Elizabeth Endres Finds Healing in Sharing Acne Struggles
By Bella Cacciatore
When Elizabeth Endres and her cofounder, Dale Borchiver, started their fitness blog Sweats & The City in 2016, no one could have predicted that the pair would now be on camera daily sharing fitness, beauty, and lifestyle tips with an audience of 109,000 followers. Although turning her passion into a career is definitely a dream come true for Elizabeth Endres, dealing with adult acne can sometimes put a damper on a job that is tied so strongly to how she looks on camera.
“I really struggled with it,” Elizabeth Endres tells Glamour, recalling her worst outbreaks. “I was going through a lot of health issues at the time too, and it was really isolating. I struggle because, at least for me, I became kind of obsessive; I’d wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, fingers crossed that things had gotten better—but that’s not how it works—and I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Elizabeth Endres says. “I think when I started dealing with my stress and my anxiety, it helped with that as well. It’s all obviously interconnected.”
Elizabeth Endres says she never dealt with acne until she turned 25. “One could argue that makes this whole thing better, or you could say it makes it worse because it really came as a big shock to me when all of a sudden my skin was completely flipped 180 degrees,” she says. Though she still isn’t exactly sure what might have caused this change, she thinks it might have been going off her hormonal birth control. “It’s hard to pinpoint a real skin trigger, which is what makes it so tricky and so vulnerable, but that was the biggest element that had changed for me. So it was likely the cause, but hormonal acne is another kind of beast.”
Elizabeth Endres remembers hoping it would be as easy as switching her products; but after that didn’t work, she looked at what was going on inside her body. “I have a lot of gut issues, and I was on a lot of antibiotics,” she says. “So between the hormones and the microbiome being flipped on their heads, it kind of just caused an eruption. It was really hard for me, especially with social media, to try to hide that or act like everything was good when people are seeing your face every day.”
Eventually, Elizabeth Endres was able to find support where she least expected it. “Slowly but surely I started to open up about it,” Endres says. “That was really healing for me, to share with people and have them be so receptive and inquisitive about what I was doing to heal my acne, because so many people can relate.”
Now Elizabeth Endres has her skin pretty much under control, though it’s been a long journey, she says. At first, she was aggressive about facials and extractions but soon realized that her skin was sensitive, and this could lead right to scarring. She had to be careful with products and, through trial and error, has found a simple routine that doesn’t upset her skin. Most important, though, were the changes she made internally with the help of acupuncturist, nutritionist, and physician assistant Christie Kidd.
Kidd helped Elizabeth Endres to get her acne under control, as well as her perioral dermatitis. “I was maybe 70% there when I started seeing her, but I wasn’t satisfied because my baseline was clear skin. I always compared myself to that, which is hard. That was another piece of this, where I would get these rashes around my mouth, and I couldn’t figure out what it was,” Elizabeth Endres says. “They were so pesky. She really looked at my face like a puzzle: ‘This is what’s going on your forehead. This is yeast. We need Head & Shoulders shampoo for this, this isn’t going to respond to an antibacterial situation. Here we need X, Y, and Z.’ She picked apart my face, and we were putting different topicals on different areas, and it really cured me.”
Like anyone, Elizabeth Endres still has days when she doesn’t feel great in her skin. But when that happens, she has perspective and a mantra: “This too shall pass.” “I apply that to the good and the bad,” Elizabeth Endres says. “When I’m having a good skin day, I also tell myself, ‘This too shall pass,’ because you kind of have to bring yourself back down on both sides. When you really ride on a high, then the lows feel even lower. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t celebrate the highs by any means, but I think it’s good to kind of remind yourself, ‘This might not be the way it always is,’ and that’s okay. It’s not linear.”
Below, Elizabeth Endres shares what’s currently keeping her skin happy.
One thing that I do every month is I see esthetician Nichola Weir, at Pacific Touch, in New York, for an acne-safe facial. She has been amazing, just really calming energy. She would never put anything on my face that would make it react, and I trust her wholeheartedly.
My pillowcase trick
I change my pillowcase more than once a week, because you don’t even think about how much bacteria is on that. I like to keep everything as clean as possible. Also, I don’t towel off my face when I get out of the shower, and this is something Christie [Kidd] is big on. The towel stays wet, so it keeps bacteria—I don’t want that all over my face. My first instinct is to wipe all the water off, and it’s the worst thing I can do. When I leave my face wet and then apply products or topicals, they soak in so much better. That’s been big for me.
I also have a colonic hydrotherapy session every six weeks. I know that’s not directly linked to the face, but the gut and everything is so intertwined. I just find it really helps me to detox.
My skin-safe makeup
In terms of makeup, I got really specific on that and weeded out everything that wasn’t working for me. Because my job is to try things, I got a little caught up in trying all the things that we were sent. That wasn’t meshing with my skin. So all my makeup is BareMinerals. This is not sponsored—I wish it was! I just know that anything I use from them is not going to cause a problem, and that gives me so much peace. For so long, every little thing was causing a flare-up.
My skin care
My routine is so basic now. Everything I use is not in the least exciting. Christie Kidd makes a foaming cleanser that is amazing; it cleans off my skin, but it doesn’t dry it. I also swear by Elta MD’s a.m. moisturizer.