I’ve had really bad acne in the past – it was so bad that when I was a teenager, I had to go on Accutane because nothing else would clear it up. I don’t think I have (or at least I didn’t keep) many pictures of myself during that time because I was so ashamed of the way I looked. Thank goodness smart phones were not a thing back then!
As an (almost) 34-year-old, one might assume that my days of dealing with acne are behind me. Not true! Unfortunately, I still deal with breakouts a lot. Normally it is a minor annoyance, a few here and there that most people probably wouldn’t notice all that much.
The past few weeks however, my skin just exploded! I was getting at least 3-4 pimples a day, and many of them were large inflamed ones. Everything I tried seemed futile. I cut out gluten, sugar and dairy from my diet (which often seems to help), I was using a skin-clearing mask nightly, I tried to make sure I was drinking plenty of water… but the breakouts kept coming in full force.
If you’ve ever had bad acne, you understand that feeling of fear, of feeling like your skin is not in your control anymore. You feel helpless, and it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. And if you’re like me, you also feel really ugly – I think due to my past struggles with acne, my skin condition really affects how I view myself – whether I feel good or bad, pretty or ugly…
I was desperate and didn’t know what else to do, so I turned to my trusty Clear Skin Prescription book by Nicholas Perricone. Maybe you’ve heard of the “Perricone diet?” Nicholas Perricone has written numberous books about anti-inflammatory diets that are supposed to be anti-aging and help you get clear, beautiful skin.
The Clear Skin Prescription contains a strict 3-day diet that Dr. Perricone recommends you follow if you want to see results on your skin fast. (Yes, please!) Basically you mostly eat salmon, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, and you can have small portions of certain nuts and plain yogurt. A lot of the diet is also about what you DON’T eat – no sugar, coffee, bread, sugary fruits (think bananas, mangoes, grapes), pasta, cheese… the list goes on.
I felt a little nervous about going on such a restrictive diet, because I’ve gotten to an unhealthy place with dieting in the past – obsessed about it really. And it was always for the same reason: to achieve clear skin. I’ve almost never dieted for weight reasons, it’s always been for my skin. I didn’t want to get to an obsessive level of dieting again, so I decided to try to be mindful as I do this clear skin diet, and to let myself cheat a bit and not worry about being 100% perfect.
That being said, I’ve eaten salmon for the past 7 days in a row. I’ve mostly followed the 3-day diet rules, but I extended it beyond 3 days because I wanted to see just how much it would help my skin. And you know what? It has helped a lot! My skin has calmed down so much and I’m not getting new breakouts daily anymore. I’m so thankful!!! *Please note: my skin is not perfect – I have gotten one or two pimples since being on the diet, but it’s SO much better than it was*
I don’t plan for this to be a forever diet, it’s just for right now to get my skin under control. The book also has suggestions for long-term eating habits, which are less restrictive than the 3-day diet. I still think I would like to eat salmon on a regular basis, though perhaps not DAILY, as it can get very monotonous.
Have you tried the Perricone diet or something similar? For my fellow acne-sufferers, does diet play a big part into how your skin looks?