As someone who has had trouble with acne all my life, the ketogenic diet has really been a Godsend. From around the age of 12 until a few months into my keto diet, I regularly got these big cyst like spots around my chin. (I know that doesn’t sound particularly nice – they don’t look too nice either!).
I never had a lot of little pimples that went away in a few days, no. I would get huge, painful spots that stuck out a mile, were bright red and took around 3 weeks to go – always leaving a little scar.
In my younger days, I tried all the potions and lotions and scrubs and expensive creams. I even went to the doctor and got various medications. None of it worked. If anything, these things seemed to make it worse.
Why the Keto Diet Helped me to Cure my Acne for Good
What I know now is, all my acne troubles were connected to my diet and my hormones. I am particularly sensitive to carbs and sugars. Anytime I fell off the keto wagon in the beginning by eating high carb foods, my skin would rage at me angrily. It became a good motivator to stick with keto!
One of the key things that you’re doing by eating keto, is regulating your insulin response. Chris from Acne Advice for Men says that insulin:
- Stimulates the growth of skin cells, which block pores
- Makes skin cells grow faster, making them more likely to block pores
- Stimulates the growth of keratin-producing cells, which stick skin cells together
- Stimulates the production of sebum, also blocking pores
- Weakens the skin’s natural barrier, the acid mantle
- Stimulates the production of testosterone, which also contributes to all of the above
- Makes the skin more sensitive to testosterone, increasing its acne-genic effects even further.
Acne is also connected to oxidative damage, over-production of sebum, build up of toxins, auto-immune, issues and PCOS amongst other things. All of which can be helped by eating a whole-foods keto diet.
Initially, in the first couple of months of eating keto, my acne actually got worse. I was really peeved about this, but I knew that this was because my hormones were in the process of balancing themselves out, and I had to give it some time for them to settle.
After the first couple of months, the difference was incredible. At my time of the month, I started to look for the telltale signs of new spots arriving, and it just didn’t happen. My old acne scars continued to fade as they do over time, and my skin got healthier and happier as the months went on.
If anyone is suffering from adult acne, here are the steps I recommend:
1. Of course – eat keto.
But also, I recommend not going too low in carbs for too long. So many acne sufferers have hormonal imbalances, and we women usually need a few carbs to help balance them out. What worked for me was adding some carbs to my evening meal two times a week. I mean, a few carrots or beets, a sweet potato or a small serving of white rice.
2. Stop obsessively washing!
I thought that my skin was producing too much oil and therefore I had to watch more. The opposite was actually true. Once I stopped washing my face so much (and therefore drying it out), my skin stopped producing so much oil. If you wash your face too much, your skin produces more oils to try and balance this out.
Again as per the last point, I actually found that moisturising my skins helped to stop the over-production of oils. Completely contrary to what I used to believe. Find a good, natural moisturiser without any added chemicals.
4. Sweat every day.
Help those pores to stay clean and unblocked by sweating. Exercise, of course, is the best way to sweat. Saunas or facial steams are also great.
5. Make use of good supplements.
The supplements that really helped me are probiotics, DIM, Zinc, Krill Oil and Vitamin C. I won’t go into the benefits of each here as there’s loads of info. out there you can find. But taking this combo really made a difference to me.
6. Drink lots and lots and lots of water!
Water helps you to flush out toxins and keep everything clear.
I hope this is helpful! I’d love to hear from anyone else who has had success with getting rid of acne on the keto diet. Let me know in the comments below!