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Acne Won't Go Away, Please Help

by (193)
Updated about 7 hours ago
Created April 04, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I've been Paleo for 2 months now, and have struggled with acne my entire life. This is the reason I went Paleo in the first place. While my face has cleared up tremendously, the pimples keep coming back. They're never as big as they used to be and there aren't as many, but my face isn't clear like a lot of people claim their faces become once they start eating Paleo. I aslo struggle with scars. They're lasting longer than they've ever before. Does anyone know why or what I could do? I'm starting Whole30 to see if that'll change anything.

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6550 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Just butter, and even that very infrequently.

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8933 · May 08, 2012 at 10:26 AM

That's a personal thing, CharlieMezak, two years ago I had practically no acne and ate almost only white potatoes.

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8933 · May 08, 2012 at 10:25 AM

2 months is way more than enough, normally if you're doing well you should not get zits and clearing up zits probably takes 2-4 weeks.

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55 · May 08, 2012 at 1:29 AM

So many responses... I second this though, I had horrrrribble acne, cystic and also just from oil. It STOPPED when I stopped using soap. I oil cleanse now (OCM, look it up), but only on days I wore a lot of makeup or felt really gross. I don't even wash my face most days anymore, which also means I look at it less and obsess less about it. Also, for cysts- COCONUT OIL. Topical. Apply as a moisturizer, rub it in, buff the excess off with a cotton ball. It was like a miracle for me! Also: www.makeupartistschoice.com is the BEST company for skin advice. I recommend the TCA peels for scars!

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698 · February 02, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Right on dude. I've had acne since 3rd grade, still do. Paleo is helping me tremendously, and my body is breakout free for the first time ever. Currently operating on animal fats, coconut anything, vegetables, plenty of fruit (i'm really active), omega 3 (660mg) eggs, lots of grass-fed butter, sweet potatoes and other tubers.. not eating dairy except for butter, no nuts, keep my crappy meats lean and sub animal fats, and supplementing vitamin D, the occasional 25,000 vit A, and on low omega 3 days I eat a few fish oil caps. I feel tremendous and am looking much, much better.

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520 · November 30, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I've taken herpanacine before, and I really didn't notice any different. But then again, there are so many things that I have tried over the years that didn't work. Now that I've gone paleo, perhaps my baseline is such that some of those things would now make a difference.

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520 · November 30, 2011 at 9:25 PM

nightshades are ABSOLUTELY a huge culprit in my chronic acne. I've been nightshade free for a long time and still break out, but not nearly as much. If I eat nightshades, I break out almost immediately.

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8933 · June 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I meant food combining, not fruit combining.

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8933 · June 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

You should watch out with fruit combining too. If you eat fruit shortly after you eat meat, you can break out like crazy (my acne only got bad when I started to eat apples and grapes right after protein meals). Look into food combining, it's the number one cause of acne for me. Nuts and eggs give me acne if I eat too much of them. I mostly eat brown rice, meat, fish, onions and other vegetables. And I drink rooibos. Haven't had a pimple in weeks. I know brown rice isn't paleo, but it works better for me than fruit, and eases digestion. I actually never eat fruit but lemons.

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8933 · June 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Great advice, I'm using it too.

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331 · June 04, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I agree with tartare - make-up is going to hinder progress, especially foundation, light or no. Do you clean your brush?

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193 · June 04, 2011 at 3:30 PM

@tartare I honestly try to go as often as I can without having to wear makeup. Seriously. There are some days my skin isn't so bad that I can go without it to work. But yes, I wear a foundation but it's a mousse not a heavy liquid. I find the mousse to be lighter and I use a brush so most of what I put on the brush stays on the brush. I also wash the brush reguarly. Also, I can't tolerate butter, so I'm not going to do that. My face has been improving since I originally posted my hack.

