Where did my core go? How does FOOD affect your skin (<- I NEED YOUR HELP).

I wasn’t planning on going to Burn Bootcamp yesterday but when my sister called me to join them I couldn’t say no.

It was upper body strength and core day and it burned nicely.  During my first class here the trainer asked if I had lower back pain and I said no.  He was wondering because when I plank my lower back is completely arched.  He told me to activate my core to bring it up and create a straight line from my heels to my head.  The problem was that when my brain told my core to activate there was no response.  It is a weird feeling to tell your body to do something and have it not listen.  This was a BIG sign to me of how I need to get going with strengthening my core so I can stay healthy with having babies and wanting to run a lot.  After a few classes I can tell it is getting a little stronger because I can now hold a plank with the correct form for 30 seconds… aka I can get my core to activate for 30 seconds longer than it did a few weeks ago.

Below:  Our good friend (she was our realtor and I have her to thank for getting us the house we have now… she FOUGHT for it ha and she is running her first marathon in two months!!), my sis, Kristi and her little girl.  They have an awesome child care here and Skye loves it there.

They had us do this move for FOUR MINUTES and my shoulders burned so bad.  20 seconds of pulsing it in and out and then 10 seconds of holding it out… On repeat.  The trainer told me I probably will just have to run without moving my arms today after doing this workout because I will be so sore.

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My miles for the day were done very early (more snow..and super icy)… I started on the treadmill but got too bored so I took it to the gym’s indoor track for a while and that felt much better.   5 miles @ 8:28 average… PS My watch has a setting for tracking the distance at an indoor track.

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I’m not sure if you can tell but Skye is growling in the picture below.

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I’ve really been on a salad kick lately (or we just have a lot of leftovers from the other night)… I had this salad along with Boom Chicka Pop while getting some work done followed by toast with almond butter from the bread I made the night before.

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Brooke set up a classroom in her room.  As of right now she tells me she wants to be a teacher when she grows up but that she doesn’t want to do what I did as far as teaching teenagers.

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For dinner we had tortellini from Costco with sautéed veggies/ground turkey/red sauce on top.

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And my fruit for the night;)

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Early to bed (what’s new?).  I have 3 days in a row of double digit runs (I’m following a plan from this book) and I wouldn’t be surprised if a snow run will be included in one of those days.

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Remember shorts and tank running weather?  Yeah, me neither.

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I have to share this with you!  My sis-in-law created the cutest photo bus for events so if you live in/near St. George, check them out.  Their instagram is HERE and you can either email them at [email protected] or call 435-703-4258 and talk to Kiana.

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SUCH A GOOD IDEA.

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Random question of the day… I go in to see a Dermatoligist next week but I’m really trying to get my skin under control.  I’ve tried all sorts of different products and a hydrafacial and nothing is helping so I’m wondering if it is diet related.  I’m guessing that my sugar doesn’t help things at all and I’ve read a lot about the effects of dairy on our skin so I’m wondering if dairy plays a part for me?  Long story short I don’t really want to take anything (because I’m not sure when I’ll have another baby) but if there is anything I can control… I want to try it.  Has anyone noticed how different foods affect your skin?

This is my cheek (without makeup) and at any given time since having Skye I have about 5-10 zits on each side.

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Any realtors reading?  How long have you been doing it?  

Favorite type of pasta?

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Did you do it?

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156 comments

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Food is the BIGGEST determiner of skin issues!! Because I am a brand ambassador for skincare, people are always surprised when I suggest first that we look at their nutrition when they come to me with a skincare issue. The BEST thing you can do is a quick elimination diet to pinpoint exactly which category of food causes your issues, and then heal it from the inside out. If you have questions, I am totally happy to share more tips from my experience!

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I am a total believer that food is a huge factor to your skin. I can prove this because I too had terrible acne after having my first baby. I went on the keto diet. Then I quit that. I still would eat things from that diet…. like put heavy whipping cream in my coffee. UNTIL there was a time period I didn’t buy the heavy whipping cream because… well… I don’t know. But after a couple of weeks I bought it again and my acne started to flare up. I thought, hmmm, I’m going to quit the cream and see if my skin gets better. And it HAS. 100%! I still get the occasional zit but my face doesn’t have the DEEP cystic acne spots anymore. It’s weird to me because I can eat dairy…. I can drink milk… but something about that heavy whipping cream.

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I swear by the Rodan and Fields products. Made a big difference in my skin. However, I think I am more prone to break outs when my caffeine consumption is high and water intake is down. Have a great day Janae!

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Food TOTALLY affects skin, and I have had luck with knocking out sugar for a week. The breakouts get better, and then I add it back in little-by-little.
Also, though, especially after two babies I found that my skin was just.plain.sensitive. I’ve switched to using coconut oil (the kind you cook with) instead of any other lotion. I smell like a macaroon but my skin stays soft, hydrated, and it doesn’t break me out. I also use baking soda about once a week as a gentle exfoliant. I do not use any other soaps or lotions, unless I need sunscreen. Note: I don’t usually wear foundation (because of breakouts), if I did I’d probably need to find a soap.
Hope that helps! Good luck with three double-digit runs in a row. I cannot imagine!

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Food definitely impacts the skin. My sister and I have had skin issues and started to wash our faces using oil (jojoba, avocado, etc. It is a trial and error to find which one works best for your skin) and adding essential oils to help with our personal skin needs. Since my sister and I have made this change, we have not had break outs like we used to. Sure, we get the occasional zit. When I have used an astringent, there is not the additional dirt being pulled out like it did when I used other products. It cleans my skin so much better.

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I struggled with cystic acne after coming off birth control and my hormones were all over the place. However, I noticed it was worse when I ate worse. I will say that the only true fix was thee medication the doc prescribed (Epi-duo) -it has helped TREMENDOUSLY. Its costly, but with health insurance the cost drops a lot. I rarely ever have a zit anymore, I highly recommend it particularly as a starter and then adjusting the diet.

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Great point here – hormones play a big role. Why Dr’s used to prescribe the BCP to control acne.

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Food is my biggest trigger for my skin. I’ve tried everything. As long as I avoid gluten, my skin is perfect. But if I mess up my face is horrible. I discovered it by accident when my naturapath had me cut gluten for hormonal reasons. I was angry that after seeing dermatologist for many years and spending insane amounts of money on soaps, medicines, serums aimed at helping my skin, no one ever suggested gluten to me before. I had previously cut dairy and sugar but that didn’t help.

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Agreed. My skin is slowly improving without gluten—and that means ALL gluten, not just “wheat/flour free.” I read every label, I literally make every dressing/seasoning from scratch now, I’m the annoying friend at the restaurant that requests the glove change (every single time I don’t I have gotten sooooo sick after). If there is any chance that something is processed with dextrose or maltodextrin, I pass on it (hint, just about EVERYTHING processed has one of those ingredients). To be strictly gluten free is such a pain, but once your body has time to heal and you start to feel better (about 3-4 months) and then you start to SEE the results (about 6-8 months), it becomes worth it.

I have even switched all of my beauty/hygiene products to GF. Not an easy task and not at all cheap and I’ve yet to find a good shampoo/conditioner combo, but my skin (acne) is improving and my psoriasis (an inherited autoimmune disorder) is better than it’s been in over a decade. And I’m technically classified as “non-celiac gluten intolerant,” diagnosed at 42.

Also, interesting to note that my life long stomachaches (as a kid doctors always said “well, she’s a high stress, perfectionist type kid…they typically always have stomachaches and reflux, nothing to worry about.” 🙄) are almost nonexistent these days since going strict GF. AND, anecdotally, just a month or two ago my dermatologist, whom I actually really like, said he didn’t think gluten intake or in topical products would affect my skin one way or the other. Um. 😑 Sooo…you know, do keep in mind that our skin IS our biggest detoxification organ… 🤷‍♀️

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That photo bus is GENIUS!!! Love it!

I wanted to be a lot of different things, but a writer was always one of them—ever since I published my first book in my school’s library in first grade. I’m going to publish my first non-elementary school book this year, and I’m so excited about it! :)

Hope that you have a wonderful day, sweet friend!

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Same here! Are you self publishing or through a publisher? I have been looking at both.

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How exciting!! And I’m not sure yet. I might try the traditional route but will likely end up self-publishing!

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I had to give up dairy 6 months ago because my little one has a milk protein allergy. I was hoping that a side effect of this diet would be clearer skin, but I noticed no difference on my skin. Though I’m rarely bloated which is nice. When I’m done breastfeeding, I’d like to go back to a topical retinoid like differin (which my derm prescribes). Made such a difference. Good luck!!

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I bet it’s not the dairy but sugar—–my teen notices a HUUUUGE difference in his skin when he has tons of sugar, vs. when he doesn’t. NO sugary sodas for him anymore, and candy is few and far between now. His skin is like 80% better! Sugar = inflammation

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Agreed, I can always tell when my teen has been eating more candy, his skin flares a bit.

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Can he have natural sugars? Fruit, etc.? My son struggles with acne too!

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My son eats fruit, we just radically reduce added sugar and candy, juices, etc

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Thank you!

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You bet – by the way, full disclosure, we also had to add minocycline in to the mix- that has helped a TON….and it takes a loooong time to notice a difference. But even before the med, when he reduced his refined sugar intake, his skin got much better.

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Unfortunately, Minocycline or any other antibiotic, didn’t help my son. We are using Retin-A and adapalene and having decent results. Hopefully we can cut down greatly on sugar and that will help too. Thanks again!

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I’m a realtor! I’ve been doing it for a little over a year. My husband has a brokerage so he helps me out balancing it and have 3 little kids

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I feel you! I have had terrible skin my whole life but I’ve noticed a few key things really help. Water. Organic food (expensive and debatable, I know, but the crazy cystic acne I used to get is essentially gone since we switched to eating as much organic as possible–that’s just my experience and it could also be allergy related). Natural/organic skincare (I love Cocokind especially). Collagen supplement–I use a syrup from “the beauty chef.” It’s expensive but it lasts a long time. It’s an Australian brand that promotes beauty through gut health. My skin is way better since I’ve started using a tablespoon a day–both in breakouts and anti-aging. I originally found it at Sephora. I’ve actually been thinking about doing some research into diet and blood type, because it seems like the older I get the more things upset my stomach or cause my eczema to flare up. It’s really frustrating having to STILL deal with skin issues in your 30’s! I hope you find something that works for you!!

