My Acne Story and Thought Process – How To Get Rid of Acne

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This is Part 1 of How To Get Rid of Acne series. In the next five weeks I will talk about the main causes of acne, six key mistakes I made, my tips for getting clear skin, and, finally, my complete morning and evening skincare routine.

Please check out the video below, which I made on this topic. It briefly touches on all five subjects. Keep reading if you want the full story.

Acne Is Just a Cosmetic Defect? Really? 

Acne is just a cosmetic defect, they say, but oh how it scars our hearts and souls forever. Our faces are the one and only part of our bodies that we never cover (of course, I am talking about the West). 

People also say that eyes are windows to our souls but what if those windows are on an ugly and unhealthy canvas?

What if looking into a mirror every time becomes an excruciatingly painful experience? 

What if when somebody comes really close to us wanting intimacy, we automatically imagine them steering at our spots and take a step back?

Sometimes I think that I failed to make many meaningful and close friendships as I was growing up because I was always taking those steps back and subconsciously pushing away people that were close to me. Because I don’t like anyone seeing me vulnerable or imperfect. Because I am the one who never cries in public! 

I allowed my acne take over my life.

Makeup Addiction Ruled My Life

You are probably going to say, “But acne can be covered up! We live in the 21st century”. Well, when your skin is so dry, flaky and irritated, covering up in most cases can only make you look worse. I was covering up my acne for 12 years, and no one apart from my family and husband ever saw me without makeup. In 12 years! 

I was one of those girls who go out to throw away rubbish wearing foundation, concealer and all that jazz. Many people thought I was vain, but it was only my self-defence. I couldn’t bear showing my unhealthy skin!

If you had asked in those days what my biggest fear was, I would have said, “Losing my luggage with makeup!”. That’s why I never put my makeup in the hold luggage, I had to have it with me at all times. What a slavery it was!

But a Different Life Exists Out There

Let me warn you – this is going to be a lengthy post but I hope that some of you will be able to relate to my acne story, and I would like to think that I’ve managed to inspire those who are going through the same experience. 

There is hope and you will get there! Healthy skin is your birth right! Even if doctors and the cosmetics industry are trying to deny it. 

So grab yourself a cup of herbal tea, sit back and enjoy my story with a very happy ending.

How I Got Rid of My Acne - My Story and Thought Process - Before and After

The Birth of the Monster

I first started getting acne when I was around 16. I had perfect porcelain skin until my mum decided to take me to a dermatologist for a couple of milia under the eyes. If I had known what a horrible snowball effect it would all have, I would have embraced my milia forever, but… 

The dermatologist performed a facial, removed the milia and prescribed a cream with strong glycolic acid – that was it, the beginning of my acne troubles.

As years passed, my skin was getting progressively worse. I tried so many different things and spent so much money on all kinds of treatments. I got excited about a treatment only to get bitterly disappointed a couple of weeks later. I’m sure a lot of you will relate to that .

 How I Got Rid of Acne - My Story and Thought Process - Celebrating Degree with Acne

What Went Through My Desperate Mind and Gradual Road to Recovery

Let me share with you the thought process behind my battle over the years. It might look like a meaningless mix but it is what eventually brought me to the winning combination. 

Those who were laughing and teasing me (that’s you, mum!) will have to bite their tongue because I ended up winning. 

What inspired me to write a list like this was an article on Skinacea. It made me so relieved to know that I wasn’t crazy and I wasn’t alone, so I thought I would share my own.

So here’s my eclectic thought process over the 12 years:

