Adult Acne 101 (Pityrosporum Folliculitis/ Fungal Acne)

I promised myself that once I found out what was wrong with my skin, I would write a blog post about it to try and help anyone else who might be struggling like I have for the past 6 months.

First off, I’ll give you a little background about my skin. I’m 27 (almost 28 **cries inside) and I have had little to no major skin issues all my life. Even going through the typical teenage years, I never really suffered from acne. I would say I have oily/combination skin. I’ve never really had sensitive skin to products and I’ve always kept up with a decently good skin care routine.

This past January, I started getting very clogged pores in my T-zone (so my forehead, nose and chin). These clogged pores looked like little bumps and got progressively worse over the past year. At first, I just ignored them because makeup did a decent job at covering them. After they continued to get worse and I stupidly started trying to pop and pick at them, they started looking terrible. It got to the point where I was embarrassed to go in public without or even with makeup on.

At this point, I would advise anyone to GO TO A DERMATOLOGIST. I was too embarrassed to, so I decided to try and fix the issue myself.

First thing I did was reach out to my friend who is going through school to be a naturopath doctor. I wanted to see if there was a natural way to fix my skin.

** Side Note: I already don’t eat gluten or dairy and try to consume a minimal amount of artificial sugars.

She recommended that I start taking Vitamin A, Zinc, Fish Oil and a good probiotic. I am still continuing to take these vitamins and probiotic, but I have reduced to taking Vitamin A and Zinc to every second day. I definitely found that taking these helped reduce the inflammation in my skin and dried out my skin a bit (which I didn’t mind because like I mentioned above, I have very naturally oily skin). But after a month of taking these things, my acne or clogged looking pores did not go away.

Next, I decided to go to a skin clinic. I went to a local one and took all the current products I was using on my skin with me. I wanted to see if any of them were the root cause of my skin issues. The medical aesthetician told me my lotions, cleansers, scrubs and creams were all good BUT one.  I was surprised to find out that the lotion I had been using twice daily for almost a year actually contained shea butter in it, that can be very skin-clogging. After she told me this, I immediately stopped using it and started using the lotion she suggested. She also recommended a few skin treatments, dermaplaning and a medical facial (which included extractions, aka a safe way to pop pimples or unclog pores). I had never had either of these and decided to try them out.

I gave my skin a two-week time span to purge/breakout (which usually happens after facials or treatments and when you change skin care products), and then I was hoping to see results. I saw a few results, but my clog pores on my forehead seemed to be very stubborn. They looked a little better for a while and then took a turn for the worse. Again they got to the stage where I didn’t want to go to work or be in public because I thought my skin looked terrible. The worse it got, the more I wanted to pick and try and pop the enlarged pores which in result just made it look even worse.

Finally, I got to my ending point and book an appointment with my family doctor so she could prescribe me something strong for my skin. Of course, the day I go into the doctor, my skin has a good day and the doctor sat looking confused as to why I was even there in the first place. Luckily I had taken a photo of my forehead a couple day earlier when it was really bad. The doctor explained that the type of acne I was experiencing was not cystic, which is one of the most well-known types, it was a different less serious one (I can’t remember the name she said). She prescribed me Retin A topical gel to try for four weeks.

Now, this stuff is extreme, and I didn’t even get a high percentage of it. It dried the HECK out of my skin and made it peel so bad. It did help my pimples on my chin clear up, but again did not really do much other than making my forehead immensely dry and shiny. My immediate thought was that maybe I needed a stronger percentage Retin A. I was planning to ask for this at my next doctor visit.

I was searching YouTube recently, looking up forehead acne and seeing what other people were using to help theirs and a stumbled across this video below.

My mind was blown. Literally, everything she explains in this video is what I was suffering from. I don’t even think I finished watching the YouTube video before running to a local drug store and picking up the shampoo (yes I said shampoo), that was supposed to be good at helping clear up forehead acne.

And guess what??

I noticed a huge difference after the first time I used this shampoo on my skin. I finally found out what was happening with my skin!!

