Acne & it’s link to the rest of the body

Hello friends, I am finally home from traveling for a little while! While I’ve been in different parts of the country for the past month, I’ve been forced to learn a lot about my body and how it handles different things. Therefore, today I have a hodgepodge of different tips, tricks, identifiers, and just weird things I’ve learned/experimented with over the past month to hopefully help people struggling with paleo, acne, rosacea, cravings, sugar, and whatever else! 

PALEO DURING TRAVELS

So, I mentioned that I went camping. Well, without access to a stove top, I was left with this question: What the heck am I going to eat?

Obviously in the past, I could’ve just packed some muffins for breakfast, some sandwich materials for lunch, and some pre-made pasta or pizza for dinner. The problem is that none of those foods agree with me – at all. I have celiac disease, lactose intolerance/ or some form of milk allergy, horrible acne, insulin resistance, and I’m paleo!

So my idea was to make food ahead of time, package it up into tupperware containers, and hope that I’d have enough food. I made individual salads with chicken or tuna and brought oil and vinegar to pour on when needed. I baked 6 sweet potatoes and put them in a container for some extra carbs in case I’d be doing a lot of activity up in the mountains. I didn’t. But I love sweet potatoes. I also made chicken sausages for breakfast. I made italian sausages for dinner.

Here are my tips since my camping trip and what I would’ve done differently:

1) It’s a good idea to make meals ahead of time and just put them in individual containers. Yes, people will look at you weird, but at least you know what you’re getting. Be prepared to have cold food, though. It’s not bad, it’s just not ideal.

2) Don’t bring anything you don’t want to put in your mouth. If you don’t want to eat a lot of fruit as snacks, don’t bring fruit. Bring unsweetened coconut flakes instead, beef jerky, and avocados to top off meals. Remember the importance of meal frequency, too! Don’t snack unnecessarily. *I will talk about this more below! Also, I can’t eat nuts. But maybe you can? Bring some! Or try seeds! I’m not sure if I have a sensitivity to seeds, but I love me some sunbutter.

3) Bring utensils. It’ll be easier to cut into your avocados if you bring metal. I brought plastic thinking it would be great to just throw them away, but I ended up washing them and reusing them, anyways. It was harder to cut into cold sausage with bendy plastic. Use caution.

4) Don’t eat the marshmallows. They’re delicious. But one leads to two…and two to 40. So just be careful, especially if you’re not letting your insulin rest in between meals. You will crave it even more. But really if you eat them, it’s not the worst thing. Gelatin is good for your skin. The sugar isn’t, but your body is a good body. It’ll use what it can, and one night of sugary treats won’t kill you.

5) Finger foods will be easier to eat. Instead of sweet potatoes, maybe bake sweet potato fries. Portion the coconut flakes into little baggies. Holding tupperware and silverware was really difficult  when I didn’t have real tables around!

MEAL FREQUENCY

So, during my travels, I couldn’t understand why I was having such strong cravings. I mean, really, it was tough. And not just PMS tough, but very difficult to control my cravings. I definitely splurged and had chocolate like everyday.

Yup.

I’m not going to pretend that I understand the mechanics behind how often you should eat/not eat. But I do know that when I eat often during the day, I don’t feel good. My taste buds are happy, but my body isn’t.

Luckily, Robb Wolf is the best at describing these kinds of things. So I’m just going to leave you with his post on meal frequency and why you shouldn’t eat every 3 hours. Also, my personal testimony is that I feel better when I eat every 5 hours (even if I have fruit or sugar), and my hormones are regulating on this regimen rather than when I was eating cleanly every 3 hours.

CAVEMAN REGIMEN FOR FACE & HAIR

HAIR

Let’s talk about something…a little disturbing. I’ve been reading testimonies about how women have tried to go no-poo (washing their hair infrequently, and when doing so, only using baking soda and apple cider vinegar). After reading a blog about how baking soda is horrible for your hair by one woman who used that method for 3 years, I decided I didn’t want to get into that mess all over again.

But I didn’t want to keep using shampoo. Mainly because I thought it strange that we wash so often and spend so much money trying to look good. What if we look good without products? I’m on day 27 of not washing my hair with anything but water. My hair went through a horrible grease phase — as expected — and now it’s finally touchable again. Not entirely, but mostly. And really, I’m very excited. I have curly hair – and the curls look better than ever. The frizz is gone. My hair is easy to brush, too! Unexpected bonus.

I won’t advocate for this method, though, until I’ve gone a little longer with it. But really, it’s pretty awesome. I don’t think we need products. Just a good brush that moves the oil down our strands (doesn’t even have to be a boar bristle brush in my opinion). I also might invest in the LUSH split end hair treatment just to keep the ends strong while I transition.

ACNE

It’s also been 27 days since I decided I wasn’t going to use chemicals on my face anymore. I remember being 17 and having some acne on my forehead. Then I got this new boyfriend, and I didn’t want him trying to kiss my forehead if it was covered in acne. So what did I do? What we all do; I took a bunch of facial scrubs and really cleaned my face everyday. Well, my acne broke out. Everywhere. All over my face. All at once. My once-beautiful cheeks looked like scabbing, red, cystic messes. I cried a lot about it.

Then all of these great bloggers and you-tubers before me posted about the water-washing-only method for the face. They argued: Hey, I’ve been using products all this time and nothing is working. So then I stopped. And my face got better.

Hey now there’s an idea.

Every 28 days, I hear that your body creates a new layer of skin. The skin, when untouched, forms a dead-skin mask. I’m on day 27.

acne-27day-caveman

My skin after 27 days of not washing or removing dead-skin-mask. No products other than LUSH handmade tinted makeup to hide redness. No mineral makeup. No face wash.

It’s not pretty, and I know that. You can see redness in areas where it didn’t mask over (I got itchy) and some more pimples. The lovely reptilian pattern on my skin is the mask! But I also know that one day I will have clear skin – I’m determined – and that helps, too! I’m no longer anxious about it getting better! Here’s how and why.

I don’t think we need to wash our faces everyday. I do think that our skin naturally protects us from bacterias, etc., just with its own oils. I’m not saying we shouldn’t wash our hands – we should definitely wash our hands! But faces? Hair? Everyday? I’m not so sure. Other cultures don’t do it. Why do we? When I gently exfoliate off the dead skin from the mask, I will let you know how that goes!

In terms of hormonal acne regulation, I believe it is a multiple-part situation. You need to pay attention to your meal frequency (see Robb Wolf article linked to above). When I started paleo, my acne went down dramatically. Then I was snacking more and my acne was back even worse. And then I saw Robb’s article and put it into effect immediately – and I instantly saw results.

You also need to take care of the extra estrogen/testosterone the body might be dealing with. I’ve heard that milk thistle three times a day helps the liver to clear out and deal with extra hormones. Further, I’ve heard from The Paleo Mom that if you have an autoimmune condition that effects the skin, glycine is a good supplement to take. (*I’m not sure how much, and I myself have not started to take it, so research this please! Glycine is also found in gelatin products!)

One last thing – check out face mapping to see what your acne might be telling you. A lot of the face mapping I’ve seen is the same, but here’s one I’ve been using that I find pretty helpful! 🙂

Okay, that’s all I have for your today! I hope that you find the links helpful and my general testimony to be informative. As always, please let me know if you have questions/comments/concerns!

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2 thoughts on “Acne & it’s link to the rest of the body

  1. hi i have lots of problems with my skin even washing with a cloth irritates and makes it red. if i don’t use anything it heals up. i can only make it about 5 days without washing do u have any tips? do u think my face may heal up if i leave it alone?

    • Hi Meg! I guess I’m wondering why you can only make it 5 days without washing? I recommend doing very little to clean your face. In my experience, yes, your skin will heal if you leave it alone. It will probably get a little flakey, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Try it. If it gets too flakey, gently rub your finger in a circular motion over your face with lukewarm water. If you’re interested in learning more about the “caveman regimen” and someone’s experience with it, I would recommend reading this: http://thelovevitamin.com/3819/caveman-regimen-3-month-update/. Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

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