I truly believe I finally know what gives me acne. I've spent years and years researching and learning, and now I feel I have the toosl I need to overcome this monster. It's so hard though, probably the hardest cure I could discover because it means giving up so much food that I love. and I'm such a big food lover!!
I become addicted to sugar. It's crazy. If I have a little, I just can't stop! And for weeks I try to wean myself off because it just becomes a landslide.
For example, I was doing well for like 3 or 4 weeks, then one day, on a weekend vacation, I decided to have one piece of white bread at the restaurant we were eating at. One piece lead to four pieces (because, let's face it, I LOVE bread). After that, I started eating little bits of sugar every day. And for the past 3 weeks now, I've been completely off my diet because that little piece of simple carb put me back on my cravings. It's so hard!! Esepcially when my friends tease and make fun of me for my diet, but they'll never understand, those perfect complexioned people with their diet I only wish I could have (entirely junk food).
But it helps knowing that this isn't JUST for acne. It's for life. It's for fighting disease and cancer and living in a body that is beautiful and healthy and energetic and free of harmful things. This is a huge deal. This is way bigger than acne. That helps.
So, today, my face is horrendous. Spots everywhere, redness up, blotchiness up, my skin is super dry from trying to put products on my face to help. yeah, it's bad. But, I know why it's bad. And I can fix this, for real.
Today, I had a few low glycemic, homemade muffins for breakfast. Good for me! Then I decided to eat a completely high glycemic cookie people from my office gave me. I should have never brought those home!
So, today, I'm really going to try to fight my cravings. The good news is if I can make it one week, I'll be good. If I can resist all the cravings for 7 days, those cravings completely go away. That doesn't mean I don't like sweets or carbs, but I don't absolutely feel I have to have them.
This is my week. The week I'm strong. The week I put my health and my face above the illusions of my wants.
Just so anyone who reads this knows, I'm also supplementing my diet with two key things: Cod liver oil and a green vegetable powder drink mix. The cod liver oil is from Green Pasture and is the highest grade you can buy. Expensive, yes, worth it? I think so. I've only been taking it about 5 days now. The vegetable drink mix is from Amazing Grass and is a blend of several different greens that are crazy good for you. I have a smoothie for lunch every day (at least every work day) and add a small scoop of this in. Adds to the nutritional value without any change in taste. Delish and extremely good for me.
I think these two supplements will help immensely ALONG SIDE my diet. I keep hoping supplements will be an easy fix. I keep hoping, but an easy fix is not in my future. I'm going to have to suffer through this, but once I succeed (and I will btw), it will be 1000X worth it.
I know how to be clear. For me, it's all about avoiding dairy and maintaining a low glycemic diet. I'm including lots of fruits and veggies into my diet as well as supplementing with cod liver oil, the expensive fermented kind from green pastures. Today is day one.
I'm tires of this. I now know how to control my acne. Now it's only a matter of self control.
My cruise was amazing and my skin was just as great! I was clear the entire time. However, I do have some slightly scary news. I had dairy on the cruise, every day, and never broke out. I'm reeeally hoping my skin clearing isn't actually the BC finally kicking in because I've completely stopped it now.
But now that I'm back home I'm back to my no dairy diet and healthy eating.
Last time it took a month before my skin broke out after stopping BC, so I'm gonna give in another month or two on this diet along with apple cider vinegar and maca supplements (maca balances hormones) to see if this hopeful regimen is actually what's helping my skin. I'll try to keep updated for both our sakes.
Whaat?! It's been a month since starting my new regimen? That's amazing ha. So, for a quick update, skin is looking great! I'm clear today!
For a deeper look, read along...
I have been completely milk, cheese, yogurt (any direct dairy) free for 4 weeks. Ok, I've had a few slip ups and almost every time, the very next day I have a new pimple or cyst. Same goes for when I completely overdosed on junk food one day.
I have been eating very small amounts of processed foods that contain dairy such as hot chocolate powder or dark chocolate that contains milk fat. Stuff like that. But not direct, full powered dairy.