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5136 · June 04, 2011 at 2:35 PM

by "wear makeup to work to get solid color" do you mean foundation? Foundation is the killer of skin. You might want to let your skin breathe fully for a while, which means showing up at work with eye lip makeup but no foundation. That could help speed the process of healing. Sounds like your diet is pretty good, personally I'm a huge fan of grass fed butter and I would actually encourage you to try to reintroduce that along with coconut oil as your cooking fats. If it's already improving (as your original post said), maybe it will just need time.

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193 · April 05, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I drink coconut water all the time. And I used to use aloe vera, it worked for a while but then seemed to stop working. I keep it for the summertime though for days my face gets a little red I think it's a better alternative to using other things.

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15976 · April 05, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Well, i never stopped using Proactiv in the last 3 years. But during that time I've had periods with more zits, and then less zits, etc. It SEEMS that, having not eaten dairy in a year, that it is the load of omega six that i take in that controls the condition of my skin. Not conclusive at all, though. But my anecdotes combined with respected opinions like Cordain's and Wolf's makes me kind of confident in my approach. Its working. We're all different though so who knows. Just offering my experience up.

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942 · April 05, 2011 at 1:14 PM

it takes four months for new skin tissue to really rejuvenate. Also, how is your probiotic and greens intake? A great thing to help with that kind of thing (besides proper hydration) is coconut water mixed with chlorophyll (liquid chlorophyll or juiced vegetables: parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, celery), not just for the electrolytes and good salts but because coconut water + chlorophyll is almost like a blood transfusion. In Vietman, field-medics would sometimes use coconut water when they couldn't transfuse blood plasma. Try using aloe vera gel on your face when you get out of the shower.

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942 · April 05, 2011 at 1:14 PM

four months.. sorry

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46
942 · April 05, 2011 at 1:13 PM

it takes for months for new skin tissue to really rejuvenate. Also, how is your probiotic and greens intake? A great thing to help with that kind of thing (bedsides proper hydration) is coconut water mixed with chlorophyll (liquid chlorophyll or juiced vegetables: parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, celery), not just for the electrolytes and good salts but because coconut water + chlorophyll is almost like a blood transfusion. In Vietman, field-medics would sometimes use coconut water when they couldn't transfuse blood plasma. Try using aloe vera gel on your face when you get out of the shower.

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193 · April 05, 2011 at 3:07 AM

Yeah I'm going to switch to coconut oil and try a few more suggestions. Thanks for your feedback everyone!

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21405 · April 05, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Also Cordain seems to strongly believe that nightshades are a huge culprit in acne...

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6157 · April 05, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Sounds like you are doing so many things right! I know it sucks when your results aren't the miraculous ones we tend to see on blogs. For me, I noticed some immediate health benefits but no real change in athletic performance, for example. Anyway, be patient and hang in there. Tweak the one or two things you need to. Find a better cooking fat, maybe (coconut oil?), and cut out the nuts, and give it a few more months. Best of luck.

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193 · April 05, 2011 at 12:05 AM

thank you! I'm going to try that!

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7324 · April 04, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Cut out the nuts and chicken. And don't cook in olive oil!!! You might try reducing the overall amount of olive oil you consume as well. Favor animal fats and coconut.

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7324 · April 04, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Try to eat as little pufa as possible. Favor ruminants for your meat and ghee, tallow, or coconut oil for fats.

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571 · April 04, 2011 at 9:26 PM

How do you know it's your diet and not just the Proactiv? It contains Benzoyl peroxide, which is very good for acne prone skin (yeah it's kind of aggressive, but at least it works, chemistry rules). You could eat a crappy diet, with BPO you will have a clear skin.

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I think this is a great point: lots of fish oil may not be a good thing for acne and for inflammation in general, even for a few months.

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I'm going to retract my previous comment. I'm not sure that I've ever bought grass-fed cream by itself (always received it with milk). So, I have no idea if I tolerate cream. I think I tolerate butter (in small doses), and I know I don't do well on milk. If I were in Marisa's shoes, I would cut out everything and then add things back in later.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:12 PM

But Ben 100g of eggs has only 1g of Omega6 ? If we use that as a limit I don't think there are very few foods left (with an Omega6 content lower than 1g) ?

