Updated 14th April 2013: supplements changed to B5 only.
Disclaimer: The following post is intended merely as a contribution to the global pool of knowledge and experience of acne, I'm not a healthcare professional. Nothing in this post constitutes medical advice, or inducement or encouragement for sufferers to take any course of action, I am simply putting my own experience into the public domain. How you use this information is entirely up to you. Any consequences of your use of this information is entirely your own responsibility.
Please scroll down and read the FAQ before posting questions -the chances are it's already been answered. I get a lot of emails asking me for information already posted -please be a good egg and check first. Thanks!
Hello and welcome to my regime!
Hopefully by reading and adopting this treatment plan you will take a major step towards dramatically improving your skin and your life. I don't make that statement lightly -people from all over the world have done just that:
"My mild acne is completely gone (it took about 10 days), my blackheads are 90 % gone (I had a LOT of them) and my skin looks better than ever. I am 39 years old and I have never had so clear skin!"
"'I've been using this regimen for about 2 weeks and honestly, my acne never looked better than it does now!"
"I've been doing this regime about 16 days so far...pretty much all my body acne has gone."
"My skin looks better than it has in a long time."
"My skin and eyes are glowing."
"My skin feels much smoother."
"My skin is healing very quickly and swiftly in comparison to before."
"When I look in the mirror every morning all I can say is WOW...PLEASE, PLEASE give this a go because it has worked a treat for me"
"My oily skin has reduced by 85% and acne is 70% gone"
"My oil production has stopped completely!"
"I'm now addicted to the fantastic energy boost that juicing each morning gives me.."
"Skin started smoothing out almost immediately....I've received compliments from family about how nice my skin looks."
"Vast improvements...my acne has gone from cystic and relatively severe to much more mild and not at all cystic in just over 3 weeks."
"The combination is a winner...It's been 9 weeks so far and I'm very pleased with the outcome."
"I have been on the regimen for 4+ months. my stubborn moderate acne is 100% under control, my skin is 95% clear at all times...my skin is softer, and so smooth, literally not a bump on it."
"I'm almost at 30 days and continue to see great improvements!!"
"THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!"
I know first hand the devastation that acne can wreak in people's lives -I had cystic acne from age 14 to 40.
I have been clear for over 4 years now and this is how I did it. If I managed it, I am convinced that you can too. These steps transformed my quality of life and I hope they can help other people.
There are 4 simple steps:
1. Vegetable juice.
2. Removal of sugar from diet
3. Low B5 supplementation
4. Increased water consumption
After 26 years, I became convinced that intractable adult acne is the result of a systemic failure in the body.
If topical treatments could work for you, they would have worked by now. You wouldn't be reading this page. Accepting that fact is not easy for some people, but it is the crucial step in adopting an effective holistic program. It's what I did when I turned 40 and how I managed to clear my skin.
I am not a doctor or a dermatologist or a nutritionist. I am regular guy who created this regime from reading and researching what other people had found out and combining it.
I simply asked myself two questions:
What has come up again and again as producing the best results?
Is it possible to combine it into one program?
The hypothesis behind this program is that there is a synergistic effect between all four elements, in that the power of the regime as a whole is greater then the sum of the parts. If you omit any one element then you are undermining the logic behind the treatment and hampering your chances of success.
1. Vegetable juice.
THIS IS THE KEY ELEMENT OF THE REGIME!
I bought a jucier for £100 (about $160). Every day I make up 1 pint of vegetable juice. I generally drink it on an empty stomach. Among my favourites are
- sweet potatoes or carrots
- vine tomatoes
- bell pepper
- butternut squash
- anything else that juices -although dark green vegetetables are often bitter so use sparingly!
But I've come to believe you can pretty much use any vegetables, and in fact, it's much better to vary your juice as widely as possible.
Carrots tend to be the first thing people juice, but I advise restraint. They are high in sugar. I would restrict their use to every other day at maximum. Similarly with beets. If you after beta carotene, it is far better to use sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
Among the very best vegetables for the skin are kale and spinach. Being leaves, a budget juicer won't juice them, you will need to add the juice and the leaves mixture into a blender.