  • “Glycolic Acid is making my skin peel. It feels super dry but the derm said it’s supposed to be like that. Maybe I should try a a strong glycolic peel to speed up the shedding of dead skin.”
  • “After the peel, my skin doesn’t look better – in fact, it looks redder and more irritated. I guess I’ll just quit all acids altogether and try to ignore the problem. Why not use plain cheap skincare for combination/oily skin?”
  • “Skin is super dry during the winter, why don’t I get some nourishing cream?” It works great for a week but then ends up clogging the pores. “Hmmmm, back to skincare for oily skin.”
  • Start working for a luxury department store and get access to discounted high-end skincare brands. End up using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel and Laura Mercier’s cleansing gel. Things kind of plateau for a couple of years. 
  • Laura Mercier stops producing my cleanser, so I am forced to find a new one. I choose Mac’s green cleansing gel – it works so great for the first month that I am acne free for the first time in ages.
  • That Mac’s cleanser dries out my skin so much that my skin is severely dehydrated. I read somewhere about Dermalogica’s Pre-cleanse Oil and decide to give their line a try. My skin goes into oily overdrive after double cleansing every night. I have the worst skin ever, and I also start getting massive cystic acne for the first time. Coincidentally, it’s also the summer of my wedding – shit happens!
  • Scared off any oils, I go back to oil-free cleanser and start trying out various spot treatments: Bare Minerals Blemish Remedy, Origins Spot Remover, Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, etc. At this point, it’s costing me hundreds of pounds but everything is worth it if only it works. Sadly, nothing works. Things get better for a week and then it’s all downhill again.
  • “Clarisonic sounds amazing. Everyone seems to love it and it seems to clear up acne. I have to give it a try!” It works brilliantly for a month – then my skin gets much worse again. Overexfoliation isn’t good!
  • “That Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish sounds amazing. It cleared up a lot of people’s acne and a friend of mine is raving about it, so maybe I should try.” I get hold of it and it works amazingly well – I enjoy clear skin for a month. But one morning i wake up with oozing spots all over my face and extreme dryness. My face is burning and itching so much that I am going nuts. Makeup looks so caked up that my self-confidence goes down the drain.
  • Thinking that maybe it was the eucalyptus oil and cocoa butter in the Liz Earle cleanser, I try the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) for the first time. It only gets worse. 
  • I decide to go the natural route and head over to Lush. I pick up the Herbalism cleanser and some masks. They end up irritating my acne even more – Herbalism has mild scrubbing particles. What did I expect using a scrub day and night as a cleanser? Obviously, my skin is worse than ever and I have numerous cystic bumps along my jaw line.
  • I go on holiday and eat a lot of flour-based meals, as well as drink a lot of beer (which is based on wheat) – my breakouts are worse than ever but I am still not making the link. You know the conventional mantra – food is not responsible for acne! It’s still deeply ingrained in my brain.
  • I get a facial done and the facialist mentions it could be demodex mites. I find a local aromatherapy store – they sell a bottle of natural oils that claim to kill demodex. It does make my skin more comfortable and nourished than ever but I am still getting a lot of spots. I go on holiday to Italy and enjoy glorious skin for a week but on the last day I eat a lot of sweets (plus pizza every night) and I come back home with not so glorious eruption on my cheeks. 
  • I start researching again and find a Chinese ointment that seems to have cured a lot of people’s acne by killing the mites. So I close my eyes to the price and order it. I am so desperate at this point that I don’t care about the cost anymore. 
  • “The Chinese cream definitely improves my skin but it also makes it extremely dry. Spots keep getting worse again as the time goes. I don’t want to deal with unknown Chinese chemicals anymore (did I tell you the cream didn’t even have an ingredient list?).” 
  • I decide to try the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) again. Since the initial success with Liz Earle’s cleanser, I’ve had a gut feeling that using oils is the right route (turns out my gut feeling was right all along) but I have to find a way to make it work. 
  • The OCM irritates my skin badly and I get a cystic breakout again. My skin feels drier than ever. (Now I know it’s because I used too much Castor oil in the mix).
  • I get fed up and go to a dermatologist who prescribes an antibiotic lotion with alcohol. Works great for a week, then makes things much worse than before. Obviously! What did I think?
  • Around this time, I read about the influence of foods and start limiting my sugar intake but don’t limit carbs or fruit. Being a vegetarian, I don’t get a lot of protein at all. On top of the skin problems, my hair starts falling out and my nails get really weak. 
  • I read that BHA acids could unclog pores, so I find Paula’s Choice products and order a lot of them. Again, the skin gets better for a while and then starts getting progressively worse. 
  • Desperate for another fix, I order Dan’s acne.org treatment with benzoyl peroxide. My spots don’t stop, my face looks burned, super red and irritated. I get at least 5 new spots every day. It’s so uncomfortable and painful that it makes me seriously depressed. Sometimes I even think it would be easier if I just died rather than living my whole life like this. I guess that’s my lowest point. I spend hours applying all kinds of products on my skin, hide fanatically from the sun, want to cry from all this burning and itching, and yet at any time I have at least 20 active pimples on my face. Usually I lose count before I count them all. 
  • My skin gets so dry that I realize it’s time to nourish it a bit, so I stop washing it and start moisturizing it exclusively with oils. I cleanse my skin with Bioderma’s sensitive micellar water and then apply a few drops of oil. Instead of keeping my skin more hydrated, the oils seem to be making it even drier. 
  • Go back to Paula’s Choice products but they aren’t working anymore at all. I move to a hot and dry climate – my skin is literally freaking out. Thought a bit of sun and sea water would do wonders but it does not!
  • I try some French pharmacy brands, La Roche-Posay (the famous Effaclar K and Effaclar Duo) and Vichy Normaderm to be precise. There are some improvements but nowhere near enough. I also start developing patches of dermatitis around my lips and under my eyes for the first time ever. 
  • “My skin is getting progressively drier, and my spots seem to get worse on the days when my skin feels super tight and dry.” I decide to try more natural and gentle skincare, and end up ordering some Michael Todd’s testers. They seem to work great, so I order full sizes but by the time they arrive, my skin is again worse than ever! (Does it happen to you as well? You think it works, order a product and a week later it stops working?)
  • I realize that gel cleansers are drying out my skin too much, so I start using Caudalie’s Gentle Cleansing Milk. My skin immediately improves and feels much better. I don’t get cystic acne anymore. But I keep getting those annoying white pustules and little red spots. 
  • A friend tells us about the 80/10/10 diet and we decide to give it a try. Skin is great for the first week and then gets seriously angry with lots of new spots. No wonder why with all that sugar! That deserves another blog post but I will just say that the 80/10/10 diet messed up my body so much that it took 2 months to recover.
  • I discover the Paleo diet and convince my hubby to join me in trying it out. It works like a charm and my skin gets heaps better. My hair gets thicker than ever and stops falling. My nails grow long and strong. I’m exhilarated but I still don’t have perfect skin! And I still don’t feel happy depending on all those chemical products. 
  • I start sunbathing for 15-20 minutes a day to increase my Vitamin D production as I suspect I could be severely deficient after living in the North all my life and hiding from the sun due to all the acids I was using. 
  • I also start taking liquid Omega-3. My skin definitely feels more nourished.
  • Paleo diet is not a diet, it is a lifestyle, so I go on a quest to make all aspects of my life Paleo friendly. I ditch the shampoo and have great results. I ditch fluoride based toothpaste and have healthier teeth and gums. I get inspired to try making my skincare Paleo friendly as well. I start doing the Oil Cleansing Method and start moisturizing with oils. I throw away all my chemical products and enjoy slowly but surely improving skin.
  • Finally, I get rid of the last chemical in my life: the Pill. I decide to go for the natural birth control based on fertility awareness, and, as an unexpected surprise, my skin clears up completely.

