Its like a curse: everything that is the most effective for my skin always makes it worse before it gets better.
I've tried a similar homeopathic remedy: apple cider vinegar. It did not work for meat all.
Sulfur has always worked for me! I soak in es then my skin literally throws up for a bit and then clears up. Im sure if I stuck to a very clean eating diet I could bypass the purge. But I love my chips, pop and chocolate too much.
I am writing about epsom salt as I feel it's greatly underrepresented online and a lot of the information out there doesn't reflect my skin type. So hopefully this will help someone.
About my skin
So I wouldn't call my skin terrible by any stretch of the imagination. Although that's not to say it hasn't greatly impacted my life including my career. I started getting acne around 12. It started to clear up when I became paleo and also vegetarian in my teens. I used to break out daily (2 - 3 new pimples a day) when I was off of my diet and eating crap.
I've always had persistent back acne my entire life. So that when people told me to do "nothing" to my skin, it didn't make sense (and yes, I've tried that). It didn't make sense because I had back acne that I did nothing with my entire life, and it was actually pretty severe at times.
The only thing that has kept my skin under control (without extreme dieting) has been benzoyl peroxide.
Note: I don't recommend the low, gi diet. If you can adhere to it: THAT'S GREAT! Good for you! For me, I CAN'T. I try SO HARD to stick to it. But it's impossible to NOT eat crap. I always slip up. That's why I recommend treating acne from all angles.
My skin now
Again, my skin is not terrible. It's just when I break out, it's usually one or two that are HUGE. Like really inflamed, red, angry zits that can be quite painful and sometimes leave marks (I only have one scar from a zit).
Back to Epsom Salt
Basically Epsom Salt makes my skin way worse before it gets better. It brings all of the crap to the surface, and I break out for 2-3 weeks while constantly on Epsom Salt.
Right now I went through an annual winter breakout when the weather changed (Oh, Canada). Then my house started undergoing renovations and I couldn't eat my proper food (i.e. low gi). So I opted for easier stuff.
That's when I started breaking out and it's been cyclical. All of the Epsom Salts are bringing the crap from inside up.
It's completely cleared up breakouts on my back and I've never been so clear while using it.
What I do is pour some into my bath under hot water, soak for 15 minutes, then do my cleanse with water, put on some BP and moisturize with salicylic acid.
If you want to keep your inside clean and avoid further breakouts, make sure to eat a very clean, low gi diet!
The weather changed, and so did my skin. AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS: ACNE. I got FOUR WHITEHEADS, side by side, on the bottom of my chin. It was burning and felt like my skin was so oily.
Why did this happen?
I really want to touch on this point: DIET. Diet has been BY FAR THE HARDEST THING. Crappy food is literally EVERYWHERE. If it's cheap and easy to get it, it's probably really bad. And we all know that.
It's common sense, I get it.
But sticking to that common sense is hard. The past few weeks for me have been difficult with work and venturing on new projects. In that time I've sacrificed taking proper care of myself and eating nutrient rich food. Instead I opted for McDonald's and potato chips.
It's kind of dumb that I keep doing this to myself. But at least I know what to bring myself out of this mess.
Both of the huge puffy zits beside my nose bled like crazy last night. I woke up with blood all over my cheek! The swelling and redness has subsided. The rest of my face is clear. I can tell I am headed in the right direction.
It's funny how I started this log with being "fuck this holistic crap." But then found that it was actually a huge piece in keeping myself clear and preventing new breakouts.
By eating a low GI diet and cutting out milk, I was able to kick acne for good in the butt!
It's weird that I read this topic, I just started using them!
I add them to my bath. It caused my skin to purge and it looks like a mess. It's been about a week and it's starting to clear. I don't know if I'm a huge fan of products that make me breakout at first!
Note to self: check in on acne.org when I am clear. I am upset with my skin condition right now. Especially since I came off months of having great skin. I went through the Winter dodging plenty of bullets and didn't suffer any big breakouts like last Winter when I was eating red meat and sweets a lot. Then by the end of it I really started to pig out. It all finally caught up to me and I am left with a couple zits by my nose and a reocurring whitehead under my lip.
