No problem about the long reply. Acne is a complicated topic and is never simple
For the past five years, my diet has been 98% whole foods. I mainly follow the guidelines of the Primal Diet at Mark's Daily Apple. I had allergy tests done and only wheat came up, which I haven't eaten in years. These foods make up the bulk of my diet:
100% grass fed Australian steak
100% grass fed Australian ground beef
Kerrygold Grass Fed Butter
Raw, Organic Pasture Raised Cheddar Cheese (I recently just added this)
Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil - I ensured to buy a quality brand that is certified. I do not cook with it. I only use it on salads and other mixes.
I cook with Nutiva coconut oil.
Pasture Raised Eggs - I cut eggs out for months (6+) at a time and it made no difference in my acne so I do not think I am sensitive.
Spices (tumeric, oregano, cumin, chili powder, etc)
Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
My diet is really basic, but I am sure to only eat whole foods and buy organic and grass fed always.
I get 8 hours of sleep a night, only lift weights for 30 minutes a few days a week and do HIIT sprints. I don't do any chronic cardio.
In the summer, I get 15-20 minutes a day of sun with no sunscreen. In the winter, I take a vitamin D supplement. I take an expensive magnesium supplement as well in addition to K2.
And yes, I have tried leaving my face alone. ALL HELL broke loose lol. Literally the worst breakouts of my life so that is not an option.
For the cod liver oil, I used Green Pasture's Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil blend. Honestly, that helped the most. I was clear at one point for 3 straight months! When I got off of it, the acne returned. The problem is I need to take a pretty high dose and cannot afford it at the moment. It literally sucks all of the oil out of my skin though.
I feel like something involving vitamin A is my best chance at results. Maybe even Accutane. I know its a villain here, but many people with persistent acne used it, and their acne never came back, despite them never finding their true "trigger." This is even true for adults 25+ that weren't teenagers who would have grown out of it anyway.
Before that, I am really considering eating liver a few times a week. That seems like the best way to get cheap and natural vitamin A in me, which my body clearly wants more of.
All in all, it is really frustrating. I escaped with few scars from 14-23, but as my acne got more severe after 24, I have annoying pitting, which bothers me a lot. Who knows, maybe I will finally make that Accutane appointment and see if it works for me. Even if I can manage to keep my acne at bay with all of the diet changes and skincare routines, it still makes me anxious having to stick to it so closely. I would love to just relax for one day, and not worry about when my next breakout is.