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Tunnelvisionary

Gradually Switching To A More Natural Approach

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Hello everyone, just joined this forum, but I've been browsing for a while now.

Wanted to start a log to have somewhere to keep track of what I've been doing, what's been working, goals, etc.

Luckily, I'm not absolutely hellbent on being 100% clear, which I think can only help people in many direct and indirect ways.

However, my goals are to be able to stop using the creams my dermatologist has prescribed for me. I've been using benzoyl peroxide creams for about six years now, and while it has had a positive effect on my acne, I deal with other skin problems.

Despite having the oiliest/shiniest skin known to man, acne medicines seem to dry the living crap out of my face, and as a result, my skin texture is awful, and I have these deepish wrinkles on my face at the ripe old age of 19. Haha!

Ultimately, I want to clear up my face, as well as treat these problems that acne treatments have given me over the years.

I've been wanting to take a natural approach for a while now. My family back in Pakistan all have clear, beautiful skin. My cousins who are only a few years younger than me have amazing skin texture, and their skin is so clear. We have the same genes, so wtf is going on? Come to think of it, from all the time I've spent in Pakistan with my family, I don't think I've seen anyone with acne problems.

The last time I went there was before I started my freshman year of high school (About 13-14 years old) and by then, I had been having acne trouble. As I was in Pakistan though, I noticed that despite the fact I had stopped using my normal treatment (not so crazy about being clear back then) and the fact it was extremely humid, my skin was not breaking out very badly. It was pretty clear actually. Though to be fair, it's possible my acne didn't start acting in full force at that age.

Plus, for the last few weeks, I have been experimenting with a method that helps you digest food better. It involved not drinking any liquids an hour before, during, and an hour after meals. I'm very surprised at how effective it has been. My skin texture has been a lot better, as well as the fact I'm not breaking out as much, and I'm not even getting those tiny little bumps that make your skin look strange. It's been smooth for the most part. Even in my chin area, which has consistently been a mountainous region on my face, has cleared up about 40-50% doing this alone.

Furthermore, as I've been doing this trick, the acne I do have seems to disappear WAY quicker! I've had many pimples disappear in a matter of a few hours. Something used to think to be impossible.

Anyway, I've recently gotten off antibiotics after taking them for a year (thankfully!) and I might be experiencing a little excess acne from the sudden change, but my skin has been consistently above average since I've been doing this. Normally, a new treatment would work great for a little while, level off, and then get slightly worse. But eh, such is life right?

Not really, I hope! The phrase "Inner affects outer" has been a common theme at many times in my life, and I believe with acne, it's no different. Acne is genetic. Lots of people are predisposed to it. However, I believe the purpose of acne to be your body's way of telling you that something is wrong on the inside, and my recent realizations seem to support this. Along with various member's stories.

Where to go from here? Hopefully up is the only direction, but I'm ready for some trial and error.

I'm going to keep up what I've been doing for about another month to see how well it really works, and then perhaps change my diet, or add more high quality vitamins...

If you're still reading, well hats off to you! Any tips you may have, stories to share are totally welcome!

Edited by Tunnelvisionary

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So, a bit of an update.

Despite one break out on the sides of my face that happened the other day, things are still clearing up. I can probably attribute the breakout to several things:

  • Ate 2 soy protein bars

  • Had a delicious cookie from Subway

  • My mom made Kraft brand Mac&Cheese (which is probably extremely processed)

  • My body still getting used to not drinking liquids during meals

    Yet, when I woke up this morning, my skin was clearer than usual and glowing. My chin had way less bumps on it than usual, and a fading pimple.

    So, eating food the right way is definitely helping. But I'm not entirely convinced. Still testing it out.

    For the record, I'm still on Acanya during the day (Benzoyl Peroxide cream from the dermatologist) and Tazorac at night(.1% Retin-A sorta thing). But I've gotten rid of antibiotics, and my skin has been consistently better since getting rid of that, as well as not drinking liquids an hour before, an hour after, and during meals. I tend to chew my food better as well. I used to believe that I needed liquids to swallow down meals (I can have some anxiety issues, which lead to loss of appetite, dry mouth, etc). I've gotten totally used to not drinking with meals though. Surprised at how effective it's been. Hopefully it's truly a sign that my acne is a sign of inner malfunction, and can be healed holistically.

    Where to go from here... Well...

    • Planning on switching over to eating more organic and natural foods consistently. Nearly everything in my house is processed garbage

    • Continue not drinking with meals

    • Switch to a higher quality multivitamin. Continue taking fish oil capsules.

    • Exercise everyday

    What's helping is knowing that the medicines, while they can help tremendously, seem to always only be truly effective for a small amount of time before it levels off and my skin eventually becomes resistant to it.

    What's also helping is that despite my facial troubles (which are not limited to just pimples), I can still relax and have a good time. I've read some of the depressing stories from users here. Acne doesn't hold you back. It's not a sentient being that tells you you're ugly. You're the only person doing that. You're the only person focusing on your face, your troubles, your story, your future, telling yourself "When this one thing happens one day, THEN I can truly live!"

    Don't fall for it! You can be radiant and beautiful with acne. There's this girl in one of my lab classes at college, who is covered in zits. Despite this, she has this amazing glow in her eyes and her smile is awesome. I hardly really notice that she has acne, it's really an afterthought. But it doesn't inhibit her beauty at all.

