Let’s face it acne is not a fun topic.
But it’s a topic that I am passionate about (as well as Michelle) since I have been struggling with adult acne for about 5 years now. And there were times when I just did not know what to try anymore.
And lately I feel like I am FINALLY starting to learn my body and get my hormones under control. And now knowing that PCOS is a key player in some of my hormonal acne. I am feeling more and more confident in my own skin again. I am so happy. So excited that hopefully my adult acne struggle is coming to an end. I don’t want others to suffer like I did. Going days and months being depressed and hiding in my home so embarrassed to go outside. Not fun! I am here to share more of my personal thoughts on what has helped me get clear skin! I hope my struggles and now success can help you in some way.
**I am not a doctor so please discuss any major change in your diet or supplements with them. I am here just sharing my personal experience what has helped with my acne.
What foods and supplements I feel helped my acne go away.
UPDATE — read here how my skin is doing!
Well not sure where to start as this can be complicated. I will try my best to keep it simple to follow.
(Present) What I feel worked (and is still working) for my skin:
- taking 2000mg of Pantothenic acid (still doing it – it has been at least 4 weeks)
- taking care of my gut and eating a low-carb/low-sugar and grain-free diet for a few weeks to help get my inflammation down
- drinking skin detox tea daily from Yogi tea (have been drinking it for almost 3 weeks now)
- taking magnesium daily about 600-1000mg daily
- having gelatin 2x daily
- more recently having more balanced meals – increasing my carbs and having a little natural sugar after I did a very limited diet for a few weeks to help gut and inflammation (read here more about gut healing)
- taking 1/2 teaspoon fermented cod liver oil daily (I notice if I miss a few days my skin starts to break out)
- having a lot of coconut oil daily (2-4 tbsp, amount varies on my day and mood) –> make sure it is a good quality coconut oil too!
- eating high quality grass-fed meats (mainly beef and livers) a few times a week —> since they are full of vitamins and minerals.
- having a green juice (Green smoothies might work for some but I did not want a lot of sugar even if it was from fruit- still not sure where I stand on this yet. I love both smoothies and juices but lately with me doing more juices over smoothies my skin seems to be liking it. So if you are someone who has been doing green smoothies and still having skin issues, try green juices to see what happens.)
- eat less raw foods and more cooked foods —> I know this is weird as I used to be all about raw foods (and I still like them) but for my skin it seems to be really liking more foods that are cooked over raw. I do feel having more cooked foods has helped me with having better digestion, which leads to my foods being digested and nutrients being used in my body better than when I was eating mostly raw foods – that were not being digested fully. I do think raw foods can be great and healing, but for me at this moment in life it was not working for me. Again experiment with eating some raw and cooked foods and see how your skin does. I find both healthy, you just have to see what your skin likes better.
- eating more Omega 3 based foods and less omega 6
- taking liquid Vitamin-D everyday
- do my best to remember to take Niacin every night —> sometimes I forget
- eating more whole foods and less processed –> which means cooking most of my own meals and not eating anything packaged for the most part
- reducing my intake of stevia –> not sure if this has helped my skin or not but it is something I have done the past week or so
Things that I did in the past that worked for some time but did not get rid of it completely for me and acne came back (but hopefully some of these might work for you):
- take MSM in water —> I still do this sometimes but not as daily as I was, maybe once a week now
- drinking apple cider vinegar water with cinnamon just about daily and put it on face —> ACV is very healing but it would just cause me to break out in eyebrows and forehead so I stopped just was not worth it to me
- took Udo oil and hemp oil for awhile —> helped but then made by face worse – my skin loves fermented cod liver oil
- took zinc —> helped some
- took aloe vera juice —> helped some
- took Holy Basil for months —> it mostly helped with controlling my moods and stress (I recommend it if you get stressed easily but again takes 1-2 months to really start working)
- I have changed my diet so many times to help —> things would work at first but again with what I have done this past year with my diet I feel is finally starting to work
- reduced my nut and seeds intake –> I still do this and yes I feel it has helped with my acne
- took oral antibiotic for a month last year —> helped calm down my inflammation
- took DIM to help balance hormones —> felt it only made my acne worse so stopped taking it (just taking Vitex lately and liking it)
- taking probiotic —> again this helps but I do not think cures acne
- eating fermented foods —> I would go through periods of eating them and felt it did nothing for my face, I do believe in them so I still eat them from time to time, and drink kombucha frequently
- figuring out what foods make my skin worse (still figuring it out but have some ideas): chocolate (still unsure but have been trying to avoid it and eventually will add it back to see how skin does), store bought sauerkraut (since technically they are not always raw and made correctly it seems to cause my pimples so making homemade is best for me), hemp products (going to play around with hemp to see if I break out when I eat it or not)
- watching my fructose intake –> more related to gut and stomach issues, but as we all know that is related to skin issues
- avoiding soy and flax –> it has been years since I have had soy and this year I stopped having flax. These are more related to hormones, but again everything is related. For me, my body does not like these 2 things, and I am much happier without them in my diet.
Few final thoughts:
I know each person is different. And you will experience different things with your skin and/or acne. Some of these things might make your skin worse and some of these things might actually make your skin better. You have to be willing to play around with your diet and supplements until you find what your body and skin like.
It might take months to figure it out. But once you do – trust me it will be worth it! Just don’t give up!
I knew a lot of my adult acne was related to going off birth control 5 years ago and making my hormones go crazy!
I also knew that diet played an important part in getting hormones balanced and eventually my skin would get clear. It took a lot longer than what I was hoping. Dealing with adult acne on and off for 5 years was not fun.
I do feel me trying all those different things was good in a way – it helped me to discover what my skin likes and does not like.
What would I tell someone who is experiencing adult acne to do first with diet and supplements:
- If you know your acne is hormonal based start taking vitex daily. And if highly stressed take holy basil too.
- If you have digestive problems and your body is not absorbing any nutrients you need to take the time to heal your gut. As it all starts in the gut. (I would start with this)
- Also start to get more balanced meals in terms of your macros. And more whole foods and less process stuff.
- Figure out what CARBS your face and body like. (for me it seems white rice, regular potatoes, bananas, berries, and plantains are working well at the moment). This will require some documenting and diet experimenting to figure it out. So recommend keeping diet simple so you can play around with different foods to see what makes your skin breakout or not.
- Find what FATS your body likes. Again this will require you to experiment and document. See if your body prefers animal fat over plant based fats or does it like plant based fats over animal fats. And even within those you have to find what works for your skin. I do believe most people would benefit from eating more coconut oil!
- And you may have to reduce your nuts and grain intake as I personally found them to be irritating to my skin during my healing.
- Watch your sugar intake – you can have some natural sugars but don’t go overboard on them either.
- Try drinking the detox skin tea from Yogi everyday.
- Make sure you are getting vitamin A, vitamin D, Vitamin B-5 and Omega 3 into your diet –> Chris Kresser has great articles on more great vitamins for acne.
Now again I tried to keep this acne topic related to foods and supplements that I personally feel helped me.
till next time,