Below is a list of ingredients, along with relevant studies or anecdotes, that are indicated to help reduce sebum production, either directly or indirectly. I posted this on the Oily Skin forum, but I want it here too so that it has a greater chance of helping anyone else who is also searching for an oily skin cure. My next blog post talks about a new experiment I'm doing involving products that contain a number of these ingredients.
If you suffer from oily skin and are desperate for a cure, please consider experimenting with products that contain some of these key ingredients. The only way we will find a solution for oily skin is if we experiment.
Green tea (camellia sinensis)
60% reduction of sebum after 8 weeks using a formulation containing 3% green tea extract:
“Twenty mg of (-)epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in 0.2 ml 70% ethanol was applied to the left forehead twice a day for 6 days (FIG. 25). The L/R ratio decrease from 1.20±0.02 to 0.71±0.04 during this period . . . Clearly EGCG was more effective in reducing the sebum production from forehead than (-)epicatechin.”
“we examined the effects of EGCG, the major polyphenol in green tea, on human SEB-1 sebocytes and in patients with acne. In SEB-1 sebocytes, we found that EGCG reduced sebum”
“Steady and statistically significant reductions in sebum secretions were noted for mono (green tea) and combined treatments (green tea plus lotus) compared to placebo treatment.”
“The sebum casual level appeared to be decreased by KCZ”
“A 19.4% decrease in the mean sebaceous gland area was observed in the KCZ group”
[Yes, the ketoconazole decreased the actual size of the sebaceous glands.]
“The sebum excretion rate is reduced with ketoconazole (-6.54%)”
Sea buckthorn (hippophae rhamnoides)
“Concentrated sea buckthorn (H.rhamnoides) fruit extract was entrapped in the inner aqueous phase of w/o emulsion. . . the Formulation showed statistically significant (P < 0.05) effects on skin sebum secretion.”
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza inflata or glycyrrhiza glabra)
Among the herbal extracts tested, polyol-soluble licorice extract P-U (product name) derived from Glycyrrhiza inflata showed the most potent testosterone 5 .ALPHA.-reductase inhibition, androgen receptor binding inhibition and antimicrobial activities, which are closely related to sebum secretion. In addition to the findings on polyol-soluble licorice extract P-U, clove extract and peppermint extract showed testosterone 5 .ALPHA.-reductase inhibition, arnica extract and rose fruit extract showed androgen receptor binding inhibition
“Effects of rose fruit extract on sebum secretion were evaluated by determining the inhibitory effect on TSR activity and androgen receptor binding. Rose fruit extract showed inhibitory effects on TSR activity and androgen receptor binding.”
I experimented with peppermint oil and saw results firsthand:
Saw palmetto (serenoa repens)
Study: " The study participants applied a cream containing saw palmetto extract, sesame seeds, and argan oil twice daily for four weeks. . . a significant reduction of sebum levels was noted—up to 42% in oily spots."
“In a study of 34 men and 28 women (18-48 years) topically applied SR [serenoa repens] extract in lotion and shampoo base for three months led to 35% increase in hair density and 67% increase in sebum reduction”
First saw palmetto study.
First saw palmetto study.
"The two extracts- cedarwood and poplar bud extract retained their activity at 0.5%. and effectively reduced the sebum levels."
“Cedar wood and elubiol application led to a significantly greater fall in the sebum reading at 6 weeks as compared to 3 weeks”
“After a couple of weeks, I noticed the chin was "dryer", indicative of less sebum being secreted than the other side . . . I can certainly assert that cedarwood alone helped that side of my chin to make less sebum."
“topical in vivo application of a formulation containing 2% L-carnitine for 3 weeks significantly decreased the sebum secretion rate compared to the treatment with vehicle.”
Hydrolyzed wheat and soy protein
“Mean sebum readings charts showed Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Hydrolyzed Soy Protein exhibiting similar profiles versus Elubiol, with sebum readings decreasing with time, from 124-138 mu g/cm<2> at baseline to 68-81 mu g/cm<2> at week 12.”
“a similar trial in Australia on Australian teenagers . . . again showed Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Hydrolyzed Soy Protein exhibiting similar profiles to elubiol with sebum readings decreasing from 145-155 mu g/cm<2> at baseline to 117-124 mu g/cm<2> at week 12”
"We have demonstrated the inhibitory activity of [soy] isoflavone . . . suggesting that genistein and isoflavone would be used as an effective agent for androgenetic acne and for the inhibition of secretion of sebum by modifying androgen conversion"
"Transactivation of the MMTV-luciferase reporter plasmid by 0.1 nM DHT was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by both lavender oil and tea tree oil"
"About a month-6 weeks ago I started using about 1 drop or less of lavender essential oil in my nightly moisturiser (Neutrogena Essential Moisture) . . . Since I made this change (and I have pretty much kept everything else in my pretty simply routine the same) I have noticed a huge difference- I now don't get shiny skin at all, but it doesn't really feel dry.”
“I noticed that Lavender oil helped reduce the oiliness. But it also dries out your skin if you don't moisturize.”
Tea tree oil
Seaweed extract (laminaria digitata)
“The findings taken together suggest that SOZC can significantly ameliorate symptoms of acne vulgaris, particularly in terms of reducing sebum production and populations of Propionibacterium acnes.”
Green apple rind extract
“These results suggest that GAR-E can be applied in cosmetics to reduce facial pore size and sebum secretion.”
“Zinc displays 'in vitro' some antiandrogen activity through an inhibition of the 5 alpha-reductase activity”
“The results of the Japanese study demonstrated that the SER of the two groups was not significantly different at baseline, but the 2% niacinamide treated group demonstrated significantly lowered SER after 2 and 4 weeks of application. The results were somewhat different in the Caucasian study. After 6 weeks of treatment, the CSL was significantly reduced, but the SER was not significantly reduced.”
Pumpkin seed oil
“The oil fraction of pumpkin seed has been shown to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase. The mixture of delta 7-sterols has been shown to inhibit the binding of DHT to androgen receptors.”
Other ingredients that are purported to have an anti-androgenic or sebum-reducing effect but don’t have studies or significant anecdotal evidence to back them up (that I can find).
Topical: Thyme, sage, nettle, rosemary, pygeum, azelaic acid.
Oral: Curcumin, resveratrol, magnesium, lithium.
I tend not to post about new products or regimens until after I've gotten results from them, but I'm hoping that posting this will help me stick to my newest regimen.
