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  1. A little background about me: I have had acne since 3rd or 4th grade, in high school I found out I was celiac, and that helped a lot. After high school I got my wisdom teeth out and and had to take an antibiotic which exploded my skin. I took medication for my acne, which was great, but it gave me period cramps so bad that I would throw up every month. DID NOT WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT, so I stopped taking it. I was on a mostly vegan with some fish diet with lots of plant-based vitamin A, which worked to clear up MOST of my acne naturally. That was Spring 2018, but I still have acne on my chin and somewhat on my jawline. (Pretty sure this is due to hormones) I have been working to reduce toxins in my life. I have almost cramp-free periods (unless I have too much sugar during) My acne is significantly better! But... I still have new zits every day. Currently I am on a low-carb diet. (I probably eat too many walnuts.) I see improvements when I get at least 6 servings of vegetables. I have also limited my fruit intake, eliminated grains (considering adding quinoa back in), and I cut out dairy. & I am soy intolerant, so I avoid that. Most of my carbs come from sweet potatoes and berries, sometimes green apples, and of course vegetables. My skin is oily, yet also flaky where I have acne. I feel the least anxiety that I have felt in years. Something I have observed: My skin clears up when I visit the Blue Ridge Mountain region. I will also still eat what I want, yet my skin still improves! I normally live in Florida, and I have actually begun washing my face with filtered water (if I wash my face). Note: when I am in the mountains I continue to maintain a gluten free and mostly soy-free diet. I will sometimes eat dairy, even some sugar.
  2. My FAQ's/About Me

