See Spots Run How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post-acne marks

How to treat oily skin hormonal acne How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

It’s reader question time! Today I’ve got some advice for reader Giselle, who is looking for a skincare regimen that treats oily skin, hormonal acne breakouts AND their pain-in-the-butt aftermath, post-acne marks. She writes:

“I’m having trouble finding a good skin care regimen. I have oily skin and seem to break out a lot at my time of month. A lot of SPF moisturizers cause breakouts. I also have brown spots on my face, from old breakouts and age I suppose.”

Now Giselle is in her early 50s, but what I’m going to recommend applies to pretty much everyone over age 25.

Treating Hormonal Acne Naturally

I promise I WILL get to the product regimen part… but first things first: if you tend to break out at certain times of the month (join the club), it’s worth a little effort to see if you can re-balance those hormones. Yes, medications like the birth control pill, spironolactone, Accutane and antibiotics can help, but I’m generally against them. They’re short-term fixes with some serious side effects (some say even breast cancer, eeks). I’m also on the fence about laser treatments—they can work, but again, not necessarily permanently, and they can get REALLY expensive.

Although it’s undoubtedly more challenging, you can do a lot naturally through diet and lifestyle changes to at least lessen the severity of those monthly breakouts. (The payoff is that it’s going to make much more of a difference than any product you put on your skin topically, plus you can improve your overall health at the same time.)

What to Eat for Acne

I advocate cutting out processed foods (including soy—a major baddie) and upping your quantities of healthy saturated fats like butter and coconut oil.

Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Yep, you read that right. Fat is not the enemy—unless it’s hydrogenated vegetable or soybean oils. I’ve eliminated those (along with the vast quantities of nuts and seeds I used to eat) and started using tons of butter and coconut oil. I know it sounds strange, but it’s made a difference in my skin.

It’s also important to eat enough protein (animal protein is the highest quality), which most of us females don’t get enough of.

And you probably already know that sugar and white flour are the absolute worst, so avoid them like the plague.

UPDATE (2013): Some other things I now think are important when “eating for acne” are:

  • Avoiding ALL polyunsaturated oils (PUFAs).
  • Aiming for 80 grams of high-quality protein daily. Gelatin, milk, shellfish and beef are good sources.
  • Avoiding all gluten (it’s toxic for everyone; some people are just more sensitive to it than others). You may want to also consider eliminating starches and replacing them with fruits as your carb source.
  • Sugar I no longer feel is problematic. White sugar, honey and fruit sugars should all be fine on their own—it’s the junk they come with in processed foods that’s a problem.
  • Vitamin A is an extremely nutrient for acne prevention (I have many more details on that here).

Liver Detox and Acne

Many natural health practitioners also say that acne is connected to a sluggish liver—our livers process our hormones. If you’re feeling very brave, you could try a liver and gallbladder flush, which can remove blockages (intrahepatic stones) in the area that may be contributing to hormonal breakouts. This site is a good resource on how to do the flush. Warning: it’s not for the faint of heart!

There are two schools of thought on whether this works, however. While some people think you need to flush to get rid of the stones, others say they’re a side effect of not consuming enough healthy fats, and once you change your diet they will dissolve.

Morning skincare for acne-prone skin

Start with a basic gel cleanser (nothing creamy). The foaming cleansers I really like include the Instant Foaming Cleanser from Caudalie:

Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

The Organic Foaming Face Wash from Consonant:

Consonant Organic Foaming Face Wash How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

And the Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser from Aveda:

Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

At the drugstore, try Olay Foaming Face Wash:

Olay Foaming Face Wash How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Or Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser:

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Unless your skin is very oily, be careful with cleansers labelled for acne-prone or oily skin—many of them can be too drying. Also be cautious with cleansers that have added exfoliating properties, which can be too irritating. I prefer exfoliating with hydroxy acid toners (more on that in a second).

Then apply a serum. I’m a huge fan of serums because they’re more powerful than moisturizers; due to their liquidy format, formulators can infuse them with higher proportions of active ingredients. This is where you can treat both the pigmentation issues and the signs of aging.

I use La Roche-Posay Mela-D, which specifically targets dark spots.

La Roche Posay Mela D Serum How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Clinique also has a new product out for dark spots called Even Better.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Don’t be afraid to use more than one serum though. You can layer on an anti-aging one as well. I’ve also been using the new Prevage Anti-Aging Serum, which is pricey but super-effective on both pigmentation and fine lines. (It’s just a little silicone-y, so see if you can get a sample first to make sure it doesn’t break you out.)

Prevage Advanced Anti Aging Serum How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

If you’ve got oily skin, you don’t really need to layer on moisturizer and then sunscreen—it will just make you too greasy. Just put on your sunscreen (and maybe some eye cream, if you need it). Sunscreen is really important to protect any areas of pigmentation from getting darker.

Sometimes breakouts can arise from chemical sunscreens, so I’d use a natural sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. One of my favourite facial sunscreens is Lavanila The Healthy Sunscreen.

Lavanila The Healthy Sunscreen How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Remember to apply sunscreen all over your face, neck and chest.

Finally, use a mattifying or oil-control lotion or primer. This step will help absorb oil throughout the day so your skin doesn’t look as shiny. I’ve had good luck with OC8 Mattifying Gel:

OC8 Mattifying Gel How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

And Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer:

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

NeoStrata also has a new Oil-Free Mattifying Fluid that you may want to check out.

NeoStrata Oil Free Mattifying Fluid How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

After this, go ahead and apply your makeup. Note that a mineral powder foundation like Jane Iredale PurePressed Base is going to be much better for acneic skin than an oily, potentially clogging liquid foundation.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Evening skincare for acne-prone skin

Cleanse your skin again.

A few times a week, use a gentle exfoliating toner. I prefer hydroxy acid toners instead of actual scrubs with beads. They will not only remove dead skin build-up that can clog pores, but will also help fade the post-acne marks. The very best one I’ve tried is from Biologique Recherche (Lotion P50), although it’s hard to find.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Mario Badescu makes a Glycolic Acid Toner:

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

And Kiehl’s has a salicylic acid version:

Kiehls Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

I also like the Clarisonic a few times a week for some extra buffing power.

Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing System How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

After exfoliating, apply your serum again.

Then, use a treatment product. Depending on which issue is bothering you most, this could be something for the pigmentation issues or breakouts, or both.

For pigmentation, if you want to call in the big guns, I’d go with Lumixyl, a hydroquinone-free brightening cream that one dermatologist I’ve spoken to really likes.

Lumixyl Topical Brightening Creme How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

I’ve used it for short time and I think I can already see a slight difference.

