We’ve all dealt with it at some point, but some more than others. I definitely had my fair share of acne over the years, and it was something I struggled with immensely. I started developing acne at the end of 8th grade. It started with a couple of pimples on my forehead but eventually made it’s way onto my cheeks. I developed scars on my forehead once those pimples went away so I was not only dealing with the embarrassment of acne on my cheeks, but the scars on my forehead. I of course became incredibly self-conscious and immediately made an appointment with a dermatologist. She gave me a prescription for some cream, some face wash, lotion, etc. that inevitably did not work. I continued to go back to the dermatologist to try one thing after the next. I tried retinol creams, every face wash from prescribed to drugstore, Proactive, Murad, antibiotics you name it! I was so over stripping my skin with chemicals that never made my skin any better. I started looking into more natural remedies. I tried using tea tree oil as a spot treatment, olive oil as a moisturizer, coconut oil as a facemask, sugar as a face scrub. I started using banana peels on my face because I read online that this peel of the banana was very soothing to acne-prone skin. I would solely eat bananas so I could rub the peels on my face. It actually worked pretty well as a facemask but didn’t do anything to get rid of my acne. Even when my skin would start to get better and I would start to see areas clear up, a couple of weeks later I would have another breakout.
I was hopeless. I had awful self-esteem and never went out of the house without makeup on. I hated the summer time because I never wanted to go to the beach or the pool where my makeup would come off and my skin would be exposed. I was embarrassed. I felt ugly. I felt like people weren’t looking at me or listening to what I was saying. They were just looking at how terrible my skin was. I cried myself to sleep most nights hoping that when I woke up it would all just be a dream and my skin would magically clear up. It all seemed so unfair that some of my friends only had to deal with a pimple every now and then; but I had to deal with the atrocity that was my skin.
I continued going to the dermatologist and finally asked her about going on Accutane. Now, Accutane is a serious medication. It’s a strong drug that is used to cure serious, cystic acne. My dermatologist continuously let me know that the acne that I was experiencing was nowhere near what most people have when they go on Accutane. However, she said that my confidence level and self-esteem were at such a low that I was eligible for Accutane. But again, it is a serious drug with a lot of side effects, especially for women. After researching it, I decided not to go on the drug and do a little more research of my own. I was prescribed a new topical cream that definitely helped clear up my current breakouts. However, I really started to clear my skin from the inside out.
Once I became a vegetarian, I really started paying more attention to my health. I started researching foods that were best for your skin and the benefits that each brought. I tried to incorporate these foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, less dairy, etc.) into my everyday diet and I started to notice a change. My skin seemed brighter and was less prone to acne than when I was eating meat. After several months as a vegan, my skin has improved immensely. Being that my diet consists of a lot of fruits, leafy greens, legumes, and antioxidant rich super foods, my skin has been thanking me. Not only have I completely gotten rid of my acne, but also the overall glow of my skin has gotten better. My scars are not as prevalent and the skin on my cheeks has thickened. After years of stripping it of its natural oils and layers, my skin had become so thin and sensitive. Since incorporating more whole, natural foods into my diet I have noticed such a difference and I could not be more grateful. Finally being confident in my skin, without having to cover it up, is such an amazing feeling.
I really do contribute my healthy skin to my diet. By keeping out dairy, which often is a trigger for acne, fried foods, processed foods, etc. and switching to more whole foods, I have cleared my skin from the inside out. I no longer use acne medicated washes, lotions, or creams. I only use natural products on my skin and let my diet take care of the rest. If you are dealing with acne and feel like you have no where left to turn after years of visiting the dermatologist, take a look at what you’re putting into your body. Change up some things, add more leafy greens and whole foods to your diet. Your skin, and body overall, will thank you!