Long time lurker to this board and I've just run out of options when it comes to acne. So I'm offering a $50 Cash Reward via Paypal for anyone who can contribute advice that directly correlates with an improvement in my acne. I'll upload pictures shortly, warning this is a long read but if you want the money, YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT!!!!
Here's a little background on my acne history
Started having acne at age 14 currently 20 (soon to be 21) with moderate-severe acne. I have been on accutane twice. Been on every antibiotic, topicals,etc my dermatologist could come up with. Essentially before I went back to school, during winter break, my dermatologist said, "i've done everything that standard medical dermotology does to treat acne, maybe you can try some experimental lasers in california". Since then I've gotten off all topicals and anitbiotics and my skin reduced in redness but still has active pimples/inflammed. I've never seen any improvement from these prescriptions except for accutane. This lasts about a year with each cycle and then the acne reverts back to before. I've tried Dan's BP regimen twice (each time for 8-10weeks) after bleaching several expensive sweaters/clothing/sheets and spending some serious cash I don't think its for me. I saw limited to no improvement from any of this (besides limited improvement from accutane) I exercise 4-6 times a week (running and weight lifting)
- I'm 155lbs at 5' 8" with a body fat around 8-10% if you took off my head and saw only my body you'd seriously think I'm a very healthy person (not trying to brag but since my face skin looks bad I make it a priority to at least have a good looking body)
- In college with some stressfull project deadlines but I deal with this pretty well, also I'm 99% sure it isn't acne from stress because over my 6 week winter break/ vacation my acne was a lot worse and I had no stress.
- 8-12 Hours of sleep a night, try to be consistent, sleepin 12pm - 8am. (Keeping a circadian rhythm)
- Rarely drink alcohol, last time I got drunk was, New Years Eve. Smoke marijuana about 3 times a month (usually to destress after long day or to help with creative process of projects) decided to stop to see if it has any influence. I've gone about 2 months without a while back and it did not have any improvement so I don't think its a major cause
- Well educated on healthy diet habits, exercise, etc. Taken a few college courses and consider myself to be a lot healthier than a lot of kids my age (especially seeing how my roommates live), except when i look in a mirror and think "wtf is going on here"
- I never really let me acne bother me in high school because other kids had it too and I saw great improvement temporarily from accutane, Now in college its terrible and I'm literally "that guy" with bad skin. I look around and I'm the only one with acne in my classes with acne. I'm not depressed about it I really am a positive thinker but I just feel this acne wearing down my attitude and I feel way less confident that I did freshman year started (finished 2nd course of accutane few months earlier). So i feel super embarassed when I see people I haven't seen for a while cause its obvious my skin has gotten dramatically worse and have no motivation to meet/form new relationships outside of my already established social circles.
- I had an allergy test when I was around 8 or 9 and it came back with negative results. So i'm assuming I'm not allergic to any foods. However my sister gets intense migraines after she eats peanuts, so maybe genetically something is going on there. Also recently when I've been doing long runs/ cardio after wards the sweat makes my face SUPER itchy/red. I did some quick research and most people said it could be some allergen/nutrient being stored in fat and its being burned/excreted through my pores.