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I’ve always loved math and I remember telling my mother (and she remembers) when I was very, very young (definitely in elementary school), that “I just want to do math problems all day.” And basically that is what I do for my job now. I feel extremely blessed AND lucky :)

So glad you got to hang with that fun group at your Burn Bootcamp class. Great job on the strength training! My realtor is also one of my favorite people although we don’t hang out too often. She worked her butt of to get me my house and in total “We” have bought 3 places together (and my 3rd is my final forever home! :)).

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My skin broke out so badly this summer and I went to a dermatologist too- they wanted to put me on all sorts of oral medications, which I didn’t want to do. But you can get topical antibiotics instead, you just might have to ask for it! Also, if you are getting any scaring or redness from the acne, rose hip oil helped me a lot.

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Janae- I have heard from friends before about dairy being the culprit for their breakouts, so it definitely could be a factor for you! For me personally, a breakout trigger is caffeine (if I drink it excessively:). I know you don’t drink coffee, but maybe if you are getting a good amount from other sources, (diet coke, chocolate, or even gels?) it’s something to look into as well? Other ideas: dehydration, sugar, HORMONES (I am sure that is on your radar already, but for me that has always been a huge factor!), and stress!
** Also just wanted to note, that while looking into possible food triggers is a great first line of investigation, sometimes it could be something more–I am only saying this because in the case of both my sister and husband, they both had serious skin issues recently that everyone was quick to blame on their diets, (but I suspected food was not the sole cause:) …and they both ended up having different infections instead! I was so grateful they both were able to get diagnosed and treated <3
Going the natural, food based healing route can be valid in many situations, but trust your instincts if you ever wonder if there could be another cause!
Best of luck getting to the bottom of it; I have been there done that with the skin issues for many years… and it can be frustrating and disheartening, but I do hope you figure it out <3

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For me, moisture is the most most most important. Using a humidifier (we have 2 in our medium sized apartment) has made my skin soooo much better. The harsh weather of winter running is also bad for it – using a non-comedegenic thick skin protecting moisturizer ~15 mins before going out has also helped!

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I highly recommend reading the book WomanCode!!!! It talks about the importance of balancing your life to sync with your cycle, and how to use food to heal your body! I think all woman should read it!!!!

https://www.amazon.com/WomanCode-Perfect-Amplify-Fertility-Supercharge/dp/006213079X

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I had the same trouble a few years ago – not after a baby, but during a high stress time – and found this website to be incredibly helpful: http://paleoforwomen.com/the-ultimate-hormonal-acne-treatment-plan/

I found at out I was allergic or intolerant to dairy and cut that out and noticed a big change, and I also prioritized “gut health” eating fermented foods, kombucha, taking digestive enzymes and stomach acid supplements to make sure everything was digesting and making it easy for my body to break it down.

I have a feeling yours may be related to post-baby hormones and increased training. Good luck!! There are lots of us out there who have been there/are there right now.

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Food is such a huge factor when it comes to skin! I did the whole30 and when you reintroduce foods back into your diet, you see what they do to your body. I know sugar is a huge one and so is dairy. I would try out the whole30…after your race, and see if you can find out from doing that!

Hope you have a wonderful run and day!

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My acne is really bad when I am pregnant. And I am currently pregnant, haha. Unfortunately, I can’t tell any relation to food, I think it’s mostly hormonal. I am hopeful when the weather warms up and I can be in the sun a little more + delivering in June it will help things clear up. Because right now, I’m just over it and self-conscious.

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Skincare is an odd bird. I don’t like using anything that has chemicals (e.g. Rodan and Fields) bc I think like medication that is treating the symptoms of the problem, not the problem. If it is something you eat (I am less inclined to think dairy but more food dyes, preservatives), then that is the problem that can be treated. It is possible that your dermatologist will recommend both how to treat the problem and the symptom, but you don’t have to do both. For my skin if I forget to wash my face, even for a few hours, after working up a sweat, I start to breakout.

My favorite type of pasta is homemade! But since I don’t make it, a close second to being in Italy is buying the soft refrigerated pastas at the grocery store that only take 2-3 minutes to cook (unlike 10 minutes for the hard crunchy dry boxed pasta). Soooooo delicious.

I wanted to be a teacher, and have worked with them in Education Technology Sales, but man the sacrifice and hard work for basic wages….they really are heroes!

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My skin is really struggling too right now. I’ve gotten on BC, use topical stuff from my dermatologist and use a Clarisonic face brush. It seems to mostly just have moved down to my lower chin and neck even though I treat those areas too. From all I read the only thing left to try is to cut out dairy maybe chocolate too and take non-dairy probiotics. Mine started after quitting breastfeeding so I thought it was hormones and maybe that’s what triggered it but let me know if you figure it out. Good luck, it sure kills my confidence.

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First, way to go with your abs!

Alrighty, yes food matters. Looks like you have sleep and exercise down. Sugar and dairy and wheat/ flour are typically not helpful; and it’s probably the case here. This is well documented for public consumption. I think you know all of this, but I’m going to write in anyway. There is a lot to think about with commercially produced food and baked goods, mmmhmmm. For example, ghee and … lief fat …. are so much better than canola oil, coconut oil, etc. My grandma knew this. Of course back then butchers broke down the animals in the shop. However, what do you think restaurants and bakeries (incl. grocery stores) are using? (Hint: profit margin in king). You run by those rural areas… any farms?

Hormones matter so hopefully your progesterone is good. If you can do a check, it could be good – data is good and you are doing your own nails now, $$. You didn’t mention birth control in a while, so it’s hard to say what impact it is having on the hormone sitch.

I know, you’re all excited about the treats you can eat because you’re doing an ultra and not a marathon, yada yada. Did you put almond butter in your last sandwich? You know peanuts are not nuts, right? (It’s documented.) However, I don’t recall this sitch during the sub-3 marathon time. So many good things came then – the bun, the face. What really matters? 7 cups of leafy greens/ day & quality protein & quality carbs and fat to move it all along – in %’s working for you.

Consistency with food matters – how about a 30 day challenge? Nailing this sooner rather than later would be really good. You can do it, yes, yes, yes!! Go, go, go!!

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There are studies showing that greater than 3 servings a week of non-fat dairy can contribute to acne. Not low-fat or full-fat though. If you drink skim milk try switching to 1%!

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My sister had this problem in her late twenties. She tried giving up sugar and dairy and a million other things, but nothing worked for her. In the end, her nutritionist friend recommended she try a B Complex vitamin. Funny enough, that was what did the trick.

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Yum! I want to come over and help you finish the leftovers :D
I don’t eat much pasta, but I like Anna brand fusilli because of the fun shape, like long, curly spaghetti.
I remember NOT knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up, so I tried to convince myself I wanted to be a dentist because I thought they earned a lot without having the crazy hours of hospital doctors. Then I took biology.
Hope you have a great week of double-digit running with minimal snow. We’re getting at least an inch per hour today (so far) in Maryland! (But a quick thaw is predicted.)

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Oh! You know I wrote this before – Women (or Woman) Code by Alisa Vitti. Really, if you’re going to challenge yourself, might as well do it flo style.

Get synced, get yin and get your fem flow working FOR you/ WITH you. The good news is, you can do this self-serve.

Yes, the face is telling you a lot (it’s probably growling). He!

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Okay because you’re a candy fanatic like me :) , i am going to suggest that is probably your main culprit. I have found when i cut my sugar out or atleast down significantly I have noticed major improvements in my skin. for me cutting out sugar – nearly all candy, sodas and limiting my chip intake, my skin has improved soooo much! also do you touch your face alot? I use to, & its such a bad habit bc of all the oils on our skin and nails — even if you wash and germex 70 times a day, we really shouldn’t touch our face at all.
don’t go to bed with makeup on, create a habit of washing your face morning and evening, every.single.day.
I love my clairisonic mia, i use it about 3-4 times a week in the evenings – (not every day for me bc that would be too harsh for my skin and dry me out), i purchased it a couple months back and OMG, face changing.
Good luck Janae!!

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We all are affected by food and stress differently. I feel I eat ok overall and never had acne issues….when I am stressed I eat horribly and instantly gain 5 pounds on my thighs. However, like I said we are different….my daughter eats ok and when she is stressed she breaks out with acne something awful….who knows?

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Hey! Since coming off birth control my skin has been a mess. I have beautiful clear skin as a teenager and its almost like once I hit 30 my skin has been off and I am getting cheek breakouts. My understanding is that those are caused by hormones so that makes sense as we age and all of the other changes in our lives at this stage of life. I am also trying so I am not taking anything and am very careful not to use benzoyl peroxide etc.

In the last few months I decided I needed to scale back everything I was using. I was exfoliating all the time, using a few harsher cleansers, using a toner, using acne creams, etc. and my skin was so inflamed and dry in patches. I decided to just use a very mild cleanser AND THATS IT! Since then my skin has really been so much better. For me I think a lot of my breakouts were due to all the harsh products I was using and trying to cover it up during the day. Since just using a really mild cleanser I get a few breakouts a month, usually at a certain time in the cycle but the quality of my skin and the type of breakouts has gotten so much better, it is amazing. Also the breakouts now seem to clear up in a day or two without leaving a mark like they did earlier. I find for my skin less is so much more. Good luck!

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I have had trouble with cystic acne and tried everything, even medications. The thing that worked the best was cutting dairy. Even now if I have dairy I will have at least two zits when I wake up the next day.

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Way to go regarding your burn bootcamp workout! I really need to get to one of those…but for now am just sticking with some body weight strength training at home a couple times a week.

