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Billygirls' Blog. A diet-based approach to clearing 30 years of acne.

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billygirl

I thought I’d have picture perfect skin by now, but the acne continues.

i am still getting spots around my lips and mouth. I’ve cut back on the snall amount of sugar I wad allowing myself, but it has made little difference. I’ve started using an antioxidant skin cream (yesterday) and I also got squalane as a moisturiser.

The only big change to my skin is the rough, dry, flakiness has gone, almost completely since i stopped dairy.

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billygirl

Three weeks no diary. I am still breaking out. However, my acne has changed. It doesn’t show well on the photos, but my skin has lost the eczema-like, scabby, flakiness that it used to have. My skin is softer and smoother, it’s just still full of pimples.

I got my estrogen/testosterone and cortisol results back. All okay, estrogen low normal. I’d like to raise estrogen somehow as my skin is better when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, so that lowness I think is a contributor.

Not really sure where to go from here. Trying to stay low stress and eat low sugar. There’s not much else I can think of. I have researched and read everything I can and at this stage I am pretty much out of ideas.

I have eaten sugar ever since i stopped the dairy, so might be time to cut that right out again and see if in combination with no dairy it helps.

 

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billygirl

It’s been 14 days since I cut dairy. The first week was amazing. This week it’s all flared back up again. My skin is awful again. My mum passed away over the weekend so maybe stress has a part to play. I’ve ordered some hormone tests to see if I can track down whats going on. Utterly miserable.

 

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billygirl

The only thing I can do is post a picture because I am utterly astonished.

My skin is softer (instead of feeling like sandpaper all over - even in the acne free areas), it's not sore, and my spots are clearing up in places that haven't been spot free in years.

I have been 100% strict with no dairy. I have eaten dark chocolate occasionally (although it tends to give me a stomach-ache which is interesting because I never noticed that with milk chocolate), and I've had some maple syrup in cooking, so I haven't been sugar free. I don't eat any gluten as I'm coeliac and I've been really strict with that this week also as I didn't want to cloud the dairy-free thing with the coeliac thing.

I will post again next week. This could just be a random fluctuation. I barely want to hope that this progress will continue because I will cry and cry if it doesn't.

But as of today I'm basically witnessing a miracle.
 

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billygirl

I had a miserable day yesterday. And I ate a ton of sh*t. I had hot chocolate with mountains of whipped cream, chocolate, pizza for dinner and a massive serving of stewed apple and cream for pudding. I basically ate all my favourite foods.

Yesterday i had 33 active spots. Today i have 42. I am breaking out really badly.

But today I am going 100% dairy free. In my six weeks of near perfect eating i was still breaking out and I was still eating dairy. Let’s try cutting it completely for a month and seeing what happens.

I will update in one week.

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billygirl

What the actual f*ck is the reason for these? Woke up with three this moming and they are so painful and they look disgusting. My skin has been a bloody nightmare for the whole of this year so far.

I honestly think i need to cut out dairy but i swear that eating it is one of the few things that makes my day better. Without knowing for sure if it’s dairy-related I just can’t bring myself to give it up because I’m too depressed anyway without that being taken away as well.

 

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billygirl

Crying

I'm just crying and crying and crying over how fucking impossible it is to clear my skin. I decided to go vegan and I lasted one day. Because I hate not eating the foods I enjoy and I hate everyone that can eat a ton of shit and still have clear skin. It would be easier for me to eat healthier if it WASN'T for the sake of my skin. I am becoming obsessed with what I eat and then bingeing on crap because I miss eating "normally". I swear, acne is basically sending me down the tunnel of a fucking eating disorder. I can't LIVE like this any longer, I just can't. Cry, cry, cry and cry some fucking more.
I have a meeting with my son's teacher today and all I'll be thinking about is my skin. I hate even leaving the fucking house now. I hate seeing everyone on the school run. I'm just too old for this shit. I am so fucking miserable I can't concentrate on work or anything else. All I want to do is lie in bed until my skin miraculously sorts itself out. Which is never going to happen. I'm going to be a corpse with acne.
My skin has ruined my entire life.

billygirl

Four days ago I just went totally off plan and gorged on gluten and sugar. It started with a bit of chocolate after lunch each day. But then I just went off the deep end. For three days I ate whatever the f*ck I wanted. I was just so fed up with not having clear skin after 6 weeks of being so strict and careful.

