If you’ve ever spent an unreasonable amount of time comparing brands and Googling reviews in the supplement aisle of a Whole Foods or Sprouts, you’re not alone. One day I find myself desperately hunting down apple cider vinegar. The next, it’s Aloe vera, or chlorophyll, or spirulina, or whatever. It’s confusing and costly, but I can’t quite convince myself to give up on the search.
You see, I suffer from an embarrassing case of hormone-provoked adult acne. I had breezed through my teens and early twenties with unscathed skin until the second I turned twenty-five and then bam. Renée Rouleau’s detox masque was helpful at keeping the problem at bay, but I felt like the problem went beyond skin-deep. I was at my wit’s end with whiteheads.
So, when a new Dallas-based company called Indur reached out to me, I was willing to give it try. Essentially, the brand offers relatively inexpensive blood tests (they range from $285 to $925) which you can have done at any blood testing facility (there are a ton in Dallas) to test up to 107 biomarkers in your body. When your results come in, your Indur account is updated with an intense dashboard, mapping out where you’re killing it and where your body could use a little help. I did the “Transform” test, which tests 88 biomarkers, and received my results about two weeks later. I was instructed to take more vitamin D to fight fatique, eat healthy fats to help my cholesterol levels (something I had been concerned about after getting a result from my annual checkups, although my doctor never addressed it.) Not surprisingly, my hormones (progesterone especially) were majorly flagged on the dashboard. They were all over the place.
I bought every suggested supplement — most from the Indur website (their all-natural, clinically backed supplements are super affordable thanks to their direct-to-consumer model), and the rest from Sundrops by the Knox/Henderson area. People at work probably thought I was at a Chris Traeger-level of insane. I would take about nine pills in the morning, and five in the afternoon. They didn’t even see the progesterone cream I would lather onto the inside of my forearms at night. But I stuck with it, mainly because the results I would see — apart from maintaining energy throughout the day — couldn’t simply be chalked up to the placebo effect. No amount of wishful thinking can clear your acne. My skin would either chill out or it wouldn’t.
And chill out it did! The flare ups halted within days, and the existing acne began slowly but steadily subsiding. I even noticed I was taking fewer afternoon trips to Starbucks for a jolt of energy. The ultimate win was when my sister, who had kindly suggested I see a dermatologist prior to my testing, told me to “keep doing whatever you’re doing” at Thanksgiving. More than ten pills a day may sound like a lot, but I was thrilled I could make an all-natural difference in my skin without prescription drugs or—gasp —Accutane.
“The goal is just to give people more access to their own health,” says founder Brandt Beal, who decided to start Indur after spending thousands on blood testing at a doctor’s office. “We’re giving people very, very specific lifestyle, nutrition, supplementation, and workout recommendations on what they need to do to optimize their body.”
Sabra Hanson, a We Yogis instructor and personal trainer, decided to try Indur after meeting Beal at Equinox. Now she and some of her clients are hooked. “It just fine tunes my whole vitamin regimen,” Hanson says. “I always knew I needed to take amino acids but I didn’t know which ones.” Doing her usual amount of training, she noticed her recovery times were much quicker. After encouraging her husband to do a test, he took forty seconds off per mile during the Dallas marathon last year.
“There wasn’t a whole lot wrong with me, but as far as the energy and the muscle gained since taking the products, that’s what I’ve noticed,” says Hanson. “It’s not so much my endurance and strength, but how I feel.”
You certainly don’t have to be a wellness obsessive to benefit from something like Indur, but you do have to put in some work. It’s an investment to get tested and retested to track your progress, in addition to purchasing the right vitamins you need. You also have to be sure to do the work in the diet and fitness department yourself. But for anyone who’s tired of the trial and error when it comes to supplementing their wellness goals, it’s the knowing that makes Indur such a helpful tool. “There are smoke and mirrors galore in supplement companies. It’s probably one of the biggest industries in terms of consumer misconceptions,” says Beal. “But we just keep it really, really simple.”
My skin is still on the mend, but during a dermaplaning session yesterday, an esthetician told me my acne was clearly healing. I would have taken 50 pills a day to hear that news.