The zits beside my nose were deep. One came out pretty quickly, the other one was pink for days. Both swelled up. The one that came out quickly healed and wasn't much of a problem. The pink one finally came to a head yesterday after a week of being an annoying pink lump. I've been mirror watching it simply because it is so painful and I am curious to see if it came to a head. I know that once it gets a whitehead, the pain and swelling subsides. This one has two whiteheads.
Last night I went to go check on it in the mirror, and one of the whiteheads became loose, and was wet and sitting on top. So I took a toilet paper piece and gently wiped it off. Then, a minute later, all of this blood came pouring out of it. I was cleaning my floors at the time so it splatted on the floor and was like a horror movie.
Really horrific. It just sucks I spent my entire weekend taking care of this breakout. Almost caring too much. It completely took over my life. I had to work yesterday with the public. No one cared, but I did. I felt like a leper.
I found my last post to be pretty unclear. I was clear for months and then I broke out. What led to the breakout:
1) Stress from work
Work has been insane. New projects, new employees, all very stressful.
2) Refined carbohydrates and dairy
I haven't been eating as well as I should simply because of laziness and time. I became lazy mostly because my diet has been garbage. So it's taking a lot of work pulling myself out of this funk. But packing a really healthy meal for lunch makes all the difference!
3) Not taking my vitamins
I stopped taking Vitamin D and Zinc. I thought it was getting too expensive and I was, again, too lazy to go to the store and get them!
4) Not enough sunlight
It's Winter. By the end of Winter I always break out. I feel this has to do with the cumulative effects of not getting enough sunlight.
I find that when it starts getting more humid and the seasons change, I always get a bit sick. I consider acne the equivalent of catching a cold.
6) Epsom Salt Baths
I started doing this to clear up my bacne. It brings all of the crap to the surface, luckily BP is there to kill it off.
Because it's Summer, I started swimming again. The chlorine has a detoxifying effect on my skin. It brings all the crap to the surface.
8) Switching products
Spectro Acne Care is no longer at Shopper's Drug Mart. Therefore, I had to make the switch to Clearasil. I like it better because it dries much faster and soaks into my skin a lot quicker.
Things I do to solve it
Let me tell you, it's a lot of work pulling yourself out of this. My body just feels so run down.
1) Drink lots of water
Yesterday I spent the entire day peeing. Not even a joke.
2) Epsom Salt Baths
The same thing that broke me out I am continuing. My breakouts from this have subsided. What it does is it makes all the infections on my skin very, very red. That is the blood flow going towards them. If it's a deep infection, it begins to swell and swell some more. The blood attacks the infection and it puffs up. Then over a few days, it brings the infection up as a white head. I have never, ever been more happy to see a whitehead in my life. It's actually quite terrifying seeing your skin look like crap and wondering if it will ever come to a head!
3) Green Smoothies
Back on the train again, as I was before, but this time switching it up with spinach and kale. Not just kale.
4) Vitamin D and Zinc
I take about 100mg Zinc and 5000 IU Vitamin D. I will cut back once I'm clear again. I find this has a really positive effect on the oil slick that was my face before. I literally could FEEL the oil on my skin, now it feels so dry and normal again. I am attribute this greatly to these vitamins.
5) Dan Kern Regime TWICE
Since it's humid, I can pick the regime back up twice again. I may cut back/get lazy once my breakouts are clear.
6) Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight
Love that stuff, give me more.
I find that after sleeping, my acne looks like it progressed quite a bit.
8) Clean towel
Sleep on a clean towel.
9) Avoid tight clothing
10) No dairy or refined carbs
I should state that I'm avoiding all dairy and simple carbohydrates to stablize my blood sugar.
11) Laughing more
12) Getting over yourself and putting yourself in social situations
In sum, I know this sounds like a lot. And it is like a full time job taking care of myself. But if I had simply kept it up with the whole diet thing I wouldn't have found myself in this mess!
Just want to say that going over my regime logs, it's almost like nothing is working for me. But I have had clear skin for months on end. Like literally 6 months straight at times. I only ever come on here when I'm broken out, giving the perception that nothing is working.
When the reality is, it is working. I just have to keep positive. It seems as though I'm prone to self-sabotage. Like, I know I shouldn't be eating copious amounts of grains/dairy. But I do. I love it. And then I break out. Always. The cycle continues.