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 3:10 PM

No reason other than my own personal experience... I seem to tolerate butter but not cream (even grass-fed, raw). The reason may be that I don't eat much butter, but when I had access to cream, I had a fair amount. So there may not be a difference either way.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Spinach and liver contain also contain a fair amount of Vitamin A.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:05 PM

gone2croatan, butter/cream ?

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Decrease omega6 -> less overall PUFA

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Melissa, which "mechanism" do you think changes in that time ? Omega content in tissue, gut flora, etc ?

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I'm not sure how long have you been eating "paleo" but when I started using no shampoo it took me about three months of REALLY greasy hair but after that things leveled down, so don't give up ;)

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Decrease omega6 -> less overall PUFA.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Jae, I'm wondering, why would you recommend butter over cream ? I think the protein/carb content isn't more than a gram (per 100g).

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61 · April 04, 2011 at 1:09 PM

What should the ratio of O3:O6 be? Decrease the O6? Thanks, I have the same problem, but bumpy skin / clogged pores. :/

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21405 · April 04, 2011 at 12:58 PM

I know it's a totally different scenario for myself (I am assuming you are a female from your userid), but my hormones changed considerably from pre-to-post paleo... for the first 3 months or so I actually had *more* pimples than I did before going paleo - mostly due (in my opinion) to my hormones stabilizing and improving on the diet. After everything had acclaimated, I was fine.

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56616 · April 04, 2011 at 12:54 PM

it's going to take more like 6 months to get rid of serious ance.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c
3756 · April 04, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Right. To really get rid of something like acne, you'll have to watch that O3:O6 pretty closely.

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21 Answers

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Background questions:

  • Define "Paleo for two months." What are you eating, exactly? No offense, but when people say they've been doing "strict Paleo" sometimes their definitions are different from mine. When I first started, I thought processed deli meat and canola oil were good choices. Oops. List a food log and macronutrient analysis. I don't really care about macronutrients much, but this is one issue where an analysis may be useful.

  • Do you get any exercise? If not, get some. I don't care what kind, except don't do chronic cardio.

  • How much do you sleep? Get lots, in a dark room, and as Robb Wolf says, kill someone to make this happen if you have to.

  • How are your stress levels? If you're stressed out, do something about it. Meditate, yoga, light exercise, whatever.

  • Are you taking any anti-inflammatory supplements? Vitamin D, magnesium, fish oil, anything else? Probiotics? If not, consult a doctor and start looking into these.

As a side note: I think most questions should include the above info....

Actual suggestions:

  • Do you use any facial cleaners (soap, anything containing benzoyl peroxide or other medications)? If so, what kind? As weird as this may sound, you might want to try not using any. They seem to help some people but not others, and they may be overdrying and irritating your skin. I think in my case, this would also prompt excess sebum production, but I'm not sure.

  • Do you touch your face regularly? If so, stop.

  • Anecdotally: I use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a shampoo/conditioner, and lately I've been using it to rinse my face as well. I think it's done me some good. I dilute the ACV in a spray bottle of water at around a 1:5 ratio (ACV:water). My skin definitely feels softer, and also if I have an occasional pimple, it seems to go away faster.

  • Have you tried putting a fresh towel or t-shirt on your pillow every night? This method apparently has done wonders for some people. Side note: my favorite part of the towel thread is where someone (jokingly) says it could have been a coincidence, and that in the name of science, the OP should stop putting towels on his bed and see if the acne comes back.

  • Also, as Melissa said: be patient. It may take longer than 2 months.

  • gone2croatan's suggestion to stop eating dairy is a must, if you haven't already. Butter is probably okay for most people, but I'm not sure. Cut it out anyway, just to be safe, and add it back in later. Milk, cream, cheese -- give it up.

  • Read the post over at Evolutionary Psychiatry on acne and inflammation. You might consider selenium, zinc, and vitamins A and C in addition to the commonly supplemented D/Mg/n3. Again, consult a doctor, although good luck finding one that understands what you're trying to accomplish.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Jae, I'm wondering, why would you recommend butter over cream ? I think the protein/carb content isn't more than a gram (per 100g).

