If you feel like there is no hope for your skin, you need to read Sunny’s story. For 15 years Sunny struggled with acne-ridden skin. She made countless visits to the dermatologist. After reading the Skintervention Guide, and doing some research of her own, Sunny tried a new elimination diet. She noticed a change in her skin within a matter of days. No more acne picking and anxiety. No more being afraid to look in the mirror every day. Thanks for sharing your story Sunny! -Amanda
My face broke out when I was ten. Along with it came a terrible skin-picking compulsion to self-soothe my anxiety.
I was always a happy kid and remained so through my teen years. But I obsessed over my acne constantly. The dermatologist gave me some antibiotics and topical creams. When I got tired of those not working, I would wash my face with the strongest benzyl peroxide cleanser I could find, which I followed with a benzyl peroxide cream. I wore layers of concealer.
I picked every single night and day for fifteen years. The mirror would call me in and trap me for hours. I spent the time playing out imaginary scenarios and conversations about anything over and over in my head. I was too afraid of Accutane, so I just kind of lived with the torment.
My diet in college degraded quickly. My favorite was the “burrito-a-day-phase”. One night I took a 5-hour energy and couldn’t stomach it at all. Sugary drinks made me ill. I couldn’t handle Starbucks Frappuccinos anymore. I knew something in me was changing for the worse.
I googled “foods that cause inflammation” and came across the Paleo diet. I decided enough was enough – I gave it a shot.
Success! Clear skin! (Still picking!) However, I got these results with the help of the retinoids. I decided to stop using those and switch to natural face-care. I also tried to gain some weight by eating plenty of sweet potatoes and fruit. The acne around my jaw exploded. It itched badly at night and woke me up. I started getting terrible mood swings. I was crushed and confused. I tried Auto-immune, oil-cleansing, supplements, FCLO, 21 DSD, low FODMAP, meditating, and liver. Liver! I was eating liver and sauerkraut, where was my clear skin??
A year after starting Paleo, I went back to my dermatologist, defeated, for some more antibiotics. I also bought the Skintervention Guide and emailed Liz, asking for advice. She mentioned that my liver may be having trouble clearing out toxins. I remembered reading that fructose is processed by the liver and impairs the body’s ability to make serotonin (a lack of which can cause anxiety/depression).
Then I remembered reading about Fructose Malabsorption – the one elimination diet I hadn’t tried, because while I knew in my heart it would help me, I wasn’t ready to give up sugar.
Finally, the emotional pain of picking and facing a lifetime of antibiotics caught up to me. I quit the medicine and the retinoids and started the “FructMal” diet on the same day.
Within days, I got results above and beyond what any acne treatment had ever done for me. After a month I took the “after” photos – as you can see, it’s a dramatic improvement.
The best for me, though, was when I leaned forward into the mirror, and rubbed my hands over my face, and inspected a few remaining spots . . . and then I pulled back. The mirror did not have power over me. It let me go.
Acne, picking, and anxiety – under control. I’m still testing the boundaries and sometimes suffering the consequences. When the mirror doesn’t let me go, I know I need to clean up the food. I have scars that may never heal, but the results I’ve seen have been like the most wonderful dream.
I wanted to share this story with you because I want you to know that there IS a solution for you. You are not a victim to your skin or mental conditions. It was shocking for me to realize this, but food is that big of a deal. If you have skin problems, or if you have anxiety/depression, do not give up searching. Yes, you can heal yourself with food. I believe in this because food healed me, and I believe in you.
I wish you clear skin and happiness,