So what did I find out?

Firstly, I found out that the type of acne I am suffering from is a fungal acne, not a bacterial acne. A big sign that distinguishes between what type of acne you might have is the fact that usual acne medications and treatments do not work at clearing your acne or might even make it worse, which is exactly what I was experiencing. Pityrosporum (malassezia) Folliculitis is the scientific name for fungal acne (try saying that three times fast haha).

Right now I am currently experiencing a flare up because after doing a lot of research I found out that the majority of lotions and creams I am using on my skin is actually feeding and making the fungi grow. And yes, I use insanely expensive, medical grade products, but the tricky thing with fungal acne is most fatty acids and oils feed the fungi and make it grow bigger and bigger. Of course, the fatty acids and oils that do this are found in basically 99.9% of all skin care. Awesome.

What I am using that I find helps right now is the shampoo I mentioned above, which is called Nizoral. Nizoral contains 2% ketoconazole which is an anti-fungal. I was putting this on my face as a face mask every morning and night for the first week. It helped a lot but dried out my skin and because I currently haven’t found a face lotion that doesn’t make my skin flare up, I have started using Nizoral every second day to make my skin less dry.

I also found that using apple cider vinegar as a toner helps take down the inflammation of the bumps (but let me warn you, the smell is almost unbearable). Again this tends to dry out the skin. So right now I’m basically battling to help kill my fungal acne and not dry the heck out of my skin.

I know this post is insanely long, but I want to write quickly about why I think I got fungal acne after not experiencing any type of acne for my entire life.

  1. I get a lot of UTIs (aka urinary tract infections). Sorry, I know that’s probably TMI, but it’s actually a major cause to this type of acne. Basically after being on and off of antibiotics so much, my body started to create an excess amount of yeast, which in result showed up as fungal acne. Gross, I know.
  2. I was drinking a lot of kombucha, which again contains yeast and was probably just adding to the problem.
  3. I have very oily skin and am also a face sweater when I work out, which again are both things that feed the fungus and make it grow bigger.

This article is amazing (click me)!! I highly recommend you read it if you think you might have this type of acne. It’s long but very, very helpful.

I really hope this helps someone that may be in the same spot I have been in. Yes, appearance is not everything, but I never realized how insecure having acne would make me feel, and in result ended up impacting a lot of my life.



Is loving someone a decision or a feeling?

I was scrolling through Instagram this morning (which is my morning ritual to help me wake myself up). I came across one of my favourite poet’s account, R.H.Sin, and noticed that he had responded to a follower’s comment. This follower asked: “Is loving someone a decision or a feeling? In your personal opinion.”.

Right away this question intrigued me and I was excited to see what one of my favourite authors thought. He started by answering the questioning how I thought he would, he said: “I think you decide who has the opportunity to be loved by you.”

I love this answer. If someone were to ask me, my answer would be that loving someone is a feeling, but Sin’s answer puts a lot into perspective.

He continues by saying: “Think about it, logically, when you choose to entertain some sort of relationship with someone, you’re making the decision to let them in close enough to be loved by you.”

Wow. Preach RH Sin, PREACH.

I needed to hear this in this very moment. I sat there and realized a lot about my most recent situation. I was in control of letting this person mistreat me. I was in control of allowing myself continually give and not get anything in return. Yes, of course it’s easy for me to sit pouting and pointing fingers at this individual, but in reality, I am giving them the opportunity to mistreat me.

Sin ends by saying: “People have to ask themselves what they base their love for someone on and at the end of the day… good or bad, people make the decision whether or not they believe a person is worth falling for and sometimes they’re wrong, it happens. It’s all a lesson to be learned.”

I have made the mistake of believing a person is worth falling for (more than once if I’m being honest) but I tend to be quick to blame the other person. I am very guilty of blame shifting.

Did I deserve to be mistreated? No. But, did I have the control to walk away from the situation when I realized it wasn’t benefitting me? Absolutely.