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 3:10 PM

No reason other than my own personal experience... I seem to tolerate butter but not cream (even grass-fed, raw). The reason may be that I don't eat much butter, but when I had access to cream, I had a fair amount. So there may not be a difference either way.

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I'm going to retract my previous comment. I'm not sure that I've ever bought grass-fed cream by itself (always received it with milk). So, I have no idea if I tolerate cream. I think I tolerate butter (in small doses), and I know I don't do well on milk. If I were in Marisa's shoes, I would cut out everything and then add things back in later.

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7324 · April 04, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Are you eating nuts? Or a lot of chicken, pork, eggs, and/or olive oil? You may still be getting a fair amount of O6 from these foods which would cause inflammation and thus acne.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c
3756 · April 04, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Right. To really get rid of something like acne, you'll have to watch that O3:O6 pretty closely.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Decrease omega6 -> less overall PUFA.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Decrease omega6 -> less overall PUFA

49d18da1ee2fdb861ed5bddbd8c29096
61 · April 04, 2011 at 1:09 PM

What should the ratio of O3:O6 be? Decrease the O6? Thanks, I have the same problem, but bumpy skin / clogged pores. :/

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1
7324 · April 04, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Try to eat as little pufa as possible. Favor ruminants for your meat and ghee, tallow, or coconut oil for fats.

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531 · April 04, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I know that Omega 3's are stressed on Paleo - but for me, too much and my acne flares up, as does inflammation in my body. I got cystic acne like I hadn't experienced in years after becoming Paleo. This may change over time for me, but right now I can't handle tons of fish or fish oil capsules. You might be going through a pretty hefty hormonal upheaval, as other people have said. It will take longer than 2 months for that to get straightened out in your body.

Dairy does cause inflammation in a lot of people, including me. I make ghee from pastured butter and seem to thrive on that, but all other dairy aggravates my system.

Also, my friend bought me a facial last year. I always thought my skin was oily, but she told me it's oily below, and dry and flaky on top. I was using harsh scrubbers - she made me switch to a creamy/rich cleanser and an oil free moisturizer. I was using MyChelle Pumpkin cleanser and their oil-free moisturizer. It definitely helped, but it's too expensive. Now I approximate with what I can afford. And do things like avocado masks on occasion and jojoba or sea buckthorn oil on my skin a few times a week.

There is a supplement regime I take, and since I've been doing it, I haven't had one zit (not even around my period), and my gut feels a lot more soothed. Its:

1500 mg Sea Buckthorn daily(1:1 ratio on Omega 3 and 6, plus the really rare Omega 7). Some people would definitely poo-poo this since it's a seed and fruit oil, but it's helped my body than anything else I've ever taken - which has been a lot lot lot of stuff.

15000 Vit D daily

200 mcg Vit K2 (not K1) every few days

3 tsp Natural Calm magnesium supplement every other day

I eat fruit for Vitamin C, which is so necessary for the health of my skin. If you have candida and leaky gut, which many acne sufferers do, you should skip the fruit until you can kick the candida. Get lots of Vitamin A too from stuff like sweet potatoes (again, a no if there is candida) and grassfed beef.

The health of your liver is something to consider too. It has taken me years to clean out the junk in my liver from having Celiacs and from growing up on a horrendous diet. Actual liver cleanses can be way too hard on many people's system. Eating bitter greens like Dandelion and/or supplements like bitter melon, gentian, and buplureum can help the liver's self cleansing process. Just be warned if you do start cleaning your liver out, you're going to feel worse before you feel better.

Good luck!

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Spinach and liver contain also contain a fair amount of Vitamin A.

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6157 · April 04, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I think this is a great point: lots of fish oil may not be a good thing for acne and for inflammation in general, even for a few months.

