My name is Alice. I am 27 years old and I’ve had spot prone skin ever since I was a teen. Not severe acne, nothing painful just consistently, blotchy, textured, scarred, blemished skin. They told me I would grow out of it. Well I’m in my late twenties now and I have not. Over the years I have tried a number of remedies:
- Over the counter topical creams (freederm etc.)
- Prescribed topical creams
- Prescribed tablets
- herbal tablets
- Drinking herbal tea
Wiping herbal teabags on my faceExfoliating with herbal tea
- “Blemish control” exfoliators
- “Blemish control” cleansers
- “Blemish control” moisturisers
- Regularly steaming my face
- Contraceptive pill
- “Blemish control” makeup
- Five weeks makeup free
- Bio oil (for the scarring)
- Coconut oil
- Walking over 5.6 miles daily
But so far my skin has remained consistently imperfect. Reluctantly, I have accepted my skin problems may have something to do with my diet. You don’t have to look too many pages into a google search to find a wealth of opinions on what foods are linked to acne. Is it dairy? gluten? chocolate? What I eat on a day to day basis has varied a lot over the last fifteen years: From home-cooked meals, to the carbtasic toast and pasta experience of University, to two years eating a variety of delicious (but not necessarily nutritious) fast food delights in Hong Kong. What has been consistent is my total failure to consume my five a day (a friend recently informed me that the advice is now seven!) and my ability to exceed the daily recommended sugar intake. If, hypothetically, someone were access a record of my eating habits from 2012 to now, and randomly select any date from the last 15 years. On that day, regardless of what I did, how I felt, my stress levels, how much exercise I did or what I ate from any of the food groups, I guarantee I will have consumed some form of sweet treat!
But not anymore!
From the 1st of January 2017, not one grain of refined sugar shall pass my lips! I must admit this is not the first time I have attempted to pull such a stunt. In the summer of 2015 I exclusively prepared and ate meals from Get the Glow by Madeline Shaw and Eat Nourish Glow by Amelia Freer including all the deliciously naturally sweetened deserts. I did not last long. This time will be different, this time there are rules…
- No added sugar. I will be checking the ingredients lists. If it contains sugar/sucrose/glucose I can’t eat it. No sugar in my tea or honey in my natural yogurt.
- No sweet drinks, natural or otherwise. No coca cola, innocent smoothie or sugar-free lemonade.
- Anything that could be considered a sweet is not allowed. No “healthy fig and maple chia pudding” or “vegan chocolate banana ice cream with hazelnuts”
although that does sound delicioussorry Madeline, gotta get those cravings under control.
- Natural sweeteners (honey, dried fruit) are okay if a tiny amount has been used in a savoury food. I am not going to deny myself the cheese and crackers because the cheese has dried apricots in it.
- Five fruit and veg a day is mandatory. Seven is better.
- Fruit is fine. In moderation it does more good than harm and I am never going to get close to seven a day without it.
- Bread is fine as long as it’s not too sweet.
- On the increasingly rare occasion that I eat out, I will try to pick the healthiest option (but I’m not gonna stress about it)
- Special occasions like Christmas and birthdays mean I can eat cake.
How long will I last? I’ll perhaps attempt a month and take it from there. And if I don’t get the glow by then….I’ll probably just have to deal with it.