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Becs mission to clear skin journal

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  • Becs mission to clear skin journal

    WARNING: If you are reading this, I am not holding anything back and I will get graphic, because I am trying to be honest and this is more for me to keep a track of what I am eating and how my body reacts to certain foods.

    Let's break this down:

    About me: I am 24 years old, female, Australian, Married to a wonderful supportive man, lived in Singapore since August 2011, housewife who has way too much time on her hands and spends most of it reading and researching about nutrition, mainly Paleo related.

    How long have I been Paleo: I started eating Paleo a little over 2 months ago, but there have been a few slip ups, mostly unintentional ones, like when I had my best friend come to visit and we ate out for every meal, I tried to order Paleo as much as I could, but at the end of the day, how do I know what was in the food (most likely gluten), or what it was cooked in (most likely vegetable oil). For the past month I have been very strict, but still have been consuming nightshades, I plan to get stricter to really sort out my body. (more on that later)

    Why I have decided to live Paleo: The first and foremost reason: my skin. I have suffered from acne since I was about 15, but went on the Birth Control Pill (BCP) to clear it and it did. But I came off the BCP 7 months ago and since then acne has come back with a vengenance plus a few other hormonal issues like I still haven't gotten my period back. The second reason is I am kinda obsessed with nutrition and believe that everything we eat effects us in ways a lot of people do not realise. I want to be as healthy as I possibly can be to prevent possible risks of developing cancers or diabetes or any other disease. I want to carry this knowledge over to my children (when I have them one day) and of course have a healthy enough body to start having children in the first place! I do not need to lose any weight, in fact I think I am a little underweight (don't own scales, so cannot weigh myself), so try to eat enough fat mainly ghee. Third reason- I am starting to realise now 2 months into Paleo I have some major gut issues and after doing extensive research I believe I have leaky gut. I usually get quite gassy in the afternoon or night and I can sometimes be constipated for a day or two or it will take me about an half an hour of sitting on the toilet before I have a bowel movement and after drinking a load of water in the morning. The stool itself is usually compact, but I have to wipe a few times. I had a dish the other day with a lot of spices and about an hour later had horrible stomach pains and diarrhea. There is definitely something not right with my stomach.

    My Goals: My main goal is to clear my skin, but now I realise I may have leaky gut, I need to really focus on healing it and hopefully in turn my skin will clear.

    What I consume: Meat: Grass fed Red meat, Pork, Hormone Free Chicken breast only, Fresh Seafood (which is in abundance in Singapore), trying to add in liver, tried liver and onions but did not enjoy it, so might try other recipes as I know how beneficial this organ can be.
    Vegetables: Pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, lettuce, bok choy, asparagus, onions, garlic, ginger.
    Other things: Warm lemon water in the morning to get bowels moving. Homemade Bone broth 1 cup a day. Plus 2litres or more water
    Supplements: GNC Zinc 50mg (for skin), GNC Probiotics 3billion (for gut balance)- planning to find another probiotic with higher bacteria count, High quality fish oil currently 1.4g but planning to increase this. Just ordered NOW foods Super Enzymes and should receive them next week when I will start to implement them to hopefully improve or repair my leaky gut issues.

    What I am avoiding: No eggs (I will add these in again once my skin is clear and see effects)
    No nightshades (this one I am just starting even though I have been avoiding all other nightshades I still have been having peppers occasionally)
    No alcohol- well thats a given, haven't touched the stuff for about 3 months
    No dairy- acne/dairy connection- prefer not to risk it so will avoid it for now
    No potatoes or sweet potatoes- too starchy
    The obvious- no grains, including rice etc.
    No fruit- My skin breaks out from the sugar, may try adding it back in when everything is clear
    No nuts- don't want to chance it with the o6-o3 ratio
    No coconut- just for now keeping it simple, again will try adding back later
    So basically I eat meat and low carb veggies (boring right?)

    More on my skin: I break out mainly around my chin area, usually small pustules, occasionally large under the skin painful pimples that will take a few days to come to a head. I get a few on my forehead but this week have had no new breakouts there. My neck is a little bumpy and occasionally get bigger spots but they do not last too long. My cheeks and nose are clear and always have been, maybe a few blackheads but they do not really concern me.
    My skin routine currently: I am trying to be as natural as possible and have thrown out all my harsh so called acne cleanser and products, because I was recommended these by a therapist who just assumes that anyone with acne has really oily skin. My skin is not oily, it is more sensitive, dry and flaky and well acne prone. So now I am cleansing/leaving on for about 20 minutes with Manuka honey UMF 20 morning and night. This stuff is amazing and makes my skin soft and is a great antibacterial. Then I will dilute some tea tree oil and dab onto any spots. Then I apply jojoba oil, which I have just started to use and was really hesitant in starting to use because it is an OIL and we are always told oil and acne= bad. But I have read and researched and in fact jojoba oil is much more like our skins sebum then any other oil. So far I have been using it and it is helping with my flakiness and doesn't feel oily just makes my skin feel moisterised. Lastly at night I may apply a little manuka honey as a spot treatment, so far so good.