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20787 · February 02, 2012 at 4:48 PM

One thing that really helped me was to just stop putting any soap or product on my face regularly. What I do now is not wash my face unless it is actually dirty. On most days, I wash my hair with all natural soap and then I rinse it carefully to make sure that minimal amounts of the rinsed soap touch my face. My face is just rinsed from the water only. WHen I get out of the shower, I towel off. The only time I wash my face is if I can see actual dirt on it. Then I wash with all natural soap only and just enough to get the dirt off. LIght dirt will come off with just a wash cloth and water anyway. Excess oil comes off with just water and drying with a towel. Once in a while on very hot sweaty days, my face does look shiny by the middle of the day, at which time I just take a towel or napkin and wipe off any excess shine.

End result is my acne was much less and interestingly, even though I was not making an effort to remove oil from my face, my face actually became much less oily. I wonder if an oily face is from the body's response to try to replace the oils many people keep stripping away with all their soaps. THe body might get in a habit of producing a lot of oil if people are constantly dessicating it with tons of soap. Anyway, all I know is by mostly just rinsing my face, oil production stabilized and my face rarely looks oily even after all day and my skin is much clearer. Natural body oils are naturally antibiotic so that actually makes sense. Improve the health of your skin with better moisturization the natural way and healthier foods and you improve your skin's ability to fight of germs. PLus a constant moderate supply of face oil may help vitamin D production. Body oil is there for a reason, why fight it?

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55 · May 08, 2012 at 1:29 AM

So many responses... I second this though, I had horrrrribble acne, cystic and also just from oil. It STOPPED when I stopped using soap. I oil cleanse now (OCM, look it up), but only on days I wore a lot of makeup or felt really gross. I don't even wash my face most days anymore, which also means I look at it less and obsess less about it. Also, for cysts- COCONUT OIL. Topical. Apply as a moisturizer, rub it in, buff the excess off with a cotton ball. It was like a miracle for me! Also: www.makeupartistschoice.com is the BEST company for skin advice. I recommend the TCA peels for scars!

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193 · April 04, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Hi everyone! Wow, there were lots of responses, thank you all for your advice! I haven???t been able to read everyone???s responses seeing as I was at work all day, but I will touch upon the main parts. Yes, I am female lol. I do exercise-weight training and cardio at my house because I can???t afford to belong to a crossfit gym. I???m not one of those girls that will only lift with a 3lb weight either. I???m a heavy weight lifter, but not too heavy because don???t want to hurt myself. I don???t eat grains or diary and I???m not one of those ???put creamer in my coffee??? people either because I don???t drink coffee. Since I???m just starting out, I wanted to do it right. My cheating is less than 80/20 and I never cheat with a full meal. It???s always a bite or two. Rarely I will eat uncured, no nitrates bacon or almond butter, things like that. I know people disagree on whether or not that???s Paleo-hence, why I???ve decided to try Whole30. I wash with a green tea cleanser that I get directly from a licensed esthetician that specializes in holistic medicine. It???s extremely gentle and I use a separate towel to pat dry my face when I???m done washing. I used to use a vitamin C serum she gave me, but I found that to make my face break out too. This was before Paleo, so maybe I should try it now and see if anything changes. I???ve done facials in the past and never saw a big difference. Plus I can???t afford it every month. I get plenty of sleep. Even though I???m an adult, I have a bedtime. For stress, I take Pilates once a week and have a light workout if I need to, or sometimes going head strong into my workouts relieves my stress. No change in stress levels really. I take fish oil supplements daily. Vitamin E, and only eat organic, grass-fed meat, and wild caught fish. I haven???t started the vitamin D because I didn???t know how important it was. But from what I read, I will certainly start that right away. I only wear makeup to work to get a solid color on my face, seeing as red marks can off-set the tone. I never wear makeup when I???m home and wash my face so I don???t workout with it on. I always use clean pillow cases. I???m OCD and wash my sheets often. I do have a doctor, but refuse to use the medications he???d prefer I put on my face. This is why I went Paleo in the first place.

I do eat nuts, chicken, omega-3 enriched eggs (800 mg each egg), beef and only cook in extra virgin oil olive, don???t eat a lot of pork though. But I take my fish oil supplements to help balance that.

