My Journey to Clear Skin

Hello! I’m Mitch - the Creative Director of Hannes Dóttir, guest starring on our founder Janis's blog!

Working for a skincare company, I get a lot questions about my skin, especially when I’m introducing Hannes Dóttir to a new potential vendor:

“Your skin looks great…do you use the products?”

“Of course!!! I used to have really bad adult acne, Hannes Dóttir helped get rid of it, and that’s why I work for the company!” 

“I don’t believe it!”

“Believe it sister! It was BAD.”

I’m lucky to have great skin now (thank you Hannes Dóttir!), but that was not the case as recent as 3 years ago. I was one of those lucky teens and young adults who had perfect skin - never a blemish. I received compliments all the time. I look back at photos and see that hight school skin, and say “Goddamn! Look at that glow!” I certainly had other mental psychoses about my appearance and health (major hypochondriac here!!!), and was made fun of for many reasons… but AT LEAST acne was not one of them!

Post college, around 25, my skin changed for the worse. I began to break out all the time. All over my forehead mouth, nose, and chin was a constant cycle of blemishes. As soon as I was hopeful my skin was clearing up, I’d get that tingling sensation that something new was brewing! At first I didn’t really care. I had finally worked through my insecurities about being gay, being a weirdo, and finally felt truly good about not fitting in! At this point in life, acne was a speed bump and I payed no attention…I was an acne optimist!

Fast forward three years - my optimism faded and I decided I was done with acne, but acne was not done with me! I tried multiple dermatologists, stuck to new routines, introduced topicals, lasers, pills, and even a down-payment-on-a-car’s-worth of visits to an acne specialist. NOTHING!!!! 

Feeling discouraged, I was complaining about my skin at a family golf tournament. My aunt Janis, who happened to own a skincare company for the last 25 years, demanded I try her products!

I thought, “Hmmmmm, OK! Why haven’t I already?” At the time, Janis lived in wine country California, so she mailed me a set of products the following week. 

I received my package in the mail with a loving note. I excitedly tried Seamasque for the first time since I was 5 years old! (Tangent - Janis had her psychic vision that delivered the formula for Seamasque when I was about 4 years old. I remember getting a zip-lock back of green goo in the mail and playing with it like Gak!) When I rinsed the mask off, I experienced a new sensation. I could feel my skin breathing! Although my acne was still intact, my skin looked brighter, smoother, and felt all around awesome! I followed with Mineral Mist and Elixir. I stuck with the routine and used Hannes Dóttir products for the next month. For the first time in years, the majority of my acne cleared! I was so impressed with my progress, I actually quit my job at a design firm to rebrand the company, recreate the packaging, and manage sales! I felt passionate that the world needed to know about these amazing products... and from a designer’s perspective… more importantly, they needed to look pretty on the shelf! 

As I learned more about Hannes Dóttir and my aunt’s natural formulas, I found a passion for holistic living. I did thorough research on our ingredients, and as I compared them to products I used in the past, I was shocked by the toxic chemicals I happily slathered over my face and body.  The majority of our ingredients have antiviral and antibacterial properties, effective in treating acne (eczema and rosacea too!). This research sparked a new found passion for holistic living. If a sea vegetable can cure my acne, what else does mother nature have to offer me? I began yoga to help with stress and a naturopath replaced my physician. My perspective on my body went from a vessel to party to my ticket to a long and happy life. Why did it take 29 years for me to figure this out!?

At this point, my skin was mostly clear and I could see that gloriously glowy high school complexion coming back! I still dealt with the painful, deep rooted blemish that would make an appearance every couple weeks. For the first time I asked myself, “Why?”, and decided to reflect on my diet and internal health. A friend recommended a naturopath and I made my first visit to Dr. Celeste (If you live in Seattle, you have to visit her! She is a wonderful witchy goddess woman!). I told her about my eating, sleeping, and drinking habits. She was in shock! 4hrs sleep a night, 5-7 cups of coffee, irregular eating. We had a lot of work to do! We also did a simple blood test for food intolerances. 

I discovered that I am severely intolerant to my favorite foods - dairy, cane sugar, and brewers yeast (and sleep is so important!). NO! No more cookies, cheese and beer!? Was this a cruel joke? I decided to start slow and eliminate dairy first, to not induce shock. 

Literally within two weeks, I could breath better, had more energy, and my skin cleared up  ALL… THE… WAY.  Bye bye cystic blems! I realized there is no 1-step cure-all for any health issue, acne included. I had to look at what I was putting on my skin, into my body, and how I was treating myself in order to cure myself.

I use my Hannes Dóttir everyday, eat as well as possible, and have prioritized sleep over late-night tv and crafting. My skin is clear, and I feel empowered to heal my own body!

If you deal with acne, look at it from all perspectives. Your first treatment may not be the solution. Be patient and allow yourself the time to heal! Crystal Aura, Seamasque, and Elixir of Minerals are a great first step to clear skin!

<3 Mitch