I'm about to start using 6 new products on the right side of my nose for 2 months to see if they reduce the amount of sebum that my skin produces. I did a similar experiment with peppermint oil last year, which yielded some noteworthy results:
The products I'm using contain a number of ingredients that are purported to either directly reduce sebum production or inhibit the production of DHT, which binds to the sebaceous glands and causes them to produce oil. Fortunately the topic of sebum reduction is a big deal in hair loss communities, so there are a lot of hair loss shampoos with ingredients that reduce sebum.
See my previous blog post for a list of key ingredients that have the potential to reduce sebum:
I have said this multiple times, but if you suffer from oily skin and are seeking a cure, please consider experimenting with (purportedly) sebum-reducing products like I am. The quickest way to find a solution for oily skin is to experiment for ourselves and see what actually works.
Here are the products I will be using, with their key ingredients in bold:
Pura d'or Hair Loss Prevention: Premium Organic Shampoo
Purified water, sodium cocoyl isethionate (derived from coconut), cocamidopropyl betaine (derived from coconut), tea tree oil, argan oil, DHT blocker (proprietary herbal blend), black seed (kanoji) oil, amla oil, nettle extract, biotin, saw palmetto, cedarwood oil, rosemary oil, sage extract, he shou wu (fo-ti), hibiscus oil, pygeum extract, pumpkin seed oil, green tea extract, zinc, soy isoflavones, beta sitosterols, aloe vera, niacin, vitamin E, B-vitamin complex, phenoxyethanol (mild preservative), grapefruit seed extract (natural preservative), lactic acid (naturally occurring in yogurt) & dead sea salt.
Swanson Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
Purified (deionized) water, lauryl glucoside, decyl glucoside, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf gel, vegetable glycerin, phenoxyethanol, tea tree oil, Arnica montana flower extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, Echinacea purpurea (coneflower) root extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit extract, d-panthenol (vitamin B-5), sodium chloride, citric acid, xanthan gum, Origanum vulgare (oregano) leaf extract, Thymus vulgaris (thyme) leaf extract, Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel extract, Mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf extract, Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal) root extract, Olea europaea (olive) leaf extract
Sibu Beauty, Sea Buckthorn Clarifying Toner
Water, SD alcohol 40-B, glycerin, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, inulin polyglyceryl-10 laurate, hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit extract, hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) oil, algae extract, artemisia vulgaris extract, allantoin, chlorella vulgaris extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, laminaria digitata extract, leucojum aestivum bulb extract, hordeum distichon (barley) extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract, salicornia herbacea extract, santalum album (sandalwood) extract, caprylic/capric triglycerides, phospholipids, xanthan gum, phenethyl alcohol, benzoic acid, orange and lemon essential oils, ethylhexylglycerin, phytic acid.
Madre Labs, Camellia Care, EGCG Green Tea Skin Cream
Water, coco-caprylate, cetearyl olivate, glycerin, sorbitan olivate, EGCg from camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, rosa canina (rose hips) fruit extract, resveratrol, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel extract, sodium hyaluronate, tocopheryl acetate, caffeine, citrus medica limonum (peel) extract, lecithin, dimethicone, xanthan gum, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, tetrasodium EDTA, propyl gallate, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, capryly glycol, sorbic acid.
Nature's Answer Saw Palmetto Berry
Water, glycerin,serenoa repens, 12-15% certified organic alcohol
Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Crème
Water, Glycerin, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octyldodecanol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Squalane, Tapioca Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Myristyl Myristate, Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Glycyrrhiza Inflata Root Extract, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloydimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin.
I'll give these products at least 2 months to work their magic, and if I don't see any results then I'm going to switch to using Nizoral 2% shampoo, which contains ketoconazole.
Although my blog is devoted chiefly to oily skin and acne, I also deal with seborrheic dermatitis and I like to provide periodic updates regarding my progress on that front as well, in case my experience can help someone else suffering from seb derm.
One month ago I started washing the seb derm areas of my face with a sulfur soap called Coral KAVI. It contains salicylic acid and sulfur. While I have used salicylic acid products in the past with no success, I had never used a sulfur soap until this experiment.
My main symptoms of seb derm are flaking, redness, and occasionally pustules, with flaking being the most annoyingly unmanageable symptom. So far, Coral KAVI soap has made a significant difference in the amount of flakes on my face. My seb derm typically shows up in my beard, and whenever my beard used to grow out, I could rub flakes out of it for literally 5 minutes straight. It would just keep snowing down (sorry, I know that's gross lol). When I rub my beard now, next to nothing comes out. I mean seriously next to nothing. I used to get hundreds if not thousands of little flakes, and now I get... maybe ten? I don't know. It's seriously negligible.
I wash my face with the soap twice a day in lukewarm water and then apply my CeraVe moisturizer.
I'm just hoping that the results stick. I've heard of certain treatments improving people's seb derm only to gradually stop working after a few months of use. But I'm happy at the moment.
Today is the end of my diet experiment. It has been 37 days since I started and I'm sad to say that I haven't noticed any change in my oil output.
To recap, I eliminated all grains, all dairy, almost all processed food, artificial sugar, and peanut butter. I was also shooting for low fat and moderate carbs. My diet literally consisted of almost the same things every day: two smoothies (sunflower butter, banana, blueberries, spinach), various fruit throughout the day, and either a stir-fry with chicken and vegetables or scrambled eggs when I didn't have ingredients for the stir-fry.
As a result of my limited food options, I naturally consumed fewer calories, so I was simultaneously testing the theory that caloric restriction reduces sebum secretion. My daily caloric intake was about 1300 calories during this experiment, roughly half of what I consume on my normal diet. I've lost nearly 15 pounds in the past 37 days, but I fully intend to gain all of it back.
This was definitely the most grueling experiment I have done yet. I was hungry pretty much all the time, and it was especially painful when I was put into situations where I was surrounded by delicious food that I couldn't eat. The experiment seriously felt twice as long as it was. But I stuck with it 100% because that's how badly I want to find a solution for oily skin.
In a way I'm a little glad that I didn't see any improvement from this diet experiment, because it means I get to eat what I usually eat without feeling like it may be contributing to oily skin. On the other hand, it means the search for an oily skin cure continues.
A quick update on the various experiments I have been trying.