    My face is awful in florescent lights, and in any light at a certain angle. I look like an oily old man with pimples at times, but you know what?

    Acne is a skin condition, not who I am.

    So yes, I want to get rid of acne. I like looking clean. Yes, there are many things I want to do to improve my appearance. But the key is that I don't use my current appearance as an excuse to not enjoy life. Enjoying life has nothing to do with your circumstances, simply being alive and here is all it takes! If you don't believe me, take 5 seconds to just relax everything your worried about. Do that consistently, and you'll find within that 5 seconds, outside your thoughts about a situation, that everything is okay.

    The attitude will help!

    Tangent aside, my next goal, which will probably take a while, is to eventually not need to use tazorac. Will try to update periodically. Hopefully with pictures next time. Thanks for reading if you are!

Edited by Tunnelvisionary

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I know I said I'd post a picture next time I posted in here, but I can't find the microSD card adapter for my phone. I took the picture on my phone, but I don't know how to get it on the computer without that. I'll look for my digital camera.

Anyway, some developments...

Doing just fine without antibiotics! In fact, I think my skin is consistently way better than it was taking 150mg of antibiotics every day. There seemed to be an oscillating period where my body was adjusting to the sudden lack of antibiotics being pumped into me daily, where my skin would look slightly worse, but I think after about a month, my body is finally back to a balance.

My secret? It's no secret at all! I stopped consuming so much gluten! Seriously. That delicious, wholesome, "healthy" bread I've been consuming for almost my entire life? Full of gluten. Stopped eating that multiple times a day, and I break out waaay less, and my skin texture is much nicer. Kick arse!

That, and i've been continuing to not drink anything during meals. Don't drink anything an hour after a meal, but i've let myself not drink anything 20-30 minutes before a meal instead. Much easier to get lots of water that way, and it doesn't seem to make a huge difference. Less sugary juices, more water...

Anyway, I haven't been to the grocery store yet to pick up my starter foods for this new way of eating...that's when I will be better about updating this log and posting pictures of progress.

I've also found a reason that my skin seems to age prematurely...lack of protein nearly all of my adolescent years. If you saw me in person, this would be obvious, lol. Turns out the skin repairing mechanism does not work fully with a protein deficiency. I thought it was just dry skin drying my face out. My wrinkles would get worse and worse each day, despite my best efforts.

It feels good that the mysteries i've been dealing with the past few years are having light shed on them. At least in my experience, there is definitely a connection between what I eat and my skin condition!

I used to think that I was eating healthy...yeah, maybe not getting enough calories, but I was consuming high quality food, right? Oh if only I knew...

On my way to clear skin, and bulking the eff up. Hopefully my wrinkles will get better with this diet soon. Thanks for reading still, if you are!

Edited by Tunnelvisionary

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Well I promised some pictures, here they are. Took em right when I woke up so I'm a little disoriented. At the time, I hadn't been using Tazorac for a week, and it looks really good! Only been using the derma prescribed benzoyl peroxide, which is helpful, as my diet isn't that great yet.

Some developments...

Went to Whole Foods for the first time to do grocery shopping on my own for the first time ever. Dang, I live a sheltered life. Haha.

Well I picked up some ingredients for a protein shake... Hemp protein powder, Almond butter, Coconut oil (awesome stuff), some walnuts, and a new multivitamin.

Blended it all together in some sweetened almond milk. The shake tasted so good, but my face was itchy and breaking out like crazy. Through a few days of trial and error, I've determined that the hemp protein powder just doesn't do me any good. Clif bars with soy protein are doing much better on me honestly. More nutritious and it's low GI, which is helpful, but still not perfect due to the soy. Ensuring that I'm eating much more protein is helping my skin in more ways than one.

Soon, i'll be making green smoothies, adding more seafood to my diet, and totally removing grains. As of now, I'm still using that sourdough bread, but I usually only have that once a day. I had some of my mom's homemade bread too, which isn't doing me any favors either. Things are kind of hard when you don't have everything you want for your diet. I'm not one who will put my acne issue over being hungry, so I eat whatever I can (within reason) to subside the hunger. Just a few more weeks...

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You look like you have wonderful skin - very clear and hardly any red marks that I can see. I'm very jealous!

I too have stopped consumig gluten, although have only just completed my first week so far. I always thought I was being very healthy eating wholemeal seeded bread but at the moment, I'm not so sure and I am definitely thinking that maybe a gluten free life is the way forward.

I detest bright florescent lighting too - always makes my skin look worse than it is!

I really like your positive thinking - something I lack regarding my skin's appearance.

Good luck with everything!

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Isn't it amazing to think we're eating healthy only to find that many foods that are commonly labelled as being good for you may not exactly be that great for you? I was so surprised initially to find that whole grains were bad for you. They tasted so good, and come on, Whole Grains sounds like such a healthy label. Obviously not, haha. Looking back, a majority of my calories much of my life have been from bread. Amazing considering that bread isn't that nutritious and it's high GI as well. Never heard of gluten, and I knew high fructrose corn syrup was bad, but after being on these forums for a little while, I figured out that the bread I was eating had large amounts of both of those, and that was a big source of my acne.

My skin has been looking better, despite only making a small amount of changes in diet and being at it for a short time (and eating trigger foods a few times). From my days of being obsessed with how I look, I know the location of the light source and how i'm facing it has a large effect on how much detail you can see on my face haha. It's hard to see those wrinkles I was talking about, as well as the fine lines in my skin, and all the bumps and grease. But you wouldn't know it from the picture. :)

There's a pretty good 'before' picture on my profile gallery if you'd like to see it.

