Let’s start with the wrong answers: I didn’t stop eating chocolate not did I cut off milk, sugar, fat or gluten from my diet. I didn’t use any medication. Anti-acne face creams, gels or other products like that had no use to me. I also didn’t refrain from going to University and move to countryside and start living a quiet life to stop stressing out – as you might know, stress is often considered the main reason we get acne (I also believe it’s one of the things we have least power to control so just blaming stress will get you nowhere).
So, what worked for me then? I used a lot of time googling and testing everything I could find but I genuinely hope this list will help you find your solution faster.
DIDN’T WORK: Face gels with benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid
I tried many of these. Some I used for months, some only for a few days to realize my face is dying. Actually, the first time I realized I should do something to my acne was when I had a health check in High School and the nurse there pointed out that I seem to have a bit of acne and prescribed me some kind of face gel with quite a lot of benzyl peroxide in it.
DIDN’T WORK: Evening primrose oil
It made my acne horribly worse. Would not recommend to anyone.
DIDN’T WORK: Birth control pill
I had read from the internet that taking contraceptive pill would cure your acne so I went on and asked my school’s nurse to prescribe me a kind that would cure my acne. First one I tried was Diane Nova which only made my acne worse. They say you should use the pill for at more than 3 months to know if it actually works. However, I couldn’t. Taking Diane Nova for just a month made me have horrible migraines – and when I say migraine, I mean a migraine with aura. My migraines are the kind where I temporarily lose half of my eye-sight, lose sense of touch in half of my body and just feel horrible in all ways possible.
Later, I also tried a pill named Yazmin but it had exactly the same effect.
In short, I would never recommend contraceptive pills for acne to anyone. Even if they did work for you, your acne will probably return once you stop using them and they might horribly mess up your hormonal balance so there are definitely better solutions for acne.
DIDN’T WORK: Maca root
Based on my experiences, I would never, ever recommend maca to anyone. It made my acne worse than ever and I honestly felt like sleeping with make up on (of course I didn’t do that though, it would have only made matters worse). My face had break-outs in places like my cheeks where I had never before had acne. What was nice was that I was never too cold nor too hot anymore and I kind of had more energy than before but my acne turned so nightmarish that I had to stop taking maca. Many of the scars I got because of maca still haven’t healed.
DIDN’T WORK: Changing my diet radically
I tried changing my diet and experimented by cutting down the intake of sugar and milk products for example. There was a period when I avoided both sugar and milk as well as I could but there was no effect. At first, it felt like I stopped getting pimples but that didn’t last long. I was actually kind of happy this didn’t resolve the problem since I really love ice cream, chocolate and cheesecake and would never be able to live happily without them – no matter how clear my face was. We live only once anyway. :’)
KIND OF WORKED: Zinc
It didn’t stop me getting pimples but it definitely helped my scars fade faster. I used both zinc supplements and zinc salve directly on my skin. If you sleep with zinc salve on your face your mattress cover will probably change color, so I suggest being careful with that. Also, as much I do recommend trying zinc to those seeking treatment for their scars, please also make sure you’ll get enough copper. My copper levels dropped a bit too much and if I ever start taking zinc again, I will definitely also take copper supplements.
WORKED: Vitamin supplements and Omega-3
Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Omega-3. I’m not sure which of these actually had the biggest effect but I’m pretty sure it was Omega 3. However, taking supplements on vitamins B, D & C definitely didn’t harm me and they might have just been the key supplements in curing my acne so I would recommend trying them as well. One thing you should remember though is that taking a multi-vitamin might not be the best solution. Multivitamin supplements often contain so many different vitamins and minerals that there are some that “over-lap” each other, actually preventing each other from being absorbed to the body. In short, you’ll be wasting your money. Also, since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, please be careful to not take too big dosages of it (I currently take 1000IU/25µg a day and I’m pretty sure it’s enough).
You’ll see the Omega-3 supplement I’m currently taking in the picture above. I used to take another supplement and have actually tried quite many during years but I think the one by Now foods is both the most affordable and also one of the safest options. It has vitamin E in it to prevent rancidity but it’s in natural form so as long as you don’t exceed the recommended serving size, there shouldn’t be a problem. You can order this from Amazon (unfortunately they don’t ship worldwide though – you might have better luck with iHerb if you don’t live in States). However, since one of the side-effects of fish oil is thinning your blood, it’s not recommended for those taking blood-thinners.
WORKED: Cutting down on artificial sweeteners
I used to really, really love drinking light or zero sodas. However, after I stopped drinking it, my skin improved significantly. I still sometimes eat or drink something with artificial sweeteners and depending on the amount taken, I sometimes get pimples afterwards. Unfortunately in Japan, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame K or sucralose are added in pretty much anything so I always have to read the labels of sweets, ice cream, chocolate, drinks or anything that’s supposed to be sweet. The most annoying thing is that manufacturers often add both sugar and artificial sweeteners to their products – probably to cut on calories but extremely annoying anyway.
WORKED: Taking care of my digestive balance
This really depends on a person but generally, drinking a lot of water (preferably lukewarm or warm water) and eating a balanced diet are definitely not going to hurt you. I have made quite a lot of research on this and will probably write a separate post about it later – this post will never end if I write about it here.
That’s basically it for the things I tried. Please remember that these are only my personal experiences and I can’t guarantee the same things will work for you. I’d also like to remind you that I’m not a doctor so please do your research before taking any of the supplements I have recommended in this post.
Today’s post was a bit more personal than my other posts so far so I would really love to hear what you thought about it. One of my main goals with this blog is to share information that would be helpful to my readers so I genuinely hope someone would find even some of the things listed useful.