It's like I hold off slipping off for so long, and then I say to myself, "Just this once." And then I eat it. Notice no breakouts. And think, "Well I can sneak a bit more." And then I do that a few more times. Then I have a full on binge a few times. And then BAM: BREAKOUT. Go on acne.org, read my log, and go back to what I was doing.
THANK YOU for the thread! I am going through a cyst right now and I am trying to find out what changed in my diet. Among eating very badly and having more oily skin, I realized I also stopped taking Vitamin D supplements. I started back a couple days ago. I, as well, have noticed a change in the oil in my skin.
It's funny, when I went to Australia and Phoenix, my skin was so clear. I used to get comments on it. It felt great. Then, when I moved back to Canada, it always got much worse, especially in the Winter. I definitely think there is a correlation here.
Thank you for thread and the great reminder. Vitamin D supplementation here I come!
Checking in again. So that cyst that I had last time turned out to go away really quick once it came to a head after a few days. It didn't stick around. That was the last bad breakout I had in awhile. I really cleaned up my diet after that.
But then the Winter came. I dodged a HUGE bullet this Christmas by not indulging at all. But then it all fell apart as the Winter progressed. I was getting acne on my shoulders, but thought, "Hey, at least it's not on my face." So I kept indulging a bit here and there.
Well, the straw that broke the camel's back was when I ate 2 large jars of peanut butter in 2 weeks, had oily garlic bread loaded with cheese a couple times, and all and all just ate more carbs.
I ended up with a cysts on my jawline that aren't noticeable. But I have two right beside my nose that are sticking around and one is large and really painful. It's not coming to a head and is just really red. It's unsightly and painful.
I just want to say that sticking to the diet side of things is really, really hard.
Decided to check in. I have honestly fell off the train a bit. My boyfriend came back home and I've been working a lot. I was in such a good place for a long time and decided to reward myself on multiple occasions with food. And by multiple, I mean almost everyday.
The result was a few pimples here and there. I would get one on my shoulder. Or one on my chin. They were always just whiteheads, never super inflamed.
But then I indulged some more and had ice cream and fries. I ended up with a CYST under my eye that is SO PAINFUL. It's been there for 3 days, and showing a few whiteheads. It's embarrassing.
Honestly, it's just SO hard to stay on a dairy/gluten-free diet. I feel really amazing while on it, so much energy. But it is HARD cooking for yourself all the time and avoiding foods and living a "normal" life. I guess everything in moderation and cheating once and awhile is normal. But I always take it too far and pig out sometimes!
Anyway, I decided to add Vitamin D3 in my diet, around 5,000 IU a day. I noticed that my skin when I eat badly gets oily. Like, I feel the oil slicking on my face. It's not a nice feeling. And this leads to break outs.
When I eat properly, the oil dramatically decreases. I started back on the gluten/dairy-free diet and already have notice a difference, and maybe the D3 is helping, too.
The reason why I started D3 is because I seriously feel like I'm lacking sunlight in my life. I live in Canada and our days are getting shorter and the sun is weak. Last year after Christmas I got a big breakout, and it had everything to do with the sugary treats my family stuck in my face that I couldn't resist and also the lack of sun.
I notice a huge difference when I get a lot of sun. In Australia and in Phoenix when I visited, my acne cleared right up. I don't have time to try to get adequate amounts of sunlight in Canada's winter. So here's to supplementing this year!
After years of being on the regime and seeing great results but still getting pesky breakouts especially if I didn't follow it exactly, I decided to try a low GI diet. Hence why I'm checking in because I cleared my skin with diet, too! My log is in my signature.
I still follow the regime but I also now avoid dairy and refined grains. I do have them on occasion although I really shouldn't because it sometimes leads to a binge and a breakout. But nonetheless, I go right back on the diet and my skin clears right up. Sticking to it 100% and 24/7 is very hard but well worth it.
I also supplement with green smoothies that is basically a way for me to eat more fruits and vegetables since I lead a pretty busy lifestyle and don't want to be in the kitchen all day.
I will say this: the diet is more effective than the regime. And I really, REALLY wish there was more research but telling you to not eat cereal or drink milk doesn't necessary help sell products.
