After a years-long struggle with cystic acne and undiagnosed Lyme Disease, former InStyle magazine beauty editor Jolene Hart learned to heal herself by changing her diet and harnessing her positive energy. Today, she spreads her message through her brand, Eat Pretty, and her latest book, Ignite Your Light.
In the eighties, my mom founded her own food co-op to get organic foods we couldn’t find in the grocery store. She was holistically minded and a nurse, so she would always link what we were eating to how we felt. I grew up knowing there was a deep connection, a deep power, between me and my food.
Towards the end of high school and into my twenties, I had a lot of acne that turned into cystic acne, large painful pimples deep under my skin. By the time I became a beauty editor for InStyle magazine in the late 2000s, I had also developed eczema. I had access to celebrity facialists, expert dermatologists, and I could sample just about any skincare product line that I wanted. It should have been a dream job, but I was struggling with the pressure I felt to be a face of the beauty department. I was supposed to be glamorous, yet I was covering up my skin every day to hide my acne and eczema. I had a favorite concealer I used so often that when they stopped making it, I asked the company to send me the rest of their stock because I couldn’t live without it.
Whenever I consulted an expert, I’d ask, “Is there anything I can do in my diet? Can I make any changes there that will help?” I was shot down every single time. The doctors would say that there was no connection – just take this pill, put this cream on, do this facial, and come back once a month. I didn’t feel confident in my own intuition yet, and I didn’t have the resources to educate myself more deeply. But having my concerns dismissed didn’t sit well with me at the time, and it wouldn’t sit well with me years later when I would face the medical mystery of Lyme Disease.