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#1 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm new here and I'm wondering if some of you who have gone the holistic route to clear your acne can give me some feedback. A little background on myself:
  • Female, 29
  • Mild to moderate acne (high school moderate, after mild, currently back to moderate)
  • 2011/early 2012 my skin was awesome, clear except for a couple of small TOTM spots but I was pretty much happy
  • During this time I was using Proactiv, Benzaclin gel and Neutrogena oil free SPF 15 moisturizer
  • Ran out of Proactiv in May 2012 and I felt it was drying my skin so I switched to another product which contained Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which I found out (much later) was an irritant (I thought it was safe since it was a product for acne-prone skin and the cosmetician recommended it!)
  • Was still using bp to spot treat
  • Skin started gradually getting bad around June 2012
  • Thought maybe it was my face wash so I went back on Proactiv in July but after a few months it wasn't working
  • Switched to St. Ives Blemish and Blackhead clearing scrub with Salicylic Acid in October, which just seemed to make things worse (SLS again! Grrr!)
  • Found this site and the Love Vitamin in October and started taking steps to cure my acne from the inside out
  • Read about SLS and other irritants and realized this might be the problem
  • At the moment most of my acne is papular and pustular, once in a very rare blue moon I have had a cyst or nodule, not many blackheads, some whiteheads
What I am doing now and the exact timeline of how long I have been doing it:

No dairy - just shy of 4 months
Elimination Diet - 41 Days:
  • No dairy
  • No gluten, wheat or corn
  • No eggs
  • No sugar
  • No soy
  • No caffeine
  • No citrus fruits
  • No strawberries
  • No legumes
  • No nuts
  • No nightshades
  • No hot spices (cayenne, etc.)
  • No additives or processed foods
Quit bp and started using tea tree oil to spot treat - 3 months
Quit topicals, switched to more natural skin care (95% natural - Yes to Blueberries face wash & 99% natural Yes to Blueberries gentle exfoliant) and no medicinal ingredients (no bp, sa, etc.) - 26 days (Still using the same moisturizer and oil free concealer when I need some, as they were what I was using the entire time my skin looked great)
Quit all products containing SLS (toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) - 20 days
Exercise at least 4 days a week and have an active lifestyle otherwise - always
At my target weight - always
Get 8 hours of sleep every night - always
Non-smoker - always
Non-drinker (have a couple of drinks on special occasions, maybe 3x per year, but have not had any alcohol whatsoever in 3 months)

I am still experiencing breakouts so I am just wondering if this is an initial breakout from quitting topicals? I've read on this site that it happens and since it's been 26 days since I have switched my skin care that might be in the right timeframe? (I broke out pretty badly 10 days after switching skin care, it's subsided a little now, meaning the breakouts aren't as bad). I have broken out in a lot of places where I don't usually break out (e.g. around eyebrows, forehead) and I don't think it's an allergic reaction, considering I am not itchy or blotchy or anything like that. (Note: the skin on my face that isn't breaking out looks smooth and hydrated). I can pretty much rule out dairy as the culprit at this point since I have been off it for 4 months, but I am still not going back to it. I am not switching things around, meaning I am giving things a decent period of time and then adding something else in (or rather removing it) while still sticking to the first thing. I am not changing my routine constantly. I just really want to know what it is, and switching things around will never tell me that. I am not going off the elimination diet until my skin is clear, then I will add one thing back at a time and wait a week to see what happens.

The thing I am so confused about is that in 2011 I was going through one of the hardest times in my life from a stress standpoint, and my skin looked great. Not perfect, but it never was. I could deal with the occasional small zit or 2 once in a while. I was eating dairy and grains and all of the things I have now eliminated, not working out as much as usual, and I looked fantastic. Which makes me think it has to be the skin care, right? It all started when I dropped Proactiv and switched to that SLS crap. Now I have zits on my face AND red marks from the ones that finally healed, so I look spotty all over. I don't ever want to go back to bp or anything like that, I would like to be healthy and acne-free naturally, I am just hoping it's possible!

I would really like some feedback here if you please! Do you think I have given this enough time? Am I just being impatient? I have no plans on quitting until I find out what clears me. I would just really love to hear from some people who went the holistic route and experienced something like I did. Did you break out before getting clear? Did you get clear? How long did it take?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Apostrophe 13, 19 January 2013 - 11:11 AM.


#2 alternativista

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

You are avoiding all those things at the same time? If its been 41 days and you've noticed no change definitely add the good things back in: strawberries, citrus, cayenne, eggs.

Try not using a cleanser. Get a mild salicylic acid lotion or try an aspirin mask if you feel you need those kinds of topicals.

Edited by alternativista, 19 January 2013 - 03:15 PM.


#3 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Yes, I dropped all of those things at the same time. It's been challenging to find recipes but I've been doing okay with rice, vegetables, fruit, chicken breast and some fish. That's what I was thinking....41 days is a long time to not be completely clear if it was related to food, which makes me think it isn't.

