Hey yall! Welcome to my mindful glow guide.

I love sharing about ingredients and products I love that have provided effective results in managing melasma without aggravating my sensitive skin and vitiligo.

Please note I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, aesthetician, toxicologist, cosmetic chemist or professional makeup artist 🙂

But I know a lot about what has worked well to manage my skin (with great results and surprise and delight to my dermatologist) and keep my health and endocrine issues relatively under control.

I’ve been into skincare and makeup as long as I can remember – and I have my beautiful mother to thank for that and building a great skincare routine. But I began dealing with hormonal issues – many of which my just start to affect women in there 30’s , 40’s or late 20s – in my teen years. I’m thankful for the doctors and specialists who helped to guide me. But it also made me more mindful of the food I eat and products I consume.

Almost a decade ago I started making more of a concerted effort to look into the beauy products I was buying and products we used around the house. Reducing or removing products with artificial fragrances was a game changer! I then started using more “clean” eco and green beauty brands (there were fewer options back then).

I cringe when I think about how nervous I was and relying too heavily on the EWG skindeep database. I definitely went down more of a fear-based path but have since course-corrected. I now focus on ingredients I love. There are still some groups of ingredients however that I still prefer not to use. Hydroquinone didn’t work for me and my doctors have not recommended I try it again so I don’t use that. Because I don’t think science is settles and we need more time to understand – I don’t use many paraben, phthalates, or products with supposed endocrine disruptors. You may notice a change in town from my older posts to my newer posts as my journey has evolved.

I don’t fear synthetics. But I’ve found some great indie and green beauty brands I love with ingredients that have really helped me. And its also helped me discover more brands that don’t use unnecessary fragrance.

Overall I’m so thrilled to be in relatively good health and I gave birth to a little miracle a few years ago. And my skin might look pretty good from your perspective.

But every day I’m confronted by the vitiligo on my face, hands and elbows, and the melasma and darks spots on my face seem to stare back at me in the mirror. I’m constantly asking myself: is it getting worse? better? Has it spread? Why am I dealing with all this at such a young age? How are all my “issues” related? How do I feel today? What did I eat yesterday? What do I need to change today? What can I do better?

I’m just a 30-something gal in southern California with a decent amount of health baggage – insulin resistance, Hashimoto’s, vitiligo, melasma and frequent neck/shoulder tension, TMJ or sometimes carpal tunnel.

But most days I actually feel amazing!! Besides feeling a bit tired thinking about all this stuff all the time and living a normal life.

I’ve had to actively prioritize my health for the past 16 or so years. I think about this stuff every day and this blog is about sharing what I’ve learned and solutions that work – or don’t.

It’s not super-fun managing all of this, but I’m in pretty good shape:

  • I’m over 18 years removed from constant brain fog, joint pain, muscle spasms, dizziness, fatigue, uncontrolled low blood sugar/insulin response and passing out every day. #winning!
  • I guess that also makes me over 18 years removed from pretending to feel OK every day. Yippee!
  • In hindsight, getting an insulin resistance diagnosis (revelation!!) when I was just a teenager has been a blessing. I wasn’t as diligent with my healthy eating and good habits when I was that young or in my early 20s, but I’m thankful to have had time to learn what works and doesn’t for me. With the help of medication and great healthy habits, my quality of life is exponentially better than it was over a decade ago.
    • Before: I never had a weight problem nor did I have any acne issues. I was actually pretty thin when originally diagnosed because of muscle mass loss.
    • Currently: I’m in my best shape of the past 7 years. I don’t have excess belly fat and I’m not currently PCOS!
    • While my glucose tolerance tests are historically abnormal, my A1C has always been great and the last few results were fantastic!
  • I haven’t had a major hypoglycemic reaction in over 3 years!!
  • I was recently able to reduce my thyroid medication for the first time in a decade!
  • It’s easier for me to eat healthy things because I know I will quickly feel horrible if I don’t!
  • My melasma has gotten less noticeable over time. Slightly. At a snail’s pace…but It’s at least not getting worse! It developed about 15 years ago (not due to hormonal birth control or pregnancy).
  • My vitiligo doesn’t spread too much too often – the only visible expansion is more spots on my hands in the past 2 years (which i’m bummed about 🙁 ). It first developed about 10 years ago.
  • The internet is a great reminder that my melasma and vitiligo may be better controlled and less noticeable compared to others’ manifestations. I also know my melasma and vitiligo will always be more noticeable to myself than others.
  • I’m finding solutions to reduce muscle tension, TMJ and carpal tunnel like yoga, stretching and mindfulness meditation.
  • Eating well, specific amounts of exercise, yoga, stretching and mindfulness techniques have helped to majorly reduce my stress and how I respond to stress over the last year and a half.
  • I live in sunny California – it’s VERY easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle here!

Did I mention I’m also not a professional photographer? My pictures aren’t perfect. And my products have smudges – because I actually have or currently use these products!