I’ve had really bad acne for a long time. It went away for a while in high school, but in college, it came back with a vengeance. During my senior year of college, my face basically exploded in acne. It was so bad that I couldn’t bear to even run an errand without a full face of makeup. I spent so much time and money trying to cover it all up and all it really ended up doing was make it significantly worse. I hated washing my face at the end of the day because I knew I would have to deal with what was under my makeup and it wasn’t pretty.
To make matters worse, the acne was mainly cystic. So, I was dealing with tons of un-pop-able little balls of pain just throbbing under the surface of my skin. Even worse, it wasn’t just on my face, I had acne speckling my back and chest as well. And even though most people have acne or get a few zits here and there at least, I was so embarrassed of how my skin looked.
Every morning and night I smeared my face with salicylic acid and started to enjoy the burn I felt from it, because I associated that burn with the final death of my acne. All the burn really did though was make my face red and even more splotchy. And like I said, I would cover all of that up with makeup. I went to the dermatologist and she prescribed acutane, which is a super powerful acne medication that can really mess you up. I wasn’t willing to go that far and decided to go a different route.
I made an appointment with a laser and vein center just to see what they had to say. The woman I met with looked at my skin and then actually asked me about my life. Did I workout a lot, what did I eat, was I under a lot of stress? My dermatologist had never asked me questions like these and I never ever thought that they could have any correlation to my skin. Turns out, they did. At the time, I didn’t really ever workout, I drank mostly soda, I ate tons of dairy, gluten, and fast food, and I was crazy stressed.
I had basically been sabotaging my skin for years. Suddenly, it made complete sense that my face was in rebellion… my whole body was probably in rebellion and it just decided to use my skin to show it. I know when you are in high school or college, you don’t really consider nutrition. Maybe some people do, but I only ever worried about not gaining weight. Instead of choosing a salad as a low-calorie dinner option, I would choose a happy meal.
During that appointment, I decided I needed to make a serious shift in my diet. I decided it was time to overhaul my food choices and eat a vegetable every now and then. I wish I could say that I made the switch over night and never looked back. But in reality, it took me months and months to finally make an overall switch to healthier choices and to severely cut back on the soda. Now, I try to limit my dairy and gluten intake, drink plenty of water, take my vitamins, and definitely include more fresh food and less greasy fast food. I try to switch out my pillowcase weekly and to wash my face every single night before bed. I started going to bed a little bit earlier and trying to get in a quick yoga sequence every morning.
I will tell you that I definitely take better care of my skin now, but I am taking better care of my body too. I spent years battling my acne with medication alone and never really got it under control. I am still somewhat surprised to realize that the issue was a little bit more than skin deep.
Okay so this is really hard for me to show anyone, but here was my face without makeup…
And here it is now, after making some serious changes…without makeup (besides mascara).
So yeah, if you have bad acne, try changing your diet. It’s definitely worth the possible outcome.
Always Classy & Confused,