For acne, you want a product that won’t dry you out too much (flaky, crusty skin is much worse than a pimple). If your breakouts are mild, you can spot-treat them by dabbing on a clay mask. Bentonite clay is the best—it won’t ever “burn” your skin but it dries it out amazingly well. Just pour a tiny amount into your hand and mix with water into a paste.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Otherwise, if your acne is all over, you can apply a thin layer of a hydroxy acid treatment over your entire face. A good, non-irritating option is Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All Over Blemish Solution:

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All Over Blemish Solution How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

Or Juice Beauty’s Blemish Clearing Serum:

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum How to treat oily skin, hormonal acne and post acne marks

I don’t think benzoyl peroxide products are a good idea, as they generate free radicals which can lead to accelerated aging. Don’t forget eye cream, lip balm, and some night cream on your neck and chest (aging shows there too)! You can also throw in a masque once a week depending on what your skin needs (moisture, oil-control, etc.).

Get the products

Have your say

Do you suffer from any of these skincare concerns?
What skincare regimen works for you?
Have you checked out any of these products?

88 Comments

Jessica Burman
Thursday, April 1/2010 at 8:20 am

Great advice.

I suffered from acne throughout my 20′s and early 30′s and then one day, it left. Not sure what happened but I suspect it has to do with the products I use plus I started to eat much healthier. I don’t eat animal protein but stock up on lots of beans and nuts. NO processed foods!

I believe shea butter plays a big role as well as oils high in linoleic acid – evening primrose, grapeseed, pumpkin seed, rosehip, sesame, safflower, sunflower, walnut and wheat germ are good choices.

Rosehip oil is amazing for reducing acne scarring because of its level of vitamin A acid.

Witch Hazel hydrosol is a great choice for a toner because it is highly antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent.

Tea tree oil fights the bacteria that causes acne – Propionobacterium acnes.

Exfoliating is huge and I agree a toner with hydroxy acids is probably your best bet. Dead Sea mud is a great choice for a mask and if you’re problem is severe, it wouldn’t hurt to use it every second day.

I would also recommend staying away from foundations that contain mineral oil and instead opt for a high quality mineral makeup with SPF.

Thanks for the article. I hope this helps people because I know how sucky it is to have to deal with acne.

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Liza
Thursday, April 1/2010 at 8:07 pm

Great advice. And very ‘European mom’ of you to remind everyone to work that night cream down to the neck and décolletage. So important.

My favourite product for drying out pimples is calamine lotion. It’s really fast and effective, although given its bright pepto-pink tint, not good for day. The famous Mario Badescu drying lotion is just calamine and salicylic acid, so you can duplicate it by using a salicylic acid astringent and then applying a drop of calamine lotion directly onto the pimple.

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Janelle
Tuesday, April 6/2010 at 2:47 pm

Great article! Thanks for the tips ladies!

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A
Thursday, April 8/2010 at 6:48 am

If you are going to make claims that breast cancer and the pill are related, you might want to cite a more reputable source other than the extreme right leaning World News Net Daily, which is notorious for unreliable, out of context, and false reporting. You are really doing quite a disservice to your readers and invalidating your entire article.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, April 8/2010 at 9:13 am

A – just because I cite a news source you don’t like, it doesn’t mean it “invalidates” the entire article. Your logic doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, if you read the article I linked to properly, you’d see that they cite a Mayo Clinic study, which is titled “Oral Contraceptive Use as a Risk Factor for Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis.”

Here it is if you want to read further: http://mayoclinicproceedings.com/content/81/10/1290.full.pdf+html

Is the Mayo Clinic reputable enough for you?

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Jenny
Monday, April 19/2010 at 9:44 pm

i just found your site and i’m loving it so far!

i have a question regarding hormonal cystic acne. i get it on my chin all the time and it takes forever for it to go away. what do u suggest for cystic acne? have you ever tried Mario Badescu’s buffering lotion? do you know of any other topical cystic acne treatments? i’m desperate! :(

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, April 19/2010 at 10:03 pm

Hey Jenny -thanks for reading! :-)

I hear you on the cystic acne… unfortunately I never had success with anything topical as my skin just got dried out and flaky with the bumps still underneath. I think cystic acne is an internal problem and I swear what really helped me was cod liver oil. (Along with what I said above about replacing unhealthy fats with good ones like butter and coconut oil… plus I also cut out all soy products.) I guess I should update this post – I forgot to mention the cod liver oil!

I think why it works is because it has huge amounts of vit A – just like Accutane does – but since it’s in food form it’s safe and you can’t OD on it or anything like that.

You shouldn’t take just any cod liver oil though because only certain kinds contain high enough amounts of vitamin A (along with vit D) and in the right ratios. I ordered mine from this company in the US: http://www.greenpasture.org/retail/?t=products&a=line&i=royal
I take 2 capsules a day and it has honestly made a HUGE difference. You can read more about it here including brand recommendations: http://www.westonaprice.org/Cod-Liver-Oil-Basics-and-Recommendations.html

What’s interesting is that I also ordered some for my dad and his blood pressure has dropped by 10 points!

I hope this helps – let me know if you try it! I know cystic acne can be a bit of a puzzle but at least with this option you’re also doing something good for your health overall. (It would actually replace the need for vit D3 capsules which most of us take anyway.)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, April 19/2010 at 10:08 pm

Oh and I forgot to say – take my recommendations with a grain of salt, of course, as I’m no doctor or dermatologist, obviously! Just someone who has tried a lot of things and done a lot of research – I prefer natural options versus prescription drugs or topicals that leave you dried out and flaky.

PS – Mario B’s lotion is good but as Liza says in her comment above it’s pretty similar to calamine lotion mixed with salicylic acid – so you could try that if you want to save money. I’m working on an acne story right now for Glow magazine so if I come across any new/good topicals I’ll do another post… just don’t think they’re the best for cystic acne.

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Jenny
Tuesday, April 20/2010 at 1:21 pm

Hmmm very interesting with the cod liver oil! I’ve actually heard some good things about it but didn’t know it could apply to cystic acne as well! I’m always scared about ingesting something to cure cystic acne! But I will definitely print off the ingredients of that cod liver oil and ask my doctor the next time I see him! Just to clarify, you bought the “BLUE ICE Royal™ Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend”? Do you ever get cystic acne anymore? And have you noticed any side effects from taking cod liver oil? (My friend has mentioned that his skin gets a tad “dewy/oily” from taking it lol) Thanks so much!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, April 20/2010 at 1:38 pm

Yes, that’s the one! And yes, pretty much clear skin aside from an occasional spot around that time of the month. It has not really changed the dewy/oiliness factor at all for me, just made my skin super soft.

