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My Diet Log (Began 10/20/2012) A Transition From Benzoyl Peroxide To Dieting

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[size=5][b]About me[/b][/size]

Hello all. I've suffered from acne for 15 years. It was cystic in nature, so the dermatologist naturally told me that I needed accutane to solve my problem. He told me that Accutane was the only solution to my problem, and that it posed a 90% chance of healing my skin. The other option was Minocycline, Retin-A micro, and a bar of "purpose" soap. In order to explain acne to me, he cupped his hand into a little "U" shape, and told me that my pores were clogged. I thought to myself, "is this guy serious?" I took the minocycline/retin-a-micro route with the soap containing "Sodium Laureth Sulfate" and watched in horror as my skin worsened.

My acne was severe, and cystic in nature, along with surface pimples. I encountered clarity when I decided to follow the regimen, but it was a cycle of oiliness, burning, and irritation. It was like a savage war with the odds, by burning away bacteria on the skin surface. I knew this was not the final answer. Everything about this method seemed to point to "damage control." Controlling skin damage on the surface is not a path to health. I feel the same way about Accutane (birth defects? what?)

I turned 30 a few months ago, and began to seriously evaluate my life. What was I doing wrong, why do I still have cysts under my jawline and behind my ears?

[size=5][b]Current Progress / Latest Photo (11/9/2012)[/b][/size]

Here's my current face. It isn't porcelain smooth, but I can tell you that it's better than anything I've had before.


[size=2]I wish I took a photo about 3 weeks ago. My face was more swollen before the diet.[/size]

[size=5][b]My Data Log[/b][/size]

I'm a programmer by trade. Naturally I took an engineer's approach to my problem. I didn't have the time to code up a template so I decided to write down everything as a log (whoa, a pen and paper?). I do have some meager drawing skill so this was actually kind of fun. The plan, though, is to make a website that allows a user to create this log for themselves with minimal effort. I hope to get users comparing data. Hopefully we will find something.

Here's a page of what I've been doing for the past two weeks :


[size=2]Did it help me find triggers? Yes! An asterisk indicates suspicion of a certain food.[/size]

I realize there are many flaws and errors with my method (Correlation != Causation), but it's better than blindly shooting in the dark.


My diet aims to do the following :

- decrease inflammation
- regulate blood sugar
- heal gut permeability with good fats and cholesterol
- increase overall health and immunity
- decrease swelling of the lymph nodes, as well as water retention

My diet has the following restrictions :

- less than 100g carbs per day
- 1500 calories on less active days, more if I'm active
- no processed foods or sugar
- no wheat
- no dairy

Thanks all for reading!

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Posted · Report post

I LOVE your idea of having a community of people being able to log their breakouts like this...

What an awesome approach. I'm glad what you've been doing works!

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Thanks! I hope to have some testers soon :)

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your skin looks great........ i also want to try this dieting stuff but it's really hard when you're surrounded by junk...... aarrrggghhh


i began cutting my sugars way back and it has helped......... i also eliminated dairy, nuts, carbonated drinks........ i'm really hoping i would eliminate all refined sugars by the end of this year....... aaaahhhhh... WILL POWER!!!!!

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Hey Margox, what sort of acne do you have? Where do you get it?

Stay away from the junk! I see that you live in the Philippines - so much good food there, but some of it is seriously unhealthy.

I really encourage that you try your best with the food! Let me know if you have questions, I can maybe give you some guidance or tips.

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Last night, I washed with water only. With only an 8 hour gap between washes, I think it would have been too much for my skin. The next morning, I noticed my skin was somewhat dry, but the acne just wasn't there. I didn't even feel as much as a spot forming.

I was bad, and had a few sips of "red bull," but primarily stuck to my diet.

Also conducted an experiment where I ate a few spoonfuls of spaghetti (my favorite dish, which I gave up), and immediate irritation around the mouth region and left cheek began. It subsided after a few hours.

Here's a pic of my tired face after being out all day :


There is a red irritated spot on my left cheek, which indicates a mild allergy to gluten. It subsided and did not form any acne. I can imagine several days of my favorite spaghetti dish later, my body will be going haywire. I will live, but not without some acne.

And here's my food log for the past 2 days. I'm going to try and post one everyday in hopes it may help someone.


Just a simple list, trying to find correlations. (No new occurrences! Knock on wood. This is going into month 2 almost)

Currently, I'm not as strict about carbs or calories. As I have difficulty even hitting my daily calorie intake goal (I lose track of time a lot), I simply try to do more of the good, and less of the bad.

Since this is a post about trying to lessen (and hopefully cure) cystic acne, I'm not going to be as strict with numbers or exact ingredients, and will be more concerned with keeping things simple.
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Happy Veteran's day everyone.

Well, the previous day I had indulged in some gin and redbull, among other things like fried chicken. There was a clear effect on my skin - no acne, but it felt a bit more splotchy and I had some bouts of irritation which subsided with time, breathing, and water.

I revitalized the day with some kale salad, avocadoes, and chicken. I got a nap in, and drank plenty of water. Feeling very energized at the moment.

Today's photo :


Log page :


So far so good. I just incorporated white rice, and a few more "strange" ingredients like Sriracha. So far, nothing unusual.

I find that it is helpful to first, eliminate everything, and then, slowly reincorporate. It all started simple - fish and kale, with minimal ingredients added.