    Gallery Diet logs

    From the album About Me

    My FAQ's (Last updated 03/21/18): Greetings strangers! *^Me *^You So... Let's just jump right into it, shall we? Time to say goodbye to "Regimen's" and live life to the best of your ability! ------------------- A lot of people have sent me messages since I joined this site at the age of 22. Many of the questions were similar, so I decided to gather my top frequently asked questions (FAQ's) here based on what people have asked me numerously, and what people are probably still curious about. If you see a question you have that's not here, then please let me know via message, e-mail, or just by commenting bellow! My previous pictures and past regimens are always publicly available, with pictures and descriptions of what I was doing at that time. Everyone is welcomed to take a look at them if they fell like, but the most updated and current information will be right here. ----------------- I would first like to give a huge thanks and shout-out to everyone for sending me links to all the information they have found in regards to acne and their life, and for posting their research and stories. I was so surprised with how much I was learning when I first came to this website! When I first joined, I joined for The Regimen, and it worked! Sadly, its cons outweighed its benefits, and when I quit my acne unsurprisingly came back full blown. I pretty much decided that enough was enough, and wanted to get rid of it for good. My body had been screaming at me for years and I did nothing but ignore it. Therefore, my "Final Regimen" was taking care of myself from the inside out, in every simple, logical practical way. Most people do not do this, or at least if they do then they find it very hard to maintain. This is a lifestyle change and decision, and I admit that I am an entirely different person and personality when it comes to what I do in my life and how I live. In fact, after I got rid of my acne, I was never planning to come back on here because the general attitude of people and how resisted what I said. I also lived with people who all had similar stories: ‘It’s a chronic problem’, ‘I’m too depressed’, ‘I feel sick’, ‘I’m moody and angry’, ‘It runs my family’, ‘diet does not effect my health’... etc. People simply do not want to change their their diet and lifestyle, and if they did, then they either cheated and denied it was effecting them, stopped exploring themselves and remained ignorant to other kinds of growth they could have been having, or changed their diet but became somewhat saddened about it, and never maintained it. I never heard from a lot of people again. Look, I've been there with the ‘chronic’ and ‘incurable acne’. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with feeling devastated for a short while, and letting it sink in that your skin may be 'different'. However, the beautifully ironic truth is that your skin is not very different, and a change to your diet is probably the best thing that could ever happen to you right now. All of this may depend on what you mean when you talk about such things, but in reality there only exists one truth. My skin, for example, was acne prone, and my skin type is 'different', Humans are generally effected in the same way, only with a unique surplus of different kinds of symptoms and results. Not everyone will be ‘displayed’ equally, but you may be surprised at the similarities underneath the surface. Acne was with me since I was four years old, and exploded when I was 14. I understand what it means to be sensitive, ignorant, teased, pushed around, emotionally abused, yelled at, and broken. If you want to talk to someone where acne did truly effect so many areas of their life, then you are speaking to the right person here! But you can NOT let what others do shape your attitude and cosmology into thinking that you deserve to live and eat the way others do. In what way are they actually 'living the good life?'. They're not, and I don't care if they never develop cancer or diabetes for the rest of their lives either. This is not the point. Life is not just about what you want to eat think deserve to do without consequences. Sooooo... basically said, I have a very difficult job here, and that's trying to reach out to as many people as possible as effective as possible. Without being too condescending, too confusing, too off-putting, and relate as much as possible, I'll do my best to reach into those dark, forgotten corners of your mind and break as many fourth walls as I possibly can. So as the saying goes, buckle up mo-fo's because I'm either about to make your day or piss you off. Either way... ------------------- How did you get rid of your acne? -Diet (Mostly Raw Vegetables, Home Cooking, Vegetable Juicing, 99.5% Vegan). -Exercise (1-7 times a week). -Lifestyle (Sleep, Non-depression, Joy and Bliss). But primarily diet. Who are you and what do you do? My name is Renee. I was born and raised in the Chicago Suburbs. I've graduated Community College. I moved to California in 2015. I'm the Owner/Production Manager of a small business. I currently study a wide variety of things on my own and with other people. I am a Truth Seeker (No, it's not what you googled). What are your Health Stats (After a Physical)? Last Official Physical was from 08/06/2012: Height: 5 ft. 5 in. (I've been that height for several years). Weight: 114 lb. (This ranges depending on muscle). BMI (Body Mass Index): 20 (18.5-24.9 = Normal). Cholesterol: 169 (Less than 200 = Desirable). HDL (Good Cholesterol): 83 (60+ is High, which is optimal and good). Triglycerides: 42 (Less than 150 = Normal). LDL: 78 (Less than 100 = Optimal and good). Glucose: 83 (Average is 80-120, so this is good). Liver and Kidney function: Normal. I do not have anemia (blood count is normal). I took a normal blood test and fasted for 12 hours before drawing blood. I didn't ask for anything special. More Tests on 04/19/13: - Had a stool test and blood test done. Required no fasting. - RESULTS: Everything was negative for parasites in my stools, and my thyroid function is healthy and working. More Tests on 05/08/13: - Had a skin prick allergy test done (60 common foods/allergens). - RESULTS: It concluded that I had no food allergies whatsoever. How much sleep do you get Anywhere from 5 to 9 hours a night. I know, random, but generally speaking it's about 8 hours. If it’s shorter, then I’ll try to aim for a nap later that day. I rarely sleep 5 hours. During full-time college life combined with full-time jobs... when I was getting rid of my acne... I sometimes use to sleep 4-5 hours, then nap once twice later on the same day. Currently, I wake/sleep around the same time every day. Do you exercise? Yes. How often? Usually six times a week. I also do a variety of chores and other daily tasks in addition. I enjoy walks, and stretch constantly. I move around a lot doing cooking, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming, shoveling snow/raking leaves/mowing lawn, dusting, organizing, etc… I am usually constantly on my feet, but I rest frequently and whenever I feel like it. I did not need to exercise this frequently to have clear skin. In fact, I went for several months just taking simple walks and still didn't break out. Do you exercise vigorously? Well... not really. I mean, I wish I could say, but what would that mean to you? Everyone has their own limit. I use to lift weights at the gym, and had more muscle mass when I was between 16 and 19, but now that I've done a lot of studying, working and small business building over the years, I will admit that I have loss some muscle mass. Not to mention I became completely vegetarian when I was 21. Sometimes I will sprint or run for 20 minutes, sweating and raising my heart rate to its max, but I currently don't attempt to body build. My past jobs have been very physical in the past, too, such as cooking, prepping, factory working, food distribution in a freezer, waitress, etc... Acne can be a funny thing in the world of working out and with people who go to the gym a lot. When a was sweating lot and wiping my face, I was never afraid of some kind of contamination from my hands, although anything I did never made my already existing acne feel any better. But I can honestly say now that I doubt sweating in of itself, and touching your face, causes acne unless you had crazy amounts of strange bacteria all over your hands. I always advocate, acne or not, washing your hands occasionally and when necessary, and rinsing your face off with just plain water frequently if washing your face with soap more than twice a day is not an option for you. And if you find yourself splashing your face with water several times a day, which can be normal depending on your work or home environment, then just pat your face dry and keep your hair out of the way. This is all basic care no matter who you are. Do you have stress/depression No. In some ways I'm like a child... … Did you ever have stress/depression? Before? Yes. But the past is no longer important... not even so much the future. What's important is HERE and NOW. Aaaaand that's how you accept, move on, let go and go beyond anything you want. But for the sake of helping others with "Acne and Stress", I will let you know what DID happen to me when I had "depression". I was on a few anti-depression medications in high school for about two years, and received counseling before, neither of which did anything to help. I was teased a lot in high school by both my companions, peers and even my teachers. Some of the teasing was from my acne, but