If I need to give it more time, I completely understand that. I just read about other people???s success and wonder why mine hasn???t cleared up as quickly as others. Thought there was something wrong with me. If my body is just different, I can handle that. Been struggling with acne for a long time so I can give it another few months.

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942 · April 05, 2011 at 1:14 PM

it takes four months for new skin tissue to really rejuvenate. Also, how is your probiotic and greens intake? A great thing to help with that kind of thing (besides proper hydration) is coconut water mixed with chlorophyll (liquid chlorophyll or juiced vegetables: parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, celery), not just for the electrolytes and good salts but because coconut water + chlorophyll is almost like a blood transfusion. In Vietman, field-medics would sometimes use coconut water when they couldn't transfuse blood plasma. Try using aloe vera gel on your face when you get out of the shower.

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942 · April 05, 2011 at 1:14 PM

four months.. sorry

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46
942 · April 05, 2011 at 1:13 PM

it takes for months for new skin tissue to really rejuvenate. Also, how is your probiotic and greens intake? A great thing to help with that kind of thing (bedsides proper hydration) is coconut water mixed with chlorophyll (liquid chlorophyll or juiced vegetables: parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, celery), not just for the electrolytes and good salts but because coconut water + chlorophyll is almost like a blood transfusion. In Vietman, field-medics would sometimes use coconut water when they couldn't transfuse blood plasma. Try using aloe vera gel on your face when you get out of the shower.

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6157 · April 05, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Sounds like you are doing so many things right! I know it sucks when your results aren't the miraculous ones we tend to see on blogs. For me, I noticed some immediate health benefits but no real change in athletic performance, for example. Anyway, be patient and hang in there. Tweak the one or two things you need to. Find a better cooking fat, maybe (coconut oil?), and cut out the nuts, and give it a few more months. Best of luck.

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7324 · April 04, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Cut out the nuts and chicken. And don't cook in olive oil!!! You might try reducing the overall amount of olive oil you consume as well. Favor animal fats and coconut.

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193 · April 05, 2011 at 3:07 AM

Yeah I'm going to switch to coconut oil and try a few more suggestions. Thanks for your feedback everyone!

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193 · April 05, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I drink coconut water all the time. And I used to use aloe vera, it worked for a while but then seemed to stop working. I keep it for the summertime though for days my face gets a little red I think it's a better alternative to using other things.

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331 · June 04, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I agree with tartare - make-up is going to hinder progress, especially foundation, light or no. Do you clean your brush?

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193 · June 04, 2011 at 3:30 PM

@tartare I honestly try to go as often as I can without having to wear makeup. Seriously. There are some days my skin isn't so bad that I can go without it to work. But yes, I wear a foundation but it's a mousse not a heavy liquid. I find the mousse to be lighter and I use a brush so most of what I put on the brush stays on the brush. I also wash the brush reguarly. Also, I can't tolerate butter, so I'm not going to do that. My face has been improving since I originally posted my hack.

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5136 · June 04, 2011 at 2:35 PM

by "wear makeup to work to get solid color" do you mean foundation? Foundation is the killer of skin. You might want to let your skin breathe fully for a while, which means showing up at work with eye lip makeup but no foundation. That could help speed the process of healing. Sounds like your diet is pretty good, personally I'm a huge fan of grass fed butter and I would actually encourage you to try to reintroduce that along with coconut oil as your cooking fats. If it's already improving (as your original post said), maybe it will just need time.

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6550 · April 04, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Another thing I noticed is that I can't do lacto-paleo and have clear skin. Are you eating dairy?

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6550 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Just butter, and even that very infrequently.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:05 PM

gone2croatan, butter/cream ?

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193 · June 04, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Hey it's been another two months since I posted my question. My face has improved a lot since then! Still some ways to go with the scarring. I have started supplementing with Vit D and hopefully that'll help along with summer coming. To answer everyone's question about dairy, I don't tolerate it. It makes my skin break out so I'm absolutely dairy free. Thanks everyone for your help. I'll keep you'll posted in another two months! Definitely takes time though to heal what feels like a lifetime of acne!

