Anybody have any success in this regard? If so, was it just facial, or shoulder as well? Can I toss out my Clearasil? Should I sell my shares of Reckitt Benckiser Group plc?
I can personally speak to the success of this. The entire reason I began paleo was because of a bad outbreak of cystic acne after spending a month in China. There were divers sorts of tempting wheat buns and vegetable fats that I did not know better than to eat. While the Traditional Chinese doctor I went to gave no good advice, (somehow the Chinese have come up with the same old wives' tales that they have in the West) the Chinese idea of treating food as medicine inspired me to do some of my own research that brought me to paleo.
Without digressing further, I believe that a ketogenic diet low in PUFA, balanced omega 3:6, low in glutens/lectins was critical in clearing my skin. I have not used soap, detergents, surfactants, or anything else for at least a year.
Low inflammation paleo food helped me. Very rarely get any shoulder acne now.
Put HFCS in my mouth and I can pretty much guarantee myself acne in two days. Happens if I binge eat with a decent amount of fruit involved too, but not nearly as bad.
Dr. Loren Cordain has a book called, "The Dietary Cure for Acne", though based on some of his literature, I don't think even he knows exactly why the paleo diet prevents acne. I guess they are still trying to nail down the exact physiological mechanism involved.
My skin has improved a lot on a low carb version of Paleo (very little fruit), but any dairy other than ghee will cause break-outs. My shoulders are a lot better, but my chest will still break out with dairy.
Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization
BACKGROUND: In westernized societies, acne vulgaris is a nearly universal skin disease afflicting 79% to 95% of the adolescent population. In men and women older than 25 years, 40% to 54% have some degree of facial acne, and clinical facial acne persists into middle age in 12% of women and 3% of men. Epidemiological evidence suggests that acne incidence rates are considerably lower in nonwesternized societies. Herein we report the prevalence of acne in 2 nonwesternized populations: the Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea and the Aché hunter-gatherers of Paraguay. Additionally, we analyze how elements in nonwesternized environments may influence the development of acne.
OBSERVATIONS: Of 1200 Kitavan subjects examined (including 300 aged 15-25 years), no case of acne (grade 1 with multiple comedones or grades 2-4) was observed. Of 115 Aché subjects examined (including 15 aged 15-25 years) over 843 days, no case of active acne (grades 1-4) was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: The astonishing difference in acne incidence rates between nonwesternized and fully modernized societies cannot be solely attributed to genetic differences among populations but likely results from differing environmental factors. Identification of these factors may be useful in the treatment of acne in Western populations.
I haven't read the study, but apparently it also includes the detail that when members of these populations are exposed to a western/modern diet the exhibit all the traditional symptoms of acne.
I don't know any of the science behind it, but I can attest that since beginning eating Paleo only a month ago, the acne that my husband had on his back ever since I met him (attractive, I know) is clearing up. And we still eat some dairy.
If Ayers is right, then paleo probably would through reducing inflammation. I've certainly found that eating a better diet generally (even pre-paleo) improved skin generally. Vitamin K2 is supposed to be dramatically and instantly positive for skin, but I don't know whether that would apply directly to acne. A brief look on wikipedia also suggests that paleo would be beneficial via offering more micronutrients (A+E), lower carbohydrate and no dairy.
In general I'd certainly expect paleo to help acne and skin trouble, but if you have some antecedent cause of massive inflammation that won't go away (such as extreme hormonal inbalance during adolescence) then you might well be stuck with the symptoms.
The answer is yes. I learned about it from Loren Cordain's "Dietary Cure for Acne". I did however have a reoccurance of acne when I ate a bunch of dried fruit. So be cautious about eating lots of fruit as that will spike blood sugar and cause breakouts.