I had a breakout 3 months ago while on a semi raw vegan diet. It prompted me to switch over to 100% raw.
When first starting I was doing a lot of green juice and it cleared up my skin immediately. After my skin was clear I started to go on 80/10/10 (but not natural hygenist meaning I eat onions and some spices occasionally like cinnamon/cumin for some dressings) for the past 2 months. There have been days when I ate more fat than 10% (went to a couple of raw potlucks..), but for the most part have been pretty stable on it.
My acne seems to be coming back in full force, though mostly confined to one area. I've had acne on/off my life and was hoping that being 100% raw would keep it away. Apparently something is off.
I've stopped juicing daily. I exercise 5-6 days a week (weight lifting, yoga). I drink about 3-4 liters of water a day.
The last thing is that recently my sleep has been less than 8 hours a night (btwn 7-8), and I've had a bit of stress from work over the last 3 weeks.
The other thing I changed is that I no longer wash the majority of my skin with soap (only the critical areas) as I have dry skin issues.
Can I attribute this to stress, spices, or the soap? I'm trying to figure out what exactly is going on here and it's a bit frustrating. It also seems like my skin is not as taut (and more raggedy looking) as it was a few months ago since I've significantly lowered my fat intake. I still try to get as much omega 3 from hemp/chia/flax on salads at night. I've been starting a zinc supplementation over the last 3 days to see if that helps.
After my skin was clear I started to go on 80/10/10 (but not natural hygenist meaning I eat onions and some spices occasionally like cinnamon/cumin for some dressings) and have been very religious about it for the past 2 months. There have been days when I ate more fat than 10% (went to a couple of raw potlucks..), but for the most part have been pretty stable on it.
We recommend that if you cannot make a meal out of it, do not eat it. Things like cinnamon for example, we cannot eat enough of these things at one time to satisfy our caloric needs. If we did manage to do so, theses would be toxic and poisonous for us. If things are poisonous in large amounts, they are poisounous in small amounts.
One of the ways the body tries to remove these toxins is through the skin which can contribute to acne.
Unfortunately, one day of eating toxins or high fat might translate into several days of an acne breakout.
I am not sure about the soap thing. I would assume using less soap is a good thing.
Try to get 8-12 hours of sleep a night. A well fed and well rested body is very resilient to the problems that come our way in life, and we will naturally feel less stressed.
Hope the stress and acne get better. Cheers!
In Peace, PK
Nice reply PK!
Yep, PK said it. Acne is nothing more than the body ridding itself of toxins. It'll just take time. A couple years ago, I took some awful acne medication (lot of nasty side effects, I can't imagine what it did to my body) for six months, and afterwards, my acne was completely gone. Then I went raw and the acne came back, and then eventually went 811 and it came back even worse. Now 4 1/2 months 100% 811 my skin is almost entirely clear. Moral of the story is you just can't hide or cover up toxicity in the body. Given enough energy to do so, your body is going to get rid of it somehow.
Arthur, I strongly suggest you read up on natural hygiene and abide by that. Excitotoxins like onions and spices can have a very negative effect on the body. Check out this and this. That is an amazing site on raw food and natural hygiene.
Besides getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night (9-12 would be better, 9-10 being a good average), another thing I can suggest is maybe stay away from overtly fatty foods for a while (all nuts, seeds, fatty fruits). I've gone a couple months without any overtly fatty foods before, and now I never have them more than once a week. Adding in flax seeds and chia seeds for omega 3's will be unnecessary if you simply lower your fat intake. It's all about the ratio of omega 6/3 fats. If you simply eat a sufficient amount of low fat fruits and add in some greens, you'll automatically be pretty close to the ideal 1:1 omega 6/3 ratio. Don't worry if you have a bit more omega 6 by doing this though. You can add in a small amount of flax/chia seeds every now and then if you feel it would help however. Remember, small amounts of omega 3 rich foods like chia and flax in a low fat diet can quickly throw off your omega 6/3 ratio. More omega 3's are not always better, quite the opposite in fact. Check your ratio by typing in everything you eat into CRON-o-Meter.
The last thing I would recommend is not taking any vitamin/mineral supplements unless you have verified via a blood test that you a deficient. Zinc isn't water soluble like vitamin B12, and too much can easily throw off the other nutrients in your body. I don't think that a zinc supplement will help with your acne. This is simply toxins coming out of your body (a good thing!) as nicely explained here.
The acne will get better Arthur, I promise! Just keep eating enough fruit and keep your fat intake low. Your body knows what to do.
Chris Randall, great info on acne, omegas & zinc. Been struggling with acne since going raw myself & this is very helpful.
For skin to work properly (as the detox organ it is), the site you linked to also stresses the importance of one good sweat a day, & dry skin brushing.
Wierd - this post was much longer but got deleted in the posting proccess somehow.
Was saying also, Arthur, that I'd recommend trying ZERO face soap then waiting a bit for your face to adjust to that. If you do choose to keep up the soap, please use as gentle, natural & non-toxic a choice as possible if you aren't already.
