Lots of people argue that WHEN you go to bed and wake up (not how much sleep you get) doesn't have a lot to do with your skin. I came across a poll made by another member in the forums and I found it interesting that only a small number of people go to bed from 9-11 PM. What's even more interesting is that I've known a lot of people who go to sleep at around 10 PM and wake up around 6 AM every single day, and they have PERFECT skin. As in, they could eat french fries for life and wash their face with bacteria-infested lard and still have clear skin. I hate those people...just kidding...not. I think the last time I went to bed at 10 PM was when I was ten. And then I got acne...hm. I also read on the super helpful site Skinacea.com that the lovely young lady adopted the 10-6 sleeping pattern and did this for a long time to help balance her hormones. I don't think it even has to be 10 PM for some people. For example, I knew a guy with beautiful skin who always went to bed at 12:30 and woke up at 8:30. On the flip side, I have known people who go to bed at 3-5 AM (maybe I am one of them...), wake up at around 2 PM, and have very bad skin. In this day and age of graveyard shifts, night classes, and stressful university lifestyles, we can't help it! Every time I hear a lecture about how important our circadian rhythms and pituitary glands are in setting our hormonal clocks, I always promise myself that I'm going to try and go to sleep earlier. But of course, I never do. Or I do it for one night and get discouraged when I see in the morning that my face is no better. The thing about hormones, however, is that they take their sweet time getting readjusted. So I think I might have to suck it up and go to sleep early for months or even years. Of course, there are people who continue to go to sleep and wake up early and still have acne, so I think it really depends on what your root cause is. If someone has acne because their hormones are whacked from years of staying up late and snacking, for instance, it'd be something worth looking into. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this! In the meantime, I'm going to try going to bed before 12:30 every night.
I've started upping my intake of coconut oil (ie. eating it off the spoon). I'm not complaining because it tastes scrumptious to me! I heard that it's good for getting rid of bad bacteria and yeast in your body. I've read mixed opinions online as to whether it only kills bad things or both good and bad, so I'm taking a multi-strain probiotic just in case. The main reason I'm dong this is to see if my skin would benefit from helping my digestive system after I was bad with antibiotics. I have a feeling something is wrong because even though I appear perfectly healthy (apart from the disease that is called acne ravaging my face), I started getting 'uncomfortable feelings' -- that is all I will say about it -- near the end of taking trimethoprim. This continued after I stopped taking it, to the point where I had to visit the washroom ten times in the span of two hours once, even though I hadn't eaten in over 36 hours (sorry for that!!). I also started being intolerant to foods like bananas and peanut butter even though I've been eating them my whole life. What's interesting is that foods like these are known in traditional Chinese medicine to cause dampness in your body. And I just happened to read that dampness can present with oozing skin conditions and a thick white-coated tongue, both of which I have (OMG DON'T YOU JUST WANT TO KISS ME RIGHT NOW). Unfortunately, I also read that dampness is extremely hard to get rid of, so I might have to stay on my elimination diet for more than just a few months. Here's to hating my life over Thanksgiving and Halloween yay! After consistently eating coconut oil and taking probiotics I started to feel like I was getting sick: swollen throat with lots of mucus (sorry again!), slightly runny nose, alternating periods of being chilly and feverish. I still feel this way but I haven't actually gotten full-on sick yet, so I'm hoping this is just my immune system being activated by dead thing remnants in my body aka "die-off". I'm not an expert though! I'm also technically violating my diet because the probiotics have corn starch in them, but I'm hoping the benefits outweigh the risks. I don't think anything's really happened skin-wise except maybe a small initial breakout of little pustules. But, I've only been doing this for less than a week so that's not nearly enough time to judge. My chin is gross as usual!
My naturopath gave me a tincture with vitex, red clover, dandelion, and crampbark a couple of months ago because she suspects I have an estrogen/progesterone imbalance, which may or may not be affecting my skin. This is because I get irritability and extra painful cramps before and during my period, and the presence of several fibroadenomas in my breast. I'm also cycling four types of seeds because apparently certain seeds regulate your hormones differently throughout your cycle, which I found to be pretty interesting! Since these changes, my last period was even lighter than usual and completely cramp-free! And no cramps makes me a very happy person! But then seeing my gross acne cancels out that happiness; I'd rather have bad cramps until I'm 90 than this nasty-ass acne. Another thing I've been taking (primarily for my eyes) is a very high-dose fish oil that contains 1000 IU vitamin D. This has helped lots of people with their skin, but I can't say if it's helping mine. I do get very bad acne on my chin, which most would say is hormonal, but it just keeps coming back even on this regimen plus my diet. My hormones have come back normal, except for once when my progesterone was too high, but it came back fine when I went back. My skin type is also indicative that I would have issues with testosterone, as it is very oily with large, clogged pores, but that was normal too. I'm not terribly concerned with the large pores though because my father has large pores and I take after him. I'd love to know if anyone else has dealt/is dealing with this kind of acne. It's destroying my self-confidence so much that I'm losing sight of my professional ambitions. When I try to put makeup on even one pimple, it might as well be clear liquid. Here are some pics of my chin again:
I've been eating an anti-inflammatory diet for over a month now. This means no gluten, soy, peanuts, dairy, red meat, eggs, citrus (excluding lemons), corn, tomatoes, sugar, bananas, strawberries, and peppers. Definitely no refined foods. I've also been formally tested for sensitivities, and only dairy, sugar, pork, beef, and random things like MSG and grapes came up. These have been cut out of my diet for even longer. At first I thought my skin was improving, especially my chin, but then it flared up again. It always starts out as several red papules, then they form a white head (or seven?!?!?) that comes back even if I extract it. The upside is that I think my face is getting less oily. Instead of it being shiny all over, I can see these tiny oil droplets on my pores. It is quite flaky though, but this might be because I started toning with ACV and eating a ton of carrots and sweet potatoes (for my eyes). My eyes are also doing quite well...knock on wood! I'm feeling quite discouraged because it's tough eating such a strict diet and seeing no improvements in your acne. Meanwhile, I have to watch everyone else eat donuts and cake and five junior chickens and still have clear skin. WHAT IS LIFE. This is what my skin looks like today: