I'm male, aged 42. I had acne from aged 14 to 40.
I have been clear for 2 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 it can help other people.
There are 4 simple steps:
1. Vegetable juice.
2. Removal of sugar from diet
3. Low B5 supplementation with L-Carnitine
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 worked, they would have worked by now. You wouldn't be reading this page. Tweaking cleansers and skin care regimes is okay for teenagers but we're clearly suffering from something far more deep-rooted. I believe very strongly that skin-care regimes have only a very small effect on the problem. I also suffered from acne on my back. I experimented by using no cleansers at all on my back. Result: it was hardly any worse than on my face. You must treat the problem from the inside.
1. Vegetable juice.
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.
3-4 large carrots or sweet potatoes
1/2 large cucumber
1 large beetroot
1 vine tomato
1 bell pepper
1 stick celery
These are my prefered options, but I've come to believe you can pretty much use any vegetables. Make sure you emphasise carrrots and cucumber though.
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 -you're body will love you and will soon show its appreciation (see below).
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. Try it.
I stopped all added sugar, cakes, confectionary, chocolate etc. Everything.
I didn't go so far as to stop eating processed foods with added sugar, since you have to be practical. Let's face it, 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.
I don't believe in megadosing. I think it's dangerous.
I take 500mg of B5 and 500mg of L-Carnitine.
L-Carnitine increases the absorption of B5 so that you can similar effects with taking a lot less. L-carnitine also improves wound healing times.
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.
4. Water consumption
I increased water consumption by 1-2 pints a day. Hydration of the skin is always beneficial.
The results you can expect
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. Otherwise you are using a tiny, statistically-insignificant sample size.
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.
With that it mind, here is the timeline I experienced:
1. Five Days
Energy levels much higher. Elevated mood levels.
2. Two Weeks
Skin feels ususually soft, smooth and younger-looking.
3. Six weeks
I received unsolicted comments from people about how well I was looking. (I've learned over the years that when people say "You look well" to an acne sufferer what they really mean is "Your skin isn't spotty!)
4. Three months
Acne had completely disappeared, and has never returned.
1. "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.
2. "I can't be bothered with juicing -it sounds like a lot of work."
Like I said, it takes just 15 minutes. Make sure you buy a juicer that's easy to clean. Look online for recommendations. I would also suggest that you probably already spend at least 15 minutes a day on the topical treatments for your skin. This is time better spent.
3. "I love sweet things too much to cut them out"
Listen, I loved donuts. I loved dunking them in hot coffee on a winter's day. But when you come to associate them with spots and pustules, you don't want to eat them anymore. Change the way you think about food and it's simple.
4. "That low level of 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 passionately believe that this treatment program can help you -and that there are people out there needlessly suffering, as I was, way into adulthood. I just regret that I didn't try it sooner -but I hope that you will and you'll lead a better life because of it.
Let me know how you get on.
I was very interested in reading your post. I have always suspected that spikes/dips in blood sugar have an effect on acne especially inflamation.
just in the past month I have been cutting down on sugar a lot. I cant say I have cut out all sources--most of us are just not able to obsess over our diets and find the hidden sources--but not having things like cake, cookies, soda and especially sugary candies ie gummi bears has helped a lot.
My acne has diminished noticeably and I dont have those up/down feeling of sugar crashes.
I havent tried juicing myself yet but plan to get a decent juicer in the near future. I do drink store bought veggie juice but would prefer to make my own. I do eat a lot of greens beets peppers and avocados.
Drinking a lot more water helps no doubt ...as for the vitamins have just started taking the B will not know how it affects me yet but am hopeful.
Anyway is there anything else ?SO far I think you have very good advice.