the liquid to run through your veins and another 15 for the consultation and inserting the needle correctly.
I hate needles but it wasn't enough to put me off entirely and the nurse who administers it, is very gentle. She also takes your vitals, blood pressure, temperature, pulse etc before the infusion.
I hoped that it would help because the spots between my brows and along my chin were pointing to stress. I didn't feel any different afterwards but the only foods I wanted to put into my body were fresh fruits, vegetables and fish for protein. No red meat. And I drank a lot of water, more than I usually do.
What makes the experience more pleasant is if you're there for longer, say for the energy boost (R850) or sports recovery (R800) or skin brightening (R850), there's wifi and headphones you can connect to your smartphone via bluetooth.
I'm starting to see the results a week later. Visit The IV Bar for more info.
This supplement with a price that ranges around R135 depending on where you shop is made up of volcanic rock and ash and alkaline ground water that developed over a hundred years into zeolite. It's supposed to pull the toxins and heavy metals out of and push healthy minerals in to your body.
I take one teaspoon each morning to also boost my immune system and helps your body digest nutrients. And the taste? It's quite innocuous and very easy to swallow and sip. You can also create a paste and use it as a face mask.
3. THE OIL ZAPPERS
My go-to cleanser and moisturiser have been L'Oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub Red Algae R99,95 and Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturiser with sunscreen R169,95. I'll definitely go back to them but I needed something to mop up the slick on my face. Solutions? Eucerin DermoPurifyer Cleanser R127,95, Sebamed Clear Face Mattifying Cream R124,95 and something I haven't used in years? A toner - Eucerin DermoPurifyer Toner R156,95.
I don't think I need to extol the virtues of stretching, exercise and meditation. On your body, mind, heart and skin. A friend introduced this app to me over a year ago and it's the only way I've been able to get into the practice.
You get a free trial of 10 practices and other guided meditation offerings. And you can gift packages to friends including children.
It's helped. My skin's calming down and my stress levels (makes sense). I don't know which of the remedies were the most effective but in whole I'm turning the corner.
Have you had recent skin woes? Mail me and tell me about them and what you did or are doing to approach the health of your skin in a holistic way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don't forget to sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.