How I finally ditched acne (my acne cure)

IMG_1499Acne and I have a long, complicated relationship.

She first introduced herself during my teen years in quite a furry. I went from having smooth-as-a-baby’s-bum skin to pimply skin almost overnight.

It was hormones, I was told. And they were right. But I wasn’t excited about this new friend and look I had acquired–one that I couldn’t seem to get rid of. And Clean & Clear just didn’t cut it.

Not only did I now have these lovely little white bumps covering every square inch of my t-zone, my skin also produced a ton of oil, and my complexion had an uneven, reddish color. You know, the look you get when you’ve been bawling your eyes out. I now know that this is a sign of inflammation.

Oh, and lets not even talk about blackheads. I’ll just say nothing–no strip or cream or magic potion–could remove those nasty little boogers.

Foundation also became a dear friend during those years as a way to cope with/hide my new skin type–combination I think it is called. Impossible was more like it. Dry and oily skin just can’t be treated at the same time!

Let’s fast forward a couple of years.

I was taking the birth control pill. It wreaked a lot of havoc on my life health-wise that I talk about here, but it sure did whip my hormones into shape. Within a couple of months the acne, I couldn’t shake in the past, “magically” disappeared. Or at least, a lot of it.

For the next couple of years, as I continued on the pill, my skin seemed happier once again. No, it wasn’t the “perfect” skin of my childhood and I had some scarring (mostly in the form of larger pores), but the acne had nearly disappeared. Although, I still had some blackheads and the uneven redness did not completely go away. Yet, more or less, I was content with my skin again.

Then during my pregnancy with Haddie in 2008 I decided to no longer go back on the pill after her birth. While it did wonders for my skin, it sent me to the dog house physically and emotionally. And it wasn’t until I came off of it to get pregnant that I was able to connect my declining health to the pill.

Thankfully the terrible acne I experienced in my teenage years never returned with full vengeance again. But, from that point on, I was plagued by constant acne on my chin and sometimes upper lip, something I have since learned is related to hormones. Not a ton, but there always seemed to be a smattering of small pimples and one or two large, obnoxious bumps there to greet me whenever I peered into the mirror. And my uneven complexion seemed to worsen along with the blackheads.

The Gillihan Family 2011

And then something amazing happened.

I noticed a huge change in my complexion when Abigail was a baby. I had cut dairy, similar to what I had done when Haddie was a baby, to help with fussiness. Going dairy-free made such a difference with my nursing babies, I was happy to temporarily give it up. But this time, when I gave it up, I noticed that something besides my baby’s tummy transformed. My skin transformed as well.

We were temporarily living in the house Brance had grown up in. I remember standing in the small bathroom putting on my makeup and thinking for the first time ever that my face actually looked better without the foundation. My ruddy, uneven complexion and acne-prone skin had transformed. My pores even seemed smaller (for me).

For some reason, I wasn’t aware of the difference in my complexion when I quit dairy while nursing Haddie. Sleep deprivation, perhaps. Haha. But if I go back and look at pictures from that time, there is a marked difference in my skin then as well.

Okay, so quitting dairy, fixed my skin.

But something I have since learned is that it has to be a 100% kind of thing. Sure, eating less dairy does make some difference. But even cheating here and there for me means that that old blotchy, acne-prone skin will reappear and it takes days for my system to clear itself of even the smallest amount of dairy and for my skin to improve.

Cutting dairy completely has eliminated almost all of my acne/facial skin issues.

Although, one other thing I eliminated from my diet has removed the straggling bump that I was continuing to get even after going dairy-free. Those bumps were showing up on my chin, so like dairy this other item I eliminated was affecting my hormones.

I also no longer eat eggs.

This probably sounds extreme. No eggs. No dairy. But cutting eggs has also caused eczema, that I have struggled with for the last 5 years, to completely disappear. And I am 100% certain of this because every time I have tried to reintroduce eggs over the last couple of months eczema returns with a vengeance and I’ll get the straggling hormonal bump.

So there you have it– my acne cure.

I was finally able to ditch acne for good when I addressed foods that were negatively affecting my hormones. For me, this was dairy and eggs. Obviously, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people eat these foods and have the loveliest skin and I hope that is you.

But, perhaps, if you too stuggle with acne, experimenting with a dairy-free, egg-free diet might just help. Cutting dairy and eggs was my acne cure.

Love, Lauren

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p.s. Also, I should mention that I am REALLY loving this face wash these days. It’s super affordable and exfoliates so well! It makes my skin feel very soft.