As far as acne goes, I struggled a lot with hormonal and dietary acne. I got my hormones under control with a supplement called DIM (plant-based) and with curology (monthly subscription where they give you a nightly acne cream prescribed just for your type of acne->so probably what your derm will give you). However, a big part in all of that was sugar. Yes, my acne is under control now with those things but if I go back to my daily bowl of ice cream or handful of candy they pop right back up. Sugar levels are super important in hormones and your diet, so it may be something you want to consider. My love for ice cream and cookies runs deep, but its been really worth it. I also find myself able to train a lot harder in running too:). I personally don’t think that dairy should be cut out of diet unless you have an allergy. I always believed I shouldn’t eat dairy and didn’t for most of my life, literally from age 2-22. But then I read the endurance diet book by Matt Fitzgerald and it changed my thinking regarding limiting certain foods. I added dairy back in with no issues, but again only eating dairy like whole milk yogurts with no added sugar and whole milk. Anyways this was probably way too long of a comment but I hope it helps and I will be praying for your healing, I know how frustrating it can be.

I also hope you don’t find any of what I said critical towards you. I absolutely love sweets and it has been really hard for me to cut them out. I got a bunch of amazing cookies on Valentines day and froze them because my half is in two weeks so I know my body will thank me waiting until after that to eat them! In the end, you have to find a balance for YOU and what works best for YOU. For me, its eating only whole foods all day, every day, and then splurging on weekends with a couple meals out or a bowl of ice cream. I hope that’s helpful!

have a wonderful day, Janae! And keep us updated on your progress.

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Food can definitely be a big trigger for skin issues!! I started taking a vitamin that’s supposed to help with hair, skin, and nails (I use the CareOf vitamin service) and I swear it’s made a difference. I don’t really consume any dairy except for cheese and small amounts of butter, and I think that plays a factor as well. Honestly, my skin is so unpredictable, but about a month ago, I started using COSRX products (I found them on Amazon) and they are great. I think between those products, the vitamins, and drinking a ton of water, I can keep my skin under control (somewhat anyway). I hope the dermatologist can help you!
Can I just tell you how glad I am that I bought my treadmill? NordicTrack really knows what they are doing – I am hooked on these iFit workouts that give me pretty views and interesting runs with inclines and declines and speed changes. I mean, it’s still not as great as running outside, but I’ve never enjoyed a treadmill this much.

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Hi! Have you been checked for gluten sensitivity or intolerance? That can cause skin flare ups of all kinds. My dietitian specializes in that and tells me that if you have family that have auto-immune issues you’re more likely to have celiac or just really sensitive to it. I remember you saying about your mom & sister having arthritis so maybe yours could be auto-immune related also. I think diet is what you should really look into first (maybe find a dietitian near you) because skin health comes from the inside out. You can treat things topically but it won’t cover all the bases. Either way I hope you figure it out! Take care!

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When I was Brooke’s age I wanted to be a teacher, and then for years didn’t want to. Guess what I’m doing now?? And I’ve always wanted to write!

I find sugar does affect my skin, but dairy doesn’t . . . but I’ve never had any other problems with dairy, so I think I just handle it well. The main contributors to skin problems for me and stress and hormones. I wonder if all the running affects it, because you’re probably sweating for a longer time and in harsh weather? Wish I could be of more help! Hopefully the dermatologist will be able to help. Skin issues are SO frustrating.

Your salad looks AMAZING.

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I played school as a child too!! And I wanted to be a teacher and I was! My mom was a teacher too and I remember using old lesson plan books of hers and writing pretend lessons. Then when I became a teacher, I didn’t like making lesson plans! Haha.

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I’m starting to cramp up. Please review my comments because none of this is new here. I try. (I am thrilled to see someone else mentioned Woman Code above. Woohoo!)

Okay, did you have the birthday soup of mussels and kombu? I’m thinking no. I’m thinking those micronutrients didn’t go in and you ran 33 miles. What fat does Kneaders use? Do they disclose? Due diligence? (see baked goods comments above, pls.)

Over and out.

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Chocolate and dairy are no gos for me! I was getting weird tiny bumps all over my forehead and nose and Cysts around my chin and nose area and once I completely cut out chocolate and limited dairy to just cream in my coffee all my skin issues cleared up! It’s SO hard to resist chocolate but honestly the clear skin is worth the sacrifice :)!

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Dairy makes me break out and/or gives me hives on the lower half of my face. While I love cheese, there are enough alternatives that I choose to go with instead of dairy. (I could deal with an occasional pimple but a rash or hives are a no go).

Sugar can also trigger skin conditions and for those with auto immune deficiencies, gluten can trigger flare ups. Often times after a few months of not having the offender you can have it occasionally in small doses. (not everyone can, it’s pretty much what you can individually tolerate).

My doctor had me avoid certain foods and use supplements which helped me a lot. Some I have been able to add back in an some are occasional.

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I recommend reading the Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden. I have been reading it and it is mind blowing!! Its all about female hormonal health and helps you figure out if you have food sensitivities that affect your skin, cycle, etc. I think every woman should read it!!!

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I used to break out fairly often, and I know SOMETIMES food is the culprit (if I eat a pretty high fat or high sugar meal/dessert, I can almost always count on a zit or two popping up the next day or so); however, I actually noticed that my skin problems essentially cleared up when I stopped putting on foundation/powder. Not sure if it was the brand, the applicators/brushes I used (aka not cleaning them often enough), or just the products clog my pores, but I rarely get breakouts now. I use just a milk soap cleanser, witch hazel for toning, and a face moisturizer (oil free) daily. I used to focus on acne-prone products, but those would actually just dry out my skin and cause MORE breakouts. Anyway, now I usually just get a breakout if my stress level is too high (I get a cystic one either on my forehead or neck..eww) or as mentioned above about the high fat/high sugar foods every so often. I never break out from dairy, and I eat a TON of that daily..like 4-5 servings a day haha, so I know that is not an issue for me, but I know it can be for some.

In terms of pasta, my favorite is gnocchi. I just LOVE the big, chewy dumpling-like pieces in a marinara sauce :)

As a kid, I wanted to be either a doctor or a teacher (I had both in my family). I ended up becoming a high school English teacher (after briefly dabbling in communications/non-profit work) and it’s the best career decision I’ve made.

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Here is a great, well-researched blog post that talks about how most links between acne and food are relatively weak.
https://www.thereallife-rd.com/2018/07/treatments-for-acne/
I think going to the dermatologist is a great idea! Going straight to the experts that have years of medical training and experience is the best way to get results without wasting money on treatments that may not help. But I am a nurse practitioner, so maybe I’m a little biased. :) Good luck! Hope it goes well!

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Read this blog… https://agutsygirl.com. She talks a lot about the gut/skin link. And she is fun to read period.

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I’ve been using Proactive for years and it works! I’m now in my 40’s and still swear by it!

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chocolate can break me out… as cliche as it sounds, water makes everything better (for so many reasons). :D

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This is an interesting topic and everyone will have an opinion because food is a strong topic.

I personally eat sugar, dairy and gluten and my skin is pretty good. I mean I’m getting wrinkles (hah) but rarely have breakouts. Note: the only dairy I eat is a milk in my daily coffee. The only time I have noticed I get a breakout is when I ate something like hummus…because it has tahini in it and I’m allergic to sesame. I have no idea if this is actually correlated or not. But, it might be worth considering food allergies. OR just do an elimination diet as said above. Note: when I had food allergies tested by a naturopath, I was also high for dairy wheat etc…I did not eliminate those. Just the sesame because it was a red flag/huge marker.

Sometimes just changing the amount of something you eat can help. I used to eat yogurt 3X/day & a lot of cheese but now I only do dairy in my coffee (can’t give it up 😬) . I.e have some milk in your coffee if you really like it but then eat cereal or make smoothies with almond or oat milk.

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That photo bus is SO CUTE. I love it!

Burn Boot Camp–I really love it. In the fall I paid $99 for their 6 week bootcamp intro and really REALLY loved it but got disheartened when I realized I couldn’t afford to be a member. If the professional shift I am hoping (and–to be honest–praying in the only way I can pray, given my belief system) for happens, since I have a free REGULAR gym membership with the Les Mills classes I teach, I hope I will actually be able to afford Burn. I felt GREAT going there about 3 times per week, and if I could consistently do a core day, an upper body day, and a legs day–in and out in 45 minutes and having a little break from a traditional gym–man I would love that.

I know that being ‘restrictive’ and staying away from whole categories of food *can* lead to imbalanced thinking about nutrition, but I will say that in times when I have done a whole 30–stayed away from all processed sugar (and focused on more vegetables and a bit less fruit), stayed away from all dairy–my skin has simply glowed. I tend to have good skin to begin with (I have bad genes in other ways but GREAT genes when it comes to mostly-clear, youthful skin that makes me look a lot younger than I am…), but I think there is something to staying away from mass-processed dairy–substituting “milk” for “almond milk” (or another alternative type…) when the need calls for it and having SOME high quality full-fat cheese (like triple creme brie…or really good gorgonzola…or sharp sharp cheddar from grass-fed cows) just every now and then instead of the VERY cheaply made mozzarella and shredded tex mex blends that we get so inexpensively at the grocery store (but that are SO YUMMY…I know…). And I know that, for me, when my diet tends to be more carb-heavy I find myself with pimples more often (and the likelihood of a HIGH carb diet for me tends to parallel times when my life feels more high-stress and high-anxiety, so which is MORE the culprit…I don’t know). And that’s not fun.

I don’t know. Everyone’s biochemistry is tweaked a little bit differently, and I am not a doctor so I can’t REALLY say. I do know that months where I stayed away from dairy and refined sugars helped a lot.

Anyhow–work beckons! I hope your double-digit run was really solid, and that at least the end of it brought you even closer to “I am ready!!!” :)

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SUGAR AND DAIRY GIRLLLLL. They totally wreak havoc on our skin – and you can also check out some of the holistic acne maps for some great information. I used to have horrible cystic acne around my jawline and up onto my cheeks like yours – as I approach 30 I thought it would clear up. Nope. Since, I’ve cut out almost all dairy (I am vegetarian, but ate a lot of cottage cheese/yogurt/cheese) and tried to reduce my processed sugar intake. It has helped so so much. Even if you just try one or the other for two weeks you should start to see a difference in the development of new pimples.

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I feel like even though people always say food is a factor, sometimes it is hormonal and is best treated by a prescription. I have had good luck with topical medications (I also didn’t want to take any pills for it), especially when I also use a Clarisonic. I also try to use very gentle cleansers— anything from the drugstore that is supposed to treat acne is usually an issue for me. I use cetaphil, cerave, and eucerin usually. Also wearing sunscreen during the day weirdly helps! I still struggle with cysts but this is what has helped for me. Hope the doctor can help and thank you for being honest, sometimes it seems like I am the only one who still has acne. You are beautiful with or without!

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I was dead set on being a photographer from the time I was 8. I did that for about 5 years and then it was time for that to become a hobby and not a job again.

Tortellini is what we are having for dinner tonight. It’s a favorite!

I think I need to check out that boot camp soon.

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Dairy definitely affects my skin, as does sugar. It got some better when I went gluten-free for other health reasons. Also, a long time ago I just quit wearing makeup at all–concealer was irritating my eyes, ditto eye makeup, and aside from a brief stint with Bare Minerals, nothing really cleared or covered my breakouts. So I quit wearing makeup, and I know this sounds gross, but I stopped trying all kinds of different cleansers and moisturizers and masks and toners. I washed with just warm water, and didn’t need to use any moisturizers. My skin calmed down a lot, and it’s been about ten years and I haven’t had a serious breakout in that time. I occasionally use Olay Sensitive Face wash when I feel really gross and sweaty, or I’ve been around a lot of dirt in the garden. I am 45 and am told I look like I’m in my 30s and too young to have an 18 year old kid! :D The only products I use are Olay Sensitive SPF moisturizer (daytime) and Olay Night Effects (when I remember), aside from the face wash. IME, the fewer products the better.

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I should add the Epi-duo is a topical cream, so no hormones!

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Skye is so funny! Great job getting in all your miles indoors. It’s been super cold here in Colorado too and I am so missing being outside, and so are my kids!

I am there with you abput skin problems, ever since I had my daughter ten months ago my chin keeps breaking out and nothing is helping! It’s so frustrating, I hope you find something that helps. Also it only looks bad to you, the rest of us don’t notice it as much.

Have a great day!

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That Photo Bus is BRILLIANT!! Such a cute idea :)

I do think food can be a big factor with acne if you are sensitive. Some people just can’t tolerate dairy and sugar is well know to cause inflammation make infections worse.

I was about your age when I started having problems with hormonal acne (along my chin and jaw – SO PAINFUL and embarrassing!) I tried all the stuff from the dermatologist : switching BCP, antibiotics, different creams for morning and night. Turns out I’m allergic to lots of antibiotics! The skin on my face would look great, but I’d break out in hives all over my body or my throat would feel like it was closing up. I still use Tazorac (vitamin a) and now I take Spironolactone. This is what works best for me. I also use Curology. It is on online dermatologist service for acne medication. You just upload pics and they make a custom prescription for you. It’s so convenient and not too pricey. The Tazorac by itself can be a little drying and harsh. I get compliments on my skin all the time now!

You’re getting lots of good advice here. I hope you find something that helps soon!

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Definitely agree that food is a huge factor in the health of your skin and agree with everyone who recommends an elimination diet. There is likely something you are eating that is irritating you. Some common culprits are sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, and eggs (but some people also have more obscure irritants like mango, almonds, etc). I’d start with cutting those out one at a time and see if you experience any relief.
I also highly recommend salicylic acid. Since I started using it regularly at night, I’ve seen great improvement in my skin. I also have my teenager use it and when he does, it works wonders on his acne.

I’m a realtor in the Washington, DC area. Have been since 2005! Love it!

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Dairy for me messes with my skin. I used to have terrible cystic acne right before I started my period. A few years ago I found out I was allergic to dairy. A few months into eliminating it and I realized, no more cystic acne. That said, there can be bacteria that causes breakouts so seeing a dermatologist is a great idea. Does swear drip down on those areas? I honestly have never noticed a correlation between sugar and my break outs so there’s that!!

Snow day for us! 3rd snow day in 2 weeks for my girls.

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I started getting acne when I was in 2nd grade til I was in my thirties. I tried everything. It was so frustrating. I finally went to a dermatologist when I was in college. He told me to use Purpose cleanser (it is oil free, fragrance free), then use Witch Hazel for a toner, then use Purpose moisturizer (it is oil free, fragrance free). I have used these 3 products for about 25 years now. I swear by the Witch Hazel. It kinda smells, but after using it a while, you don’t notice it.

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My heart really knows the difficulty of having acne breakouts. I am 37 and have suffered from adult acne since I turned 30. These things have helped my skin immensely and now I have minimal acne. 1) I completely eliminated all dairy. Every time I am tempted by cheese I say in my head,”Clear skin makes me feel better than a slice of pizza/ice cream etc.” And it is easy for me to put it down. I have been lactose free for a year and it made all the difference. 2) I have a very low sugar diet and I dont use fake sweeteners. This was very hard to transition but in general my body is less puffy and inflamed when I consumer little sugar. 3) To make this work for me, I meal prep my breakfasts and lunches in about 1.5 hours on Sunday afternoon when my hubby takes the kiddo to a park or on an errand to give me an empty kitchen. I eat a simple breakfast: boiled egg, guacamole, some pita chips, and a fruit with unsweetened almond milk and regular coffee; lunch is usually a baked chicken breast, sweet potato, and a green salad or roasted broccoli. For dinner (made the evening of the meal) the family has a lean protein, salad, and a simple starch. We have berries and coconut whip cream fort dessert.
4) I meditate every day. I am a full time working mama so I know how hard it is but I listen to a meditation tape by Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn that was developed for people suffering from psoriasis. Though i dont have that condition, the message of calm, awareness, and self healing has been very powerful for me to stop stressing about my bad skin (which makes it even worse).

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Bananas and milk, right? How did it become a thing? Next level here. This is part of a longer article (link provided) I had in my browser for me and I’m sharing it because your blog matters. There is so much to be aware of. Here’s a whole thing:

Bananas and Milk
Though commonly eaten together, bananas and milk are challenging to digest together because their qualities are so different.

Bananas are heating while milk is cooling. That alone is problematic.

Further, bananas become sour as they break down. So now our digestive fire has to process a sour substance and milk at the same time. Ever added a squeeze of lemon to milk? Or maybe you’ve poured a little milk into a tangy, fruity tea… only to watch it curdle instantly? What happens to these mismatched foods in the digestive tract is not much different. When bananas and milk are eaten together, their opposing qualities tend to smother the digestive fire and can disrupt the balance of intestinal flora, which results in the creation of toxins. This combination also frequently causes congestion, colds, coughs, allergies, hives, and rashes.2 A similar situation arises when we combine any sour fruit with milk.3

https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/diet/ayurvedic-food-combining/

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Hi,

I have been following your blog for years now! It all started when I transferred from community college into a state school and decided to pursue cross-country! I read running blogs and came up with running plans to prepare me for the team. It has been over 7 years since I became an avid runner! Anyways, I love you so much and want to give you my personal advice about your skin! I am not a doctor but I highly recommend…drumroll please…Curad First Aid Antimicrobial Gel, Silver Solution! Stress really affects my skin so here is the common cycle that I was having: I picked at it because it hurt or it had a white head so I thought that it will help, then it became an open wound and took longer to heal and/or a new breakout would occur, and then when I put topical ointments on it it would dry it out and become peely. So, one day when I had an open would and wanted to put Neosporin on my pimple, my dad gave me this alternative antimicrobial. It did not dry out my skin or leave it oily! Now if I really feel pressure I will be very clean and wash hands and face, pop the pimple, and then apply Curad and oh boy it heals in 1-2 days! I really want you to explore this and email me if you find success with it! Having to worry about your skin is no fun, but just keep smiling no matter how bad your breakouts are because I think smiling>any skin/body flaw is so important! :)))

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I was in the same place you are with your skin in regards to breakouts. I bought all natural this and that, exfoliators, special soaps, lotions, masks, ointments, vitamins to help with my skin, etc and the one thing that cleared it up was giving up candy. It still makes me want to cry some days. I haven’t given up all sugar and indulge in a homemade cookie bar here and there (eh, daily for the last 3 weeks :)), but giving up candy and perhaps eating cleaner also has helped a ton! I’m also not eating out several times a week anymore, but maybe once or twice and I’m eating a ton more veggies and plant based proteins.
As far as pastas; I think homemade mac and cheese will always be my fav :) We have a recipe from my MIL that my kids love also so it’s a no brainer!
I think about what I want to be when I grow up almost daily! A teacher, PT, nurse, trainer, Dr, etc …. only problem is I lack motivation and I don’t like school!
Have a great day!

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Hi Janae! Girl I FEEL YOU about the skin issues. I battled similar-sounding issues for about 3-5 years in my early 20s. I’ve been doing the 10-step Korean skincare regimen for the past 1.5 years and my skin is seriously GLOWING. I also attribute this to my hormones being balanced after years of stress and hormonal BC pills screwing with them. The one thing I was going to say was that my skin was absolutely WRECKED during high mileage running during one of my training cycles. When I stopped running as much it settled back down. My doctors attributed this to my cortisol going into overdrive and I actually also had adrenal fatigue. I do not think you have adrenal fatigue but I wonder if your high mileage is affecting your skin right now? Maybe especially because you just ran your sub-3 a few months ago (woo!).The good thing is, it will probably settle after you finish your Ultra. In the meantime, I REALLY recommend using an oil cleanser, a gel cleanser, a hydrating serum, and a night cream as well as tea-tree oil for spot treatment. Those things were game changers for me. We can easily get acne or spots when our skin is too dry, so it being winter in Utah may be affecting you too. One last thing – I’ve noticed that our culture tends to ‘skin shame’ much like we ‘body shame.’ The things is, having spots and unclear skin is just natural sometimes and it’s part of being a human person and especially a woman because our levels fluctuate all the time. It is NORMAL to have spots sometimes and we are still beautiful with or without them :) But girl I know it’s dang annoying in the meantime. I HOPE THIS HELPS! Interested to hear what your derm says.

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I am sure diet probably affects skin but I have a hard time giving up delicious foods! I have noticed different products and time of month contribute to my breakouts. During my first pregnancy I changed my skincare regime and one item that I love and continue to use is the Belli anti-blemish face wash.

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Have you heard of the skinboss in Orem? Go follow her on Instagram and make an appointment with her team! It takes time, but she literally works skin magic.

