Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm Drinking a Big Glass of Water RIGHT NOW

Hi. Let's talk about acne. Or at least how to get rid of it. Because I think I have finally found the way! The way for me, that is. I think the most frustrating thing about my recent breakout is that there are a lot of products and methods out there, and there's a different method that works for each person. What I've concluded is that what causes one person's acne is not exactly the same as what causes another person's acne, so treatment, therefore, is a little different for each person. For example, I found a ton of information indicating that dairy can contribute to acne, but noticed no difference in my breakouts whether I was eating a lot of dairy or not. In fact, I find that a big bowl of yogurt with agave and cinnamon was often followed by my skin actually calming down, so clearly dairy was not the culprit in my case. However, it seems refined sugar was. Is. Unfortunately. It makes sense, really. This article does an excellent job of explaining how the body responds to sugar, not only causing inflammation, but also robbing it of stored nutrients. It's not some big, strange leap.

So on Monday I stopped eating refined sugar. Today I can see a noticeable difference in my skin. It is steadily clearing.

This is not to say that I don't use other methods in addition as a means of helping things along. I'm drinking lots of water, getting plenty of rest (another thing that I noticed is that after a good night's sleep, my skin is better), taking 500mg of vitamin C with breakfast and dinner to boost my immune system, and using topical treatments as well. Twice daily I wash my face with Origins Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Cleanser, do a ten minute hydrogen peroxide compress (just hydrogen peroxide on a washcloth, pressed firmly against my acnified areas), and apply Cellfood Oxygen Gel (thin layer in the morning, thick layer before bed). If I have an early morning, I'll do a quick wash and then just dab the hydrogen peroxide on my face quickly, followed by the Cellfood, and do the longer cleaning later. I'll also do a quick wash like that if I've been out and feel particularly grimy. In addition, I use Origins Out of Trouble Mask every four days to exfoliate. When I was first in Origins, I purchased a whole system, so I also have thePlantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Lotion, which I use if there are some scaly areas (which, ew, I know).

A lot of the products I use are fairly expensive, but I'm a desperate woman, so I'll pony up the dollars. I won't always have to use as much of each product as I use now. As things calm down, I anticipate using the mask just once weekly, not having so many scaly areas to moisturize, and being able to apply a thin layer of the Cellfood both morning and evening, instead of really having to glop it on at night.

As far as sugar consumption goes, that will be an ongoing experiment. Different people have different thresholds for foods that cause adverse reactions, and I'll have to find mine. Most likely I'll be able to return to eating desserts every now and again, but in the meantime I'll be working on incorporating agave into my favorite recipes so that I can eat sweet things without worrying about angering my skin.

One thing I haven't mentioned is that I do have a preference for going all natural for my skin care. I didn't want to mess with antibiotics, and I've had enough of products that are heavy with chemicals and multiple parabens. I want something that will work for the long haul, without having to use prescription products. I don't want to be tied to a life of applying harsh products (*ahem*Proactiv*ahem*) that still leave me with some blemishes but also cause my skin to flake off because it is so dry.

If I were to give advice to others trying to clear their breakouts, I would recommend starting with a gentle cleanser, drinking lots of water, and eating as healthily as possible to help your body heal. And be patient. Try the free samples (I found Cellfood Oxygen Gel by wandering through Whole Foods and slathering things on my face to see if they helped). Eliminate what needs to be eliminated and keep what you can. Do your research. It will get better. My acne was severe enough that it was constantly inflamed and the zits would (ew, be prepared for ew) pop themselves. And now? Not so much. It's getting better. Much, much better.

1 comment:

Holly said...

i'm so glad things are going better for you. that's awesome that you're finding stuff that works. i'm sorry that the OCM didn't work as well as it should have, but like i said, i'm really glad you've found stuff that helps.

i wish i had your will-power on refined sugar. it is my downfall. :(