I tend to buy organic because I can afford it, but I don't think it realy makes much difference to the effectiveness of the treatment.
It takes 5 minutes to chop and juice the vegetables, 5 minutes to drink, 5 minutes to clean the jucier. For 15 minutes effort you are taking therapeutic levels of nutrients.
This is a list of the nutrients in a typical glass of juice I make:
and of course, water
10 essential amino acids
Anti-oxidants such as Quercetin, Kaempferol and Lypocene all linked with anti-cancer and anti-heart-disease properties.
Imagine this powerhouse of nutrients hitting your system first thing every day, in a liquid form quickly absorbed by the body. Now compare that to the breakfast you currently eat.
2. Removal of sugar from the diet
I'm not going to discuss the whole sugar-acne thing. All I will say is that I noticed huge reductions in the oiliness of my skin when I cut out sugar.
I stopped all discretionary sugar items: cakes, confectionary, chocolate, soda, sweets, etc.
I didn't go so far as to stop eating processed foods with added sugar, since you have to be practical. Almost everything has sugar added to it. It doesn't matter eating a little -it's the huge spikes in blood sugar that come from eating things like donuts and cola that you want to avoid.
See the FAQ below for why I juice 'high-sugar' vegetables and how this fits in with removing sugar from the diet.
I don't believe in megadosing. I think it's dangerous. I strongly advise anyone considering megadosing vitamins to think again. See the FAQ below for more on this.
I take time release 500mg of B5.
Incidentally, way before the recent B5 studies, it was known that B5 had a beneficial effect on acne even at low doses. Adele Davies in her book "Let's Get Well" (I think published back in the 60s) noted cases that cleared up by taking just this amount -500mg.
B5 hasn't caused me any problems. However, the possible side effects of B5 (mentioned with much larger doses than 500mg I recommend) are related to the fact that it can in theory crowd out other B vitamins. So it is possible in the longer term to suffer deficiency symptoms of other B vitamins. It is therefore very important that you eat a good diet, one rich in B vitamins, and to monitor yourself for any conditions like itching scalp or dry lips. For this reason I now sprinkle powdered wheatgerm into my food once a day. The bottom line is that we all have different metabolisms and what may be okay for me, may be too much for you. I only mention this for the sake of completeness -it's always wise to have as much information about the subject as possible.
4. Water consumption
I increased water consumption by 1-2 pints a day. Hydration of the skin is always beneficial.
Note, however, that I am not advocating forcing down pints of water for the sake of it. I noticed that I would often wake up in the night, thirsty, so I started drinking a pint of water before going to bed. That's all. This meant my body was always adequately supplied with fluids.
The results I experienced
There is no such thing as an overnight cure. We've all read posts along the lines of "WOW! I started taking xxxx on Monday and three days later my acne has ALL GONE!!" These posts are often well-intentioned but they suffer from obvious problems:
1. You need to be able to sustain a 'cure' for months and years, to have confidence that it really works.
2. No problem in the human body heals overnight. Think about it. When did you last go to the doctor with some ailment and he said to you, "Just take one of these pills tonight, and tomorrow you'll be cured." Even antibiotics, among the most powerful and targetted drugs available, take about a week to ten days to work. And that's on temporary infections. Any problem you've had for years is going to disappear gradually, not overnight.
If you've reached your 30s or 40s with acne, then it's clear that no short term approach will work for you. If there was a short term treatment, you would have found it by now. Only the long term treatments remain. I know that's an unpalatable truth for many people reading this, but it is the truth nonetheless.
It is essential, therefore, that you recalibrate your expectations from seeing results in days, to seeing results in weeks, or months. So many acne treatments promise 'visible results in just five days' but this is not a realistic scenario for adult acne. Accepting that requires a fundamental shift in your mindset.
With that in mind, here is the timeline I experienced:
1. Five Days
Energy levels much higher. Elevated mood levels. No visible skin benefit.
2. Two Weeks
Skin felt unusually soft, smooth and younger-looking. Noticeable oil reduction. No improvement to acne.
3. Six weeks
Oil overproduction no longer a problem. Number of existing lesions diminished. New acne still appearing but heals faster.
Unsolicited comments from people about how well I was looking.
4. Three months
Acne had completely disappeared, and has never returned.
Note that this is my experience. Some people have reported faster results than this, others slower.
FAQ (periodically updated as new questions arise)
I strongly advise you to read this FAQ. It covers a lot more ground than the basics above.
I've been through all these so-called 'cures'. Why is this one any different?
I'm not saying I can cure your acne. What I can say is that it worked for me and I had cystic acne for 26 years. If it can help me it is almost certainly able to help others. You may be one of them.
Who are you and how did you develop this program?
At the age of 40 I decided that I was going to try my best to kill my acne once and for all, and rather than hopping about from one quack remedy to another as I had done for the past two decades, I would develop a logical treatment based upon the best available clinical and anecdotal evidence. I concluded that if I could combine the elements most likely to help into one program then I would stand the best chance of a 'cure'. From searching the internet and reading widely a consensus of opinion emerged: sugar-elimination, vegetable juice, B5 supplementation.
I'm not a healthcare professional. Nothing in this post constitutes medical advice. I am simply putting my own experience into the public domain. How you use this information is entirely up to you.
So how does it work?
I'm not a scientist. But my hypothesis is that the elements of treatment work together to create a more powerful effect than the sum of their parts.
But it's basically healthy eating, right?
No. Just eating 'healthily' won't work because there are not enough nutrients in whole food (and they are absorbed too slowly) to fix the problem. Juice is like a mainline of nutrients over and above regular meals. Juicing is not a substitute for poor meals. You still need to consider the amount of fibre, omega 3, calcium, etc that you are getting from whole food.
Also, when people talk about eating 'healthily' in connection with acne, they nearly always focus on food elimination, and not food inclusion. Cutting out suspected trigger foods is not healthy eating. The key is the nutrients you supply to the body, not what you remove.
In what ways does your regime differ from all the other threads here about diet?
It doesn't. My regime concurs with the basic principles of most dietary-based approaches. That's because I took the elements that crop up again and again and put them into one regime. There is an increasing body of evidence to support these principles, rather than them just being someone's opinion. For a recent article, go here:
However, where I diverge from other views on diet is that I don't think it's possible to cure acne by removal of foods from the diet. Although there is the occasional person on these forums who achieved clear skin through stopping eating bread, for example, I think these cases are very rare. For most of us, the key is what you DO eat, not what you DON'T. Vegetable juice will have more effect in your skin than stopping bread, chocolate, dairy, processed foods, meat combined.
Will it work on teenage acne?
In principle, I don't see why not.
But common sense would suggest that there is something fundamentally different going on between the 90% of teenagers who get acne and the 5% of 35 year olds.
Furthermore, all the doses (and that includes the juice) are meant for adults. Not matter how grown-up you may feel, teenage physiology is not the same as that of a thirty or forty-year old. You are still growing. Your internal organs are not the same size. Your hormonal situation is different. You don't have the same tolerances. Most prescription drugs usually stipulate a reduced dosage for children under 16 or under 12, or sometimes it's not allowed at all.
So, I'm not recommending it for people under 18. It's listed under 'Adult Acne' for a reason.
Please do not disregard this advice. If you choose to, then whatever you do, make sure that you cut the doses by at least 50%. And that includes the juice.
The more juice I drink, the better, right?
No! Doing anything to excess is not a good idea. Don't exceed my recommended dose.
Can I drink commercial vegetable juice like V8 instead of making my own?
No. Commercial juices have been centrifuged and pasteurised to destroy bacteria. This also destroys many of the nutrients. They have also been bottled many weeks, if not months, in advance. This also degrades the nutrient content. Furthermore, juices like V8 usually have high levels of added salt which is bad for you. Freshly-juiced vegetables from commercial juice bars are fine, but relatively expensive.