This individual is not a bad person, but he certainly isn’t acting like a great man or even friend towards me at this point.

Walking away from someone or a situation isn’t always easy. But staying with someone because they make you feel good for simultaneous moments isn’t good or healthy either.

Someone told me the other day, that they would rather be hurt by the truth, than heartbroken over a lie.

I would rather feel lonely for a little while, than being left feeling empty by another person.


How to Make a Friendship Flourish and Not Flop

When you are young, friendships are sooo easy. Simple play dates, similar interests, same after-school activities, ect., but the older you get, the harder they get. Specially in female to female relationships.

I listened to a podcast today (Unlady Like) and it talked about the difficulty in female friendships and why so many of them don’t work. It discussed how it’s sometimes hard to be honest about how we’re feeling in friendships and comparison to relationships. It’s easier to tell your partner: “you hurt my feelings because you did (blank)” but harder to tell a friend this. Here are a few things I’ve found that have worked when building strong and long lasting friendships.

  1. Communication is key. In all relationships, communication is a major factor. You could simply be on different pages on something, or be reading entirely different books. It’s fine to take time and space from a friend to process emotions or feelings, but as soon as you’re ready and able to articulate your feelings, do so. This is the be all, end all of a friendship. You need to learn how to express what you’re going through, without attacking the other person. This is the best way to save or continue to grow a friendship.
  2. Allow your friend to win. Sometimes your friend is going to be more successful than you in life and you need to learn that that’s okay. It’s okay to celebrate them. It’s okay to be the ‘cheerleader’. Everyone has their own time to shine.
  3. Know when to just listen.  A lot of the time, a friend’s job is to just listen. Listen without judgement and without the desire to need to give your two cents. Sometimes a friend doesn’t need to be told what to do, they just simply need someone to be there and listen.
  4. Be loyal. No matter the circumstance or the current situation between you and your friend, always be on their side. Speak positively about them in their absence and always have their back.
  5. Always make time. Time is such a precious thing and should never be taken for granted. If you truly cherish a friend, make sure you are making them a priority in your life.


What I’ve Learned From Dating in My 20s

If you know me or follow any type of my social media, you may know that I’m pretty quick to make fun of my dating life. Making jokes about the situations I’ve gotten myself into constantly and consistently, time and time again.

I ignore what’s literally in front of me, and let my mind create situations or false futures instead of seeing the signs of future heartbreaks.

At least I can laugh about it (now) right??

So here we are. I’m going to share what I’ve learnt through past relationships, heartbreaks, hookups and everything in between as I’ve dated through my 20s.

1) I’m going to start with the most important thing I’ve learnt over the years. It is that if you can’t love yourself, no else will be able to either. I read this quote the other day and it really stayed to me:

“I think the problem is that we depend on our lovers to love us the way we should love ourselves”


Our society constantly relies on other people to tell us we are doing a good job or to tell us we’re beautiful and smart when really all we should be telling ourselves these things every day. If I can’t love myself with all my imperfections and loose ends, how should I expect another person too? I can’t. Simple as that.

2) The next thing I’ve learnt is you can’t try and change for someone and someone should never have to change for you. Trying to change yourself for someone else, will only result in you being unhappy in the relationship because you’re constantly trying to be something or someone you’re not. Expecting someone to change for you is unrealistic and cruel because then you technically don’t even like the person they are, you like the person they could be.

3) Age difference doesn’t matter, but maturity level does. With my parents being 10 years apart, age has never really affected whether or not I like a person, but I’ve now learnt that age does and will play a factor no matter how hard you try and deny it. It’s either going to be something you can work through or be a constant burden.

4) You can’t love someone into loving you.

5) You can love someone with your entire heart, but if they still love their ex., there’s no hope, no matter what you do or how hard you try.

6) IF THEY WANT TO TALK TO YOU, THEY WILL. If they want to make time for you, they will. If they want to make it work, they will.