Still though, it's a vast improvement considering I'm not on antibiotics, or my retin A cream anymore. Hoping to make more changes in my diet before my next dermatologist appointment comes around.

Thanks for the support ohsailor, wish you the best of luck with your journeys too!!!

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Hellooooo

I'll cut to the chase...

Awesome things I've noticed so far

  • I'm like 90-95% clear just from eating better. Still use benzoyl peroxide in the mornings, but I really think that I'm not going to need it anymore soon. My skin looks like the picture I've posted, but with less acne on my chin, smoother skin, and less wrinkly in fluorescent lights.

  • It's consistently remaining that way. I know that right now, some foods still break me out a little, but it's amazing not waking up with huge zits, or with deeper wrinkles!

  • Cutting out gluten and adding fish has had huge benefits. I get more protein, and all the skin texture/wrinkle issues I had were from my hilariously bad diet my entire life. Gluten, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Soy being cut out of my diet (for the most part) have had great effects on my skin, my acne issue, and being extremely skinny.

  • Wrinkles are disappearing. Just can't get over :D:D:D

  • My teeth are stronger. If I don't wear my retainer for a few days, my teeth remain aligned for the most part. Before these lifestyle changes, my teeth were pretty sensitive, and easily moveable

  • I'm adding weight with less food. To be able to stop acne, and gain weight at the same time is really amazing!

  • Since I've talked to my mom about what I've learned, we've agreed that we really don't need my dermatologist anymore. So no need to go to her office and endure her remarks about how my skin could be so much better with accutane. I know for a fucking fact that in my condition, accutane would have screwed me over worse than I screwed myself over by not keeping myself healthy. Plus visits to her office were like $80. Using that money towards good food :)

    What I've been doing since my last post

    • I don't drink water before meals or after meals for about a half an hour. Originally, this had a huge effect for me. It gradually diminished because I needed nutrient dense foods to sustain it. But I keep doing it because I believe it helps digestion.

    • Still no gluten. But I eat sourdough bread for right now...which i'll be stopping soon.

    • Added in salmon to my diet. In combination with not eating foods that prevent optimal absorption of nutrients, the protein, omega 3's, the vitamins, and fat have all been doing great things for my skin and body weight. Fish and steamed vegetables.

    Things I still need to do

    [*]Start making green smoothies

    [*]Eating fruits that don't break me out, though I just had an apple and my skin isn't itchy like it usually is

    [*]Stop using benzoyl peroxide

    [*]Uhhh, just getting more foods from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods that are recommended in the nutrition forum.

    Some last notes: Coconut oil is awesome. When I had it with fish in a significant amount, I broke out a tiny bit, yet at the same time the pimples I had on my face got smaller. So it wasn't a normal breakout. I attributed it to the detox properties that coconut oil has. Two days later, my skin is clear, so that supports my hypothesis.

    I have started to crave the junk foods I once ate. I miss subway, chick fil a, wendy's, etc. Good news is that tacos at chipotle don't break me out if I get tacos. I'm still in the healing process, so it'll be a little while before I can have those foods without consequence again. It'll be worth it in the end.

    Thanks for reading, hope those of you who have a long list of your morning and nighttime regimen are thinking of maybe doing some diet changes...seriously. I used to have a long list like that, which was effective for a little while, but I spent like two hours in the bathroom...

    Also, I'm thankful everyday that I chose not to take accutane :)

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Nice work! I am on the same bandwagon and have had great success! It's totally worth it, not just for skin reasons but overall health :) I tried to reincorporate some foods that I was reactive to after 3 months of total avoidance (per my naturopath's recommendations) with disastrous results. Now I'm about 3 weeks back on the gluten-free, vegan diet and my skin is clearing up again. One thing I would recommend to you is probiotics, which should help your digestion after the course of antibiotics you were on. Any probiotics that are in the refrigerated section of a health food store or Whole Foods should be good.

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Thanks 4Fours, i've considered those in the past, in case my acne didn't clear up. I'm surprised at how effective it's been for me and how quickly it happened. I might still give it a go just to see what happens lol.

I'm hoping after my finals are over, I can do a bit more research on diet. There's a theory going on in the nutrition forum, that acne trigger foods trigger acne in people with improperly working digestive systems, and don't do much harm to people with properly working digestive systems. I'm hoping that I can eat the optimal foods for my body to repair for a few months, and then be able to eat most things without breaking out. There's no way i'll be returning to a diet of junk and bread (aka my previous diet) but I do this for convenience, so if I go out and I'm forced to get something, there's no issue with breaking out or anything.

More info in this thread: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/307037-my-dairy-experiment-so-does-it-really-cause-acne/

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Thanks for recommending that thread, I'll check it out. I allllllways forget to take my probiotics. I take like 17 supplements a day, but still can't get in the habit of going to the fridge and taking the probiotics. I should write it on my hand.

I think there is def a correlation between diet and acne. I think there is a correlation between diet and everything. Yes, some people can eat anything and not get messed up (or they just don't feel what's going on in their body). Or people can eat anything and get other problems but not acne. My nephew is gluten sensitive and he gets eczema when he eats wheat. My little sister has digestive problems (IBS) but her skin is good. My husband used to get back acne and occasional pimples, but he had a major health crash (best diagnosis is chronic fatigue, but I hate that name) and had to change everything in his life. Now his skin is completely clear (lucky!).