Also, I've had pretty subtle & short-lived, but nice, results from simple, 100% natural skin masks. Such as lemon juice, yogurt, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, oats, strawberries, etc.
The point of skincare products is to cleanse (that's easy & done by just water or at most a verrrry gentle, natural soap), exfoliate (a towel does that or to avoid the abrasive effect ask me or Google for a list of natural AHAs & BHAs... as popular as it is I don't especially recommend baking soda btw cause they say it screws up the pH balance of your skin), kill germs (like raw honey) or moisturize (but let's get more moisture internally through water & fruit instead & keeping unnecessary stuff off our faces so a healthy texture naturally arrives).
Yet I really love the natural hygiene concept of just letting the body eliminate how it wants where it wants without blocking & redirecting it, without manipulating & medicating, so I don't really think any of that stuff is needed. Yet most of it couldn't really hurt, right? & much of it gives some nice results. Except I don't use aloe vera on my face anymore after hearing a natural hygienist say aloe is toxic so acne smoothing out in reaction to it is just a defense against the toxicity & the toxins your acne was trying to eliminate then just get driven further into the body to cause other problems (or come back as acne again later). Hopefully other simple, natural mask ingredients like the ones I listed above don't cause similar problems... I'd need to research more to find out... maybe someone else knows.
Lastly, since sweating is so important for letting skin release lots of toxins, I'd think face steaming is a smart, if not the smartest, way to "spot-treat" the face. Plus, if we let our whole body sweat daily, I'd think logically that there would be less toxins left to require acne as "vehicles" to leave the body in.
Sorry for the 3 posts in a row if that's annoying :/ Just thought of something else I want to mention. If you believe in the emotional root of stuff, acne (like constipation) is about holding onto negative feelings, repressing them. So positive self talk, meditation & therapeutic methods based around letting go & expressing should help acne to some extent. Heart-to-heart talks about your troubles, a long cry, long music-/art-making session.
I did alot of research on acne within the past few months so I have even more thoughts if you want em - just ask, especially if you have specific questions. Of course I recently have developed some new acne myself so still working on this stuff myself.
But I think encouraging elimination/detox is quite key: pooping (811 diet), peeing (enough water), sweating (exercise, sauna, hot weather, hot yoga, face steaming), exfoliation (body brushing, maybe natural abrasives/AHAs/BHAs on face), emotional expression. & all the basic health stuff too - rest, sun, low stress, fresh air, exercise, meaningful work, supportive relationships, play, yadda-yadda :) :) :)
Thank you Joce for all the info. I believe that part of my acne is stress induced. Research articles online say that there's a definite connection. I did notice that my stress has been pretty high the last few weeks in addition to my sleep being lower than I'd prefer.
I did read about soap stripping the skin of its natural oil and actually making it acne prone so I've stopped that as of 2 weeks ago. My 'bacne' is in remission and it's been a positive sign. However I think my face is still getting adjusted. I haven't had ANY pimples on my forehead for several years so I've been getting a little discouraged knowing that something is going on but I can't figure out what!
The thing about exercise is that I don't think I sweat enough. Weight lifting doesn't really make me sweat a whole bunch (not like running a few miles), but it's something I am focused on right now. I also do yoga a few days a week but the studios I practice in have been lower in temp lately due to the weather, so I don't really work up a sweat.
I don't trust myself with exfoliation; I'm afraid it might harm my skin even more!
That's interesting about the Aloe Vera. I've used it on some parts of my face to some success, but I find that leaving it on for too long can cause a breakout.
ACV has been pretty good to me but I'm wary of stripping too much stuff away from my skin so I use it sparingly.
Thanks Chris. I came to 811 from a cooked vegan diet which was pretty substantial in fat (lots of cooked/sauteed/fried things with lots of oil). I feel like I've come a long way in the last few months I've been doing 811 and I went a couple of days without eating any overts and felt really imbalanced; I just didn't want anymore fruit on those days. I've read from several sources that fats are supposed to enhance assimilation of the minerals from the greens which is why I keep them in my salads at night.
I take vitamin d (very low on my last blood test) and b12. I just started zinc a few days ago after monitoring my food intake and being consistently between 30-50% of my RDA for several weeks. I also read about Zinc being a factor for skin health which is why I started.
When your acne got worse how much worse did it get before it got better? I had acne pretty bad in my teens to the point where I took Accutane for several months. My skin cleared up tremendously but has been kind of dry since then. I also went on Proactiv several years later when my acne started up again. After going off that a few years ago I haven't had a problem up until a year ago so I started thinking diet might be a big factor, as I already exercise frequently.
This is just an excuse, I know, but part of it is that my partner is also 99% raw and eats about 20%-25% of calories from fat. When I come home after a hard workout or a long day outside the food just looks great and I end up eating it and breaking my 10% fat for the day when that happens.