Basically I just cut out the crap and ate better and adjusted my regime.
I am completely clear as I was before the holidays. I really think my skin is connected to diet. I pretty much have to eat like a diabetic.
I think anybody who is serious about getting it under control should start researching diet. I think I wasn't eating enough Vitamin C and eating too much dairy. The day I started eating more Vitamin C the breakouts stopped and I started to feel a lot better. Definitely going to keep up the green smoothies!
I just wanted to say that I broke out. Really badly.
I can attribute this to a few things. The weather jumped from really warm and humid to cold and dry. I found my skin breaking out in my laugh lines (I had about 4 pimples develop there). This made me realize that I was smiling too much (go figure) and that my skin was cracking from movement. I was quickly reminded to cut back on acne medications. And I did.
Then I broke out on my chin. That I hate. I find the acne down there really stubborn and it spreads like wildfire. I really, really was reminded to take a look at my diet.
Honestly, I got lazy. I started a new job and I pretty much just made all my meals ahead of time that was usually chili made with red meat. I have an intense feeling that red, processed meat (or lean ground beef in this case) is equivalent to milk in terms of hormones and toxins. So take note.
Also I stopped with the green smoothies, but more on that in a bit.
I really only started to breakout when the holidays came around. It was pretty much after I caved and had a chocolate muffin. The NEXT day I got a breakout. In particular the ones around my laugh lines I was talking about earlier.
My immune system got really weak over the holidays. I think people think it's fun to eat crappy food such as low quality chocolate. After cutting back on my acne meds my skin cleared up but then I was reintroduced to crappy foods by my family.
My sister made these DELICIOUS cookies that are made with milk chocolate hershey kisses. I must have had about 20 of them. I told myself that the breakouts would be worth it. Really, it was just my mind trying to rationalize it.
I ended up with a whitehead on my jaw that was by far the most ridiculously big zit I ever had. For some reason it was just all whitehead and no inflammation/redness. Other than that I was pretty clear and though I'd be OK.
I ended up with a sinus cold that lasted a few days and was really just a TON of mucus. Can we say ALLERGIES?
Then this week came. Me and my boyfriend got in a huge argument and I was so stressed out. I have a tendency to scratch my skin in my sleep. I did.
I woke up with a red mark on my cheek. I really thought nothing of it since I was more concerned about my chin that kept producing whiteheads at this point probably from all the crap I've been eating.
OKAY, and here's where it gets bad: that scratch became infected. It grew into a really red, angry zit that is the size of a penny on my upper cheek. The ENTIRE THING is coated in a film of pus. So weird. It just kept spreading and infecting the pores around it.
FIVE DAYS later it finally hardened and fell off in my sleep (last night). I woke up with just a bunch of redness and swelling. Then I took a shower and the steam I guess opened the pores a bit. As I was getting out it began to tingle again and I looked in the mirror and saw it forming some more pus right before my eyes.
Disgusting. I really can't even bring myself to take a picture of the condition of my skin. I know it's not that bad but I'm really upset with myself that I let it get to this point due to my laziness.
Things that led to this breakout:
-stress (fighting with my boyfriend, holidays, family, traveling, work)
-diet (low quality chocolate, sugar, white bread, red meat, dairy, NO GREEN SMOOTHIES)
-acne.org (the regime in the winter cracks my skin too much)
-lack of sunlight
-low immune system
So yes, I can't tell whether it's a blessing in disguise that my skin is a direct reflection of what is going on in my body. But either way it sucks and I'm depressed about it. I just want my skin to be clear like it was for months.
I really wish I could come back on here and tell everyone how amazing my skin is STILL, but the fact is, I'm human and make mistakes. I'm also dealing with a disease that will always be there and is just being prevented.
Things I am doing to make it better:
-adjust my regime to 'winter mode' (i.e. once a day, cut down on BP (don't worry, I've done this before with incredible results))
-get more sunlight (go for walks at lunch)
-not so hot or long showers
-reintroduce Kale and green smoothies (I swear my skin already feels less oily and pores tighter)
-work out problems with my boyfriend so less stress (we haven't fought in a few days because we worked it out)