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Thatprimalguy's Holistic Log (For Clearing That Last 15% - Pics Included)

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So I've been keeping a personal log for the past 2 months now, which means this log will start at day 68, but now that I'm starting to see real results I thought I'd track my progress online for anyone else that might benefit.

Some history (If you make it through this, I'll be impressed tongue.gif):

I suffered from moderate acne throughout highschool - nothing cystic, mostly spread over my cheeks, jawline, and back. It was a bit worse than average, but it didn't bother me that much since everyone else had it at the time. However, as I got to the start of college, more and more of my friends were getting clear skin and I grew frustrated. Doing some research, I discovered some holistic websites and took their advice by detoxing off most of the foods we believe are behind acne (dairy, sugars, high gi foods, nuts, etc, etc) and replacing them with more vegetables, multigrain bread, high fiber cereal, etc. It was a tough transition and I didn't expect quick results but in the end I thought it'd be worth it. Fast forward 18 months, and I'm starting the second half of my second year in college. I'd been dieting the whole time, and hadn't seen tangible results. My skin was a little better than high school, but nothing that couldn't be attributed to aging. In the end I gave up, and started relaxing my diet, eating chips (fries? tongue.gif), pizza and drinking energy drinks (though my diet still contained a lot of healthy food). To my great joy, as the semester progressed, my skin started to get better. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and realised there was only a single, tiny blemish on my chin, and nothing else.

At the time, I assumed I must have finally grown out of it, because I could think of nothing I'd been doing that could have helped me. My confidence grew, I partied more with my friends (lots of drinking didn't affect me much at all), and relaxed into the summer (southern hemisphere). Sadly it was not to last - late in the holidays my skin started to deteriorate, and after a last period of clarity it rebounded 4 months after I'd gotten clear. Nothing I tried worked, went on antibiotics for 4 months, they failed. I was left with rough, red, bumpy skin across my forehead and still had my normal breakouts. For a little over a month, I tried Romeo's vitamin regimen combined with a baking soda/ACV facial regimen. This worked to fade my red marks and got my breakouts somewhat under control, but the texture of my skin was unchanged. Unfortunately, I decided to change about 5 things in my regimen in the space of a week in an effort to get this problem under control, and when I proceeded to break out over my neck (back and front), forehead, and to a lesser extend much of my upper body, I couldn't pinpoint what caused it.

Things I changed -

- Removed Olive Oil from romeo's supplement regimen - It makes me itchy when applied topically, and I thought I might be having a reaction to it

- I swapped out my soy milk/wheat cereal breakfast for 3 pieces of fruit

- Added calcium/magnesium and vitamin E tablets to my regimen.

At this point I decided to keep a detailed log, and only to change one thing at a time from now on, so I could finally figure things out. I started taking daily face photos (close up and High def, scary, I know) and tracking what I ate, when I slept, what I was taking, what I was changing, etc. I started doing green smoothies to try to control my skin while I experimented, and settled in to slowly change things back one by one till I found the answer. After a month of changing nothing, it was clearly that things weren't getting better on their own. The first thing I decided to eliminate was fruit, because I had fruit in the smoothies and my skin was continously getting worse. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks without fruit, I could detect only minor improvement, if that. However, while searching these boards for ideas, I found something very interesting to me - Some people had reported that taurine could clear acne, espescially if it was caused by a fructose overload http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Fructose-...ri-t178851.html - the reason this set bells ringing was that taurine is found in large quantities in energy drinks, and these had in fact cleared several people - and the only time I had ever been clear in my life (summer 2008) was also the only time I'd consistently consumed energy drinks. I even managed to plot a rough correlation by piecing together some times and memories. After some researching, I got some taurine powder from the local health store, and started taking it with lemon juice like the guy there said to. Low and behold, 13 days later, my skin had undergone a massive transformation!