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I had the same problem with my lazy core! The thing that really helped was going to pilates class AFTER spin class. So I realized that I rely on my legs and quads to do everything and my core takes a break. But when my legs were already tired after spinning, I could tell when I was trying to cheat, and really needed those abs. Maybe doing a few pilates moves (especially pike, hundreds, and double-leg stretch) after your runs could help you find those abs….plank is great, but it does involve your legs in a way that encourages cheating.

I used to take antibiotics for my acne back when I was younger, and they helped, but had some negative side effects. I realized that there are topical antibiotic gels you can use that are just as effective and don’t require taking any pills. They might be worth asking your dermatologist about, and they really worked well for me.

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Hi Janae! Skin issues are the absolute worst. I had similar cheek acne for years and tried literally everything (including most of the suggestions in the comments). The product that changed my life is Lotion P50 1970 by Biologique Recherche. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. After about 2 months of using it, my skin was completely clear and I almost never break out now. I tried a lot of diet changes (vegan, no soy, etc.) and none of them made a huge difference in my case.

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I knew in 5th grade I wanted to be a teacher and coach and here I am doing what I love!

For my skin I always tend to breakout more when I am about to start my period or when I eat more sugar than normal. When I wash my face right after I run, hydrate hydrate hydrate, wash diligently at night and in the morning, I usually do better. A friend of mine introduced me to Skin Script Raspberry Refining Cleanser and it has been a life saver. Since I was a teenager I have tried so many different things (even high end like Proactive) and nothing worked. This has been the best for me. She also gave me some toning pads to go along with it. It can dry out my skin so I just use it at night and I’ve noticed the biggest difference. https://www.skinscriptrx.com/product/blemish-control-cleanser-with-2-salicylic-2-glycolic-with-tea-tree/

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Oh my goodness, I had this exact skin problem a year ago!! I saw an organic skincare lady, and she told me the issues were diet related. Gluten and Dairy are two of the top offenders, so I cut both out for a month. I also did a liver detox (with tea and pills) and my skin cleared within a month. I quit using harsh products on my skin and switched to natural ones – I’m OBSESSED with Primally Pure ‘s products, especially their oil cleanser, and my skin has NEVER been better. I can’t even remember the last time I had a break out. Oh! and another tip the skincare lady gave me was to take tumeric pills since I was working out a lot. If you’re exercising a ton they help with any inflammation going on inside of your body that could be coming out as pimples. I know you’ve already received a ton of advice in the comments, but if you ever want to know specifics of what I’ve done I’d love to share! I love talking about this stuff!

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Favorite pasta…..all of them !!! I am not the norm, but food effects my skin terribly !! But I have atopic dermatitis, which is a form if eczema. After many creams, prescriptions, supplements, and the worst yet steroid shots. I finally got fed up, and stoped listening to Dr’s tell me food was not related. I cut out sugar (ouch), dairy and basically went to an anti-inflammatory diet. It took months for the rashes & itching to settle down and go away, but I have not used 1 cream, gotten any shots or used any of the old supplements. I’m currently taking nothing. So far, keeping things very much in control by anti-flam foods and Eucerin excema lotion. That’s it. Clear good skin at the since then. Food also played a big part in a friends skin (acne) too. So my opinion is it very much plays a role. It’s trial and error for everyone since we’re all different but it doesn’t hurt to play around with foods. There are even certain fruits and veggies I can’t have. And Green Tea is supposed to be good for skin, but I had a terrible reaction to it !!!!! Really awful one. Strange stuff, but I log it all on paper, my have and can’t have foods. Good luck to you, I hope you find results in switching food around.

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I swear by the regimen from acne.org. Seriously changed my life by helping me get my hormonal acne under control. The “must buys” are the BP and the AHA+. I promise you won’t regret it!

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The biggest thing I found that was negatively affecting my skin was over-drying with harsh skin care products. It was like a vicious cycle. I thought it was hormone related, but my kids are now 5 and 7 so not sure if it was that. Once I started using a product line more geared towards hydration I noticed a big change. I am 2 years in, and barely have any breakouts anymore. I used to have at least 5 pimples at any given time and HAD to wear makeup if I was going out. Now I feel comfortable in my own skin. If you want to try samples (I am now a consultant for Beautycounter because I believe in their products and mission) just let me know. Good luck with the upcoming long runs! I don’t envy those snowy runs…

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Dairy is a HUGE trigger for me. I really need to do another dairy free month, but I also love cheese. For me, I was able to clear up 99% of my food issues by going completely dairy free (particularly whey, which is in a lot of processed foods) for one month. After that, I was able to slowly re-introduce dairy (CHEESE) into my diet carefully. If I notice another flare-up, I watch what I eat again. And not to be undelicate, but has your cycle returned to normal? We have babies very close in age, and I’m noticing a major hormone shift (back to “normal”/my baseline at baby’s age of 15 months) that is affecting my skin. I’ve chosen to go hormone-free in my family planning but also considered BC just to help my skin – but I don’t plan on having any more children. Hope this helps!

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Also, I forgot to mention that curology has been a great fit for me, personallY! curology.com

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Hola Janae! I’ve been reading your blogs for six years and it’s the first time I’ve ever commented :o I’ve grown up so much whilst reading your blog- when I began I was 18, under eating, running slowly and a little bit miserable and now I’m in my fifth year of medical school, running a tiny bit less slowly and eating like horse. Meanwhile, your life has changed so much too and it’s been a joy to watch it!

Buttt the reason I decided to message was about acne! My skin has got SO much better since not following trends online and I would really recommend just following the guidance of dermatologists. Online I have two favourites; Dr Sam Bunting and Dr Anjal Mahto. They both recommend ingredients which are proven to work (like retinoids or azaleic acid- my absolute fav), non-irritating moisturisers and lots of sun protection. Dr Mahto has written about diets for skin and it’s a pretty refreshing read for someone who is fed up with internet gurus demonising delicious foods. Here it is: https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/acne-diet-eating-disorder

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I came in from my bike ride this morning thinking, “I’ll be glad when I don’t have to wear so many layers!” It’s been so cold here and it’s only been in the 30s. I can’t imagine living where it snows. I’m a complete winter wimp.

We are all about pasta at our house. I make my own using Bob’s Red Mill Semolina flour. I have a pasta machine that flattens and cuts the pasta. I’ve made spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagna noodles and ravioli. Nothing from the store even comes close to how good this is! If you search my blog for pasta you will find dozens of recipes, but this ravioli is hands down my favorite: https://mcmomentsandmemories.blogspot.com/2012/01/friday-foodie.html.

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It was in the 30’s where I live too and today was my first bike ride since the summer (broke my ankle last week), and it was SOOO cold! I will definitely be doubling up on pants and socks next time and I need to find warmer gloves. I was super thankful for my neck/face wrap thing but man my toes burned the whole ride! How do people do this in snow!?

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Hey Marissa,
One thing that really helps me is toe covers. These go over my cycling shoes. You can get them pretty cheap on Amazon. I’ve had the same pair for years. I usually wear 2 pairs of gloves, too. It’s those extremities that really get cold on the bike.
Hope that ankle heals quickly!

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Sweet! Thanks! I just ordered some.

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When I did Whole30, my skin was AMAZING…I’m not sure if it was the no sugar or no dairy or just not eating any processed foods – or a combination of all of those things…but I’d suggest cutting out those things, then slowly adding each back in and pay attention to how your skin reacts :)

I don’t think I can pick a favorite pasta – it’s all wonderful haha. My favorite pasta dishes that I’ve ever had are from Wild Olive in Charleston, SC, and The Copper Onion in downtown SLC <3 I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up…I decided that I wasn't a huge fan of blood and I never would have made it through a surgical rotation, so I went for my DPT instead of MD. I'll graduate with my clinical doctorate in less than 3 months and then start my residency in Neurology :)

Also – you've inspired me to want to try Burn Bootcamp – I'm going to have to see if there are any in SLC :)

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I don’t actually think that food plays a huge deal in your skin…it’s genes and hormones for the most part. PLEASE listen to one of my favorite podcasts, The Food Medic, and her episode on skincare. She uses scientific evidence and talks to medical experts and relays in information in a really understanding, honest, and fun way. Highly recommend!

Episode 4: https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/the-podcast/season-1/

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Food is such a huge determiner in my complexion! I have also been using a Clarisonic https://www.amazon.com/Clarisonic-Mia-Sonic-Cleansing-System/dp/B005YB36O2 with either Cerave or Cetaphil per my dermatologist and that has really cleared up a lot of my issues! My acne is also definitely hormone related and was always worse when I was pregnant or breast feeding.

I have to eat gluten free so any good gluten free pasta is my jam :)

I knew I wanted to teach when I was about 10 or so, but I never thought I would be teaching high schoolers. I didn’t change my major until about a year into my undergraduate but now I’m so glad that I did and I couldn’t imagine teaching littles!

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I used to get breakouts and, honestly, the thing that worked best for me was not touching my face. If I felt any sort of breakout, I’d pick at it/try to pop it, which would then result in even more problem spots appearing. Even resting my hand against my face could cause me to get a pimple. As soon as I made an effort to not put my hands anywhere near my face, my breakouts have drastically improved! Also, I swear by Trader Joe’s face wash and moisturizer. :)

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Hi HRG!
I rarely comment but I too have acne. I really appreciated France’s comments. She sounds like a real doctor and I will be looking at her links! As far as Christy’s advice goes, ignore it, she sounds like someone who just wants to attack you, not a real doctor. I hope your trip to the dermatologist is helpful! I love reading your blog! It is how I start my day! Thanks for being real and sharing the good and the hard stuff in life!

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When I gave up dairy, my skin completely cleared up. I’ve actually developed a casein sensitivity that triggers a chronic inflammatory skin condition, and while the main issues aren’t in my face, cutting it out (particularly cheese :-( ) has made a huge difference. I think some of it depends on what you’re sensitive to, but you might discover that you can handle yogurt but not cheese, or it might be a totally different trigger altogether. But it’s worth experimenting!

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My dermatologist recommended starting with neutrogena acne face wash. She said it’s mild & non drying. She also recommended following it with a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. Good luck Janae!

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My diet never played a big part in my problem with adult acne. My dermatologist put me on a low dose of a drug called spironolactone. It is usually used to treat hypertension but because it is an androgen blocker, it can really help women with acne. It really cleared mine up and my adult daughter’s. It did not affect my blood pressure which is always low to normal. I’m not sure about taking it during pregnancy.

