"My acne basically disappeared after I cut out gluten, sugar and dairy”

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Like literally everyone else, I dealt with acne as a teenager. And 13-year-old me assumed the red pimples and whiteheads on my face were just a part of growing up—and that they’d go away when I got older.

Fast forward to age 25, and my acne was worse than ever. I had painful pustules that no cream, treatment, or even prescription med would fix. I was covering my face with Dermablend (the stuff used to cover up tattoos!) just so that I could feel comfortable enough to leave the house. I wouldn’t even take off my makeup when I slept over at my boyfriend’s house.

After more than a decade of dealing with bad skin, I was ready for just about any solution that had a chance of working. So when I read about other women clearing up their skin by changing their diets, I decided it was worth a try.

“I never though I’d ever have clear skin”

For background: Dairy and high-glycemic foods (think: white bread and pasta) have been linked to worse acne in people who are prone to it. So, I decided to cut gluten, dairy, and refined sugar to totally cover my bases.

This was definitely a big change for me. My diet up until this point was pretty much exclusively sugar, gluten, and dairy. (My typical breakfast was a muffin and a large caramel latte, and dinners were usually fast food or delivery.) Vegetables were definitely not in the picture.

Almost immediately after removing refined sugar, dairy, and gluten from my diet, I noticed a huge difference in how I felt. I had more energy than ever before, I was more focused at work, and I felt more confident, even though my skin took some time to catch up. Little by little, those zits cleared up and they stopped coming back.

Within six months, I felt like I had completely different skin. And after about a year, my complexion was smooth, glowing, and almost free of breakouts. Other than a few pimples when I’d get my period, I had clear skin—something I never imagined I would be able to say.

READ MORE: Could honey be the surprising remedy for your acne? 

“The food restrictions forced me to get creative”

When I first decided to change my diet, I wrote down everything I ate, which really helped me stick with it. I wanted to see the connection between what I was eating and how my skin was looking and feeling. Here’s what an average day of eating looked like for me:

  • Breakfast: A cup of coffee with unsweetened almond milk, and a smoothie with spinach, kale, bananas, and berries. I’d take the smoothie with me to work to drink later in the morning.
  • Lunch: I liked to keep it simple: green salad with a protein like chicken or fish.
  • Dinner: This was pretty simple too, usually a vegetable and a lean protein (like cauliflower rice and chicken).

I got really into baking desserts, like cashew cheesecake and chocolate muffins, that tasted delicious and were totally compliant with my new diet. That’s when I started my blog, Vibrant and Pure.

You might think that cooking without these three main foods would be limiting, but I found that it really opened the doors for me to get creative. I found my passion for developing recipes and making beautiful, healthy foods like unicorn toast, which became a viral sensation.

READ MORE: This type of diet might be making your acne worse

“It’s been almost three years since I made this diet change, and I’m so happy that I did”

I’m still learning what affects my skin, and I can tell within days if I’ve eaten something with ingredients that irritate it.

But by far, the greatest part of my food transformation has been how I feel about myself. I don’t feel the need to hide under layers of foundations and powders. I’m so happy in my skin because for me, it’s a visual representation of how I treat my body right with real, nutritious foods.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

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