Can you recommend any juice recipes?
I'm not bothered what the juice tastes like; I just want the nutritional benefit. But if you want the juice to taste delicious, there are plenty of juicing websites with recipe blends.
Your juice seems very high in sugar. How does fit in with removing sugar from your diet?
The average American eats just one vegetable per day (and the average Brit, let's be fair). But they also eat candy bars, soda, and all manner of other very-high sugar foods. By removing these and juicing more vegetables you are still taking far less sugar and getting the intense nutritional benefits of vegetables. The only high-sugar items on my list are carrots and beets. Most vegetables are not high in sugar.
Can you recommend a juicer?
I use the L'equip 110.5, which has been highly recommended by many juicing websites. It's well built, easy to use and clean, has a decent warranty, and is reasonably priced. It does the job.
I would not advise buying a juicer from a department store on the recommendation of a sales person. They'll sell you any old tat, often models that are difficult to clean or not even specialised juicers, but food processors which don't do a great job.
The main things to consider are:
1. How easy it is to clean?
If it's difficult to clean you wont want to use it. You should be able to do the whole thing in 5 minutes. This is the main thing to check out.
2. How noisy is it?
If you've got close neighbours you're not going to be able use it at the crack of dawn.
You don't have to spend a fortune to get a workmanlike juicer that will last a number of years. I recommend spending about £160 (US $100) on your first model. If that sounds like a lot to you, think of it this way. If it lasts 3 years, that's just $1 a week for probably the single greatest thing you can do for your skin (and your health). Now think of other things that you normally spend $1 a week on. Which is more important?
If you are on a budget, then it is possible to juice using a normal food blender and then straining the mixture afterwards to separate out the juice from the fibre.
How should I clean the vegetables?
I use a vegetable brush. It is important to clean them well.
Should I buy organic?
I'm in two minds. Part of me suspects that the 'organic' foods you buy from supermarkets are little different to the regular kind. However, I think it's a big benefit if you can source your organic veggies locally from a farm, which I now do.
But I hate the taste of vegetable juice.
Carrots and beetroot are sweet, not bitter. I think my blend of vegetable juice is delicious. The 'difficult' vegetables are the dark green leafy ones, which certainly you want to use sparingly. Just experiment until you find a blend you like.
I can't be bothered with juicing -it sounds like a lot of work.
As I said, it takes just 15 minutes. I would also hazard that you probably already spend at least 15 minutes a day on the topical treatments for your skin. This will being bring better results.
Should I drink it on an empty stomach?
Should I drink it in one dose or a half dose twice a day?
Logic would indicate that splitting it into two separate doses would more effective. But then you've got to clean the juicer twice. Your call!
Should I water the juice down?
No. Most of it is water!
I'm worried about not being to tolerate vegetable juice. Might it cause an upset stomach?
The main vegetables I recommend should cause you no problems. But be careful with others. Dark green veggies should be introduced carefully. Others, such as onions, which are irritants, and leeks, can make a glass of juice completely undrinkable even by adding just a small amount. You will discover these things as you go along. It is possible to make yourself feel quite sick by drinking too much of the wrong vegetable (i have done this a couple of times!) so go carefully with those experiments.
Should I add anything to the juice?
Some vitamins are better-absorbed alongside fats. For that reason you may wish to add a spoonful of olive oil. Recently I have taken to adding flax seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds for the fats. But it is rather unpalatable. Olive oil is probably a better idea. You may also wish to add other things like protein powder, etc. Sometimes I add pea-protein.
Some leafy vegetables won't juice. What should I do?
Make your juice, transfer it to a blender, add the difficult vegetable and give it a whizz. You'll have a vegetable smoothie.
Can I make fruit smoothies instead of juicing?
Smoothies use the whole of the fruit, blended into a drink. So it's just as physically difficult to drink a smoothie made with ten apples as it is to eat ten apples! The point of juicing is to ingest more vegetable nutrients than possible through eating. To do that you need to remove the fibre. People are often drawn to fruit smoothies because they find the taste more palatable than vegetable juice, but aside from the aforementioned reason, there is no evidence to support fruit juice benefiting acne. That's not to say that fruit isn't healthy to eat; it's just not part of this program.