As far as not using a cleanser goes, I was planning on using this one for another couple of weeks to give it the full shot, then if nothing improves I was actually thinking of just using water. But what do you do about exfoliating though, or do you need to? I'd rather not go the SA route if I don't have to. I'd love to be free of all topicals forever...that's the goal.

By the way, thanks for your reply! I have read a lot of your posts on this site and like what you have said and was actually hoping you would reply to mine.

#4 alternativista

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

Yes, I dropped all of those things at the same time. It's been challenging to find recipes but I've been doing okay with rice, vegetables, fruit, chicken breast and some fish. That's what I was thinking....41 days is a long time to not be completely clear if it was related to food, which makes me think it isn't.

As far as not using a cleanser goes, I was planning on using this one for another couple of weeks to give it the full shot, then if nothing improves I was actually thinking of just using water. But what do you do about exfoliating though, or do you need to? I'd rather not go the SA route if I don't have to. I'd love to be free of all topicals forever...that's the goal.

By the way, thanks for your reply! I have read a lot of your posts on this site and like what you have said and was actually hoping you would reply to mine.


Oil cleanse. And food always affects acne. But you probably don't have an intolerance to tose foods if you've noticed no change. But that doesn't mean 41 days is enough time to clear your. Besides you should always limit many f tad fod, eat primarily real whole nutrient dense foods and avoid all high glycemic impacting meals, drinks and snacks.

#5 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

I agree, I always ate pretty healthy before this Elimination Diet anyways (no fast food, few processed foods and I don't have much of a sweet tooth) so making the leap wasn't a huge deal, just more restrictive. Either way, I'm sticking with it until I'm clear.

May I ask you which OCM you use? As in, which type of oils? I am not sure where to start and I've read about a lot of different oils you can use. Do you recommend a specific routine?

I also need to research more on high GI meals, this is one area I am unfamiliar with. If I ate say, a salmon fillet, a kale and garlic side dish and a side of rice noodles with garlic and olive oil would the noodles impact me negatively?

#6 Green Gables

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:16 PM

One of the more common oil cleanse routines uses 75% jojoba and 25% castor oil.

#7 alternativista

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:38 AM

I agree, I always ate pretty healthy before this Elimination Diet anyways (no fast food, few processed foods and I don't have much of a sweet tooth) so making the leap wasn't a huge deal, just more restrictive. Either way, I'm sticking with it until I'm clear.

May I ask you which OCM you use? As in, which type of oils? I am not sure where to start and I've read about a lot of different oils you can use. Do you recommend a specific routine?

I also need to research more on high GI meals, this is one area I am unfamiliar with. If I ate say, a salmon fillet, a kale and garlic side dish and a side of rice noodles with garlic and olive oil would the noodles impact me negatively?


I use safflower or grape seed oil because of their linoleic acid content and a little castor oil. But I really don't oil cleanse much. I use plain water and moisturizer with the oil.

#8 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:45 AM

Okay, thanks to both of you. Have you found that any red marks you have are fading with this routine?

#9 o Havoc o

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:40 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm new here and I'm wondering if some of you who have gone the holistic route to clear your acne can give me some feedback. A little background on myself:

  • Female, 29
  • Mild to moderate acne (high school moderate, after mild, currently back to moderate)
  • 2011/early 2012 my skin was awesome, clear except for a couple of small TOTM spots but I was pretty much happy
  • During this time I was using Proactiv, Benzaclin gel and Neutrogena oil free SPF 15 moisturizer
  • Ran out of Proactiv in May 2012 and I felt it was drying my skin so I switched to another product which contained Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which I found out (much later) was an irritant (I thought it was safe since it was a product for acne-prone skin and the cosmetician recommended it!)
  • Was still using bp to spot treat
  • Skin started gradually getting bad around June 2012
  • Thought maybe it was my face wash so I went back on Proactiv in July but after a few months it wasn't working
  • Switched to St. Ives Blemish and Blackhead clearing scrub with Salicylic Acid in October, which just seemed to make things worse (SLS again! Grrr!)
  • Found this site and the Love Vitamin in October and started taking steps to cure my acne from the inside out
  • Read about SLS and other irritants and realized this might be the problem
  • At the moment most of my acne is papular and pustular, once in a very rare blue moon I have had a cyst or nodule, not many blackheads, some whiteheads
What I am doing now and the exact timeline of how long I have been doing it:

No dairy - just shy of 4 months
Elimination Diet - 41 Days:
  • No dairy
  • No gluten, wheat or corn
  • No eggs
  • No sugar
  • No soy
  • No caffeine
  • No citrus fruits
  • No strawberries
  • No legumes
  • No nuts
  • No nightshades
  • No hot spices (cayenne, etc.)
  • No additives or processed foods
Quit bp and started using tea tree oil to spot treat - 3 months
Quit topicals, switched to more natural skin care (95% natural - Yes to Blueberries face wash & 99% natural Yes to Blueberries gentle exfoliant) and no medicinal ingredients (no bp, sa, etc.) - 26 days (Still using the same moisturizer and oil free concealer when I need some, as they were what I was using the entire time my skin looked great)
Quit all products containing SLS (toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) - 20 days
Exercise at least 4 days a week and have an active lifestyle otherwise - always
At my target weight - always
Get 8 hours of sleep every night - always
Non-smoker - always
Non-drinker (have a couple of drinks on special occasions, maybe 3x per year, but have not had any alcohol whatsoever in 3 months)