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So there actually isn’t a lot of good, high quality evidence that food affects your skin. There are a lot of anecdotal reports from people that cutting out this or that helped their acne but it’s never been proven in studies. I suggest waiting until you see your dermatologist and asking them!! They went to school for 15 years for skin … better advice than someone selling skin care products. Typically initial topical treatments for someone wanting to avoid retinoids due to potential pregnancy would be benzoyl peroxide plus or minus a topical antibiotic. I have terrible adult acne as well so I feel your pain.

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Hi! I’m a teacher off work today for a snow day, and I spent some time reading all of these comments. HOLY OVERWHELMING PILE OF INFORMATION AND OPINIONS haha

Thank you for being real in your blog and making me feel less alone. I am also in my 30’s (although closer to 40 than you are) and struggle with my skin sometimes. It seems to be stress-related for me, and I also have the problem of touching / picking at my face even if my mind is shouting “That never helps! Stop it!” It’s a terrible habit and probably comes from anxiety in a variety of ways.

I have no food-related opinions or advice related to skin, but I have recently started using some products from Lush. I love that their products are made from natural, real ingredients. Do you have one of those near you? You can order almost everything online, but some of the products are in-store only and you have to keep them in the fridge because the ingredients are fresh. I just bought a face mask that has real mashed up blueberries in it, and I love it! p.s. If you do try something from them, also treat yourself to a bath bomb. I was never big into baths until I tried one from there!

Anyway, it is certainly always a personal struggle to not feel embarrassed when I have skin issues going on. I’m not sure where the stigma of feeling like we need to hide imperfections really comes from, but I try very hard to be a good example for my students of showing up and having confidence even when I’d rather be hiding for one reason or another (even if I’m secretly faking that confidence). Like I said, posts and conversations like this one help me feel less alone, so thank you!! Have a beautiful rest of your day. :)

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Yes, yes. https://www.shecares.com/hormones/estrogen/about

This link is provided to show something I’m not sure many are aware of, amiright? Did you see this in the hormone test kit or the doctor’s office?

I hope the link provides the graph at the top of the page I’m seeing. MEANINGFUL? So often, if we look at hormone cycles it’s in 30 day increments, approx. How about over a LIFETIME? The graph shows climbing estrogen levels from 20 through 30-40; then the level of and decline from 50 through 60. Cpt Obviou: So, as a 33 yo, you’re climbing inside.

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My skin has been one hundred times better since avoiding dairy (not always.. sometimes I want some cheese), but I think it’s worth trying out if you’re curious to see what happens. There are so many delicious dairy free options these days- coconut milk or almond along with many different kinds of butters and alternative cheeses (Miyoko’s is my fav!). I also don’t eat very much candy, so not sure if that plays a role.

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My son is struggling with this right now, and sugar and dairy are his #1 culprits. Ice cream is a recipe for disaster. My skin triggers are more hormonal-I’m in that lovely age where the wrinkles are starting but monthly breakouts still happen. 🤨 not cool! But definitely diet is a huge factor. Good luck.

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You have a ton of comments!! Dairy is an on/off switch for my acne. Milk is the worst, followed by ice cream then cheese. If I have more than 2 servings of cow milk, I will for sure get a flare.

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My friend is an aesthetician and she recommends avoiding dairy as well as iodized salt!

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Ok,not sure if anyone else mentioned this but heavy training has a huge impact on our skin..,not to say you shouldn’t do it,just know that it disrupts hormones…I’ve run 9 marathons about the same number of half Ironmans and a full IM and I have pretty good skin?But the minute the milesnpikenon,I get pimples.
I don’t have a real solution cause you eat a lot of “good skin” foods like sweet potatoes and avocado etc(me too and I also eat a lot of sugar)…but just know that this can definitely impact it!

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* miles pile on-sorry!!

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I’m a registered nurse and my first job was at a dermatologist. There is evidence that the whey in dairy is responsible for acne, so anything with whey protein might make it worse. I don’t know if you’re eating much whey in supplements or anything like that. I hope this helps!! :)

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I have nothing to say about the acne other than i’ve been “washing” and moisturizing my face with argan oil with 20 drops of tea tree oil and lavendar (in the “wash”) and 20 drops of lavendar and frankincense in the “moisturizer”. I got a bottle on Amazon and once you get it you can take a survey for a second bottle of full size argan oil. It’s organic and got great reviews. Also, seeing the picture of Brooke’s room – i would love to see a full house tour of the new place!!

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Skin issues are the worst!! i’ve had terrible skin my whole life, have spent so many hours crying over my skin, and I’ve tried EVERYTHING. The only things that worked for me were 1) Accutane (I KNOW, so bad…I’ve actually been on it twice) 2) Birth control (which I can’t take anymore because it gives me migranes). I’ve done food cleanses/GF/DF/no sugar and the Whole30 and my skin stayed the same. So I’m convinced it’s related to hormones…I’m actually convinced that whatever makes my skin break out made it easier for me to get pregnant with my daughter last October (I’m a type 1 diabetic and it should have been really hard, but we got pregnant really quickly). All that being said, while I was pregnant, my skin was still AWFUL! One day, I randomly decided to use some Witch Hazel toner (this kind actually- https://www.amazon.com/Thayer-Witch-Toner-Rose-Alc-Fr-liquid/dp/B007HD570Q/ref=sr_1_5_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1550691667&sr=1-5&keywords=toner) and I haven’t broken out really since. I’m still breastfeeding, so I’m sure that has something to do with it, but I’m shocked because my skin has NEVER been like this without serious medicine, like Accutane. I know it’s not a fix, but I wanted to put it out there in case you wanted to try! Target usually sells small airplane sized bottles. Good luck girl!!!

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Look at the blog YoungHouseLove. She uses apple cider vinegar and coconut oil on her skin and swears by it clearing up her face. Many others who have tried it based on what she recommended have said it cleared their skin too. I think she just rubs it on with a cotton ball…but I would check her blog for the deets.

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I’ve noticed that milk chocolate makes me skin break out but I can eat dark chocolate. I do notice that dairy and sugar are HUGE for my skin, but I became lactose intolerant after drinking tons of milk for many years so I try to limit my dairy. Lactose Free whey powder has never bothered me. It definitely is trial and error with skin, but I do think diet plays a huge role.

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Dairy. Sigh. My daughter, my son, and myself all have issues with our skin breaking out when we eat dairy. It doesn’t cause any digestive issues, but makes a mess of our skin. As long as we avoid it completely, we have crystal clear skin. Luckily, sugar seems to be okay for my skin ;) Sorry that you’re dealing with this. I had really bad skin as a teenager (and ended up going on Accutane [don’t recommend]) and even now if I get a breakout, I get so hypersensitive about it because it takes me back to those insecure teenage years.

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I dont know about food affecting skin, I’m sure it does, but I haven’t seen anything in my own face. I used to break out a ton, but I started using a toner with salicylic acid in it once a day, and it made a shocking difference.

I’ve consistently had acne since I was 12, but a few years ago I started this routine: I don’t wash my face at all at night (unless I wear foundation, then I use regular hand soap), rinse my face with just water in the shower in the morning, and after my morning shower I swipe my face with a cotton ball soaked with toner. It’s kept my face clear for the past few years, even through a pregnancy and post-partum.

The toner is just a few dollars, you can get some at Target, or Walmart, or any drug store, so it’s worth trying

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I had awful cystic acne when I went off birth control, during my pregnancy and even postpartum once done with breastfeeding. It looked exactly like yours. I had tried the antibiotics and differin gel prescription from a dermatologist, changing face washes, changing moisturizers, “natural” products, mineral sunscreen, no sunscreen, etc etc. None of that worked. I randomly tried the CVS skin+pharmacy glycolic acid face wash (pink bottle) to help exfoliate my skin because the gritty scrubs just made my skin peel on top of break out. I figured I couldn’t lose because it’s a relatively cheap face wash and I knew I wasn’t exfoliating my skin correctly. I started over the summer doing it at night since it can make your face more sensitive to the sun – so wear sunscreen! And I have to say that now I use it 1-2 times a week and no more cystic acne on my cheeks! Literally none. Not even during my period. Oh and if you decide to try it out, let the girl who waxes your eyebrows know. Glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to waxing. And I think they prefer you not to wax if you are using it *I think*. I chose to stop waxing my eyebrows (pluck instead) because I didn’t want to look more into it. But I did read that good places will just do plucking for you instead of waxing – so just ask your girl!

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Ok so I have been struggling big time with my skin ever since I stopped nursing ANderson- so what like 2 1/2 year sago? I thought when I got pregnant my skin would clear up but it didn’t. I didn’t change much in my diet because I feel like I already eat pretty healthy. So I had heard alot of things about the Tula skin line. And my skin in the last 3 weeks has not been better. I use their acne clearing kit and have loved it. I also ordered the Dr Thayers toner from amazon which has amazing reviews. I started using this before the Tula, and it initially might have caused a break out but i have loved how that has been too. So I continue to use all of them. Good luck. Skin problems are the worst. You are beautiful as ever though!

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Hi Janae! I struggled with adult acne for awhile and the best advice I got from my sister (who is a PA at a dermatology/plastics skin center) is to always always always wash your face immediately after a run/working out. I keep Cera Ve or Cetaphil makeup wipes with me in case I can’t wash my face right after a run. Not sure if you do this but I also try to never run with any face makeup on. I also use two topical creams- Aczone and Epiduo forte (Differin works great too) which I swear by but I understand not wanting to use prescription topicals if you may want to get pregnant. I know you can’t use retinol based products if that’s the case but Aczone should be fine! My sister also recommended always using a gentle cleanser like Cera Ve or Cetaphil as well as a moisturizer even if you are not feeling dry. Putting on any kind of oil (I had friend’s suggest vitamin E and coconut oil) WILL most likely clog your pores in my experience. I just can’t think that it’s all diet based! Sure sugar could be playing a role but I see you post plenty of healthy food too :) Best wishes!