most of it was from the fact that I wasn't very social (not because of my acne). I experienced depressed from grade school all the way through college, never really completely leaving the depression until I was around 21 years of age. Now it feels like I'm talking about someone completely different. When I started college, my depression faded away tremendously. I started seeking out what is real, true, and the end of suffering, and today I have nowhere near the same stress that I did before. Also, my acne got worse with age, not better. My stress faded as I got older, not worse. Therefore, stress did not effect my acne, but this does not mean that it won't effect other people's acne. They are likely effected my their metabolism reacting to their stress, which can cause a wide variety of health issues in general. As a female, do your monthly cycles affect your acne? I never figured this out, lol. I'm still not 100 percent certain about this, but I am going to have to say no. In regards to my cycles alone, I have normal symptoms, and always perfectly timed every 28.5 days. I will admit that I thought I noticed some of my acne linked to my periods, but it was almost next to impossible to catch since I always had acne on my face coming and going. I took daily pictures of my face for a very long time, and stored them in my computer, trying to study them and see if I could capture any kind of possible "pattern" I was missing, but this was difficult to do because: a.) My acne was mostly cysts... they developed slowly as huge, UN-moving spots. Cystic acne remained unnoticed under my skin for several weeks, then took weeks to emerge, pop, and disappear for good... not to mention I also got them in all shapes and sizes. b.) My period was not the cause of all my acne, if at all. c.) There were just too many spots and factors to keep count. Do you take Birth Control? No. Never did. Do you drink alcohol/do drugs? No. Never did. Have you done The Regimen of Yes I did. And yes it worked. But I don't recommend it. More information on all that here: Did you ever take topical/oral medication for your acne? Yes. I've tried everything and anything at all my local stores and pharmacies that said "For Acne" on them since I was 14. I have been an extremely patient acne sufferer for many years, always giving products months to work. Anything prescribed to me was always given to me by my local dermatologists. I do not remember all the prescription names I was on, but I do know that many of the things I took and used that were given to me by my dermatologist worked... ... however, my dermatologists and medications gave me more problems than answers, such as: - Finances: I was constantly pushed to maintain the cost of my medication, as a part time/full time worker AND part-time/full-time student. Treating my acne... not curing it, TREATING it... was anywhere from 100 to 600 dollars per month. This included all oral and topical medications. Some of them had to be done THREE times every single day. - Health: More than 2/3 prescriptions given to me gave me side effects. I had chapped lips, nose bleeds every few months, loss of appetite, shaking, itchy feet, and ‘burning sides of torso’ (kidneys). I also had frequent and sharp headaches, but they only lasted up to 2 or 3 minutes after taking the oral medications. - Damage: I lived with the side effects for years. My face had a thin layer of never ending shedding skin, my hair became thinner, and my acne kept developing and mutating into more cyst-like legions. I also had back, chest and stomach acne, all of which were ignored with my expensive topical face washes. - Mentality: I was frequently called and coached by my dermatologists every month to come in because of how severe I was, and that stopping in any way would only "make the acne worse." Wow, you don't say... I wonder why and when that started to happen... The Regimen worked for me, and Accutane worked for my brother. Since my first job, my doctors and dermatologists had gotten quite a generous amount of my paychecks. My acne was always treated with something, so I have been paying for it as long as I can remember. However, I no longer go to my doctor or dermatologist for my acne anymore. I can not stand the risks and side effects, not to mention they will always try to put me on something insanely expensive. I was able to get my doctors and dermatologists to admit that these medications were not long lasting, but that there IS a link to what we eat and do that obviously effects our overall health, including the state of our skin which may or may not develop acne. During my last acne visit to my doctor, he had told me that I can never get rid of my acne, that I will always have it no matter what I try to do differently. He was 100 percent wrong. So you completely quit topical washes/medications? Yes. I learned that they caused me more harm than good, but I never was brave enough to go more than three weeks without trying something. Like most people on, I was terrified to stop. It meant acne no matter what, and looking like you didn't care about your hygiene and skin. Always starting the regimen over again when you decide to miss some time was a huge nightmare, and was a horrible way to live and feel about yourself. Basically, stopping was not easy but I did it anyway. The only thing I use to wash myself now is simple and organic soap bars (ordered off the internet - coconut, lavender, African black, etc...) and any kind of organic shampoo/conditioner I can get my hands on. There are dozens of simple soap brands in most grocery stores now. Look for brands with no perfume and as few ingredients as possible. And when using soap bars, wash your face and wipe your skin with your finger tips really, really well to get the roughness off. People make the mistake of rinsing too quickly and not long enough... water is your best friend. All the money I saved from quitting all my acne medications was instead used to expand my lifestyle and diet. Do you wear make-up? No. During a photo shoot (likely the picture above), then yes, very minimally and rarely. Make-up costs money and is a completely unnecessary investment to me. If I do put it on, I use my fingers and only use a base foundation. I use any brand that doesn't clog the pores. What do you eat? I enjoy eating: -Vegetables (Cooked, Raw, Boiled, Stir fried, etc...). -Fruit (Mostly Raw). -Beans, Lentils, Legumes and VERY few Nuts. I do NOT eat: -Meat, Dairy or Eggs. -Wheat/Bread and Gluten Products. -Most restaurant food (I hardly eat out anyway). -Almost anything that's not fresh, whole and what I would call real food. Being Vegetarian was a choice, but I am pretty sure that if I was not, then good quality organic meats, fishes and eggs should not cause someone to break out. For me, eggs and fish did not cause me to break out. Unfortunately, the meat industry is notorious for abusing animals and pumping them full of hormones, medications, poor quality feeds and awful living environments. So with that said, a lot of meat can and does cause acne. It depends on the quality. Most store bought meat is probably awful for you, even if you are a meat eater. I'll have a diet and recipe blog soon... Do you eat organic? I always prefer organic and extremely low processed foods if they’re available. How much money do you spend on food? Eating the way I am now is cheaper, with the only 'issue' being that you may have to shop every few days rather than every few weeks. Depending on the season will depend on how available the food is, and much the local produce will cost. With that said, I spend about $50-$100 a week on groceries on average. But I also live with with other people, and we buy more to serve each other, which in the long run is also cheaper. Fresh produce is large, bulky, takes up a lot of fridge space, and will go bad fast if not used right away, so try keeping track of your receipts and gas trips until you find what works for you. I save money and time by combining my food shopping with other errands. Most produce remains refrigerated until I use them, and I only peel/cut/wash the produce the instant I start prepping/cooking/juicing with them. I wash everything in a small bowl full of cool water and with a vegetable brush. Sometimes I use vinegar too. I started this lifestyle with a small fridge and pathetic kitchen, so anyone should be able to do this. How is your energy level? High. It's always been high. Eating more healthy now has not changed my energy levels. What about fatigue? I don't worry about fatigue, because no matter what you eat you will always be fatigued. People love to make the excuse that eating more vegetables wipes them out and that they are always cranky and can't stand the way they feel. Well guess what, they say the same thing about everything else they eat when the realize that it's probably not good for them. This is a sensitive topic to a lot of people, surprisingly. To me, being fatigued means normal, basic living, and a combination of everything you do. It could be emotions, work, lack of sleep, and of course what you eat. It could be two of these things, or all of them at once. Anything and everything I eat always has an effect on me... I can feel my vegetable juice run through my stomach, and then my body. Most of the time it's blissful and pleasant, but other times it can make me feel incredibly sleepy. Do not concern yourself with trivial matters such as this... but please do not ignore what you may feel might be a very bad symptom of food allergies and/or another kind of underlying health issue. How many times do