I, Emily, have struggled with severe chronic and cystic acne for over four years and it has made my life like hell, causing me deep anguish and even depression. After several years of visiting the doctors searching for answers and an end to my misery, I came to the realisation that putting these topical creams on my face and using all the other things that they were prescribing me was all very well, but it wasn’t getting to the root cause of my acne and there was obviously something in my body that wasn’t working as it should be. And maybe, just maybe, there was something I could do myself to fix it.
To start with, let me just say that I am (and we are) not doctors, but I am speaking simply from my own experience and am sharing only what I have found has helped me-and may help you too. I remember how it felt when my acne was at its worst, and I would have done pretty much anything for something that would get rid of it. And so if just by me sharing what I have learned can do that for you, I’ll have done my job. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have mildly bad acne, but not half as bad as it was even a few months ago. Now it has become just like minor faded marks on my face and is getting better by the day. It’s a bit of a long post this time, but please bear with me as I’m sure you’ll hopefully find something that you find interesting! Also because it is a bit longer than usual, I’ve split this post up into two parts. I’ll be posting the second part up in the next week or so. So if you enjoy this first bit, keep an eye out!
Step 1: Transitioning To A Natural, Plant Based Vegan Diet
Transitioning to a plant based vegan diet has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and even more so in terms of my acne. A plant based vegan diet (done the right way) is full of lots of fruit, veg, grains, beans etc. that fills your body with all the right vitamins and minerals that it needs to function properly. So as well as the lovely glow that eating this way gives you, it has left me free of the trouble that eating meat and dairy can cause. Acne is essentially caused by inflammation, and inflammation is our bodies’ way of fighting against infection- and meat and dairy are two of the top foods that cause it. (This will also be the same for any kind of skin problem e.g. dry skin, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, the list goes on.) This is because when your body digests meat and animal products, it has to work 10x as hard as it would usually have to to digest it because your body dosen’t recognise them. Also, milk contains a growth hormone called IGF-1 which is supposed to turn baby calves into big strong, full grown cows, and isn’t actually meant for us. So drinking and eating it in it’s various different forms raises insulin levels in our bodies, messing with our hormones and causing acne. Not only that, but as well as the pregnant cow’s hormones, it is full of synthetic hormones and antibiotics which is nasty! Eating meat and dairy has also been linked to cancer, so as well as getting rid of your acne, I can’t think of a better excuse to stop eating it!
Step 2: Reducing The Amount Of Sugar, Processed Foods, and Wheat & Gluten I Eat As Much As Possible
As well as meat & dairy, sugar and wheat/gluten are up there for wreaking havoc on your body and causing an acidic environment in your body in which diseases and other horrible things can thrive. (More on this in a later post.) And so although it is terribly distressing and horrible, acne is a less serious symptom of this happening. You, of everyone will know your skin and body best, and over time I’ve learned that these things just don’t mesh well with mine.
Step 3: Drinking Lots Of Filtered, Alkaline Water
One of the easiest steps of all to do, and that is to drink plenty of water! There are lots of people that I’ve come across and have known that hardly drink any water, if any at all, which just shocks me because I don’t know what I’d do without it. Water in general and specifically speaking filtered alkaline water is the best thing you can drink as it balances the PH in your body, is so hydrating and flushes all the toxins out. Which means clearer and more beautiful skin!
Step 4: Taking Probiotics Daily And Eating Probiotic Foods
Good health begins in the gut, and so does clear skin! Once I discovered this it helped me move forward and improve not just my acne, but my overall health and well being. Having experienced a lot of stress in my life and having taken around three years altogether worth of antibiotics for my acne previously, my gut and nervous system was nothing short of a mess and needed some love! If like me, in the past you have taken a lot of antibiotics to try and treat acne or another problem I can’t tell you how important this one is! By taking probiotics each day the good bacteria in my gut is gradually being built back up and that same good bacteria is essential to support the immune system and fight against disease. The ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria in your gut needs to be significantly more for this to work. In addition to probiotics in capsule form, probiotic foods are also brilliant for this same purpose. My plant based favourites are tempeh, ginger, and garlic!
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All our love,
Em & Lou x