There are some things that are just going to trigger inflammation (which in some people leads to acne). Peanuts are a very common allergy, because the peanut protein is sometimes recognized in the body as a foreign invader... not food. Gluten is the same. Dairy is just plain bad for acne in my opinion... I don't think we should be drinking milk that was intended for a 250 lb baby cow... esp with all the hormones they give them to produce more milk.

I know it's a total pain in the ass to plan every meal. Traveling is the worst, and I just don't eat at restaurants anymore with family or friends. Sounds nuts but I avoided going out with anyone when my acne was bad, so now I just eat beforehand and order a drink and any sides I might be able to have. My diet plan has me not eat the same food two days in a row, I have to rotate to avoid new allergies. I have a follow up with my naturopath on Monday, I want to ask if she thinks my digestion is messed up even though I am on a hypoallergenic diet, and what we might do to support it. Then maybe I can do like you said and be able to eat off the diet every once in a while without my skin freaking out. One thing I would highly recommend is getting an IgG allergy test done, rather than intuiting what you might be allergic to. It's costly, but I would have never guessed that sunflower seeds is one of the biggest contributing factors to my acne.

Edited by 4Fours

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Oh I definitely agree that diet and acne are deeply connected. Well I feel it's more accurate to say that your acne is a direct reflection of inner health, and diet is a big part of having good inner health.

I'm only saying that in bodies that have great inner health, intolerances are far less likely to cause inflammation, but if you keep indulging yourself with those foods, you'll eventually end up in the same spot as you were before.

The way I connect the pieces together (and the way I hope things work, haha) is that acne is indeed genetic. But it's not like a gene that is within you that CREATES acne, just because. We have a gene that uses acne as a way of saying something is not working right in the body. Do things to heal your inner health, and you will eventually lose the sensitivity towards receiving acne. It kind of makes sense, because we didn't break out when we were kids after eating all sorts of garbage! It took years upon years of damaging out bodies for acne to finally show itself in full force. According to many sources i've read, acne was never this severe in the populace, teenagers would only get occasional pimples. As our food supply gets worse and worse, and our population takes more unnecessary pills to comprimise our system, we have bodies that are more prone to inflammation and acne.

That's why I believe it to be possible to get rid of food intolerances, which doesn't necessarily mean that I would ever go back to consuming gluten multiple times a day (getting sick just thinking about it), but maybe I can add apples and bananas and sweet potatoes into my diet and not break out! I would love to be able to touch my face, and have it rub against my pillow and not be worried about how sensitive and oily and acne prone it is!

So, it's only a theory, but I hope I can find more evidence for it, and make it happen in my life. In lots of ways, I believe all of us with acne are the lucky ones. We have visible markers indicating our shit health. I saw a very powerful medicine ad in a magazine once. It had a man with a bruised and beaten face, but it said "If Hepatitus affected your face, you would do something about it"

It only hit me now how powerful of a statement that is. None of us care about our health until it starts affecting our appearance! (Definitely a blanket statement, but blanket statements conjure up the most emotions tongue.png )

Thanks to acne, I'm learning about nutrition, and just how bad of shape i've been in. I've learned that there are TONS of misconceptions out there. I find people who think what I say is wrong don't really know why they believe what they believe on nutrition. They'll argue tooth and nail about saturated fats being bad and vegetable oils being good, because they heard it on a two minute news segment...and after all it's the news... how could they be wrong?! (Totally ignoring the fact despite having a position of authority, you are still human)

Doctors operated on babies without anesthesia up until 1985 because they believed that babies don't feel pain...DOCTORS DID THAT. EVERYONE IS CAPABLE OF MAKING MISTAKES AND BEING MISGUIDED. An appeal to authority does not make you correct, do your own research and weigh out what you've read. Sorry, it just gets me mad sometimes. Everyone is doing the best they can given their current knowledge, so I guess I can't blame anyone.

People love to use the argument about how not eating bread makes my lifestyle inconvenient. Not really, considering I eat ACTUAL FOOD now. Seriously one of the best decisions of my life. I had buffalo wild wings yesterday, knowing full well the wings were full of gluten. I did it as an experiment, to see if I really break out from it (after not consuming it for a month)...my face erupted. It was pretty hilarious how bad it was, but it was the final nail in the proverbial coffin. Gluten and I just don't get along tongue.png

Anyway, I had a lot to say about stuff lately, and nowhere to say it. It became less of a reply to you, 4Fours, and more of a general rant (Can you find where I stopped replying to you directly and started going off on strange tangents? Haha)

I say, good on ya for giving the diet thing a shot, it takes strength to really carry through with it. I believe all the changes are well worth it in the end, we're not just cursed with bad genes! Best of luck to you, I hope things work out beautifully smile.png

Edited by Tunnelvisionary

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No offense Tunnelvisionary, but you are beautiful. From the pictures you posted on November 23, it looks like you were 95% clear to begin with. Besides your dashing skin, I think we are very similar. I also have very oily skin, and somehow my skin is also really sensitive to topicals. I am also trying to bulk up, but protein shakes make me break out like crazy. Have you been able to bulk up yet? Has your natural approach reduced your oil production?

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No offense Tunnelvisionary, but you are beautiful.

Hahaha that's the most insulting thing anyone has ever said to me!

