Starting a Food Diary Saved My Skin (Part 2)
Hey Everyone! I'm back with part two of my skin journey....
So in full transparency, I was a tad bit nervous to post my before pics, in part one. But I knew that there had to be others, going through the same thing.
I want to take a moment to thank you all for the support and kind words. I also appreciate those who reached out to me, sharing their pictures. I learned a lot from your DMs, and look forward to seeing you all try out my tips!
Now, on to the rest of my story....
The week after my juice cleanse, I noticed that a lot of the inflammation and redness in my skin was fading away, but the cystic acne was still present. I could still feel those hard bumps, and I was determined to make them go away.
I started eating solid foods again, easing my way into salads and veggies first. I ate only that for the first week, and tried my best to drink 5-6 (16.9 fl oz) bottles of water a day.
My skin definitely started to improve, as I continued this routine for about 2 weeks, but of course I started getting cravings. So, I ended up having just a small kids meal at Chick-fil-a. I had 4 nuggets, waffle fries (of course) and a sweet tea. It's my fav! And you know I had to have my condiments: ranch / chick-fil-a / siracha sauce. Don't like those? Fight me.
Ya'll....I ended up with not one but TWO new bumps within 48hrs! They weren't fully formed on the surface yet, but you know the lighter ones you can run your finger across and kinda feel them forming beneath the surface? Yeah....those.....and they eventually turn cystic!
Over the course of the next few months I continued this same practice. I'm not perfect, so I definitely didn't stick to eating salads/fruits and only drinking water. This is how I eventually figured out all of my skin triggers.
PROCESSED SUGAR- This is most definitely the biggest issue for me, and it was easy to figure out b/c it's in most of the foods I love lol
FRIED FOODS- This one was super depressing lol I don't even have to explain
DAIRY- Lawwdd....this one is another one of the most noticeable triggers. I would get a white head pimple within a day or two, which sucks because I LOVE CHEESE!
CHOCOLATE- Finally, one of my favorite comfort foods! I really love chocolate, especially around my time of the month. So, this was another huge disappointment!
My skin journey has had a lot of ups and downs, but I'm happy to say I've finally gotten control over these breakouts. I now understand exactly what triggers my skin, and wanted to show you an example.
(Prior to me boycotting Starbucks) I did this experiment, and sent it to one of my girls. I've been preaching about this food trigger issue to my friends, so I needed to have evidence lol
I had an iced grande white chocolate mocha, with no whip cream. (If you're not familiar with Starbucks, just know it's a super sweet drink, that I had no business drinking but again....I'm not perfect!)
It almost instantly triggered my skin! Now for those of you who are reading this like, "Oh okay I guess I'll just have these breakouts forever b/c I'm not giving up my fav food"....no fear! I have a potential solution for you later! Stay tuned.....
BUT First off, you really need to find out what your exact skin triggers are. Whether you're experiencing a sudden breakout for the first time, or you've been battling acne for awhile, I encourage you to start a food diary.
It doesn't have to be dramatic, like you purchasing a fancy notebook or anything. You can simply use the notes section in your phone! Just keep track of what you're eating everyday for a at least a month.
But FIRST be sure to do some type of cleanse. You don't have to do a juice fast like I did. However, you'll need to pick a detox that works best for you. The goal is to empty out your system first before you start the food diary. Once you're done with your cleanse, pay attention to your skin! Examine it in detail. Take pics/videos!
Once you start eating normally again, look out for any new bumps/irritations that come. This doesn't just apply to your face. I know some of you expressed concerns in DMs about your back/chest breaking out. Although face acne is the most common issue, food can definitely affect any part of your skin!
If you know you're going to eat something triggering, try taking a probiotic first.
I'm not too picky on the brands, but this one here has worked so well for me. At first, I started taking one about an hour or two before I knew I was going to eat bad. But now, I just take one a day regularly in line with my other vitamins/supplements, because it has a lot of benefits.
Probiotics are made of good bacteria that help balance out the bad ones in your digestive system. You can google more about them, because this post is already lengthy lol (Just be sure to keep them refrigerated!)
They've really helped me maintain my clear skin. Now, I will say that you can't expect to just eat whatever you want, and pop one of these everyday. Sorry it doesn't work like that.
You have to MAKE SACRIFICES and do the WORK to clear you skin FIRST. It took me a few months to get my skin back to normal. But remember, I never had breakouts before my mid twenties.
So, I only suffered from that acne for maybe 3 months. I was able to reverse it by sticking to a very strict diet for about 2 months...now my skin is clear and the probiotics assist me when I eat bad.
However, I don't eat bad EVERYDAY. I choose to eat clean 75-80% of the time and then have my triggers in MODERATION. That's why the probiotics help, because there isn't much of those foods embedded in my digestive system.
Do NOT expect to undo months or years of acne with one pill or one week of sacrifice. It's just unrealistic and you will be disappointed every time.
In conclusion, the biggest thing you'll need on this journey is PATIENCE. Learn to love your skin the way it is...flaws and all while also doing the work to clear up the breakouts.