What about pizza/alcohol/gluten/pasta/bread etc?
All the salient points are listed in the regime above. Whether you want to drink beer or eat pizza is up to you. Generally I think living a monastic existence when it comes to food and drink is neither desirable nor practical.
So you're not some health nut, then?
You only have to look around you to see couch potatoes with clear skin and athletes with acne. Living a healthy lifestyle is certainly desirable, and one we should all strive for, but I don't actually think it's of specific value when trying to clear your skin. So don't think you have to get up at 5am and go jogging to help your acne.
And this isn't a low GI diet?
No. I have never consciously tried to adopt a low GI diet since it seems too restrictive and difficult to follow to me. That's not to say that I don't endorse the principles of it. You may wish to tweak my approach if you wish to follow a low GI approach.
You've mentioned sweet potatoes a lot in your posts. What exactly are the benefits?
They are amongst the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They always appear near the top of the lists of skin-care vegetables. They are higher in beta-carotene than carrots. They are rich in anti-cancer chemicals. They have proven immune system boosting properties. They are highly anti-inflammatory. And they taste delicious.
Do you drink coffee?
I don't drink coffee. It's not a conscious decision; I just can't stand the taste without sugar. Starbucks will just have to eke out a profit without me.
What about tea?
I'm British! The county would collapse without tea! I'm the same. Although recently I have switched almost exclusively to green tea.
And what about milk? There's some evidence that milk may be a trigger.
I don't drink milk. Again, this isn't a conscious decision, it's just that since stopping sugar, I don't drink coffee. Also, I don't really like breakfast cereal. So I just never drink it. But it was never consciously part of my regime. Perhaps it should be.
But diet doesn't cause acne! My friend eats all the junk food he/she wants and he/she has perfect skin.
Some people (me included) can eat all the junk food they want and they never put on any weight. I'm the same waist size at 44 that I was at 21. Does that mean junk food can't make people fat?
What foods do you emphasis in your diet?
Green leafy vegetables.
Berries -blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries. I probably spend £5 (US $8) on berries daily.
And what about 'bad' food that you shouldn't eat?
I love curry. If I could I would eat curry every day. As it is, I have it two or three times a month.
I also love pizza. But in my opinion, it's probably the most unhealthy food on the planet. So I never order a commercial one. Occasionally I buy one in a supermarket.
Mmm, sugary things! There's no way I could get through the day without M&Ms, a can of Coke, and my aunt Alice's delicious lemon cake. It's going to be impossible to quit those.
You only think it's impossible because you are attaching a positive utility to eating them. If you reprogram your mind to associate sugary food and drinks with negative utility (oily, spotty skin, excess fat, diabeties) then you will naturally want to avoid them. It takes time to reprogram your mind but it can be done. I did the same with cigarettes. Once I changed how I thought about them I never wanted to go near them again. And 14 years later, I haven't. We each have our own 'weakness'. But the human brain is extremely powerful if you know how to leverage it correctly.
Can you elaborate on that?
Most of the time our brains work in our favour. If you put your hand into a flame, your brain sends a message to instantly retract your hand to avoid serious damage to the organism. If you walk into a smoke filled room, your lungs crave fresh air and you try to get out of there as soon as possible. You don't have to think about these things -it's instinctive. The body will always try to get us out of pain and into pleasure as quickly as possible. It is a survival mechanism.
Unfortunately, with cravings also, you are in pain, and your mind will try to get you out of pain (the craving) and into pleasure (the craving has gone) also. It is instinctive too, and works on a very powerful subconscious level. That is the simple reason why WILLPOWER ALONE WILL ALWAYS FAIL. It's why people who try to stop smoking fail again and again because the pain (nicotine withdrawal) is too strong for willpower alone to overcome.