The end! Hope I haven’t bored you with this. I now enjoy healthy and content skin. I attribute it totally to the Paleo diet (read here and here for Primal Diet Essentials), the OCM and getting rid of all chemical products (especially alcohol, perfume, silicones and other horrible things in commercial products). 

Healthy Skin Is Just Round the Corner

If anybody had told me a couple of years ago that I would be happily walking around with a makeup free face and I would be proud of my skin, I would have laughed at them and probably would have slapped them on their face.  

But my persistence paid off. Keep trying and you will find a way! Ignore those who laugh at you! Ignore those who say acne is incurable! Healthy skin is your birthright and you will achieve it!

As always, if you have any questions or simply need some support, I am here for you. 

I want you to have healthy skin that you can be proud of! If I can help you achieve it, I will be one step closer to completing my mission.

Does my thought process look familiar? Can you identify yourself in any of my thoughts? What are your favourite methods of fighting acne?

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Comments

  1. I have the occasional break out but I use baking soda to wash my face. That helps to dry the little break outs up and it cleans my pores up too. It is much easier to spend $0.79 for a box of baking soda than $30.00 for some overpriced full of chemical tube that promises a bunch of results that yields none.

  2. wow, what a story! you went through a lot. I’m so happy your story had a happy ending and you were able to find out what works! do you think you are allergic to wheat?

  3. Wow! You went through a lot. Apparently Paleo is helpful for many conditions. I’m trying to make the leap.

  4. Wow, this is quite a story. I’m so glad you persevered! I started using just coconut oil on my face in the shower about a year ago (and a tiny dab of baking soda when I have used sunblock and need some extra cleaning) and completely kicked the (admittedly mild) adult acne I had been dealing with for about 8 years. I never had acne when I was a teen and I had no idea what to do when I started breaking out in my late 20s. I’ve since tossed out all my chemical skin products, too. I have so little faith in the cosmetics industry any more.

  5. Misty – I think baking soda is great for a lot of people but I find it a bit too harsh and drying. For me, nothing works as great as some olive oil mixed with sugar once a week.

  6. Dara – I think most of us are sensitive to wheat to some extent. In my case, I think the main culprit was sugar – and not just conventional white sugar, but also pasta, rice, any grains, fruit, etc. I definitely have to limit their consumption.

  7. Unique Heart – you definitely should make the leap. It’s the best thing my husband and I have ever done for our bodies. If you need any support or advice, get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to help!

  8. Dona B – I’m proud of you! I wish there were more people like you in this world. Perhaps then cosmetics industry would have to rethink what they’re doing. By the way, coconut oil is great!

  9. I think getting rid of chemicals is so important! We have a ways to go but are slowly but surely getting there. It has become important to me as I have had children and learned more about health. The food we eat plays a large role in health too! I think one thing I have learned is to avoid extremes. Diving off the deep end into one lifestyle or another tends to backfire for us.

  10. Tristan – I agree about the extremes. On the other hand, I did dive 100% into Paleo and it has been amazing. I think when it is the right thing for you, you should definitely follow your heart (and your body) and jump straight in.

  11. You look amazing! I luckily haven’t suffered from bad acne, but I am 29 and just recently stopped having crazy breakouts that make me feel like a teenager. I still get them once in awhile, mostly on very warm days that make my face oily. I’m glad you figured out what works for you!

  12. Thanks Amy! We are the same age then. 🙂 I also used to have issues on warm days and when I moved to subtropical climate my skin went crazy. Luckily, with the new skincare routine the weather doesn’t have any impact anymore.

  13. Thanks for sharing your journey – I’m glad you found something that worked for you!

  14. When I read this I felt like you were talking about me the whole time. Thank you for posting this. I will definitely be following you on this journey in hopes to improve my own skin.

  15. Yay! Glad you’ve finally figured things out! I love using OCM (and I add in tea tree oil to help any acne). My skin is almost always perfect (unless I spend the weekend eating junk). Living naturally is definitely the way to go. I love all my homemade and natural products.

  16. Jim – thanks for coming over and commenting!

    Tiffany – I am glad you found it helpful. Feeling that you aren’t alone in your desperate experience is definitely important for acne sufferers. If you need any help/support/someone to talk, definitely get in touch!

    Brittany – tea tree oil is great for most people but for me it causes excessive dryness. Glad it works so wel for you. I really like lavender oil, I use it in absolutely everything around the house. And OCM rocks!

  17. Oh my goodness girl!! You have gone through it. I am having terrible break outs since I started going through menopause. I’ve been on Retin A for a few years and it seems to work really well. Really makes my skin smooth and look healthy.

    Good luck to you and I hope someday the acne will be all gone.

  18. Tammy – I hope it’s already gone forever. I wish you luck with your acne and I hope Retin A will keep working for you!

  19. Way cool story! I’ve struggled with adult acne and I”m 34. My skin was perfect during my last pregnancy and I wasn’t obsessed putting on makeup and benzoyl peroxide products. Sometimes its bed PMS time, but I feel like 9 months without caked on makeup and acne creams, I’m free!! Yay!

  20. Your skin looks amazing! I’ve been slowly but surely phasing the chemicals out of our lives as well – I’ve only been pleased with the results so far! My homemade deodorant was a personal victory. I always have sweat a LOT, and I even tried the prescription deodorants (waste of money). I was so afraid that homemade deodorant would be a huge failure – it’s the freshest I’ve ever been in my life! I once forgot my deo at a friend’s house and borrowed some – YUCK! Now I remember why I HATE regular deodorant!

  21. So happy to see that you didn’t just find a way to rid yourself of something that probably was uncomfortable and bothersome but you’re helping others by telling them how you did it. Love it!

  22. Wow. What a battle! It is amazing what the food we eat and makeup we wear does to our skin! I have been wanting to try Paleo for a while now. I will be checking out the rest of your blog!

    Jennifer from http://www.HappilyUprooted.com

  23. I would SO love clear skin. I’ve had acne since I was 13 I’ve tried pretty much everything except the paleo diet. I’d have to know more about it to be honest before committing since it does seem to be a lifestyle change. I also suspect my acne is really routed to hormones since its so much worse when pregnant and at THAT time of the month and pretty much clears up the rest of the time.

