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Hello everyone!

I'll start this new log with a very brief/non long-winded history on my acne and then I'll go into details about how I'm trying to improve my skin naturally.

The past:

So, where do I start??

On a negative, unfortunately. The year 2009, the month June, and on the morning of my High School leavers party I woke up to find three pimples had invaded my chin. In a blind panic I slathered on Freederm 4hr blitz cream, however a few hours later when it was time for me to leave for the party, I looked in the mirror and confirmed my worst fears: the pimples had not gone. :doubt:

Fast forward to September 2009, and after my first three pimples had gone after two days and I'd spent the summer months with clear skin, I joined college. No more than a week in and I started to get pimples again. Red, sore and inflamed pimples which gave my confidence a huge knock.

And that's where my acne hell began. The pimples spread like wild fire across my chin; on my forehead and temples, and pimples formed across my shoulders and on my chest.

Over the years I've (perhaps stupidly) tried ever cream that I could find; Freederm; Tea Tree Oil; Oxy; Benzoyl Peroxide; you name it, I've probably tried it.

The present:

Last week I started to read about holistic health. I had been drinking eight glasses of water since early June and had cut out sugars from my diet, however I was discovering that there were many more contributing factors to acne. Every acne treatment 'scientifically proven to reduce acne' didn't work, and so I knew that following a holistic lifestyle would be one of my only options left open.

What I don't consume: (Updated: 10/07/11)

Since starting the holistic approach last Monday I've cut out several foods/drinks from my diet in line with the paleo diet. I've made a few additions here and there to suit my needs. Everything I do in this regime is a learning curve, and so when eating different foods I'll be consuming, observing and then making judgment. So far I've cut out the following:

  1. Dairy (I've not had dairy for months)
  2. Gluten
  3. Wheat and other cereal grains
  4. Bread and other baked products
  5. Refined sugars - so no chocolate or sweets
  6. Any drink that is not filtered water (no caffeine, tea, alcohol, soda, soft drinks)
My current acne condition:

Acne: Mild. Even though I'm just one week in, I've already noticed a difference in my skin. The pimples on the left hand side of my chin have all but gone - and they've been with me for weeks. My forehead, shoulders and back have had an outbreak of pimples for the first time in a month which I've put down to toxins being released now that I'm not constantly filling myself up with sugar. I've still got blackheads on my nose. I've also got little red marks across my chin, forehead and temples in places where I can't even remember having pimples. I'm hoping they disappear soon. Nowadays I wash my face twice a day (once in the morning and then once at night) and apply no creams. I also get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

I'll be posting any updates soon.

Please post questions, ideas and tell me about your progress :)

Edited by James Small

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Day 7

Healthy bread

This morning I went to the supermarket and saw some wheat free/gluten free/dairy free bread and I had to buy some. The bread was surprisingly tasty. Hopefully my skin doesn't react to any of the other ingredients in the bread, however if it does I'll notice this in the form of new pimples tomorrow morning.

Tap water

As of today I'm removing tap water completely. I'm hoping that will make a big difference in the amount of pimples I have.

Skipping rope

This evening I dusted off my skipping rope and exercised for the first time in a long time. I got out of breath so quickly. How shameful!

I'm keeping positive and remaining hopeful.

Edited by James Small

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Day 8

I officially started the healthy eating regime on Monday 27th of June - 1 week ago!

Pimple update

Okay, so that bread did break me out. I'll be eating that in moderation from now. The pimples on the left hand side of my chin have all but gone, just some redness left over. I have a few new pimples on the right hand side of my chin which I'm putting down to the bread, and I've still got a few stubborn pimples here and there across my forehead/temples.

I've realized eating a lot of fruits does break me out so I'll have to reduce the amount I'm consuming. I'm going to drink my first green smoothie later which I'm kinda' looking forward to!

All in all I'd say I'm 60% clear.

On a side note, I took photos of my skin yesterday evening! I'll upload them here very soon.

Edited by James Small

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Day 8

I've got a group of new spots on the right hand side of my chin, on my back and one on my chest. This could be because:

  1. I've cut down the amount of Omega 3's I take every day
  2. The naturally occurring sugars in fruits cause me to break out
As much as it kills me I'll have to cut out fruits from my diet as of tomorrow. That'll be the only way of telling which of the above is to blame. Edited by James Small

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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Are you making all of these changes all at once? IF so, you can't really very easily determine what is and is not actually causing new breakouts. Such as the bread for instance, it's very unlikely that food would cause a breakout to occur quite soon after consuming the food unless it's an allergy. It could even be that the pimple was just a coincidence and would have surfaced even had you not eaten the bread.