I've read the rawfoodexplained.com stuff before; however I'm not really sure I buy into natural hygene so much, mostly because herbs and things like that do have their benefits. However, I haven't gone 100% on that part and maybe that might be the missing factor. It is helpful to know that some people's acne got worse when they started. However, it is a bit embarrassing that many people have seen me eating all these fruits/veggies and so on (friends/families/coworkers) and my face is becoming a mess. It's hard for me to have a bunch of facts and say 'this is why raw vegan works' when my skin looks like the way it does.
I completely understand your situation Arthur, I've been through similar things. I started a raw vegan diet from a cooked vegan diet with lots of oils, avocados, and nuts, and then came to 811 after having ounces of nuts everyday on the previous raw vegan diet. I also used to eat a lot of garlic, onions, and spices when I was a cooked vegan (a no-no in the natural hygiene world!). I loved Indian cooking and similar ethnic dishes. I used to make my food so spicy with hot peppers and cayenne that I'd cry! I loved it through! But once I started the high sugar fruit lifestyle I had no desire for those things any more at all. I found that when I missed the nuts and heavy foods, I wasn't eating enough fruit and/or I had some emotional issues I had to work through. This is one aspect that shouldn't be overlooked. When you get off of the heavy foods liked cooked foods and nuts/seeds, your body isn't burdened by digesting these things and deadening your ability to feel emotions.
The fats with your greens can help you absorb some of the fat soluble vitamins in the greens like A, E, and K. However, given that you eat greens on a regular basis, the overt fats won't be necessary. There are sufficient amounts of fat from the whole fruits and vegetables. But I don't see any problem with still having some fats with your greens, just eat enough fruit earlier in the day beforehand and have smaller amounts of fat. Just slowly work towards the 10% fat mark. You don't have to rush things! :) But try to set a goals working towards that and stick to it. I find it helps to put things in writing and date them.
As far as the zinc goes, bear in mind that the RDA's recommended for "healthy" people eating diets high in fat and animal protein. A healthy individual won't necessarily need to meet the RDA's to be healthy. I asked Adam about this (he has an amazing amount of knowledge on health and natural hygiene) and he said that an adequate intake of zinc (for men specifically) would be 4.3-7 mg. per day. This may make a big difference in your nutrient calculations. So like I said, unless you have a zinc deficiency already, I don't think it's necessary to supplement with that. Since you know you have low levels of vitamin D however, I think that's fine.
When I started 811 my acne got fairly bad for about 3-4 weeks. It wasn't as bad as it was before I started that medication a couple years ago though. I've found the one thing that made a dramatic difference was lowering my fat intake. My skin and hair didn't have the greasy feeling it used to. Like I said, I used to eat a lot of nuts/seeds.
Having a partner who isn't doing low fat could be tough. I know people get sick of hearing this, but I do think if the heavy, calorie dense foods like a fatty salad, look incredibly appetizing you may not be eating enough calories from fruit. I know after I've got done with a hard workout, my following fruit meal always taste amazing. If I'm having overt fats as the meal however, it's always less satisfying, somewhat bland and well, less sweet! I used to be the person who hated sweets too, I was a savory kind of guy.
I had my doubts about natural hygiene at first too, but it wasn't until I implemented the advice that I started feeling great. I do think that lowering your fat intake will help. I know whenever I do have a slightly larger amount of overt fats (still under 10% of intake though) I'll break out slightly the next day. If I'm stickin' to the sugary fruit and greens I'm clear as day though. I completely understand the "you're not the picture of health, why are you preaching to me?" situation. I've gained a bit of weight since starting 811 and don't look exactly how I want to look at the moment, but I'm also becoming noticeably stronger and more toned. I had a guy just today surprised by how strong of a grip I had. But I just eat fruit and greens right, where do I get my protein? ;) Just keep doing everything you should and your body will do what it's supposed to. Your skin will clear up before too long and you'll look great afterwards. Then your family and peers will be surprised and perhaps listen a bit more intently about the fruit/veggie lifestyle. I get comments frequently on how healthy I look, and people are surprised by that when I tell them I only eat raw fruits and vegetables, with massive amounts of fruit!
Acne is very complicated. It's hard to pinpoint a single cause because it's usually a result of many lifestyle factors working together to create a perfect storm. This is an amazing website on acne...
Also... definitely don't eat the hemp, chia, and flax. They are not health foods. Most "raw" versions are actually dried at over 140 degrees, so eating them is probably making your acne worse. Also, no need to supplement zinc. There is plenty of zinc in leafy greens. Don't be a victim of "health" marketing. Just pack in the fruits and leafy greens, and everything will work itself out.
Also, don't underestimate the power of leafy greens. The more you eat, the more amazing your skin will look (i recommend 2 pounds per day). I find that spinach is especially effective for reducing the inflammation caused by acne.
Also, keep in mind that overcoming acne is a gradual process. Be patient. You spent years damaging your body, so it will take time to heal from all that damage. Usually the healing process manifests itself as 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, 1 step back, etc.
Hope this helps!