I took Accutane 4 years ago. After two years, my acne returned in full force. I was getting cystic acne just like before. I fell back into the cycle of taking antibiotics (minocycline, doxycycline, etc) but I knew that wasn't a permanent solution. I was even considering a second round of Accutane. After seeing how clear my skin could be with the first round of Accutane, I just wanted to have clear skin again! It had been such a blessing not having to think about the blemishes on my face. When you have clear skin, you don't really think about it. But when you have acne, it's all you think about! I know the how much of a downer can be coping with bad skin. I did more research online, hoping to find another alternative before committing to a second round of Accutane.
I finally found the holy grail to clear skin for life: I went vegan.
Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but that was literally the only thing that I changed and the results were amazing. For those who don't know, veganism means one doesn't eat ANY animal products, including: meat, dairy, cheese, eggs, etc. Anything that comes from an animal. The biggest game changer for my skin was cutting out dairy. The change was unbelievable. I went from getting deep cysts on cheeks & nose that would last a week or more to only getting blackheads every now and then.
I did my research and found that there are an incredible amount of hormones in cow's milk that change the human body for worse. Even if the label on the carton says "no added hormones," there are still growth hormones naturally found in milk. Why? Because milk is meant to turn a 60-pound baby calf into a 600 pound full-grown cow as fast as possible! No wonder why there are hormones in it- the stuff is meant for baby cows to make them grow, but not for adult humans to drink. When we drink milk, we are getting a bunch of extra hormones that we don't need (not to mention saturated fat). Hence the acne.
It took me a while to see results- I cut out dairy for a least a few months before seeing a change. But I know that my clear skin can be attributed to that because I haven't changed anything else about my life. I used to consistently get cysts, but suddenly there were less and less each week and eventually they just stopped appearing.
I also noticed other things about my health and well-being. Before eating vegan, I would feel tired and lethargic after a big meal. I thought that was normal, just a result of eating too much. My friends and I even had a name for that feeling: "the itis." But now after eating a large vegan meal, I feel energized and ready to continue my day. Food is fuel. Shouldn't it GIVE you energy instead of taking it away and making you feel worse?
If you're wondering about costs, being a vegan is not more expensive than eating meat/dairy/eggs. Rice, beans, and other starches are some of the cheapest foods on the planet. If you know what to buy, eating this way is actually cheaper. It's simply a matter of doing some research. Processed and prepared foods are generally more expensive (this is true whether it's vegan or not). Foods like potatoes, pasta, rice and certain veggies are dirt cheap. I know I ended up saving money at the grocery store by buying simple, whole foods. If you think you're saving money by eating stuff that's not good for you, you're paying for it later with your health and with hospital bills (and this case, dermatologist visits and acne meds!). Invest in your health and your body. In turn, it will give your life back.
If you are struggling with acne and are considering Accutane or other prescribed medications, I urge you to try cutting out dairy and going vegan. You'll notice how much more energy you have, and how much better you feel. It saved my skin and changed my life for better. No pills, no shots, no doctor visits. Just a step towards better health and diet Cheers!