I cannot believe I'm starting a blog about my face. But here is my story.
I am 30 years old and have had acne since about age 14. It started off as occasional breakouts that would heal quickly and leave no marks. But then, instead of getting better with age, my acne worsened in my twenties. Once I turned 30 it got worse than it ever had before. The acne has permanently damage my skin with scarring, lines, unevenness, and holes that do not heal. When I was younger I was a beautiful and confident person. My constant acne has affected me to the point of not wanting to go out in the daylight. If I do have to go somewhere, I put on makeup first. And even with the makeup, I know I still look awful and so I've skipped job interviews, called in sick to work, avoided letting boyfriends touch my face. I've avoided so many people and opportunities, all because of my skin. There are many things I missed that I can never get back. It has stayed with me and debilitated me. Its really sad, but the damage that acne does to a persons self worth pretty much lasts a lifetime. You no longer put on makeup to enhance your beauty, but to cover the grotesque. You dont swim. You dont get your hair done in public. You avoid cameras, cute guys, proms, weddings, graduations, parties. you constantly compare yourself to others and wonder why does this have to happen to you and nobody else.
I have tried things with salycylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, proactive, retin-a, sulfur-based products, murad, nature's cure, neutrogena, basically everything over the counter. I take vitamin supplements and drink plenty of water. I've gone the no-makeup route, the mineral makeup route, the birth control route. The only thing I havent tried is prescription accutane because my liver is very important to me and I'd rather deal with the small countries colonizing my face than deal with permanent organ damage...
I guess I am writing this in the hopes that someone with a similar problem to mine will read this, try it, and maybe improve the quality of their lives. Maybe.
The only thing that has ever worked for my acne is a strict dietary regimen and......apple cider vinegar.
I have a hard time following any kind of strict rules, but I've discovered that only if I cut out ALL processed foods and all concentrated sweets and consume only fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will my skin clear up IMMEDIATELY. That means that if it comes in a box, a package, a can, or a wrapper, it is eliminated. No salt, no oils, no salad dressings, no bread, no packaged juice. Quite simply, a whole food diet. I am absolutely convinced that my skin problems are directly linked to the things I'm putting into my body. My skin is like a billboard indicating what is going on inside of me. I know this diet seems extreme, but when you've gone through all your other options and nothing else has ever worked, maybe you will try it. It is the only long-term attack plan that actually stops the problem before it manifests itself onto your face.
All the creams, scrubs, and pills are like bandaids people use to patch an already existing issue. I beg everyone suffering with severe acne to please please please just try this diet, even if its just for three days, and witness for yourself the change in your skin. The results go like this: The acne you already have will take time to heal, just as all damaged tissue does. But after just a few days, you will quite literally stop getting new zits. If anyone wants to try this regimen, I strongly recommend adding a protein supplement to your diet because protein will build and repair your tissue and maintain your energy level. Also I recommend taking a vitamin/mineral supplement that has iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin C, and all of the B-vitamins. And dont forget to drink lots of water.
Here is the deal with the apple cider vinegar: I use it to clean my coffee pot. It takes the oily brown residue off instantly with no scrubbing. Just one swipe of it to the brown stains and buildup and your coffee pot will seriously look like its never been used. So I figured if it works this well to get coffee grease off, why not try it on my greasy face...Apple cider vinegar is pretty strong stuff, so I dilute it 50/50, half cider vinegar and half water, then I use a cotton pad to apply it generously to my whole face. The pads pick up such a huge amount of built up dirt and oil and makeup that I sometimes go through two or three before I get everything.
The downside is that the vinegar stinks, and if you get it in your eyes or close to your lips it will sting. I have never had an issue with it burning my skin, but I know some people have super-sensitive skin so rinse it off if you feel any kind of burning. I use it three times a day usually, and sometimes for serious zits I soak a pad and just let it sit on my face for a few minutes.
When I use the vinegar, my face ph literally feels like its tranforming. I have always lived with the sensation that my skin is cakey and damp with excess oil, and when I scrub it, I end up producing even more oil. When I put makeup on, it just cakes up and I end up sweating it off in two hours. But with the vinegar my skin feels clean for the first time, and I can go through the whole day feeling like I just washed my fash. My pores stay open and I still sweat, but I dont ooze oil like I used to. I still get zits, but they are always tiny, pin-sized ones that go away in one day. I dont know the exact science of it, but the vinegar has been especially helpful for below-the-surface acne that doesnt have a "head" or identifiable center, cysts, welts, boils. Basically the really big, disfiguring stuff that takes a long time to get rid of.
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