  24. Thanks for sharing the tips. I am glad you found something that’s working for you.

  25. What a huge change due to diet! I have a friend who is cutting out foods that she thinks may cause her acne, but it is a hard and long road to figure out what causes it. Glad the Paleo diet works so well for you!

  26. I used to have acne really bad as a teen and nothing was working and I didn’t really think of trying natural approaches. I was put on minocycline (spelling?) for almost a year cause it was so bad and now I hardly ever get acne. But I’m sure it was hard on my body to take antibiotics for that long.

  27. Thanks a lot for sharing your story. I have decided to go the natural route as well. Hopefully I can see results inside and out 🙂

  28. I too have suffered from acne. It started when I was only 10 and persists today. I find that drinking a lot of water every day helps with breakouts.

  29. You are beautiful (before and now). I am glad you figured out a solution. The pill (although did not cause me acne) took my body for a whirl as well.

  30. Maura – I’m so glad for you! It feels amazing to finally be free, doesn’t it?
    Jaime – it’s so true about the homemade deodorant. I also make my own and it works better than any store-bought one. I’m so glad being natural is working for you too!
    Kristin – when I was suffering and desperately looking for a solution, blogs and forums were what eventually led me to the right path, so I hope I can help someone with mine too.
    Jennifer – food is really the most important factor in our health and appearance. I can definitely recommend Paleo – it’s been amazing for me and my family.

  31. I think I have more acne now than when I was a teen. Thanks for the great tips. I’ve also changed my eating and lifestyle habits and have tossed chemically laden foods and products and my skin has really cleared up since.

  32. Elizabeth – I definitely recommend reading a few books about Paleo before commiting. I would recommend Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson for a start. What I did though was read books about vegetarian eating, fruitarian diets and then meat eaters as well just to get to know the arguments of different camps. I believe you can only make an informed decision if you know the arguments of all sides. Good luck!

  33. Lail – thanks for stopping by and commenting!
    Kasey – I wish your friend lots of luck! It certainly takes forever but it’s all worth it. It’s very much about your lifestyle, exercising and skincare routine as well.

  34. Linda – that’s cool! I’m sure you will start seeing great results and you will feel and look better than ever! Let me know if you need any help in your natural journey.

    Marissa – definitely true about water. But I would also add limitng carbs/sugars/fruit, exercising regularly and making sure your skin isn’t dried out. 🙂

  35. Katrina – thanks so much! The Pill is really evil. I find that I can tolerate fruit so much better since I stopped taking it. At the end of the day, insulin is just another hormone and they all affect each other in more ways than we know.

    Jessica – I’m so glad to hear it. Well done! 🙂

  36. Jacquelyn – I’m so glad antibiotics worked for you! Yay! Unfortunately, for most people they only make it worse a few months down the line, so it’s definitely worth looking for more natural alternatives.

  37. oh man i coulda used this info when i was a teen with acne…

  38. Andrea – pity I wasn’t around then! 🙂 Seriously speaking though, it’s so important to spread this kind of info to teenagers around us as they are so vulnerable and easily brainwashed by the industry.

  39. I def. agree! Diet is everything. Treat your body like a temple. Great article and glad you found a solution for you!

  40. Stacey – glad you like it! And I love the idea of treating our body like a temple!

  41. Way to persevere! I don’t have acne but I have other health challenges that took years of research and finding the diet and supplements that have helped. A lot of work but it is so worth it isn’t it?

  42. Isn’t it amazing how different each of our skins need to be healthy. I’m glad you’re on the way to figuring out what works for you.

    • At the same time we are more similar than we think. Nutritious and healthy food as well as natural skincare works for everyone I guess. Thanks for commenting!

  43. I’m so glad you were able to clear up your acne!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

    -Rebecca @ Love at First Book

  44. Awesome!! I suffer from adult acne. And I have ever since I was in my early twenties. I understand absolutely everything you’ve written here. Thanks for sharing your story and your solution. I’m paying attention!

  45. WOW! This is so interesting! I’m so glad you finally found the solution! I bet it is such a relief to have your skin back!

  46. Amazing story! I wonder…my sister in law had super clear skin until she got pregnant. It’s been two months since the baby was born, but she still is battling the acne. I’m not sure what kind it is, but it is so bad that it has actually deformed her face a little…I’m sure that’s not the right word, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Any ideas? Do you think it could be her diet too? And why all of a sudden?

