Oh my, the journey to a clear complexion has been a long and painful journey. I don't think anyone can understand how awful it is to deal with acne unless they have experienced it themselves. I know it sounds vain to obsess over a physical imperfection, but the fact of the matter is that we all want to look nice and no one wants to attract negative attention.
My skin struggles started in my mid-20's and the problem has sort of ebbed and flowed, becoming especially bad starting last fall. Appearance aside, it was extremely painful to deal with adult-onset acne. The blemishes I dealt with were very painful. Just touching or washing my face was unpleasant, and the pain would almost radiate out of the deep, cystic blemishes.
I tried a lot of different things. Proactiv. Mineral-based make-up. Various antibiotics and other prescriptions from the dermatologist. Regular facials. The Clarisonic.
Then in April, I decided to try something new. I eliminated dairy from my diet. I was extremely strict that first month. And the results were amazing. So much so that my brother commented on my complexion - and anyone with a brother knows they don't notice/comment on things like that.
Now, I will say, this apparent cure is medically unfounded. No medical profession will agree that removing dairy had anything to do with my skin clearing up in the span of a month.
But I guess for me, the proof is in the pictures. I hate to post pictures of my skin, and the pictures probably don't do it justice, but it gives a good before and after means of comparison...
|My skin was really starting to flare up on my marathon trip with Amber.|
|Fall of 2010 - my skin was getting to it's worst at this point.|
|Here I am on April 23, 23 days into my dairy-free experiment... with no blemishes.|
|Months later, my skin is still blemish free|
I don't really know how else the difference can be explained. And I guess I don't really care about the fact that the impact of going dairy-free is medically unfounded. It worked for me.
These days, I am not as strict about being dairy free. I usually allow myself one day to cheat each week. The strange thing is that I really do not miss dairy at all... And that is surprising given the fact that I am a cheese lover. Skin benefits aside, I actually feel better overall after removing dairy. I have less tummy troubles and on those days when I do cheat and eat something with alot of dairy in it? Ouch. My stomach rebels.
I am careful about my calcium consumption, though. I take a supplement and am diligent about incorporating non-dairy sources of calcium into my diet.
I know it might not be a cure for everyone, but it sure has appeared to be a cure for me.