I am still experiencing breakouts so I am just wondering if this is an initial breakout from quitting topicals? I've read on this site that it happens and since it's been 26 days since I have switched my skin care that might be in the right timeframe? (I broke out pretty badly 10 days after switching skin care, it's subsided a little now, meaning the breakouts aren't as bad). I have broken out in a lot of places where I don't usually break out (e.g. around eyebrows, forehead) and I don't think it's an allergic reaction, considering I am not itchy or blotchy or anything like that. (Note: the skin on my face that isn't breaking out looks smooth and hydrated). I can pretty much rule out dairy as the culprit at this point since I have been off it for 4 months, but I am still not going back to it. I am not switching things around, meaning I am giving things a decent period of time and then adding something else in (or rather removing it) while still sticking to the first thing. I am not changing my routine constantly. I just really want to know what it is, and switching things around will never tell me that. I am not going off the elimination diet until my skin is clear, then I will add one thing back at a time and wait a week to see what happens.

The thing I am so confused about is that in 2011 I was going through one of the hardest times in my life from a stress standpoint, and my skin looked great. Not perfect, but it never was. I could deal with the occasional small zit or 2 once in a while. I was eating dairy and grains and all of the things I have now eliminated, not working out as much as usual, and I looked fantastic. Which makes me think it has to be the skin care, right? It all started when I dropped Proactiv and switched to that SLS crap. Now I have zits on my face AND red marks from the ones that finally healed, so I look spotty all over. I don't ever want to go back to bp or anything like that, I would like to be healthy and acne-free naturally, I am just hoping it's possible!

I would really like some feedback here if you please! Do you think I have given this enough time? Am I just being impatient? I have no plans on quitting until I find out what clears me. I would just really love to hear from some people who went the holistic route and experienced something like I did. Did you break out before getting clear? Did you get clear? How long did it take?

Thanks in advance!


Too many variables going on at the same time to no if anything is different.

I would suggest cutting out the main thing you suspect is causing your acne, gluten for example is a good place to start.

Why are you cutting eggs out.? These are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

#10 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:45 AM

I would really not rather eliminate one thing at a time for 3 months at a time, that will take forever. I've eliminated everything at once, I am waiting for results and then adding them back one at a time to see if I have a reaction. Seems much more sound this way. I've cut out eggs because I was eating a LOT of them around the time my skin was getting bad, and the instructions on the elimination diet are to also eliminate anything you are eating on a daily basis.

#11 alternativista

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:49 AM

You could instead try limiting your foods to very hypoallergenic foods to watch for results, then methodically add foods back in. There's a list in the food intolerance section of the good things for acne thread.

#12 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

I looked for your list but couldn't find it, but here is a link to the Hypoallergenic Diet...this is almost exactly what I am following (I am not eating lentils or nuts because I am allergic)

http://hypoallergeni...t.com/book.html

#13 alternativista

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:45 AM

Do you have a lot of allergies? Digestion problems?

#14 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:01 AM

I had allergy testing done when I was 3, then I went back a couple of years ago to have it all done again (scratch testing). The only foods I am allergic to are lentils, peas, chickpeas and peanuts (all in the same family). Besides being diagnosed with this I already knew it from personal experience...in the past accidentally eating lentils or peas made my throat itchy and accidentally eating peanuts caused me mild anaphylaxis and vomiting, so I carry an EpiPen with me all the time. The Dr. informed me that food allergy testing can also come up with false positives...as in sometimes the test will say you are allergic to something you are not. It said I was allergic to almonds but I used to eat them every day with no effect (no acne, etc.) I avoid all other nuts and have not been eating almonds on this diet.

I am allergic to other things as well: dust, mould (but who isn't?) cats, dogs, wool and perfume.

I was avoiding all of these things both before and after my skin got worse.

Ooh, also forgot to mention that I don't experience any digestive problems. The reason I think this might be a reaction to skin care ingredients (SLS, BP, SA), is because I am very intolerant to chemicals (e.g. perfume) and a couple of years ago I was breaking out BADLY all over my chin in small cysts. I realized that I had been eating protein powder a lot and looking into the ingredients I found it was sweetened with aspartame. I cut out all artificial sweeteners immediately (I wouldn't even chew gum or eat breath mints that weren't made with real sugar) and my skin cleared up amazingly.

#15 Apostrophe 13

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:56 AM

Do you have a lot of allergies? Digestion problems?


So, any ideas?

#16 alternativista

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

Think about what you might have added to your diet or topically when you started breaking out in new places. Almonds are a member of the stone fruit family, genus prunus, and there have been people here that broke out between the eyebrows when they ate them.