    The purpose of this journal: I want to track down everything I am eating and record how it makes me feel and my stomach issues. I want to track my skin breakouts and try and figure out if certain foods will trigger them (which may be impossible).

    I can't guarantee that every meal I eat will be home cooked even though 90-95% of my meals are. But there may be occasional times where I will eat out and if I do I will choose only meat and vegetable dishes.

    I will post another entry tonight to record my food intake for today!

  • #2
    Welcome, I'll just jump right in... since you are mainly concerned with the acne i'll address that.
    The breakouts you have discribed are concidered hormonal ( but you knew that..) have you had blood tests done to see if something physiological may be at play here? Zinc and probiotics will both be helpful, i usually recomend starting off with 100mg and then backing off if needs be. Most of what you discribed is great for skin. But be careful just as something being to harsh and drying can cause a breakout, so can adding too much moisture to your skin.
    I suffered from hormonal breakouts for a very long time, and withing a few months of following the primal woe, it was finally clear. It takes time, your skin will adjust. Look into a skin care line called Eminence, It's plant based and totaly organic, i've seen it work wonders.


    • #3
      great! someone else who's trying to go primal in Singapore glad i'm not alone...


      • #4
        Hey. @girl scout : Thanks for taking time to read my journal. I have been taking the zinc now for about 2 weeks and definitely notice the severity of my breakouts have reduced. It is definitely partly hormonal and I have decided to wait until I have been off the BCP for about a year before I go and get any tests done. I am hoping in the meantime to heal my gut issues and see how this affects my skin. Just had a look a Eminence and they look very good. At this point I'll stick to what I'm doing. I have spent so much money on skin care products in the past it is ridiculous!
        Thanks again, I love getting msgs because it helps me to stick with it!

        @naz_AH: I had no idea there were other primal ppl in Singapore- they love their food too much here haha! Great to know I'm not alone
        Last edited by bec; 01-12-2012, 01:55 AM.


        • #5
          Hi Bec, and good luck with your program. I can thoroughly sympathise - I had been on BCP for a long time because I was so miserable with years of adult acne and was desperate to clear it up (which thankfully it did). But now, as of Christmas, I am off the pill and seeing if my healthier Primal living and lower body weight has evened out my hormones enough to have healthy skin without chemical interference. So far so good! Best of luck to both of us - my fingers are crossed for you.
          I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

          Oscar Wilde


          • #6
            12/01/12 Food Log

            Hot Lemon Water
            B: Broccoli soup with sliced beef - ZINC & Probiotics (half hour after meal)
            11am: Beef Broth
            L: Basa fish, mashed pumpkin & cauliflower, 1xbrussel sprout & bok choy - Fish oil Supp
            4pm: 1x homemade beef patty with sauteed brussel sprouts- Vit C supp
            D: Grass fed Rib eye Steak small piece, steamed broccoli and cauliflower. - Fish oil Supp

            The in depth details: had a bit of gas in the afternoon and stomach has been gurgly all afternoon. Thinking I will be gassy all night, I hate it and feel sorry for my poor husband! Could it be the fish oil capsule supplement? I have only 2 days left in the bottle and then I will give them a rest and see if there is any change, but I have ordered fish oil liquid which should arrive next week andthe digestive enzymes which should also arrive next week will hopefully sort out these issues. I certainly hope it is not any vegetables I am eating because my diet is restrictive enough and I don't think I can remove to much more without losing a load of weight, which I do not want to do, I want to put on weight!
            Skin: no new breakouts on the forehead, a few new small pustules on chin, chin in general just feels quite sore.
            Last edited by bec; 01-12-2012, 04:08 AM.


            • #7
              I was reading the other day that drinking lots of water is not the best for you. Check out Mark's article on it here. Basically from what I am putting together is that in drinking alot of water you are diluting the stomach content and allowing for the enzymes and bacterias to be inhibited or giving them a harder time.

              Just a thought to share on since you are looking to heal the flora! Best of luck!


              • #8
                Just a few comments on skin-
                I have been trying primal for about 2 months. My aesthetician commented that I have far fewer white heads and blackheads and in general much clearer skin since she last saw me in October. I still eat dairy, but no wheats, grains, sugar. I hope it helps you.