The way to change behaviour is to reverse the pain/pleasure process and get it to work in your favour. If you mentally associate sugar with pain (blackheads, lesions, cysts, oily skin), then your mind will start to work in your favour by trying to get you away from the pain of horrible skin and into the pleasure of not eating sugar and having clear skin. It is then easy to stop. Really. Willpower is not required, since it doesn't take any willpower to get away from something bad. It happens automatically.
Now. To get to this stage is simple, but not easy. You have to reinforce your new way of thinking about sugar until it becomes subconscious and automatic. This means repeating the bad effects of sugar to yourself several times a day. Sounds silly? It works. I advise writing out all the bad things about sugar consumption and keeping it with you and reading through it several times a day. Don't just write down 'spots' -write down the emotions connected to them. Embarrassment, isolation, self-loathing. Really FEEL the pain of those negative emotions. This is the most powerful way to start mental reprogramming since you are experiencing the pain on an emotional level. Tempted to eat sugar? Then run through the list again. You wont want sugar after reading it. It's a chore at first but it yields massive benefits if you manage to see it through. After a while, your mind automatically associates sugar with pain and eventually it never crosses your mind to eat it again. This saves you the futility of fighting cravings all your life.
These are well-known principles of changing addictive behaviour and they really work. I have applied them to several areas of my life and they have yielded incredible results -results that I could never have got through willpower alone- and I advise everyone struggling to change their behaviour to try them. Sounds like too much effort? I understand. But you're trying to change your life here. It's not an easy thing to do. Massive effort = massive results.
That low level of B5 supplementation can't possibly work -you have to take at least 5g/10g etc.
It does work. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence to support the benefits of low supplementation.
I'm concerned about the possible side effects of B5
It's sensible to be concerned. See the section on B5 above.
I can't find B5, can I take Pantothenic Acid instead?
They are the same thing.
I already take other supplements. Can I continue to take them whilst using your regime?
In recent years I've come to believe that supplements are generally not beneficial and may well be harmful. I would advise anyone to take only the barest minimum level of supplements necessary. You may be able to take even less than the B5 and Carnitine doses I describe.
Can't I just take lots of vitamin pills to save me the hassle of juicing?
I have to say that it concerns me greatly to read (albeit well-intentioned) posts from young people treating their acne by megadosing vitamins.
If you research the clinically documented cases of vitamin toxicity caused by megadosing you will be shocked.
Don't be fooled by the fact that vitamin pills are legal products, available without prescription. Cigarettes and alcohol are legal products. Does that mean they're safe? Cigarettes aren't safe at all, and with alcohol it's left up to the user to moderate his or her consumption. Society does not employ legality of a product to ensure safety; it's left up to the user to do that.
The problem is that desperate people do not moderate their usage; they take very high doses. The manufacturers know this -that is why these pills are packaged in high doses. It is a response to demand, not a statement of safe dosage.
Furthermore, don't be fooled by the fact that because these substances occur in nature they are therefore 'natural' and must therefore be good for you. Many things in the world are 'natural' -it doesn't make them desirable. There are all sorts of poisonous plants, insects, fish, etc on the planet. No-one would eat Deadly Nightshade. Or the seeds of the Laburnum tree. So forget the myth of 'natural' = good.
And remember that these pills are drugs. They are mass-produced in factories using artificial processes to synthesize chemicals into pill form, often at concentrations hundreds of times stronger than the richest food source. Just because it doesn't require a man in a white coat to prescribe them does not mean that they don't share the essential qualities of a drug. If you're not convinced of this, remember that the origin of drugs is in the natural world. No-one would deny that opium is drug, and yet it comes from poppies. Heroine is derived from opium. Cocaine is derived from the coca plant. And I'm not just referring to illegal drugs. Many prescription-only drugs are part-synthesized from the natural world.
I know the harmful effects of megadosing first hand, having given myself vitamin D toxicity in my 30s. This was taking 'just' 5000 IU a day. Over a period five months it built up in my system and made me very sick. (Note: there is a difference between the way Vitamin D is synthesized through UV exposure and that gained through dietary sources, this is why UV synthesized Vitamin D will not lead to problems).
