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Acne?! Help!!

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  • Acne?! Help!!

    Hi all,

    I've been eating primally for around 6 months (and eating relatively clean prior to that for another year or so, albeit with grains, etc.). I have had acne for a long time, but it seems to have gotten worse lately and I cannot figure out what the issue is. I strongly believe it is environmental, although I suppose it could be hormonal. Assuming that it is diet-based, though, I cannot figure out what it could be.

    I eat totally grain and dairy free (except ghee). I also avoid nightshades and recently had cut out onions and garlic, as well. I eat approximately 60-30-10 fat/protein/carb, though I tend to eat more than is recommended in terms of protein. I'm working on that, because my nutrient analysis showed that I was getting upwards of 150 grams of protein daily, which is pretty high for me- I'm 5'4" and 108 lbs.

    It is absolutely driving me crazy, and really killing my self-esteem. I feel like I'm eating SO well- how can my skin be so poor?? I also drink lots of water (and little else except 2 cups of organic coffee a day). I have been avoiding chocolate completely for the past week with no real change. I am also trying to incorporate more nuts in the hopes that the mono fats will help. I unfortunately cannot do coconut oil at all because it makes me nauseous and starving- I don't know why, but it does.

    In any case, I'm struggling here. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated....


  • #2
    What kind of soap are you using on your face?

    Your should be using Ivory

    The Product
    Ivory soap is a simple white bar of soap that is 99.44% pure. The soap is available in packages of 3, 4, 12, 16, and 24 bars. The soap is also available in 4.5 ounce bath bar and 3.1 personal bar sizes. The pack that I usually purchase contains 12 bath bars (each bar weighs 4.5 ounces). The price varies in price from $3.00 – 4.00 and is widely available at drug and grocery stores.

    Ivory Claims
    - The soap that floats.
    - 99.44% pure.
    - Simple. Naturally clean.
    - Leaves skin feeling naturally clean.
    - Contains no dyes or heavy perfumes or lotions.



    • #3
      Personally, the best thing I've done for my face is stop using soap. I just use a wet wash cloth. My skin also tends toward being dry, so at night I rinse and slather in coconut oil (you don't have to eat it!). Also, this is an obvious one, but the less I touch my face the better it looks.
      I definitely empathize with your frustration, trying to find a dietary cause for acne within a diet that's already clean is laaaaame. Sometimes I think my skin breaks out for no other reason than to spite me. Another thing you might consider is fish oil, if you aren't already taking it. People seem to have mixed reactions to fish oil, with some claiming it actually causes them to break out. Personally, my skin seems to improve when I do fish oil consistently - maybe because it balances out an out-of-whack n6-n3 ratio?


      • #4

        One more thing. You need to take 10,000 IU Daily of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is a required hormone to optimize your immune system.
        Epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency sweeping the world
        MOTHER HE

        You should also take any popular multi-vitamin.
        More on Vitamin D below:



        • #5
          Acne has been the bain of my existence for over a decade. I would recommend adding that onion and garlic back to your diet. Great anti-fungal, anti-biotic properties. Add probiotics and consider the possibility that you have a candida issue. Take an herbal candida cleanse product and see what happens. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if your acne tempers off. Also, you could have an autoimmune issue with the nuts you're eating. Nuts aren't always the great thing they are purported to be, especially not in the quantities consumed by many people.


          • #6
            You may want to cut out the ghee and use coconut oil instead. My brother-in-law complains of breaking out when he eats dairy. He has been aware of this sensitivity for a long time now and reports that ghee is the absolute worst for his skin. He thinks it may be a concentration of fat soluble hormones in the ghee, but that is just his best guess. You might give it a try. Good luck!


            • #7
              Definitely wash with coconut oil - just rub it all over your face in the shower, rinse and pat dry. Works really well if you have dry, acne-prone skin.

              Also, don't know why but when I added in vit C and quercetin for my allergies, my acne got much better.


              • #8
                First, what type of acne are we talking about? Deep, cystic acne that takes 4-6 weeks for a pimple to surface, or whiteheads/blackheads? Where does the acne distribute: around the mouth/chin or cheeks/forhead?

