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Been A Long Time Coming...

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Regimen 12/22/2011

Face Reality

Diet 12/22/2011

Low-calorie Paleo (NO dairy) and intermittent fasting.

Sources of flareups:

  • Acne cosmetica. However, I can use mineral makeup without problems.

    • Harsh cleansers. I appreciate a non-sudsing (or just gently sudsing) form of facial cleansing that removes superficial debris while not leaving a residue on the skin. Note about sulfates: yes, they can be irritating, but most people can tolerate synthetic detergents. It's the amount of exposure to the detergent that matters. Sulfates, at an extremely low concentration in your cleanser, applied for no longer than 30 seconds will not be detrimental. I will say that sulfates neither benefit your skin nor destroy it. If possible, forgo detergents if your skin can maintain itself without it.​

      • Spot treating. By smothering inflamed popped actives (essentially open wounds) with creams and clays, you can potentially prevent actives from healing during the most critical hour time: sleeping. Spot treating should be limited to anti-inflammatories (icing or honey, as an example). Only leave spot treatments on no more than an hour, and let the skin breathe and heal. The spot treatment will not heal the pimple--only your skin can do that. Spot treating should encourage the healing process.

        • High glycemic load. Having experimented with low-glycemic diets about 4 times, the last 2 finally doing them right, I've figured out that extremely low glycemic diets clear my acne up immensely. Think about it this way: in the same way that going to the gym is pointless if you come home and eat a cake, consider the same for skin. Don't expect your new mask to do you any favors if you're eating junk all day.

        [*]Over-moisturizing with deadening emollient moisturizers. (I used to try benzoyl peroxide while simultaneously moisturizing with thick creams, however I've come to understand both these products don't work well together. If you have similar problems with minimal progress using BP, you might be well suited to try a gentle 5% BP gel and moisturizing with a light gel (like aloe). Make sure you are careful ramping up your usage of BP, or else you will experience intense dryness. Only ever use about a nickel amount on the face and neck, if your neck can withstand it.)

        [*]Overusing active ingredients. Active ingredients should be limited. In reality, most topical medications provide sufficient results with minimal exposure. The effectiveness of the product is not really based on the highest amount you use; actually, the negative side effects (dryness, redness, irritation, "raw" look and sensitivity) are more dose-dependent. Therefore, you will not get good results from overdosing with harsh product. You will only damage your skin. Effectiveness doesn't increase with dosage--side effects do. So be kind.

        My experience:

        Going to a nutritionist for your acne

        The truth: of all the knowledge a nutritionist can give you, that and even more is available for free. You do not have to pay a nutritionist $150.00 an hour for basic fundamentals. I also believe it is better to research for yourself. It is much safer to get primary over secondary sources of information.

        Here's some suggestions where to begin (you don't have to do ALL of this, but if you're completely insane and want to do all of it, go for it. It's listed by priority):

        1 Cut out major allergens. This includes dairy, gluten, wheat, soy, and maybe eggs.

        2 Cut out processed food. No more cakes, cookies, pies, pastries. No fast food. No more grains either, like breads, oatmeal, rice, corn. Replace processed, syrup drinks with water and tea.

        3 Cut out as much sugar as possible. Eliminate fruits high in fructose. Only eat the fruits with the best fiber-to-sugar ratio, like cherries and berries. No juice. I should note, bananas are OK--and although not a fruit, potatoes are OK (refer to Archevore's blog).

        4 Eat high-quality (and humanely slaughtered) animals. Make chicken is organic and hormone free, the beef is grass fed, and the fish is wild. If you're going to eat pork, make sure it's uncured and nitrite-free. Avoid tuna from a can and cold cuts (deli slices).

        The above steps will help insulin resistance or hypoglycemia; you'll have eliminated wheat and sugar and surely are eating foods low in carbs, which can help alleviate gastrointestinal issues and regulate bacterial overgrowth like Candida; and finally, you'll have added in animal foods that help re-balance your omega 3 fats, which will prevent inflammation.

        5 Make nutritionally dense vegetables apart of your diet. Broccoli, kale, chard, are spinach (leafy greens) are all good.

        6 Get a food sensitivity/intolerance test. This way, you can see if you are allergic to things like dairy and eggs. If not, feel free to drink raw milk and farm-fresh eggs. An elimination diet could work too (though not as accurate).

        7 If you like, add in supplements. Specific vitamins, probiotics, and fish oil capsules (or evening primose oil if you react adversely to fish oil); herbs like saw palmetto and agnus castus; natural DHT-blockers, and so on. Ginger and turmeric for inflammation too.

        Any persisting inflammation should be completely eliminated, once you have given up food intolerances. Supplements can repair vitamin and mineral deficiencies, restoring balance to the body.

        People I like on nutrition:

        Mark Sisson

        Sean Croxton

        Robb Wolf

        Loren Cordain

        Kurt Harris

        Chris Kresser

        William Davis

        Petro Dobromylskyj (Hyperlipid)

        Stephan Guyenet

        Brad Pilon

        Zoe Harcombe

        Martin Berkhan

        Skincare Kits

        Most skincare kits employ very basic ingredients: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, glycolic acid and so on. Often times the kit will have a salicylic wash and benzoyl peroxide moisturizer. ProActiv has a sulfur mask, and I've heard this indeed does work. But, overall, most skincare kits do not have lasting results. Kits, like AcneFree and Noxema, usually damage the skin and makes breakouts worse.

