How I Eased My Cystic Acne By Switching To A Plant-Based Diet
Like most teens and young adults, I grew up with acne. I started noticing my acne when I was around 13 years old, which is pretty typical. In the beginning stages, it was little pimples and zits here and there, but it soon progressed. I remember being teased in eighth grade because I had pimples covering my forehead and chin. I hated my skin and from a young age was majorly insecure about my face.
Since my mom knew how upset I was about my skin, we started making regular visits to the dermatologist.
First I tried "traditional" measures.
I tried all the medications, creams, lotions, antibiotics, and pills. I had to be careful about going outside because my skin was so sensitive I would severely burn. My skin became my greatest obsession. I constantly picked and poked it until it would sometimes bleed. Once I graduated high school, my skin took a turn for the worse. I developed cystic acne on my face and broke out on my chest and back. It started affecting my mental health: I never left my house, I was very depressed, and I felt that I cried more than I smiled.
That's when I researched all I could on how to help my acne naturally because if modern ways weren't working, there had to be an alternative! I remember seeing so many posts about being vegan. It was a lifestyle I'd had no exposure to: I had to Google what the word even meant. I read review after review about how going vegan internally heals you through food. I had never thought about acne as an internal issue until I read this. The derm always treated my acne as an external issue, telling me that food was unrelated to my skin issues. (For so long, most in the dermatology community claimed that food didn't contribute to skin disorders like acne; slowly that attitude is changing.) And after reading more and more, I knew I had to change my diet if I ever wanted to see changes to my skin.
My experience with going vegan.
I went vegan practically overnight. My skin broke out very, very, very badly. Was I confused? Absolutely! I thought I had done something wrong, but this was all very normal, and I continued to eat a plant-based diet. Sometimes things get worse before they get better.
After about six months of being vegan, my skin started to heal. My face started to look healthier, not inflamed or irritated, and I. even started to regain my natural color. I still had pimples, but there were fewer breakouts. It took around a year to fully heal, but my skin never looked better, and I could finally say I had glowing skin.
Topically, I only use organic or all-natural products on my skin now. After having had acne for so long, I try to do my best to research products before I decide to use them. I use an alcohol-free rose toner that helps to reduce redness, and when I get a pimple, I will spot-treat with tea tree oil.
Tips that work for me:
- If I have a pimple, I put ice on it; this helps to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
- I never pick at my zits. I know this one is hard to do, but it helps to prevent scarring in the long run.
- I drink lots of water; if you aren't staying hydrated, your body will suffer. Staying hydrated gives you supple and glowing skin.
- Eat your vegetables and fruit (preferably organic). If you are giving your body the right fuel, you will look and feel better.
Hayley Ferretti is a 22-year old certified holistic health coach who studied at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She healed her cystic acne by going vegan and is on a mission to help other sufferers like herself.