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698 · February 02, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Right on dude. I've had acne since 3rd grade, still do. Paleo is helping me tremendously, and my body is breakout free for the first time ever. Currently operating on animal fats, coconut anything, vegetables, plenty of fruit (i'm really active), omega 3 (660mg) eggs, lots of grass-fed butter, sweet potatoes and other tubers.. not eating dairy except for butter, no nuts, keep my crappy meats lean and sub animal fats, and supplementing vitamin D, the occasional 25,000 vit A, and on low omega 3 days I eat a few fish oil caps. I feel tremendous and am looking much, much better.

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418 · June 04, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Take 50mg of Zinc a day! Make sure no dairy or gluten! And Vitamin D of course.

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65 · April 04, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I've found that Rooibos tea helps a great deal. One or two cups per day. It reduces the amount of oil that your sebaceous glands produce.

Also I use a cleanser with glycolic acid. You need the glycolic acid because its the only thing that helps to separate the skin cells. Your pores clog because the skin cells don't break apart the way they are supposed to. That is caused by too little of the enzymes that facilitate the reaction that separates your skin cells before they flake off. If they don't separate your pores will clog. You need something with glycolic acid to get them to separate. Zits happen below the surface. It doesn't matter how dirty the top layer is. Those skin cells have to separate from each other or you will get zits.

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8933 · June 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Great advice, I'm using it too.

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70 · April 04, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I have the same problem, and have some scars too, but they are starting to fade and my skin is breaking out less. I agree with everyone who says that less is more with facial products. I try to use a really gentle, natural cleanser (no acne washes or anything) and a really gentle moisturizer with sunscreen (sun will make the scars last longer). That's it. All the harsh washes, gels, and "clearifying" products just make my acne worse. Also, drink lots of water, and don't touch your skin! That's the hardest part for me, but it's really true. Less makeup is always better too. I know you probably want to cover up the scars, but at least when you're at home, go without any makeup.

That is what has worked for me. Good luck!

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0 · May 08, 2012 at 1:09 AM

You should try some DIM. My face cleared up dramatically in about two weeks.

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0 · May 08, 2012 at 1:02 AM

I don't do that but I use cream and it diloseint work but try a hot towel.that works

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45 · November 30, 2011 at 11:03 PM

This will likely get burried in the comments, but this simple, nay, elementary hack is far more effective than any cocktail of drugs on the market.

Place a fresh (clean) towel over your pillow each night. Don't reuse the towel. After you've used it once, wash it.

Simple as that.

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115 · November 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

My skin hasn't really improved much from going Paleo and my friend just recommended me Herpanacine

http://www.drugstore.com/diamond-herpanacine-herpanacine-dietary-supplement-with-antioxidants/qxp82978

I just ordered some this morning and I'm very excited to try it out. It's basically a blend of vitamins and minerals. Many people from reviews I've read had cystic acne for years and taken stuff like Accutane without any results.

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520 · November 30, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I've taken herpanacine before, and I really didn't notice any different. But then again, there are so many things that I have tried over the years that didn't work. Now that I've gone paleo, perhaps my baseline is such that some of those things would now make a difference.

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10 · April 05, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I've been paleo for a year and a half. I still break out, though I no longer get it really bad like I used to. It's a slow process, 2 months is not enough to undo everything.

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8933 · May 08, 2012 at 10:25 AM

2 months is way more than enough, normally if you're doing well you should not get zits and clearing up zits probably takes 2-4 weeks.

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454 · April 04, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Try using raw, organic, extra virgin Coconut Oil as a moisturizer. I've had acne for a long time also, so I'm willing to try just about anything. I've been rubbing Coconut Oil on my whole body for 3 weeks now, and my skin is SO soft and after two weeks, my acne has started to clear up. I haven't gotten any major zits on my face in this third week. Also, I've found that when I do get a zit or even a scratch or a burn (which is fairly common for me I work in a restaurant) it heals MUCH faster than before. It smells great and is all natural! You should give it a shot, start with using it on your body first to make sure nothing weird happens (everyone's skin is different, I didn't get any weird reactions) then smear it on after a shower! Check out this link:

http://www.acne.org/coconut-oil-reviews/474/page1.html

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193 · April 05, 2011 at 12:05 AM

thank you! I'm going to try that!