                Secondly, I do chemical peels which sound awful, but since I started those, I have ceased to break out beyond whiteheads and blackheads. For daily care, I use Aveda Tourmaline scrub daily (am), soap daily (pm), a 20% glycolic toner (1-2 times a week) and moisturize with an olay serum and a tightening cream. There are also some peels that use fruit acids that might appeal to you a little more. Keeping your pores clean and skin turning over really helps.

                Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                • #9
                  Peels are great for helping clear acneic skin. Especially Salicylic peels.
                  AHA (fruit acids) won't do as much for acne as the salicylic will though. Finding a good esthatician is a good jump start to great skin, they can perform extractions safely and recomend a course of action.


                  • #10
                    @fondalashay- Thanks for your comment, you know I was just reading the other day about drinking too much water. I think I seriously need to cut back on the water intake. If water supposedly clears skin, then I should have the clearest skin ever, because I drink a ridiculous amount of water. My husband says I have a walnut bladder because I always need to go to the toilet and I get up at least twice in the middle of the night! Thanks for the article, it makes complete sense and I'm going to cut my water intake right down.
                    @magnolia1973- thanks for the comment, I hope after a few months I'll see as good as results as you!
                    @magnolia1973 & @girl scout- I have had chemical peels before and I agree they do work well, but never been the 'cure' for me unfortunately. At this point in my life, I can't really afford to go down that path right now because it is just too expensive. Hopefully diet is enough!


                    • #11
                      AVIOD SOY AND DAIRY! I'm 30 and dealt daily with those hormone chin cysts. Painful and scarring. It was my OB/Gyn that told me to get off of the soy and dairy in 2010 and I also gound out that gluten played a part. Soy and dairy mess with your hormones big time. My skin has been almost flawless since giving up soy and dairy (I was a vegetarian who ate mostly Asian and Mediterranean style dishes). I went Primal, but my skin was still sorting itself out for the first month. Any other oils, except grapeseed oil, made my acne worse. All other makeup, except Bismuth-free, talc-free mineral makeup broke me out. I now use a Cetaphil cleanser and scrub once a week with a baby-brush, warm water and a baking-soda/Cetaphil mixture. Everyone has different skin, but this has worked wonders for me.
                      So, my routine:
                      Cleanse with Cetaphil
                      Moisturize day and night with a dab of grapeseed oil
                      Scrub with water-softened baby-brush and cetaphil/baking soda mixture
                      Use mineral make-up free of Bismuth and talc.
                      Avoid soy and dairy.


                      • #12
                        @rasputina Thanks for your comment. I haven't touched soy or dairy in months and I can't say I miss it at all. When i used to drink milk I would notice more breakouts particularly large ones on my chin. Your skin routine sounds good. I used cetaphil for a while and thought it was quite good, but I am trying to stick to as natural as possible products and unfortunately looking at the ingredients in Cetaphil it isn't really that natural Thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it


                        • #13
                          13/01/2012- Journal entry

                          Last night I woke up at 1am to go to the loo and when I returned to bed I couldn't get back to sleep because the right side of my chin hurt so bad and all I wanted to do was itch at it (but I resisted). I got up and put on some manuka honey to the spot that was causing the pain and although it did not realy relieve the pain, the spot had come to a head in the morning. That manuka is good for that! I try not to squeeze my pimples but they inevitably squeeze themselves! Anyway I read my book for a bit and managed to fall back into a fitful sleep. I have never had problems with sleep and a big sore pimple have never kept me from sleeping My chin area has been so bad this last week, it is so depressing. But I must 'stay calm and keep moving forward' (haha I saw that printed on someones shirt today and thought it was very wise words)
                          Last night before bed I had some pretty foul smelling gas, but this morning I got straight up out of bed and had a BM straight away. This is good for me, because I usually have to sit on the toilet for about haf and hour and drink a litre of water before anything will happen.
                          So I had a bit of a cheat today, but only because it was impossible not too. We were out shopping and starving. I have to eat when I get hungry because I don't want to go into ketosis. I am way too skinny as it is, in fact my husband hates how skinny I am looking and I hate how all the clothes that used to be tight on me now are falling off. But because I try to be so restrictive with my diet because of my skin it is inevitable that I'm not going to put on weight. Any suggestions on putting on weight and still getting clear skin would be greatly appreciated?? Anyway back to what I was saying, we were starving and there was literally nowhere we were I could eat just some meat and veg. We live in Asia so most meals come with rice especially as we were in Little India area in Singapore. So I ended up getting some chicken and rice that had a bit of lettuce. It was good and the rice certainly satisfied me. I didn't experience any crazy stomach problems at all thank god! But about 3 hours later, hunger! Just like they say with 'bad' carbs! Oh well, I will not feel guilty about it, because I could have cheated a lot worse, I don't think rice is really that bad of a cheat.
                          Today I have also cut down my water intake. I was drinking way too much water, like about 4 litres a day and literally having to pee all the time. I have been doing some reading into how drinking too much water may not be a good thing. Drinking loads never seem to have any major benefits on clearing my skin, so I am just drinking it when I feel thirsty.
                          I also forgot to take my fish oil supp at lunch time and this afternoon I haven't had any gas like I usually do, could this be related? There are some things on the net about fish oil capsules causing flatulence....
                          Ok so here are my meals:
                          Hot Lemon Water
                          B: Grass fed ribeye steak with pumpkin & cauliflower mash- Zinc 50mg and Probitotics
                          L: Chicken & rice with lettuce
                          Snack: Pumpkin & cauliflower mash
                          D: Cauliflower rice w/ stirfried onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, bone broth and beef.

