Dear Paleo Community,
Prepare yourself for a fairly detailed post about my who acne journey...
Ever since I was little, I had perfectly clear skin. Even up until the age of 13, I had remarkably happy and healthy skin. Fast forward a few months into my grade 7 year... One day a saleswoman from Clean&Clear came to our primary school and delivered a detailed speech about facial routines and how important it is that all of the people in my year should start using facial products in order to prepare for the 'teenage breakouts' which are supposedly close ahead. By this time I had only been washing my face with water, and was soul shocked once the woman told the crowd of 13 year olds that washing with only water is unhygienic and that the Clean&Clear products are necessary to ensure pimple-free skin. A few days later I got my mother to buy me all the Clean&Clear products and I started using them right away. My mother couldn’t make sense of the fact that I was busy using products for acne prone skin although I didn’t even have a single zit at that stage. Funny enough, a few months after starting those products, I developed my first breakout (Coincidence?).
Slowly but surely the acne started to become worse, which led to me trying new and harsher products to try and contain what was happening, but with every new harsher acne product I tried, my acne only got worse and worse. By the start of my grade 9 (age 15) school year, my acne became so severe that my mother had to take me to the dermatologist. Without much analysis he put me on a long course of antibiotics and prescribed me my first tube of BENZOYL PEROXIDE.
Over the course of the next few months my acne started to decrease bit by bit, till my face was fairly relatively clear. As soon as I stopped the antibiotics and the benzoyl peroxide… BAM!!! I underwent the worse breakout I had ever had in my whole entire life. (Of course the long-term antibiotics caused devastating destruction of my gut flora, and I started to develop abdominal issues, food sensitivities, weird immune reactions etc…).
Soon after that, the doctor once more prescribed me some benzoyl peroxide, and within a few months my skin was ten-fold better, but on the other hand severely dry, red and irritated.
As the years went by, I had to up my usage of the BP, due to lower doses not being able to control my acne any longer. I have been using BP from the age of 15 till this present day, and I am 20 years old by now (almost 21) which means close to 6 years of BP use. The hyper pigmentation of my skin has become so noticeable, and my skin is already showing clear signs of aging although I am only 20 years old. As soon as I try to stop using BP, my skin develops the worse acne breakouts imaginable, so severe that I can’t even open my mouth without excruciating pain, or even sleep at night due to the throbbing on my face.
What I have noticed now is that I only develop acne on my T-zone where I have been applying benzoyl peroxide for the past 5 years of use; otherwise i don’t have a single pimple on the rest of my body (COINCIDENCE?!?!?). I am quite sure that my present acne does not form any link to diet, as I have been on the paleo diet (and AIP) for the past 5 years, and that I am enjoying perfect health, if my acne problems are disregarded.
I know that BP is an extremely harsh topical medication, and the reason as to why the medication works its wonders is mainly due to its detrimental side effects, which consist of turning your face into a desert which makes it completely uninhabitable to P. acnes (and don’t forget the beneficial facial flora too). Therefore, I am convinced that after 5-6 years of BP use, my facial flora has reached a state of utter imbalance. Another side effect of the medication is that it also exfoliates your skin by drying it out to the max, which in turn causes your face to produce much more sebum in order to compensate for the extreme dryness. And as you can imagine (and i also find it so ironic) is that at the end of each day, my T-zone turns into a shiny oil pool where in the morning it had been a flaking, scaling and peeling desert (ONLY MY T-ZONE, not the rest of my face
If you have any advice, and I mean any, please do not hesitate to reply to this post. I need to get off of BP because it is ruining my face, but at the same time I am too scared, because each time I try to stop it, it blows back at me with a breakout. If you have gone through this yourself, please let me know what you have done to alleviate this problem. I am desperate and I really don’t want to put my face through any more of this detriment. Thank you for reading. I would adore any advice.
If only I continued to wash my face with only water…
asked byWikus_Vorster (0)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on May 03, 2018
at 09:29 PM
I don't have the answer because I too am struggling with acne,but my advice is to quit the benzoyl peroxide! Unlike you,BP only makes my acne worse and worse with NO signs of clearing it;but despite the fact that it seems to clear your acne SOME it seems to be irritating your skin very badly.
Needless to say I think benzoyl peroxide is the devil.lol.
My best results have come from uv exposure and diet .Yes,tanning.I know it is not looked upon favorably,but a lot of people in the Paleo community are cool with tanning in the natural sunlight.It always helps my acne tremendously even if it doesn't clear it completely.
Moisturize moisturize moisturize.Just go to bed in a big slick of coconut oil or whatever works best for you.My personal experience is when my skin is DRY as opposed to oily that's when it breaks out the worst( like your tzone right now from the BP)
How is your diet? If I eat dairy my acne goes from mild to severe.May not be the same for you,but it seems to be pretty common.
Yeah ,so I'm not an expert ,but struggling with acne these are a couple things that I've found to help the most.Diet+ tan+ moisturize/ hydrate+ use very gentle products.