I've upped my intake of fruits and veggies and have gotten stronger at saying no to sweets (my weakness).
Today, my skin is clear and redness and unevenness has been reduced greatly. I even had a few sips of milk yesturday while eating some chocolate cake. I was nervous about that, but I'm doing ok so far
I'll keep up this diet and see if my skin remains clear. Because I've had this before, my skin is perfect for a day or two and then another breakout takes over. So, we'll see.
I've also officially quit Trinessa birth control as I think it may be contributing to other unwanted side effects. I'm hoping getting off that will sort out some hormonal problems. However, that BC was what kept me clear in the past, but since starting it up several months ago a second time, it hasn't done terribly much for my skin. So I'm hoping the diet will be enough to keep m skin nice and I won't break out in cysts because I'm off the BC.
VACATION THIS WEEK! I leave Friday for the Bahamas and I was desperately wanting my skin clear by then. I'm gonna be strict on my diet to ensure I have the best skin I can possibly have as I don't plan on wearing makeup at all.
I've also been using a honey and cinnamon mask, leaving it on for 30 minutes or so and scrubbing lightly while washing it off. That does great things for redness. On pimples, I'll spot treat using that mix and put a bandaid over the area so it doesn't rub off on my pillow. Works great
I applied heat to that cyst on and off on saturday and by the end of the day it came to a head! A lot of heat, I've found, is the best solution for a cyst. So I popped and cleaned it and it was a little smaller by the next day when I was able to pop it again. Today, it's smaller still but red. I did have some cheese dip on Saturday, but not too much, and I've had no new breakouts so that's a relief. So far, it seems I only get a breakout/cyst if I over do the junk food or dairy at one sitting. A little bit here and there doesn't seem too bad but I'm still trying to cut it out all together. It sure is proving to be difficult, thanks to our friends who don't give a care as to what goes into their mouths lol. Lucky, perfect skinned folks.
The worst thing about the cysts/breakouts I get is that they always leave a nice little scar. So even when I'm clear, I'm not.
I'm going off BC in a month and will be taking hormone balancing herbs as well as continuing apple cider vinegar.
I've also been reeeally stressed with work the past few weeks, so that could have an affect on my skin.
As of right now, just one cyst on my right cheek that seems to be healing. Much flatter but red.
I'm going absolutely no junk food/dairy for at least the week days. And I'll do my best to do the same over the weekend. lol
It's Saturday and I woke up with a small cyst on my right cheek, close to the one that's just finishing healing. Yesterday I didn't have any dairy but I did have a significant amount of junk food. My hubby and I went to the movies and I got a corn dog, dots and a root beer and ate everything haha. Other than that I had homemade spice muffins for breakfast and some pretzels dipped in peanut butter and grapes for lunch. So perhaps that's where it came from.
I haven't eaten a few things that include dairy in the ingredient list such as a powder mix of mocha cappaccino and I think one other thing I can't remember. I'm thinking those processed foods with milk as an ingredient don't affect me as much as straight milk or cheese does. I kind of thought junk food probably wasn't much of a contributing factor but perhaps it is. A smaller one that milk maybe, but a factor none the less.
Of course there's always the chance that this is just a pimple. The kind very one gets for no good reason. But then again, it's not, because its a cyst, an underground devil that doesn't just happen for no reason.
I'm thinking I buying the clear skin diet book for some more info and advice. I hear diet can help everything from reducing fine lines to under eye circles. And, of course, acne. And I believe it. This whole diet equals acne thing, though its something I've been studying for years, this is he first time I'm really taking it seriously and I need more information. Has anyone read it?
I'm a bit bummed about the zit but hey, it's gonna happen and it just gives me one more clue to the cause, which puts me one step closure to the cure
So I posted about how my weekend binge sent me into a breakout. After that day I had one more pimple barely begin to form and it was zapped with a little acne medicine (which is rare lol). I also popped and cleaned/treated the biggest zit I got on my left cheek. I did that last night and it looks much better this morning.
I have been dairy free, once again for 3 days (this is my 3rd day, so two full days), and once again, the redness and inflammation I received over the weekend has drastically reduced. I'm not talking my face was a strawberry and now it's perfection, but existing pimples are healing, redness has gone down, my face is smoother and less oily and just feels better. How can there NOT be a link between my acne and diet. I'm really excited about this
I'm still taking my Apple Cider Vinegar pills and will be taking those indefinitely as they are good for the entire body. I'm hoping to take an epsom salt bath after work today. Epsom salt baths are a great way to detox and exfoliate so it'll be a total body treatment! I'm also going to soak a wash cloth in the salty water and lay it over my face for a mini facial. I hear epsom salt is good for acne.
Yesturday I ate Abuelos as they catered at my work. I ate everything minus the cheeses, so I had a tortilla with beef, bean dip, a lot of chips with salsa, rice and sopapilla's with honey. I skipped the shredded cheese, sour cream and cheese dip (probably my favorite parts of the meal lol). Still, I have made an improvement in my complexion since yesturday. So that leads me to believe it's not so much processed/junk foods as it is the dairy aspect. I'm thankful for that as, with a husband who has no need or desire to cut out those food categories, I don't think I'd be able to completely. But dairy...dairy I can do
I really want to quit birth control at the end of May. I'll continue monitoring my skin on this new diet and decide just how clear I am without dairy.
It's Wednesday, people! Half-way through the week
I am so weak lol. I had dairy over the weekend. I had a half cup of ice cream on friday. No change. I had chicken parmesan on Saturday. Small breakout on my chin (two small pimples, no cysts). Sunday...whew...I was bad. I had pizza and a milkshake not to mention a few cookies : /. This morning: Small breakout on my left cheek and definite increase in redness/irritation. In a way, I'm glad to have eaten dairy as it just convinced me more that it has a direct and immediate affect on my acne. So I'm back to no dairy this week and will try to be stronger next weekend haha. My husband's family is alllwwaaays making food, buying us food, eating out etc. So it's hard to not eat what they do (we usually spend the day with his family on Sundays).
I'm not happy about the xtra ruddiness to my complexion but I am glad to see that my thoughts are going in the right direction. No dairy.
This morning I had my signature smoothie (It's actually Lauren Conrad's "7 Days to Skinny Jeans" smoothie with a few tweaks).
I'm about to indulge in my yummy spinach salad with clementines, blueberries and an apple.
Dinner tonight will be dairy free for myself. It's easy for me to say no to bad foods on weekdays when I'm cooking, but these dang weekends get me every time! Why must I love food so much? lol
I'm also kind of happy that Trinessa isn't keeping me clear anymore. For a short backstory, I took it for 3 months and it cleared me almost perfectly. Then, I went off it for a month (missed a few days and just kinda forgot all about it). At the end of that month, I broke out in cysts which I hadn't gotten since starting the BC. Well I immediately went back on the same BC and it has been over 3 months and I'm still breaking out. Slightly annoying but at the same time I DONT want to be dependant on that especially because I seem to be experiencing other unwanted side-effects .
So, I'm hoping to go off that next month. I'm a bit afraid but I think this diet thing, along with good exfoliation and apple cider vinegar tablets (good for detoxing and hormone balance), will do a lot for me. I'm excited about it. I'm afraid I'm wrong. But I'm excited.
Happy Monday ya'll!
Here's my routine for anyone who cares:
Simply rinse with cold water
Apply small amount of foundation/concealer to red areas, pimples
Drink a 16 oz breakfast shake made with:
It's actually quite tasty, is totally pure and healthy and keeps me full until lunch. Then I head to work.
For lunch I've been having a spinach salad with fruit toppings. My favorite topping so far is clementines because the juice replaces any need for dressing. I also add berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries etc). Usually I'll have an extra fruit like an apple or banana.