Picture time: EDIT (Pictures removed)

Day 12 (the first breakout)

Day 34 (Stopped fruit)

Day 45 (started Taurine)

Day 67 (Just yesterday)

To me, there seems to be a big difference between day 45 and day 67, whereas the others are all various severeties of the same problem. I could certainly feel a difference with taurine, it was like it dried the pimples out and made them fall right off my face. Unfortunately, while my face was clearing, my neck had a bit of a flair-up after a week or so and, suspecting it might be the lemon juice, I removed that and started taking the taurine on its own. After this the improvement slowly ground to a halt, which is about where I am now. Fortunately, I think I now have enough evidence to conclude that it was probably energy drinks that cleared me last summer, and in the next few days I intend to supplement the taurine powder with Mother. I'll be keeping track of my progress in this log for anyone who's interested. Hope I didn't bore you all with the massive text wall smile.gif

Edited by ThatPrimalGuy
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Day 72

I decided on day 69 to try reimcorporating lemon juice with my taurine powder instead of going straight to energy drinks. So now I'm on the fourth day of taking powdered taurine twice a day with soda water and lemon juice to help absorbtion. Still early to see results but I think I may be starting to experience that drying sensation again. Will be interesting to see what happens in the next week.

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Hmm this is interesting. I'm at the same stage as you. I have about 10-15% of acne I'm trying to clear up. Right now, my forehead is my only problem area. I was using Ziana and BP to try and control mild-moderate acne and it was failing miserably. I decided to take a purely holistic approach and my skin cleared up almost immediately. It cleared up so fast (in two weeks time I went from 40 active spots to 5) that I will never apply anything to my face again . I'm following a strictly paleo diet atm. Aside from egg whites, I only eat lean meat, fish, vegetables and berries. I've also added Vitamin's A, D, E, C, Niacin and Zinc to my diet. I don't consume dairy, bread in any form, or anything refined. IMO aside from Accutane, all of these prescription meds don't get to the root of the problem. Who the F wants to apply BP to their face every day and night for the rest of their lives. Anyway, I might try this taurine thing because I have consumed energy drinks in the past on a constant basis and don't remember having any acne at the time.

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Interesting to here Same, I personally never tried BP because I figured even if it cleared me up there's no way I could keep using it and I don't want to damage my skin that way. I'm taking all the supps you are except the Vit E and Niacin - how much Niacin are you taking?

As of the past few days, my forehead is 100% clear of whiteheads. Just clearing up a few leftover small marks, but the improvement is enormous since I started taurine. In fact the only new thing I've gotten on my face in the past few days is a tiny whitehead above my lip, the rest is clear, which is awesome :)

Right now I'm monitoring the rest of my body - arms, chest, back, neck. They all seemed to start breaking out around the same time - Taurine doesn't seem to work on them as fast as my face, but I think I might see results in the next week. Otherwise, I'm going to start changing things back to the way they were last time it worked for me and my body was clear, starting by changing my breakfast cereal back from oat milk/oats to soy milk/miniwheats. Hopefully I can figure that out because its annoying to have my body covered in little spots when my face is clear. I spend a lot of time working out my upper body muscles, I want to be able to show them off! :P

Dietary wise, I'm pretty much the same except that I do eat bread - wholegrain stuff. I don't believe I react to that kind of thing strongly. I've begun to think that all my various food ailments might be related to a digestive problem, maybe stomach acid related. Since taurine helps bile production, and I gained a significant amount of weight last time I was on taurine (I can't maintain much weight atm no matter how much I eat) it's possible that's why it helps me.

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So it's Day 78, and things are looking good. I did get a little whitehead above my lip but fortunately unlike the ones I got last week which got big and took ages to heal this one died and shrivelled as expected on day 2. currently my skin looks pretty great, just 2 blemishes on my right cheek left healing, both should be gone by saturday, which is good, because I have a big job interview :) I hate applying for positions when my skin is bad so once it got good this week I did some applying and got a really promising callback. Feels good :)

As for body acne, my neck is pretty good, but I've been using catamine lotion overnight on it. the rest is ok, waiting to see if there are results there or if i'll have to keep trying to determine the cause of the body breakout. Regardless, with face/neck almost clear, I'm keeping quite positive.

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Day 81 -

More progress over the past few days - of the last 2 things on my face, the whitehead dried up and flaked off, leaving only 1. It's kind of strange - just a smooth hard bump on my skin, with no head to speak of. gently pushing on either side emits some clearish liquid. I'm going to leave it alone, I'd be worried about it scarring but I've had the same thing (in the same place) once before, oddly enough just after I went off my last clear period caused by taurine. It's not too inflamed or anything so its just a pinkish bump, and if thats the only blemish on my skin I think I'll live until it slowly goes away.

As for the rest of my skin, it's feeling nice and smooth. No new blemished for about 5 days now. It's clear enough that I can see the occasional microcomedone but they seem to be healing overnight. The body acne seems to be dieing down now, though not completely gone. Still not sure if theres a seperate reason for it that I'll have to track down, but w/e. I've been using catamine lotion on my neck and it's looking very nice. I felt so good I went out and got a new haircut (usually hate sitting in front of a hairdresser mirror for an hour) and it looks really good. Overall I don't think I've looked this good since last summer - if then. The progress seems to be holding and the difference from the photos near the start of my log is huge.

Tis a happy pangarl

-more updates soon (+ before/after pics once this stupid bump goes away)

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Day 82 - the last post's day was wrong

That annoying right cheek thing finally kind of came to a head and I popped it last night, quite cleanly, so it's now flat and not a lump. hopefully will be gone soon. The rest of my face is still pretty fine, havent got any new whiteheads in several days. my forehead (which was the worst zone) has been essentially clear for at least 10 days. My neck is now clear at the front, with just a few little things around the sides. The rest of the body stuff seems to be clearing. I'm adding some comparison before/after shots of the neck and forehead to show the improvement I'm getting from taurine/green smoothies. Now that I'm about clear I'm gonna start working on the quality of my skin a bit more, as of tonight I'm doing my first egg white facial since apparently they work well. I'll report back on how that goes.

Forehead comparison - EDIT Pictures removed

Neck comparison -

Vitamin wise I'm currently taking:


Four fish oil tablets, 500 mg vit C, 1 B multi (50g), and 2 calcium/magnesium tablets.


1 Probiotic


Four Cod liver oil tablets

44 mg zinc

200mcg chromium

Edited by ThatPrimalGuy
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Day 85

The egg white masks do seem to make my skin much softer. It remains to be seen if they'll make it paler but they certainly don't seem to hurt.

This is my third day of stopping the calcium/magnesium supplements I was on. My reasoning is that these are the last of the 3 things I added prior to my body breakout that I haven't already removed. (the first two being fruit and vitamin E tablets). I've recently looked at some slightly older photos and I know that my arms and chest were clear, whereas for the past few months they havent been (and my back has gotten bad too). Right now my face is 99% clear, looking really great, but my body has lots of small bumps, almost like an allergic reaction, that turn into pimples. Very odd. Anyhow, I'm hoping that it was a reaction to the pills, so they're gone, and I'll see what happens. For now, I'm very happy with my facial progress, which is the main thing.

Will update in a week or so.

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Day 91

11 days off the magnesium/calc tablets has had no visible impact on my body acne, so yesterday I went back to my old cereal combo (soy milk/all bran) rather than oat milk/oats - Theres a buttload more fiber in the all bran combo (about 40g as opposed to 10g). I'm hoping the drop in fiber might have contributed to me body breakouts, we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime I'm using a 5% sulphur soap just to dry the pimples on my skin and such. It seems to work fairly nicely.

The only thing I'm somewhat worried about is a patch of clogged pores on the right side of my forehead. It's been a few days and they haven't gone inflamed or anything, but I worked hard to get the forehead smooth and I don't like what it might mean for it to be bumpy again. I did have a little alcohol at a party about a week ago, and I've been doing those egg white facials, so maybe one of those contributed - if so, it should get better shortly. If its a result of dropping the magnesium tablets, and it keeps getting worse, I may have to go back on them, but I'm holding off that for now - it was never a problem way back before I took tonnes of vitamins so hopefully I can get back to a place where I'm not relying on supplements for everything.

Anyone can feel free to post some advice, comments, or just say hi in this thread by the way :P It's lonely!

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Day 102

Good news pretty much across the board - my face has remained clear or almost clear (meaning only very small whiteheads which clear without any real impact or effort on my part) - The difference is remarkable looking at photos now compared to before the start of this log - I can now post close up shots with the g/f as facebook profile shots and they're 100% clear, so I don't worry about them :) In fact, I've started to think about my skin much less, with my face pretty much totally clear (the few marks I gained over the past few months have almost all faded after a few weeks of clearness) - I've been writing less in the log I keep and completely forgot to take a face photo today until night time. I'll try to keep up the log and photos because at this stage I have over 3 months of face shots, and I find it interesting to see small changes in my appearance over time even without acne. Further, I want to have a failsafe so if something goes wrong with my skin, I'll know the cause.