 

Well, now I’m paying the price and I look bloody awful.

 

Compare this to four days ago. Anyone who tries to tell you diet doesn’t affect skin is so wrong.

I swear this is driving me effing crazy, I cannot seem to make ANY headway with my skin at the moment. And all I want to do is eat chocolate and chocolate and more chocolate.

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billygirl

Chocolate

I ate 100g of milk chocolate this morning because I was feeling down. Sigh. A bit of a dent in my no sugar policy, but hopefully the consequences won’t be horrendous. I had a green juice and a massive salad at lunch to compensate.

My skin seems to go in cycles in patches around my face: dry up and peel, breakout in tiny pimples, dry out and peel. Each time my skin seems to get a little better, I think.

Today’s progress pic:

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billygirl

It was definitely the B vitamins affecting my skin. It has settled down again and I am getting close to having no active spots. I’m still getting little whiteheads pop up in the worst affected areas, but they are getting less.

I’m still off all gluten, sugar and alcohol, and meat/fish, and having a green juice once a day. I’m eating a ton of vegetables too.

Slowly healing.

 

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billygirl

I’m breaking out again, albeit it tiny pink pimples, but it’s not good because I’m getting new spots and I want my skin to be completely clear.

I started taking a load of B vitamins I had left in the cupboard, but I have got a feeling I remember them doing this before. I have thrown them all out and will continue to rely on just food to clear my skin.

Let’s see if things settle over the next few days.


 

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billygirl

Plateau

I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. I’m way better than I was, but on a daily basis I am still getting little whiteheads popping up. This says that something is not right.

I tracked my calories yesterday and I consumed 2,200 over the day, 43% of which came from fat. 103g of fat! 

I eat a lot of nuts, seeds and avocados. More than I ever have. My diet is really good now - no gluten, alcohol or sugar. But the fat content is really high and I am maintaining around 10lbs of extra weight that I don’t need. I think that the percentage of fat should probably be lower - around 30% of my calories - so from today I’m going to try replacing some of the fats with more fruit and veg and beans/protein.

My two year old daughter has just had chickenpox. She looked at today’s photo as I cropped it to upload and she said:
”you keep getting spot mummy”
I could have cried.

I am going to fix this.

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billygirl

Can’t believe the improvement, even on a daily basis. I swear - it’s the green juice.

it was such a slow start, but now things are finally changing. I’ve got a long way to go with red marks and skin smoothness, but this is the best my skin has been for ages.

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billygirl

I’ve noticed how much difference the lighting makes in my photos. I took this in the evening - usually I photo in the morning. However i think this picture looks most like what I see in the mirror.

Another good skin day. Pleased with how everything is healing.

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billygirl

I think I’m finally moving in the right direction. My skin looks SO much better. I am STILL getting small spots, and I’ve a face full of red marks, especially around my mouth, but it is definitely, absolutely getting better.

Here’s where has consistently helped:
1. No sugar, 25 days
2. No alcohol, 17 days
3. No gluten (strict - I am coeliac but often allow a bit), 3 days
4. Green juice daily (I’ve juiced a big handful of kale, carrot or beet, and apple), 7 days

I should also say that I used a topical antibiotic i was prescribed for 20 days. I stopped using it 5 days back as it just seemed to be aggravating my skin and making it more sore.

Here’s today’s pic.

The dryness has drastically reduced. My skin tone is better. I’ll do a before and after round-up at the end of the month.