It's been almost a month since I started my elimination diet as described in my previous blog post. I haven't noticed any lasting improvement in oil production, but I will probably continue the diet for at least another two weeks beyond the one-month mark. One point of interest is that 5 days ago on Monday, my oil production slowed down by a remarkable amount, probably by about 50% if I were to take a guess. The strange thing was that it only lasted for that one day. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what might have caused that dramatic change.
There was one unfortunate side effect to my new diet plan: almost immediately, I started getting much more frequent acne. This came as a surprise because I was eating more nutritious food and less junk food than ever before. Equally surprising was the fact that the acne stopped once I started supplementing with olive oil again a week ago, which I had eliminated from my diet as part of my experiment. I'm not trying to claim that olive oil is a miracle acne cure. I'm just reporting my results.
On the topical side of things, I can't remember if I mentioned on this blog that I started using a serum containing green tea extract, nobiletin, and niacinamide at the same time I started my new diet. I have also been washing with 1% Nizoral shampoo. I've been applying both of these twice a day to the right side of my nose, and I have not noticed any changes worth noting as of yet.
My new game plan that I started last night is to apply a concoction of anti-androgenic ingredients to the right side of my nose for 1-2 months, in addition to the aforementioned serum. My concoction is composed of lavender oil, cedarwood oil, tea tree oil, and argan oil, all mixed in a base of jojoba oil. As always, if I see any improvement in oily skin from this experiment, I will post about it.
Last week I started a new diet to try and combat my oily skin from the inside out. It's a Paleo-ish diet in which I abstain from dairy, grains (wheat, oats, etc.), processed sugar, and basically any processed food. I have also cut peanut butter out of my diet, which used to be one of my main sources of calories (I'm using sunflower seed butter instead and much less of it). Aside from the peanut butter, I have not cut any other legumes out of my diet, which is one of the ways in which my diet deviates from Paleo. I'm also limiting the amount of fat in my diet, which is also a bit un-Paleo.
In addition to those main diet changes, I have also stopped taking fish oil, olive oil, and zinc, all three of which were previously a regular part of my regimen. I'm trying to consume a lot more vegetables as well.
I haven't noticed any changes in my oily skin, but I'm only a week into the diet. When I started taking low-dose Accutane, it took 2-3 weeks before my sebum production started to subside, so I think it's only fair that I give this new diet at least the same amount of time to start working.
Strangely enough, when I first switched to this diet a week ago, I started getting acne on my nose. I almost never get acne anymore, so this was a bit of a shock. I thought consuming more vegetables and avoiding processed food even more than I already was would cause my skin to look better. It may have just been a coincidence that the breakouts occurred right after I started my new diet, but it's still very strange. The only big additions to my diet besides vegetables is soy sauce and sunflower seed butter, both of which I consume pretty much every day now, but in moderation.
I started taking a lot of vitamin C yesterday and the acne spots actually seem to be going away now. Don't know if it's the vitamin C or something else.
For those who are interested, I have compiled a collection of anecdotal, diet-related success stories pertaining to oily skin. I originally culled these stories together for myself, but I figure it might be helpful to others who are also searching for an oily skin cure:
Diet success stories
mookie1809: "my face used to be EXTEREMLY oily, but i changed my diet to veggies/meats/ healthy oils like olive,coconut/brown rice and i only wash my face at night, in the morning rinse with water and use moisturizer. Skin is ALOT less oily."
misterE said he reduced sebum production by going on " an extremely-low-fat/high-fiber starch based vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables and phytonutrients." He added that he used to eat " lots of cheeses, lots of fried foods, lots of fatty brisket and red meat, lots of milk and ice cream, lots of eggs, lots of vegetable oils". He rephrased his diet once more saying he "switched from a high-cholesterol/high-fat/low-fiber meat based diet to my extremely-low-fat/high-fiber starch based vegan diet"
And again: " I guess you could say I follow the McDougall Diet but to answer your question: I eat all the fruit and veggies under the sun. But my diet is centered around starches: lots of beans, lots of rice and potatoes. Whole-grain brown rice pasta, whole-wheat-pasta, whole-wheat-spaghetti, quinoa, grits, oats, corn, sweet potatoes, etc are all mainstays of my diet.
I do not use cooking oil of any kind, NO OILS!. I consider nuts and seeds a delicacy and I eat them on very very rare occasions...maybe two or three times a year. But, whenever I make oatmeal, I do add flaxseeds to it."
"The way to stop sebum production is simple; get dairy products, animal protein, fats and oils out of your diet and load up on fiber and complex carbohydrates. This will stop sebum production"
Lima: " I decided to give up and just eat a low-fat high protein moderate-carb diet, and let me tell you my skin is ALMOST COMPLETELY FREE FROM OIL - like i mean that I could go a few days without washing and it would still be completely fine."
"Basically just a Low GI, high protein, low fat diet, with absolutely no caffeine, sugars, alcohol or simple carbs, or gluten either (I am gluten sensitive). Also no fruit.
Carbs: Lowered GI White Rice, Vegetables (mixed green salad)
Protein: Chicken, lean beef/pork/lamb, Tuna (in water, not vegetable oils)
Fats: A very small amount (only enough to cook with) of olive oil/canola butter, and the occasional avocado.
Timing I only eat the carbs (low GI) in the morning for breakfast, and post-workout - and I make sure I have plenty of fibrous vegetables with them to control blood sugar more effectively."
" Just as an update for everybody -
My low-fat, low GI, high fibre, high protein diet has been working wonders.
I have zero active acne on my face, and only 1 red mark which is fading fast.
My back is about 40,000 times better, with no active pimples - and all my red marks are basically invisible in only a short amount of time.
Update on what I'm doing: Exercise: 6 days per week, light cardio and HIIT and occasional weights (high reps, lighter). Vit D3, Zinc, Vit A, Fish Oil (yeah I started on it again)
No glutamine or creatine or whey"
[From another thread but the same poster:] " there are plenty of people on these forums that eat a lot of good fat and are acne-free. i for one can have as much oily fish, fatty meat, coconut oil and avocado as i want and my skin only improves. trans and polysaturated fats are the ones to watch out for, so please don't just say "fatty foods" "
wibble (basically on paleo): "So far I've been on a low GL diet for 2 weeks, and although its early days, its probably the best its been. . . . The "diet" isn't actually too difficult, its basically eating healthy without starchy carbs (wheat, rice, potatos) and sugars, and not eating too much of it (unless you burn off a lot of calories). Making sure as much is "whole" still as possible, and not processed. Theory I think is, that the high GI/GL foods promote an insulin response that eventually promotes more sebum (lots of info on Google out there). For example very little bread (if you must, have something like Burgen low GI bread), cut out rice (I swap in more green veg), not much potatos, and very little sugary foods."
