Hello fellow fruit bats! :)
I am hoping to receive some tips, advice, personal experience, or encouragement with acne on this lifestyle. I have been doing raw till 4 for about 3 months now. I have always had some mild acne (most problematic around jaw line, outline of my face, and some bumps on forehead here and there). I went vegetarian about 1 1/2 years ago. I went whole food vegan cutting out processed foods about 6 months ago but with a high fat intake (alot of nut butters and such). My skin actually went on quite a detox switching off dairy but it didn't completely clear up like I was hoping. I went on raw till 4 about 3 months ago and my acne started getting pretty intense right away. I noticed some cystic looking acne as well as whiteheads coming up around my jawline with a lot of little bumps on my forehead. My forehead has mostly cleared up now (not entirely clear) but I am still experiencing quite a bit of acne along my jawline (it is way worse than it normally has been in my life) so I attribute it to detox. While I feel great physically and emotionally on this lifestyle, the acne is starting to take a toll on my social life (not feeling up to making many social appearances).
My typical day on this lifestyle:
1 liter of water upon waking
10 banana smoothie with a couple handfuls of spinach with 2 cups of water (occasionally I will have some dandelion greens and occasionally I will have some frozen berries or acai powder in it as well)
1 liter of water about 15-30 mins before lunch
15-20 dates or about 5 mangos (I make sure I get at least 1,000 calories from fruit for lunch).
1 liter of water about 15-30 mins before dinner
typically either a lot of baked potatoes or rice with some cooked veggies.
1 liter of water before going to bed
NOTES: I think my daily caloric intake ranges from 2,500-3,000. I keep my sodium intake low. I might have a half an avocado 1-2 x wk. I have rarely had any oils except for a couple times over the last 3 months I have eaten out (even then the oil intake was very low). I average 7-9 hours of sleep per night throughout my week.
I do yoga/pilates a couple times a week and do cardio (running or cycling) a couple times a week as well.
FACE CLEANSING ROUTINE: 1 part grapeseed oil mixed with 1 part aloe vera gel. I mix the two in my hand until they're emulsified, rub lightly on my skin, and rinse lightly with water and dap lightly with a towel. I find the oil to be beneficial in helping my skin stay moisturized as it can easily dry out.
PAST: I have been on the birth control pill and antibiotics before but have been off of them for about 9 months now.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to help my skin on detox? Anyone with similar experience? If so, how long did it take for your skin to clear up? Is there anything I can be adding to my smoothies which will be beneficial in helping it clear up?
ANY advice, tips, or encouragement will be GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you! :)
Sometimes detox is mistaken for side effects.
You might be sensitive to a high oxalate foods Acne and other skin eruptions, along with digestive upsets are a side effect for those that are sensitive.
Cut out all spinach, kale, chard, and possibly the dandelion greens and replace that with about 1/2-2 heads of lettuce greens a day. Only eat dates as vegan candy, but not as a caloric and dietary staple. That might be 2-3 dates 2-3 times a week.
Give it a few days, and if that does not work, start reducing potato intake as these can be high oxalate too.
I cannot remember if acai powder is high oxalate, but I remember in the past we have discouraged members from eating too much.
As far as cleansing, simply use water. Stop using oils and products, and let your skin clear up and out naturally. It may take a few days for pores to clear out, and for your natural oils to kick in, but natural is always better.
Healthy skin comes from inside out, and after removing offensive foods like high oxalate foods (or gluten, wheat and other grains too) start rebuilding with nutrient dense and vitamin C rich calories. Eat a mono meal or snack of oranges everyday. Vitamin C is great for skin and collagen.
Give it about 3 days to see results.
Make sure you are getting outside and getting sun on skin about 30 minutes a day too, not only for detox, but vitamin D stores too.
I do not know if you juice, but avoid juices and keep smoothies to a minimum. It is better to eat simple meals or mono meals straight from the peel.
Good luck and Peace, PK
Great! Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice! I am drinking a date smoothie as I read that and am worried to finish it now lol ;). But you recommend staying away from smoothies - why is this? Is is not the same as eating the bananas whole? And I do tend to drink orange juice sometimes - would you not recommend this since its in juice form? Thank you!!
I've been on the lifestyle for pretty much a year now, and my skin is just starting to clear out. The culprit for me was lack of sleep, 6-7 hours per night, and often going to bed late. What worked for me was going to bed early and sleeping 8-9 hours per night.
Thank you for the response :). So glad to hear your skin is now clearing! I'm sure that is an amazing feeling! Did you have acne on your jawline at all? I have heard that depending on where your acne is, the reasoning for it could differ.
Yeah I got it mostly on my jawline, and sometimes a few pimples on my forehead/cheeks.
Lots of good advice already on this thread, but here are my thoughts anyway in case they help:
Acne is usually caused by hormones, nutrient deficiency, food allergy/intolerance and gut dysbiosis.
Just reviewing what you've written above, hormone-wise, how has coming off the pill affected your skin? It can take up to a year for some people's hormones to balance after stopping. Mine took over a year - it was a frucing nightmare. Other than that, are you stressed?