In the 11(or 12) days since I switched to a significantly higher fiber cereal, I've noticed my abdominal region and lower back in particular seem to be improving quite a bit. The shoulder region is still moderately troubled, but there's only 2 blemishes on my neck (far on the sides) so overall things are going excellent. I'm worried less about my skin, I'm enjoying life, spending lots of time with my lady, and in general rocking out. I hope people will find encouragement for a scientific(ish) testing process for their acne from this log. I'll post before/after shots at some point, but I can't be bothered right now ;) Going for a weekend away with the g/f, may post again when I get back. I've found avoiding this site is good for me as long as things are working though, reading through all the conflicting advice about what to do/what not to do always puts my nerves on edge as I wonder if I'm on the right track - my suggestion, if something is working for you, stick with it, regardless of what you read.

Edited by Pangarl
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Suffered an unfortunate setback over the past few days. After over a month of near 100% clear skin, I've developed a large painful whitehead left of my left eye, something on my right cheekbone that might turn into a big whitehead, and one of those small inflamed pimples you get on your lip. This is accompanied by a seeming increase in the inflammation levels of the rest of my body, as I got more little whiteheads up and down my arms and shoulders.

This is disappointing, but I'm hoping its only a minor setback. I'd just taken my g/f on a 3 day holiday and I did eat a decent amount of dairy and some snack food. Further, I used sunscreen a few days ago, and I've known that to badly effect me before. Also, I stopped cutting my chromium tablets in half, effectively doubling the dosage, though I can't see how that would do bad things. Further, I stopped green smoothies, cod liver oil, and probiotics. This may seem like a lot but since I was completely clear last summer without any supps except a little fish oil and vitamin b from energy drinks, I believe that one or more of my supplements is reacting badly with my body and causing the pimples on my chest/neck/arms, where they've never been before. This acne is clearly not part of my general acne, it seems more like an allergic reaction almost, so I figure it has to be something I'm taking now that I wasn't. Right now thats down to vitamin c, chromium, and zinc (also higher levels of fish oil). I'm thinking of getting rid of more vitamins, but I think I'll try to maintain a little rigor and see where this episode goes. If it turns out this is just a minor breakout and it heals up, then fine. If it keeps breaking out, I'll have to reevaluate whether I need the supps I removed. Hopefully not though, because that would break my whole concept of the cause.

Comments welcomes as always.

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Just an update - Day 118

It appears that the breakout last week was not a sign of bad things to come. face is almost back to clearness again. doesn't seem to be any increase overall in acne. my neck is pretty much clear at the moment, and my girlfriend thinks my shoulders look better. Not sure if thats true.

I cut out my chromium about 7 days ago now. Thought the doubling of the dosage might have caused the flare up. Too early to tell if my body acne will get better, but my chest and neck look fairly good.

Curiously, my back, apart from what is really a fairly loose scattery of pustules, is mostly covered in tiny red dots, that have been around for a fair while. Not sure if they're a sign of allergy or inflamed pores or what, but they're annoying. I guess we'll see how things go.

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Day 131

I think today my face is the clearest it's been since puberty hit. No acne. None at all. It's a good feeling.

I've trimmed my regimen down to the bare essentials. 2 fish oil tablets instead of 8. 500 mg vitamin c. A B50 complex, and 40 mg zinc, as well as my taurine, which I'm keeping fairly steady at 1 teaspoon a day (5000 mls, not sure how it converts to grams precisely) taken with lemon juice and soda water to aid digestion. Still using cetaphil lotion, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. I also think I've been getting a little better sleep lately which has helped.

My body acne seems to be improving slowly since I dropped my fish oil dosage from 8 tablets to 4, then 3, then 2. It's too early to be 100% certain but my shoulders seem way better and my neck is clear again.

The only downside is that I've been diagnosed with some fungal issues which point to candida overgrowth. I'm hoping that's not the cause of the body acne, because if it is, I don't know how to get rid of it, I spent months on antibiotics and antifungal vege smoothies, eating no sugar at all, so if its still a problem, it seems resilient to treatment. I shall continue to wait and see. I'd appreciate candida related advice if anyone has any.