7) Trust the key to a successful relationship. If you can’t build your relationship with a base of trust, you won’t be able to build it very far off the ground.

8) Don’t be unfaithful (this is the tip my teenage youth gave me when I asked). Cheating benefits no one. If your mind is wondering, you shouldn’t be with the person you’re with. That’s not fair to the significant other or even to yourself. If you lacking something in your relationship, whether that is on an emotional level or physical level, express this to the person you’re in a relationship with, don’t go seeking it from other resources.

9) Honesty is key. If you can’t be honest about what you want, what you like, what you’re expecting, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

10) If your significant other isn’t your best friend, you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t laugh at the same things, or goof around with each other, the relationship will get boring real quick.

11) It’s not who you want to spend Saturday night with, it’s about who you want to spend all day Sunday with doing absolutely nothing but enjoying every second of it.

12) If you want commitment and a future, don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t share the same interests as you.

13) You’re not always going to get the closure you may need and want, and that’s just something you have to learn to accept.

14) Don’t waste your time trying to make someone feel bad about how they treated you, because most of the time they honestly just don’t care and you’ll end up wasting more of your time. The best thing you can do is walk away and not look back.

15) Desire and value do not go hand in hand. Just because a person desires you, does not mean they will value you. If they don’t value you, they don’t deserve you. You will only be an option if you allow yourself to be.

I am no dating expert, but I’ve learnt a few things along the way. I will forever remain the hopeless romantic I label myself as, even though I often get caught up in convenience and being comfortable. I think it’s the person that pushes you outside your boundaries, the person that you feel most like yourself with and the person that’s not only there for the good times but also the bad, that will make the best partner. I can’t wait to find this person.


(10 Shitty Dating Truths You Must Accept If You Want To Find Love)

Dating a Person With an Alcoholic Parent

People joke with me all the time about being single.

“Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” “Why are you always single?” “Why don’t you ever give anyone a chance?”

I never really thought about it much actually. I easily blame my extremely busy schedule as a contributing factor and the fact I “just haven’t met anyone that’s worth giving up my free time too”. It’s not like I don’t ‘date’. I do. But I usually find myself caught in situations that aren’t benefiting me, with people that I find to be quite pessimistic or someone who doesn’t have the same intentions as I do.

When dating, I am the kind of person who knows right away if I’m going to get along with you. To other people (even my friends), this sounds crazy. But if I know we aren’t going to click, I’m not going to spend time trying to make it work.

Okay, after a little background on my single AF self, we can get to the point of this blog post. In my line of work, I am constantly reminding myself that the negative and sometimes harsh actions of my youth/clients are due to the trauma and situations they grew up in. I never thought to do that with myself. I’ve never stepped back and wondered why I do certain things and why I gravitate towards certain people.

I started doing some research on what having an alcoholic parent can do to the child and what effects it may have. I was surprised at how many interesting and relatable articles I found, especially when it comes to dating. I never really thought that this part of my life could affect my dating life. That might be naive of me to think because there are other more noticeable things in my life that having addiction in my life affects, like the constant need for control and acceptance.

Here are some of the main points I picked up from the research I did:

  1. Control. A child of an addict has seen how addiction can take all control away from a person. This child will then constantly want to control all aspects of their life. In dating this becomes difficult. When you date a person, you have to give up some control and trust to another person. This can not only be difficult, but also frustrating. Something as simple as cancelled plans may be triggering or seen as a much bigger deal because an addicts child has gone through a lot of cancelled plans. When we give up control, this means a lot.
  2. Burdens. A child of an addict is used to carrying around others burdens with them. It is something that we may have done for so long, we don’t even realize we are doing it anymore. You might not see this right away, but eventually, it will come out. You will see us get dragged down and worn out from doing so, but you will also see the strength it takes for us to get back up.
  3. Patience. It takes a lot of patience and time to love someone who has felt the pain of addiction. It takes time for us to open up and trust you. It takes patience to understand why our brains may work the way they do. It also takes understanding and consideration to get why we may react differently in some situations than ‘normal’ people do.
  4. Fun Over Attachment. Children of addicts often seek out fun relationships compared to deep and meaning full relationships. We fearful of getting attached to someone. Something that is fun and service level is easy to let go of and run away from whereas a more deep relationship makes so vulnerable and susceptible to being hurt.
  5. People That Need Saving. People who have dealt with addiction sometimes gravitate to people we think ‘need to be saved’. We take it upon ourselves to change and save this person. If they eventually do, we will prove to ourselves we are worth love and worth getting the validation for doing so.
  6. Emotions. Drastic and quick changes in emotions are something children of addicts are used to and have most likely picked this trait up. We are aware of this and blame ourselves for it. We think they are broken and defective. We are used to feeling loved one second and hated the next. Inconsistent emotions and feelings are something we are used to, please be patient with us.
  7. Grief. Children of addicts are grieving. Grieving lost memories, forgotten birthdays, ruined holidays, memorable moments they were skipped, etc. The thing is, we are good at hiding this grief. It doesn’t come out often, but it will. When it does be supportive.
  8. Can’t Say Goodbye. Breakups and goodbyes are not easy for children of addicts. If we’ve opened up to you and shown you a side of us we don’t often show people, we won’t ever want to let you go. We have been programmed to continuously try and make a relationship work, even through abusive situations. If you feel the relationship is toxic, it may be up to you to walk away, because quite often the child of an addict won’t be able to.
  9. Affirmation. Children of addicts are always looking to be told we’re going something right. While growing up, this aspect might have been skipped. So now that we’re older, we will do things to get the affirmation we desperately needed when we were younger.

    Articles I used:
    Children of Alcoholics Have Intimacy Issues
    Dating The Child Of An Alcoholic
    5 Things You Need To Know About Loving The Adult Child Of An Alcoholic Parent



I don’t even know where to start writing. It’s been so long! I thought about writing an update on my life, and then I realized I don’t really have a lot to update you on. I could talk about my recent trip or my recent work, but I haven’t quite found a good enough purpose to write about either of those. I could talk about fitness or mental health, both topics I love writing about, but again, I have not a lot of motivation to do so.

So I have decided to write about something cool that happened the other day. Two of my best friends and I went out for brunch to a local restaurant. We sat, chatted, laughed and ate. We talked about outrageous things that probably shouldn’t be talked about in public and every once in a while our server would catch a glimpse about our absurd topics and giggle along with us. She was the cutest server, that was so personable and honest. She was one of those people that just by talking to her, you could tell how kind she was.

After brunch, we all went along with our ways. I ended up having to go straight to work because we chatted our way into the afternoon. I didn’t check my phone until later that night and saw that I had a direct message. It was from the server we had in the restaurant earlier that day. She reached out telling me she recognized me from school and wanted to thank me for speaking about self-harm.

I love getting messages like that because I often don’t think my writing reaches anyone. I also sometimes find it hard to be so vulnerable in such a small-knit city. It feels like I’m standing naked in front of everyone, allowing my flaws and imperfections to be seen.

She also made a comment in her direct message, that I really needed to hear. Usually, around this time of year, I would be heading into calendar shoot weekend for the professional cheerleading team I was previously on for five years. This means at this time last year I had dieted and exercised my way to the “ideal” body that society would approve of. I would have a fresh tan and freshly highlighted hair.  Not always being able to maintain this body and ‘perfect’ look is a hard reality to swallow sometimes and has definitely been an adjustment for me. Finding a balance has been hard and is something I am definitely continuing to work on.

At brunch, the server had offered to take a photo of the three of us at our table, I laughed and told her: “No thanks, I look ugly right now with no makeup on”. I never really thought much about this comment, I just laughed it off. In the girl’s message, she said this comment hurt her heart. She not only thanked me for speaking out and giving people someone to relate to but she made the great point of saying that: “we often want others to feel this way (beautiful) but forget to remind ourselves”.

