For as long as I can remember, I have had normal to dry skin with a random hormonal breakout every once in a while. Although my skincare routine wasn’t elaborate, I prided myself on my religious CTM routine twice a day. And honestly, it worked quite well for me as I did not have any major skin problems as such.
But all of this took a drastic turn the day my seemingly normal skin decided to break into adult acne that decided to make my face its permanent abode. I initially thought of it as just a passing phase and decided to completely ignore it, waiting for it to go away on its own. When it only got worse, I scoured a million YouTube videos and beauty blogs looking for product recommendations to help ward off this evil eye. While some of the products helped to dry out existing acne, they failed to prevent more pimples from popping up. This is when I knew I needed to take this matter more seriously and visited a dermatologist that my best friend recommended.
After hearing my symptoms, he gave me two options – hormonal balancing medicines or diet changes. Now if you know me, you know I am really wary of doctors and medicines, so no points for guessing that I opted for the latter (along with a few prescribed skincare products). My dermat then asked me to completely eliminate dairy from my diet for a month (yikes!) and then reintroduce it gradually to see how my skin reacts. Confession: I seriously didn’t see that coming. For someone who considers mozzarella sticks a legit meal, I knew right then that it was going to be hella tough. But for the love of my ever-depleting skin health, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway.
I always thought of myself as a determined person; someone who could successfully accomplish anything that she sets her mind on, but little did I know that this was going to be one of the most difficult things I would ever have to do. I somehow managed to religiously steer clear of any sort of dairy products and stuck to veggies and a little meat. I also followed the skincare routine to the best of my ability.
I obviously did not see any changes overnight (I would be lying if I said that I didn’t expect dramatic changes in a day or two *rolls eyes*). But by the end of week 1, I could clearly see the existing acne start to dry out, which gave me the motivation to continue with this diet plan.
Now, this week was particularly difficult because I had a friend from college visiting me, and she was really craving some pizza from a local pizzeria we would visit quite frequently back in the day. As much as I was tempted to break my resolve for just that one day (I mean come on, we have all been there), I ordered a bowl of aglio olio pasta without any cheese dressing. By the end of this week, I observed that my skin was looking less dull and… was that a glow I could see? Overall, I also felt a little less bloated and lethargic in general.
On Sunday night, I went out for a drink with some friends, and that didn’t go well. I woke up late with a slightly heavy head. So I made my way to my kitchen as if on cue to fix myself my usual cuppa, when it hit me… I had switched to green tea… no dairy, remember? *sigh* Anyhoo, by the end of week 3, my acne on the forehead and cheeks had all but disappeared, and the blemishes on my cheeks had started to become less inflamed. The best part was that I was able to switch from using a full-coverage foundation to a concealer to cover up those blemishes.
By now, I was pretty much used to this dairy-free diet, and considering the changes I was steadily observing in my overall health as well as skin, I was really glad that I had made the switch. In this past month, my acne has almost cleared up, save for a random blemish on my chin. My overall complexion looks a lot healthier than ever before and a lot of people have been observing it too.
The dairy-free diet is also helping me in other areas of my life, including my digestion and energy level. I'm less bloated, which is an issue I've routinely complained about. I no longer go to bed feeling heavy or wake up feeling lethargic. I no longer feel the need to wear makeup to hide my bumps and don’t shy away from clicking a makeup free selfie. I can't say that I'll keep this going forever, unless mozzarella sticks just happen to disappear off the face of the earth. But as they say, everything in moderation… right?