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Day 151:

Well, I've finally started to make some progress on my body acne smile.gif my arms and shoulders are clearing up, my necks pretty much clear, my chest was clear (got a new pimple or two there). But overall things are looking up there.

I also went 10 days without a single blemish on my skin recently. I was on such a roll that i panicked when i got 2 small whiteheads above my lip, lol, but those have gone away after a day or so. I believe the key change is that I have removed fresh tomatoes from my diet. Apparently I hated them as a child but when I got healthy to fix my acne I started eating them on my sandwiches. I stopped eating sandwiches when I went back to college this semester, and my skin is definitely better. There is the possibility that it's because I reduced my fish oil intake (i'm mildly allergic to fish) or something else about the sandwiches, like bread. But I think tomatoes fit the bill. Not sure why I got the two whiteheads (I didn't eat any tomatoes) but there are a few possibilities, lack of sleep, etc. Or just a hormonal peak. Overall, things are excellent. I'll include a pic for a frame of reference. The changes in the past 6 months have been immensely gratifying, I feel so much better than I did. And I'm still taking daily photos, so I now have 6 months of my life, in snapshots smile.gif

Edit Picture removed

Say hi peeps! I get so lonely tongue.gif

Edited by ThatPrimalGuy
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Day 241 (Give or take a few days)

Well, it has been a little while hasn't it!

I haven't had a great deal to post about recently, but I thought I'd give an update to let you all know that I'm still going strong. My face has been effectively clear for about 5 months now, with only about 2 medium sized breakouts (both occured when I let my lemon/taurine stuff slip and ate badly at the same time). Most days there isn't a single pimple on my face. When there occasionally is, it's a smallish red spot that goes away without turning into a whitehead 80+% of the time. All told, it's probably one of the biggest changes I've ever heard about on these forums. This isn't some "I'm on day 5 and my face seems much better" things - it's a stable and lasting change from terrible to good skin. My girlfriend still remarks about how incredible the change is :)

Recent things: I stopped all vitamins. This is including the multi B vitamin I'm recommended to take with my taurine - I ran out and didn't feel like spending the money to buy more without knowing their effectiveness - so far I see no real evidence that they've had any impact. To be honest, this is about the same with all the vitamins I was on. I was taking a ridiculous cocktail and now am taking nothing and it doesn't seem to have had much effect. I'm also on just cetaphil for my face, no baking soda or ACV - they work wonders for red marks, but I don't have any nowadays and they're too harsh and time consuming for me now.

I'm still continuing my picture log - and I'd still encourage anyone who's serious about defeating their acne to take a daily face shot - I know it's scary to get up close and personal with a camera, but it's less depressing than counting pimples in the mirror, and it gives you a permanent and accurate record. It's what let me be sure of the effectiveness of what I'm doing.

It's not 100% good news though - while my face is great, I still haven't found the key to controlling my body acne in the same way (which is odd, since they both got bad around the same time) - I've switched from Dove soap on my body to neutrogena oil free wash, in the hopes that some salycilic acid might do the trick of starting the drying out process, but not so much. While my neck and chest remain largely clear (So from the front, thing's are mostly good) - my arms remain problem zones. They're slightly less bad than they have been in the past, but still more red spots than I like, espescially with my face so good. And my back, well, that's still the worst area of my body by far.

I'm taking it one day at a time with my body - I'm at a more relaxed pace now that my face is clear, I have too much to lose to start experimenting wildly like I did before. I'm contemplating bringing back olive oil in my diet, because I removed it right before the breakouts. I've eliminated all the possible vitamin and diet triggers for my body stuff, so if it isn't olive oil, the only thing I can thing of is that I've developed an allergy to something, or that it's a very persistant candida infection. The latter is possible, but I can't see why the time I spent drinking vegetable juice and avoiding anything fungi-feeding wouldn't have killed it. If all else fails in a few months I might try a candida cleansing diet, but it seems like a lot of effort.

In any case, I'm feeling quite good about myself at the moment, apart from my back/arms, everythings good, which leaves me a lot more energy to focus on college, my girl, and my guitar.