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Jenny
Tuesday, April 20/2010 at 1:38 pm

sorry one more thing! do you know of any stores in toronto where they sell reputable cod liver oil like the one you recommended me? i can see the capsules are quite pricey + shipping…!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, April 20/2010 at 1:42 pm

I saw the same brand (just the cod liver oil though not the butter oil blend) at Whole Foods in downtown Toronto but it was really expensive (around $70). I think it still works out cheaper to order from the US – I didn’t get charged any customs duties when mine was shipped.

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Jenny
Tuesday, April 20/2010 at 2:13 pm

thanks michelle! i’m going to hold off on the mario badescu products, i’m more excited to try cod liver oil now! going to look into this more and i’ll let you know if i try it out :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, April 20/2010 at 6:00 pm

Cool – definitely write back and let me know if you try it! good luck!

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Janine
Friday, May 28/2010 at 2:10 am

Love this post Michelle. Really great info. I’ll have to highlight it for BG readers!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, May 28/2010 at 9:39 am

Thanks lady!

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Keisha Luv
Thursday, June 3/2010 at 11:52 pm

Thank you so much for the post-acne treatment tips! I am always looking for new ways to get rid of my acne scars.

Thanks!
K. Luv

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, June 8/2010 at 5:15 pm

You’re welcome! I’ll be doing another post soon with more details on Lumixyl… got to meet someone from the brand in person recently and even more impressed with it than I was before! It really is the best thing I’ve seen for the post-acne pigmentation scars… or any other type of pigmentation issue.

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Pria
Friday, June 18/2010 at 1:08 am

I’ve tried almost everything too, right now i’m using the aveda outer peace along with the cleansing pads and moisturizer and I find I haven’t gotten new acne but my old acne is not budging either. So I dont think i’d recommend the aveda completely. I used proactiv for a year which was great, but once you finish using it your acne comes back really bad!
I’m also using tea tree cleansing pads on my face which seem to be working fine but I havent found any miracle products yet!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, June 19/2010 at 1:05 pm

@Pria – it sounds like it could be an internal issue if things aren’t clearing up. Have you tried an elimination diet to see if it’s related to something you’re eating? Wheat and dairy are the most common culprits so you could experiment with that. Also, as I mentioned above, the cod liver oil has worked amazing for me at reducing breakouts (as well as my BFF who is on it too).

As much as I’d love to say one product line can clear you up, I’ve never found that to be the case personally. ProActiv works (for some people) because of the benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid, but it’s definitely not a permanent solution… and I think it’s a bit harsh/drying. I would definitely try looking at your diet, lifestyle, etc to see what your triggers are.

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Kathryn
Tuesday, June 22/2010 at 2:05 pm

I’ve been using proactiv for over two years now and it works for me (although I do have a friend who has a proactiv horror story). I had bad hormonal acne (those painful and huge under the skin bumps) along with the general pimples and oily skin since my early teens. The toner did dry out my chin in the beginning but I just used it sparingly until my skin got used to it.

Diet and excercise are paramount in skin care along with any health/beauty issue. If I’m stressed out or fattying it out on the couch I’ll definitely see one of those pre-period bumps start to crop up. So I find sticking to the routine is most important.

When going the proactiv route get a sample to make sure your skin can handle it (senstitive skin people most likely will not) but I love it!! It has saved me so much money because I’m not going to the drug store every month looking for my next miracle product.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, June 27/2010 at 5:20 pm

Glad to hear your ProActiv story, Kathryn – it’s good to know some people do have success with it!

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Jenny
Sunday, July 25/2010 at 7:47 pm

hey michelle! i’ve tried out the cod liver oil for about a month now and the results are looking good! i also wrote a blog post about it if you’re interested! http://skinniegenes.blogspot.com/2010/07/natural-skincare-oils-ive-tried.html

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, July 27/2010 at 10:51 pm

Awesome! I am heading over to your place now to read!

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Grace
Saturday, July 31/2010 at 5:35 pm

Interesting advice, although I disagree with cutting out soy from the diet. It doesn’t explain how the majority of people in Japan (parts of Asia as well, although not as much as the Japanese) have acne-free skin since they have soy products like tofu and miso soup pretty much every day of the week. I have acne for 8 years (and counting), and recently my breakouts have decreased a little, which I believe is from my upped intake of tofu and other soy products. On the other hand, I fully agree with the cod liver/ omega 3 fish oil. The only thing is that you have to take large doses or it won’t make much of a difference (acne.org has some pretty good reviews, and it seems to work the best for people who take 3-4 times the regular daily intake). However, like with all supplements, it did not eliminate all of my acne. With that said, I am very interested in the butter. :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, August 5/2010 at 2:54 pm

Well the thing is, people in Japan/Asia eat a lot of fermented soy, and mostly as a condiment. They don’t consume much of unfermented soy products like soy milk, tofu, etc – which are all heavily processed, highly estrogenic, incredibly harmful to the thyroid and have tons more health risks. I know they’re promoted as being “healthy” but this is pure marketing BS. You can read up on all the dangers of soy here: http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert.html and there is a lot more info on the web. The book “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith also has a wonderful section explaining all the problems with soy.

So if there’s one thing I can recommend for you – not just for breakouts but your overall health, it’s to get off that soy. (Actually a friend of mine who had an acne problem she thought was “hormonal” cut out all soy and it cleared up completely.)

As for cod liver oil and fish oil – they are not at all the same thing. Did you know that Dr. Oz (who is always on Oprah) says cod liver oil is the #1 supplement he recommends?

Unlike fish oil, cod liver oil is high in vitamin A, which is why it’s so great at clearing up acne and making your skin “glow”. (And if you follow the recommended dosage, not at all toxic as synthetic vitamin A – Accutane – could be.)

But be aware that not all cod liver oils are made equal. As with soy, you want to look for one that is FERMENTED. (The ones that are not are processed under high heat, which damages the fats and make them rancid/toxic). That’s why the only brand I can recommend is Green Pasture: http://www.greenpasture.org/retail/?t=products&p=products&a=display&i=1091

As for fish oil, I can tell you that I took it for years and it did nothing for me – whereas the cod liver oil made my skin look AMAZING within a few weeks. While I think a small amt of fish oil is probably ok, I would strongly caution against taking it in mega doses. You get the same benefits + more in cod liver oil.

I hope that helps. Seriously – swap your soy for the cod liver oil and see if it helps. I think it will!

Any other questions, just ask.