Check out my gallery on my profile if you want to see what my skin was really like before. And it's not all rainbows and unicorns, my inner gollum comes out under flourescent lights, though it's slowly getting less and less hard to look at me now that I actually eat healthy and have cut out gluten :P

The way I see it is, protein shakes aren't really necessary at all! Yeah, they add a boost of protein to your day, but if you eat enough meat, you can easily get 100+ grams of protein a day. Much better way to get protein imo.

I had a little problem with not eating enough as I started cutting things out, but if I eat full meals, eat till i'm satisfactorily full (BUT NOT ABSOLUTELY STUFFED) then yes, I gain weight. I gain weight in all the right areas now that I don't have gluten in my system. Based off how much I've improved healthwise when I've cut out gluten, I think I have subclinical gluten intolerance, but not celiac's disease.

And yes, since eating better my oil production has gone down significantly. It's still slightly shiny and wet towards the end of the day, but it's not as gross looking. I should mention that I don't wash my face at all at night anymore before I go to bed despite being oily, but I always wake up with significantly reduced oil and better skin texture.

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Check out my gallery on my profile if you want to see what my skin was really like before. And it's not all rainbows and unicorns, my inner gollum comes out under flourescent lights, though it's slowly getting less and less hard to look at me now that I actually eat healthy and have cut out gluten tongue.png

The way I see it is, protein shakes aren't really necessary at all! Yeah, they add a boost of protein to your day, but if you eat enough meat, you can easily get 100+ grams of protein a day. Much better way to get protein imo.

I had a little problem with not eating enough as I started cutting things out, but if I eat full meals, eat till i'm satisfactorily full (BUT NOT ABSOLUTELY STUFFED) then yes, I gain weight. I gain weight in all the right areas now that I don't have gluten in my system. Based off how much I've improved healthwise when I've cut out gluten, I think I have subclinical gluten intolerance, but not celiac's disease.

And yes, since eating better my oil production has gone down significantly. It's still slightly shiny and wet towards the end of the day, but it's not as gross looking. I should mention that I don't wash my face at all at night anymore before I go to bed despite being oily, but I always wake up with significantly reduced oil and better skin texture.

I looked at the pictures, and now I can see your improvement. Maybe you should post the one with 3 people and the one you already posted next to each other so everyone can see a before and after going healthy.

Do you think the gluten was causing your oily skin?

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The way I connect the pieces together (and the way I hope things work, haha) is that acne is indeed genetic. But it's not like a gene that is within you that CREATES acne, just because. We have a gene that uses acne as a way of saying something is not working right in the body. Do things to heal your inner health, and you will eventually lose the sensitivity towards receiving acne. It kind of makes sense, because we didn't break out when we were kids after eating all sorts of garbage! It took years upon years of damaging out bodies for acne to finally show itself in full force. According to many sources i've read, acne was never this severe in the populace, teenagers would only get occasional pimples. As our food supply gets worse and worse, and our population takes more unnecessary pills to comprimise our system, we have bodies that are more prone to inflammation and acne.

Couldn't agree more! To the whole thing, but I didn't want to make my post longer by quoting all of it. To me, acne is a red flag that something is out of whack. I think a huge part of us getting such shit nutrition is all the things they have done to food to make it more profitable ("round-up ready" wheat that is immune to pesticides, rGBH injected into cows to produce more milk, and so on). So, to people who already have inflammation, it could be detrimental. And to a certain population, that might mean acne.

Doctor's certainly aren't always right... I know, I have two in my family. It took a long time for both of them to accept that my husband was going a more natural path to try to get out of his chronic fatigue pattern (after seeing 8 MDs yielded nothing but "there's nothing wrong with you"). Unless you have a very integrative, proactive doctor who keeps up with the new research and broadens their mind to anything other than what they were taught in med school 10-30 years ago, you are just going to get the same answer over and over.

I wish I could believe acne was genetic though. No one in my family of 5 had or has acne anywhere as bad as mine. They all look at me like, "Woah, what's going on?!" Bleh!

I am also trying to bulk up, but protein shakes make me break out like crazy. Have you been able to bulk up yet? Has your natural approach reduced your oil production?

I know this isn't directed at me, but I like rice protein, it's about 15 grams of protein a scoop and rice is pretty easy on the skin. I'd stay away from whey protein. I am a vegan and struggle to get 50 grams of protein a day. 100+ grams is just inconceivable to me, ha ha!

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I looked at the pictures, and now I can see your improvement. Maybe you should post the one with 3 people and the one you already posted next to each other so everyone can see a before and after going healthy.

Do you think the gluten was causing your oily skin?

Thanks for the suggestion, i'll do that if I figure out how haha. I'll dig around more and see if I have any other pics of what my acne was like before.

I think gluten was the cause of a whole host of my problems. My skin still gets kinda oily, but it takes a long time for that to happen. I think a lot of my oiliness also came from anxiety, where I would kind of get warm and I could feel more oil getting excreted onto my face. I've calmed down a lot since then, and that's helped my skin really reduce oiliness. I believe that my diet change has only helped too, my face has been more consistently clear and less oily. Washing my face less has also helped with not waking up with an oily face in the morning. So really, I can't say my oiliness was attributed all to gluten, but a number of other problems seem to be. If you're considering cutting it out (which, if you really read about what gluten does to you, is a no brainer :P ) then just cut it out for maybe 2-3 weeks and see what happens. for me, it only took a week of going without regular grocery store bread (which I had consumed multiple times a day for many years) to realize that I'm better off without wheat. Forces me to make better meals too! Haha. It's strange and seemingly inconvenient at first. Until you realize that driving your car to the restaurant, waiting in the drive thru sometimes, paying more money, driving back, and eating are all less work than standing over your oven for a few minutes when you're hungry.