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552 · April 04, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Dr. Cordain has done a lot of research on acne: http://thepaleodiet.com/published-research/

As others have asked, I'd be curious what your diet is. Have you done 30 days of truly strict dairy-free Paleo?

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21405 · April 05, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Also Cordain seems to strongly believe that nightshades are a huge culprit in acne...

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520 · November 30, 2011 at 9:25 PM

nightshades are ABSOLUTELY a huge culprit in my chronic acne. I've been nightshade free for a long time and still break out, but not nearly as much. If I eat nightshades, I break out almost immediately.

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8933 · May 08, 2012 at 10:26 AM

That's a personal thing, CharlieMezak, two years ago I had practically no acne and ate almost only white potatoes.

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15976 · April 04, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Firstly, stop eating nuts and seeds, period. Heavy in omega six.

Ditch chicken and pork and eggs if theyre major parts of your diet. This was a sneaky culprit in my own journey.

Start supping with GLA. I use Solgar, here (I take two caps per day):

http://www.amazon.com/Solgar-Super-Gla-300mg-softgels/dp/B000YMYOS8

Its got the best concentration of GLA with as little as possible other omega sixes.

Although in principle I would love to say to stop using soaps/cleansers etc that you may be using, in my experience this HAS NOT been necessary. I have used for years, and continue to use daily, Proactiv. Only chemical gross stuff in my daily life but eff it, I like the fact that my skin is remaining clear.

Zits have a profound effect on my mood, outlook, even libido. Its just a confidence-killer. And this is me at 31 years old with a good job, athletic, etc. My point is only that I fully appreciate how difficult of a problem this can be. GET THE OMEGA SIX OUT OF YOUR DIET!

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571 · April 04, 2011 at 9:26 PM

How do you know it's your diet and not just the Proactiv? It contains Benzoyl peroxide, which is very good for acne prone skin (yeah it's kind of aggressive, but at least it works, chemistry rules). You could eat a crappy diet, with BPO you will have a clear skin.

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:12 PM

But Ben 100g of eggs has only 1g of Omega6 ? If we use that as a limit I don't think there are very few foods left (with an Omega6 content lower than 1g) ?

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15976 · April 05, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Well, i never stopped using Proactiv in the last 3 years. But during that time I've had periods with more zits, and then less zits, etc. It SEEMS that, having not eaten dairy in a year, that it is the load of omega six that i take in that controls the condition of my skin. Not conclusive at all, though. But my anecdotes combined with respected opinions like Cordain's and Wolf's makes me kind of confident in my approach. Its working. We're all different though so who knows. Just offering my experience up.

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4620 · April 04, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Maybe try changing your pillow case every day or every other day. I have naturally oily hair, so when I sleep I'm pretty much rubbing my face in the grease my hair transfers to the pillowcase (gross, I know). Also try splashing your face in the morning (and maybe night) with cold water.

And like everyone else said, work on perfecting that O3:O6 ratio!

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2399 · April 04, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I'm not sure how long have you been eating "paleo" but when I started using no shampoo it took me about three months of REALLY greasy hair but after that things leveled down, so don't give up ;)

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148 · April 04, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Eat foods high in Omega 3 (salmon) and supplement with probiotics (Primal Defense). Use a lotion with alpha hydroxy acids (Kiss My Face makes a good one) and you will have gorgeous skin in no time!

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620 · April 04, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Are you using any products? It could be the chemicals in a face wash or toner irritating your skin. You may want to try Witch Hazel- buy the all natural toner on Amazon, not the one in the drugstore that contains alcohol. Witch Hazel has natural healing properties and may help with the scarring.

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