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My Completely Natural Acne Regimen

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this is the first acne forum ive ever actually posted in... although ive certainly browed through quite a few of them over the years. i am a 21 year old female with very fair, sensitive, oily skin (winning combination, right?). ive been on this "regimen" of mine for about 3 months, now, so im a little late in posting, but i didnt want to give anyone else any ideas without first obtaining good results myself (god i cant tell you how many stupid things ive tried- and even paid for- that have done more damage then good!) i guess the first thing to do is to outline exactly what my skin is like, my body type (metabolism, hormones, etc) and what ive tried in the past. perhaps people with similar history might benefit more from my approach.

*****

MY SKIN TYPE

my skin has always been very fair and burned easily. i get faint freckles across my nose, but in general im just pale, pale, pale. if my skin is scratched, even very superficially, the area will swell up and turn a deep red color. when i get a pimple (even a small one), the area is always very swollen and a deep, dark pink- even if i dont pop it. one zit can last for more then a week on my sensitive skin. there is always a mark left behind, usually pink in color, occasionally having a purplish tint. as a child i was prone to eczema spots on the sides of my arms. later in life i would get them on my face. i suffered from seemingly random bouts of dermatitis- ranging from light skin peeling or flaking to deep, oozing cracks that would linger on my eyelids or down the corners of my mouth.

before any sort of treatment (natural or otherwise) i always had noticeable blackheads. my skin was ridiculously oily. i remember once during college i was in a bar with a rather attractive looking senior. after a few beers, he looked up at me and said "your skin is so oily.. do you, like, get lots of pimples and stuff?" he probably thought he was being polite- at that time, even under the layers of makeup, my skin was so bad that you would have to be half blind AND a mile away to miss the bumps and crevices. i went into the bathroom and cried, then worried that my crying had exposed even more of my terrible skin.

i had blackheads across my nose, cheeks, forehead, and even chin. ive gotten acne on almost every place that a person can get acne from the waist up. when i was a teenager my acne was mostly limited to putules on my cheeks and forehead. as time went on i developed cystic acne, which spread to every imaginable area of my face (even eyelids!) as well as my back, neck and chest.

*****

MY BODY TYPE:

my periods have always been very regular. ive alwasy had an extremely high metabolism. i was That Girl in high school who ate 2 value meals from macdonalds, washed them down with a huge coke, and never gained weight. yeah, i know, obnoxious, right? but see, i always felt that i was ugly anyway, due to my skin. even that word, "Ugly"- i always would catch myself thinking it about myself. i had friends who were not as thin as me, but who were nonetheless blessed with porcelain skin, skin like flower petals, (skin i would die for!) who always complained about my size. i wanted to scream at them, always- how to tell them that i would gladly trade places with them- would happily gain twice our differences in weight to have their glowing, healthy complexion. being overweight is almost a more fashionable problem to have- any trashy magazine has a section on whos gained or lost. weight is a difficult thing to struggle with, but at least its a mroe publicly addressed problem, therefore one that is becomming more accepted. my overweight friends could always watch bridget jones and feel better, but there is not one mopvie thati can think of where the main character has a rocky complexion! acne is embarassing in a way that weight is not...

ha, sorry for the tirade. anyway, i had no noticeable signs of hormonal imbalance, although my metabolic rate and tendency towards muscle gain might indicate an excess of testosterone- i dont know, im not a doctor, and even they can only speculate based on their own experience and the experience of others.

after college, i started to gain a bit of weight around my stomach and thighs. i had cellulite wher ei never had before. also, i started sweating excessively, even when i was cold. that also might indicate a hormonal imbalance- im not sure.

when i was younger i often suffered from an upset stomach, constipation or diarhea. i threw up a lot as a kid, and had a tendency to overeat or skip meals.

again, im only providing this information because i dont know if this regimen will work for everyone and want to give people a clear idea of what i started with before they go experimenting.

*****

WHAT IVE TRIED:

i started getting acne when i was only 12 years old. my mother bought me clearasil pads and a tube of oxyclean. as my skin worsened, she took me to a dermatologist.

he prescribed me first some sort of sulphur mix, then a 5 % mix of benzol peroxide, then azelaic acid, then differin gel. even with eucerin moisturizer (cetaphil and eucerin are the best moisturizers ive used so far), all topicals caused redness and peeling.

after getting sunpoisoning on my face 5 times in 3 months (during the transistion between winter and spring, no less!), with second degree burns across my cheeks, nose and forehead, i stopped using the differin gel. i stuck it out with the benzol peroxide and it did help. as a downside my skin was red and much paler on my face then it was on the rest of me, but i figured that it was a fair trade. by 10th grade my skin was better, but still rather embarassing for me. at that time i still refused to use any sort of makeup on my face, reasoning that it would exacerbate my condition. frustrated with the fact that my skin never seemed to get better, i switched dermatologists. again, same medications, this time with a benzol peroxide wash that i had to buy from my doctor for 20 bucks a bottle. finally, my freshman year of college, i gave up with the prescriptions, reasoning that i could buy benzol peroxide from the store for much less money and hassel.

in the meantime, i had gone on and off birth control twice. in the next 2 years i would start and stop taking the pill 2 additional times, for a total of 4 times in 4 years. although i occasionally noticed an improvement in my complexion upon starting the pill, my skin definitely was worse each time i went off of it.

my junior year of college was when my skin hit an all time low. stress level was high and i started drinking a lot and eating even less. i had discovered spot cover-up the summer before, and found myself needing more and mroe of it to hide my blemishes. i was eating mostly pizza and diet soda. sometiems i would skip meals, often missing nights of sleep as well. i would chow down on caffeine pills, diet pills, adderall- anything to keep me awake and functional for studying. by the end of the semester my tolerance for alcohol had reached a peak i would never have thought possible, and my skin was so bad that i didnt even want to leave the house. its unsurprising that i was practically suicidal at that point. my moods had become extremely erratic, and my weight (normally at 115-120) had plummeted down to 105. when i looked in the mirror, a dying girl looked back at me.

somehow, against all odds, i went home and fell in love. the boy in question seemed to share my feelings, and i was terrified of scaring him away with what i had come to think of as My Terrible Monster face. i searched the internet for answers.

thats when i discovered b5. i overdosed on b5, taking more then the recommended dosage. i started with cystic acne on my chin, forehead, brows and back, pustules all over. after 3 months i noticed a large improvment, and after 6 months a greater improvement still. i was no longer a Freak, i was just a girl who had moderately bad skin. still, i was dependent on my makeup. i kept waiting for the dramatic turn around that others described online but i never found it. i suddenly wanted perfect skin, not just decent skin! i started wondering if perhaps i was lacking some other nutrient, as well as b5. i was convinced that vitamin supplementation had to work.

i added in zinc with copper, fish oil, vitamin c, vitamin e with selenium, a vitamin b complex and a multivitamin.

then i started with herbal supplements- the hormone balancing herb vitex (took it for 9 months with no improvement) and evening primrose oil.

i even tried ordering a 5 month supply of spironactone from overseas (it scared me but i was desperate).

still, i was alwasy self conscious of my face, and always worried that my makeup was slipping. if i spent the night somewhere, i would creep up early to reapply my coverup. i carried a slew of pills around with me all the time. at that point i was using only cold water on my face, once a day or less, and my skin had lost its red appearance and had become dramatically less oily. i was drinking very little, eating comparatively healthy, and sleeping more regularly.

but as time went on, my vitamin regimen seemed to get less and less effective. with the start of the new semester, stress increased, and once i turned 21 i started drinking more again. after having read someones post on a message board about diet having no effect on acne, i started eating whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted. cue macaroni and cheese and pizza, lots of pizza. and tons of diet soda. lots of coffee, then caffeine pills again- all that good stuff. my skin started to take on a red appearance. it often felt hot to the touch. i felt always uncomfortable- itchy or hot, and it was hrd for me not to scratch off my makeup.

after college was when i finally gave up my insane collection of vitamins. "there has to be another way," i thought.

whoo! im beat. more to come...

ok, here we go again:

i was sick of vitamins, sick of pills, sick of wearing makeup, sick of my skin! this was the final turn-around point for me. i think its safe to say that i had reached an all time low at this point. here a very breif summary of where i was at:

i was drinking maybe 4 or 5 times a week (and i mean DRINKING- where i would black out or lose consciousness. i never threw up when i drank, and that probably is just another indicator of the extensive damage i have inflicted on my body in the past- instead of rejecting the poison in a healthy manner, my body would just shut down) i was missing all my classes, i had gone back to my old suicidal habits, had indulged in diet pills, caffeine pills and any other amphetamine i could get my hands on, was eating pizza, drinking diet soda, consuming almost soley processed foods, besides swallowing enough vitamins a day to choke a horse (as if they could have possibly helped me in the state i was in). i was sweating profusely (through all my long sleeved shirts), as well as suffering from cold hands and feet, hot flashes, and red, iktchy skin. i could go on and on, but i suppose that outlines the basics of it.

