I grew up eating a pretty standard American diet. My mother was health conscious, so certain foods were limited at that time, but all in all, I ate pretty much everything growing up. We were not allowed to buy much in the way of sugary or salty prepackaged snacks, but I still managed to eat plenty of that junk one way or another.
So, when I approached family members, at the age of 24, with the crazy idea that my acne may be at lest somewhat related to what I was eating, the idea was pretty much dismissed. The medical community had already determined that acne was not caused or related in any way to diet. Never mind the fact that the medical community still did not understand acne or have any long term effective treatments. Dermatologists had been telling me for years that diet did not matter. The whole thing remained a mystery, yet society remained keen on shunning the potential acne/lifestyle connection.
I was suspicious….
As I embarked on a mission to clean up my diet (this was 8 years ago), I removed many foods that had been unquestioned, unexamined staples in my diet for years. I was determined to see if my skin felt or looked any different by changing what I put into my body.
None of it made this acne stuff made any sense to me then. I understood that hormones played a role and I understood that genetics played a role, but I had no idea how to make sense of it all and clearly my dermatologists didn’t know either. They did their best, but they never cured my acne. I was at the mercy of the next pill or cream and that was that. I had no control.
I decided that changing my diet was something I did have control over. So I began experimenting…what did I have to lose anyway!
I began by removing the big offenders right off the bat, sugar, wheat and dairy. Within a couple of weeks, a certain type of acne, that had been a real nuisance, began to disappear. I had a lot of different types of acne at all times, ranging from cystic bumps, pustules, non- inflamed comedones, black heads, and little red “rashy” bumps. The “little bumps” as I referred to them were my worst nightmare and the last type of acne to invade my face after years of suffering. The little bumps were always irritated and itchy. Sometimes my entire face would itch and it would take all of my strength not to attack my face. While they were the last to appear, they were the first to go. They were reactive and reminded me of a “reaction.”
My studies continued and time marched on. My diet became ever more interesting and healthful. I found that I would go through cycles where I would have clear skin for a few days and I would eat something offending and my skin would quickly invite back the little bumps. There seemed to be a threshold with the bumps and if i caught them early enough, I could ward off a fully blow facial outbreak, but too little diligence and boom, it was too late.
I began to see a connection between my sugar consumption and the onset of the little bumps. Eventually, I determined that I had, at the very least, developed a sensitivity to sugar. Whatever the case, I could see what would eventually happen to my skin if I ate sugar on a daily basis for a week or so and it wasn’t pleasant. I remember declaring to my family that I had developed a sensitivity to sugar, for lack of a better word, and it was difficult for anyone to conceive of the idea that something I once ate regularly, could now be aggravating to me – let alone a factor in my acne.
This went on for years. Clear skin for a couple of days, followed by a full blown acne breakout, including cysts, whiteheads and little itchy bumps. Eventually, I began to have more control over my diet and I would have longer stretches of clear skin in between. Eventually, I realized what was happening was that my body was detoxifying on a regular basis and by limiting the offending foods, my stomach lining was able to begin to heal from years of inflammation resulting from eating pro-inflammatory foods that were aggravating my body and skin. A compromised gut lining leaves your gut porous and leaky. In other words, it allows toxins and small food particles to seep through the stomach lining and into the blood stream, causing an “allergic” type reaction. Once the stomach lining heals, your gut will no longer be “leaky” and often the once offending food can be reintroduced to be enjoyed in small reasonable quantities. Yes, all is not lost. You will be able to enjoy a bar of chocolate made with cane sugar, a cupcake made with glutenous flour and cheese of your choice once healing has occurred. The funny thing is that you may no longer even want that stuff once you start eating and making delicious skin loving foods like to one’s you see above from Acne Beautiful’s Kitchen!
There are many facets to the acne/food connection and they are unique to the individual as well. This is why a clear skin diet takes time to implement, but it is an acne sufferers best friend. Acne Beautiful’s program has a strong nutritional foundation for its clients to follow. WE DON’T MESS AROUND WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR SKIN.