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Grace
Saturday, April 9/2011 at 2:42 am

Ohhh I see, so fermented soy is the key! I have cut out soy and soy drinks from my diet for a few weeks now but I dont think it made much difference so its most likely hormonal acne I have wrecking havoc on my face. I am currently using Carlsons 1000mg and have almost finished one bottle (100 softgels because I was too much of a wimp to try the liquid ones). I’d say it made my skin a little bit glowier but my acne still seems to be here. For some reason though, most of my cheeks somewhat clear, but there was a slight increase in under-the-skin cystic acne around my chin area. Just wondering, how long did you use this to clear up your (cystic?) acne? I’d say I’ve used it for almost a month now. Thanks! Still need to see about trying that butter :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 11:45 am

I don’t think you’re taking enough to see a difference. You need 10,000-20,000 IU vitamin A daily. Check how much is in the Carlsons 1000mg. I believe from their website a “serving size” – 3 tabs – contains only 3750 IU of vitamin A.

I find it’s more economical and effective to just buy the Green Pastures gel product because you get so much more vitamin A (and other nutrients) per tsp. Also I can’t recommend Carlsons because their CLO is highly processed and can throw off your ratios of vitamin A to D. There’s more info on this in the CLO thread – check the comments there.

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Kate
Wednesday, August 25/2010 at 11:55 pm

Amazing article! So many things to try!

I checked out the gallbladder cleanse site – really interesting. I was wondering- Michelle – have you tried this process? Has anyone? I think it sounds like a really useful detox – with clear skin being one of its many benefits. I’m just a bit nervous because I’ve never heard of it before. . . . any thoughts on this?

Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, September 1/2010 at 2:31 pm

Do I want to admit to this? Okay – why not – I HAVE done the gallbladder cleanse a few times…it’s pretty intense but I do believe in the underlying theory. I followed the Sensible Health protocol (so no Epsom salts but lots of nasty Chinese herbs). The herbs actually broke me out at the beginning, I guess because they are decongesting things… but then my skin cleared up after a few cleanses.

HOWEVER – I still didn’t get anywhere near the results from taking the cod liver oil. So if clear skin is your goal, that would be my top recommendation for you – it’s simply amazing and if I do get a blemish (which is rare), it’s not inflamed at all and clears up really quickly.

I might do the cleanses again at some point just for their overall health benefits….

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Jessica
Tuesday, August 31/2010 at 7:34 pm

I just recently heard that probiotics help with cystic acne.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, September 1/2010 at 2:35 pm

I’ve heard that too! I took them for a few years – high-quality ones from my ND – but didn’t notice a difference in my skin. Still think they are great for your health though… as well as foods like yogurt and kefir. Also, sugars and refined foods destroy your body’s natural bacterial balance so cutting those out is just as important.

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Shanika
Thursday, September 2/2010 at 7:06 pm

Would any other drugstore brand of cod liver oil not work?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, September 3/2010 at 1:09 pm

I’ve heard some people saw results with Carlson’s, which is pretty widely available… but I really can only recommend a high-quality fermented one like the Green Pasture’s. It has to do with the processing destroying the vital nutrients (which are what helps your skin). Also the ratio of vitamin D to vitamin A.

Just did a post on this yesterday so check it out for more info:
http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/

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jamie
Thursday, October 14/2010 at 3:02 pm

I have also experienced having severe acne this past few years. It’s not nice to look at, it also covered my entire face! I really wanted to cure it faster but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I tried a lot of products but none worked!
Now, it’s getting better, it’s almost gone. I’m using Puraskin Acne Treatment for my acne. But I’m not trying to say that a treatment may be effective to one, and also to others. No, treatments vary due to skin types and severity of acne.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 15/2010 at 5:25 pm

Very true – it really is a matter of trial and error to find what works. Still think diet is the most important though… relying on a product regimen can be expensive and I feel like acne sufferers are always so worried about following a regimen to the T. It’s stressful. If you can pinpoint what’s missing in your diet that is causing the acne, you have a lot more freedom.

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Carrie
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 6:03 pm

Ok, HAVE to get good CLO now! I also wanted to mention that for AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), which can be quite expensive, there is a VERY cheap alternative in Walgreen’s house brand that is 8% and works wonders!! Only $6.99 for a 6oz tub!! And about ProActiv : I tried it a couple years ago and experienced the Worst breakouts ever, with cystic acne I had never experienced before! I believe there was stress involved that caused it, since I have had them since them during high-stress times, but now my best friends are Neutrogena Alcohol-free wash (and toner sometimes), Cetaphil (Equate knockoff version) lotion and a L’oreal thick, anti-aging SPF15 lotion for dry winter weather. And I hate to say it but I do occasionally use the Benzoyl Peroxide :( — wondering just HOW BAD it is?? I don’t have a fortune to spend on my face! lol…already pretty oily/babyfaced, is it really so horrible??

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, November 18/2010 at 6:07 pm

$6.99 for an AHA product? That IS a great price. Wish we had Walgreen’s here in Canada :-(

That’s so interesting about ProActiv – it’s such a polarizing product… 50% love it, 50% absolutely hate it. I wonder if it dried you out too much and the dry skin contributed to clogging your pores and causing breakouts?

Neutrogena cleansers are GREAT for acne. (I know Nadine Jolie and the beauty ed at Lucky love them.) Are you pretty clear now? I’m just wondering if your L’Oreal anti-aging cream might be a little too rich for you. Also I’m guessing the sunscreen is a chemical one (instead of a physical block like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide)… many people get breakouts from chemical sunscreens.

As for benzoyl peroxide – ok, I don’t think it’s absolutely terrible to use for a short period but I wouldn’t make it a regular part of your skincare regimen. Over time I believe it really dries you out, and can change the texture of your skin for the worse. It’s also an oxidant (and we want ANTIoxidants to counter all the oxidization we get from other things eg sunlight, pollution, etc).

I would say the cod liver oil is really the best bet to get inflammatory acne under control… if you give it about a month, I strongly feel it will lessen the need for anything too harsh on your skin. Make sure to check out the testimonials in the CLO thread in the comments – they are quite amazing! And if you try it please come back and let us know how you do!

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Carrie
Monday, November 22/2010 at 2:03 am

actually i did hear Proactiv work for someone who suggested you have to start off slow with it (which they DON’T tell you at all!!) like starting every other day, etc, since its so intense on your skin. So I might try it again some day, since I still get little bumps and occasional monthly bigger bumps :( ..and you’re right the L’oreal is the synth-sunscreen, but isn’t too rich right now because of the cold/dry turn of weather here on westcoast (usually very damp, which I find more irritating to skin than anything…maybe encourages bacteria growth?? a couple days in a desert climate clears up the face in day!) have to get CLO asap!!! :/

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 5:28 pm

Ah that makes sense re: Proactiv. Interesting theory re: the dampness, I hadn’t heard that before but definitely possible! I am battling a bout of tiny rash-like bumps myself right now which I am wondering may have come about because of a bacterial infection (from the Oil Cleansing Method – thinking one of the oils wasn’t “pure” enough and somehow penetrated my skin).

