3

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Acne & Vegan turned Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM

I stopped eating meat not too too long ago, maybe about a year ago. Then in August, my skin started breaking out horrifically...and the health of my hair was obviously deteriorating, it started looking very dry and the ends were ruined (even soon after a haircut).

I had bought some paleo books and had the idea sitting in the back of my mind for awhile, but after those drastic changes in my skin & hair happened (oh did I mention weight gain?!) -- I decided I needed another change. I've always had wheat/dairy allergies so paleo seemed ideal...I had a high percentage of carb vs fat/protein ratio. So, I'm thinking...cutting back on the carbs and upping the protein and fat should hopefully improve my hair & skin health? Although, I see everywhere that MORE fat is bad for acne, I might...disagree? Seeing as that was one of the significant changes in my diet -- I'm thinking I didn't have enough.

Am I crazy? Any similar experiences? Opinions? Help Also: My dermatologist sucks and has been absolutely not helpful at all

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(501)

on May 31, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Zach, i have acne mostly on my cheek and lower cheek/jaw line, any idea the causes? thanks

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:44 PM

I think you'll have great success, but I can't promise you. Definitely get retinol (vitamin A) in your diet somehow, it's pretty damn important. Keep those omega 3s up, and minimize all the non-omega 3 PUFA you can. Personally I feel strongly that fermented food has a lot to do with my being able to tolerate a variety of foods (carbs, dairy). I go absolutely fruit and dairy crazy sometimes and nothing happens.. still clearing up steadily!

Baca1c17577501bce56c3ce89beaad2f

(225)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:39 PM

It sounds like we've experienced some very similar symptoms! (I've taken all sorts of acne medication, internal and topical and no luck!)...so this has me confident that I could possibly see some changes soon. Maybe I'll add A and omega 3 to my daily supplements.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Sugar definitely gives me rashes and acne.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 14, 2012
at 01:58 PM

Sleep and stress are important factors for acne as well.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 14, 2012
at 07:14 AM

You don't need muscle meat, liver and oysters with a lot of well-ripened fruit en coconut oil should already help you really well.

Baca1c17577501bce56c3ce89beaad2f

(225)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I hope you're right, I just have to be patient and wait out the flare up I suppose. I've also started rubbing coconut oil on the inflamed areas...another trick that "gets worse before it gets better". Grr

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 14, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Oh my, I hope this is true... 3 months in and counting. Might be getting a tiny bit better but last week was awful!

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 14, 2012
at 12:31 AM

Seconded on the "it gets worse right before it gets better after changing to a whole food, paleo diet." It seems to be kind of like a cleansing process. Give it a little bit of time and it will clear up.

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7 Answers

best answer

3
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on May 13, 2012
at 11:46 PM

With acne my experience has been that it gets worse right before it gets better after changing to a whole food, paleo diet.

A high fat low carb paleo diet works great for acne reduction from my own personal experience and from what I've seen elsewhere on this site from others.

My skin has never looked better since removing dairy and wheat specifically. I recommend it for sure.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 14, 2012
at 01:58 PM

Sleep and stress are important factors for acne as well.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 14, 2012
at 12:31 AM

Seconded on the "it gets worse right before it gets better after changing to a whole food, paleo diet." It seems to be kind of like a cleansing process. Give it a little bit of time and it will clear up.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 14, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Oh my, I hope this is true... 3 months in and counting. Might be getting a tiny bit better but last week was awful!

Baca1c17577501bce56c3ce89beaad2f

(225)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I hope you're right, I just have to be patient and wait out the flare up I suppose. I've also started rubbing coconut oil on the inflamed areas...another trick that "gets worse before it gets better". Grr

best answer

1
91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on May 14, 2012
at 12:38 AM

I turned Paleo a month ago in my ongoing effort to stop cystic acne (I'm 28, been trying for the last 5 years and am running out of options). The first 3 weeks my skin kept breaking out, maybe worse than usual, but the fourth week it really started to clear up. I hope it's up from here but I've read that it can take much longer for people's skin to clear completely on Paleo. Not sure if that helps at all but that's been my experience so far.

best answer

3
1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 14, 2012
at 06:03 AM

I'm confident that acne is a combination of 1) inflammatory conditions 2) poor gut flora...