    • I think you probably could say “deformed” – that’s exactly what it feels and looks like when you have acne. It happens to a lot of women, and of course it’s related to hormones. In my opinion, all hormones are related, and because sexual hormones go crazy during pregnancy, it’s possible that insulin,cortisol and other hormones go out of control as well. Therefore, her body might be struggling with the food that was perfectly fine before pregnancy. She could try the Paleo diet or at least eat a lot of good quality protein and healthy fats, as well as limit carbs and eliminate sugar. She could also be dehydrating her skin too much with any acne products – sometimes it’s better to do less and perhaps avoid washing with water. It really depends on her individual circumstances but I hope she’ll be able to get her flawless skin back soon!

    • Thank you so much. I’ll pass this all along to her. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m hoping it will be able to help her.

    • Pleasure to help. I wish her lots of success in winning the battle against acne!

  47. That is great that you finally found something that works. I’m in the process of getting rid of chemical beauty products. I still have scarring from back acne, when I was a teen I didn’t want to wear bathing suits. I think natural foods and products are the answer for many health problems. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Thank you for commenting! Using natural products is so rewarding – plus, they cost a fraction of the cost and work so much better, don’t you think?

  48. What a great story. I do not suffer from acne but I am sure your post will be very helpful to someone who does. I definitely have been thinking about a Paleo diet but for entirely different reasons.

    • Paleo diet is great. If you aren’t sure, you can always try it out for 21 days – I bet you will not want to go back. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  49. wow congrats! your story is very interesting and I’m glad to see your skin is acnee free now!
    I know it can be a nightmare. It’s very difficult to find the products that work great on YOUR skin. It also took me a lot of time. I tend to have a super sensitive and dry skin.

    • I have sensitive and dry skin as well, and it can be a nightmare sometimes. But my skin is wonderful at letting me know if something I am doing is bad for the body, so I can. ‘t complain. Thanks for stopping by!

  50. Wow what a story! I’m allergic to soy so as a result I haven’t worn makeup for abotu 20 years. I’ve never worn foundations regularly (does my wedding day count?). I wash my face with water only. Occasionally I will grab something like the bar of soap in the shower but that’s it. I copied my husband and it works. I don’t have acne. I exfoliate every now and then too with facial cloths. My skin is very dry so I use Weleda cream for babies or the almond one. They only have like 3 ingredients in them so my skin can handle it.

  51. Thank you for sharing your journey. I have not struggled with acne however I write for parents of teens and they would love to hear your tips. Your skin looks beautiful and more importantly healthy.

    I also enjoyed the users comment on baking soda…never thought about its practical use for the skin.

    • Great! If I can help parents of teenagers in any way, I would love to do it! And baking soda is great, it’s definitely a great scrub. Thanks for stopping by!

  52. I agree with others, what a story! I consider myself fortunate to have pretty clear skin most of the time. I get my one to three “period pimples” and that’s usually it. One time, I decided to use anti-acne cleanser in a hope to avoid that monthly minor breakout. I ended up with the worst breakout ever! I really do think that something in those cleansers cause more breakouts.

    I’m glad you found something that works for you!

    • It’s so true! I think it could be one of the main reasons why teenagers get acne in the first place. The society puts pressure on them to start using skincare, and they succumb. It was certainly like that for me too – I had perfectly clear skin until I started using products. Thanks for such an interesting comment!

  53. wow, I couldn’t believe how long the list went of all the things you have tried and done! Amazing journey and hopefully gives others the perseverance to keep trying until something works! Stopping by as part of the blog-a-thon.! Emily

  54. Great tips! I have adult acne and it sucks! Your skin looks awesome!

  55. Wow, this is a very thorough post. Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Faces are important and people are nasty with words. Thanks for helping so many people with your words!

  56. Thank you for sharing your story. I haven’t had to deal much with acne but have had some issues with eczema periodically that I often thought might be food related.

  57. Wow! What a journey to have to have gone through. I’m so happy it paid off. I ate paleo for a while and really enjoyed it. I now eat a little bit differently, with very sparing grains, and only sprouted when I do, or a brown rice pasta or such and no sugar. It’s amazing how my body responded to it. At first my face broke out a ton and then as my body leveled out and became used to my new lifestyle my face was brighter and happier. So was the rest of my body.