If you try CLO let me know how it goes!

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Chelsea C
Thursday, December 16/2010 at 1:57 pm

Hi there! Well I finally saw my dermatologist and he confirmed that I have hormonal acne. But other than that I have great skin. When they asked me what my regime was I told him: cleanser, toner (both by Neo Strata for oily skin), Clinique Even Better Clinical Spot Corrector, Moisturizer (Neo Strata) and finally primer. He said that I don’t need a moisturizer. Since I have oily skin, even oil free moisturizers add extra oil and all that I need is my “natural” oil. So now I am so confused. I had always read that even oily skin needs to add back the moisture after cleansing. What are you thoughts? There are many forms of media out there presenting such an array of info regarding oily skin regimes and those written by Dermatologists differ from one derm to the next. – some say yes to moisturizers and then there are others that say no. It’s not that I don’t trust my derm its just that I was told by a different derm to moisturize. Help!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 1:28 pm

I’ve heard both arguments for moisturizing/not moisturizing… I guess I’m more prone to say yes, moisturize, but make it something very light. I just worry that dehydrated skin will overcompensate and get even MORE oily. Also if skin gets too dry/flaky, your pores *could* get clogged up by having too much dead skin on top.

That said, I was once told by a derm never to use anything “white or creamy.” So maybe look for something water-based and see if that makes a difference. Or you could just use a hydrating serum (Dermalogica makes a good one).

Another thought: the Clinique Even Better is quite silicone-y so I’m wondering if that might contribute to breakouts?? I’ve read that it’s happened for a few people using it. Check your primer as well.

Also have you seen my cod liver oil post? http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/ Not sure what your doc prescribed but I thought I was breaking out because of “hormones” too and it still made a huge difference.

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Chelsea C
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 1:32 pm

Thank you very much wise beauty editor. I appreciate your wisdom and will consider all! Merry Ho Ho!!

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sofi
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 1:33 pm

Thank you so much for your article, I have very oily skin and tend to break out badly around that time of the month. I have about 2 weeks out of every month where I have some peace and quiet with my skin. I don’t eat processed foods etc., have had my hormones checked but I think I need to exercise more and eat more cod liver oil!! Thank you again for recommending these products, it means alot! Can’t wait to try them. My heart goes out to any woman, adult or not that has to endure acne.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 8:43 pm

My pleasure! Seriously try the cod liver oil. I receive so many testimonials about it. Green Pasture brand (1-2 tsp of the CLO/butter oil blend daily) will produce the best results. Let me know how it goes!

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Nanhie
Sunday, January 1/2012 at 3:22 am

Say that again Sofi, It is so hard when you have acne and seeeing other people with clear skin. But I have been applying the codliver oil on my face before going to bed and my face is starting to clear up and the breakout has lessen.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 3:18 pm

Oh! I meant for it to be taken internally… I’ve never tried rubbing it on my face. (Although I guess in theory that could be effective – although smelly!) Have you tried taking it orally yet?

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Nomadic D
Thursday, May 12/2011 at 9:57 am

interesting. why did you stop eating all the nuts? I have always heard that nuts are a great source of proteins and healthy fats.

And have you actually tried the liver/gallbladder cleanse? I have friends who rave about it but I’ve never done any kind of fast or cleanse myself.

The WAPF site looks fascinating, though your link to the acne section doesn’t seem to work. But I’m going to spend some time reading all their advice, seems like an excellent resource, thanks!

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 5:06 pm

Too many PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). More info here: http://180degreehealth.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-reduce-omega-6-tissue.html#

I did do the liver cleanse yes! It’s pretty intense but I believe in the benefits. I think I did see a difference in my skin but not as much as with cod liver oil. However I think it’s great for lots of other complaints eg allergies. I haven’t done it for a couple of years because you need the time to do the apple juice fast beforehand. And well, drinking olive oil and grapefruit juice is not much fun. :-)

The WAPF site is always breaking I know! Try going through the main site and then doing a search, eg http://westonaprice.org/component/finder/search?q=acne

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Nomadic D
Tuesday, May 24/2011 at 2:58 am

Huh. That is super interesting. So much talk of omega-3s and I’d never really heard much about omega-6s. Makes sense, but on the other hand some nuts like walnuts I know are so high in omega-3 that I can’t imagine they would be bad for you in this respect. Plus, I’ll just admit it, I love nuts!

Thanks for the links though. And mad props to you for actually doing the liver cleanse! Like I said, I’ve been curious, but never actually curious enough to take the plunge. Sounds pretty unpleasant.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Sarah
Sunday, June 26/2011 at 5:16 pm

Hi there,

I just discovered your blog and I love it! This post in particular was amazingly informative and I am so excited to try many of your suggestions. I had terrible acne a few years ago and I tried everything (prescriptions, Proactiv, etc). I finally starting using Obagi Clenziderm and it made a huge difference. My skin cleaed up and all was good. I had to learn that I couldn’t put step three on every day or it would dry my face out but I pretty much perfected its usgage. A few months ago my acne came back with a vengence, on my face and on my back and I am just not sure what triggered it. I thought these days were long gone, but clearly I was wrong. I was wondering if you might know of a vegetarian friendly cod liver oil alternative? I realize that there is most likely nothing that is equivalent but I am just curious. Something that is not in gel cap (geletin) and preferably not from an animal? Hoping you might know of something. Thanks in advance!

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Sarah
Sunday, June 26/2011 at 5:18 pm

Hi there,

I just discovered your blog and I love it! This post in particular was amazingly informative and I am so excited to try many of your suggestions. I had terrible acne a few years ago and I tried everything (prescriptions, Proactiv, etc). I finally started using Obagi Clenziderm and it made a huge difference. My skin cleared up and all was good. I had to learn that I couldn’t put step three on every day or it would dry my face out but I pretty much perfected its usesage. A few months ago my acne came back with a vengence, on my face and on my back and I am just not sure what triggered it. I thought these days were long gone, but clearly I was wrong. I was wondering if you might know of a vegetarian friendly cod liver oil alternative? I realize that there is most likely nothing that is equivalent but I am just curious. Something that is not in a gel cap (geletin) and preferably not from an animal? Hoping you might know of something. Thanks in advance!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 10:24 pm

There isn’t anything in the plant kingdom that compares – true vitamin A (which is what’s in it that helps skin) is found only in animal products like CLO, liver, other organ meats, fish, shellfish and butter.

