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As I've been suspecting for a while, acne actually isn't about dirt and oil coming from the outside world to attack you. And obviously, there are people out there who take poor care of themselves (smokers, heavy drinkers, Dunk n Donuts junkies, girls who wear cheap makeup) who still have comparatively clear skin.

I am looking for a real theory as to why I have pimples, other than just "blaming it on genetics". I am 19 years old and have had moderate to mild acne since I was around 12, normally around my period, and worsened during periods of stress and unhappiness. (When I am happy my skin actually looks better, believe it or not, and when I've been depressed it has gotten worse.)

I have been to see about 3 dermatologists throughout the years and, in my own spare time, browsed medical journals, magazines, and book after book about the cures for Acne. I have used different kinds of Retina-A, Clindamycin, Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and occassionally tea tree oil to try and clear up my skin, with varying (but not lasting) results. I also tried using Tetracycline then Doxycline for 6 months each, which I hated and which I now regret ever doing, since they screwed up my body and digestion. 2 different kinds of birth control both made it worse, then better, then worse again.

It's been frustrating, and it's also been fascinating. I especially need to fix my acne now that I'm living on my own in New York and seriously persuing an acting career. Although with enough makeup I can camoflage my skin with the best of them - so that even in person my skin looks okay - I'm not content with this quick-fix. Make-up and even the best products in the world don't really "cure" acne, which I really think must be caused by an incorrect lifestyle in one way or another (I can't imagine people having acne in nature) and it just cannot be a sign of good overall health.

I usually have a lot of self-control when it comes to food, so I'm ready to try changing the way I eat. So now I am trying to go on a LOW-GLYCEMIC DIET (advocated by the famous Dr. Perricone) who claims that acne is often a result of eating certain "inflammatory" foods, like potatoes, white rice, and of course sugar and coffee, and that by getting into a Low-GI routine your body can normalize itself and the inflammation will eventually go away.

This can be a pretty hard diet to stick to at first, because you have to avoid ALL refined sugars - meaning no honey, no maple syrup, no dried fruit, and of course no cane sugar. You also shouldn't drink coffee or anything with too much caffeine with it, and instead drink lots of water and tea. This is hard for me, because I do love a good hot cup of coffee now and then, and I do have a sweet tooth. :(

Dr. Perricone's diet is meant for people who are willing to eat loads and loads of fish. But since I'm a vegetarian I am trying to adopt it to my own lifestyle.

So here it is!

+ Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables (mostly organic)

+ Low-GI fruit like apples and berries (mostly organic) while avoiding High-GI fruits like bananas/dried fruit

+ Whole grains like Oatmeal and Ezekiel bread (organic)

+ Plain low-fat yogurt (organic)

+ Vegetarian eggs

+ Almonds, walnuts, the like

+ Beans and unsweetened soy milk

+ Add-ons like extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, green tea, stevia, and ground flax seed

.... and I am also thinking about incoporating some shrimp or humanely-raised salmon from Wholefoods, although I do balk at the idea of eating fish - but I'm curious to see if eating it will have an impact on my skin.

I am really hoping to see results by eating this way.... I am sick of dumping chemicals on my skin while wondering if something I'm eating is having an effect on it. For cleansers I am going to try using a Clarifying Cleanser from Earth Science with their gentle Astrigent, and maybe some Tea tree oil to spot treat and an Epsom salt soak every now and then.

I've only been doing this diet for about a week now. It's challenging but I feel really healthy and energetic. Haven't seen any results with my skin though. I think it will take time.

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Well actually I think it’s pretty safe to blame acne on genetics in that some people have genetics that are more prone to react negatively to environmental factors, diet, etc. I agree though that yeah if we all lived naturally like our ancestors we wouldn't have the stressful environmental factors and diet that contribute to acne.

Good luck on your diet, I hope it works for you. I want to point out that yes eating fish it seems might be one of the best things you can eat for your acne because of the omega-3 acids. However, do you know what the farmed salmon from Wholefoods diet is? Almost all farmed fish (if not all?) are raised on an unnatural diet and as result their omega-3 levels are very low compared to fish from our oceans w/ a natural diet. Any benefits that you'd normally get from fish are pretty much lost if you eat farm-raised. You say you are vegetarian (it seems like for ethical principles?), you may want to consider fish oil supplements (although I don't know if you can find products with guaranteed humane procedures). For its benefits w/ acne see:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php?showtopic=141574

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The reason why I chose farmed fish over sea fish is that I originally stopped eating it altogether because I was worried about over-fishing the oceans (well, they are already over-fished, but I didn't want to contribute to it.) I do think my 3 : 6 : 9 ratio is probably REALLY out of wack because I eat a lot of avocados, olive oil, cook with canola oil - it would just make sense that I need to lighten up on those and put some 3's back into my diet.

Say what you will about vegetarianism - either for it or against it - it has, regardless, played a part in my lifestyle.... but I'm at a point in my career where I almost have to be selfish so I can let my face recuperate from all the crap it went through during adolescence. I'm trying to straddle the line between being a complete hypocrite about what I used to (and do, still) believe in vs. not wanting to do my body any harm by ignoring its needs.

Thanks for the advice tho, I will do some more research!

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Going on one of these new "low glycemic or paleo diets" might improve your acne condition, but they won't "cure" it.

And after a while you will find them not worth the effort.

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I think that the foods that you eat, and their micro/macro nutrients are far, far more important than organic.

Both Mcdonald's french fries and organic potatoes in organic oil are going to make you fat.

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I think that the foods that you eat, and their micro/macro nutrients are far, far more important than organic.

Both Mcdonald's french fries and organic potatoes in organic oil are going to make you fat.

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so where is the protein in this diet?

i assume you don't just keep downing eggs due to their cholestrol content

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What are vegetarian eggs?

I was going to try the Perricone 3-day face lift diet once, but just couldn't bring myself to eat that much salmon, even though I like it fine. But I have cleared my skin, not with a strict diet, but just by eating fewer bad things and more good things, I.e. less sugar, simple carbs, hydrogenated fats, etc, more salmon, eggs, fruit, veggies and nuts. I did cut out all sugary drinks.

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so where is the protein in this diet?

i assume you don't just keep downing eggs due to their cholestrol content

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