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billygirl

Still sugar and alcohol free. I’ve added a green juice daily (kale beetroot and apple at the moment, which is more red than green, but still good).

So it’s odd.

1. My spots are still popping up and still sore, but they are getting smaller. I just get little whiteheads.
2. My skin-tone is less red and my face is less puffy. I think there was a level of inflammation there that has reduced
3. I’ve just noticed for the first time in months that my skin, esp on my cheeks, is not so sandpapery anymore. It feels softer, which is really lovely.

Slow changes. But I suppose I am 43 and have eaten sugar and processed food my whole life, so nothing is going to work overnight.

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billygirl

Calmer skin

Finally my skin is looking better. It’s been a rough few weeks and I’ve hated going out.

Stopping oil cleansing seems to have done the trick - I may try it again at some point but I have to be super gentle as the exfoliation part just made my skin so sore.

I’m not washing my face or using anything at the moment, which seems to help everything but the extreme dryness. Is my skin ever going to be soft and smooth?? At least the spots have calmed down.

My face looks a bit mottled from all the tiny red spots I’ve had as they leave marks that take a while to fade. I can live with that though, as long as I stop breaking out.

12 days no sugar or snacking which I think has helped SO much.

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billygirl

My skin was pretty much the same today although I drank no alcohol last night. I’m stopping the oil cleansing also as it seems to be aggravating my face. I don’t think it’s the oil, I think it’s the hot face cloth afterwards that is too strong an exfoliant. My skin is kind of sore. So, at the moment I am:

1. Topical antibiotic
2. No sugar
3. Drink lots water
4. No alcohol
5. Back to caveman - other than the antibiotics - as nothing I put on my skin ever seems to help

I’ve changed things a lot recently in response to how my skin is looking, but I have this deep belief that no sugar-no alcohol is the key. I am hoping to emerge, phoenix-like, with a much better face within a few weeks.

I need to get rid of the soreness first and then see how I am doing. I look terrible today and had to face a social event this afternoon where I was so self-conscious of how red and spotty I am. However, I am feeling SO positive about this. I am going to clear my skin up properly. I am taking better care of myself and I’m going to keep working on that.

billygirl

So... I had two glasses of wine last night AND I used a different oil in the oil cleansing method. I've broken out in loads of teeny whiteheads and my face is really red again (I also didn't take any MegaMag yesterday, so another thing I've changed).

EVERYTHING seems to affect my skin and I'm just not sure which is the problem. Wine doesn't usually affect my face like this, but then I've been using the OCM for a week now with no issues either.

Sigh. I was so pissed off today looking in the mirror - my skin is a disaster. I'm embarrassed for my kids that I look this way.

I'm going to cut out alcohol (after tonight - there was a glass left in the bottle which I'm drinking now), and change back to the original oil I was using. Not sure which is the culprit but yesterday I was doing so well and today I just feel so crappy all over again.

Thankfully my braces meant I didn't go on a stupid sugar binge to make myself feel better.

 

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billygirl

Day 1003

Today I can see a difference. It's more about the red marks than the actual spots. I've had almost zero sugar for 7 days straight since getting my Invisalign braces, and I think that, more than anything else has reduced the redness and inflammation in my skin tone.

I've stopped taking the MegaMag today. I think I'll just do a week at a time now and again to boost levels - there's something about it that doesn't agree with me and I've found it really hard to sleep the last two nights even though I take it in the morning.

I'm on a mission to sort this out now. I can see that it's changing and I'm not going to start eating crap again. A typical day at the moment is:

Breakfast: home made muesli, decaf tea
Lunch: avocado and peanut butter on GF bread, veggie soup, banana or yoghurt, decaf tea.
Dinner: anything veggie (spag bol, risotto, curry and brown rice, chilli, mash veg and veggie burger)
+ Lots of water in between meals.

Not only is my skin better, but my mood is better, I'm not stupidly craving sugar all the time and I do have more energy.