  58. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey!! You’ve really paid close attention to your battles and I think that this post will help a lot of women still struggling with acne! I have hormonal related bouts of acne and this summer developed a hormone related discoloration of my skin in certain areas when exposed to sun. Makeup does absolutely NOTHING to cover it. Its very frustrating. You have inspired me to learn more about the Paleo diet as well!

    • I’ve read an article somewhere a while ago that it’s due to some kind of fungus on the skin, and tea tree oil is very beneficial. If that’s the case, Paleo diet or at least limiting sugar/carbs should help as well as sugar is what fungus eats! I hope you’ll sort it out soon, and if you do, I would love to know how you did it! My mother-in-law has always had the same issue.

  59. Wow! You’ve been through a lot. I have perioral dermatitis and have changed to fluoride free toothpaste and eliminated sulfates from my detergents, soaps and shampoos and have seen good results. Hope you continue to see clear skin

    • Great! Well done for doing that! I also saw great results when I got rid of all fluoride and sulphates – at least the dryness and peeling were definitely diminished. Thanks for sharing!

  60. Wow! You sound like me (trying all those products). Could you use coconut oil for the OCM? Or would you recommend olive oil over anything else?

    • Kristine, I think a lot of us have gone through similar things. What a waste of time and money! If only the solution was easier to come by.

      Regarding the coconut oil, I’ve never used it myself because of all those bad reviews online. It’s famous for blocking pores or drying skin out for a lot of people. On the other hand, extra virgin olive oil isn’t recommended for acne prone skin either but for me it’s been a true miracle. I wouldn’t use anything else now on my face or body.

      So my advice is try out a few different oils – soome lighter, some more nourishing and some in between. Then choose what your skin likes the best.

  61. Hi Vita,

    I’ve been reading your posts about acne for a while, and keep coming back to find some more!

    I’ve had a terrible time with horrific acne over the last while, getting much worse in the last 2-3 months. I’ve been eating paleo for the most part for over 3 years, but this year, with a change to self-employment, the sugar has crept in which I was blaming for an increase in spots. In an effort to slay the sugar dragon I decided to do a 21DSD in October, which I did. Within the first week my acne got worse, much worse. Huge, painful, almost boil-like spots were erupting all over my chin, and sometimes around my top lip. I did quite a bit of reading amongst my paleo go-to experts and there was a strong link between acne and constipation – something I have long suffered from, but improved a bit with paleo. On the 21DSD there was a point where I hadn’t been to the loo for 10 days – you can imagine that might have an effect on your face!

    So a month ago I started taking a good quality magnesium supplement and Prescript Assist probiotics. The magnesium seems to help for a time, then I get blocked up again. The 21DSD removed sweet ‘tasting’ things from the diet too, including sweet potatoes, which I am sure is something that helps my digestion move. So between the sugar dragon returning this year, and the 21DSD, I feel I have done some major damage to my gut and therefore my face.

    I used you OCM for a while, which seemed to help draw out the blemishes, but I kept getting them. And it got to the stage where it was too painful to do OCM as my spots are so sore.

    I also think stress has a role to play for me, and it’s something I’m not sure how to manage well. I do yoga and try to get a good amount of time in bed, but it’s not something I handle well.

    SO, quite a journey, which isn’t getting any better! Have you tried auto-immune paleo? It’s a bit extreme but I think it may be the way forward with several reintros to assess what the problem is.I have dabbled in it before, and think I am sensitive to nightshades as I notice my scalp is itchier when I eat them. Alcohol is another sensitivity, which I struggle to give up. Think AIP is my next stop!

    • Hi Shona, I’ve tried the autoimmune Paleo and I’m not a fan In fact, it was the first thing I tried when I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis. I tried to go the elimination route, but I realized it’s not the right way. I ended up having to eliminate more and more things and it didn’t really help me much, so what’s the point? I don’t think the Paleo diet is a healthy diet, especially for women In fact, I blame it for the majority of my current health problems (which I’ve since pretty much fixed with Ayurveda). For constipation, have you ever tried Triphala? It’s an ayurvedic blend of three powdered fruit and it’s amazing for that. The only thing I still have problems with is excess fructose in fruit. I think it’s because genetically I’m not geared towards eating fruit all year long (I’m from Northern Europe). Experimentation and listening to your body will eventually give you all the answers! Regarding the OCM, were you using it too often perhaps? xx

  62. Hi,
    What is your recipe for scar treatment.
    Thanks,
    Martha

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