Somewhere on my blog I state that I will share with you my struggles. Well today we’re going to talk about an epic fail I made this week!
Ever heard the expression you are what you eat? We often think of this in terms of our body shape, cholesterol, or our blood pressure. What many of us miss is the correlation between what we eat and our complexion.
Growing up as a teen with acne, and then also an adult with acne, I was always taught that diet did NOT affect acne. Although this seemed a little counter intuitive, the good old science of the time had lead physicians to believe that food did not have any baring on how your skin looked.
My acne did not change no matter how often I washed my face, rubbed harsh chemicals on it, lasered it. (Yes you heard correctly, LASER. Please read that in your head with the Austin Powers accent) One thing that did help was a medication called Accutane. I’m not here to bash that medication; you can look it up yourself. It works miracles with some pretty serious risks is the gist of it.
While Accutane did clear my acne, my complexion was always red and irritated, with or without zits all over it. Then my acne came back anyways with pregnancy, and never left again. I tried everything conventional and non conventional alike. I had gotten my face as clear as it could possibly be using a wonderful organic skincare line that I still adore. I did however still have acne.
This changed when I finally cleaned up my diet. Voila! Like magic that crap was gone. I’m not even kidding people. I cleaned my act up for 1 month and my cystic acne under my chin was gone. The redness that I believed to part of my acne scaring (but my husband was convinced was skin irritation) was gone. Boom! Magic! Can’t even believe it. Nor can I believe that I just admitted in writing that my husband was right about a skin issue. It’s ok. He never reads my blog. So just don’t tell him, ok?!
Now, my hippie friends had told me, that acne is always a food intolerance or poor diet. But up until the 2000’s science said different, I had not kept up on this. Nor had any dermatologist bothered to tell me I didn’t need chemical peels. That new research had emerged showing a correlation! So imagine my surprise when this crap just vanished.
This brings me to my epic fail. This week for various reasons I decided to take a break from my homeopathic and herbal system I have been using. Take a time out from my healthy diet and going to the gym. And I basically pigged out on all the things I had not been having. Refined sugar, bread, pasta, pizza, cookies. You name it, I ate it. Oh yeah, and booze. Had me some yummy craft ales! Bam! It felt like overnight I had breakouts all over my chin and neck.
Now, being the astute little science-minded nurse that I am, I do understand that my own results do not necessarily prove to be true for the community at large. That my own findings are simply anecdotal. So I poured through my research and scholarly search engines (not Wikipedia people) and was pleasantly surprised that science does now indeed PROVE that your acne can be caused by diet.
Now I don’t know which of these culprits is causing my own acne, but it seems to be high glycemic index foods. AKA….IT’S THE DAMN COOKIES!
Your diet does not just affect acne. Your diet can affect the over all complexion of your skin, any irritations, the elastin, you name it. Eczema, wrinkles, dryness…..the list goes on and on.
As much as I would love it if everyone would just eliminate all of the bad foods for health reasons, I understand that this is not going to happen. So ya want to know if it’s the cookies, the pizza, or the dairy bothering your beautiful face? That way you can at least avoid them before your big dates?
Try an elimination diet. Here’s how this works. And this doesn’t just go for your skin. This can be used to decipher if certain things are causing flair up of anything crazy going on in that body of yours. Eliminate all the junk. Once your acne or whatever you’re trying to treat clears up, add in one food group at a time.
So lets say you cut everything out and you don’t have any breakouts for a month. Face is looking good. Start eating dairy again. You break out….it’s most likely the diary. You don’t break out, probably not. Move on and add in bread. You get the idea here. Keep in mind that this will not be perfect, since breakouts that you see today may have started building weeks ago.
Here’s a great site about how and why to do an elimination diet. I am actually just stumbling on this blog for the first time and think it’s fantastic! http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12540/the-simple-elimination-diet-that-could-change-your-life-forever.html
For my research lovers out there check out the following article. I’m not going to list the rest of the articles that I read, because they are cited in this article as well.
Happy reading! I hope this can save someone else years of torment and terrible acne treatments.