When I first started to get into natural and healthy foods, I suffered from severe acne and rosacea (red/pink skin). If you are or have been a sufferer from either (or any) skin issue, you know how internally painful it can be. In fact, I still feel uncomfortable talking about it, or even blogging about it to total strangers who don’t even know me. It is hard to even find the words to explain what it did to my confidence and self esteem.
As I was learning how to improve my diet, I was still making monthly trips to the dermatologists’ office, trying dozens and dozens of pills, creams, and face washes. My skin was constantly dried out, and many of then oral medications made me terribly nauseas. On top of that, they either did nothing for my skin, or only gave me temporary relief. Honestly, I started to feel like my skin was never going to change. I was going to suffer from acne/rosacea for the rest of my life.
About three years ago, I was blessed to have a few different people who entered my life. They taught me one of the most important lessons that I continue to believe and pass on to everyone I know. Actually, it came from Hippocrates who said, “Let Food be your Medicine and your Medicine be Food”. That is some deep stuff isn’t it?
It was then that I began a journey on how to clear my skin, with out medication. Explaining it to people was not always easy. They wondered why I wouldn’t go to the dermatologist and just get on yet another acne medication. What I believed (and still do) is that what was going on with my skin, was my body’s way of telling me that something is just not right. I began an elimination diet focusing on soy. At that time, I was a vegetarian, making soy a huge part of my routine. After not eating soy for ten days, I no longer felt bloated and gassy, and even more amazing, my skin was clearer. After bringing soy back into my diet, the bloating, gas, and acne returned. Even though I do miss eating tofu, I feel and look better then I can ever imagine. For me, avoiding sugar, white flour, high salt, and spicy foods are necessary. As well as drinking a ton of water. Now I can’t say that I do not cheat, because nobody’s perfect. But for the most part I stick to it. Eating this way has totally changed my skin.
Avoiding/minimizing stress is another huge issue when it comes to skin (as well as many other health issues). How do I battle it? A combination of trying not to let things bother me (easier said then done!) and lots of yoga/meditation.
Even after my acne started to clear, I noticed that my rosacea was not going away. It was like wearing a mask covering my cheeks and nose. After some research, I found that my red/pink skin could be a result of the body’s inability to digest food. Digestion can be improved by eating slower, chewing each fork full about 20-30 times, consuming water with fresh squeezed lemon, and minimizing stress (there it is again!). Even though those are all helpful tips, I was still ‘red as a rose’. My next (and most successful step) was taking a probiotic. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that reduce the harmful bacteria and improve you digestive system. Probiotics can also be found in yogurt. This is why my mom always told me to eat yogurt if I was on an antibiotic. Because antibiotics kill both the bad and good bacteria, the lack of the good bacteria can cause digestive problems. Eating yogurt helps in replacing that good bacteria, eliminating stomach aches and pains. (Don’t worry, she didn’t make that one up, webmd agrees with both of us!) Since taking probiotics, I have seen an extreme difference in my rosacea. About 20 minutes before breakfast, I take 2 pb8 capsules and then I am set for the day! They can be found in the refrigerated section at most health food stores.
For the first time in 5 years, I can finally say that I do not suffer from acne. Like everyone, I do experience the occasional breakout, and have been left with a few acne scars, but no one is perfect. My only hope is that someone will read this, and feel inspired to (if possible) stop treating some of their issues with medicine, and begin to turn to their food for help. It may not be easy, but trust me, it is worth it.
As always, thank you for reading.
Stay Natural ♥ C