Couldn't agree more! To the whole thing, but I didn't want to make my post longer by quoting all of it. To me, acne is a red flag that something is out of whack. I think a huge part of us getting such shit nutrition is all the things they have done to food to make it more profitable ("round-up ready" wheat that is immune to pesticides, rGBH injected into cows to produce more milk, and so on). So, to people who already have inflammation, it could be detrimental. And to a certain population, that might mean acne.

Doctor's certainly aren't always right... I know, I have two in my family. It took a long time for both of them to accept that my husband was going a more natural path to try to get out of his chronic fatigue pattern (after seeing 8 MDs yielded nothing but "there's nothing wrong with you"). Unless you have a very integrative, proactive doctor who keeps up with the new research and broadens their mind to anything other than what they were taught in med school 10-30 years ago, you are just going to get the same answer over and over.

I wish I could believe acne was genetic though. No one in my family of 5 had or has acne anywhere as bad as mine. They all look at me like, "Woah, what's going on?!" Bleh!

Agreed with everything!

How did you go about explaining your diet change to your family of doctors? Haha. I'd imagine it was an interesting chat. I'm a big believer in the power of the human body, and nature. I believe the chronic conditions that are most profitable for the medical industry can be healed holistically and with much higher success than taking a pill to suppress symptoms. That's not to say I would eat coconut oil to heal a broken leg or something haha. But a lot of our health problems are self-inflicted.

I believe the trigger for acne is genetic, not the appearance of acne itself. Getting acne is like a notification system that your body can do depending on if you have the genes for it, imo.

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I know this isn't directed at me, but I like rice protein, it's about 15 grams of protein a scoop and rice is pretty easy on the skin. I'd stay away from whey protein. I am a vegan and struggle to get 50 grams of protein a day. 100+ grams is just inconceivable to me, ha ha!

I've heard that about rice protein shakes before, but I'm focusing on getting clear right now. After I get clear I can worry about being too skinny. Do you actually gain weight and muscle with the rice protein shakes? If you do, is it hard for you to gain weight without the rice protein shakes?

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Just thought it was time to update with pictures. Picture 1 was after ditching my cleanser for two days. Still using acanya, but I decided to see how my skin was after ditching the cleanser...my skin isn't dry anymore (despite the cleanser being a "hydrating" cleanser) and it's smoother. I suspect the lack of the chemicals on my skin isn't irritating it anymore. The deep wrinkles are fading too, yay! :D

However, I do still get itchy and break out a little when I venture off my current acceptable foods. That's an indicator i'm not quite healed yet, imo.

Picture 2 was my face two days before. I just woke up, so I'm a little disoriented haha. Still some spots. Was still using the cleanser, but overall, my skin has improved so much since I started this log.

Picture 3 is for fun, it's just documenting how much I miss bread :P

@Omnivium

I wouldn't worry too much about protein shakes man, they're quite overhyped when it comes to weight gain. The fact is, they're relatively new inventions, and throughout human history, people have gained muscle just eating regular foods. If your primary source of calories are refined carbs and refined sugars, your body is going to turn that into body fat. My advice is just keep it simple: Eat healthy fats, carbs, and lots of protein from real foods, and eat more calories than you burn. That's really it.

Ditching gluten also helped (I feel like I mention that too much, but it really really helped). If you're really skinny like I am, you might have some sort of subclinical gluten intolerance, though I recommend that you either test it out for yourself for a few weeks (maybe 1-3 weeks?) or go to a naturopath and get some allergy tests.

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I wouldn't worry too much about protein shakes man, they're quite overhyped when it comes to weight gain. The fact is, they're relatively new inventions, and throughout human history, people have gained muscle just eating regular foods. If your primary source of calories are refined carbs and refined sugars, your body is going to turn that into body fat. My advice is just keep it simple: Eat healthy fats, carbs, and lots of protein from real foods, and eat more calories than you burn. That's really it.

Ditching gluten also helped (I feel like I mention that too much, but it really really helped). If you're really skinny like I am, you might have some sort of subclinical gluten intolerance, though I recommend that you either test it out for yourself for a few weeks (maybe 1-3 weeks?) or go to a naturopath and get some allergy tests.

With protein shakes, I was able to gain weight very easily, although some of it was fat. Now I eat until I really feel full 4 times per day, and my weight is staying the same.

Are you saying there is a correlation with being skinny and having a gluten intolerance? Do you think one causes the other?

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I wouldn't worry too much about protein shakes man, they're quite overhyped when it comes to weight gain. The fact is, they're relatively new inventions, and throughout human history, people have gained muscle just eating regular foods. If your primary source of calories are refined carbs and refined sugars, your body is going to turn that into body fat. My advice is just keep it simple: Eat healthy fats, carbs, and lots of protein from real foods, and eat more calories than you burn. That's really it.

Ditching gluten also helped (I feel like I mention that too much, but it really really helped). If you're really skinny like I am, you might have some sort of subclinical gluten intolerance, though I recommend that you either test it out for yourself for a few weeks (maybe 1-3 weeks?) or go to a naturopath and get some allergy tests.

