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.

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

  1. “…there is no scientifically proven link between diet and acne”. I have to wonder if some of the people who say this are protecting their own use of food and alcohol as a form of medication to cope with life. We actually do all share a common sense, we all feel and know the truth as we hold it equally, we commonly sense it, and that food affects us in various ways is something we can feel.

  2. If we take a simple thing like sugar out of our diet then our health will improve immeasurably, and when we take out gluten and dairy, our awareness of what these foods have done to us becomes like the nose on our face. It is impossible to deny the ways our life has improved.

  3. We so easily ignore the impulses we have in favour of other people’s opinion, even though deep down we know its not true for us. The healing that can occur when we choose to listen to the wisdom inside is quite staggering.

  4. It’s enormous the difference smoking and drinking makes to ones facial appearance. The skin really has a job to clear the toxins that these substances put in us and the effect is not usually pretty.

  5. Leonne I loved how you started to consider that your diet may be part of the cause of your skin condition and how through support you finally managed to change your choices.

  6. Regardless of the appearance, a person can radiate beauty. I sometimes get astonished when I look at a woman who does not fit the societal standard as an attractive woman, but her beauty is undeniable. That inspires, it does not put another down in the competition game.

  7. Our true beauty lies within and has not got anything to do with our skin. But this is not what our society teaches us – and so it is a great reminder to not give your power away to the superficial aspects, but always come back to how we are, and the quality we hold deep inside.

  8. Thanks for your sharing Leonne, I too had a similar experience growing up with intense acne – it was so bad that the school nurse sent me home on two occasions saying it must be a contagious disease – this was super embarrassing as a 15 year old to experience and I was mortified by it and felt very low in self esteem. Things got to a point where I went to a skin specialist who also said there was no link between the acne and diet, which also suited me well as I was a chocaholic, dairy and a sugar addict. However the specialist put me on a medication called Roacutane which had very strong side effects and though it cleared up my acne I got dry and cracked lips and skin from it. And once off the meds, the acne came back anyways. Over the years I did change my diet as I wanted to be more healthy and this did make a difference – the acne still came but somehow it was not as severe and the skin seemed to heal faster – Strange isn’t it that when you reduce junk food, sugar and dairy and actually eat vegetables and fibre and foods with vitamins and minerals and anti-oxidants, then suddenly your body can heal better?!!! Funny that – but of course science says there is no link (so we will likely have to wait many many years before this old belief is proven to be false and then perhaps people will consider diet as a support). Either way, I feel acne is some people’s way of detoxing things from the body especially if the liver is overloaded – it may not be your normal toxins, for example, I was not into alcohol nor drugs, however, my liver was very busy processing hormones and doing all kinds of jobs, so it felt like the skin took over part of the detox process…Who knows…either way the body is amazing in its communications and its capacity to clear and heal and this is to be appreciated with every blemish and pimple that might arise.

  9. No wonder we are not taught to listen to our body, if we did so many companies would go out of business, the world would probably grind to a stand still as we would no longer need half the products that are there to support the abuse that we put our bodies through daily.

    1. I would have to wonder then if the science behind the “evidence” that diet and acne are not linked was in any way sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies that make money on acne medication…?

  10. “Most importantly, I now know that my beauty has nothing to do with my appearance” – absolutely Leonne, beauty is the quality with which we hold ourselves…when this is (self) love the beauty is undeniable irrespective of physical look.

  11. Alot of people feel sorry for those who are more sensitive, and yet there is something quite extraordinary about a body that reflects back very clearly how it is being treated. One is much more likely to make the lifestyle change required once the link is known… and really we all want to be as sensitive as we can so we can feel everything there is in this gorgeous world and with these gorgeous people all around us.

  12. “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” – this is hilarious…diet is known to affect the immune system and the body’s capacity to heal and for the skin to heal and regenerate. So an article that says there is no link between diet and acne (so perhaps scientifically from that one single perspective they have not found evidence) is ignoring the bigger picture of what most people are getting a message about through their skin… And such articles are saying to that we do not really need to take responsibility for how and what we eat. Why not take care with what we eat and supply the body and skin wit the needed nutrients to heal – this does not mean the acne would go away (especially if there are other reasons for it being there such as the liver struggling, not to mention a reduced immunity or other reasons such as emotional reasons or stress etc) but the severity of the acne could well be reduced and the skin can be supported in its healing to reduce the scarring and other effects.