                I struggled with acne for years, the deep cystic kind. What has completely revolutionized my skin was converting to the oil cleansing method. I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, and only occasionally use the soap. Google DHC skincare. They also offer a 'travel size' option of their basic skincare regime, basically a month's supply. That will give your skin time to adjust and see if it really works for you.


                • #9
                  Thanks so much for all of the replies!! A couple add-on points:

                  -My acne is mostly concentrated on my left cheek- the rest of my face is fine, for the most part. The main issue I have is little white bumps, which I suspect may be milia (but this is only based on my spending hours on the internet, which can be totally pointless, of course and I may be wrong). But either way, they are little white bumps that don't have a "head" really, for the most part, though it is often red and inflamed around that area.

                  -I have been using the most mild soap VERY sparingly for the past week or so. It is a basic glycerine base with no fragrance or anything. I also started using Yes to Carrots exfoliator, but I'm trying to use it only every other day or so, primarily to clean out any clogged pores.

                  -I think I should definitely check out a probiotic and also the idea of washing with coconut seems like a good thing.

                  -I cut out ghee as of yesterday and am replacing it with almond oil.

                  I don't know why, but I really think it has something to do with not enough mono fats. My other concern is the excess protein, so here's my line of attack for the next week:
                  -continue PB style eating with no dairy at all, even ghee
                  -include more mono fats
                  -STICK WITHIN PROTEIN GUIDELINES, so no more than 100g (seriously, I generally was averaging around 165g every day)

                  I'm also sort of looking into the whole acidity/alkaline thing. I don't know much about it, but I looked it up and I feel like SO much of what I eat is acidic- coffee, meat, eggs, ghee are staples, you know? Anyone know anything about it?

                  Thanks again! I just want to figure this out and feel better about myself.


                  • #10
                    How old are you? If you're a teen some of it can simply go with the territory. That said, you can mitigate and minimize the problem.

                    First, don't use soaps that dry out your skin. Olive oil soap works really well. Cleans without drying. Also, avoid astringents -- they dry our your skin terribly and leave you prone to more breakouts. Finally, AVOID sugar. I find that a bit of extra sugar in my diet gets quickly revealed by a deterioration in my skin (and I'm in my 40's!).

                    It's on my mind this morning as there was a bowl of M&M's lying around this weekend... hard beasties to resist...
                    Life is short: Void the warranty.


                    • #11
                      Sorry, I guess I forgot to mention- I'm almost 30!


                      • #12
                        Non-dietary stuff to keep in mind: wash your pillow cases & vacuum your pillows (or buy new ones if they're old) regularly to get rid of excess oil & dead skin that may get taken back up while you're sleeping! Don't touch your face!
                        Depression Lies


                        • #13
                          Hey, I completely know how you feel. I am coming towards the end of a bad breakout - my scars are disappearing.
                          My main issue is that I look for blemishes and blocked pores, once I find them I cannot leave them. They have to be squeezed - which means I break the skin and make it worse. I cant help it! My boyfriend is constantly slapping my hand away from my face.

                          Anyway, I have spent tonnes of money going to dermatologists, but I don't want to go back as all they do is put me on antib's.

                          I tend to breakout when I eat too many nuts (especially almonds) and blueberries. Supposedly these are quite common triggers.
                          I would also advise you against using coconut oil, as if you have milia already it is likely you will get more. The particles of coconut oil are quite large in comparison to other oils and can block pores.
                          You should definitely try the oil cleanse method. I do it every night with a muslin cloth and it does work.

                          Good Luck!


                          • #14
                            Little white bumps with no heads - sounds like comedones. Do they start to itch when they are close to the surface? Do you scratch them, squeeze them trying to get them out?

                            Do you wear makeup? Powder? Moisturizer? Anything?
                            Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!


                            • #15
                              Do you sleep on your left side? If so, try changing your pillow cases daily. Also, you may be reacting to the soap used on your laundry. Switch to a free and clear type.

                              FWIW, glycerin soaps were the WORST for me and acne. My skin would totally spaz out and I would get flaky, dry, bumpy, itchy skin. Yuck.