Acne: My Skin, my Diet and Me

by Leonne, Compliance Coordinator, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

My issues with my skin really began when I hit puberty. From 14 onwards I was engaged in a battle with my face, squeezing, scrubbing and obsessing about each new spot that would appear.

It was just the usual teen acne and something most of my friends had, too. It was tough sometimes, but I figured I would grow out of it and have a smooth face once again when I was all grown up.

I remember reading so many books and articles at that time, trying to find a solution to my facial woes. All the books and articles I read said repeatedly “there is no scientifically proven link between diet and acne”. This suited me fine as I loved my diet of chips, pies, chocolate milk and lollies: I never put on weight so ‘lucky me’, a licence to gorge on whatever food I wanted. I decided my acne could not be related to diet, that’s what the scientists were saying and look at Kate Moss, we all know she parties hard and her skin is perfect.

So I continued to scrub, squeeze and self-loathe, waiting for the day when my skin would magically clear up. This carried on until a devastating relationship breakup at the age of 19, when things became much worse. At this point I began to develop extremely painful and disfiguring cystic acne, which left my face scarred and sore. I went to the doctor desperate to find a solution and tried a variety of medications that left me burned, peeling and more scarred. The doctors repeatedly told me there was no correlation between my acne and my diet (even though a nagging inner voice made that seem preposterous to me), so I continued to torture myself trying to find a solution.

Until this point in my life I had always been admired and given attention for my appearance. As a little girl, people would say “you are so beautiful, like a porcelain doll”, etc. No-one said these things anymore; I felt I had lost the thing most people noticed about me and valued. The few people I did see sometimes made horrified comments about my appearance and always tried to offer kind solutions or ask me questions such as ‘‘are you washing your face?” – which just made me feel worse. I felt like I had tried everything, spending the little money I had on expensive skincare and trying to do everything right. At this point I was very depressed, broken hearted and finding it difficult to leave the house.

Eventually, after about a year of trying hopeless remedies, a caring and dedicated doctor prescribed me a contraceptive pill that controlled adult acne. It was wonderful, my face cleared up within three months and I was admired once more: although I was left with the physical and emotional scars of my experience, I began to heal.

The doctor told me I would need to stay on the medication I was taking until I was at least 35 years old, and I stayed on this pill for the next 12 years. Sure it dulled me down, swelled me up and made me feel a bit less myself, but that was a small price to pay to have my face back. I tried to come off the medication several times and loved having a medication free body, but the acne always came back within a month or two and I would cave in immediately and start taking it again. Finally, at the age of 29 I decided to listen to my heart and try changing my diet – it just made sense to me, why not give it a shot? I stayed on the pill while I did this… I wanted to test the waters and see if I could do it before I tried anything too drastic.

So I changed my diet and I could see and feel great results in my body when I cut out dairy, caffeine, alcohol and sugar; I felt sure it would help with my acne as my already clear skin began to take on a healthy, radiant glow. Unfortunately, I seemed to have no willpower: having never dieted before I discovered I had a relationship with these foods and drinks that made giving them up seem impossible.

I gave up on the diet once I realised I couldn’t handle life without the food and drinks that harmed me. I needed a glass of wine after a hard day at work, a chocolate bar when I was feeling out of sorts and a coffee to wake me up in the morning. I simply could not function without these things. I even used to joke and say that having caffeine in my blood should be a requirement on my driver’s licence!

Alcohol seemed to have a particularly bad effect on my skin, but when I was out at a big event like a wedding or birthday party it seemed crazy not to drink – those were the only times I felt like I really got to let my hair down and have fun. I was faced with the confronting reality that I was knowingly ingesting things that were bad for me, things that were destroying my skin and hurting my body: faced with the fact that I was using a medicine to cover up the damage I was doing. It was a very uncomfortable truth and I knew I needed to get to the bottom of it.

I had seen counsellors and psychologists throughout my 20’s, but none of them had been able to truly help me. Eventually a counsellor I was seeing recommended I have a Chakra-puncture session with a Universal Medicine practitioner, Jenny Ellis, at the UniMed Clinic in Brisbane. With the incredible support of Jenny and other Universal Medicine practitioners I was able to get to the root cause of what issue was behind the choices I was making and how this impacted on my body. I went to courses delivered by Serge Benhayon and read the books he had written – it all made perfect sense to me: everything I read and learnt fitted exactly with what I felt the truth of life to be and gave me the insight I needed to change my diet, stop drinking alcohol and start making more loving choices for myself.

