Hello, hope someone can shed some light on my situation. I started Paleo on the 1st of February 2012. I started because of acne issues. I'm 23yr old female who has had acne since I was 10. I went full hardcore when I started. My diet only consists of the following:- Asparagus,Parsley,Broccoli,Grass-fed beef,Onions,Garlic,Sea salt,Coconut flour, Coconut Oil.
That is all I eat. Still before starting I used to get 2 pimples every 5 days to a week, after starting though,especially since the second week there are always 2 or 3 pimples on my face,before they can heal another 2 or 3 show up. I did have lot of clogged pores before starting as well. I sleep 8-9hours every night. After going paleo I have stopped putting anything on my face,no foundation or cream.
So please any idea what this is? Is it an initial breakout thats happening? I ask because some say there is no such thing as toxins being released and stuff so I'm so confused!
Update I am officially freaking out! Today I see a new pimple forming on my forehead. I already have 2 big ones on both of my cheeks!! What is going on?! Eating healthy is suppose to help my skin,its making it worse!! I don't feel like showing my face anywhere! What do I do?! Please anyone help!!!
asked byAria (20)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on February 24, 2012
at 07:27 PM
Firstly, what you are eating is rather restricted. Not only is it a small variety of food, but it also doesn't make up for that in nutrient density; acne is often seen with micronutrient deficiencies, particularly zinc and vitamin A; and that could well be the case if you're only eating muscle meat - traditional societies utilise the entire animal, and especially organ meats and gelatinous cuts (e.g. oxtail) are most beneficial and nutrient-dense. Liver especially is beneficial to acne sufferers since it contains high levels of vitamin A.
Also, even though coconut flour is, perhaps, as good an alternative as flours go, it is still relatively nutrient-depleted and processed, and I definitely wouldn't recommend making coconut-flour based foods a staple in your diet, when you could replace them with more nutrient-rich food. Try using coconut 'manna' or 'butter' instead, its whole and a lot more nutritious.
Eggs (if tolerated; focus on the yolk, and if you want the white, cook it to denature the antinutrient avidin), shellfish (especially oysters - very nutrient-dense and high in zinc and selenium), wild - caught fish, organs, and gelatin (bone broth, gelatinous meat cuts, bone marrow) are all very nutrient dense and should be part of your diet, and contain nutrients that are vital to connective tissue and skin health.
Also, though you are eating sulfur-rich and antioxidant-rich green vegetables, you should widen the variety of colours: eat orange, yellow and red vegetables, cooked tomatoes (makes lycopene more bioavailable); if you don't have significant weight to lose, there's no need to restrict plant storage organs (root vegetables!) which are highly nutritious: carrots (actually not that carb-heavy), parsnips, beetroot (the pigments on these guys are enough to turn your kitchen purple!); also, low-sugar fruit like berries of all kinds and colours are very nourishing.
Digestive issues and gut flora imbalance can also cause inflammation and hence breakouts; take a multi-strain probiotic and eat fermented foods (saurkraut, kimchi, yoghurt if you tolerate dairy).
Also, since acne is essentially inflammation, make sure you are getting anti-inflammatory substances in your diet: Omega 3 (fermented cod liver oil/oily fish such as sardines, herring, wild salmon, mackerel); Conjugated Linoleic Acid (pastured ruminant fat; grassfed butter/ghee); Spices (the idea that 'spicy foods' cause acne is anecdotally true because the 'spicy foods' in question are usually breaded crap deep-fried in rancid soybean oil; spices used in whole foods, especially turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, chilli, etc, are all anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant; actually, a good remedy for acne is a yoghurt-based mask with turmeric and neem due to the anti-inflammatory properties); berries; crucifers (you say you eat broccoli; consider cabbage - red cabbage too, brussel sprouts, etc)
Also, stay away from foods that could potentially cause hormonal disbalance - especially those containing xenoestrogens; going paleo has most probably eliminated soy for you, but a lot of substances causing disbalance can come from cans and packages containing BPA; reusing plastic containers and bottles and heating plastic can also leach harmful components - be careful!
Lastly, make sure you are cleansing your skin well, and keeping your skin clean. Even if you are not wearing makeup, the air in the city is as far from nature as you can get - its full of pollution and pore-cloggers; you can use a non-comedogenic oil (olive, jojoba, avocado - do not use coconut oil on your skin, lauric acid is comedogenic!) gently to remove dirt, and invest in a good, natural cleanser (I like Ren's Clay cleanser; you could also try natural brands like Pai or Dr. Alkaitis). A lot of people are brazenly brushing off the use of any manufactured skin products, but the thing is that we live in the city, not in the wild like early man and our skin does need extra cleansing in a city environment; there are plenty organic brands (look at Whole Foods) which are effective in gently cleansing the skin without overstripping it.
Also, since you are already suffering from clogged pores, you should also invest in a good face mask (e.g. Omorovicza's deep cleansing mud mask; ren's sulfur treatment mask are ones I use). If you don't want to splurge on these, basically any clay mask from an organic, natural brand will do for an occasional treatment; you could also make your own using clay, which you can get pretty easily at Whole Foods or a beauty supply store.
You can use clay as a base and add anti-inflammatory essential oils such as tea trea, lavender, sandalwood (dilute first in a neutral carrier oil),frankinsence (dilute). The best time to do a mask is after a hot shower, or steaming your face (simply pour hot water into a bowl, add some essential oils and put a towel over your head, letting the steam open the pores).
In addition, make sure you are keeping your skin clean in the sense that you are frequently changing your pillowcase, keeping your hair out of your face when you sleep, not pressing your phone to your face (or wiping it regularly), and not touching your face with your hands.
I hope I helped!
These are all things that helped me personally.
on February 24, 2012
at 06:11 PM
This doesn't really have anything to do with paleo, but I've recently found all-natural solutions to my annoying acne. I had it as a teen, it cleared up in my 20's, went paleo at 30, and at 32, this year, I was dealing with a lot of breakouts. I started a full-spectrum probiotic, as well as a zinc supplement about 2 weeks ago. I also have a locally made moisturizer I use that is made mostly of coconut oil and a few other natural ingredients. I mix 3 drops of pure tea tree oil into that and use it every night. So far, so good, the combo of probiotics, 50mg of zinc per day, and the tea tree oil is helping massively. My skin has cleared right up.
on February 24, 2012
at 05:40 PM
I started strict paleo a little over a month ago, but I made sure to reduce the carbs and up the fat. It sounds like you're doing that, but I would maybe try adding bacon. Someone else mentioned somewhere that bacon made their acne disappear, and I've been eating it every day and my skin went from constant pimples since I was 11 to completely clear!
Also, I had a strong breakout when I first started strict paleo, with a gigantic whopper of a zit right on my forehead, so I think there is some truth to toxins getting cleaned out.
You might to keep using some moisturizer if you used to use that, since you're skin might be too dry if you stopped it. I used to moisturize every morning and use benzoyl peroxide every night (for 10 years!), and I now just moisturize in the morning and that's it.
Give it some time though, and it might clear up with what you're doing now. Best of luck!