Do you eat a lot of soy? I’ve heard from a number of people that cutting it out improved their skin dramatically.

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Sarah
Monday, July 25/2011 at 2:08 pm

Thank you for getting back to me! I really appreciate it. I kind of new what you were going to say but I was hoping that there was something I didn’t know about as yet! I don’t eat a large amount of soy but that is really interesting to learn. Thank you again!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 11:21 am

You’re welcome and keep me posted! Maybe consider just trying the cod liver oil capsules since you won’t be able to taste any animal-ness…. :-) It really is a miracle for skin – trust me, I’ve tried everything out there!

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Sonia
Wednesday, July 27/2011 at 4:14 pm

Hey I was just wondering since u said flour and
Sugar Is a big no no… Does that mean u don’t eat any bread
At all? Or just no white bread? Is it okay to eat rice? Thanks :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 31/2011 at 10:41 am

Oh no, I definitely eat flour and sugar and rice… but I try to only have them in moderation. If you think they are triggering acne it’s definitely worth doing an elimination diet to see if it makes any difference. But I think cod liver oil by far is the most effective treatment: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/

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E
Monday, August 1/2011 at 4:07 pm

I know that Vitamin A works for acne, as it calms the sebaceous glands down, which triggers breakouts in the first place. Did you notice after you started taking cod liver oil that your skin was less oily/didn’t have to blot as often?? I’d be curious if that’s how it works! Please let me know.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 7:59 pm

No, I didn’t really notice a difference with that. It’s more about calming inflammation internally. My problem was with those underground pimples that would come about a week before my period… the cod liver oil has made a HUGE difference because I rarely get them now, and if I do, they resolve really quickly and aren’t as painful/inflamed.

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E
Thursday, August 4/2011 at 7:54 pm

Ok, thanks! I already ascribe to the principles of Weston A. Price, which has helped my health greatly in general. I, too, went off the birth control pill for health reasons (Ortho Tri Cyclen did absolute wonders for my skin – which makes me feel like it’s hormonal), and am nervous that my acne will return.

How much of the CLO/Butter blend do you take on a daily basis? I know the recommendation from WAPF says 1/2 tsp, but wondering if you take more than that? I’m definitely going to order some.. And you said it took only a few weeks for you to notice any kind of difference?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, August 13/2011 at 5:53 pm

Yay Weston Price! I thought I had a hormonal issue as well, but nothing ever showed up on any tests… I really think it’s a nutritional deficiency in the modern diet that manifests more in some of us than others. I take 1 tsp per day of the CLO/butter oil gel. The calculations are really confusing but this is what I have:

Standard dose: 10,000 IU/day of vitamin A
= about 1 tsp high-vitamin CLO
= 2 tsp regular CLO
= 6-10 capsules

Weight loss / health recovery: 20,000 IU/day of vitamin A
= about 2 tsp high-vitamin CLO
= 4 tsp regular CLO
= 12-20 capsules

I can’t remember the exact time frame but I think it was about a month when I realized I wasn’t breaking out at all before my period.
Let me know how you get on!

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Samantha
Sunday, August 14/2011 at 2:39 am

I realize this article was written a while ago but i’m just now reading it. The risk factor for the pill when it comes to breast cancer is more concerning for people who are already at risk for breast cancer due to hereditary reasons. Also, don’t forget that some researchers say that taking the pill could help prevent ovarian cancer by preventing ovulation. I definately wouldn’t reccomend going off the pill if you are sexually active and have no risk factors for breast cancer, as it’s main purpose is to prevent unwanted pregnancy which I think is pretty important.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, August 14/2011 at 4:00 pm

Of course, it’s up to every woman and her individual situation as to whether the pill is right for her… but there is definitely a link that doesn’t get talked about by most doctors in their rush to prescribe it. The link isn’t just with women who are already at risk:
— A study of 103,000 Norwegian and Swedish women between the ages of 30 and 49 uncovered that the women who took birth control pills had a 26% higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who never used the pill. Women who had used the pill for long periods of time increased their risk of breast cancer by 58%; women using the pill over 45 years of age had an increased risk of 144%.

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Samantha
Sunday, August 14/2011 at 9:47 pm

The thing is the findings for studies on breast cancer and birth control pills are inconsistent. Take a look at this information I found on http://www.cancer.gov:

Some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women taking oral contraceptives, while other studies have shown no change in risk.

-A 1996 analysis of worldwide epidemiologic data conducted by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer found that women who were current or recent users of birth control pills had a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer. The risk was highest for women who started using OCs as teenagers. However, 10 or more years after women stopped using OCs, their risk of developing breast cancer returned to the same level as if they had never used birth control pills, regardless of family history of breast cancer, reproductive history, geographic area of residence, ethnic background, differences in study design, dose and type of hormone, or duration of use. In addition, breast cancers diagnosed in women after 10 or more years of not using OCs were less advanced than breast cancers diagnosed in women who had never used OCs.

It also says: Studies have consistently shown that using OCs reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. The use of OCs has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, September 19/2011 at 6:45 pm

Okay, maybe “inconsistent” findings are enough to give you peace of mind, but they certainly aren’t for me! At any rate, I’m not sure I trust that these later studies aren’t rigged since there are huge societal implications to coming out with a definitive pill/breast cancer link. Some more info here: http://www.imfcanada.org/Default.aspx?go=article&aid=448&tid=8. My personal opinion is that it should be avoided unless absolutely necessary and certainly not taken up solely for the purpose of improving one’s skin – there are other ways to do that without these very scary risks.

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Kelly
Saturday, September 10/2011 at 2:28 pm

I think the reason soy breaks some people out is that they are probably allergic to it! Food allergies are a cause of cystic acne. I got a blood allergy test from a naturopathic doctor and found out I was highly allergic to soy and almonds, and once I cut them out I saw a dramatic increase in my acne and the inflammation on my face. I am not so sure if your recommendation to eat butter and animal meat is a good one. A lot of people have dairy allergies which can cause acne or at least make it worse because it inflames it. Meat and dairy also contain hormones, which can make acne worse. Meat also is not digested easily by the body, and I don’t think a hunk of meat resting in your colon can be good for your skin! I know you are a proponent of vitamin A for skin, but I just wanted to share some of my experience and opinion.

Also I don’t think you are getting your nutrition information from a good source. (Links with studies cited.) Weston A Price is an organization that is supported by farmers, and one of their Board of Directors, suffered a fatal stoke before he was 40 years old. It seems they want to promote meat and dairy and demonize one of their competitors, soy.

http://www.care2.com/causes/who-is-the-weston-a-price-foundation.html

Also studies cited on Weston A. Price about soy being harmful are mostly performed on non-human animals, done with huge amount of soy in the diet, and usually didn’t even test tofu or any other whole soy products we would actually eat!

