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
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 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.