"Breakfast, I would have something like Porridge or maybe eggs/bacon (instead of my old usual cereals).
Lunch, Something like a tuna+veg wrap (instead of a cheese sandwich).
Dinner, Something like stir fry with chicken with lots of green veg, or another meat with a large salad.
Main thing is trying to make sure you get lots of non-starch veg in, at least half of lunch/dinner should have this. The rest can be protein, plus a little starch veg like potato if needed.
Don't each huge portions of anything except non-starch veg, but do adapt if you lead a very active lifestyle (mine is fairly sedentary, working indoors). Fats you can include in your salads for example with healthy fats, rather than cheese or something, but no need to get too many in."
" [wibble:] I'm currently pretty much oil free on a low GL diet. I eat Muesli or scrambled eggs for breakfast, salad or maybe a chicken sandwich with veg. For dinner I have some meat with veg like broccoli, carrots, sweet potatos. Obviously not the same every day, but similar idea."
sherrinblue: "I changed my diet to a all natural diet of just fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains and saw a huge difference in my skin's oiliness within a week."
mystril: "Tried Low GI for 2-3 Months, Skin became much less Oilier."
lindanm from healthboards: "Zinc, Saw Palmetto, Nettle Leaf, low carb diets, fiber, probiotics, Omega 3s, and exercize. My once grotesquely oily skin is not oily at all anymore due to these things"
chief89: "I've been a sugar and carb junkie with very poor eating habits. Since I went "cold turkey" and have started watching my intake, completely cut out all candy, added sugars, chips, heavy carb items like potato, I have started to notice that the skin on my face has gone dry!"
wingedserpent: "I noticed huge reductions in the oiliness of my skin when I cut out sugar."
deetox:"I used to suffer from very greasy skin and acne myself, once I stopped eating fried foods and other oily greasy foods (especially fast food) and started drinking lots of green smoothies and fresh veggie juices every day (with lots of greens, chlorophyll is the key) all my skin problems disappeared."
sleptember did Paleo, cinnamon, zinc, chromium, and magnesium: "I used to suffer from very oily skin. I believe my caveman routine helped balance this out. However, I still experience moderate to slight post-meal oiliness."
" I don't take any vitamin supplements -I try to eat nutritious foods instead (lots of veggies, fruit, and quality meat)."
Michelene: "This is the first time in years that my skin is clear. I started taking Zinc, Niacinmide, Multi-Vitamin, B-complex and Fish Oils. My skin is clear and oil is down by at least 50%. I also wash in the am and pm, change my pillow case twice a week and started drinking lots of water."
Cartman: "Why not take pantethine (Coenzyme A)? It has been proven to reduce cholestorol levels and is high-bioavailable, pharmaceutical grade metabolite of vitamin B-5 helps maintain a favorable lipid balance to promote healthy cardiovascular function. I've been taking it for about 3 weeks and I've noticed reduced inflamation and sebum production. I take 900 mg a day, spread out over 3 doses."
Ichance23: "the paleo diet decreases my oily skin over a period of 2 months. i suddenly noticed my skin was about 20% less oily. it also decreased my acne. however the oil and acne came back a little when i started lifting. now i gave up on lavender oil and only use tto. the tto is an antiandrogen so it decreases the size of one's pores and decreases the oil production of our skin as well. i have actually noticed it decreasing the size of my large nose pores and as a result decreasing the oiliness of my skin."
Clear At Last did no sugar and only " whole grain bread, vegetables, fruits, patotoes, etc. DO eat some meat/fish at dinner, but in moderation. I dont know about diary products, I never eat them anyway.":
"First, I noticed my skin became less oily, then I noticed less new zits popping up, and finally NO new zits forming"
In response to thread "Has anyone overcome oily skin through diet?", alternativista said: " Yes. And Not by consuming less fat and oil. In fact I add oils and sometimes have a tablespoon of coconut oil as a supplement."
" Avoiding high glycemic impacting meals, drinks and snacks means not stimulating excess insulin, a master hormone that stimulates the production and release of other hormones such as the androgens that stimulate excess sebum production."
" I wouldn't worry about the starch, not when it comes in a nutrient rich food like a sweet potato. The starch in them includes resistant starch that helps keep blood sugar stable."
Tunnelvisionary: " I've overcome my 24/7 oil slick with diet changes.
Initially, I cut out lots of things like dairy, wheat, rice, and sugary foods. From that, it was instant improvement in my oiliness.
I don't know if I let myself heal or something (doubt it considering newer health problems were arising from not eating enough), but I've expanded my diet quite a bit since successfully and my nose only gets very slightly oily when I eat A LOT of rice and sourdough bread. Everything else is pretty good. I refuse to touch whole wheat bread, but I'd imagine it makes my skin oilier."
I try to make individual blog posts for each experiment and successful remedy that I try, so I wanted to make a brief post about this. I have been dealing with scalp dandruff on and off for a long time. I don't know whether or not it's related to my seborrheic dermatitis, but I suspect it might be. Recently, for the past several months, my dandruff has been particularly stubborn and hasn't responded to my Head and Shoulders shampoos. As an experiment, I tried going two weeks without shampoo, which only made the flaking worse.
A few days ago I decided to try the coal tar shampoo that I had been using on my face (unsuccessfully), and after two or three days my dandruff almost completely disappeared. So the coal tar shampoo worked where two different types of Head and Shoulders shampoos failed. For reference, I just used a generic store brand shampoo.
Just to follow up on my post from yesterday, my terrible seb derm acne breakout is starting to clear up. It was looking really bad yesterday. I don't think I've ever had an acne breakout quite like that before. I was getting so desperate for a remedy that I considered buying a traditional acne product from the store, which would have been the first time I had done that in years. I ended up deciding to hold off on the acne creams and give my current arsenal of products one more shot. This was a difficult decision since I had just spent the whole day out with people trying to hide my face in embarrassment.
All I have to say is thank god for bentonite clay. As soon as I got home last night, I made a mixture of apple cider vinegar and Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and slathered it on my acne-ridden jawline. As the clay hardened up and gripped onto my face, I hoped that the pustules on my face were being slowly suffocated to death once and for all. I just wanted to be done with this breakout.