you eat a day? I don't worry about how many times I eat a day. I eat whenever I get the chance and whenever I need to do so. But if you're picky then I'd say an average of twice a day, with one snack. I can eat around 1 to 5 times a day, and sometimes I fast. I seldom I sit down an eat a supper large meal. I also rarely eat and drink at the same time. I drink water periodically throughout the day, always keeping myself hydrated. Sometimes I'll wait a few hours before eating and/or drinking, it all depends on what I'm doing. So... What DID you use to eat? Candy, pop, chocolate, breads and bakeries, fruits, vegetables, soups, pizza, pastas, etc… I ate a variety of healthy things AND junk food. Whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The majority of my diet was breads, pastas, bakeries, cereals, candies and sweets, milk, soda, and juices. I use to commonly buy overly processed sweet coffee-like drinks, pour vast amounts of syrups and dressings over my weekend morning iHop pancakes, and at rib-fests I would joyfully tare the fleshy over-sauced meat off those poor dead animal’s flesh and bones clean off. At first none of what I listed above sounds bad for most people at all, but after reading several forums and stories on this website, as well as going to the library for years and reading one nutritional book after another, I eventually realized how terrible these things actually were. I hide nothing and admit everything. Why? because I wanted to get rid of my acne, and improve my overall quality of life. But please keep in mind that I didn't just eat all of these things at once, nor did I eat them every week. These are things that I simply had no problem swallowing, and was completely ignorant and oblivious of their effects on the body... I am simply remembering what I use to eat. I obviously ate healthy food too. I use to have candy about once a week and soda every other day. Hell, I was eating ice cream every night whilst anonymously reading acne forums on this website before i joined! If I wanted something sweet all day and healthy the next day, then I would just eat it. This is not the case anymore (with crap food that is). Do you still eat candy/ice cream/pudding/sugary sweets? No. If I want dessert then I make my own. When I tried doing that in the past, I did several things wrong. I realize what I was doing was not read the labels and ingredients correctly, and I didn't replace my diet with more nutritious food at the same time. You can't just get rid of the bad stuff, you also have to eat the good stuff! Do you drink milk/eat ANY kind of dairy product? No. No. No. HELL. NO. Before I could drink up to 1 to 3 glasses of milk a day, as well as cheesing up my eggs and other foods, but I literally quit milk when I was 22 years old (when I joined this website and read about health for a few months). However, this took a while to learn, even when I was a member here because I have been fooled by some products before, such as chocolates, breads, canned foods, etc... Milk is a huge stimulant for my acne and especially my cystic acne. Being extra careful in the beginning was the only way that I could guaranteed my acne would go away. Now I'm just use to it and don't even think about it anymore. But I can tell you that I once accidentally ate a stir-fry with melted cheese all over it... and nothing happened. Although I can not say for certain why that was, I do feel that it was because of my overall healthy diet. I got a little cocky after that and thought I could have cheese again, or at least cooked cheese, but even once a week for four weeks was enough to kick start my acne cysts all over again. So now I am aware that if anything like that happens again, the body should know what to do with it, but it’s not going to be used for something it can’t handle. So now you don't eat/drink sugar AND dairy products? Correct. However, there is sugar in everything we eat, including fruit. With that said I do eat one any kind of fruit I want every do often, so I guess we have to be realistic when it comes to the word "sugar". Did you ever stop drinking milk AND eating sugar at the same time BEFORE this website? No, never. What about Gluten? I don't eat bread or gluten-containing products anymore. Bread = Sugar to me, or at least most breads, so I eventually cut them out. Before I was eating them sometimes, but when I took wheat products out of my diet, my skin went from 90 percent to 100 percent clear. I am not interested in gluten free products because they are a health scam in my eyes: just because they took out the gluten doesn't mean the product is more healthy, it means that they replaced it with ingredients that act like gluten would... only they're twice as bad for you. I eat things such as oatmeal but not often. I make my own flours in a blender if I feel like it. So you changed your diet for good? Yes. After joining this website I've seen how nutrition and diet plays a role in our acne. How many servings/meals do you eat a day? Like I said before, I don't actually eat "meals" but will about 1-5 times a day. What do you drink now? Water, hot tea, coffee and hot chocolate (homemade). I enjoy loose leaf teas the most, organic and fair trade if I can find it. I have found many kinds of loose leaf green, white, chamomile, and Darjeeling teas off the internet and at my local vitamin shops. Those are my favorite flavors. I drink as much tea as I want, whenever I feel like it. If I drink coffee, I use non-dairy creamers except soy milk because I feel that soy products are is pretty damn bad for you, actually. I also feel that they effect people who like to work out a lot, such as myself. Go for Almond, Coconut, Hemp, Oat ad Rice Milk instead. I RARELY, RARELY, RARELY sweeten my coffee with Organic Cane Sugar, and I can not stress enough the word RARELY. I am successful with this because of my entire diet in general. If not that kind of sugar, then I actually use honey or even jams and jelly's. Loose leaf tea lasts longer than the pouched tea because I can add as many dried up leaves as I like. A little goes a long way. I would recommend buying a huge bag for 9-20 dollars and having it last half a year to one year in your household I have always drank hot tea though, ever since high school. Being a tea drinker alone didn't cause or cure my acne, I just happened to like it. I also sweeten my tea with honey, ut not all the time. How much water do you drink a day? I usually carry around a 20oz black reusable metal water container with me wherever I go, and I drink anywhere from 2-5 fillings of it a day. I usually don't eat and drink at the same time, but if I do I won't drink a lot just a little. Each day is different. If I am working out or walking then I'll drink more. How often do you urinate/produce waste? Well... if you must know I urinate about once every hour or so. Yes, that can be an average of about 6-12 times a day. I often stop drinking water approximately 1-2 hours before I go to sleep because I dislike waking up in the middle of the night to pee... always annoying and hurts my stomach. Before my diet change, I produced waste only once every other day. Ever since I started drinking my homemade vegetable juice and/or eating more vegetables, I suddenly can produce waste up to three times a day. For a while that was just way too much, so I read a few books and later discovered that chewing my food much longer than I normally would actually slows down the waste production, and it did. So now it's about 1-3 times a day. What about your scars? Don't care. Getting rid of the acne was satisfying enough for me. I have far more important things I'd like to do in life then see how close I can get to having 'flawless skin'. My scars do not phase me in the slightest, and I wouldn't treat them even if it was for free. With as long as my acne had been around, and how severe it was, I knew since I was a teenager that my skin was going through a lot, and I would probably be scared for life. I am of course aware of scar treatments, however, and I certainly don't condemn people at all for wanting to do them and get rid of as many of those holes on their face as possible. As you may have guessed if you read some of this article, I am a different person when it comes to what I value in life and what I find the most interesting. Humans are not meant to be packaged, contained and plastic wrapped to perfection, sitting on the shelf in mint condition, never to be used. A flawless face is not the pinnacle of life. But if you do want to treat you scars, then prevention, prevention, prevention. And if you don't have acne anymore, then water, water, water. Stay hydrated, and look into Chemical Peels, Lemon and ACV Treatments, and surgeries. Red marks DO take a while to go away, but they do fade. Make sure you get to the heart of the bee's nest first before dealing with scars. In fact, on a good diet, everything about your skin and overall quality of life begins to improve. For me, my red marks began fading away after only a few months, and my skin tone began neutralizing and evening out again. This overall effects the quality of my scars appearance, and my attitude with them. ------------------- Sorry for all the piss and crap talk, but these are actual questions that people have been asking me during my time here. So... there you go! I truly hope I managed to answer your questions, or at least inspire you just a little to look at your life and reflect on, well, everything! Let me know in the comments bellow what you think or if you have any questions. Best of luck to you all! And I'm out.