So with all these topicals and medications I figured if I've tried all the variables. What has remained constant since I've had acne. The only thing I can think of.........poor diet. I've always hated vegetables so I never ate them. Now i hate my skin way more than i hate vegetables so I will eat them (Usually I do mental visualization with eating vegetables and think of something that angers me, typically my acne, metaphorically blame it on the vegetables, and chow them down like champ, a la youtube star Furious Pete. I just got done reading The Clear Skin Diet. Most of the information I already knew but it was a quality read and I did learn a fair amount. With that in mind I changed my diet and hoped for the best. Well nearing 2 weeks in and things are essentially the same. I realize this might be a little too soon to just but, I haven't notice -ANY- improvement in the slightest, not even improved energy, skin tone, etc from the consumption of vegetables. I'm following advice from the clear skin diet, low gi diet, and Dave Asprey's Bulletproof Diet (essentially an anti inflammatory diet see http://www.bulletproofexec.com great infographics on his site that help when picking out food)
My current diet is as follows:
Morning - Two Cage Free Eggs (salt and peppered "S+P") cooked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 8-12oz of Green Smoothie (Half of the following: Handful of Baby Spinach, 2 Kale Leaves, 3 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter, 1.5 TBSP Coconut Oil, 3 TBSP Goat Milk Yogurt, Banana, and Coconut Milk), 2000 mg Fish Oil and 50mg Zinc
- Explanation: Cage Free eggs have quality amounts of omega 3s cooked in anti inflammatory EVOO, Green smoothie has plenty of vegetables known to have positive effects on essentially everything, Unsure if I have a food intolerance to nuts/diary may consider removing them and changing up this smoothie but the Goat Milk Yogurt is packed with probiotics (acidophillus promotes healthy digestive health).
Lunch - varies each day depending on break between classes. Typically the other half of the green smoothie or left over Broccoli, Carrots, and Cauliflower from Dinner. Left over protein from dinner (Ground Beef Tacos, Beef Patty, Chicken,etc (S+P) cooked in EVOO), Piece of fruit low GI/sugary fruit Apple, Berries, Strawberries
- Explanation: Sometimes I have not meat at all or will Mix have trail mix (almonds, walnuts, peanuts) with fruit. Usually its a combination of dinner/breakfast with leftovers and a fruit mixed in
Dinner - Protein source Steak, Ground Beef, Chicken, Mahi Mahi, etc. Always cooked in EVOO usually look for recipes with garlic, ginger, etc. Steamed Veggies (Carrots, Broccoli, and Cauliflower) every few days I'll include Brown Rice
- I'm usually pretty hungry by the time dinner roles around so I find it necessary to have animal protein, fish is eaten about 2 times a week, Besides that its Lean cuts of steak or chicken. I need help finding more recipes that have garlic, ginger, and vegetables all mixed into a simple meal. I've used Dave Asprey's Bulletproof Diet Cookbook along with The 4 Hour chef to find some pretty good dishes.
Snacks - Trail Mix: Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds (Raisins and M&M's [high in sugar] are given to my most unhealthy roommates with flawless skin), Apples, Blueberries, Strawberries, Green Tea (daily)
Before Bed - 2000 mg Fish Oil
Daily Totals: ~6 Servings of Vegetables, ~3-4 Fruits, 2 Eggs, 1-2 Animal Protein, Cup of Green Tea, 4,000mg Fish Oil (w/ Epa and Dha), and 50 mg Zinc
So you may be asking yourself, "Seems, like he's got everything figured out" but I don't I'm close to almost 2 weeks of eating clean nutrient dense foods and I'm seeing 0, absolutely 0, improvement (I really mean 0 I take daily photos to compare) maybe this is too soon but I expected to see/feel something after altering my diet and basically eating 6 times the vegetables i usually did in a day. So how can you get the reward? and what am i looking for? I'm looking for whatever I'm missing, or should exclude from the diet, beyond that I'm looking for any lifestyle change, supplement, etc that has been proven by a large amount of people online or can be verified through some scientific studies to improve my acne. I've looked at alot of alternativista's posts and recipes but I'm a college student with limited time, I can't be running to Vons to get 10 different ingredients for dinner each night, I need simple quality recipes/meal plans. See Tim Ferriss' The 4 Hour Chef, essentially it makes really good meals from simple techniques and ingredients. I've also seen some skin care routines that involve some ridiculous stuff like literally 60-90 minutes of active skin care a day (steaming, washing, etc) on these forums, i really doubt these are necessary for quality results. Also, i'm not against detox/cleanses but they need to be logical (no coffee enemas)
Thank you for any help and the cash reward is serious business I set out to make a goal a while back to have clear skin by the time I turn 21. If a dermatologist can't help me I'm hoping a community of people in my situation can.