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My Full Clear Skin Plan: Month 1



In my last post, I talked about my acne over the years and what's worked/not worked for me. In this post, I'm going to lay out my clear skin plan for the new year, which I've decided upon after some recent research and this post: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/136298--/

I have read a lot of acne.org's blogs/forums. I have read through a lot of Dr. Weil's notes on supplementation, anti-inflammatory diets, and healing from the inside. I also read the ClearSkinForever book, though don't agree with everything they say. ( As a note, I highly recommend Dr. Weil as a general go-to for holistic health advice. He's just alternative enough to give you new ideas, but not so much so that it stops being grounded in science. Specifically, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health is a really wonderful intersection of mind + body healing.) I am by no means an expert, and everything here is a trial to see what works for me. This is all a work in progress, and likely to be modified. 

I'm going to break my new plan down into a few sections, with a note that I will never be perfect at this and it will take some time to get into a routine. 

- Eat a varied diet to ensure I get all the nutrients I need. Emphasize whole grains, fresh fruits/vegetables (specifically organic, home-cooked, and those known to pack the biggest antioxidant punch), beans, omega 3-rich fish, nuts, and flaxseed
- Two months alcohol-free. (This may prove to be the most challenging part for me, but we shall see. If you are of an age and live in a city where drinking constitutes a large part of your social life, committing to sobriety can be really restricting and difficult.) 
- No dairy. Try to also limit dairy as a lesser ingredient in other dishes as much as possible. 
- Drastically limit anything with sugar, even fairly innocuous things like Kind bars or sweetened coffees 
- Drink 3 cups of green tea daily. (Specifically matcha green tea.) 
- Buy organic as often as possible. 
- Incorporate fermented foods into regular diet (few times weekly) by buying fermented veggies, drinking kombucha, or eating kimchi at a Korean restaurant. 
- Buy a water purifier and drink mostly water daily. (Will buy one of those Brita bottles.) Try to cut out artificial sweeteners as much as possible (Replace Diet Snapple and Diet Gingerale with water. Still have iced coffee with Stevia. in the a.m.)
- Most importantly: Cook most meals. Decrease the number of meals I eat out to 1 -2 per week, and make them special. Bring lunch to work most every day. 

- 30 mg of zinc daily
- Evening Primrose Oil (1000 mg daily) and Black Currant Oil (1000 mg daily). Going to find brands with a high concentration of the omega-6 GLA.
- Flaxseed oil. (1 - 2 tbsp daily as a source of omega 3's)
- Turmeric supplement. 
- (Might add in a Vit A or Vit D supplement depending on whether I can find a good brand and if I don't seem to be clear yet. In general, I'd like to get more of my nutrients from food.  Will not be taking these at first) 
- Continue to take ortho-tricyclen birth control, mostly for its original purpose of preventing babies, though I know it also is prescribed to regulate hormonal acne. 

- I'm not going to use any other chemicals on my face besides what I consider to be basics (cleanser, moisturizer with SPF, and Benzoyl Peroxide, which unfortunately it seems like I have to use to keep clear. This may change if I feel like my skin is substantially enough changed by the rest of this routine to no longer warrant use of the BP.) 
Morning Routine: 
-  In shower, wash face gently with the DKR cleanser. 
- Put small amount of DKR BP on the spots I break out most often. (Area between the tops of my lips and nose. On my chin. Around my hairline. 
- Use copious moisturizer with SPF. Find a moisturizer with 5% urea (most likely Eucerin) which is supposed to more deeply penetrate skin and allow it to absorb water. I need to order this online and have it delivered, since I'm pretty sure you can only buy the urea products in the UK. Hopefully will have it by the start of the new year. Until then, continue to use Neutrogena's oil-free SPF 15 moisturizer. 
Evening routine: 
- Gently wash face with DKR cleanser. 
- Put larger amount of DKR BP on face. 
- POSSIBLY find a natural exfoliant to use a few times a week. 

- Exercise enough to work up a sweat 4 times weekly (30+ minutes), possibly working up to 6 times weekly. Find a routine and a workout that I can do consistently without hating my life. Likely avenues: yoga, dance. (This will be the hardest to stick to, most likely.) 
- I live in the city so do plenty of walking, but I want to continue with this. Walk home from work when possible. 
- Important: Meditate daily. Meditate in the morning before work, working specifically on breathing exercises. Make this a habit. Work on reducing chronic stress. 
- Sleep more. Try to be in bed by 11 most nights with the lights out. Try to read before bed rather than being on the phone or watching tv. Wake up earlier. 
-  Get outside more. Buy fresh flowers. Forgive others more easily. Listen to beautiful music. Tell myself this daily: "Everything is temporary. You have been happy before and will be happy again." Be kind to myself. Be kind to others. 
- Look in the mirror less. 

And that's my plan! I'm going to buy everything/prepare myself to start this in the new year. I am going to follow it as strictly as possible for 8 weeks to see its true effect. Two months really isn't that long to follow something that may not be sustainable forever, but then I will see how much flexibility I have once I'm clear. I will keep everyone posted on my progress weekly with posts and pictures.

What's great about this plan is that, while it will hopefully clear my skin, it will also do great things for my body overall. It hopefully will reduce chronic stress and anxiety. And it will hopefully set up my life for longterm health, moving further away from nearly every chronic disease. If I can implement this plan and make it routine (a sustinable lifestyle, or 80 - 90% of it), I will set the foundation for a healthy life. 



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