UPDATE: Sept 2018 edited this a bit. The original post is from May 2017, before the all beef diet.
A couple of days ago I got an Instagram message asking about skin problems. First I’d like to say, this is what I did and it worked for me. I can’t guarantee it will work for you but I definitely think you should give it a try.
Basically before I went on this diet I had serious skin problems. I had acne as a teenager, and then in my early twenties it started turning into cystic acne. Having arthritis was terrible. Being depressed is terrible. Being chronically fatigued is terrible. But at least those things are invisible. When you start getting big red bumps on your face, life gets pretty unfunny real quick.
My cystic acne was on another level. It wasn’t even called cystic acne. I went to a dermatologist and to doctors. One doctor thought it was bacterial, and a dermatologist told me to stop doing it to myself. NO JOKE. He literally suggested I was poking holes in my own skin. Then when I went back and told him it was diet related he laughed at me. I didn’t see him again.
These are not photos of my skin at its worst (it’s not fun taking photos at that time), but these guys show a bit of what was going on. It hurt.
My skin got worse until I went on the diet (age 23). There was one Christmas when it was so bad I needed to wear band-aids to the Christmas party. My skin wouldn’t heal. Eventually, it did, a couple of weeks into January. Four weeks of face wounds. My parents got worried at that point.
I had these weird acne blister things on my face, my back, my bum, and I started getting bumps on my arms and legs. I have a couple of scars from them. It wasn’t just the fact that people can see it. It was painfullll. Those lumps hurt! So even if you can’t see it, you can feel it all the time. That wasn’t fun either.
Turns out the worst thing for my skin was gluten. My skin used to get worse around exams and I thought it was stress. Nope. You have exams before Christmas, then what? Then you eat dessert every day. What do you eat when you’re studying for exams? If you’re 19-22 year old me, you survive off of cheese and Ichiban (a particularly delicious form of Mr Noodles that is really not good for you). My diet would get worse while cramming for exams, and then during my exams, my skin would pay for it.
Steps to fix your skin:
- Try not to blame yourself.
- Ignore everyone telling you to wash your skin more (f*ck those people, it’s not your fault exactly and washing has literally nothing to do with it)
- Get the IgG food sensitivity test done and LISTEN TO IT.
- Screw it and go all beef. That’d be the fastest way to get clear skin.
I can’t stress the IgG food sensitivity test enough. If you Google it, a bunch of articles on how the whole thing is BS will pop up. Take a leap of faith and ignore those. I wish I had done that earlier. If you live in a city, find a Naturopath and give them a call. See if they’ll do IgG food sensitivity testing. I’m warning you, it’s pricy. In Canada it’s approximately 450$ (plus the Naturopath appointment). Doing this test will save you a lot of pain in the future, and it’ll help you figure out those skin problems faster. They do a blood test and show you what food your body is creating antibodies to. If you cut out the foods your body is creating antibodies to, your skin should get better. This should only take about 3 weeks.
If you don’t want to spend the money to do the IgG testing (I REALLY recommend it though), you can start an elimination diet. Go down to that list of foods I typed up. Or go all meat… I would recommend just going to all meat. You can heal your gut that way and reintroduce later if you even want to.
If you can’t manage a full meat diet or even a strict elimination diet, cut out the following foods:
Those were the main problems for my skin. When I started cutting out food I only cut out gluten and that wasn’t enough. My skin got better, but not enough. So if you only do a little bit, it might not help. I had to remove almost everything in order to make a difference, but again, my skin was in REALLY bad shape. If you suffer from minor acne, maybe cutting out gluten and dairy will be enough.
The reason I’m really stressing doing the IgG testing is because there were some foods that I reacted to that were really not obvious. Kelp noodles and white cabbage (but not red cabbage). I found this out the extremely hard way, but if you do the test and listen to it, you can avoid testing it out on your poor body.
When I eat something I shouldn’t eat (especially if I eat a large amount of it), 6 days later I’ll start feeling painful bumps come up, then at around day 8, the bumps will start weeping. I believe this is from your body starting to expel large amounts of antibodies from attacking the food you just ate. Why is the food you just ate getting into your tissues? Leaky gut which you can heal from going to a meat diet. If you stop eating the foods that are making you produce the antibodies though, your body won’t be trying to get rid of them in a very uncomfortable way through your skin.
I used to take antibiotics for my skin, birth control, and topical dapsone. Occasionally oral dapsone. I don’t recommend any of these. They didn’t help me enough anyway, all those pics are with those medications.
Last thing, if you have any open wounds, especially scrapes (or acne!), get these or something like these (blister bandages work too!). They’re made with water so they’re hypoallergenic (for those of us allergic to band-aids). I find they speed up the healing process. They sell them at Shoppers Drugmart in Canada. They work way better than band-aids. It’s best to keep wounds moist (the cells can move faster to get where they’re supposed to get to during healing, also extremely useful for burns).
After I cut out everything my skin was better in less than a month. Now when I react (after I try to reintroduce something and depending on the food), my skin flares up in 7 days and it’s over after day 28. Get the IgG test done. It’s not a quacky thing, and it’s not a money grabber, take it from me – someone who’s not earning any money telling you to get it done. I got it done when I was little and my family didn’t believe it so we threw away the results. It probably would’ve saved my hip and ankle, but definitely would’ve saved me from years of frustrating acne.
Here’s my skin now, makeup free – excuse the lack of enthusiasm. I’m feeling rather puffy from the pregnancy. I just wanted a clear picture of my skin.
It feels amazing now. And even when I get a pimple, it’s a TINY one. It heals in 1-2 days and it’s easily covered by makeup. And they’re rare. But man my diet is clean. Good luck! I know how frustrating skin problems are. Especially when they hurt and can’t be covered by makeup.
You can check what my skin look like now on Instagram. I’m a different colour, I can hold a tan, my skin is clear and not puffy. It used to be breaking down and now I don’t even wear foundation or powder, just a bit of concealer under my eyes 🙂 Didn’t think that was a possibility for me. I never get acne on this diet unless I go on a bender and drink a bunch of bourbon. And even then, it’s not really acne, more like minor skin irritation.