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-weston-a-price-foundation-stupid-traditions.html

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-the-misinformation-of-barry-groves-and-weston-price.html

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-the-meat-and-butter-diet.html

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/cancer-the-meatdisease-connection.html

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, September 19/2011 at 6:37 pm

Yes I agree with you about dairy sensitivities and that is something people need to be aware of, however it’s usually the pasteurization process that is the problem. I’m not aware of any studies and certainly not relating specifically to acne, but anecdotally I’ve heard that many people who can’t digest pasteurized milk are totally fine with raw milk. Unfortunately we can only get raw cheese in Canada. I don’t think butter is as problematic (although certainly everyone should do their own sensitivity testing) and I recommend it along with coconut oil because many of us are deficient in healthy fats, which are great for skin. (Vegetable fats and especially hydrogenated oils are not.) The same thing goes for protein; many of us are protein deficient. Obviously yes it’s important to look for meat that is hormone- and antibiotic-free.

We can agree to disagree about the Weston A. Price foundation—I don’t think one member having a stroke automatically discredits what they advocate, that’s silly. I haven’t checked out your links but there is a lot of vegan propaganda out there about soy… to clarify, it is unfermented soy that is the problem and most definitely to be avoided. Perhaps you want to check out this website for further information: http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/.

I hope this helps you out.

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camille
Saturday, September 17/2011 at 3:31 am

I was pretty interested in this article and read every comment to get more information, until I went and checked out the website you recommended. Are you kidding me? They’re claiming that our children are suffering and dying because of the lies we are being told about our diets, which I almost agreed with. But then she goes on to say that we are told not to eat meat or drink milk. On what planet is this woman living? I am a vegetarian and I am the minority. People are unhealthy not because they drink soy or eat grain instead of meat, people are unhealthy because our food is loaded with hormones, chemicals, fillers, preservatives, whatever. The average soda drinker consumes about 53 gallons of soda each year, and we kill nearly 10 billion animals a year for food. And the meat and dairy we consume is from animals that suffer their entire lives, a life lived only to become food. I am sorry, but this is ridiculous. I am all about eating local, organic, good for you food. I eat good quality cheese and I eat free roaming chicken eggs but I also eat VEGETABLES! green ones, from the dirt. I don’t think i saw vegetable mentioned once in that woman’s article. I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating dairy or eggs if you know where its coming from, if its good quality and if the animals are treated well, and if your going to push a diet based on those products there should also be some mention of that. …oh the lies! the lies! Who is doing this lying and who are they lying to? Has this woman ever seen a school lunch? Meat. milk. potatoes. maybe some corn…she’d be in hog heaven. I think if you want to make a case for eating dairy etc, then focus on local, organic, sustainable, ethical….Okay, okay. Ive calmed down, but i just found this to be incredibly over the top. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, September 19/2011 at 7:01 pm

Whoa! Are you talking about the Weston A. Price foundation? I’m not sure which specific article you are referring to, but they’re not advocating a grain- or vegetable-free diet by any means. (Nor do I.) I also agree with you 100% about the dangers of hormones, preservatives, processed food etc. and I definitely recommend getting your animal products from an organic and humane source. However, I am strongly against soy and vegan diets both for skin and overall health. You might want to check out the soy link I posted to Kelly above. My philosophy is pretty much all about whole foods and “everything in moderation.”

I hope that clarifies for you.

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katelynn
Saturday, October 29/2011 at 11:45 am

hiyaa I’m a 13 year old girl and I have pretty bad acne on my cheeks witch are making me feel self concious with my self. I’m think my acne might be hormonal and I have tried everything to get this ugly thing off my face its been bring my self-esteem down so much. I came across your comments on the cod liver oil and I’m wondering if it will help in my situation and clear my skin?and if so can I buy it in my local super market or does it need to be ordered online. Please get back to me soon

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 8:06 pm

It should definitely help. I recommend the Green Pasture brand but many people have had success with Carlsons. There’s tons more info here: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/.
Also check out this article on teenage acne: http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/acne

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Dana
Monday, November 21/2011 at 1:33 pm

Just came across this….I purchased Green Pasture’s fermented royal butter oil/cod liver oil today. I can’t wait to try as I have heard very good things about the skin benefits. Also wanted to add what has helped my acne so far (hormonal on the chin & jaw). It was really getting bad for a while. First for topical solutions….. I STOPPED using any acne products. Acne just seemed to get worse with these. I believe because they were drying out my face. I started cleansing with an oil. I like DHC’s cleansing oil and right now am using NARS cleansing oil. I was hoping to get Josie Maran’s Argan cleansing oil, but the Sephora was out so I picked up NARS. I also used 100% pure lavender oil on spots to help heal them. I also found the most amazing spot treatment. YonKa emulsion pure works instantly (contains Castor Oil, lavender oil). I will never be without this stuff again no matter the price.

Internally, I added a Zinc supplement and this has really helped with the large cystic acne. I haven’t seen those since I started taking Zinc. I’ve been taking 100mg. I do still get a small whitehead here or there, especially around that time of the month, which is why I ordered the Cod Liver Oil. I’m hoping this will put an end to all the acne & help heal old scars. All reviews I’ve heard about this stuff say it leaves people with glowing skin.

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Sandra
Thursday, December 8/2011 at 8:30 am

Great advice! i don’t know if I should take Cod Liver Oil supplements, since I am using Retin A and I know you can’t take vitamin A supplements if you use retin A. I wonder if Cod Liver Oil is in the same category with vit. A supplements?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 8:04 pm

Good question! You should probably check with your doctor. I actually caved and started a mild Retin-A last month (more for the anti-pigmentation benefits) and I still take CLO. I’m thinking since I take the fermented CLO from Green Pastures it’s probably ok since there’s no danger of A toxicity with that (see my comment below to Amalia). However, if you’re worried I’d ask your MD.

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Caitlin
Friday, December 23/2011 at 2:49 pm

I enjoyed your article and reading the comments below. I’m 25 and my acne has progressively gotten worse over the past four years. I feel like I have tried everything. Proactive was a nightmare for me, as is most topical stuff. Recently I have been trying to eliminate the problem (i.e. Why are my hormones unbalanced), instead of covering it up. I am very interested in homeopathic methods. So I am very interested in trying cod liver oil. I’ve also been reading reports about the use of apple cider vinegar as a great detox and balancer for the body. I was wondering if you have had any experience in using this? In any case thanks for the article.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 8:01 pm

I try to use ACV as much as I can (eg in salad dressings, etc) but not sure about whether it has an affect on acne or not. There are some testimonials here you might want to check out: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/acne.html#ACV
I would just be careful about applying it topically since it could be a bit harsh.