In March this year I felt my body was ready and I stopped taking the pill I had been taking for 12 years. Nine months later my skin is relatively clear, the best it has ever been without medication. Now, when I do get a pimple I can feel my body speaking to me and releasing what needs to come out. I have come to love my pimples and see each one as a gift of truth. I know that if my acne gets bad again it will simply be its way of letting me know that I have the potential to be living in a more loving way, and I will adjust accordingly. Mind you, it is not difficult as I rarely get a pimple I really have to worry about! This realisation is nothing short of amazing for me and I have tears of joy just writing about it!

Most importantly, I now know that my beauty has nothing to do with my appearance. My beauty comes from within and no pimple is big enough to erase it on the outside. How incredibly powerful this is. 

I see so clearly now that what I was avoiding all those years – listening to the “articles and doctors and scientists” (and Kate Moss!) instead of my own body – was taking responsibility for my own choices and dealing with what was really behind those choices. How empowering it is to finally take control and listen to the truth my body tells me.

Thank you Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon, Jenny Ellis and all the amazing Universal Medicine practitioners: you reminded me how to listen to my body and my heart and I am forever grateful.

295 thoughts on “Acne: My Skin, my Diet and Me

  1. I’ve had the same Leonne, very severe acne and it totally devastated me. I remembered that I said to myself that I wouldn’t wish this onto my worst enemy. Not that I had any but you get my point. What I realised though was how much I relied on my appearance and looks for me to feel confident about myself. The period was indeed a blessing even though at the point it felt anything but. I got more humble and understanding and less judging towards myself and others.

    1. Beautifully said Matts. Feeling beautiful or ugly based on the way we look is equally empty. I always knew that feeling beautiful was what really mattered and then I found out that the more beautiful I feel the more beautiful the woman in the mirror becomes.

  2. This line – “Most importantly, I now know that my beauty has nothing to do with my appearance. My beauty comes from within and no pimple is big enough to erase it on the outside. How incredibly powerful this is.” – was a pure delight to read and got me thinking…..if more women connected to this, could you image what the offering is to beauty products around the world. They could have the opportunity to create products that support and bring out this beauty that you speak of. Which is completely different to what they trade on at the moment as they trade on women’s lack of self-worth and doubt.

  3. I know this relentless search and effort to fix and rid the skin of acne well. I would be financially well off now if I had only listened to my body for all the years I paid anything to have perfect skin. Reading your experience Leonne has reminded me how far I’ve come since then. I used to unconsciously and consciously pick my skin all of the time… even when driving. Pick, pick, pick… I now see how much I picked on myself in so many ways, how I looked, how I spoke, how many jobs I got done etc and how inflamed my insides were from holding so much in and not expressing. This poison needed to come out of the body somehow. Now I hardly ever pick my face… and am a lot more gentle and caring of myself.

  4. 4 years on from when you have written this article Leonne, I know you to be someone who is always up for refining your relationship with food, which if we are honest, is really our relationship with our own evolution in the sense that the foods we eat can either support and facilitate a swift return back to who we truly are, or it can thwart and hence delay such a move. Your openness, honesty and willingness to peer ‘beneath the curtain’ as to what is really going on is really inspiring, thank you.

  5. Great to revisit this and appreciate how huge and simple it was to deal with something that had previously devastated me. Looking back it was a challenge to accept that I knew the truth all along and put myself through a lot of unnecessary pain but it is wonderful to be able to share this story so that other people will have a reference point for whats possible when you listen to the truth you always knew.

  6. We are all supported in hearing from people applying self-responsibility to their health and the amazing turn arounds they experience as a result…

  7. There is no doubt about it Leonne, you have made quite a turn around in your life! Makes me appreciate the power and importance of true parenting. That is parenting to raise a child to be who they naturally are and not let the world raise them up to be what the world needs them to be. The influence of seeing beauty as something from the outside alone is huge and has a massive impact on how we feel about ourselves even if we feel super lovely on the inside.

  8. I can remember during puberty and after that if I had got one spot on my face it was the end of the world! I don’t know how I would have coped having acne. I was paranoid that by having one spot it would affect what others thought of me. On reflection it makes me realise how much energy I was giving to and relying on my appearance for love from others or outside of myself when in truth which I have reawakened to, the love I was craving for was inside me all along. Beautiful blog Leonne, thank you for sharing.