  3. Take vitamin D and K to begin with, that will help rebalance your retinoids. Anxiety is probably one of the main causes, as Accutane completely messes up your stress and sex hormones, so right now your body probably feels a tonne of stress. People who take such a limited dose recover much better, and one of my friends took 80mg for 15 months and he is good now, though it knocked him around for a fair bit.

    One of the ironic things about accutane is it makes your body react poorly to stress, then creates a fuckton of it.

    My full recovery advise is:
    "Buy creatine, fish oil, coq10, zinc, multivitamins and a decent protein powder, take the recommended dosages for all of these, and try to meditate for 20 minutes a day"(if its early days take some k2 and vitD as well, that will get your retinoids in check post tane)

    Anyway, even if you are a random healthy male the things I've recommended would only improve your health, all would probs be available if you went to your local discount chemist 
  4. How I cured My Acne

    Forums Diet & holistic health 1 reply

    Hi! I've had acne since the age of 11/12 spots started at age 9, I'm now 32 (female) and I have finally got to the point where I can say my acne is completely under control without any pills, contraceptives, or prescription treatments, so I thought I'd share how I did it in case it can help anyone Brief history; My acne has always been over my face, neck, back, chest, and at its worst, also over my upper arms and bum. I have not listed the topical treatments I have used in the past because there are so many, basically I've tried it all, over the counter, prescription & derm-prescribed. None did anything except aggravate my skin. Age 9 - mild acne started Age 13 - moderate acne - tried all prescription treatments, OTC treatments, nothing worked Age 16 - moderate / severe acne - held at bay by dianette, but this would cause me all sorts of side effects and the acne always returned angrier than ever when I tried to come of it. Antibiotics didnt agree with me. Age 22/23 - severe acne hit - at this point it was debilitating, I wouldn't leave the house and developed an anxiety disorder. Treated with 6 months roaccutane - acne temporarily cured, anxiety gone. Age 26 - pregnancy - moderate acne returned Age 27 - post childbirth / breastfeeding - acne returned after breastfeeding, held at bay by Yasmin Age 28 - 31 - I spent these 3 years trying to come off Yasmin because it absolutely destroyed my sex drive and stopped my lady parts even working. But I was only able to be off it for about 3 months before the acne returned. The longest I managed was 8 months, but I couldn't handle living with the acne and went back on Yasmin. Tried antibiotics again, made me poorly. Age 32 - I decided I needed to make some serious changes and quit all forms of hormonal acne treatments for good. I was also suffering from severe IBS & was generally run down and poorly, which had been going on a few years. The day I quit the pills I also quit dairy and gluten, and cut down on sugar. A few days in I had a spell of withdrawal where I felt flu-y, shakey, had headaches and felt pretty rough. This passed after a week or so, then I just got on with life & waited to see what would happen. Month 1 - severe IBS, which used to leave me crippled on the loo crying in pain for hours at a time, completely disappears. Month 3 - Acne begins to return, but it is mild and limited mostly to jawline area & neck, a bit on my back. At the time I thought, great, here we go. But to my surprise, it stayed mild. Months 4/5 - Acne still mind. Sex drive returns, hurray! Through experimenting I found that a small amount of gluten in my diet was ok, but dairy seemed to cause a flare up, cheese in particular. My general health issues of fatigue and general un-wellness have by this point improved greatly. Months 6/7 - Acne still mild and seemed to be improving. I was having really bad PMT in the two weeks between ovulation and my period, so I started taking starflower oil daily 1500mg + B6 for hormone regulation and to reduce inflammation in my body. This stuff is SO effective, I have not had any PMT symptoms aside from swollen boobs since I started taking it. I don't get emotional or low, I don't feel sluggish or achy, cramps have gone. I also started using a standard ibuprofen gel on my remaining acne areas at night to reduce the acne inflammation. I use an amount the size of a pea around jawline and neck, and the same for my back. The reduction of inflammation from using this was noticeable within hours, and it has never irritated my skin at all. Any acne that I had was drying up and disappearing within days instead of weeks. I started using only pure aloe gel and coconut oil as moisturisers, and I don't put any other lotions or potions on my skin at all. Months 8-10 - this is the longest I had ever manage to stay off the pills. Instead, mild acne continues to improve, pretty much clear skin, except for light breakouts before and during period, or if I indulge in dairy and bad stuffs for a few days in a row. I feel really, really well and full of life. Month 11 / present - feel wonderful. Also stopped masturbating. I won't go into details because it's not relevant but basically I'm doing nofap with my other half. An unexpected side effect - my skin has become completely clear, and stayed clear, even before and during my period. So what I've learnt over the last 11 months; Dairy plays a big role in my acne. At this point in time, I can have a one-off dairy treat, and be ok. I usually save these for dinners at other peoples houses, so that I can just eat what I'm given. But if I have a few days in a row of eating dairy, the acne starts to come back. I think that gluten does also affect my skin, but not to the extent that dairy does. Balancing my hormones with starflower oil & b6 has done wonders for my cycle, my feeling of wellbeing and my general health. My skin looks glowy and healthy since I started taking it. Ibuprofen gel takes care of any flare-ups in a more effective way than any topical acne treatment I have ever used. I don't need anything other than aloe and coconut oil to moisturise my skin. Masturbation appears to affect my hormones and contribute to flare-ups. I feel closer to my other half since quitting , and I hope to stay away from this now. I feel well, really well, and healthy from the inside out, for the first I time since I can even remember. This time a year ago I didn't believe this was possible. I have spent 22 years sacrificing my health for clear skin, and that battle is finally over I don't know if any of this helps anyone, but on the of chance that it might, I thought it was worth posting. Take care all x
  5. hi everyone, hope you're doing well! just wanna post here what helped me to get my acne under control, it may be able to help someone out with this horrible thing as acne is. I'm male 20 years old from costa Rica(tropical warm weather) and have had oily skin and acne almost all my teenage, before I thought it's totally normal and that eventually it would go away with time, but it was approximately 2 years ago when my acne started getting bad(cystic acne) bad to a point where I have a couple of scars (Ice pick, V shaped) that are really unnoticeable and tiny so they don't really annoy me, and also around 2 hypopigmentated scars (white flat scars that never regained original skin color) they're not noticeable either so I dont care. I really never cared about diet and thought it was an underlying problem in my body the cause of my acne, and also I've always been someone who adores food so changing diet was not an option for me, I used to eat bread everyday, red meat, pork and would eat junk food like 3 times per week. 3 months ago I started to realize it was not worth to have this psychological pain all the time and that I had to do something about it, not only that it would help my skin but also my body in general so I decided to change my diet, I was offered Accutane but I decided that taking this drug was not worth it so diet was my only option for now and it would also be the best thing. for moral reasons, I became vegetarian first, it was very hard as stuff like meat, chicken had always been one of my favorite meals but now I think that it's not worth of how much an innocent animal has to suffer all their lives for me to have a good meal, it's just cruel and now every time I see any meat I feel like throwing up, even tho the taste is good, what hides behind is enough for me to say goodbye to it forever. (some will have a different opinion on it which is totally acceptable and respectable) going vegetarian helped me tons to lessen my acne also, but something was missing and my cosmetician that does me extractions told me to try to stop eating gluten for a few weeks (you know that thing that is in pasta, bread, etc.... gluten is something that produces a lot of inflammation in the body and can definitely cause acne for some people like me that are prone to it, also every time I used to eat bread I. would get awful bloating, gases, etc so that may be an indication you're sensitive to gluten. anyway I tried it out and it was what helped me the most! my acne literally disappeared in a matter of 2 months, no more cysts of bumps! it was hard to leave gluten as I would always have bread for breakfast and subway was my favorite restaurant to go too but now I've found other things that also taste good and they do not do harm on me that gluten does. the only gluten I get now is from a couple of beers that I have onweekends and that's it( I believe the beer I drink does not have much gluten as I dont have any bloating after drinking it) but just by doing that I can proudly say that I dont have acne anymore, I only get like 1 a whitehead per week goes away like in 2 days if I don't touch it and immediately if I pop it properly. now im only dealing with red marks and a couple of shallow. scars which im confident will fill up in time as they have improved a lot recently, the only thing is use in my skin now is aloe vera mousiturizer in the morning and at night aloe vera gel straight from the plant and ita done wonders specially for the red marks & scar,also I exfoliate twice a week with a mix of. baking soda and honey as recommended by the cosmetician. I'm not encouraging anyone to go. vegetarian or gluten free, but if you are so depressed because of acne as I was and you dont wanna try harsh things like Accutane or retin a etc, changing your diet would be the first thing you should do. (specially gluten)most of my protein comes from light yogurt, 2 organic eggs per day, rice and beans and cottage cheese In case you're wondering where to get your protein from. hope this may be able to help someone out and have a good day! (sorry for bad English, as it's not my first language)
  6. Good Morning Everyone I ma not Lactose Intolerant and Not even Gluten intolerent as I had number of blood test and nothing wrong showed up But when I eat Gluten and Milk and some other stuff (now sugar) as well I get inflamation and pimples Please advice if this is leaky gut or insuline issue as something causes over production of harmones or harmones whatever Could it be some enzymes missing from my stomach or intestines where my body is not digesting it and trhowing it in the blood stream for white blood cells to attack ? Please help as I have no idea what is going on
  7. Hi there, I have a question about a problem I have been suffering from over the last six months. I am a 21 year old male and live in Melbourne Australia. Several months ago at a party, I drank a bit too much... A whole bottle of straight vodka. I passed out unconscious for a few hours and had a killer hangover for two days after. A few weeks later I had another big alcohol binge, and blacked out again etc Soon after this my facial complexion started to deteriorate. I had some mild acne as a teen which had clearled up well by the time I was 19. However following multiple binge drinking episodes I noticed my skin getting worse. Now six months on I still have acne that I am finding hard to shake. I have cut out dairy milk, bread and pasta made from wheat, refined added sugar, eggs, and avoid vegetable oils where possible. I aslo drink minimal amounts of caffeine and alcohol (I only have two or three beers a month now). I feel that my binge drinking caused me acne and that I must have damaged my gut lining and/or my liver... Or something else. By the way I am very hygienic and wash my face twice daily with a tea tree oil face wash and aslo take 1 Omega 3 fish oil capsule and two zinc tablets every day. I am wondering if anyone has had an allergy test (igG or IgE etc) and found it to be useful. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
  8. What are your trigger foods?