while home, and half heartedly searching the internet for acne cures, i stumbled upon a little blurb about fasting and its benefits for skin conditions. cue my research on fasting. then i found dr. ben kims site. he claimed that he had yet found a person whose acne had not been cleared up by certian diet and lifestyle changes. i was ecstatic and ridiculously hopeful. here was an opportunity to not only help my skin, but my overall health. i contacted him about my problem. he repsonded back with a customized diet (that will be 130 dollars, thank you very much!).

dr kims diet consisted of eating only organic animal protein (including eggs), eliminating dairy, eliminating soy, eliminating wheat/gluten, eliminating hydrogenated oils/trans fats, eliminating sugars, avoiding frying, consuming 50% raw vegetables, restricting fruit juices, restricting starches, restricting all grains (even gluten free ones like rice) and supplementing with natures best (a green powder my whole family has begun referring to as "green shit.") i followed his advice religiously. avocados became my main staple. i refused to eat any oils other then olive or coconut. i quit drinking all forms of alcohol, and even all forms of caffeine. i waited for the miraculous results.

unfortunately, those results did not come. not only did my skin not improve, but it became worse and worse. i developed pimples wher ei had never had any before! my entire neck was covered with tiny white and pink bumps. it seemed as if every pore on my body was eager to spit somehting unattractive out into the world. in another post i described my skin as being speckled with "galaxys of zits"- and altjhough i dont want to repeat myself i really cant think of a better way to describe it. i also had several cysts, which rotated about my face and back. an itchy rash appeared on my face, happily moving from my chin to my cheeks to my eyelids. not only was my skin terrible, but my body seemed to be going through a great deal of distress as well. i felt dizzy or tired some days, while other days i felt hyper and out of control. i had random bouts of shooting pain through my body and in my head. i got my period 4 times in 6 weeks- 2 of which were only a week apart! you can imagine how hard it was to stay hopeful, here..

i cried and cried and continually harassed dr kim, who kept assuring me that my diet was "clean" and that i should see results soon. i was noticing a numebr of positive effects: my moods had stabilized significantly, my sweating had disapeared, the hot flashes had disapeared, the general rednes had dissipated. still, where was the beautiful complexion i had been promised??? beginning to lose hope, i cut out fruits altogether (except for tomatoes and avocados), and started eating wild caught fish and organic aggs again. (i couldnt seem to manage to eliminate everything at once- and man, can you blame me?) i started reading more about nutrition, hoping to find the piece in the puzzle i was missing.

i read The Ph Miracle, and decided to give that a whirl. the premise was very similar to dr kims approach, but it required a cleansing period in which only alkaloid foods would be consumed, as well as a juice fast. since i wasnt breaking any of dr kims "rules", i figured it couldnt hurt. i started alkalizing my water with hydrogen peroxide (i know, its freaky. believe me.) and drank only wheat grass juice for 2 days. i ate raw vegetables for about a week before i broke down. i decided to take it in steps.

1st i removed all sugar completely. not even one grape. nothing. then i started working on animal protein. no eggs, no fish, no nothing. slowly i started working towards an almost all green diet.

this was challenging, to say the least- the very least! my face was starting to look like a minefield. there were scars everywhere. big, painful cysts mixed in with other smaller pimples, and whiteheads that looked ready to burst. in fits of masicistic rage i would attack my face, squeezing and popping evey bump i could find. then i would cry at all of the damage i had done and try to wash off my bloody face. terrible, i know. but i refused to give up. "my skin used to be clear," i thought. "it can be clear again."

i added in psyllium seed husk fiber to all of my meals, and started to apply bentonite clay to my face, in the hope that it would aid in the supposed "detoxification" of my body. i even switched jobs to lower my stress level, finding one where i would get up reasonably early and spend most of the day in the fresh air. i tried to get regular sunlight on my face (improper estimations of necessary time required led to numerous sunburns which happily blended all of the red spots together into one colossal splotch) and stopped wearing makeup altogether.