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amalia
Tuesday, December 27/2011 at 9:14 am

Hello everyone. I am about to try cod fish oil for my moderate/light hormonal acne problem but what I really wanted to tell you girls, is that you should be careful with the supplements…DO NOT overdo it! Fish oils and vitamins are great and have plenty of benefits for your body ONLY when taken in moderation. In cases of overdoses both fish oils and Vitamins A and D (which are fat-soluble, which means in high levels they are TOXIC) can be extremely harmful. Especially for ladies who are 18-40 (when the can have a child) too much vitamin A is very likely to cause teratogenesis to their child. This is not only for pregnants but for all women around the age of having a child. I am not willing to scare anyone, as I have said in the start of my post I will also try taking cod fish oil, the only thing I would like to underline is that if you are taking supplements you should be following the recommended doses and be aware of overconsumption side effects.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, January 15/2012 at 7:57 pm

Not sure if you’ve seen this post but we’ve addressed the vitamin A toxicity concerns already at length here: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/
While you should always check with your doctor, cod liver oil is a food not a drug, and in the fermented form that I recommend (from Green Pastures), is quite safe in doses of 1-2 tsp daily. (It has to do with the original, naturally-occurring vitamin A and D remaining intact, instead of damaged during high-heat processing, which is how most CLO is produced. When A and D are present in the correct ratios there is no risk of toxicity.)
Hope that clarifies for you.

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Eileen
Saturday, February 4/2012 at 8:09 am

I did not have any acne on my face then I hit eighteen and my face pretty much exploded. I had cystic acne for twenty two years, the only times it completely cleared up were the four times I was pregnant. Then I hit forty and boom, my acne left as quickly as it came and I think I have only had maybe three zits since then. My problem now is my seventeen year old daughter has developed my nightmare. I feel so bad for her and have been praying so hard because she begs me daily to go on acutane and I don’t want her to. I am going to get her the cod liver oil to try. I went to green pastures and can I get her the capsules? I think she would probably take those more easily.

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Sharon
Sunday, February 12/2012 at 11:04 pm

I have been suffering from what I believe to be hormonal/climate-related adult acne. I have been acne free in my teens and early 20′s and then broke out severely mid 20′s when I moved to Korea. I was utterly confused as to why I all of a sudden broke out and I attritubuted it to weather, lifestyle (drinking+partying) and diet. When I returned to Canada and Switzerland, my skin was fine. Now I live in China and my face has broken out on the sides of my face, jawline and chin. It seems that every time I venture out into Asia, it take a toll on my skin. I did a juice cleanse (Master Cleanse) for two weeks in December and that did clear up my skin. However, this is not something that can bes sustained! My advice for people who are doing a cleanse is to keep a diary of the foods that you introduce back into your diet and see how it affects your skin. That’s something that I failed to do which might have been very telling regarding my condition.

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Dana
Friday, March 2/2012 at 5:25 pm

Hi Michelle,
i know this is an old article, but I am interested in the cod liver oil you recommended. this might be a silly question, but can you tell me how large the capsules are? I see they have a liquid and a capsule on their website, but the liquid costs more and I have issues with large capsules haha. Would they be the size of a round Advil or larger? thank you!

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hannah
Monday, March 19/2012 at 3:00 am

Hi, everyone!

What do you guys think about Tretinoin cream? I consulted a dermatologist last Saturday and she recommended Tretinoin cream to treat my severe annoying blackheads. I’m not quite familiar with it. Have you experienced using Tretinoin? How was it?

Thanks!

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michele
Monday, December 24/2012 at 2:21 pm

I got these nasty pimples under my chin and neck. After reading this article and 2 bottles of cod liver oil later I do not get them!!!! I take it @ breakfast with o.j. !!!! Thanks so much for sharing, I would have never thought of that!!!! :)

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Jennifer
Wednesday, January 16/2013 at 3:26 pm

This is probably covered in another post elsewhere, but what’s the problem with cream cleansers? I’ve seen a couple posts where cream cleansers are dissed but I’ve never seen a reason why? That’s what was recommended to me for using with the Clarisonic, so I’d be interested to hear the reason and what you use with your Clarisonic. Thanks!

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anamarie
Monday, June 10/2013 at 10:42 pm

hi mich!
im from philippines, do you know where i could buy the CLO that you’re recommending? I hope this will help me, i have cystic acne and im about to try what my dermatologist wanted to do about it, taking a certain anti-biotic for 6-8mos. and continuous check if my liver and kidney is functioning well during the process and being desperate i agreed to it until i came across your blog site just now, thanks to you. i think ill try the CLO first. please tell me where could i find it here in phil.

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Laney
Monday, August 19/2013 at 1:34 am

Hi, Michelle! It’s always a joy to read your work! You are an absolute joy. I just have a few questions. What do you recommend for someone who is under the age of 25 (say, the 18-24 range)? What is, in your opinion, the best skin care line for oily/ acne prone skin? I have yet to find anything that I’ve lived enough to commit to, and I would live to hear your thoughts and opinions. :)
Again, thank you so much for your dedication and insight! Have a lovely day. xx

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cris
Wednesday, October 16/2013 at 1:31 pm

Hello Michelle!!
Thank you so much for your articles! its really inspiring! Ive had cystic acne for a while and nothing seems to work… i am trying to have a good diet and exercise regularly, but for some strange reason i still suffer from this… I don’t want to take pills or anything toxic, now that i am really scared of the secondary effects…. i want to try the Cod Liver oil… bur i want to make sure i get the correct ones… is the one from Green Pasture Butter Oil Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend 120 caps?? or is without the oil blend? what do you recommend? ALso how many capsules per day???
Thank you so much for your help!! i really hope this works!
xoxp

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Mayor61
Tuesday, November 19/2013 at 8:23 pm

I have pretty bad skin: at 30 I have to use acne medication… That aside, my skin is so sensitive that I often get huge problems with my skin starting to painfully peel off. Needless to say, I’m not very keen on face washes. I’ve tried some before, but they were so irritating and caused break outs.

The only thing my sensitive skin can use is the Made From Earth Grapefruit Glycolic Wash. First, micro-beads are big, so even if you scrub a lot, they won’t scratch you. Second, I did not notice any break outs after using this product every other day for a month now and my skin looks much more radiant and feels really smooth.
I’m one of those people who really need to use sensitive skin products, but I’ trying to move away from Clinique to more natural/organic like Made From Earth.

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