After 30 minutes I washed the mask off in the shower and used my zinc pyrithione bar soap. When I finished my shower and looked in the mirror, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of the pustules had dried right up and were starting to fall off. When I woke up this morning, roughly 80% of the acne from the day before was gone. There is still some left, and a couple new spots popped up, but overall it's a huge improvement over yesterday and I think this breakout is seeing its last days.
I used the bentonite clay for my last breakout as well and noticed good results, but I wasn't sure if the results were due to the clay since I was using several products at once. Now I'm almost positive it's the clay that's making the most difference. I'm so impressed with this stuff that I may start doing regular clay masks every few days just for general skin maintenance.
I started using raw honey masks and moisturizing with coconut oil a few days ago, and my skin is in really bad shape right now. My jawline is just covered in acne. And this is right after a previous breakout healed up completely. I started to notice irritation two days ago as my facial hair was growing out. Unfortunately, by the time I shaved last night, there were already numerous pustules in my beard. This resulted in possibly the most painful shave I've ever had to endure. I've simply never had to deal with that much acne during a shave before. This morning things looked even worse. The pustules spread and multiplied and I couldn't stop them no matter what I used.
So now my chin looks horrible. I've seriously never had this many acne spots at one time in my entire life, and I considered myself to have pretty much moved past acne by this point. I can't identify the culprit easily since I started using several new things at once, but I have a feeling it's the raw honey masks. I've heard that they can make your skin feel worse at first. I'm going to stick with my same regimen for the next couple of days and see if things calm down. If they don't then I'm going to just stop the honey and coconut oil and go back to my normal regimen.
Now I'm just trying to find a good spot treatment for acne. It's been a couple of years since I actually felt the need to use a product for acne, so I'm trying to figure out what my best options are. I'm trying tea tree oil, topical green tea, and clay masks at the moment.
I don't think I've ever talked about it before on this site, but in addition to extremely oily skin I also suffer from seborrheic dermatitis. When I grow facial hair, I get terrible flaking, and sometimes red rashes and pustules. I also get some flakes in my eyebrows, and I have dandruff on my scalp (not sure yet if that's related).
I didn't really start to notice my flaking problem until last year, at which point I did some research and self-diagnosed myself with seborrheic dermatitis. It was only after this diagnosis that I realized I had probably been dealing with seb derm long before it was apparent to me. Looking back, I recalled occasionally noticing some light flakes in my beard, and a few occasions where big patches of yellow-ish flakes were showing up on my recently shaved face. I always wrote it off as typical dry skin and tried to remedy the problem by slathering moisturizer on my face, which temporarily improved the appearance but obviously didn't solve the underlying issue.
So now it's just another problem to solve in my list skin conditions (I also have eczema and possibly rosacea). I thought it might be helpful to others if I posted about my ongoing battle with seb derm, so I will periodically provide updates on my progress.
What I Have Tried
The first thing I tried was medicated shampoo. I've gone through shampoos containing salicylic acid, ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, coal tar, and selenium sulfide. None of them helped. The only thing I've tried so far that seemed to make any difference was apple cider vinegar, but oddly enough the effect only lasted for a few days. A couple of months ago, I started applying undiluted ACV to my face after my showers. Within literally a day or two, there was an immediate improvement in my skin. Whereas previously I could rub flakes out of my beard for 5 minutes straight, I now had almost zero flakes. Unfortunately this only lasted for a few days and I could never replicate that success.
What I'm Trying Now
I just received the Noble 2% Zinc Pyrithione bar soap. Even though my pyrithione zinc shampoo didn't help, I've heard good things about this bar so I'm giving it a shot. I am also applying tea tree oil once a day, moisturizing with coconut oil, and using bentonite clay masks every 2-3 days. The only product I feel like I can comment on at this point is the bentonite clay, which seems to have a calming effect on my rash and acne breakouts. I'm also going to be starting raw honey masks in a couple of days.
As far as diet goes, I'm a bit of a health nut so I try to limit the amount of junk food I eat anyway, but for the sake of experimentation I'm being even more strict with myself. I'm trying to avoid processed, pre-packaged food as much as possible. I'm also severely restricting the amount of grains I eat, and I'm trying to make fresh vegetable juice 4-5 times per week.
I'll probably update on my progress in a couple of weeks.
I believe I've mentioned this product before, but I want to make a blog post specifically for Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. It's one of the best products I've personally used for covering up oily skin. It's not amazing, but it works better than just about any other mattifying product I've used. I still get some shininess breaking through after a couple of hours, but it's better than nothing.
However I did discover that this stuff works particularly well when combined with Milk of Magnesia. Neither Milk of Magnesia nor Clarins works particularly well on its own, but the combined effect of both really impresses me. I apply a layer of MoM and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Then I get my fingers a little wet and wipe off the remaining white streaks. Next I apply the Clarins, and then I'm good to go. That keeps my shine down significantly for several hours.
As promised in my previous entry, I bought some magnesium citrate today after reading that it had comparable oil-absorbing effects to Milk of Magnesia without the annoying white, chalky appearance. I applied the magnesium citrate to just the right side of my nose for easier comparison and left it on for 3 hours.
Right away I saw one drawback in magnesium citrate as compared to Milk of Magnesia, which is that it has no mattifying effect. In fact, magnesium citrate itself has a slightly shiny appearance, whereas MoM almost immediately reduces the appearance of shine as soon as it's applied to the skin.
I left the magnesium citrate on for 3 hours while being very careful not to rub or blot any oil off my nose. Unfortunately, when it came time to blot the oil off my nose and compare, the right side of the blotting sheet appeared only slightly less oily than the left side. The magnesium citrate reduced my oil by maybe 20%, which is something but not reason enough to keep using the stuff.
As you can tell, I pretty much abandoned this blog in 2011 after I started taking low-dose isotretinoin. There is a thread on the Accutane logs board chronicling my progress, but long story short, the isotretinoin made my oil disappear almost completely while I was on it. I took it from August 2011 to December 2012, and I relished my oil-free skin that entire time. I dropped the medication in December because I wasn't able to acquire any more, but it was a good run.