I needed to hear this comment. I speak so often about loving ourselves and being positive, I need to step back and be mindful that I am also living this way. I have come a long way from the hate I used to have for the way I looked and the body I was given, but this comment made to realize that I need to continue to work on loving myself and speaking to myself positively like I speak to the people around me.

Sending someone a message is such a simple act but can be immensely impactful.

Remember to take the advice you give others and speak to yourself with as much love as you do to those around you!


The Lessons of Love

I think this post is going to be a lot more for myself, than for you guys (I’m sorry!!). But stay with me for a second. I want to go through all my old types of relationships, and explain what I learned from each of them.

“But Ashley, isn’t that a little cruel and harsh to your exes?”

Well for 1) I won’t use their real names and 2) I have nothing against the people of my past. I’ve come to learn that everyone enters your life for some kind of reason. I think all of them come with some kind of message or lesson.

Let’s begin!

My first love. Everyone has a first ‘love’. That first person that makes your heart flutter, your knees weak and your brain cloudy. I think this one for myself, was full of an important lesson. I wasn’t ready for love. I didn’t love myself enough, to be in love with another. I also couldn’t love someone else, into loving myself. If that makes sense. No matter how much love I could give another, if I couldn’t give that same amount of love to myself it wasn’t going to work. Simple as that. This first love for me could really have been two people from my past. They both taught me this extremely important lesson.

The love that got away. I truly don’t wish this kind of feeling on anyone. I think I could have fallen deeply in love with this person from my past, but my mind was to sick at the time, I didn’t treat them or any other people involved fairly. From this love, I learned that an unhealthy mental state makes you selfish, harsh and cold-hearted. It not only breaks your own heart, but it breaks the hearts of those around. I learned that loving someone with mental health problems is sometimes unbearable and isn’t always fair, especially when the person isn’t ready to get better.

The wrong place, wrong time love. I fell hard and fast into this love, engulfed by the perfect life we had set up for ourselves abroad. This love was in paradise, away from society, away from pressures and away from reality. This love taught me that I didn’t know myself well enough yet. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted my life to go in and I wasn’t ready for that amount of love and commitment from another person. I learned that I hadn’t given myself enough time to learn who I was before I could possibly learn who I was with another person.

The love that tries to change you. This is still a tough love for me to talk about and reflect on. This person tore me down continuously and I don’t think they will ever really understand the damage they did (the fact that I am still in a negative mindset about this person, proves that I still have healing to do). This is the type of love that you never feel good enough for. You never feel pretty enough, or pure enough, or smart enough, or successful enough. This is the type of love that tries to mould you into the person they want you to be instead of loving you for the person you are and the potential you have within your own vision. This love caught me a lot. It taught me that I am enough. It taught me that if a person really wanted to change me that much, they didn’t deserve me. And it taught me that no person should ever feel that they are not good enough for someone.

The empty love. This is the type of love I’ve found myself in time and time again. It’s the love that you continually give more than you receive. You put this person first, make time for them in your busy schedule and often get lost in. It’s the type of love that you float blindlessly through, hoping that they will one day give back to you what you’ve given to them. These people left me feeling more empty. They play mind games. They trick you into thinking there is a future and they tip top around the word “commitment”. These people may not think they are doing anything wrong because “we’re just hanging out and having fun”. This type of love is tricky. You can’t convince them to want you as much as you want them. But you also can’t wait around forever. This type of love taught me, that sometimes the only company you need is yourself. Filling voids with people will not do any good in the long run.

I have a hard time letting go of things. I struggle holding grudges against people who have long gone forgotten about me. Holding onto lost love, hurt feelings and other negative things does nothing but hurt yourself. Reflecting on the types of love I’ve endured and felt has helped me realize the type of love I want. It has helped me move on and understand why things happened the way they did, and why certain people entered my life and then left. As hard as heart break is, I think one day it is something I will be grateful for. Thankful that I can share my lessons with you all and appreciative of the love I hope to one day find.

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”

Ellen Goodman