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!
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.
great! someone else who's trying to go primal in Singapore glad i'm not alone...
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 at 12:55 AM.
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.
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 at 03:08 AM.
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!
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.
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.
@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!
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