So now I'm back where I started. My nose is extremely oily, and I'm trying more experiments to reduce sebum production. I'm happy to say that isotretinoin does seem to have one lasting effect for me even though the oil came back: my acne blemishes are almost non-existent. For years until I started the medication, I dealt with stubborn pustules and sebaceous filaments on my nose. After being off the medication for over a month, I have had almost no recurrence of acne. Granted, this could be related to my relatively clean diet and the regular cardio exercise that I have started doing, but in reality I probably have the isotretinoin to thank for it.
I've also noticed that the bare, clean skin on my nose looks less shiny since I stopped the isotretinoin. One of the big surprises once I started isotretinoin was that my nose looked really shiny even when there was no oil on it. I think the medication may have been thinning out my skin somehow, because now my nose is much less reflective (until the oil takes over).
Now that my isotretinoin supply has run out and my oil has returned, I'm back to the drawing board. There is really nothing to do except experiment with different products to see if any of them reduce my oily skin. As far as supplements go, I am currently taking 1,500mg of evening primrose oil. For topicals, I am applying saw palmetto, EGCG extract (green tea), and evening primrose oil to the right side of my nose, and I'm putting Nizoral %1 on the right side of my nose for 5 minutes in the shower and washing it off. I'm hoping one of these will have some effect on the sebum. I have also been applying diluted peppermint to my entire nose.
For short-term treatments, I'm looking into Milk of Magnesia again. I had a hard time with it in the past because it's very drying and I was suffering from terrible dryness on my nose already, but now my skin has rebounded a lot and I think I can get away with applying it just on important social occasions. I just need to perfect my technique so that it doesn't leave a ghostly white cast on my nose. In fact, tomorrow I'm planning on picking up magnesium citrate, which is purported to have the same oil-absorbing effect as Milk of Magnesia without the white, chalky appearance. It sounds a little too good to be true, but I'm giving it a shot.
Going forward, my next big plan is to start juicing vegetables and fruit to greatly increase the amount of nutrition in my diet. I have eliminated lots of unhealthy things from my diet over the years, but I haven't been as good about adding healthy foods. I'm trying to change that now.
So that's where I am. I'll try to update fairly regularly in case anyone is interested in my experiments.
Wow. It's been over half a year since my last update. It's a major disappointment to say that nothing I have tried so far has reduced my oily skin. At this point I feel like I have exhausted just about every option available to me, except for one: low-dose isotretinoin (more people probably know this as Accutane).
Put simply, I've been putting up with oily skin for too long. I've spent hundreds, probably thousands of dollars on products that got me nowhere. I've wasted years of my life experimenting with topicals, supplements, and drastic diet changes. And the entire time I've had to deal with the constant embarrassment and self-consciousness associated with bad skin. Those are years of my life that I'm never getting back. Isotretinoin was always something I avoided in the past because of the potentially severe side-effects, but I've reached my breaking point now and I don't care about the side-effects anymore. I need to get my life back.
I'm not taking Accutane specifically. I'm taking a generic brand that comes in 10mg pills. I'm starting off with 1 pill every 3 days for the first 12 days, then I will up the dosage to 1 pill every 2 days for at least 2 weeks. At that point I will decide what to do next depending on the results and side effects.
As a side project, I am experimenting with topical peppermint oil and cedarwood oil. This will be the third time I've tried peppermint oil. I apply a mixture of peppermint oil and purified water to the left side of my nose, and then a mixture of jojoba oil and cedarwood oil to the right side of my nose. Although I've used peppermint oil before, I never used it for more than a month. This time I'm going to use both the peppermint oil and cedarwood oil for at least 3 months.
The reason for using the topical oils is that I want to find a solution to oily skin that doesn't require me to be dependent on isotretinoin for the rest of my life, seeing as how it's such a dangerous drug. The oil-inhibiting effects of peppermint and cedarwood oil are promising, but both treatments require several months to work. I'm hoping the isotretinoin will allow me to enjoy oil-free skin for the time being while I use the topicals to suppress my sebaceous glands in a more permanent manner. If all goes according to plan, a few months from now the topicals will have reduced my oily skin and I can wean myself off of isotretinoin. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see if things really work out that way.
A couple of days ago I started using the T-Zone Serum from Skin Actives. A few of us on the oily skin board are giving it a go right now to see how it works. I had already had my eye on this serum, but then dan52 said it reduced his oily skin and that convinced me to actually buy it. I'm going to try it for at least one month.
The thing that initially drew me to this serum was that it contains the ingredients niacinamide and nobiletin, both of which are said to help reduce oily skin and acne. Here is the full list of ingredients:
Water, Lactobacillus/kelp ferment filtrate, Porphyridium extract, Laminaria japonica extract, Arthrospira extract., azeloyl glycine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea, niacinamide, nobiletin, propylene glycol (and) diazolidinyl urea (and) methylparaben (and) propylparaben.
Just a general update about my recent regimen changes and what I'm going to be experimenting with this month:
- Spearmint tea. I picked up a box of Bigelow Mint Medley (caffeine free) two days ago. Spearmint has anti-androgenic properties and some people, mostly women, have had success in using it to curb oil production. Yes, there is a risk that internal anti-androgens can mess with male hormones, so even if the tea does work then it's still not a viable long-term solution. 2-3 cups a day.
- Boswellia. I'm waiting for some boswellia supplements to arrive in the mail. The pills are 250mg each and I'll be taking 4 of them per day. This is the post that inspired me:
" first day I took Boswellia, I noticed an almost immediate - within 2 to 3 hours - reduction of sebum production."
I bought the NOW brand which is different from the brand he used, Nature's Herbs. I've read that some boswellia supplements don't contain legitimate amounts of boswellic acids. I think NOW Foods is a trustworthy brand, but if I don't see results then I'll try the brand that guy used.
- Peppermint oil with purified water. It didn't hit me until several days ago that every person who saw results with peppermint oil was mixing it with water, whereas I've been mixing it with avocado oil. We'll see whether or not this really makes a difference when I start applying a mixture of peppermint oil and purified water to the left side of my nose tomorrow.
- I've cut way down on my consumption of wheat and grains. The amount of wheat in my diet is marginal. Most days I eat only one slice of bread along with my eggs. Some days I don't eat any wheat period.
- 1 week without peanut butter. I eat tons of peanut butter. 12 tablespoons every day to be exact. Someone on the boards said he stopped eating nuts and saw a reduction in oil in less than a week. I'm doubtful that my oil problem is caused by peanut butter, but it's worth a shot. I want to do this experiment as soon as possible but I first need to figure out what foods I can substitute for the peanut butter in order to maintain my caloric intake (I'm on a weight gain regimen).
