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“My skin story began in my adolescent years, when, like many other teenagers, my face began to suffer from milia and acne. Looking back on that time now, I know I could have changed my diet, skincare routine, and lifestyle as a whole. Unfortunately, I was an impossible young woman who didn’t take care of her health for years.”
“In elementary school, my daily companions were Garnier, Neutrogena, etc. – products found in the grocery store that promised to be anti-acne and control sebum secretion. But in reality, these products broke my skin’s protective barrier and caused even more inflammation, as well as completely unbalancing my skin.
My teenage mornings started with an hour-long make-up routine to try and hide all this inflammatory ‘ugliness’ as best I could. When I looked at my face in the mirror, I hated what was staring back at me, but I just didn’t know what to do… Back then, there wasn’t much information available about skin or stomach balance, or about the fact that everything really starts with nutrition. I did not know that less gluten consumption would have immediately helped in alleviating my skin problems. Bread and macaroni were integral parts of my diet at the time!
In high school however, I started paying more attention to my health. I began researching more and became familiar with the more expensive, higher quality skincare products sold in Estonia. I also visited beauticians who examined me and tried to mechanically clean me with all kinds of machines drilled into my face. Unfortunately, after countless similar procedures, I was still at square one – nothing brought about lasting change for my skin. I remember a beautician advising me to consume less wheat and drink nettle and sage tea instead of black coffee. At the time, it seemed so stupid to me; how could not drinking coffee help me?
I moved from Estonia to England to attend university and started a beauty and lifestyle blog, where I wrote about my worries and experiments – new products, masks, devices, African soaps, medical skin dryers, and even snail mucus! It seemed as if there wasn’t a product available that I hadn’t tried. I also seriously considered all kinds of terrible acne treatments (Roaccutane, etc.), but luckily I did not subject myself to that.
During university, I found the first skincare range which really had a visibly positive effect on my skin – La Roche-Posay’s Effeclar series. Another product I also really liked was the Turbliss mud mask. I found relief from my skin issues for a while, but it still felt as if the constant struggles would never end. Acid peels were also something that seemed to work for my skin; however, I hated the harsh stinging and the fact that I was putting so many chemicals on my skin. I wanted to let my skin breathe, not smother it with chemicals! So, I started wearing less make-up and doing make-up-free days.
After finishing university, I started to look inside myself more and tried boosting my health with fasting, veganism, keto and various food supplements. My skin, however, remained inflamed and even worsened at times. Playing with your body like that can completely shock the body.
Fortunately, it was at this time I discovered LUMI, whose products have now replaced everything else in my bathroom and which I would not trade for anything! But the journey with LUMI has taken time. Thanks to their support and 360-degree advice from their skin specialists, I feel as if I can finally understand why my skin reacts the way that it does to things.
Two years ago, I began experimenting with LUMI’s Tundra series. It took about 4-5 weeks to start noticing changes. Since Tundra was completely different from any cosmetics I had used before, the range felt strange and almost wrong to me at first.
Because LUMI products are completely natural and do not have a chemic smell to them, and also do not sting, redden or dry out the skin, I did not think that they would work. Oh, how wrong I was! Within even the first month, my skin became much clearer and cleaner than ever before, whilst also remaining perfectly moisturised!
During this time, I was constantly consulting Helen, who mentioned that I cut back my gluten intake. “You have gluten bumps on your face,” she said, but (as usual) I didn’t listen at first. In the end, though, I gave in, and a few weeks without gluten really did the trick! Helen was right, as always. How stupid had I been, putting my love for bread over my own wellbeing…
I took a gut microbiome test at Elsavie’s, which shows the balance of bacteria in your intestinal tract. The Elsavie nutritionist confirmed that gluten was not for me and that I should also try and cut down on wine and coffee – my three favourite things in the world! By now I had realised that the advice others had given me over the years was correct and I needed to be smarter when it came to nutrition.
As much as possible, I try to find alternatives for these foods – black rice noodles or chickpea pasta in place of white pasta, rice cakes instead of bread, switching coffee for matcha, and lemon vodka sodas instead of wine. I promise it’s not as hard as it may seem at first! However, I also think it’s important to enjoy your favourite foods from time to time if you can – I did not want or feel it necessary to completely exclude them from my diet.
Sometimes I reward myself with a day of indulgence, because the mind needs to be happy; if one pasta meal a week does that, then you have to allow yourself those treats. You don’t have to do things to extremes and as long as you listen to your body, everything will be fine. In addition, I also take daily supplements that keep my microbiome in balance. Gut health is such an exciting topic, and I would recommend to anyone delving into it and finding supplements that work for you. I take different probiotics, fibre, turmeric, slipper bark, Omega-3, and Vitamins C and D.
Listening to my body is still a relatively new thing for me, but I notice more and more of what it is trying to tell me. If my stomach is bulging and there are inflamed spots on my back again, I have to think about what I may have done today or yesterday to cause that.
I wish I could tell you about every LUMI product, but I would always recommend a consultation with their specialists as every skincare routine should be completely personalised. My own LUMI routine is almost always changing – LUMI products match each other perfectly and do not necessarily have to be products of the same series to work well together, so they’re great for experimentation. Tundra is still one of my favourite product lines, but these days my skin is already clear and I’m more concerned with keeping it balanced and moisturised.
In the morning, I use either yarrow mist or SELGUS meadowsweet hydrosol, NAKED hyaluronic acid multiserum, and Tundra face cream. In the evening, I love Superbloom gel-toner and night serum, and Bio-Klinik cream. I also love their MEN products, which just feel so nice on the skin. I definitely recommend trying LUMI’s new probiotic complex, Estonia’s first complex developed in cooperation with Tartu University Clinic, which can be mixed into your favourite creams and serums. This is the next generation of skincare and it’s here already! In addition, we cannot forget the lavender and rosehip hydrosols, which I spray on my face during the day and before bed – my partner and I are both huge fans of them.
To make a long story short, I wish I had come across all the health and skincare information we have today sooner in life. For those interested in these topics – learn about your body, about your gut microbiome, and do a food intolerance test, because food today is so different from what it was a century ago.
I am so grateful to LUMI and Helen for putting me on the right path! I have also converted all my friends and family to the LUMI faith. Instead of shocking your skin into submission, try to listen to it, take gentle care of it, and give it a change to maintain its natural protective barrier. You won’t regret it!
Feel free to contact LUMI’s skincare specialists and ask for advice – it will change your life!” – Helena #MYFIRSTLUMI
See Helena’s before and after pictures here!