My doctor had no idea what was wrong with me. I was in hospital for five days. Did it cause any long term damage? Who knows. I don't want anyone else to put themselves through that.
People have said to me, "Look, here's a website showing Vitamin X is absolutely non-toxic" or "Dr Z states categorically that Vitamin X has never caused any adverse symptoms." Well, fine. But for each one of those, I can show you someone else with a contrary opinion, with different research. The very fact that it's a matter of debate proves that the health risks are unknown. And megadosing is relatively new. It's not until a generation has passed, that we will know the full story. And let me tell you that being able to point to a specific website saying that Vitamin D is perfectly safe is of no benefit if it's you that's sick.
I would strongly advise anyone considering taking megadose vitamins to do some research and think again.
Juicing the amounts I recommend doesn't begin to approach megadose level.
Wow. You sound quite opinionated on that.
I have no particular axe to grind with the vitamin industry. Vitamins are helpful for many people. I'm simply keen to dissuade others from making the mistakes I made.
Do you think a good skincare regime is still important?
Unfortunately most people make this the focus of their treatment, when it really should be a secondary treatment.
So what topicals do you you use, then?
If you ask a hundred people to recommend a skincare product to you, you will get a list of a hundred products! It is futile to ask for recommendations because everyone differs in product tolerance, pH skin values, and oiliness.
For that reason, what you should be looking for is the overall reputation of the manufacturer, not any individual product. Companies that make effective acne skin care products tend to also make a range of acclaimed skin-care products for all skin types.This is no coincidence.
I use a cleanser of clinical grade and a non-oil based rehydrating gel. They are relatively expensive but they are superior to anything you can buy on the high street. That's not to say that these particular products will work for you; but rather that the manufactuer's product range will almost certainly contain a product that will. I'm not going to mention the brand here because this thread is about holistic treatment, not topicals, and I don't want to be misinterpreted as promoting anyone's products. But if you'd like to message me, I will gladly tell you which ones I use.
What about Benzoyl Peroxide?
I stopped using BP prior to starting this treatment. If my program works for you, then you won't need BP either.
MANAGING THE TREATMENT
I've started your treatment and I'm still getting zits. What's going wrong?
Nothing is going wrong. Review the timeline that I mention above. Remember, you are attempting to heal a systemic problem in the body. It takes time. Don't get obsessed over the day-to-day fluctuations in your skin. Much as people like to look for cause-and-effect situations in acne ("I ate a fresh cream cake on Monday, and on Wednesday I've got a big cyst on my chin") I believe that this is merely pattern-fitting out of random data. The only meaningful measure is the bigger picture over the longer timescale.
What's the key to success with your program?
Setting up a routine and seeing it through.
I'm going away for a while. How can I follow this regime whilst on vacation?
If you're going away, then enjoy the break! Don't spend time worrying about your face. Short breaks from the regime won't make any lasting difference. But that doesn't mean it's acceptable to gorge on chocolate. Stick with the main points as best you can. If you want to continue to take vegetable juice whilst away, then I suggest tracking down a local juice bar, if possible. Here in London, there are several specialist juice outlets dotted around, and the better cafes will also do you a nice fresh blend. I daresay it's the same in all major cities. Failing that, emphasise vegetables, where possible, in your diet. Personally, I would rather take no vegetable juice at all than drink V8. As I've said above, I think V8 is of very limited, if any, benefit.
I'm some weeks into your program and I haven't seen any benefit, I feel like quitting.
I know how tempting it is to quit after a couple of weeks and move on to another treatment. It is inherently challenging to continue with programs that appear to be producing poor results. But often the one thing we haven't tried with skin programs is time. I guarantee that there are people who will have read my regime, tried it for a few days, seen a couple of new lesions pop up, then quit, concluding it doesn't work, off to another thread to try that for a few days, and so on. How do I know that? Because I used to be that person!
If you can manage it, try to formally assess the condition of your skin just once a week, say every Sunday night, for twelve weeks. Use objective measures such as how many active lesions, how many are healing, how oily your skin is, etc. Perhaps put this down on a spreadsheet. This will help you see the broader trend over time and keep you on track to the 12 week goal. Only at that point, can you make an informed decision about whether to continue.