For my snack I've been munching on peanuts with sea salt. So delish! And a good source of fatty acids and protein.
Dinner is a little different cuz I have to ensure my husband will eat it as well haha. Usually it's a lean meat with vegetables and a starchy side like potatoes, rice or bread. I load up on veggies, eat an appropriate serving of meat and limit the white stuff. I've been drinking water a lot too.
At night, I take off any makeup with Pond's Original makeup removing towlette's which I love. Then I cleanse with my Skin Laboratory 20% Glycolic Acid cleanser. Good for daily exfoliation and lightening my numberous acne dark marks. Apply grapeseed oil and voila! Done! My routine is very simple and I don't actually apply any "acne fighting" products. Some of you might scoff at that but hey, if you were me, and not one in a hundred has made any difference, you'd do the same thing. My kind of acne cannot and will not be cured with any kind of topicals. Period. So I get exfoliation with my cleanser (very key) and hydrate and nourish with grapeseed. That's all my skin needs.
Oh! I also exercise daily. Usually 4-5 days a week and try to be active on weekends when I don't actually "go to the gym".
So, how's it going so far? Well it's only been four days, but I'm, as always, blindly optimistic. The new cyst I got last weekend (after two days and eating straight junk food and having MILK with brownies), has made impressive improvement. No longer painful/sensitive, redness reduced and I think the size of it has come down. For all you who get cysts, you know that they don't go away in just a few days! This is fantastic and I'm convinced it's because of the diet.
Other spots have also been healing, though they will probably leave marks behind.
Occasionally I do aspirin masks for additional exfoliation. I love yogurt masks but since that's a dairy I don't want that to absorb into my skin and get into my system. Boo.
So, in my final words, let's just say that my face is looking so much better than I expected after that small breakout from last weekend. Still on Trinessa (generic Ortho Tri Cyclen), but I wouldn't be opposed to quitting it once I see real change with the diet. So far, the BC has been what I've depended on to keep my semi-clear.
Hope all is well with you! If nothing else, just remember it's almost the weekend
From all my experimenting with acne and skin solutions, I've determined ONE thing: my acne is homronal. I think there are few cases where acne is caused by topical issues (bad exfoliation, allergic reactions, makeup etc), however I'd say most acne does have a hormonal foundation.
I don't believe I have a legit hormonal disorder (think PCOC), I simply believe my body is out of whack. I think the problem goes even deeper than hormones. I think it's a full body issue. I believe that my years of bad diet (Though I have a perfect BMI and have been an athlete my entire life, I just never gave a care as to what I ate and, let's face it, I'm a sugar lover), that my gut, my liver, my digestive system is all overloaded with junk. \
Let's face it, the standard American diet consists almost entirely of chemicals, additives and food that, in all honesty, is not even real food. I plan to change that. I'm not going vegetarian or vegan or anything, and I won't swear off restaraunts for the rest of my life, I'm just going to try like an 80% to 20% diet.
For now, I have a plan. I'm cutting out all dairy for 2 weeks. Silly me, though I've heard how dairy can contribute to acne, I didn't know how serious of a concept that was. I don't really drink milk, but I love yogurt and have my fair shair of cheese. The hardest part is the cheese. No cheese on sandwiches, no cheese in eggs,no pizza, no lasagna, you get it. But, if after two weeks I haven't broken out then I'll keep it up!
My acne is cystic. I'd say mild cystic acne thanks to birth control which brought it down from moderate cystic. I also have hyperpigmentation and some small indented scars which don't bother me all too much.
So far i've been dairy-less and sugar-less for 3 days. I don't feel deprived, I'm actually happy with my raw smoothies and spinach salads. For dinner I have been eating some slightly processed foods but I'm not too concerned with that. My goal for now is sugar and dairy free for two weeks.
I have two healing cysts and one active cyst right now. For the past 3 days, I feel my skin has been a little less red/inflamed and the active cyst is not as sensitive to the touch. Taking that as a good sign!