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So the diet is still going, and still going strong. I cheated over the weekend quite a bit :

- Red bull
- Gin
- Lots of chocolate
- Potatoes and gravy
- Fried Chicken

Granted, I moderate all amounts. But I can clearly feel the difference after that weekend. The diet has made me more resilient to acne and cyst formations. I lowered overall inflammation and fluid retention in my jaws and lymph region through the diet. What would give me guaranteed cysts over the next day or two, did not effect me as much. Controlling carbs, calories, protein, fats, and sugars is the way to go.

Monday was a day of recovery, and this morning, my skin feels good again. This is probably the best pic to date that shows scars from cystic acne over this past year. [b]The regimen will not solve cystic acne. Only diet will.

I used to get about 3-4 cysts every week or two. I've been cyst free for an entire month.[/b] Unheard of.

Here's my face in the sunlight :


And here's my log from the past day. I was pretty good, but caved and cooked my chicken with hoisin sauce (which I found contains gluten, and so I will be shopping for a gluten free option). While it was delicious, I immediately felt the effects afterwards.

Why do I experiment with consuming gluten? I want to know just what my body can handle, and what type of sensitivity I have to it. It seems I won't die from it, but it does cause irritation around my mouth and chin. Fortunately, no new cysts.

I had a tiny pimple surface on my jawline, but it really just vanished overnight. I'm amazed at how much faster everything heals on this diet.


I strongly urge everyone to give this a shot. It's tough for the first month, but once you get into a routine, it can become easy. Try the food log, document your triggers, and be objective about the process.

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I love this, so similar to me just don't write things down..If I had REAL time I would so do this..people like you inspire me.

YES YES YES. The diet I am currently on, super similar to years does infact, help my once in a while pimples heal much quicker. It's amazing.

Please keep going. I'd like to compare my results with yours once in a while.

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[b][size=5]10/13/2012 - 10/15/2012[/size][/b]

Bit of a stressful time with work and other things, so I wasn't able to post on these days, but I caughtup and made a quick list.

I'm not going to skip out on these just yet. I want to prove that a lot of cystic acne can be lessened by adhering to a strict regimen. I'm still using benzoyl peroxide, but not as much as I typically do.

It's been mentioned before that a change in lifestyle is the most all-encompassing.

After several rigorous sessions on my bike, I realized something - exercise helps regulate the waste in my body. When I cheat on my diet, a bit of exercise helps me get back on track.

I attended some type of networking event - thankfully the food spread was vegetarian, albeit pretty high in sugar (lots of tomatoes used). It was still delicious and I gorged, feeling pretty tired for the rest of the event.

I biked home vigorously and took the best picture I could, sweaty after a bike ride :

[attachment=45606:photo (2).JPG]

(zero active spots)

And then jotted down quickly, the ingredients I ate for the day :

[attachment=45607:photo (1).JPG]

There is no 15th. It's a dark day for me. I ate Burger King with my girlfriend. A whopper. It was so delicious. I immediately felt a bit heavy and tired.

So far, no adverse effects. I washed my face and it felt as smooth as ever. The two small pimples somehow "vanished." To describe this sensation, they shrank so quickly and dried up that they fell off as I washed my face. I believe my diet is having a big effect on this.

Imagine for a bit that I did everything right :

- flossed
- brushed my teeth
- active lifestyle with plenty of exercise (I love riding bikes)
- got plenty of sleep
- no drinking at all
- regular showers, making sure to wash behind the knees, back, etc.
- regular exfoliation of the face as well as a good AHA regimen with Dan's BP

But I did one thing wrong, which caused me to break out :

Ate like I didn't care. I ate whatever I wanted.

If you want a cure, evaluate your entire life. Cut out the drugs, and the partying lifestyle. If you want to put your body in check, do these things and take control.

The fact that I fell on Burger King as my vice today, rather than drugs or alcohol, really changed my life. A bit of junk food every now and then won't hurt. Strengthen your body, and enjoy more things, but in moderation.

I'm going to continue to post, because I want someone to see that diet really does work. If you've exhausted all options, go for it. You have nothing to lose but better internal health.

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I apologize for not updating this log.

It's like I failed at something.

Here are the log entries from a week ago. I'm going to be adding updates from the past week, which involved Thanksgiving dinner. I was quite bad during this time and ate very poorly during the holidays. I also smoked and drank a little bit. Discipline goes straight out the window when you're surrounded by good things. I knew my tendency to crave things and binge eat, so I satisfied all of my vices by just indulging (just a medium amount).

It all stopped once I got back on track with my diet.

I'm going to have to say that it will require another few months of my diet before my body is resilient enough to handle overeating junk food. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

I'm clear right now as those pimples have healed faster than ever before.

Here's the latest shot of my face :


(Not driving, promise!)

And here's the latest shot of my log from a week back.


I will update with the past week and my findings, which are more than just coincidences. I think you guys will find the next post very interesting.

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This is a great log man, I enjoyed seeing you get results you're happy with. Also, nice to see a fellow programmer on here. I am still in college, but majoring in software.

would you say you consider your diet as "Paleo" ?

I recently experimented with the diet with great results, and it seems similar to yours.

anyways, take care and stick with the diet!

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Interesting log! I have been wanting to do something similar but also monitoring my sleep, stress levels, facial cleaning regimen, lifestyle and monthly cycle (as mine is at least partially hormonal). I'd hope to see links to my breakouts and be able to adjust my life accordingly.

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