    Forums Diet & holistic health 4 replies

    Just curious what everyone is avoiding because it causes break outs. For me, dairy is my worst enemy. I can't enjoy ice cream, milk, or moderate quantities of yogurt without paying the price. I have found that kefir is ok though, probably due to the added bacteria helping me digest the lactose. I haven't noticed anything else though. What about you? What foods cause you to break out? I have heard stories that citrus and other weird foods cause some to break out.
  9. Could anyone please help with identifying what could be the root problem for my acne? I'm male, 27 years old, acne since puberty. Around nose, mouth and on scalp. I have something opposite of cystic acne, pimples mostly show up on outer layer of skin. Of all the tests I'v taken and doctors visited, only IgG4 food sensitivity panel show up that there's something wrong with me. High sensitivity to grains and gluten, dairy, few fruits and veggies. But as weird as it sounds, most of the time it feels like the food sensitivities are not the major factor here, there are times when I look even worse when on a "healthy" diet, eating only meat and veggies. As if food sensitivities are just a part of some bigger, yet unidentified.
  10. I am dairy and gluten intolerant and know I should cut it out, but I look at people with clear glowing skin, stuffing their faces with cheeseburgers from McDonalds, and am extremely, extremely confused!!! Someone please explain this to me. Also, I was vegan and gf for 8 months, dancing everyday and STILL had spots. Please help me if you know anything about this subject. I was wondering if childhood diet has anything to do with it? When I was younger I used to eat so much melted cheese and french baguette - do you think this overload made me more susceptible? Does ethnicity have anything to do with it? I am white (eastern european, irish, english, french descent). Thanks for helping an sharing any of your experience, and I hope your acne troubles aren't as bad as mine are - I'm trying really hard to keep positive that things will get better!
  11. I hope sharing my story with others may help them in some way. My journey with acne started around 25 years ago in my teens, I'm now 39. I've always had pretty clear skin on my face, just bad bacne (sometimes cystic and painful) and occasionally on chest. Made me horribly self conscious in certain clothing, at beach and god forbid, intimate with partners. Over the years, I've used oral contraceptive Diane (pretty good), taken supplements (not very disciplined, some made me break out horribly like fish oil!), had IGG testing (showed gluten and eggs), been vegan (not good), been almost Paleo (sometimes ok), so many things. I was convinced it was food and avoiding gluten and eggs helped but didn't clear completely. It was hard to pin point triggers as effect seemed to show about a week or so later, but this varied. Generally my diet is pretty good, full of whole foods, organic veggies from garden, ethically sourced meat, etc. I avoided dairy and drank soy milk for years. I ate more soy products when vegan (no longer), acne was bad then. I've been off the contraceptive pill for number of years (trying to conceive) and recently decided to stop soy milk as thought this might be affecting things in that area (not for acne purposes). Within a week, my skin had calmed significantly! I had to laugh (cry) at the irony of myself thinking I was so healthy drinking soy milk when it was giving me acne and probably contributing to infertility. I think I've narrowed it down to gluten, eggs and soy, and if I avoid these, I am pretty much clear. Sugar is bad too, although it generally accompanies the above. Small amounts of my trigger foods seem ok and I've decided not to be so strict that life becomes unmanageable (soy is in everything). This attitude has probably made it hard to pin point triggers but you also have to live and not be obsessed, which is hard if you've ever suffered depression from acne. I acknowledge for some people, they must strictly avoid certain foods. IGG testing helped but can be very expensive (I'm in Australia and used Imupro). I would recommend elimination diet as best solution, as challenging as it can be, and you'll probably need to wait a week between each elimination to see results. Fingers crossed my approach will see results!
  12. Paleo Diet 1 Month No cheating.