it was after a week of doing this when i finally began to notice a difference in my skin. "is it just me, or does it look a little better?" the cysts were mostly gone. those that had appeared, disapeared in one days time. seeing this change fueled my motivation, as well as allowing me to appreciate the other, less superficial changes that had taken place within my body (we re such vain creatures, arent we? i wanted results i could SEE!). i began to enjoy my lifestyle instead of resenting it. i realized how much happier and alert i was in the morning. my depression, which had flared up in bursts and spurts throughout the past few months had almost completely vanished. tenatively, i told my psychiatrist about my diet, and asked him his opinion. i figured he was going to laugh in my face. "diet modifications relieving the symptoms of bipolar disorder?!?!? hahahaha!" but he didnt. he said that there had been numerous cases in which diet and even fasting had improved/altered mental health. "if its working, keep doing it," he said. bolstered by his words, i kept it up.

i felt better then i ever had in my entire life. i was happy, content, and even (gasp) stable. all without any medication! i had energy! and slowly the bumps began to recede. my skin was beginning to resemble a normal persons again. my new psychological health enabled me to buy tickets for bonnaroo (a 3 day long camp-out concert june 10th which would make make-up impossible), sure that my skin would be clear by then. "if not," i thought, "oh well. i can handle it. what are they going to do, hate me bc i have bad skin?" that may very well be a normal thing to think, but believe me, it was extremely new and liberating for me!

still, i felt that i was missing something. i added flax oil to my routine. i also supplemented with renew lifes advanced cleanse. and then (im actually a bit embarassed to admit this) i finally broke down and bought what i had come to think of as "leos stupid e-book." skeptical and prepared to be disapointed, i downloaded the file and started reading.

i actually was surprised- despite the amount of supplements and the questionable organization of the information, i found his e-book fairly useful. certainly more so then a numebr of others out there (i once paid 60 dollars just to be told that i should fast for one day out of the week, and eat only vegetables another day. 60 dollars!!!) someone said that it was a good reference- i agree with that assessment. i also found that a lot of what he recommended were things that i had already been experimenting with on my own. i do agree with the concept that the body must first be cleansed and purged before it can recover. i do not think that it is necessary to maintain such a rigid diet once health is achieved, i do not think all of those suipplements are necessary, and i absolutely REFUSE to eat goat kefir. refuse.

one thing that struck a chord with me was his mention of omega 6 causing breakouts. "duh!" some of you might say. well, despite avoiding all meat and dairy, i was still consuming enormous quantities of avocados and olive oil. it never ocurred to me that either would be a problem for me. perhaps the missing piece in my puzzle- my beloved avocados and olive oil.

MY CURRENT REGIMEN:

i plan to go through a period of light cleansing, then resume a more "normal" diet , then go through an even stronger period of cleansing, then resume a more normal diet, etc- until my skin is completely clear. i am trying to keep my use of supplements at a minimum, although i will continue with the advanced cleanse, flax oil, udos choice capsules, and psyllium seed husk.

my current diet:

consists mostly of small portions of raw vegetables.

thats it- keep it simple.

i try to mainly drink water in the morning, and work hard at not overeating. when i wake up i have one small piece of fruit.

i dont eat after dark.

right now my current cleanse simply involves incorporating psyllium seed husk, probiotics, and bentonite clay. baby steps.

my future cleanse will be a juice fast, hopefully for 7 days. we ll see what i can manage, and what i need at that point. with a bit of luck, i wont need it- we ll see.

my "normal" diet of the future (what i hope to slowly work up to after a few weeks of my current diet):

occasional wild caught fish,

occasional organic eggs,

50% raw vegetables,

all cooked vegetables,

fresh fruit in small quantities,

legumes,

brown rice,

quinoa,

sprouted wheat, buckwheat, etc,

sprouts,

nuts,

tempeh,

miso,

olive oil,

coconut oil,

flax oil,

udos choice,

probiotics.

hopefully in a few weeks i can start adding in seeds and nuts, and then maybe some cooked vegetables. im sure ive forgottena ton of things on the above lists- ill have to add them later. it seems ridiculous, i know, but with the results im getting im not about to stop! if i didnt want to have to fix my body, i shouldnt have gone through all the trouble of screwing it up in the first place! surprisingly enough, maintaining this diet is not that hard, actually, now that ive fully accepted the idea that #1 it is working and #2 it is not permanent.

im going to do a day by day in the reply area of this post- more for my benefit i guess, i doubt anyone is interested in my rambling- with significant changes noted in this (original) post.

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WOW what a story!

Take a look at my natural acne program linked below, maybe some ideas for you?

Alternatively, I'd suggest Diane-35 or Yasmin; failing that, Accutane.