At first I thought dairy would break me out like everyone else, but I consume LOADS of it in the form of fermented food and some non-fermented. I also eat loads of fruit, not bothering to count macronutrients. I fast anywhere betweeen 16-23 hours daily and take ice cold showers. I eat more butter than anyone I know (kerrygold, specifically) and consume as much meat and veggie as I want. I supplement extra omega 3 on top of the fish I eat throughout the week. I eat fat soluble vitamins K2, A, and D. I also started taking magnesium. But that's about it! Oh and tubers too, I don't shy away from them either..

So far, none of this has slowed down my acne clearing up. My back and chest are officially 100% clear of active acne and new formations. My face and neck are following suit very quickly. It's amazing! I've had acne since 5th grade and i'm 25 years old now. It never stopped even with accutane and every medication on the market (though Aczone is new, and effective. I don't need it at all anymore.) I would get endless cysts, endless comedones of various types.. the works. I'm an acne veteran and this diet+lifestyle has changed my life.

If you have any questions just let me know!

Baca1c17577501bce56c3ce89beaad2f

(225)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:39 PM

It sounds like we've experienced some very similar symptoms! (I've taken all sorts of acne medication, internal and topical and no luck!)...so this has me confident that I could possibly see some changes soon. Maybe I'll add A and omega 3 to my daily supplements.

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:44 PM

I think you'll have great success, but I can't promise you. Definitely get retinol (vitamin A) in your diet somehow, it's pretty damn important. Keep those omega 3s up, and minimize all the non-omega 3 PUFA you can. Personally I feel strongly that fermented food has a lot to do with my being able to tolerate a variety of foods (carbs, dairy). I go absolutely fruit and dairy crazy sometimes and nothing happens.. still clearing up steadily!

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(501)

on May 31, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Zach, i have acne mostly on my cheek and lower cheek/jaw line, any idea the causes? thanks

1
E40376207e058c2fefde3cd031261b9d

(10)

on May 14, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I have never had a problem with acne but the inflamatory response is agravated by a high sugar diet, so be careful to avoid lots of sugar and carbs, and aim to replace them with nutricious colourful veg and berries, fatty meat or fish ( leaning to omega 3 sources ) and cutting out PUFA or other inflamatory foods.

Exercise is good to get lymph flowing and a whole lot of benefits which improves general health. Try and avoid irritating situations too...

Good luck,

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 14, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Sugar definitely gives me rashes and acne.

0
D6e3ebd17db3e111f89454bce04e80fa

on May 14, 2012
at 05:08 AM

It depends on the type of fat. Some fat will make acne go crazy and some will make it dissapear completely. Here's how it works: Watch the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Modern foods have almost no omega3 because of how livestock is now raised (on corn), and it's immediately destroyed by cooking anyways, so you need to supplement. Omega3 is also vital for healthy nail and hair growth, so this sounds like the root cause for your issue. Most vegetable oils are omega6 (like corn and sunflower oil which are terrible). Avoid those. Try cold pressed flax oil. Olive oil is omega9, which is kind of neutral. Coconut also seems to be a neutral oil.

Avoiding dairy like it's anthrax is the right way to go. And watch out for how it's hidden in the ingredients as whey, or sodium caseinate or casein. This crap can even be in things like sun tan lotion! (I found that out in an unhappy way while on vacation).

You can use 2.5% to 5% benzoyl peroxide but NEVER more than 5%, and use it on your whole face, not just where you break out.
All the 10% stuff you find everywhere doesn't work at all! It just dries out you skin an makes everything worse.

0
1775c95dd39521288852caa738a4b8ca

on May 14, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Depends what sort of fat. Polyunsaturated, synthetic trans fats, and sometimes monounsaturated are bad. Saturated fats and naturally occuring trans fats (the latter in moderation) are good.

0
E26cf857aa9d8eadfb92094fed02ce22

on May 14, 2012
at 12:27 AM

My awesome "adult acne" is almost non- existent since turning to paleo. I eat a fair amount of fats in my diet and i do eat some dairy. The lack of sugars and gluten seem to have really helped my skin.

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