With protein shakes, I was able to gain weight very easily, although some of it was fat. Now I eat until I really feel full 4 times per day, and my weight is staying the same.

Are you saying there is a correlation with being skinny and having a gluten intolerance? Do you think one causes the other?

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/10915/1/Gluten-Intolerance-Causing-Weight-Problems.html

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/glutenallergy.htm

http://gluten-intolerance-symptoms.com/gluten-allergy-symptoms/#b1 (read the gluten intolerance symptoms section, this part is important!)

http://gluten-intolerance-symptoms.com/#gluten-intolerance-3 (notice one of the symptoms is stunted growth and failure to thrive)

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/symptoms-of-gluten-sensitivity-and-celiac-disease.html

There is definitely a correlation. Now if this is a full blown universal fact is a different story. It's interesting to look into if you have had trouble gaining weight despite your best efforts. I don't think being skinny causes gluten intolerance, i'm not exactly sure what causes food allergies and such. Maybe it's genetic? Maybe it's too much exposure. Idk. It's quite possible that your system does not react that badly to gluten, but it's definitely not that healthy to consume regardless.

Some protein shakes contain things like creatine and other chemicals that make you retain water and stuff. It's not healthy weight, but it could explain why you only seem to gain weight on them. Could be mistaken though, what kind of shakes did you drink?

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There is definitely a correlation. Now if this is a full blown universal fact is a different story. It's interesting to look into if you have had trouble gaining weight despite your best efforts. I don't think being skinny causes gluten intolerance, i'm not exactly sure what causes food allergies and such. Maybe it's genetic? Maybe it's too much exposure. Idk. It's quite possible that your system does not react that badly to gluten, but it's definitely not that healthy to consume regardless.

Some protein shakes contain things like creatine and other chemicals that make you retain water and stuff. It's not healthy weight, but it could explain why you only seem to gain weight on them. Could be mistaken though, what kind of shakes did you drink?

Those were pretty convincing. I do have a lot of the symptoms of gluten intolerance. For now I'll have less gluten, but before I cut it out completely, I have a few questions.

1. Are you still using topicals? Which ones? Like if you are still using acanya and tazorac then I think they would be doing most of the work, instead of not eating gluten.

2. How did you know you have a gluten intolerance? Did you get it tested, or did you just assume you had it?

3. Would it work if I cut out most of the gluten from my diet or does it have to be all gluten?

4. Do I just have to avoid things with wheat, rye, barley and gluten in the ingredients?

My protein shakes had everything lol. It's called Iso Mass Xtreme Gainer. It had protein, carbs, creatine, omega oils, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, creatine precursors, and enzymes. I don't know it this relates to gluten, but it also had things called glutamine, glutamine alpha ketoglutarate, glutamine ethyl ester, and N-Acetyl L-Glutamine. If I ever use a protein shake again, I will get one with just protein.

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1. When I started this thread, I had just gotten off of antibiotics. I was still using the cerave moisturizing cleanser, acanya (benzoyl peroxide shiz), and tazorac. Currently, I've stopped using Cerave and tazorac, and my skin has not only not broken out, but actually improved without the use of those two. My diet is still not totally where I want it to be (I still need to get more calories, and a steady supply of the foods that I've considered good for me to eat through a good amount of research and experimentation) so I still use Acanya for a little control. Not really sure if it's necessary anymore, but I do it for precautionary reasons.

I'm sure you've experienced that plateau when it comes to topicals where it seems to work for a while and then stopped. Yeah, my plateau for all the derm's topicals hit that peak months ago. I was in bad shape (though maybe around 30-40% better than my before pic on my profile) but I still had awful skin texture, wrinkles, and of course, acne. If I eat irritating foods, I still break out and they can be a bit inflamed, so I don't attribute much of my clearness to the topical i'm currently using. It's funny, a lot of us seem to have been caught up in the mindset that you need all these chemical cleansers and creams to clean and moisturize your face. I've heard stories about people who wanted to get rid of a few spots with conventional products, ended up with more severe acne, and realized all they had to do was stop using the products.

I would break out every day when I was on my topicals, and every visit to the dermatologists office resulted in her asking if we wanted accutane yet (NO!) or stronger doses of our current topicals. The plateau would hit soon after every visit. No relief for my face, until I discovered that my diet was devoid of nutrition, and I consume a shit ton of gluten containing products.

I should add though that I don't really advocate dropping the use of all topicals if you don't feel comfortable not using them. There's no need to think "I NEED TO BE NATURAL OR I NEED TO USE TOPICALS" You can do both, and wean yourself off the topicals if you so choose.

2. Well I was reading up on foods to avoid on the nutrition forum when I found out that bread can cause acne. I was totally awestruck, because my diet is primarily bread or has bread in every meal, and I was told that whole grains were very good for you. I read up on it, read up on the symptoms, ditched bread for a few days, and I wad amazed at the difference (was still using my topicals at the time, but they actually started working!). Went back to eating bread thinking I was okay if I just had a little...nope. Tons of inflamed whiteheads arrive on my face maybe 20 minutes to an hour after I ate a sandwich. It was never that bad with anything else.