                          Anyway after dinner my husband was complaining how we never go out and he wanted to go down the road to have a beer. He is very non paleo and likes his beer. So being the good wife I am I went with him, even though I don't drink and I'm kinda prefer staying home and watchin tv (I'm truly a boring 24yrold). We ended up stumbling upon a celebration for Chinese New year (which is huge here in Singapore) and my husband was given free beer and we were given free pistachios and some little fruit (no idea what it was, but it looked like lychee but kinda tasted citrusy). So I had a few pistachios and some fruit. I haven't touched nuts or fruit in like 2 months, so I really have had a major cheat day today. Pretty funny I started this journal yesterday and I am usually so ridiculous strict and today I cheated loads! At least I didn't cheat with cake and chips though!! I will feel no guilt. Meanwhile I have had no digestive issues today even after the nuts and fruit.
                          Lets see if we can do better tomorrow ey!


                          • #14

                            Well, I really am liking this journal thing. I think it is great to write down everything I am thinking. I know I could just write in an actual journal but everytime I try that I never stick to it, so hopefully I stick to this.
                            So I was/am still really upset about my skin. I had about 2 new pustules on my chin this morning, plus some ones that have been there for days. I am so desperate for some answers or help, I have booked an appointment with a dermatologist for Monday. I have never been to a derm before. I have been to numerous doctors who have prescribed me countless antibiotics or BCPs, I have been to a naturopath but at the time could not afford to keep going, I have been to an esthetician which helped for a bit but I was not eating healthily at the time, I have been to acupuncture and taken traditional chinese medicine but to no avail. I have probably spent $1000's on my skin, whether it be skin care products, treatments, medicine etc. and nothing has ever worked for me. Perhaps I am just to fickle and too impatient and move onto the next thing too quickly. I don't know, but I know my diet changes will be for good, because they make sense to me health wise.
                            Anyway I am going to tell the derm up front that I do not want any antibiotics or medicine. I am hoping she might be able to figure out the cause. I do not want to spend a load of money on skin care products again which I have done so many times in the past. I would consider chemical peels, because I had one last year and it made my skin really clear even if it was only for a week or two. I probably can't really afford to be spending more money on my skin but this is how much I care about it.
                            In the end I can already see into the future, a couple of months down the track, I will be writing about how going to the derm didn't work and I'll be looking to try the next best thing. I know I sound negative and I hope I am wrong, I am hoping the difference between this time and all the other times I have been to professionals for my skin, is that I am eating a really clean diet and together with eating paleo and doing superficial treatments will truly help. I really really hope so.

                            Anyway, I'll update again tonight on what I am today and the particulars.


                            • #15
                              14/01/2012- Journal entry

                              So here's what I ate today:
                              Hot Lemon Water
                              B- Halibut with roast pumpkin, roast cauliflower & boiled broccoli- Zinc 50mg, Probiotics (half hour after meal)
                              L- 2x homemade beef burgers, with roast pumpkin, lettuce, cucumber & sauteed zucchini- Vitamin C supp
                              D- Grilled Chicken breast with mashed pumpkin & cauliflower, steamed broccoli & cabbage

                              Still skipped the fish oil and had no bad gas. BM this morning was ok & quick but didn't feel empty after. This afternoon I have been feeling incredibly depressed about my skin, I just can't believe how bad my chin is & loads of pustular type acne. I refuse to go out because I am so embarrassed and I hate that something so trivial & vain can make me this upset, but it does. I cry a lot about it. Luckily I have a wonderful supportive husband who holds my hand and listens to my woes. He is the best. Tonight I added a bit of baking soda to the manuka honey and did a little exfoliant and then after I rinsed that off applied jojoba. Also iced my chin a bit to help calm it.

                              I am going to try and stay off the net so much researching endless things about acne and diet, because it is very bad for my mental state. If I believed everything on the net, everything I eat could be causing my acne and I become orthorexic!

                              Now going to chill out & watch some big bang theory with my husband. Night from Singapore!