I've reached the three month period, I've followed your regime to the letter, and I can't see any benefit whatsoever -now what? (so far, this question has been asked just twice)
Please don't despair. My regime may require tweaking or reworking to find what works for you. That may be just around the corner. What is important is not to respond emotionally and throw in the towel but to take a step back and consider logically and carefully what additional elements you might add, and to give those time to work. Juicing provides a firm foundation on which to base further treatment plans. Remember Thomas Edison, who took 5000 experiments to perfect the light bulb. Or James Dyson, who needed 1000 prototypes to invent his bagless vacuum cleaner. You need to adopt a similar, calm, scientific approach. I know that's easy to say, but it's ultimately the key to clearing your skin.
A couple of areas you may wish to investigate are L Cysteine and probiotics. I've been reading around about Cysteine and some users have reported success with that combined with B5 instead of carnitine. The area of probiotics also looks interesting. My advice is to get a list of your top-4 programs to try, and start at the top and work downwards giving each one program three months. Over the course of a year you will have investigated all of high-probability holistic remedies. A structured and targeted approach has a much greater chance of success. And keep up the juice.
I'm age XX and I feel really depressed and angry that I'm still suffering with this awful skin all these years later, especially when I think about the effect it's had on my life. Why me?
Everyone reading this knows how you feel. Someone once said to me, "You're so ugly I can hardly bear to look at you". There is no denying that moments like that shape you. You wouldn't be human if they didn't.
I can't change anyone's past. But I can hopefully point you in the direction of a better future.
What about stress/masturbation/depression/psychological factors?
Don't get sidetracked from the fact that acne is a physical ailment like a broken leg. Stress doesn't help anyone but it's not causing your acne and thinking about it won't help any.
So what do you look like these days?
Apparently I'm the spitting image of Keifer Sutherland. With a few scars. Although he hasn't aged as well.
Hey, your regime has worked for me. Thanks!
You're welcome! Please put up a post or email me. Reading about other people's success is very inspiring for others new to the program and you can help other people just by letting them know that it helped you. I can then quote your post in the FAQ. I can't get back the years I suffered with acne but I can give those years to other people. That's why I put this up.
So you're not promoting any product or service or website through this post?
No. Unless I figure out a way to corner the world's production of sweet potatoes and cucumber!
Is it advisable to read all of the subsequent posts below this one?
No. I've summarised everything important that's come up from other people in this FAQ (and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future). However, you may find it encouraging/motivating to read posts from other people who have started to juice.
Can I tweak your regime with my own ideas?
Of course. My treatment plan may require tweaking for you to get results. Some people have found that combining my regime with probiotics or cysteine, was the way forward for them. It's not set in stone. The idea is that this thread evolves for people to develop their own individual treatment plans, and share their knowledge with others. It's about empowerment, and not being a passive sufferer in the dermatologist's waiting room!
Any final message to anyone considering your program?
Beating acne is not straightforward. If it was, sites like this wouldn't exist. Succeeding means making it your mission in life, for a short while, to clear your skin. Make no mistake, you will need to summon more resilience and perseverance than the average person. But it can be done. And the benefits of succeeding are so significant that it's worth putting everything you can into it. For that reason it is important to prepare psychologically. Don't choose to start the regime just before Christmas, for example, when you will be surrounded with sugary foods. Make sure you are able to get to the supermarket sufficiently often to buy enough vegetables. Think about what time of day you will be juicing. Maybe buy a new knife or chopping board specifically for the task. Consider keeping the regime a secret from family and friends, to see whether you get any unsolicited comments on your skin further down the line. Preparing well like this will give you the biggest chance of success. Woody Allen once said "90% of success in life is just showing up". Be that person who shows up!
Can I contact you with questions?
Sure. But be a good sport and check it hasn't been answered already.
Edited by wingedserpent, 14 April 2013 - 05:53 AM.