- Stopped drinking white tea. I was diligently drinking white tea (a more potent form of green tea) until I came across indications that green tea may in fact contribute to oily skin. I'm giving it a break for a while.
- Last week, Lac Hydrin-Five moisturizer took CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion's place as my official moisturizer. It contains lactic acid which I'm hoping will take care of my dry, wrinkly skin problem. I'm not expecting this to make a difference in my oil production, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
Peppermint oil - 1 month update
No, I didn't forget about my blog. I always like to update when there is something to tell, but lately there just hasn't been much worth telling.
It's been about a month since I began applying peppermint oil to the left side of my nose. I've been doing it once a day at night before bed (the avocado oil mixture leaves me looking too oily for the daytime).
I wish I could say that the peppermint oil has made a huge difference in my sebum production, but the truth is that I'm in pretty much the same situation as when I posted those first pictures. I honestly can't tell if there has been an improvement or not. Sometimes I blot my nose and the oil appears to be lighter on the left side. But then sometimes I blot my nose and the oil distribution appears to be about even between the two sides.
December 22 after 3 hours: http://i51.tinypic.com/21m7vr5.jpg
December 27 after about 2 hours: http://i55.tinypic.com/3346ghw.jpg
You can thank my crappy camera for the inconsistent image quality. Using these for comparison with my other pictures is slightly complicated because I don't remember how long my oil had been building up when I snapped those original pictures.
So this turned out to be a pretty big disappointment. One positive thing that came out of this experiment is the discovery that peppermint oil seems to do a respectable job of cleaning up my skin. The left side of my nose looks a little better than the rest of my nose. Breakouts and clogged pores seem to be much more rare on the left side of my nose, the pores look cleaner, and the general texture of the skin looks smoother (a nice benefit since I'm dealing with rough skin right now). If you saw just the left side of my face you would think I had normal skin, barring the oil. I can't say with 100% certainty that this is an effect of the peppermint oil, but it's convinced me to start applying peppermint oil to my entire nose, replacing tea tree oil as my go-to acne treatment.
I'll update with a general progress report later on, and obviously if I do end up noticing a reduction in oil then I will make a post about it. And if you are considering trying peppermint oil yourself, by all means do it. Just because it hasn't worked for me doesn't mean it won't work for you. Heck, it's even possible that I just didn't get a good brand of peppermint oil, or that the avocado oil I used somehow interfered with the process. Who knows.
Next plan of action
So now it's time to decide which topical treatment to experiment with next. Right now I've got my eye on Nizoral shampoo, Panoxyl 10%, Nobiletin, Niacinamide, and Spironolactone. I'm open to suggestions if anybody has some. I'm sick of having oily skin and I feel like experimenting with a bunch of products is my only real option right now.
On the supplement side of things, I've decided to buy Boswellia after coming across a few isolated success stories on the internet. I'm also going to buy some spearmint tea which is supposedly anti-androgenic.
Oh, and I'm quitting the topical EGCg extract. It just doesn't seem to be making any difference whatsoever, except possibly causing minor breakouts. I've switched over to taking it orally. 400mg twice a day. Hopefully that will give me better results, though I worry about the caffeine (inflammatory).
EGCg green tea extract
4 days ago I started applying EGCg green tea extract to the right side of my nose to help slow down oil production. I bought the NOW brand that contains 200mg of EGCg per capsule. I mix the EGCg with a few drops of avocado oil and water. One thing I wasn't counting on is that the EGCg extract is very grainy and doesn't dissolve well. This leads to some scratchiness when I apply the mixture to my skin, but it's tolerable.
Peppermint oil update
My peppermint oil experiment has been underway for just over a week now. I have been diligently applying the oil to the left side of my nose twice a day, every day. Now with any new treatment, I try to retain a level head and a certain amount of pessimism. I know many people get over-excited in the first week of a new treatment and they start raving about their miraculous results, only to realize shortly thereafter that the results are not as dramatic as they originally thought. I honestly try to avoid that. I jump into most new products expecting them not to work. With that said, I want to show you something:
That's a blotting sheet. Well, actually, it's a strip of a paper toilet seat cover that I use to blot the oil off my nose (great alternative to pricey blotting sheets). I placed that sheet onto my nose exactly how it's pictured, as if you were going to pick it up with your hands right now and put it to your face. The red line in the center is where the middle of my nose was. The dark spots are obviously the oil that has been soaked up. The darker the spot, the more oil. As you can see, the oil on the right side is more dense than the left side.
I didn't apply uneven pressure. I made sure to press the sheet in hard on both sides to absorb as much oil as possible. It's nothing huge, I know, but I don't recall the difference being this noticeable a week ago. I'm not saying that the peppermint oil is definitely making a difference. I'm still being catuiously optimistic about this experiment, but this at least gives me some hope.
I was going to post pictures of my actual nose but my camera can't really capture the oiliness of my skin. Here is another picture without the flash:
Today is the beginning of my experiment with topical peppermint oil. The peppermint oil is the first test in my new approach of using topical anti-androgens to control sebum production on my excessively oily nose. Trying to solve the problem internally just wasn't getting me anywhere. I tried cutting out dairy, I tried zinc, I tried green tea, I tried fish oil, and I tried borage oil. No difference in my oily skin.
In my online research, I was surprised by the lack of personal experiences with topical anti-androgens, considering how desperate some people are to find a cure for their oily skin. So in light of the scant first-hand testimonials, I thought I would take it upon myself to give these treatments a test run.
First up is peppermint oil. My mixture is composed of peppermint oil, avocado oil, and water. It's hard to find consistent advice on the best ratio of peppermint oil to water or carrier oil, but I shoot for about 1:10. My mixing method is a little messy since all I do is put all of the oils and water onto a plate and mix them together with my fingers, so it's difficult to say what the exact ratio of the dilution is by the time it touches my skin.
For the purpose of this experiment, I am applying the peppermint oil only to the left side of my nose. This way I can compare that part of my nose to the rest of my nose and see if there is a difference, plus any potential side effects will be isolated to that one area. As a side note, I also just bought some green tea extract that I plan on using on the other side of my nose later this week, so I'll be testing out 2 topical anti-androgens simultaneously. I'm using the NOW brand of peppermint oil with the NOW brand of avocado oil.
I'll try to take pictures along the way for comparison.