    Forums Diet & holistic health 2 replies

    Dear Reader tonight 11/09/16 marks the first night/day into something I have been meaning to try for a long time. A Paleo diet CURRENT STATUS. Mild acne: Both cheeks, forehead, chin. I want to keep this short and sweet throughout my journey. I will post daily. updating the content untill 1 month mark. I will be 100% Strict. I say this as many users have tried to review said diet. how ever failed in their attempts. Supplements 1x 5000ui Vitamin d 1x multi vitamin 2x Omega 3. Skin care 1x shower at night Black soap. moisturiser after shower. No touching face only in shower. Hands always thoroughly cleaned before touching. .
  13. I got my FIT Result, it says that I'm intolerant to gluten (wheat and barley) also to milk, etc. Which I think is true because I breakout whenever I eat pizza. But one thing I noticed is that it says I'm not intolerant to chicken and beef (etc). As far as I know these give me cystic acne, as in big cystic acne. So do you think Food Intolerance Test is accurate? Should I try to eat them? Or there are really cases that even you are not intolerant to it, it doesn't mean it will not give you acne? Anyone here has the same condition? Thanks
  14. I'm writing this post so that I can keep track of my progress and begin my attempt on the caveman regimen. I've never had acne my entire life. I'm 19 and I never struggled with acne ever, I would get compliments constantly on my effortless, flawless skin constantly. In February of this year I had my first ever break out and freaked the hell out, I didn't understand what was going on... When I look back now I actually only got my first ever pimple, it was so tiny and completely unnoticeable but it still greatly affected me. What's to come next was just silly on my part, I got one pimple which led me to and I was brainwashed into buying a ton of chemical exfoliants, cleansing products and different acne-fighting products. I look back at my skin now and realise I have caused such detriment to my skin. My skin was never oily and hardly ever had any blemishes EVER. Sure to a certain extent you can blame hormones because my first breakout was after I had a panic attack that was extremely severe on a train travelling back home. Straight after that breakout I was washing my face twice a day, trying cleansers, switching toners, sticking to products for 12-weeks, my skin became my life and I was completely obsessed by it. Today I sat down and got very emotional, I looked in the mirror and my skin is an absolute MESS. whiteheads, blackheads, dripping in oil. But what I forgot was, before my tiny breakout, my skin was virtually flawless. I never washed my face and picked a product up if it was near the shower while I was using it. I never thought twice about my skin and just let it do its own thing. What I've realised is I've been using so many products and obsessing so highly over my skin in the past few months that i've been causing the issues. I've been removing the protective layers and acid mantles of my skin, I went to a dermatologist and they actually SUGGESTED the caveman regimen. It's my family dermatologist and he just said, can you not remember before you started messing with your face that you never had issues with acne? It clicked. I am ruining my own skin, it's such an oily mess because the pH is so unbalanced and me stripping away my natural barriers are causing an over-production in the sebum which is resulting in my acne. Later today I'm going to do a follow up with pictures, I'm going to do the caveman regimen, live the way I use to without any stupid harsh products. I've seen the success storys, I was living it with-out even realising. I'm going to post pictures later today and give an update everyday until my skin has returned to its normal self. I created this topic so that I can finally see with my own eyes the problems I have caused my skin and that if I leave it alone, it will do everything it needs to do, NATURALLY. I'd like to hear other opinions on this topic, sorry if I seem very narcissistic, I'm just staying positive and staying hopeful that the only problem with my skin is me. Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Edit: For those who are unknown to the caveman regimen, it is ZERO washing. No products, for some not even water. Not even moisturizing, nothing, leaving your skin completly alone and letting it do it's own thing.
  15. Help guys

