Acne has been an unwanted part of my life since I was 12 years old – not always horrible but always present. In fact, I honestly can’t remember a time when my face was completely clear. Not fun.
In an effort to reduce/eliminate the bumps, I’ve tried numerous products over the years – Clearasil, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Noxzema, Proactiv, and a number of prescription medications as well, including birth control. My most recent purchases were a Desert Essence face wash and blemish stick, of which I’m still using the face wash. As far as acne lotions are concerned, I’ve gone back to the Proactiv Repairing Lotion because the flare ups were getting really bad again.
After going to a dermatologist and learning that my acne is hormonal, I pretty much gave up my [lifelong] dream of having clear skin one day. My doctor prescribed Spironolactone to help with excess oil production as well as the blemishes, and generally speaking, it’s been helping. But just not as well as expected.
With a wedding coming up, I knew I had to try something different. In January, I started researching new acne products and even found a few that I wanted to try. Around the same time, I made some dietary changes – not at all for acne reasons. In fact, one of the changes wasn’t even something I intended to do.
Change #1: So, as I stated in my January goals post, increasing my water consumption was a top priority for me. And believe me when I say, the H20 has been flowing in these parts! On average, I probably drink anywhere from 64 to 80 ounces of water a day.
Change #2: Since January 1st of this year, I’ve eliminated artificial sweeteners from my diet – no more Diet Coke, no more Splenda in my coffee and yogurt, etc. I’ve always known that a little bit of real sugar is better for me than fake zero calorie sweeteners, but I loved the idea of no added calories. But my mindset has slowly changed to where I now opt for raw cane sugar in my coffee and yogurt and accept that a little bit of sugar won’t cause me to gain weight.
Unintentional Change #3: Late last year I started buying a carton of almond milk every week along with a half gallon of skim milk. I enjoyed almond milk in my smoothies and protein creations and skim milk in my cereal and with my meals. Slowly, I started phasing out skim milk, and now I only buy almond milk. It’s really grown on me! I had no intention of doing so – it just kind of happened.
Now, you’re probably wondering, where the heck I’m going with all this.
Here’s my hypothesis – I believe that because of some combination of the three changes listed above, my face has started to clear up and stay clear. I have ZERO evidence or proof that this is indeed the case, but it’s the only thing I can come up with. Since January, there’s been a noticeable improvement in my skin, and I can’t attribute it to any new products because my regimen has been the same for the past six to eight months. If anything, the improvement may just be due to change #1 and #3 because there have been studies done on the effects of increased water consumption and decreased daily consumption on acne, but who knows, #2 may also be a factor.
I’ve always thought that my acne problems were genetically passed down to me, but over the past two months, I’ve seen awesome results by making three easy and healthy changes – more water, no Splenda, and less dairy*. Experimentation has been the name of the game for the past 16 years, and since this experiment is good for my body and my face (so far), I’m a happy camper! Again, I have no proof that these things are directly linked to my clearer skin – only time will tell. I’ll keep y’all posted.
*Eliminating skim milk from my diet is the only change I’ve made with regard to my dairy consumption. I still eat small amounts of cheese and yogurt a few times a week.
All I’m saying is this better not be me 20-30 years down the line!
Do you have acne prone skin? Have dietary changes helped your situation? Any discoveries of your own to share?