I just wanted to let you know that I was inspired by your posts and have also been having success with using diet to manage my adult acne and skin issues.
I'm female, 41yo, and have had seborrhea and seborrheic dermatitis (SD), with a lot of blocked pores and the occasional pimple, since the age of around 11 yo. I also get inflammation in the skin around my eyes, called blepharitis- which I've had since 5yo!!- so like you, inflammation seems to play a big role in my skin issues. There are some dematologists who view SD/blepharitis as forms of rosacea. I've also, in the past, had IBS, which is definitely diet related (too much sugar and caffeine), and if that flared, so did my skin problems.
My diet was already very good compared to most people, as I'd already worked out that it played a big role. Like you, I've become a bit more philosophical as I've realised how these health issues have forced me not to take my health for granted.
But inspired by you and some other stuff I've been reading, I made the following tweaks to my diet around 3 weeks ago:
-very minimal dairy (ie tiny amount of milk in black tea, or tiny amount of real parmesan on pasta); this was a big change, as previously I was eating 2-3 serves of yogurt, cheese and full-fat milk daily
-very minimal fat and extracted oils (I found your take on that very helpful- so I now use, say, 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a salad dressing, but no other added fat in a meal; before I might have used 3 tsp oil in the dressing AND roast potatoes in oil)
-some animal protein (so an egg for breakfast, a small amount meat, fish or shellfish for other meals)
-lots of starch; I focus on sources of resistant starch (this is something you might like to read up on- because of the positive influence on blood sugar control and gut bacteria); minimally processed grains eg cooled and reheated brown rice or parboiled rice, cooled and reheated potato, sweet potato, some pasta, and cooked, minimally processed grains such as freekeh (wheat), rye, barley, and non-grains like quinoa, buckwheat, well-prepared pulses
-lots of vegetables, cooked and raw
-some fruit (but not loads) including under-ripe bananas for the resistant starch content
-minimal caffeine (two small cups tea per day), alcohol, sweets (1 piece of 85% choc at the end of the day, with dandelion tea...)
I also drink a tablespon of potato starch in cool water, after meals. This is to increase the resistant starch content of the meal. To anyone experimenting with resistant starch, it is very important that you build up taking resistant starch slowly, or your digestion will act surprised and unhappy! Again, I'd suggest reading up on it- a blog called FreeTheAnimal has a lot of great info about it (but be prepared for a lot of swearing). So, I started with a small teaspoon in water, after meals, and built up from there. Its extremely important that you take the starch in cold water, and that the potato starch is from uncooked potatoes.
Effects noted after 2 weeks:
-vastly improved energy; I no longer get shaky and vague due to blood sugar issues, which I used to every 2.5-3 hours if I didn't eat; yesterday I didn't need to eat for 5 hours!
-amazingly improved running performance (I have had to extend my running trail)
-very good sleep
-my skin is not oily by the end of the day, and my hair is also markedly less oily
-all seborheic dermatitis is GONE; I get it on my hairline, around my nose, and eyebrows
-skin tone generally better (much less pink)
-blepharitis (eye inflammation) much improved
-digestion has had some minor whinges along the way, mainly I think because of increasing resistant starches too quickly. These have now settled down.
I think I am starting to see a reduction in blocked pores (there is definitely a reduction around my nose), but it's probably too soon to report definitively on that. My experience is that you need to give something around 6 weeks to see positive changes in the condition of your skin. Whereas you can see negative changes in a matter of hours! I have made no other changes to my skincare regime in this time. I don't use any prescription medication to manage my skin- I would rate my SD as mild, seborrhea as moderate, blepharitis as moderate, prior to starting. My SD is now gone, the seborrhea is almost gone, and blepharitis now very mild.
Like you, cvd, I had to really increase the amount I was eating overall, to make up for the calories that used to be provided by fats and oils, dairy products and larger servings of protein. However, I am finding it an enjoyable way to eat, and I don't feel deprived. I'm aiming to stick with it for 6 months, and then see what happens if I reintroduce a serve of dairy. I don't mind the lower fat or protein, but I would like to know whether I can eat yogurt or kefir...