Peppermint oil's application as an anti-sebum treatment was discovered in a 2004 study from Japan, where several topical treatments were tested for their anti-androgenic effects. Licorice was actually found to be the most effective, but there seems to be some apprehension surrounding licorice on the internet. I don't know the exact side effects of topical licorice, but I figured I'd play it safe and go with the next best thing.
"Potential activity of herbal extracts on sebum secretion was studied. Among the herbal extracts tested, polyol-soluble licorice extract P-U (product name) derived from Glycyrrhiza inflata showed the most potent testosterone 5 .ALPHA.-reductase inhibition, androgen receptor binding inhibition and antimicrobial activities, which are closely related to sebum secretion. In addition to the findings on polyol-soluble licorice extract P-U, clove extract and peppermint extract showed testosterone 5 .ALPHA.-reductase inhibition, arnica extract and rose fruit extract showed androgen receptor binding inhibition, alpinia speciosa root extract and scutellaria root extract showed estrogen receptor agonists, and sophora root extract showed antimicrobial activity. (author abst.)"
There is an Acne.org thread from 2007 called "peppermint oil reduces sebum" that contains multiple reports of success with peppermint oil:
marcg: "Well to put it succinctly, I diluted peppermint essential oil with distilled water 1:5, shake just prior to application (as invariably they will separate somewhat) and rub a few drops into my skin after showering. This is done twice daily. It has been a week now, and there is a marked decrease in sebum secretion. only the slightest trace of oil can be seen after 12 hours or so."
kidchicago: "My experience is that dilution of less than 10 to 1 water to oil is too irritating - it has caused flare ups. At the same time, this has definitely decreased the oiliness of my skin."
mervinjminky: "i'm trying peppermint oil (mentha piperita) mixed with purified water (1:20) since a week now and it decreases my sebum excretion in a quite impressive way."
just another 1: "Ok, I have been using the pure peppermint oil mixed 1 to 15 ( 1 part peppermint oil to 15 parts water) twice a day for a total of approx. 15 hours a day for about 1 week now. I can say that it has helped reduce my oil output."
ponyboy: "this shit def work like magic. i have used for 2 days and has completely cleared me up. nothing has ever worked for me except tane. this is amazing."
JÃ«rÃ«mÃ¿n: "I've been using it for a few years. I think it works wonderfully. Might be a bit harsh around the eyes, but other than that, it really helps regulate my sebum."
michael barry: "I KNOW that stuff is anti-andrognenic. Ive seen it on my own face big time"
chore boy: "I've been using peppermint during my shampooing for the last month or so and have noticed that it signifigantly retards sebum secretion on my scalp and face"
It's about that time of the month again. Time for an update on the dairy-free diet.
It's hard to say whether cutting dairy out of my diet has had any noteworthy effect on my skin. My overall skin situation seems to have improved somewhat in the past couple of months. Acne breakouts aren't as bad or as frequent, and the redness that follows a breakout seems to disappear faster. But honestly I'm taking so many supplements and anti-acne foods right now that I can't pinpoint which thing or things are giving me results. Oh, and not eating dairy really sucks. I've lost 10 pounds in the past two months.
I'll make a post soon giving a rundown of my current regimen listing all of the supplements I'm taking and all of the diet changes I've made, as well as my plans for what I'm going to be trying out next.
I stopped taking borage oil and lecithin a few days ago. I had enough left to last me another 3-4 days, but after sticking with it for over a month I figured the last few days wouldn't make a difference.
Unfortunately the borage oil and lecithin had absolutely no perceivable effect on the oiliness of my nose. Still as oily as ever. Right now I'm getting most of my EFAs from hemp oil, which I started on October 27.
So my search for an oily skin solution continues.
I ordered Niacin a few days ago and it arrived in the mail today. I had come across discussions of Niacin on the Acne.org boards in the past, but it wasn't until last week that I noticed people saying it cured their oily skin. Naturally, I was intrigued. It seems like most people who take Niacin see results, sometimes dramatic, with their acne. My acne situation isn't too bad but I do get the occasional breakout, so even if this doesn't help my oily skin it might at least help stave off the acne.
I bought Nature's Way Niacin 100mg (nicotinic acid). Niacin supplements come in flush and non-flush forms. The Nature's Way brand is the flush version, which I opted for because I've heard that long-term use of the non-flush form can cause liver damage. The flush took a while to set in. 30 minutes after swallowing the capsule, I was beginning to wonder if I was even going to have a flush. Then all of the sudden I felt a mild pins-and-needles feeling all over my body, similar to the feeling you get when your foot falls asleep. Certain spots flared up a little bit, like my arms. All in all it wasn't bad. I'm starting off with one capsule a day and I'll gradually ramp it up to 500mg or so.
I've been reading up on the connection between acne and foods containing wheat, grains, and high glycemic loads. In light of my findings I have decided to temporarily reduce the amount of these things in my diet.
The reason for this adjustment is that I have been getting unusual amounts of breakouts and clogged pores in the past month or so. I'm on a weight-gain regimen, so when I gave up dairy in September I tried to make up for the lost calories in part by eating more bread and sandwiches. I suspect the recent breakouts may be a result of that.
I'm still in the process of retooling my diet as I'm trying to figure out exactly what foods these diet changes leave available to me. Right now my daily diet consists of peanut butter (lots of it), vegetables, fruit, meat, almond milk, whey protein, Cheerios, and eggs.
If anyone has suggestions for this diet change or recommendations for further diet changes, please let me know. I'm totally open to ideas.
One month ago, on September 26, I gave up all dairy in an effort to reduce the oil production on my nose. I said I would post a progress report when the month was up, so here it is. Technically I'm a day late with this post but I was busy all day and couldn't get around to it until right now at 4:00am.
Sad to say that I have seen no perceivable difference in the sebum output on my nose since instituting this diet change. I haven't seen a noticeable reduction in acne either. In fact, roughly a week after dropping the dairy, my nose experienced a long string of consecutive breakouts and abnormally clogged pores like I hadn't seen in months. I'm not saying it was definitely the result of cutting out dairy. To be fair there were a couple of small regimen changes I made around the same time, so it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause. Though it did make me wonder if the breakouts were triggered by a lack of vitamin D, which wasn't a problem when I used to drink profuse amounts of milk. I just started popping vitamin D supplements to take care of that.
Anyway, I'm going to keep up the no dairy thing for a few more months before I make any conclusions.