3. Well I don't have a solid answer to that unfortunately. I'd say the only way to be really sure is to cut out all gluten for a week or two and see if you notice any differences. Or you could get a test from a doctor. Thing is though, you can still react negatively to gluten despite not testing positive for a specific intolerance, because gluten sucks anyway haha. Yeah, it's kind of fucked up...but truth be told, i'm not totally well researched in the area of actually getting tested for a gluten intolerance and test results. All I REALLY know is that gluten is generally frowned upon in the Nutrition and Holistic Health, and that my quality of life has gone up since stopping its consumption.

4. Yeah, I would avoid all breads. According to what i've read, gluten cannot be separated from the wheat grain, so whatever wheat you eat will contain at least some gluten. If you're doubtful about ditching bread, which is totally understandable because I was too, I recommend trying sourdough bread for a while and see if you react the same. Although it is wheat, it is a lot easier to digest, a lot of anti-nutrients were removed through the process of creating it, and generally removes a lot of the gluten I believe. Source: http://glutenfreecoo...ds-And-Beer.htm (Though it is not safe for celiacs to consume indicating there is a little bit, but celiac's disease is like hyper sensitivity)

Also, I think glutamine and the like are different than gluten. Glutamine is an amino acid and it's in things like chicken I believe. It's good for a damaged gut. Not related to gluten: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamine

The last thing I want to do is stress you out or scare you into going gluten free. That is not my intention at all. If you still have doubts, visit the nutrition forum, search around about allergy/food sensitivity tests from naturopaths (I'll let you know now though that they can be a bit pricey). Or you can take my route and just try cutting it out for a week or two and see how you fare.

If you think you might have it, then I really recommend talking to your parents, if you live with them, about it. Show them the links, become a little more well informed about subclinical intolerances and such. It'll save a lot of headache when the people you live with are on your side. Bread is such a revered product in our society though, it might be a little difficult for you or them to believe. But in the end, it's all your decision! I'm here if you have anymore questions, but so is the nutrition forum haha. Users like DejaClaireVoyant, alternativista, corgisoulpower, tim12, chunkylard, and moonbase (and a few others I might be forgetting) are usually pretty informed users who are generally level headed (which is an important quality, there are plenty of people in the forum who believe that eating a certain food is equivalent to the apocalypse) so you can start to get a better picture of how to go about this.

Edited by Tunnelvisionary

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I know this isn't directed at me, but I like rice protein, it's about 15 grams of protein a scoop and rice is pretty easy on the skin. I'd stay away from whey protein. I am a vegan and struggle to get 50 grams of protein a day. 100+ grams is just inconceivable to me, ha ha!

I've heard that about rice protein shakes before, but I'm focusing on getting clear right now. After I get clear I can worry about being too skinny. Do you actually gain weight and muscle with the rice protein shakes? If you do, is it hard for you to gain weight without the rice protein shakes?

I gotcha! I don't try to gain weight, I'm a relatively underweight woman and I use the rice protein to supplement the fact I don't eat meat. If you do end up using protein shakes again, I'd take Tunnelvisionary's advice and stay away from the creatine and chemical kind.

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Bah, I've been exceptionally clear, until the past two or three days I ate a bunch of chicken from a place that sells chicken in bulk to restaurants. I'm still testing it out for a few more days to see if it's definitely from that chicken, and if it is, I gotta stop. I'll try finding some organic chicken, because I don't know if I can just eat seafood for a few months.

I hate telling my mom that I think I certain food has been breaking me out...she gets this bewildered look. I try to explain why, but it comes out all fumbled, and then I feel like she thinks I'm making stuff up. I'll try to prepare my reasoning beforehand whenever I feel like breaking the news to her haha.

*sits in corner and whispers "I'm not crazy...I'm not crazy"*

edit: Might as well make this post useful and outline some goals i'm looking towards

  • Acquire a juicer. Those are fookin expensive. I don't know when or how...but I'm going to get one.

  • Incorporate liver into my diet once a week

  • Get more calories. I've been doing better with that since I've stopped hating the taste of salmon, and i've been eating way more easy to digest fruits and macadamia nuts. Still could be eating more though.

  • Start making some bone broths. Mmmmm.

  • Start incorporating probiotics in some form...whether food or supplement

  • Experiment with HCl supplements and digestive enzymes.

I've recently stopped using acanya, and it's had some interesting effects. My skin is no longer completely irritated looking, and the wrinkliness has calmed down. My skin doesn't break out while i'm in the sun, even without sunscreen which is incredible for me. The skin on my cheeks look more like they belong to my face now, which was my biggest problem before.

As far as acne goes, yeah, I think the BP helped prevent some of it, but my skin looks and feels better. My acne is way more affected by how well I eat. Extra weight no longer ends up as fat in my abdomen, it is spreading around to much needed areas, and I'm actually a lean skinny person now, rather than having mostly body fat. Teeth and bones are still strong. I feel better, even when I freak out about things sometimes. I'm losing cravings for foods that aren't beneficial to me and i'm starting to genuinely enjoy the taste of foods that are better for me. Granted, I could be a better cook.

The biggest thing is that i've become a bit more sensitive to some toxins and ingredients that have a big effect on me. Is this common? Foods I used to eat everyday, now cause more noticeable problems. I'm guessing during this period, the body is more sensitive while it is healing. Gonna do more research on this, as it would explain a lot, and I could let my family know what's happening.

I know I will be able to conquer this, and hopefully it will rub off on my family. I've made quite a bit of progress since starting this log, and i'm getting the hang of this way of living more and more. Still have a lot to learn and room for improvement though, but it'll all work out eventually.

Edited by Tunnelvisionary

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