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hey there! yeah, i know- what a mess of a story- and its not even done yet!

i like your regimen, and actually tried it (while trolling away here before i recently took the plunge and started posting) i saw the most results immediately after the apple section - for a week no new zits! i was ecstatic! but then a week later they came back... i guess with all of my problems, it just wasnt strong enough for me. when i was a teenager i had always had moderate to mild acne- it was the drug/alcohol abuse coupled with the multiple runs of birth control that really threw my skin out of whack (im guesisng but it seems to be a reasonable theory). that and, of course, my terrible eating habits (and i mean TERRIBLE- i could have been the mascot for wendys if i didnt look so bad- ha). i think maybe if i hadnt stupidly filled my body with all that crap for as long as i did, i would have had better results with your program. kudos to you for posting it and not charging people for it lie so many other people have!

i guess ill finish posting my story and then my current regimen, maybe you can offer some advice on that? you seem very knowledgable from some of your posts.

thanks for the response!

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ok, so its been 2 days since ive only been eating raw vegetables- and only in the middle of the day.

day number 1:

i felt remarkable energetic- surprised even myself by having tons of energy. didnt feel hungry or even tired until 6 o clock at night. (i have a dreadful habit of overeating, and even with healthy food this apparently is not good.)

early morning: organic tomato juice, psyllium seed husk, probiotics, advanced cleanse morning formula, udo's choice, 1 tsp flax oil

throughout the day: alkalized water

the evening (about 6 pm): one peeled and sliced cucumber, probiotics, psyllium seed husk, flax seed oil, udos choice

at night: water, advanced cleanse night formula

day number 2:

am amazed at the difference in my skin after just one day. all bumps have "surfaced" into whiteheads, and my skin is otherwise smooth- although stiill speckled with scars. seems that i really shouldnt overeat, perhaps its the reduction of omega 6? regardless, im going to keep it up..

early morning: advanced cleanse, udo's choice, flax seed oil

30 minutes later: 1 mango, chewed slowly

early afternoon: psyllium seed husk, natures best greens, small bowl of raw broccoli, flax oil

i plan on having 1 avocado for dinner (as opposed to the 3 or 4 i was previously consuming daily- ha.), maybe some more broccoli. i feel rather relaxed about the whoel thing- maintain a balanced range of fresh green vegetables and vegetable juices, and just eat when im hungry. amazingly enough i havent been all that hungry. as a sidenote i noticed today that my nails (which have always been crap) look great. i also make sure to take some sort of fiber supplement before eating, as well as some sort of probiotic, and the cleansing herbs. we ll see how it loks tomorrow!

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i cant believe how quickly this is working. its bizarre.

new bumps keep popping up, but they are very small, and thats to be expected after such a short period of time. it occurred to me that i was getting too much omega 6 (i was practically living off of avocados and olive oild for a while there) and so i cut down/removed them from my diet and added more omega 3 through flax oil and primrose oil. what a difference! ive established a routine- it looks somehting like this:

wake up, take advanced cleanse morning formula, olive leaf, oil of oregano, black walnut husk, echinacea and golden seal. drink water with lemon and stevia (i drink this and plain water throiughout the day whenever i like). wait 30 minutes.

eat a few small pieces of fruit.

pack up green stuff and psyllium/bentonite in 2 separate cups. get ready for work- leave for work.

once settled, mix water and green stuff together. drink. wiat 1.5 hours.

add water to psyllium/bentonite. drink. wait until lunch break (1-2 hours)

take 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. take udos choice, msm, vitamin a, vitamin e with selenium. take 2 teaspoons of flax oil. eat lunch (usually sprouts or fermented veggies or some other salad-like thing.) end meal with 2 more teaspoons of coconut oil. wait 1.5 hours.

drink pb shake. wait 1.5 hours.

take 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. take udos choice, msm. take 2 teaspoons of flax oil. drink green stuff.

i dont eat anything after 7- if hungry drink some sort of green drink (im usually too lazy to use and then clean my juicer so i just mix it from powder) at some point i shower, then take the advanced cleanse night formula. right before bed i take a whole bunchuv probiotics.

it seems complicated but its actually very easy- and i cant believe how good i feel. i feel better and mroe energetic then i did when i was a kid. the scabs are all peeling off and the redness is receding. the rashes are subsiding. my back and chest have completely cleared- almost overnight. im still waiting on my neck and face.

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keep it going! i'm tracking this thread as my regimen is extremely similar to yours, though with less supplementation and entirely raw. can't wait to hear about your progress!

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