    Forums Diet & holistic health 1 reply

    So i was wondering if bread and grains are bad for everyones skin ? I mean even if your not gluten intolorant ? I already gave up dairy but bread and rice are a big part of my diet. i never get severe acne or cists but i do get pimples ocasionally and i have a few blackheads and oily skin .
  16. Hey y'all. Happy thursday! I did not take my N-A-C this morning. And I'm going to be taking a break off taking that, for a little while. I ate like 10,000 calories today. Not really more like 2700 but I walked over 5 miles for sure because I charged my phone so I didn't have it on me for an hour and I still walked almost 5 miles today. Plus most of those calories are from nuts lol, deeeeez nuts. im looking into what it takes to be a paralegal. So yeah, that's what ya girl Natalie is doing on a Thursday night. New 60 days in tonight woop woop!!
  17. Last night was the same mask as usual-- I tried the rosehip oil out finally, after the Argan and before the aloe. It's 5:55am right now and it's time to punch today in the face haha!! It's 10:25am right now...Work is KA-RAZZZZY. I'm going on my walk after I eat a snack. Yayyyy. its almost 8:30pm I'm going to lay down and rest I'm dead I'll deal with life tomorrow
  18. Hey y'all. Same ish as usual. Just working my butt off. For the past week or so, I have been taking my walk around the lake in the mornings usually at 10:45-11:45 or sometimes 11:45-12:45. Depends on how work is goin and if shit pops off. I've been getting good sun. The morning sun is the BEST. It's currently 93 degrees where I'm at. AND NO BREEZE LOL. I have not been putting argan oil on my face in the mornings-- just at night before I put on my aloe. So my routine for the past two nights has been my mixture of manuka honey, colloidal silver, goats kefir, cinnamon, turmeric and a probiotic capsule. Then I wash it off (with tap water eeeeeeek) after an hour or longer just depends, tone with NOW I'm diluting ACV to 50/50 filtered water/ACV, and then put argan oil on let it dry for a few minutes and then fresh aloe. holy shit my dark circles are so insane I really need to start sleeping properly. It's 6:35 and I'm waiting for my sister to get out of the kitchen so I can cook & make tea !!
  19. New blog so I can post photos! Duh! For your reference... this is me: Meet Natalie! Today at work...I'm dead. I'm so sleep deprived I have no idea how I'm still functioning. I ate and I feel sick. It's about 4pm. I'm ready to go home and sleep. I had to start this blog because my other one ran out of MB??? I don't even know. Ain't nothin' changed...Drinkin' tea...Workin'...YOU already KNOOOOW. photos with my hair down are last night and today with my hair up at work looking like death haha!
  20. I'm more or less paleo. Drink bone broth, eat fermented foods. Don't drink alcohol anymore. Taking many probiotic supplements since last year. Taking what seems like a thousand supplements at the moment. Tried the gaps diet ( recent test results show I have zero intestinal permeability/candida/parasites). So I'm focusing on liver flushes at the moment. Have done a few with not much improvement. Anybody have success with these? What about NAET? NMT? I don't know how much longer I can put up with this shit.
  21. I read somewhere that probiotics kill zonulin, which is a protein that is released when you eat products containing gluten. Does that mean that if you use probiotics you can eat food with gluten in it without causing acne or reduce the amount of acne?
  22. I have very bad acne mainly on my forehead and it has been this way since I was about 11 years old (I'm 16). I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism when I was 7 and from that point on I developed a few pimples every now and then. Then when I was 14 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease as well and my acne has gotten worse. I eat a healthy gluten free and dairy free diet, get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly so the only thing I can guess it is caused by is the thyroid problems I have but at the same time anyone I know with similar thyroid problems doesn't have acne.
  23. I ask my dermatologist if a gluten sensitivity is forever? And she said yes. Is it true? Or it can be cured if you heal you leaky gut?
  24. Disclaimer I have successfully healed my acne with the methods I will go on to describe. I do not claim that these methods will work for anyone else, however, I feel that I owe a lot to this forum, which has not only supported me throughout some difficult times, but its posters have provided me with much of the insight and information that has lead me to healing my acne. Finally, this post is not preaching that natural methods are the only route to take; and I do not judge those who choose to continue to use topical acne medications, take antibiotics, or use Accutane. I would also like to add that the photos I have included were taken over the course of the past 2 years and serve to document my skins healing. I have used a watermark as I have seen instances of cosmetic companies using photos such as these to falsely promote their products. Brief Acne History I suffered some mild form of acne for most of my teenage years, but at the age of 22 I developed what my doctor would describe to me as moderate/severe adult acne, and I went on to make many, many mistakes in treating it. Years of exhausting trial and error has wrought havoc on my skin, broken me down emotionally, and, eventually, made me a stronger person. No three-step solution/miracle product/pill or cream worked out for me. Here is a non-exhaustive list of things that didn’t work: Antibiotics (doxycycline, oxytetracycline and lymecycline), benzoyl peroxide (5% and 10%), Duac, Dan's Regimen, Differin, Epiduo, Tretinoin, countless over the counter treatments and washes, apple cider vinegar, manuka honey, asprin masks, I could go on. What Worked For Me A 3 pronged treatment approach that took around 2 months to begin working, but finally cleared my skin and changed my life. STEP ONE Dietary changes I eliminated all gluten, dairy and all refined sugars. Now this was the hardest thing for me to do, and it took me months to even consider it (I absolutely love pizza, ice cream and cereal) but it has without a doubt made the most dramatic difference in my skin and health. I am more alert, full of energy and a much happier person. One thing I feel is important to add here, is when I started out with this diet, I was taking it incredibly seriously, but as I have started to see increasingly consistent results, I will occasionally treat myself to a nice dessert out at a restaurant, and sometimes that will result in a pimple in the coming days, but this only serves as proof that what I eat directly effects my skin. I also supplement 2x 1000mg Omega 3 Fish Oil, 1x Vitamin D3 Tablets 25ug, 1x Zinc (Gluconate 15mg) and drink a green smoothie a few times a week, consisting of around 70% kale/spinach/other greens and 30% fruit/veg. STEP TWO Skincare The most successful learning experience I have undergone with my skincare was the caveman regimen. I did not wash my face for upward of 50 days, not even with water. I won’t talk too much about that in this post as I logged my whole caveman regimen here. I experienced some good success with the caveman regimen, but it’s what it taught me that was the most valuable thing; that I don’t have to wash my face religiously twice a day. The most important aspect of my current skincare regimen is the infrequency. I don’t stick to a strict washing schedule. Since the caveman regimen, I have realised that my skin is in fact very dry, so if I feel dry I will use a raw honey mask for as long as I have time (sometimes up to 8 hours) then I’ll use a very diluted apple cider vinegar toner to balance my skins Ph, and finally pat 2 drops of high linoleic oil into my skin. Then I’ll leave it alone for at least a few days and up to a week. STEP THREE Stop Picking Throughout my time with acne; I developed a chronic skin picking compulsion called dermatillomania. Without even noticing I would touch and pick at my skin all day, and most evenings, sometimes a few times a day, I would have a long session stood an inch away from my bathroom mirror, just scouring my pores for something to extract. This has taken a huge amount of time and patience to overcome, and along with my diet changes, has been one of the hardest and most beneficial changes I have made. I am still working on this issue, and I do have the occasional relapse; it’s a work in progress, but as my skin continues to heal I find myself increasingly encouraged to quit the picking. The first step I took towards letting go of my skin picking compulsion was purchasing some toys on amazon called 'Tangle Jr.' to occupy my hands. I also read the book ‘Skin Picking – The Freedom to Finally Stop’ which I highly recommend to anyone suffering with a similar compulsion. Little Extra I know acne is a serious and sometimes deeply depressing disease, but if you can find it in yourself to go out and laugh and run about then you absolutely should, and if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up about it. If you need to be sad then you should be sad; forgive yourself and try to give your body the care it needs. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions and I will answer to the best of my ability. Thanks, J
  25. Hi there, I'm a 19 year old college freshman struggling with acne issues. If you could please listen to my story and offer ideas, I'd appreciate it SO much. It probably makes most sense to start at the beginning. I always had amazingly clear skin when I was younger. Even through puberty, which began early for me, I hardly broke out other than the occasional stray zit. It was when I was 15 and I started struggling with mental health issues that everything went downhill. I tried literally over 32 medications over the last four years, but the only thing that really worked was lithium. Changing medications would not at all be an option for me. The side effects suck, but the worst is definitely the acne. My skin type changed, too. My skin had been normal to dry when it was clear, before the lithium. It then became very oily. That's when my acne started. Phases of painful, deep cystic acne came and went, but I always had breakouts all over my face, even when things weren't as bad as usual. My doctor put me on minocycline, which almost completely cleared up my skin. A few months later, I found out that I have liver disease (due to weight gain from psych meds), and immediately had to stop taking the minocycline. Of course, the breakouts returned, and although they usually weren't the severe cystic kind, they never left. I've lost a bunch of weight now, but of course my liver will always be a concern now, so minocycline is no longer an option for me, ever. I've tried many different skincare regimens, and although some have worked better than others, none have come anywhere near fixing my acne problem. I tried Murad, Proactiv, and several other lines. My skin type isn't the super-oily situation I had going on when I first started the lithium. My skin is dehydrated with the occasional flaky patch (usually as a zit heals and disappears), with a thin layer of oil over the top. My skin appears shinier most of the time, but definitely lacks hydration. Currently I'm using a combination of products from different skincare brands, which has kept my skin clearer than it would be otherwise, but hasn't come near clearing it up. I'm incredibly diligent about my skincare. I honestly can't remember a time in the last several years that I have skipped my skincare routine. I use wipes for makeup removal ONLY. I use a gentle all-purpose cleanser; I've found that if I use a treatment cleanser and a treatment product, it strips my super-sensitive skin and makes me break out more. I use an AHA liquid exfoliant several times a week, plus La Roche - Posay Effaclar Duo as a spot treatment. Depending on how dry/dehydrated my skin is, I use either an oil-free moisturizer or a light face oil (this actually helps my skin clear up, not break out, oddly enough). Not often enough, but occasionally, I use a mask. I love the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud mask because it doesn't dry out my skin in the process of trying to suck out all the nasties, but does appear to make a difference. As if that all isn't enough, I recently found out that I am Gluten Intolerant, too. Not sure if that has anything to do with it... I kind of doubt it since my acne didn't start until the lithium (though I've heard that lithium or other psych drugs may cause gluten intolerance?). If you've read this entire ramble of a post, God bless you, you're a trooper. Sorry it got so long. I didn't want to leave anything out. PLEASE offer your thoughts or ideas about my situation if you have any! I'm so frustrated by my skin, and although I know it could be far worse, I'm ready to do what it takes to make it better. Jillian