I am excited about where I will be 28 days in - the skin surface is pretty much renewed in 28 days, so I am really hoping that I can see more clarity by then.

PS This pic makes one nostril look loads bigger than the other?!!!

 

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billygirl

I can't work out if my skin is improving or not. It's definitely NOT as dry and flakey, which has made a huge difference. But otherwise, I'm still getting new little spots all the time. I know it's only been a week (just under), and changes take time to show on skin, but I'm so impatient. I just want this gone.

Here's 26th Feb (so, 8 days ago), and today on the right.

***UPDATE
Two people independently told me this afternoon “You look really well!” which is rather random and out of the blue. Maybe it’s because I’m not a dry flaking mess, and maybe my skin really is looking better in the harsh light of day. Or maybe they were just making conversation... either way, it’s as close as I get to a compliment these days, which was nice.
*** END UPDATE

 

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billygirl

My skin has improved a lot, especially the dry flaky soreness that was driving me crazy over all the spots. It's so much softer. My current regime is:

1. topical antibiotic (4 days in)
2. oil cleansing only
3. MegaMag supplement x1 day
4. Drinking lots of water

And something else that I've added to the mix:

5. No snacking/sugar

Number 5 is a complete by-product of the fact that I finally got my Invisalign braces on 1st March. They hurt like hell (I'm on day 3), and I can't eat or drink with them in. This means I've gone from grazing all day on whatever is in the cupboard to trying to eat only 3 balanced meals because I just can't bear the pain of removing them (I have 18 attachments so they are not easy to get on and off) and all the hassle of cleaning and flossing afterwards. No snack is worth it. And I've become super paranoid about sugar rotting my teeth when I put the braces back in. Invisalign may just be the cure to my sugar addiction, haha.

Pic update.
 

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billygirl

So it occurred to me that it might not be NOT washing my face or drinking more water that has suddenly had a good effect on my skin. I also decided to finish off a pot of MegaMag that I had lying around. It was recommended to me by a nutritionist last year who I saw for joint pain, but I was taking a magnesium supplement anyway at the time, so I was worried about taking too much and after a few doses I stopped it. I saw it on the shelf last week and thought, oh I might as well add that to my water in the morning and use it up, since I paid for it. So for the last five mornings I've had a pint of water with a dose of MegaMag powder in it before breakfast. My skin has dramatically improved in that time.

I'll add a before and after of the last few days.

Something in the MegaMag must be doing this, right? 
It contains magnesium, taurine, theanine, glutamine, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and Vitamin C (500mg).

I don't know what it is, but it's been brilliant.

I saw the doc and today have got some topical lotion to put on my face. The oil cleansing on my forehead last night resulted in a new big whitehead this morning, so I have to say that didn't get off to a great start.

Hopefully things will continue to improve now as I feel like it's a multi-pronged attack. It's not all natural, sadly, as I couldn't cope any longer with how crap it looked, but I know that the answer is in diet and lifestyle. It's really hard however, to have willpower when you feel so crappy about how you look that all you want to do is comfort eat. If I can get at least reasonably clear, non-flaky, skin, I will feel better about myself and will hopefully be able to make more positive changes.

Saturday 24th Feb (4 days ago)
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Wednesday 28th Feb (today)
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billygirl

I'm all ready to go with the oil cleansing method, but my skin, although dry, has actually been clearing up of it's own accord since I stopped using moisturiser on it. It's still super dry even though I haven't washed it in days (4 or 5?). I've read a lot of conflicting accounts online about OCM - for some people it has been amazing, for others it has made their skin horrendous.

It seems to take quite a long time to settle down, so I think what I'll do is start on my forehead. I have a fringe, so if it makes my skin worse at least it will be hidden. Once I've done that for a few weeks I can progress to the rest of my skin if it seems safe to do so. Will start this evening, and take a pic of forehead so I can see progress.

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