Peace :)

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Day 275

Thought I'd update while I'm procrastinating on my thesis (wow, this log has almost run for a year, I hadn't even started thinking about a thesis when I first posted here)

Thing are mostly the same. I have confirmed several times over that sleep deprivation is bad for my skin, though I can control it fairly well with taurine. However, chocolate + sleep deprivation is a pretty bad combo - I managed to get 2 or 3 whiteheads a few days ago from staying up working on thesis and eating freddo's. Still, even at that stage (my worst in a long time) it's better than it ever was before. Right now I'm back to face clearness, just some sebum buildup from stress. My body fluctuates, but I think I'm starting to track its fluctuations to my face somewhat, like it's correlated but at a worse level. Definitely sugar is bad for my body stuff, but sometimes it's hard to follow, espescially when I think I've been bad and my girlfriend tells me my body looks better than it has in ages. Who knows.

Anyhow, I'm still chugging along. I'll probably be around to hit the year mark. I'm still thankful every day for the progress I have, even if my body resists me. I'm not really experimenting at the moment, I have too much to lose. Maybe when things are more relaxed. I'd post a picture but I should get back to work.

Have a good night, everyone.

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I'm posting soon after my last one, but I have something new to share.

I've been experiencing a lot of weird symptoms over the past few weeks that have led me to believe I may have type 2 diabetes. Theres a history of diabetes on the maternal line of my family, and it might explain why I have such strong reactions to sugar. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment tommorow and see.

Some of the symptoms I've been experience: Extreme thirst, I'm talking upwards of 8-10 glasses of water a day and I still feel super dry and thirsty; Extreme hunger - I've always been a big eater but some days now I eat 5 meals and still feel hungry, I was beginning to think I must have a tapeworm or something; headaches - I've been having them really badly for two or three weeks now. Losing weight without trying - I've always been fairly athletic but while writing my thesis I havent been exercising and I've been eating a lot and I barely maintain my healthy weight. Extreme tiredness - I've always had relatively bad sleeping habits which make it hard to tell, but I seem excessively tired - I always want to lie down and rest. Slow healing in general - seems like every time I get a cut it takes forever to heal over, and my body acne is quite slow to heal completely - I remember as a teenager I had terrible facial acne but it healed uber quickly, now I basically have to stay clear because anything big takes forever to go.

Some of these are things I've just thought were quirks about myself for the past few years but they've gotten significantly worse lately - and it just happens that because my face cleared up and I've been working hard, I've been indulging lately in a lot more sugar than I usually have. On my acne diet I was having almost no sugar, lately I've been eating ice creams, biscuits, etc. The energy drinks I went through working on my thesis probably didn't help either. Since both my uncle and grandfather had type 2 diabetes I think there's a strong possibility this is what's up with me.

I'll post the results when I get them :)

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Aww thanks :) sorry I didn't reply earlier, I somehow missed your post ^^ It certainly doesn't bother me any more - what I'm doing seems to be working to keep me clear - but I'm always trying to get that little bit better, espescially on my arms which are still not perfect.

I appreciate the support :) always nice to hear from someone

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It's been a few months, just thought I'd post a quick update.

I finished my thesis, and in doing so graduated my 4 year degree, which was pretty great. I surprisingly found that my skin was pretty great through the high stress of the last semester, possibly because of the high levels of taurine I was consuming in all the energy drinks I needed to keep writing. I did find that after I stopped on the energy drinks (and wasn't taking my taurine powder any more) I have about 10-13 days of clarity and then some mild pimples started to creep back in, so I may still be dependent on my taurine. I've gone back to taking it regularly and it's keeping my face and neck clear again.

My body remains a work in progress, though it has seemed to improve recently. Not sure if that's because I spent a week swimming at the beach or because I'm less stressed/getting more sleep with the thesis out of the way (and eating better food). It remains a problem, which still confuses me since my chest/back were flawless for the longest time after highschool and broke out so quickly last year. I've never been able to pinpoint a cause, though I still have to try going back on olive oil (I put that off through the year because I didn't want the stress of it going wrong on top of assignments and thesis writing.

My goals for the start of these holidays is to learn to cook a few of my favorite Thai and Indian dishes, which are fairly healthy and should give me something to do while I figure out the next step in my studies.

Good luck to everyone out there in your clearing efforts

Edited by ThatPrimalGuy
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