  9. Stories like this, shared in this blog, are so needed to be read by everybody as we tend to think that there is no relationship between what we eat and our wellbeing, but the reality as being experienced by many do say that there is a relationship for sure. It is this commonly held belief that is withholding us as a society e.g. from changing the range of product being sold in our supermarkets. Imagine how our supermarkets will look like when we would do this. There would be no more dairy, gluten and sugar-containing products, no coffee, or caffeine containing tea, no alcohol and cigarettes to name a few. This may sound unrealistic but to me there will come a time where we commonly will come to this understanding and make the changes that are needed. It only needs some time until we all will consider this as the only way out of the increasing illness and disease rates that have been presented for many years to us in the health statistics produced worldwide.

  10. ‘I gave up on the diet once I realised I couldn’t handle life without the food and drinks that harmed me.’
    This is a big one, and many people will say they love their smoking, drinking, milkshakes etc. when really they don’t love them at all but need them to get through life. So why are we revolving our lives around things that make the body feel terrible? You’ve nailed it here Leonne in saying that we have a ‘relationship’ with these foods and what that relationship gives us unfortunately outweighs the effects on the body, until such time as the body starts screaming for change!

  11. It feels like your body was always trying to tell you that chocolate, alcohol, coffee and fried foods were not good for you but we like to ignore these signals for the sake of feeling comforted, cushioned and fitting into the societal mould.

  12. Our relationship with food is always evolving. Taking the time out to listen to our bodies and fine-tune what is needed in order to support us to express more of who we are is part of our responsibility for ourselves and others alike.

  13. There is so much complicated and often contradictory information available to us today, and yet the answer is always simple…

  14. Beautiful testimony of that we actually know but have not yet learned or chosen to listen to, ie. ignoring our body and feeling by overriding its communication. And what a price to pay with years of self-loathing and suffering from symptoms that would not exist in the first place when taking care of what the body knows is best.

  15. I love your sharing Leonne and I can imagine many people would take the pill for life so it is great you found that there for sure is another way and our bodies know it.

  16. In today’s world, we may be able to find a study to explain and prove anything that we want to justify in our head, but our heart will always know if it true or not.

  17. It seems crazy to say that what we put in our body has no effect on it and yet this is what some scientists/ doctors appear to be saying when they say that what we eat has no effect on our skin health… I understand that food affects people differently and am not saying it is the only thing implicated in acne but in my experience too what I eat makes a big difference on not just my skin health but my overall wellbeing too. Great to hear how you followed your intuition Leonne!

  18. I love reading stories like this. Universal Medicine is inspiring people to connect more and more to their bodies, and the incredible wisdom and inner-knowing that exists within us all. From there, more and more miracles are occuring. Love it.

  19. Not only have I noticed a huge change in my skin from changing my diet (its now almost spot free and looks very healthy) but I also notice I get less colds. Also having been diagnosed with what my doctor called ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, I am aware that certain foods make it worse, and avoidance of those foods results in no pain at all.

  20. The investment we make in our faces can be enormous – I know this is a big one for me as I’ve felt my body ‘let me down’ in the appearance department but my face was my ‘saving grace’. I was equally distressed as a young person when pimples became a thing and note I can still feel concerned today whenever a change in my face occurs. But all this highlights is a need for a deeper level of self-love and self-acceptance, and a lived understanding of the fact that true beauty lies within.

  21. ‘I gave up on the diet once I realised I couldn’t handle life without the food and drinks that harmed me.’ What a fabulously honest understanding to share. The bottom line is we misuse food because we are not accepting life. Life is hard, therefore I need to drink. Something in life is disturbing me, therefore I need to eat to take it away. Getting real about why and how we use food – and how much of it is truly about nourishment – is a great way to begin to change our relationship with it.

  22. How often do we hear that ‘beauty is an inside job’. We know it, but do we live it? Having a physical condition that is seen can be challenging because we have to deal with the reactions of others, which may have the effect of further self-judgement and criticism. But when we work on re connecting to our inherent worth and love we lose the power this has and any external reactions from others affect us less and less.

  23. Such a great example of being discerning when it comes to taking advice from others – even supermodels! I too have discovered that my body is my wisest counsellor telling me regularly when something I have done is negatively affecting it. Mind you I didn’t always think so. I spent the greatest portion of my life ignoring my body and it suffered some awful, but preventable, consequences but these days my body and I are the best of friends and it shows in so many ways.

  24. I can relate to what you have shared, though I didn’t have an issue with acne my issue played out in being overweight. I too can relate to what you shared of struggling to deal with life without certain foods. I was super sensitive to everything around me and because I didn’t want to feel what was going on I would eat to get relief from it. Our relationship with food is very telling as it often reflects how we are feeling and how much we are prepared to be ourselves in the world.

