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Skin Enlightenment Journey

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Since I quit Differin cold turkey September 17th due to its damaging effects, I've learned a lot about my skin. It's one revelation after another.

Things that DEFINITELY affect my skin:

- Hair products - coconut oil / whitehead disaster

- 8 oz of warm water with a teaspoon of organic lemon juice first thing in the morning 40 minutes before eating. Cuts my inflammatory acne by 50-60%.

- low sugar diet. I do have 1-1.5 servings of fruit daily. But apart from that, it's only what's found in the one or two condiments I use, such as 2g in my ketchup (Trader Joe's brand) or 4g in my spaghetti sauce (Whole Foods 365). I don't plan to ever go back to eating sugar all willy nilly because even if it doesn't increase my acne, it could be aging my skin and other organs due to inflammation.

- gluten-free

- low dairy. Butter (every other day) and I have a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on my pasta (every other day). ALCAT indicates no sensitivity

Things I am still testing:

- Perfect Health Diet - grain-free except for white rice. Also testing the introduction of brown rice flour (Namaste pancake mix) once or twice a week.

- legumes (soaked overnight and thoroughly cooked) even though not PHD compliant.

- Avocados and other food sensitivities as identified by the ALCAT. Some of my ALCAT results are spot on with the Blood Type Diet, like avocado and corn. Others are different such as coconut oil which I had no reaction to. Soooo like I said, still testing but avocados are out for sure. I was eating them nightly as part of PHD but then my skin freaked out. I did not suspect the avocados but bought them not ripe enough by accident and didn't eat them one night. The next morning my skin was significantly less inflamed and continued to improve until I had NO acne and NO oil. And this was the week before my period! No oil! Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth???! (Rush Hour) Of course I wasn't always eating avocados daily but I think it's a) since certain things have been removed from my diet, intolerances etc. are being revealed. Acne is like a set of layers. b) Perhaps it's not just avocados but inflammation from other foods I should avoid also, according to my ALCAT. The big thing would be if I decide to give up white potatoes as I eat those daily pretty much (PHD safe starch). The blood type diet also says I should not eat tapioca but I never had that tested. I am thinking about repeating the ALCAT as it is years old (but obviously still right on with the avocados).

ALCAT severe: corn, avocados, gluten

ALCAT moderate: carrots (removing these from smoothies - 1.5 per day - and having one carrot every other day instead), white potatoes (testing a small portion for breakfast every other day). Those are the only two that are large parts of my diet at the moment. I could give up garlic and besides, who eats that much garlic anyway. Peanuts and cane sugar I gave up months ago. Also lentils though I was sad to see them go.

Anyway, I have 2-3 white heads (small), one medium whitehead, and one inflamed thing that will likely become a whitehead soon (big). I am monitoring them. They're either from

1. My period (started last night)

2. my hair gel. The second to last time I had a weird breakout I had used this. I've washed it out this morning.

3. Had egg for the first time all week yesterday afternoon in an oily rice stir fry. Dunno. ALCAT says no rxn to egg yolk and only slight to egg white so I don't think eggs are it for me.

If I get any more white heads tomorrow I will have to do an elimination diet and remove the potatoes and carrot.

I did introduce some brown rice this morning - Pamela's pancake mix. But I had the pimples when I woke up.

Forgot to mention. I'm testing a theory that food-related acne causes overproduction of oil whereas acne from product reactions forms in the absence of excess oil.

I am trying not to use anything medicated while I pursue the dietary/holistic approach. Right now I cleanse twice daily with Neutrogena sensitive foaming wash and I moisturize with Glytone balancing lotion.

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