ABOUT ME I am a 20 year old female, and my skin has been bad since I was about 11 years old. During my school years I got the standard T zone acne, oily skin, whiteheads, the usual stuff that's associated with puberty and all that jazz. Well now I am 20....and my skin is still oily, and the acne is now on my cheeks and jawline mostly, and I am starting to get fed up, acne is meant to have gone now right?! During my teen years I went on antibiotics, topical solutions from the doctor and Accutane....nothing has been a permanent solution, and the Accutane made my whole body ache to the extent that I had to lay down part way through everyday chores such as making my bed because I ached so badly. Pretty sure that's a sign that this drug is not good for you in any way. My acne has never been severe, but it's enough to make me self conscious and upset, and I have been bullied because of it at school too. I was always told to pop my spots to get rid of them, which has now led to me obsessively picking at my face, which is one of the main reasons my skin gets bad (Look up dermatillomania). If I didn't pick, it would be be a lot better, but not picking still won't solve the oil and spots that would still emerge. I have recently got a lot better at not picking, and my skin is improving, but I am seeking out cognitive behavioral therapy to help me control it better. Anyway, I wanted to start this blog because I am fed up with all the lotions and potions not working and probably making everything worse. So I am about to start an alternative acne regime which I am hoping in conjunction with me not picking will really improve my skin, maybe even cure it. After a lot of research, I really believe that acne is a problem caused by something on the inside, such as poor diet, allergies, and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. I have been eating a lot healthier and lost weight over the past year which I believe has helped to improve my skin, although I am sure that my diet still does not give me all the nutrients I need to keep my skin clear, and that some aspects of my diet may still be making my face worse. So, after a lot of researching due to me being desperate and depressed over the whole subject, I have decided to religiously take vitamins, wash my face with sea salt, and remove dairy and gluten from my diet. I have spent a lot of money on these vitamins, but if they work, I'd be happy to have spent a lot more because my skin really does control my life and can ruin my day so easily. VITAMINS I have decided to take Pantothenic Acid, also known as vitamin B5. I will be taking the pill form and intend to start on 1500mg a day, potentially increasing the dosage if I need to (but not too much). Many people have cleared their acne using this vitamin as it helps to control oil production in the skin. I am aware however that high doses can have side effects, and some people have reported hair thinning and hair loss while doing this but usually due to higher doses for long periods of time, so I will just have to be careful and sensible. I am also taking Acetyl L-Carnitine to help my body absorb the B5 better. Vitamin D3 is another vitamin I have decided to take (3 x 400 I.U. tablets a day). This is the vitamin/hormone that our bodies produce when we are exposed to sunlight. I personally have great skin when I go on sunny holidays, it clears up 99 percent. So, I figured it must be something to do with the vitamin D3, as I'm pretty sure I am deficient while at home in the UK as we don't get a lot of sun and I spend a lot on time inside glued to a laptop (joys of being a student). I also wear makeup a lot less on holiday which definitely helps, and I am currently not wearing makeup very often (mostly because I'm in my last year of uni and therefore have no social life) and washing it off as soon as I get home if i do wear it. I am also taking Zinc combined with copper ( 1x 15mg zinc and 0.75mg copper combined tablet), which is important for skin health and has helped some people to reduce their oil production. Along with these vitamins, I will also be taking a general multivitamin like I usually do, as well as an Estroblock type supplement to help control my hormones. I will be spreading my doses throughout the day to avoid getting sick/vitamins competing with each other when they enter my body. SALT GLORIOUS SALT Ok so I love sea salt. I have recently been using this as a rinse/scrub/spray and it really does help my skin to heal up and reduces oil. Again, sunny holidays by the sea do wonders for my skin, so I am hoping that getting enough vitamin D3 and using sea salt on my skin will really help to clear me up like holidays do. It is important that sea salt is used, and not table salt. I have a spray bottle containing water with a generous amount of dissolved sea salt in it with a few drops of tea tree oil. I spray this over my face and shoulders before bed and it really helps reduce the amount of new blemishes in the morning. I do also wash my face in the shower in the morning and before bed at night with a face wash (before spraying the salt). I have used so many different cleansers but I currently like to use Freederm exfoliating wash as it is gentle and doesn't smell like a florist/perfume shop. GLUTEN AND DAIRY My final acne busting tactic is to cut out dairy and gluten form my diet. Gluten, dairy and soy are common food allergies that can cause some people to break out. In some cases people have cured their severe acne by cutting out these food groups. Currently, I do not eat a lot of gluten or dairy products, and no soy, so for me it won't be too hard to change my diet. I eat fat free natural yoghurt and have oats for breakfast, and that's about it so I will be stopping these foods just as an extra bit of help although I personally don't think these are a major contributing factor to my acne, but worth a try. I'm also going to cut down on my sugar intake. I will update this blog over the next few months of trying out this regime to let you all know if it is working and how I am feeling while doing it. I am really hoping this makes a change, because I am fed up and all the medicines have failed me. If this works for for me I hope it could help out others too, so here I go! REGIME (all tablets taken with a meal and water drunk throughout the day) - Week 1-2 Breakfast - 3 x vitamin d3 tablets, 1 x zinc/copper tablet Lunch - Multivitamin Dinner - 3 x B5 tablet, 1 x Acetyl L-Carnitine tablet (Not taking the estroblock yet) REGIME - Week 3 Breakfast - 3 x B5, 1 x Acetyl L-Carnitine, Lunch - Multivitamin, 1 x Zinc/copper, 3 x D3 Dinner - 3 x B5, 1 x Acetyl L-Carnitine, 2 x Estroblock, 1 x Magnesium WEEK ONE So it's been a week of the regime. I must admit I have not been very good at cutting out the dairy and gluten and had a cake binge yesterday (oops). However, there is no doubt that my skin has improved, in less than a week I saw and felt a difference. Oil production has most definitely decreased, which has led to a reduction of new pimples, and even new pimples are less inflamed and noticeable. No real side effects that I have noticed. I did however notice that the mornings after I had eaten junk (had a chocolate binge one evening and a cake binge on another) I had more pimples than the mornings where I had eaten healthy the day before. This could be coincidence or me just relating new pimples to the junk food, but I personally do believe that a healthy diet and avoiding high fat and high sugar foods will help me to reduce/clear my acne. Some of the more visible and red spots on my face were made worse by me picking. WEEK TWO Skin seemed a little more oily again, but I have read that oil does fluctuate a bit at the start of this treatment. I have decided to now take 3000mg of B5 a day and start the Estroblock. Skin overall is better than before, but I have made it look worse than it is by picking at it and therefore will hold off on posting pictures. Have also researched into Magnesium being important for absorbing the other vitamins I am taking, so have bought some Epsom Salts to bath in and will be taking a Magnesium supplement.