Nutrient deficiency - got everything covered? Inc sunshine, as per PK's post? I've read a lot of things online about people adding a green powder to their smoothies and their acne improving remarkably. I couldn't ever find out why this was, as no one had the blood work to suggest which nutrient was helping them the most. Maybe start slinging some of that in your smoothies? Note that some people's skin actually improves with a slight increase in fats (whole food, not oils). Maybe don't fiddle around with that initially, as there are some more likely things at play here, but something to bear in mind for the future.
Food allergy/intolerance-wise, basically what PK said, plus maybe Google other foods that might cause acne. I know lots of people struggle with oranges, for example.
Gut dysbiosis - you've been on antibiotics fairly recently. Acne is often the result of having a reduced gut flora. Have you been caning the probiotics/fermented food since you were on these, to get your gut balanced again?
Re your face care routine - it's great to cleanse with oil, and grapeseed oil is particularly good being a high linoleic acid oil. However, you really need to be using some kind of muslin cloth to wipe it off - like the oil cleansing method. Emulsifying with water isn't enough, it'll be leaving the old oil in your pores, which may well be clogging up your face and worsening your situation. You can dab some oil on again afterwards if your skin is dry - rosehip seed oil would be good. Is your skin dry then? Or oily? Is it dehydrated?
Acne is the worst, you really do have my sympathies. But, you couldn't be on a better lifestyle to get it sorted - and you will my love, stay strong.
As an aside, it's better to space your water consumption out during the day, instead of chugging it shortly before meals. Kidneys can only effectively manage 800ml/1L of fluid an hour. Chug back 1L and then start on a smoothie 15-30 minutes later and you are seriously stressing your system, which will affect your health at some point down the line. Drink the same amount, but space it out better so your body can absorb it properly - this may well help if your skin is dehydrated.
Wow, thank you for such a thoughtful and incredibly thorough response. I feel so blessed to have strangers take such time to respond to my concerns. I am definitely going to take all you have said to mind. I have written down all of the suggestions and will definitely start experimenting with adding/subtracting things. I especially think it is a great idea to start incorporating probiotics/fermented foods. Do you have any recommendations on the best sorts to include?
Sure thing sweetness!
Personally, I'd suggest water kefir. Buy some water kefir grains online (not a starter kit, the actual kefir grains) and make it yourself - takes literally 2 minutes to make every 48 hours or so. You'll get trillions of good bacteria in every glass, multiple strains, made at home so you know what's in it etc - and it's super cheap. With probiotic capsules, the bacteria count is too low, the number of strains is too low, you don't know if the bacteria is even still active and the cost (if you want to really saturate yourself with probiotics) is exorbitant.
There is so much debate about fermented foods and probiotics - do they make a difference, do they colonise, blah blah blah. Speaking from personal experience, I'd have to say they do work, with water kefir being the most effective. But, see how you get on.
Good luck with everything, hope you get sorted soon!
Don't have long hot showers. Hot water will dry up your skin and promote break outs.
plus cold showers have endless benefits ( you don't see mother nature giving us boiling water...unless of course you were lucky enough to live near hot springs...even then...cold water FTW!
Have you washed your pillow case recently? What detergent was used?
The answer for me wasn't diet. Skin sweat left on the bedsheets goes rancid (especially what you sweat out after messing up and eating animal products). That rancid sweat will get into contact with your face, hair, arms, and back and causes breakouts.
I've had to wash bedsheets more often, and I have to be careful which detergents I use in general.
It seems like the skin sweat is more oily and salty with the SAD diet, which seems to act as a buffer to skin contact allergens, harsh detergents, and bacteria.
Hey Leah how's it going these days?
A couple of things...
I agree that oxalates in your spinach may aggravate things and white potato too, besides being an oxalate source can cause glycemic loads and some people just don't feel well eating them for other reasons. Go for yams instead which also have a much higher nutritional value.
I do not recommend green powders of any kind as they often have stuff you do not want, even the organic vegan ones! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd8CBTF3nyo
But people have found they do better with acne if they eat a two pounds (about 2 heads) or more of tender leafy organic lettuce greens every day. That is what I would do in your position, first and foremost.
Sun and sleep are great healers! Get plenty of them both and never burn, not even a little! Order a book or two on sunlight and read about all the things it does for us, it is quite profound!
I would also add an ounce of nuts and an ounce of seeds every day, raw and salt free of course. They are a great source of nutrients.
I do have a friend who finally cleared her acne by doing a series of professional facials with someone who knew what they were doing and used natural products to do the facials. I think maybe she went everyday for a week then every other day for a a couple of weeks then just twice a week for a month or so then no more and she remained acne free. Something like that, check with your local spas and find someone highly experienced who knows about this protocol.
Cold showers are amazing for the skin, even just rinsing with it, it closes the pores and squeezes out the dirt in them, plus brings blood to the surface. Watch this awesome documentary on cold: http://www.30bananasaday.com/video/surviving-the-cold-rt-documentary
Make sure you use only natural laundry products!!! Make sure your home is chemical free, no dry cleaning, no toxic cleaners or air fresheners, cat litters, etc.
I have tested several of the most expensive from whole foods and they were all dead as a door nail.
Exercise, move that lymphatic system!!! Jumping jacks, jogging, trampoline, some kind of vigorous exercise for at least a few minute will help!
It can just be a matter of time for your hormones to balance out but in the meantime you can do your best.
Here are some videos that might help inspire: