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Breakouts From Good Fats?

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I'm wondering if anyone can explain the science of this to me. Every time I eat more than a little bit of good fats my skin breaks out in cysts on my chin. I'm not prone to cystic acne and this is the only time this happens to me.

Good fats that cause cysts include:

Bone broth soups

Coconut oil

Flaxseeds/Flaxseed oil

Fish oil

I do not get these cysts from bad fats like those from nuts or even worse canola oil etc.

I also don't get them from olive oil or butter.

Can anyone explain this?

Does it have something to do with omega 3 fatty acids?

Is it a healing reaction?

I'm just stumped.

I'll add that I've been vegetarian for the past 11 years and am trying to transition to a more paleo way of eating. I can eat small amounts of meat with no problems but only small amounts and I haven't tried eating fish.


Love and accept yourself for exactly who you are right now.

25, female, moderate acne since age 12.

Accutane at least 6 times.
Intolerances: corn & wheat & alcohol.

100% clear, if I follow the diet.

"the absence of flaw within beauty, is itself a flaw."


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How did you come to this conclusion it was those fats that caused it?

If you ate nothing for a week and then ate those oils and got cysts, I'd say it'd verify those foods as a possible culprit.

I've spent a long time accusing foods of being bad when I broke out. It's usually hard to tell.

Could it possibly be the meat? I reacted badly to red meat (the regular kind) when I started eating it more. This happened over a period of time.

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interesting. Hard to tell what is the problem to be honest.

Coconut oil doesnt really have much omega 3. Does ghee (clarified butter) give you any issues?

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interesting. Hard to tell what is the problem to be honest.

Coconut oil doesnt really have much omega 3. Does ghee (clarified butter) give you any issues?


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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Yeah it is extremely strange. I'm kind of putting it down to some sort of healing reaction or hormonal change. It's also not other foods it has been happening over the past few years and I've proven it to be just these things.

I know that flax is estrogenic but eating flax seeds themselves doesn't seem to bother me unless it is a large amount. For coconut oil if it's more than a few teaspoons it happens, bone broth it can just be one cup of soup and fish oil pills cleared my whole face of all other acne but left me with huge cysts on my chin.

I don't eat canola oil, I know how bad it is for you. Most vegetable oils are not good at all. I haven't tried ghee but I'm fine with tons of olive oil or butter and eat them on a daily basis.

Say it was just from omega 3's (aside from the coconut oil.) Anyone have a clue why they would cause that sort of reaction?


Love and accept yourself for exactly who you are right now.

25, female, moderate acne since age 12.

Accutane at least 6 times.
Intolerances: corn & wheat & alcohol.

100% clear, if I follow the diet.

"the absence of flaw within beauty, is itself a flaw."


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Does coconut butter break you out?

How much exactly is "tons" of olive oil? Ghee is actually healthier than regular butter (as it has no casein in it)

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I experienced some issues with omega3 OILS (flaxseed oil, fish oil). Also had terrible breakout from evening primrose oil, three different times, but EPO is higher on the omega6.

I think the body just has trouble processing it when its concentrated in oil like that, unlike when it's digested as part of food.

I should ask have you tried Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes? My digestion is much better when I take Betaine HCL (increases stomach acid production) and the enzymes, even though probiotics were a no-go for me. If your stomach acid production is low it basically impedes your ability to process all sorts of things.

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There are enzymes for fat metabolism. Lipase, I think. It's in the good hints thread along with some other tips.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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I experienced some issues with omega3 OILS (flaxseed oil, fish oil). Also had terrible breakout from evening primrose oil, three different times, but EPO is higher on the omega6.

I think the body just has trouble processing it when its concentrated in oil like that, unlike when it's digested as part of food.

I should ask have you tried Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes? My digestion is much better when I take Betaine HCL (increases stomach acid production) and the enzymes, even though probiotics were a no-go for me. If your stomach acid production is low it basically impedes your ability to process all sorts of things.

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I tried HCL a few years ago, but it gave me gas, which I didn't normally get. I had no idea how to interpret that, and at first I thought it was some kind of a "detox" thing that would pass. I tried to keep using it for a few more months, but then gave up and my digestion actually seemed much better without. In retrospect, I think the HCL somehow disturbed the function of enzymes in the duodenum by lowering the pH there too (either the HCL capsules didn't fully dissolve until reaching the duodenum, or food in my stomach just got too acidic and wasn't properly neutralized in the small intestine). So if you try HCL, note that this can happen as well.

I've heard of one guy having trouble digesting fats and for him it seemed to be caused by stress (stress --> sympathetic NS activated --> digestion is "turned down"). It seemed to resolve for him when he made an effort to avoid stress. But anyway, you should avoid consuming too much fat if you can't absorb it well. At least don't consume any oil by the spoonful, but just use it for cooking instead. And trying something like digestive enzymes that would include lipase might help.

If you have trouble with bile secretion (e.g. a tendency to get gallstones), that could also cause malabsorption as bile and lipase are both needed to digest fat.

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I've actually been looking into HCL and digestive enzymes. I know I have SIBO going on so maybe that could explain why my body isn't digesting certain fats too. I think I will give that a try! Thanks for your help everyone :D


Love and accept yourself for exactly who you are right now.

25, female, moderate acne since age 12.

Accutane at least 6 times.
Intolerances: corn & wheat & alcohol.

100% clear, if I follow the diet.

"the absence of flaw within beauty, is itself a flaw."


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I've noticed that taking "good fat" supplements tend to give me weird hormonal side effects, much like taking the pill (I am a female)... bloating, breast cysts, worse skin.


I'm sick of this skin... I wish I could shed it like a snake and start over.


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Good things for fat metabolism:


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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