Junior year of high school, I had awful acne. My forehead was red, bumpy and irritated. Going from a point of having more pimples than clear skin on my forehead to having it completely clear involved the quickest, easiest fix possible! As it turned out, I was allergic to an ingredient in Nestle chocolate chips that is also found in other chocolate and diary products, but not all of them. I still have no idea what the ingredient is, but I have established a list of “safe” and “unsafe” chocolates that I can and cannot have. While I was struggling with my acne, I could’ve sworn that it was genetic and that I would need hardcore medicinal ointment and a miracle to clear my skin. I wish I could go back and tell myself to eat organic chocolate instead and all my (skin) problems would vanish!
If you’re struggling with acne, I would first recommend that you follow a clean diet for a week or two to see if your face clears up. Strictly eat fruits, vegetables and healthy meats such as chicken prepared with no oil or butter. Then, start gradually reintroducing “normal” food to see what exactly makes you break out, wether it be oil, dairy, sweets or something else. It may be a preservative found in certain brands of foods but not others. I, for example, am fine with eating almond butter but the moment I eat peanut butter, breakouts start popping up all over my face.
Keeping your skin clean is also imperative to keeping it clear of blemishes. Although cutting out my allergen cleared most of my acne, I was still getting the occasional pimple. I attributed it to not removing all of my makeup and my mom recommended I try using a toner every night. The white cotton pads used to apply the toner don’t lie and will show you just how much grime and old foundation stays on your skin every night even after washing!
Now, after getting my nightly skin care routine down, my face is clear. I start by wiping the makeup off my face with a makeup removing towelette before using an acne fighting facial cleanser. I then pat my face dry with a clean towel before applying some toner with a cotton pad and finish with some of what has to be the world’s best moisturizer.
Acne is an struggle that everyone faces and is often difficult to understand. Back in high school when the skin on my forehead was bumpy, irritated and broken out, even my dermatologist didn’t know that often times, acne is caused by a food allergy. Instead of suggesting that I find the root of my problem, she prescribed me a topical treatment that left me with painful chemical burns on the skin covering my acne. While a prescription treatment might serve as a short term solution (or just make everything worse), it will do no good in the long term if your acne is caused by an artificial ingredient you are ingesting. You are what you eat and if you choose to eat something unnaturally toxic or with multiple additives, your skin will reflect it; it’s trying to tell you something! The first step in clearing up your skin is listening to your body. The second is taking care of your skin by keeping it clean, moisturized and refreshed.