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Follow up comment- all the people saying food doesn’t affect skin are hilarious to me. The food we eat makes up our cells which generate our hormones which can get stored in our epithelial layers (aka- skin!). I say go eat McDonald’s for a week or two straight and then tell me how your skin looks.

As with most things in life, experiment till you find what works for you!

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I honestly found that food made no difference to my skin. I went to a bunch of dermatologist and went on accutane twice. The doctor I worked with for the second round was a genius, and I still see her regularly. After accutane I got some laser treatments to fix the ice pick scars, and now I can finally not live behind extra thick concealer. I still take spironolactone, which has prevented any further acne along with a retin-a and another acne cream.

I personally don’t think food has much of an impact on skin, especially since yours is on your cheeks. Good luck with your appointment. My advice is don’t let the doctor rush your appointment and do not leave without some sort of prescription. I think too many derms don’t take acne seriously because it is “cosmetic” but what is cosmetic to them severely impacts our self esteem.

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Hey there! Dairy is one of the most inflammatory food groups next to sugar. If you were to cut back on both, I’m sure you will see a major difference!

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Hormone imbalance caused my acne; as soon as I got my hormones balanced (gained some weight and reduced intensive exercise for a bit) my acne disappeared. I eat sugar, dairy, and gluten currently and my skin has never been better. I’m wondering if the volume of your running is throwing your hormones a bit out of balance causing your skin issues.

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I stopped eating dairy and switched over to using only pH balanced products on my face over the past year and it has helped a ton! I get deep painful cystic acne. It took a few months for it to completely go away after I stopped eating dairy but now if I do slip up and eat something I see the effects on my face the next day. And using pH balanced products really helps my face not to dry out. I’m a big fan of Simple brand products now!

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Curology. It’s magic. https://curology.com/

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Hi! I just had my daughter to the Dermatologist yesterday and we had a extensive discussion on diet and acne. There is apparently no real science to back this idea up. She did say most people will say that cutting dairy and gluten helped them, but the only proven thing that can affect the skin is sugar.

We have tried all the acne regimens out there and most of what she suggested can be done over the counter. A popular one is call epiduo, but it’s crazy expensive. You can actually make your own. Buy some great benzoyl peroxide and differin and combine them. Your skin will dry so use some good , clean moisturizer like cetaphil.

I hope this helps. Our Dr. gave us all this advice only came home with two prescriptions and one (the differ gel) an be bought over the counter and the other is an antibiotic more for the back and chest acne.

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I doubt your diet is the culprit. After I weaned my second baby, my skin revolted and the dermatologist said it can happen with babies and hormones. Luckily, there are lots of meds to fix and the fix can be faster in adults. Not what you want to go through as an adult! Good luck!

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Hi Janae — You probably won’t see this, seeing as it’s so far down the list, but I wanted to take a moment to remind you that your mental health is more important than your skin. Diet culture tells us that we need to “eliminate” foods or food groups to improve some part of us — our skin, our size, whatever. In reality, you are enough, just as you are. You seem like you are kind, an amazing mother, an incredible runner, and it simply isn’t worth compromising any of those things for you to have clear skin. Even if there was a magical food cure, restricting your life in that way is time lost. Perhaps it will work, but perhaps it will lead to disordered eating and injury. If it doesn’t work, there’s a chance you will blame yourself, when really the “solution” diet culture sells us is doomed to fail from the start. I feel like this has a strong chance of bringing you a lot of anguish … I can relate to how challenging it is to cope with poor self-image. I’m going to encourage you to take a step back and to look at the bigger picture. You have so much to be grateful for. Please, please, please do not change your diet to conform to external standards of beauty. You’re worth more than that. Even if you had acne from head to toe, your family and God would still love you. Best of luck!

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So many comments already – I have no idea how you will decide! BUT, do try to eliminate dairy from your diet just for a short time period and see the results, if any. Certainly there could be a lot of culprits, but when I gave up dairy I immediately noticed two things: better skin and better digestion. (i.e. no more immediate need for a port-a-potty while running). Worth a try, right?

Also, I can totally relate to your core story. I went to a physical therapist when I was having some hip issues. He stated it could be because of a need to strengthen my glutes. I lay on my stomach and he told me to lift my leg, first by tightening my glutes and then using my leg. I had NO glute strength at all. Ha!

That picture of Brooke’s classroom is adorable!

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You should watch Dr Dray on YouTube for some acne insight. I did and it changed my skin from HORRIFIC and painful to normal (with some leftover scarring). No diet change necessary!

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I know that food can play a huge role, but I also don’t think it is realistic to eliminate those foods forever just to keep your skin under control. My son struggles with terrible acne and when he was on a strict diet for wrestling weight cuts (written by a nutritionist) his skin calmed way down, but that type of eating long term wasn’t realistic, especially for a teenager.
We went through a million different skin care routines/creams for years and finally have found one that has worked consistently for about 6 months. It is Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide Topical Gel. It can be kind of expensive depending on insurance coverage but we found that Good Rx has a pretty good price and so far he hasn’t noticed any negative side effects. Might be worth asking about…

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Another thing to consider besides diet with your skin is moisture. Especially since you’ve been running outside in the cold weather. I always had oily skin but it started to change to combination/dry as I got older (and I hadn’t realized it). My thought was always, “OMG, I’m breaking out, I need to use cleansers with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, etc. etc. and exfoliate like the dickens to clear everything out.” Turns out the stuff I was using was way too harsh, was drying out my skin, and it made my breakouts worse because my skin was overcompensating for my dry, dry skin. Long story short, I now treat my skin as very sensitive, switched to a gentle cleanser (Cetaphil or Cerave) and am fanatical about moisturizing with moisturizers and oils formulated for sensitive skin (currently using Andalou Nuturals 1000 Roses line). And, my Clarisonic (with SENSITIVE brush head only) truly changed my skin as well. I got off my prescribed skin medication once I started using it on a regular basis.

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Hey girl! I’m so sorry about your skin issues – it’s so annoying. While I think a lot of the above suggestions and experiences are insightful and interesting, I would say: trust your doctor and yourself! Maybe it’s diet related, maybe not. Maybe it’s diet related but with your history of disordered eating (like me) cutting out whole food groups isn’t a good idea so you have to take another route. Maybe it’s hormonal. Maybe it’s a combo of many things! I think there are many possible solutions to healing your skin and the best one will be the one that works for your particular skin within the constraints that are particular to your life! I’ve tried cutting out food groups before but for me personally it triggers my ED brain so doesn’t work for me individually. I’ve tried topical ointments from the dermo – Epiduo and Differin and different times – and both worked for me when I used them. Birth control also helped my skin when I was on it. Today I use Neutrogena Oil Free Acne wash most nights and then follow up with face oils (Jojoba and Rosehip Seed) or an anti-aging cream that has some retinol in it. Basically, this is all to say that different things have worked for me at different times, and I hope you’re able to find the best solution for YOU! :)

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My skin freaked out with the worst hormonal cystic acne around 8-9 months postpartum. I also wanted to limit medication as I am still breastfeeding. My dermatologist put me on an antibiotic ( totally safe with breastfeeding)and my skin improved within 7 days. I still get a tiny zit here and there but nothing like a few months ago. I am now being weaned off the antibiotic in hopes that my skin will stay calm!

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Hi, what does your blonde Ironwoman buddy, Josie, eat and do other than rock it with you? (I asked this before and don’t recall seeing the information.) As I recall, her skin looks terrific and she has/ had a low injury rate. Come to think of it, how was her diet/ exercise/ sleep at the time of her most recent set back? What about the rest of your fast pack? They don’t do bananas and milk, right? Your AZ brother’s face looks good, but he didn’t share what he’s eating (also, he’s male, but he is closely related). The other person I’m thinking of for diet is Gwen Jorgensen. I mean, she vlogs it! I know you said you don’t have the mileage she does. However, IMO you might not require the VOLUME of food she consumes but you could take her menu and SCALE it to your miles. Also, I think she takes commercial yogurt (?) and it might be a no, no; she’s just getting away with it. But you wouldn’t copy her spoonful, for spoonful, right?

You know, you have a special chiro. and an exercise coach, what about a special nutritionist? We know you’re doing better in a lot of ways than prior years and, obviously, you want to take it to the next level. (We want you to, too.) I think a nutritionist with related experience would take your mileage, hormone tests and develop a plan factoring in your climbing (attempting to climb) estrogen levels. Its like, what supports getting estrogen to the level it needs to get to? It’s like, we know iron (and vitamin B) and protein support hormones, right? Right. So, there’s a good start line.

You and your crowd are upper level for exercise, so I think all the readers here could benefit from more information from y’all – from those who are rocking it! I’m totally looking forward to you sharing more on this journey. It’s like we love the WEEKLY RECAP of miles and workout on Sundays; so, how about a cheek recap too? Boom, boom, boom, let me hear you say hey yo, hey yo!

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I have such weird skin and break out with anything but rinsing my face with water in the shower! Everything else dries my skin out and ends up giving me awful breakouts. So weird!

I’m a licensed Realtor in Arkansas! :) I’ve been in it for 4 years this October and we flip houses! Its a crazy life but we love doing what we do every day! We’re closing on our next project in just a couple weeks! YAY!

I love ALL the pasta! We have spaghetti sunday each week and I love that it’s become a tradition! :)

I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was little. Sadly to say, I’m not one today, but I LOVE seeing the dolphins when we head to the beach for vacation each year!

Have a great Wednesday Janae!!!

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There are so many comments so mine might get lost in this sea. But here it is anyway.
1st: let’s just say this – genetics plays a role. I have friends (and my two sisters) who literally NEVER wash their face and their skin is flawless. Now, my skin isn’t terrible, but I definitely always have a zit or two. But there are humans who do nothing and there are no consequences. So you could be eliminating allthethings and trying everything and it is just harder for you. which is lame.
2nd: speaking of eliminating things, I do think there are times when it has proven to help and certain foods can cause problems. But no ONE thing does it for everyone, as you can see by the comments. So unless you have a doctor recommend it, I don’t think you should eliminate foods. One person can eat gluten/diary/sugar no problem, others react. And with a past of disordered eating, I would tread lightly with that department.
3rd: Your diet HASN’T changed recently. So maybe your diet isn’t it? Yes you eat sugar, but you eat SO many fruit and veggies and healthy stuff. I mean, it could be. But look at what HAS changed since you have been having this problem. I know, for me, that I break out when hormones (hello period) change or when I am stressed. But even if it isn’t because of your period, your hormones are probably different because you had a baby, because you are older, because you are running more.
4th: You are freaking beautiful. I see you in person and not once have I ever even noticed this “problem”. But I also get it, when you are living with is and see it every day you want to take control and do something to help it so you can literally feel comfortable in your own skin. I know you are seeing a dermatologist, but Lisa (Skin Boss is her IG name) works out of platinum studio and she is amazing. Like lives and breathes esthetician/skin stuff. I think she is hard to get into, but she even does online consults, I believe.
Love you girl! Good luck!