        This is my point: do not rely on kits. It's important to customize a regimen for you.

        Note that, a normal regimen would have the following setup:

        1 cleanser, rinse

        2 mask, wash off

        3 tone

        4 exfoliate with any liquid toners

        5 serums

        6 sprays, mists

        7 moisturizers

        8 healing powders (daytime) or spot treatments (nighttime)

        (Steps 3-6 tend to be considered the "water-based" part of your routine. Step 7 is the lipophilic, or "oil-based"part of your routine. Oils, moisturizers and so on are step 7. It's a good idea to order your products based on this characteristic.)

        You do not need every step here. Anything beyond 3-4 steps means your regimen doesn't have great products to begin with.

        Ingredient Mislabeling

        Some companies do not label their ingredients properly, nor do they guarantee quality. It is extremely important to trust the company you buy your products from. I believe the skincare company Aubrey received a lawsuit for this. Here

        Beauty products are far less regulated than you might think, and now several popular companies are being sued over their use of the word “organic.” While manufacturers claim their products are more natural than that of their competitors, a watchdog group found many products don’t have the required amount of organic ingredients, and some even contain potentially toxic chemicals.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

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Cleanse, rinse, apply eucerin spf moisturizer, and then massage in some foundation to just give my skin a glow. I wouldn't use it to cover blemishes (because I would have none!). Maybe add a bit of blush, and that's it. Okay, maybe a bit of eyeshadow. Who knows.

HEAVEN IN A POST :clap:

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I love the way that you type. You are witty. It makes me want you to post more! :) I had so much success with Accutane since I would frequently get the painful, hard to the touch, cystic acne. Also, I had hormonal acne since my acne is caused by too much testosterone in my system. I finished Accutane in March and use Spironolactone and birth control to keep my hormones in line. I can't help the imbalance of hormones because it is my genetic destiny. My mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother all had/have the same problem and luckily, they passed it down to me. I grow a ton of hair and have full eyebrows and thick, brown hair and tan very easily. I naturally produce a lot of melanin. Apple Cider Vinegar and milk have worked well for smoothing my complexion and evening out leftover hyperpigmentation from previous acne. I am having a lot of success with natural products and am kicking myself for wasting so much time on makeup, drugstore acne fighters, and chemical peels while I *still* had active acne since the acne came back anyway. The best part for me is being able to roll out of bed and apply a few coats of mascara, some eyeshadow, and lipgloss and be on my way. It takes 5 minutes to do makeup instead of 90 minutes. It is such a relief and is very liberating.

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I love the way that you type. You are witty. It makes me want you to post more! :) I had so much success with Accutane since I would frequently get the painful, hard to the touch, cystic acne. Also, I had hormonal acne since my acne is caused by too much testosterone in my system. I finished Accutane in March and use Spironolactone and birth control to keep my hormones in line. I can't help the imbalance of hormones because it is my genetic destiny. My mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother all had/have the same problem and luckily, they passed it down to me. I grow a ton of hair and have full eyebrows and thick, brown hair and tan very easily. I naturally produce a lot of melanin. Apple Cider Vinegar and milk have worked well for smoothing my complexion and evening out leftover hyperpigmentation from previous acne. I am having a lot of success with natural products and am kicking myself for wasting so much time on makeup, drugstore acne fighters, and chemical peels while I *still* had active acne since the acne came back anyway. The best part for me is being able to roll out of bed and apply a few coats of mascara, some eyeshadow, and lipgloss and be on my way. It takes 5 minutes to do makeup instead of 90 minutes. It is such a relief and is very liberating.

Ha, thank you for the complement! Also, you sound completely different than me, which probably help explains why Accutane worked so well for you and horribly for me. I have very thin, fine hair that's blonde/red and thin eyebrows, and I'm extremely pale with pink undertones. I have freckles and everything, but I'm not a ginger! I barely produce any melanin. I've actually tried ACV, as I tend to have post-inflammatory erythema (not hyperpigmentation), and ACV tends to just make me tear up because it's so fumey. Didn't help my complexion much, which was surprising considering so many people have success with it. How do you use milk in your regimen? Do you make a toner of ACV and milk or something? And also, do you use pasteurized or raw milk?

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I just looked up post inflammatory erythema. I am confused. I feel like I have PIE instead of PIH... my marks don't turn brown or black after the zit is gone. They are actually bright red and later turn pink and later fade away. On some days, they look a lot worse, especially when my face is more moist and especially after taking a shower. I think my left over marks have a lot to do with the blood vessels... this is weird! I always thought I was suffering from PIH when it might be PIE..?

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Yeah! I had the same realization. I didn't know the difference for a while, because everyone talks about PIH. PIH is pigmentation, PIE has more to do with your traditional post-acne marks. Mine are more red after a hot shower or doing something irritating. Also, if you know this, then know that most "lightening serums" are meant to tackle the excess melanin, not what we have!

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Yeah! I had the same realization. I didn't know the difference for a while, because everyone talks about PIH. PIH is pigmentation, PIE has more to do with your traditional post-acne marks. Mine are more red after a hot shower or doing something irritating. Also, if you know this, then know that most "lightening serums" are meant to tackle the excess melanin, not what we have!

It definitely has to be PIE. It makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for helping me make that realization!

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No Problem Sima!

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