  25. Great to read Leonne how you dropped unsupportive foods as a choice from your body and your changed relationship with them: when things are no longer needed they simply drop away, and there’s no trying involved.

  26. Nobody likes the link between what we ingest and our health and thus, it is often dismissed out of hand. Why? Because it asks us to take responsibility for how we live and what we put into our body; it can appear to be much easier to resort to medication and keep living the way we have accustomed ourselves to. But the problem does not go away if we don’t address the root cause concurrently and use the break from the symptoms that the medication provides to make the necessary changes.

  27. It is interesting our relationship with food and what we use to define ourselves by. What you highlighted so well Leonne is how you listened deep down to what your body was telling you that no longer felt true and as a result you initiated a change to your diet with great results confirming that our body knows best about what is truly supportive, we only need to deepen our awareness and connection to listen to what our body is saying and guiding us to do.

  28. So important to work with our health practitioners so that we can all be educated about how the body works and responds to the choices we make on a daily basis.

  29. My experience is that it is hard to listen and go along with my own feelings when I feel like my past choices were mistakes and led me to a situation where I don’t like to find myself in – it’s like I would be the last person I would want to listen to.

  30. The truth and love of the world lives in our heart not on our skin. As I go deeper into my body and develop my feelings for what they naturally are the way I look reflects this.

  31. It makes sense that what we put in is what we wear on the outer. The body is very receptive and so willing to support us. Your blog shows how much power is in our own hands when we are willing and take it.

  32. Its funny the convenient truths we abide by when we don’t want to address something on a deeper level. Scientists and doctors are a fantastic asset to society and I am pro Science and Medicine but as with most things in this world, it’s important we do not give our power away to the information they provide because more often than not, there is more to the story. If you go to your doctor with almost any concern about your period, you are recommended the pill, there is almost never a discussion on diet, exercise or the way you are conducting rest and play in your monthly cycle, in other words, ‘don’t worry about taking any responsibility because we can medicate you.’

  33. Learning to love our pimples or whatever “imperfection” we imagine we have brings a great relief and the possibility of knowing that we are far grander than any so called imperfections.

  34. It’s ever so interesting that science can ignore the patently obvious. Perhaps a lot of scientists also want to stick to their diets of chips, pastries and the sweets.

  35. Leonne – Thank you so much for your sharing! I can relate to the upheavals and trials and tribulations of a life of acne…I was sent home from school a few times by the school nurse as she thought I had an infectious skin condition (it was just my acne). This was super embarrassing and certainly did not support me to feel more confident about myself as a teenager. Acne was something I battled with for many many years until about 1-2 years after my son was born (about 25 years in total). And yes, I too was told food had nothing to do with it. Yet changes in my diet certainly made a big difference…Interesting how people are not encouraged to explore and implement food choices as this really is such a strong part of our fundamental health and well being. I love how you have tied in the internal changes that you adopted from what you learned from Universal Medicine as supporting you to love yourself regardless of what was happening with your skin.

  36. Listening to our heart and our body takes practise as the mind is always wanting to interfere with alternative suggestions which often seem so tempting and if we have a strong predilection we can go down the well worn path of our old habits. Awesome that you felt to stay with what you felt and to also get the support for yourself in this. Changing diet changes so much. I am still learning how different foods affect me at different times and in different situations and I have let go of gluten and dairy and sugar from my diet and am gradually refining it so that my food choices are mine and not from an ideal, a belief or just pure habit which usually on looking further gives me all sorts of revelations about how I am choosing to view myself and the world.

  37. Funny that we can say that we are engaged in a fight against a part of the body we have issues with (e.g., face, acne), when the issue is just the reflection of the issue we have with life. We love to focus this way because it guarantees not paying attention to the bigger picture.

  38. Food is a contributory factor to many skin diseases and illnesses, emotional issues and stress being another one. When we eat foods that our body can’t handle or no longer support us it has to eliminate the toxins, and one of the ways is through the skin. It is interesting that your doctor saw no connection between diet and acne, which as you say was very convenient and allowed you to carry on eating things you deep down knew were not good for you.

  39. How much we can give our power away to others and let ourselves be guided by those who know better when all along we have the truth nudging us from within. It is awesome that you finally listened to your body and took responsibility for your health. I met someone at a party yesterday who had done the same thing with a different skin condition, eczema. It was not until she changed her diet significantly did she have any change in her symptoms which had been with her since childhood and were mainly manifesting in her hands and face. Someone there who had known her a long time was amazed at the change in her. There is more truth to ‘we are what we eat’ than we would sometimes care to consider.

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