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Thanks for being so open about your skin issues. It’s something that I struggled with a lot and felt a lot of shame over. It’s nice to see someone share their imperfections.

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I used to have really bad breakouts and I tried topical cortisones etc which worked but dried my skin out. I find that drinking plenty of water for me helps. Personally, when I eat a lot of grease I tend to break out so I try and watch that.

Generally, I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so that seems to help. I would say diet definitely is a factor but I haven’t really been able to pin point any one factor. One thing I like to do is clay masks, maybe once every couple of weeks. I usually only wash my face with soap and water. Hope you get it sorted!

Have a great day

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Hi Janae,
You are absolutely beautiful with and without acne!!! Please please please don’t eliminate dairy and/or sugar. That sounds like a horrible way to live, especially for someone with a history of disordered eating. I repeat, you are gorgeous as you are. See what your dermatology says, but don’t feel like you have to do anything extreme.
Have a great night and I really really hope you read my comment.

Liz

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Have you tried BeautyCounter products? They don’t have any harmful chemicals or ingredients and have proven to work. They have a line called CounterControl specifically for acne. Using the 4 piece regimen has made a drastic difference in the acne in just two weeks and I am confident it could help you. It is totally safe to use and continue to use if you became pregnant as well. Please check it out: http://www.beautycounter.com/jenniferbobrowski The line is called: CounterControl

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I had adult-onset acne start in my early 30s. It seemed out of the blue. I went to two dermatologists and didn’t feel like either really helped. They just wanted to prescribe me stuff as trial and error. I was trying to get pregnant and neither asked me whether I was pregnant, trying, or nursing which was a big red flag. I didn’t feel like they asked basic, important questions to assess what might be going on. I spent a year trying medicines, products, facials, etc. I spent so much money. Finally, I gave up and just let my skin breathe for a month. No makeup, no facials, and no products with the exception of a very basic face wash and sunscreen if necessary. It worked! It might have just been hormonal or stress related and then all the crap I did just made it worse. It’s been several years and I have a different skin regimen now, but my skin is also different (I’ve had a baby and older now). Anyways, I would suggest if you can try a face reset. Lay off products for a month and see how your skin does. Try cutting out some foods too. If it worsens, it might indicate a deeper acne problem.

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Janae, just wanted to say you are beautiful! You have a gorgeous smile no matter what kind of skin day you are having.

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Great post! Here are the tips that have helped me personally:
-use cool water(not hot) when washing face and gently pat it dry with towel (rubbing your face with a towel can irritate the skin)
-wash the towel you use to dry your face+ pillow sheet on a weekly basis
-try not to touch your face throughout the day and use rubbing alcohol to clean your phone a couple times a week
-make a facial out of egg whites: whip the egg whites of 1-2 eggs, apply to face and leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse. This one has helped me SO much.
Good luck!

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I’m sure food has something to do with my skin, but it’s hard to pinpoint which food group is the cause… During holidays I am eating and drinking more meat/dairy/sugar/alcohol and less water/veggies and sleeping less, and my skin always gets worse but which one is the cause??? Usually I just take everything in moderation and then I don’t have any issues at all except for the occasional zit (lucky). In the last two years or so, I did also switch over all of my skincare to better quality (and generally more expensive…) brands focusing on dry, sensitive skin which is what I have. No fancy routines, just some quality basics, and I never feel like my skin is too dry or clogged up or anything. Ok probably this comment isn’t helpful at all for anyone else but hey I already wrote it…

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My mom, sister, and I all get breakouts from dairy foods. For some reason cheese isn’t a problem, but if I eat yogurt, ice cream, or drink milk, I will guaranteed break out within a few days. It makes me sad because I’d love to eat yogurt with granola and fruit for breakfast! Every so often it’s worth it to have ice cream, but I just mostly stick to other desserts.

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I love your blog! Yes, Food is a strong contributor to skin issues. In my experience, gluten and processed foods are the guilty parties. That means wheat products and the popular, processed “Gluten Free” products. The good news is that once you have eliminated the gluten and chemicals from your diet, you can occasionally and in small doses reintroduce the foods in moderation. I know you love cookies and cakes and all things delicious, as do I. It’s not goodbye forever, just taking a break ;-)

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https://www.dermalogica.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Dermalogica-Site/default/FaceMap-Start
Whenever I get a breakout, I always look up face mapping to see what the internal issue may be. I feel that what we put into our bodies, shows on the outside. I’ve notice a big difference since I quit eating dairy and try to stick with a clean eating diet. There are so many chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients in our food and our body sees them as a foreign substance.

You and Andrew are going to rock your 50 miler and I can’t wait to hear about it!

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I’ve struggled with acne a lot of my life and worked with a dermatologist. Ly personal opinion is that it has less to do with diet and more to do with hormones. During each of my five pregnancies, my skin cleared, was less oily, and looked great. But after pregnancy, my skin gradually worsens during breastfeeding. I have never had a long break between breastfeeding and subsequent pregnancies, so I’m curious what will happen after I wean this baby. I’ve also seen changes in onmy skin with birth control. It’s really frustrating in that stage of life because there isn’t much you can use as far as medication to help.

I guess an elimination diet won’t hurt to try, but in the end, I think your dermatologist will be there most helpful, not a bunch of people in the internet.

I think you are beautiful inside and out either way!

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I’ve done 2 rounds of the whole30 and my skin has never looked better when I’m eating clean. Immediately coming off of it and eating things containing dairy/sugar or gluten and my skin is rougher and not as smooth. It is amazing how much food affects our bodies and I can also say that I was much more calm, patient and slept better when I was eating clean! Food really affects us not just physically but mentally/emotionally as well! Best of luck to you and I hope you find something that works – I dealt with skin issues my whole life and so I know how frustrating it can be. Hugs!

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Jenae!
I swear my acne after kids is hormonal. I eat a really clean diet, only drink water, and my skin is worse than ever. The only thing different now is that I’ve had 2 kids! A few things that have really helped me is using Retin-A 1.0 every day along with a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid in it. That was key for me because other moisturizers would just make it worse. I’ve been using neutropenia hydro boost water gel and it has improved my skin tremendously! Good luck!!!

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I really think there is no one size fits all when it comes to skin problems so here is my experience. I have had problems with my skin in varying degrees since I was a teen. I tried all the tried and true creams, oils and astringents and really all it seemed to do was aggravate and dry out my skin even more. As an adult I really started thinking about the foods I eat and how it effects me. So I did see a lot of improvement from that. Just less sugar more water and greens and less meat. I then started to get bad cystic acne on my neck and chin area. Some topical things helped a little like Mario Badescu products but they where very drying and irritating. Desperate I started researching more natural skin care and stumbled upon using apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and filtered water as a cleanser and toner. I use a 1/3 measurement for the apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and water and clean my face, neck and chest once, sometimes twice, a day. I have not had a breakout in years! I have not washed my face with a commercial cleanser in years either. My teenage nieces also use it and it has helped them tremendously. I am not recommending this as the end all be all and I think it takes a little time to figure out how much or often to use it for your skin but I know this came to me at a time a really needed it and I feel like I should at least put it out there in case it helps someone else.

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I have had issues with my skin for…forever. The only things that have truly worked for me (I can’t tell you how many dermatologists I have seen, antibiotics and topical gels I have tried…) has been proactiv (almost 20 years ago when I was in school) and then more recently after having kids – Unblemish by Rodan & Fields. I don’t sell it – just have been extremely happy with the outcome from the product! Best of luck – I know how awful skin issues can be!

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I heard (old wives tale?) that the later in life you have zits, the younger you will look for longer as you face is still producing oil. Now, at 42 when I get a zit, I’m like “Yes! Not a wrinkle!”

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I feel like teen acne is different than grown up acne, but my 16 year old recently gave up dairy and it has had a huge positive impact on her skin. She is also using Curology. It is definitely worth a try.

I had acne until I was probably 30 and then it slowly but surely went away. At 42 I get a random zit here and there, but my skin is soooooo different that in used to be.

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I had the same issue several years ago. Google Food Babe Lemon Water!!!! It sounds hokey, but I noticed a difference in 2 days! You drink a warm glass of water with half a lemon squeezed in first thing in the morning before you eat anything. It stimulates you liver to clear toxins out of your system, eliminating toxins from leaving through your skin causing acne. I swear by this!!!

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Not sure if anyone has mentioned it above but I love collagen peptides for this exact reason. It’s made a huge difference in my skin. I use thing brand and their vanilla bean and chocolate flavours are amazing!
https://sportsresearch.com/products/collagen-peptides-hydrolyzed-gelatin?variant=35117076936

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The number one thing is hormones! Being on birth control is the only thing that saves my skin (I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear given your past with birth control). Im also on Sprionolactone (a pill-dermatologist prescribed) that helps a ton! those two are life savers.

I’m also on Ziana (a topical retin A product) which helps, and also helps those acne scares to go away.

Finally, I haven’t found food makes a big difference. However, I have noticed I get fewer smaller zits when I cut out yogurt. Not all dairy- I still eat meat and cheese. But I was travelling once and not eating yogurt, and that’s when I noticed a difference.

So basically – hormones are the biggest thing and birth control is a life saver, but cutting our yogurt helped give it a boost.

I feel your pain!! I went through at least two rounds of Accutane in High School because my acne was so bad…and then I don’t even really think it worked that well. and then there’s the terrible side effects…. *sighs* I don’t really know how it clicked, but I found a good dermatologist that really helped and made me stick with things. It really sucks!! I hope your dermatologist appointment goes well!!

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