Elimination Diet For Healing Cystic Acne

By Christine Kobzeff - May 01, 2019

In the previous post we discussed foods that can cause cystic acne and I detailed my own experience with each food, including the location and severity of the breakouts. The reason this is important is because different foods cause acne on different areas of the face and body. Our face is a roadmap and learning to read this map is essential to healing our body. The next step is to identify your cystic acne triggers using an elimination diet.

Acne Face Mapping

Keep A Food Journal

Keep a food journal. List everything you eat each day. And I mean Everything... ALL snacks, meals, beverages. That protein bar you had on the go. That handful of chips you had at lunch. That Starbucks green straw dessert-disguised-as-coffee venti latte-chino with extra whip. You get the idea. Remember to include any seasonings, spices or condiments added to your food.

This can be a handwritten journal or use a free online food diary website such as cronometer. I highly recommend using Cronometer because it tracks your vitamins, minerals, fats, omega 3 and 6, protein, carbs, calories, etc. Cronometer also gives you a summary of your macros by percentage. Sign up here for free!

If you think you eat a generally healthy balanced diet but you've never actually tracked your nutrients and seen the numbers, well you may be in for a surprise. It's very enlightening.

Keep Notes On Your Acne Breakouts

Be detailed... Location of the breakout. Level of inflammation. Level of pain. Anything unusual? Excessive dryness, peeling? How's the breakout healing, fast, slow?

All of this information helps track down your cystic acne triggers. I use the "Add Note" button in Cronometer and make a note anytime I notice changes (good or bad) in my skin. Doing this makes it easier to spot patterns and identify foods that you have sensitivities to or foods that your skin thrives on.

Pretend you're a detective investigating a case, we're searching for the suspects and these suspects will return to the same area. We're keeping notes on these suspects (food) and their crimes (breakouts). We're looking for a correlation, a connection. There is a pattern, you may not have discovered it yet but you will.

Control Experiments

While keeping your food journal you're going to do control experiments with your diet. A control experiment is where you change only one thing at a time and leave everything else the same.

Examine your diet for acne trigger suspects.
Eliminate the food item, keep everything else in your diet the same.
Watch for any changes in your skin.
No improvement? Add the food back into your diet and try the next food you suspect.

Remember our list of foods that can cause cystic acne? Those are prime suspects and a good place to start.

Cut Out Processed Refined Foods

Want to speed up the healing process? Cut out processed foods. Processed, refined, pre-made, packaged foods are generally loaded with ingredients. This complicates the situation and makes it difficult to pinpoint which foods or ingredients could be causing the cystic acne.

Simplify Your Diet

Simplifying your diet will put you on the fast track to healing your cystic acne. Eat a diet rich in vibrant living foods, loaded with leafy greens, a variety of vegetables, rainbow veggie wraps, fresh fruit, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, green smoothies, green juices, fruit smoothies, etc... An anti-inflammatory diet packed with nutrients, antioxidants, omega 3s. Get plenty of bitter leafy greens in everyday, they cleanse the liver and our liver directly affects our skin. Leafy greens are a holy grail for healing your skin!

How Long Should You Do An Elimination Diet?

You may be thinking "There's no way I can live without my favorite processed foods. How long do I need to do an elimination diet? If I have a sensitivities to certain foods, will I ever be able to eat those foods again?"

Doing an elimination diet is temporary, it's simply an opportunity to explore your diet until you're able to identify your food sensitivities.

Foods that you have a sensitivity to should be eliminated for now, for some foods this is only temporary and you may be able to reintroduce them back into your diet (one at a time) after your body has time to heal.

One of the benefits of doing an elimination diet is not only are you eliminating foods that aggravate your digestive system but even more exciting is you'll have the opportunity to replace them with healing foods that your body thrives on!

We'll talk more about foods that heal your skin in the next post.

Until next time, take really good care of yourself.

Your friend,

Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase using my affiliate link.

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  1. Please, if possible, post the recipes shown on the healing videos. I thought they may be on your blog but I can't find any.