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I gave up sugar and my skin is clearing up!!

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I've had acne since my teens. I waited in hope for it to clear up in my 20's then when I hit my 30's but it stayed.

I had some sucess with Finacea (azelaic acid), it cleared my skin quite well for a while but eventually my skin seemed to get used to it. I carried on using it because my acne was better when I used it but I still had a general covering of spots from my face down my chest, tops of my arms and down my whole back. 

So recently I decided to cut out sugar. I had decided this because I had read a few of the books about sugar consumption and I was learning what it was doing to my/our insides (fatty liver disease anyone? ) and I decided that I wanted none of that thank you. 

So I decided to do it properly.

My rules:

1) No added sugar
That means no sucrose, dextrose, glucose, maltodextrose, any syrups, concentrated fruit extracts etc). No fizzy drinks, cakes, cookies, chocolate etc

2) All low sugar foods (except whole fresh fruits)
So no fruit juice, no dried fruit, no maple syrup or honey etc

3) Maximum 3 pieces of fruit per day

4) Reduce high carb foods
I do not eliminate carbs (we need carbs), I eat sweet potato, squash, parsnips and sweetcorn instead of higher carb foods like pasta, rice etc most of the time

5) Avoid processed food as much as possible
No sweeteners,  MSG,  preservatives, chemical enhancers etc 

6) Meal proportions
3/4 meal = veg (with at least one starchy veg like parsnip or squash)
1/4 protein
Ensure 2 portions of calcium containing foods are squeezed into here somewhere.

Honestly guys I needed to come back here after a few years away to tell you that so far it is working!!! My skin has not been this clear for years. I am one month in and my face, neck, chest and tops of my arms are p retty much clear. My back is slower to follow but it's clearer than it has been in years and it's smoother than ever. My whole "acnezone" area is smoother.  Also I am nowhere near as oily as I used to be either. I'm talking hair as well as skin. 

I'll post some pics below x x

Oh and I've also lost 2kg in a month so there is that too 

I don't have an up to date "before" shot because I don't focus on my acne as much any more (was just forcing myself to accept the I had it and the sugar thing was not an acne clearing attempt so I'm sorry that I don't have an up to date comparison.  You can check out my gallery to see what my skin looked like in 2007, that would be a really bad day now since I am 32 but the coverage is the about same... face, chest, back, neck, jawline.... ugh neck and jawline.... ). This pic is me with no cover up last night

edit: to be clear I have not used azelaic acid or any acne treatment medication for over a month either. And I had not been using it that much due to irritation for a while before this anyway.


Edited by crystal_willow
Forgot to say I'm off azelaic acid
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16 minutes ago, DandyTsunami said:

Im cutting out sugar aswell but I don't want to cut out fruit and honey will it be a problem?

Honey is still a high sugar product even if it is a natural one. Remember table sugar is still a natural product.

Honey is over 80% pure sugar so I would leave it alone.

Fruit is interesting. It is definately an important part of a healthy diet but it does contain a lot of sugar. The thing is whole pieces of fresh fruit has enough fibre to a low this natural sugar to be released slowly. Fruit juice has taken the fibre away (even smoothies take away your bodies fibre breakdown process making it easily to consume way too much at once and also releasing those sugars too quickly). So I avoid them

Whole pieces of fruit are fine but they should still be limited. That's why I have a maximum of 3 pieces of whole fruit per day (with the aim to eat 2 per day really).

Fun fact:
A glass of apple juice can have up to 10 cubes of sugar in it. 
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3 hours ago, fadedjay said:


could you please share what a typical day of eating looks like? i.e the meals.

Thanks :)

 breakfast : banana, yogurt (no added sugar at all), pecans and almond flakes

Midmorning:  decaff coffee white

Lunch: roasted and/or steamed veg with either tinned fish, hoummous or egg and half an avocado and clementines 

Afternoon: tomato and mozzarella

Dinner: Roasted and/or steamed veg with either steamed fish, hoummous, egg or cooked meat.

Snack:  apple and decaff coffee

I do also have things like bolognase ocasionally but all made up fresh. Very little pasta and a huge veggy side. 
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I had a cheaty day last night (first one I've had in a month) - girls night... all I had was 2 glasses of prosecco which is surprisingly low in sugar and some white bread and lindy McCartney nibbles like sausage rolls and some other thing I couldn't identify that was nice.  I was also pressured into having a cocktail but I only had few sips to be polite. My taste buds have changed now so it was really really sweet to me.

Today I started off with good intentions but I accidently ate something with dextrose (paté) along with olive bread so I may pay for this later.

Still today's food has been largely good. 

Breakfast: 1/4 cup steamed potatoes, egg, bacon, mushrooms and tomato. 
Cup of tea.

Lunch with someone:
Salad leaves, carrot, avocado, peppers, feta, with olive bread and paté

Snack:  decaff flat white and chamomile tea, banana

Cold steamed courgettes, carrots, green beans and parsnips with 1/4 cup of leftover potato. Hummus and brei.  

On a positive note I gave away all my foods containing added sugars today so they aren't in the house any more. 

I have a little spot forming on my jawline which may be payback for last night or it could just be life... skin still looking generally fab though. I'll keep on keeping on :) can't wait till my back looks like my face. 

Edited by crystal_willow
Forgot the end of the bracket
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That little jawline spot is already dying away, my skin is healing my spots before they get a chance to get going. :)
It was a month yesterday that this all started. 

I'll be honest I had a little cry today. I can't believe my war with my skin might finally be over. It's amazing to feel like I can touch my face without fear of pain or consequences!

I'm so glad I'm managing to stick to this x x

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DannyTsunami don't tell people what to eat. Im here to talk about acne. Good luck with your sugar quit attempt but don't post to me again.

Note: the poster was telling me not to eat meat and to become vegetarian for ethical reasons.... This is not what my log is for. 

Edited by crystal_willow
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I'm going to have to have something sugary at a friends hen do this Friday (chose the menu before I changed my diet).

I'm actually nervous :S

Yesterday's food:
Porridge with dessicated coconut, oatmilk, vegan yogurt, pecans, flaked almonds and fresh ginger and mint tea.

Apple 2 clementines 


Salmon sashimi, stir friend broccoli and squid, california roll (ate out... may have some sneaky sugar but I tried my best with my choices)

Apple and elderflower tea

Lamb shank, carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, onions

Lots of hot water

This week I will have to be super careful with my food choices because I know what's coming on Friday.  *sigh*

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My BMI is now in the healthy weight range so that's nice :)

My weight loss has plateaued now which is fine. My weight is healthy and losing weight was never the goal behind quitting sugar. My skin isn't perfect but it's looking fab and healthy. My back is clearer today and my skin has a glowy look to it.

One neck spot but it's dying.

Today's meals:

Breakfast:  banana and pecans

Mid morning: decaff coffee

Lunch: steamed mixed vegetables (courgette, leek, broccoli, carrot, parsnip) and hoummous with avocado and 1 clementine 

End of work: clementine

Arriving at home: half a cheese sandwich on seeded loaf, apple

Dinner: cream of chicken soup, tomato, 2 slices of seeded loaf

Snack: 1 raw carrot and herbal tea

I'm noticing a few people have colds around me and so far I seem to not be catching them... I hope my immune system has improved.

Oh I should meantion I also take a daily suppliment (have done for a while) of vitamin D in fish oil.

I've been taking this for months now so although I know it's good for me, it hasn't cleared my skin alone.

You know what's nice? Being able to run my hands across my skin and not feel pain.


I wish the same for all of you x x x


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Went on a hen do this weekend. Involved alcohol, chocolate etc. Today I had a spot start to emerge on my cheek and my skin is a bit oilier. Definately motivating me to carry on with quitting sugar.

It's a bit of a naughty one isn't it!


Edited by crystal_willow
Terrible accidental pun
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Yep I'm paying for the hen do weekend of eating processed, carbs,  alcohol and chocolate foods.

My cheeky spot has a temple friend20170424_105733.jpg

but I'm back on the wagon with poached eggs and veggis for breakfast


That was tastey!! (V proud of my first attempt at traditional poaching)

I am hopeful that I'll be back on track with my skin soon now that I have seen how well low and no added sugar eating can work. 

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OK so the hen do spots are nearly gone so yay!!

Also I thought I would update you in general with some photos.

Breakfast today:


That's proper (tesco value) porridge oats with dessicated coconut, vegan yogurt, pecans, almond flakes topped with strawberry and banana... yum!

My back is clearing still: 


But honestly it is looking much better. I have freckles too which makes 2d photos a challenge. I have zero cystic acne on my back though which is a huge relief. None of the few little pimples on my back that you can see hurt me and that is such a relief.


Also I lost another half a kilo! So now it's 2.5kg :)

Bring on summer!!
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Still going good 4 months later. I have occasional "cheats" but on the whole I am sticking to it and although my skin isn't "perfect" it is staying so so so so much clearer than it used to be. 

I won't ever go back. 

Oh and I've lost over 4 kg now and I am doing NO EXTRA PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WHATSOEVER. I probably should do more physical activity but still this is amazing.

My body fat has dropped from over 32% to around 27% as well.

X x x


Edited by crystal_willow
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6 hours ago, Grooving Till Old, Till Dust said:

Good for you, thats exciting!

it really is. I'll have to dig out pics of what I looked like November 2016 so people can see the change in full. There are some really old acne pics of me in my gallery though if anyone is curious. Edited by crystal_willow
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