Not saying that you should not continue a method like this, but just saying be cautious that you don't attribute every single pimple to every little detail/aspect of your regimen/lifestyle. Sometimes pimples just happen. To me it just sounds like you are doing too much too soon. If you wanted to cut out foods, I'd suggest either an elimination diet (you can find info on that in the holistic section) or only cutting out one item for a minimum of 2 months before determining if removing it was beneficial. If you keep removing and adding things, you will have no way of tracking down what is and is not working.

Hey :) , thank you for the suggestion! Quite a few people on the holistic forums said wheat, gluten, milk and sugar are usually linked to acne so I cut them out altogether to be on he safe side. Since doing that I've seen a vast improvement in my skin.

I'm not focusing on which of those four foods it could be until I'm clear, so you could say I'm doing this backwards. After I'm clear for a few months I'll start to include each of those foods in my diet again one by one and then observe my skins reaction from there.

Edited by James Small

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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That's pretty much an elimination diet, which is talked about here. I'd never be willing to do that; I love food too much to bother assuming any type of connection could possibly exist between food and my acne lol.

I've read some of the threads about the elimination diet on here and took inspiration from them!

I won't be eliminating any more foods as I know which foods could be to blame. I had red, sore pimples on my chin for weeks and weeks, and as soon as I had eliminated the certain foods I mentioned above those pimples went!

I know it could be a coincidence, but my skin has randomly improved too much for it to be. I'm quite healthy anyway so I'm loving the regime!

Edited by James Small

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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Day 10

'Frosties'

Okay, so this morning I let myself go a little. I'd woken up at 8am feeling nauseous, weak and my heart was beating extremely fast. I tried to get up but my legs and hands started to get severe pins and needles and I couldn't support my body weight. I knew something had to be done. Therefore I asked my dad to bring me up some Frosties, flakes coated with sugar and maze. I know this goes against my healthy eating regime, but it was just a one-off. Surely that doesn't matter too much. I ate the cereal (without milk) and felt completely fine afterwards. I was definitely suffering from low sugar levels. Does anyone know how I can make sure I don't get that weak again?

Skin update

My skin seems to be detoxing. I've got a few new spots on my stomach in places I'd never got them before. Apparently this type of thing is normal when you eat healthily as your body comes along and releases the toxins. God knows what my skin will be like tomorrow after what I ate for breakfast.

Emotions

Recently I've been dealing with the emotional side of things as I now believe emotions and how you feel are intertwined with acne. It's not been easy but I think I know what emotions caused my acne to get worse. I'm also ridding myself of all stresses.

Salads, salads, salads...

I've eaten sooo many salads in the past week I'm surprised I've not started dreaming about them. I must find some more healthy recipes which will add variety to my diet.

Edited by James Small

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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Start eating natural sources of sugar on a regular basis, and make sure you are eating enough portions in general.

For salads, you should try just doing really large salads with lots of varied veggies, add some nuts, and a homemade dressing (vinegar and oil basically). Add some pieces of mandarin oranges or raspberries for added natural sugar and flavour. And add some pieces of grilled (with desired seasoning) chicken, turkey, or salmon. You could even try adding brown rice in there, or do a rice/rice-pasta salad in place of a veggie salad.

But honestly, your body releases toxins when eating poorly just as effectively as when you eat healthy. There are just fewer toxins to be released when eating healthier, but the body doesn't stock-pile them.

You shouldn't make yourself feel guilty over eating a sugary cereal. It will just make matters worse.

Thank you for the great advice!! I'm going to try the homemade dressing on a salad and grilled fish for lunch.

Edited by James Small

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Day 11

Pimple update

My skin is definitely improving. The redness on the left hand side of my chin, the two pimples on my left cheek, the one pimple on my temple and the pimples on my forehead are all fading away. Result!

The only pimples that remain are the five on the right hand side of my chin.

Fruit

Because of how I felt the other day (weak, nauseaos etc due to sugar withdrawal) I've decided to moderately eat some fruit - usually an apple. Eaten in moderation, apples do not break me out.

Edited by James Small

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Day 12

Pimple update

So, half of my face is clear - except for one pesky spot I noticed this evening on the left hand side of my chin. The right hand side still has a bit of clearing up to do. Roughly six or seven spots spread across my right side. I'd say I was %30 clear as I've still got some spots across my shoulders and on the back of my neck. I'm pretty sure this is because of the skin detox! On a down side I had two bowls of cereal after dinner. It shouldn't affect things too much.

A busy weekend

My university is holding an open day tomorrow so I'll be going :rolleyes: . To be honest I'm not that concerned about having pimples for the event as I know that I'm working on things and by the time I start going to uni as a student in September I should be clear. :think::pray:

I'm more concerned about what's happening Sunday - a funeral. Members of the extended family and family friends will be coming. Kill me now :cry:. That'll be the first time many of them see me with this acne and I'm not looking forward to their reactions.

How is everyone else doing?

Edited by James Small

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Day 13

Cravings

Okay, so it turns out sometimes I have no self control. After getting home from the uni open day (which wasn't that bad) I consumed: a strawberry cornetto ice cream, two slices of cake, a further small tub of ice cream, three cherry bakewells and two lemon biscuits. Oh the shame :(

I'm starting to panic if I'm honest as I have that family funeral tomorrow and my face is going to look AWFUL :doh:. It's not my fault that I ate all that food as honestly I can't say 'no' sometimes :doubt:.

Look, in the past week I've proven my point. Food DOES affect my acne. It's a fact. I can only restart the paleo diet on Monday and go from there. Worrying about everything will probably give me stress and even more pimples.

What's done is done.

Edited by James Small

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Day 15

Cravings

Okay, so it turns out sometimes I have no self control. After getting home from the uni open day (which wasn't that bad) I consumed: a strawberry cornetto ice cream, two slices of cake, a further small tub of ice cream, three cherry bakewells and two lemon biscuits. Oh the shame :(

I'm starting to panic if I'm honest as I have that family funeral tomorrow and my face is going to look AWFUL :doh:. It's not my fault that I ate all that food as honestly I can't say 'no' sometimes :doubt:. (Update 17:20 on 09/07/11) After thinking about how sudden my cravings came on I started to realize that the 'binge' sessions (which I've had before after coming home from college) are produced psychologically. I obviously have some issues to work on.

Look, in the past week I've proven my point. Food DOES affect my acne. It's a fact. I can only restart the paleo diet on Monday and go from there. Worrying about everything will probably give me stress and even more pimples.

What's done is done.

Good luck on the diet! I definitely think it will work for you. As for the funeral, I think people will be too caught into the ceremony to really notice. Just act confident. Don't try to hide things and it'll help. I myself don't actually notice acne. I concentrate more on a person's personality. I don't know if it's like that for your family.

I believe it takes a week for breakouts associated with diet binges to appear anyway so I don't think it will impact your skin too much.

How exactly do you cleanse your face? I understand that those previous cleansers have irritated your face, but I've read that oatmeal is a really nice cleanser. It helps fight against free radicals and it gently exfoliates your face. It also helps with redness. Before the funeral tomorrow, if you have time, you should try a yogurt facial mask. Put some plain, full fat yogurt on your face for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off. Warning: It gets messy! But, I've seen results on my friends, and it really reduces redness and makes you glow. Plus, it moisturizes and doesn't dry you out!

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Day 15

Cravings

Okay, so it turns out sometimes I have no self control. After getting home from the uni open day (which wasn't that bad) I consumed: a strawberry cornetto ice cream, two slices of cake, a further small tub of ice cream, three cherry bakewells and two lemon biscuits. Oh the shame :(

I'm starting to panic if I'm honest as I have that family funeral tomorrow and my face is going to look AWFUL :doh:. It's not my fault that I ate all that food as honestly I can't say 'no' sometimes :doubt:.

Look, in the past week I've proven my point. Food DOES affect my acne. It's a fact. I can only restart the paleo diet on Monday and go from there. Worrying about everything will probably give me stress and even more pimples.

What's done is done.

Good luck on the diet! I definitely think it will work for you. As for the funeral, I think people will be too caught into the ceremony to really notice. Just act confident. Don't try to hide things and it'll help. I myself don't actually notice acne. I concentrate more on a person's personality. I don't know if it's like that for your family.

I believe it takes a week for breakouts associated with diet binges to appear anyway so I don't think it will impact your skin too much.

How exactly do you cleanse your face? I understand that those previous cleansers have irritated your face, but I've read that oatmeal is a really nice cleanser. It helps fight against free radicals and it gently exfoliates your face. It also helps with redness. Before the funeral tomorrow, if you have time, you should try a yogurt facial mask. Put some plain, full fat yogurt on your face for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off. Warning: It gets messy! But, I've seen results on my friends, and it really reduces redness and makes you glow. Plus, it moisturizes and doesn't dry you out!

I clean my face with water twice a day. I've never heard about the oatmeal cleanser before, I might try it!

Edited by James Small

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Day 14

The funeral, emotional weekend

This weekend I've basically neglected/forgotten about my paleo diet. Yesterday I had that binge session and today I've not done too well either.

At the moment I'm feeling very deflated and discouraged. The funeral wasn't good at all. I stayed in the kitchen most of the time and almost ran out of the house to escape; made worse by my grandma - who a) normally makes me feel better in every negative situation and b) knows that I was very self-conscious about my acne, seemed to not give me any compassion at all.

It's certainly been an interesting weekend.

How has everyone else been?

Edited by James Small

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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While some of it may be psychological, your choice of binge-foods would suggest that your body is also playing a role, in that your body needs these sugary foods. You aren't diabetic, you should not be avoiding sugar of all kind like the plague. It's highly unlikely that ALL fruit pose issues for instance. Just because you see a pimple the day after eating something, doesn't mean IT was THE cause. Your body operates on glucose for energy. Starve yourself of it and of course your body will make you crave it.

And I do agree with katrina, you really should have just been confident. I have 3 almost-gone pimples that were more noticeable the last time I went to the gym (Friday), and I have a lot of red marks, including some that are indented from picking. But I never hung my head in shame, I always looked people in the eye, I was confident, and I didn't really think too much about people looking at my skin. I never really saw anyone glance at my eyes and then move down my face (the most that I saw was a kid glancing down to my shirt, either to read it or to check out my chest.... lol). Had I been trying to hide my face and been all afraid of contact, i'd surely have felt that they were staring at my skin. People really don't care about acne, especially mild acne. Buck up, it's not the end of the world!

Hey Ashley!

I've started to eat fruits again lately because of the whole sugar withdrawal thing I had last week. What's strange is that when I had the cravings/binge sessions when I went to college, I was actually eating chocolate and other sugary foods, as well as wheat and gluten etc.. I wasn't on any type of diet. As soon as I got home sometimes: BOOM - I began binge eating.

I know what your saying about people not noticing acne, and you are completely right. I'm not normally self-conscious about my acne; at college I wasn't and yesterday at the uni I wasn't, but when faced with extended family who I've not seen for years I was just apprehensive.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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I was that way with family. But they really don't care! So next time I see my relatives, I won't hide my face like I did last time.

And those foods you'd binge on all contain elements in them that the body does actually need in order to maintain itself. If you were binging on popcorn and chips, then it would likely not have mcuh to do with your body being somewhat starved of what it needs.

I'm glad you feel comfortable around your family now! Do you feel as if you don't mind if you have acne now you've accepted it?

Hmm, I'll see how I go this week with the cravings. If I do have a craving at any point I might squash it straight away by eating something sugary. In moderation I'm sure things should be okay?

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by i am ashley.

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Well I'd mind ACNE. I don't mind pimples. If I had acne, I'd be quite upset, since pimples aren't constant and recurring like acne is. But I have 2 pimples (barely there now) on my chin, they don't really bother me. The newer one did a bit yesterday because it was all pussy, but now it's way smaller. I actually am bothered by red marks more than the prospect of future pimples. I'm a bit bothered by my clogs/fleshy bumps on my forehead, but they should go down in a few more days (were from the gym, touched my face a lot the first day back, had cleaning solution on my hands).

If you get a serious craving, then eat it. It's not going to help if you make yourself not eat something just because its' a "bad" food. My grandmother is diabetic and still eats those things that are bad for her in moderation. Since your diet isn't for a health condition, assuming you lead a healthy lifestyle, eating cravings shouldn't make a huge difference unless you BELIEVE it will.

I wish my skin was in the same condition as yours. The problem I have is that whilst my condition is mild, many of the pimples stay for weeks and weeks and new ones eventually replace them. I wouldn't mind having occasional pimples and no redness, but having the two together most of the time is so annoying.

I'm going to try and stick to the paleo for as long as possible and increase portion sizes so I do not get randomly hungry. I reluctantly eat foods such as bread and chocolate on some weekends when I eat at my grandparents house, so I see Saturday's as my 'relaxed' day. Right now I could have something to eat, even though I ate all that junk today. I think it's piggish more than anything :lol:

Edited by James Small

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Day 15

Pimple update

Today I'm restarting the diet. I think my face is worse off after eating all the junk food in the weekend just gone. For the first time in roughly a week I've got pimples on the left hand side of my chin (4 to be precise), 1 pimple forming on my left temple and a few pussy pimples scattered across my forehead. On the plus side the spots on the right hand side of my chin seem to be calming down!

Edited by James Small

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