    1. Henrietta it makes sense as the body needs certain materials such as vitamins and minerals to do its many jobs well, including healing. If we don’t supply that through a nutritious diet we have to expect some issues reflected through the body, just as we would a car if we used the wrong fuel or oil.

  13. I have come to learn that it is never wise to place anything no matter how good or reputable it sounds ahead of the truth of your body.

  14. What might be perfectly fine in our diet one day may not be the same a month, year or period of time later. Our bodies change and so too should be review our diet.

  15. ‘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 love your honesty Leone and cannot but feel that by learning and understanding why we seek particular foods and drinks to comfort us, provide relief and help us survive each day it could help arrest our growing obesity problem.

  16. My skin has recently been showing me that I have been eating foods which my body doesn’t like and not drinking nearly enough water. I love the way the body shows us so readily what we need to hear.

  17. Listening to our heart and following it’s impulses, that make so much sense, one would think would be so easy but if we have been denying this wisdom for a while it takes a while to turn this around. Thank God you had enough commitment, respect and love for yourself to follow through and let such dermatological problems become a thing of the past.

  18. It can be seen as a real blessing the messages we get from the body as they are always there reminding us of what is true. With my body it is my hip reminding me to walk as myself instead of as an ideal or image of what I should be, look or act like.

  19. Our bodies are such great markers for truth and show us the way we are treating them and living. It blows me away really when I stop and think about all the things I have done to my body yet it is still here with me, constantly reminding me of the love that I am. Not many other people/things would have come through and still keep saying; ‘you are love, what was was and what is is. I am here for you no matter what and will always be. We can learn together and then I can truly show you what vitality is like, or I can keep rescuing you and making you stop when you take things too far. The choice is and has always been yours, but know this I am never leaving your side.’

  20. It’s great how the body works and how it tells us what is there to be looked at. I had severe acne for some time and for me it felt devastating, and something I wouldn’t wish for anyone, but at the same time, it showed me something quite profound. I had always relied upon my good looks (yes I said it, I thought I looked amazing, which I did) to gain confidence but when that was eradicated I had to look a bit deeper than skin deep. Although I thought I looked amazing I also realised that it was a quite shallow well to rely upon since once taken away I was left with no real feeling of who I was, so for me, it was a blessing. At the time it really was a blessing in disguise since it felt awful but afterwards, I was left feeling and being way more humble which even my best friend commented on. So my conclusion is that even if what happened to me could be scientifically explained in one way it offered me something more profound and that is that our body and soul know exactly how to cooperate to bring about true healing, and even if that means me feeling at times very uncomfortable it’s just superficial un-comfortability compared to me not being an honest and truthful Matts.

    1. That’s really beautiful Matts, thank you for sharing. It reminds me of a story a complementary health practitioner shared with me many years ago about a client who had been very unpleasant to be around because of their attitude, yet after experiencing cancer this person went through an enormous change and become much easier to spend time with as they had returned to a more loving and caring way of being. In this case, it was as if the person was sick in their being before they became ill and the illness restored a true sense of wellness in their being.

  21. We think our food choices are all about ‘willpower’ and blame ourselves for making ‘incorrect’ or abusive decisions, but what if our food choices were an OUTPLAY of feelings, interactions and emotions that occurred out ten steps before? And it’s our reactions to these things rather than US that reaches for x in the fridge?

  22. Simple proof of the effectiveness of Universal Medicine therapies and not a randomised controlled double blind experiment in sight! Love the simplicity of the body and what happens when we connect to our own truth.

  23. There is so much to be gained by allowing the body to communicate and listening to what allows it to return to its own balance and order. Medication can also be great to support us with many conditions, but sometimes only manages difficult symptoms rather than addressing the underlying causes.

  24. When we build a relationship with our body we can feel what is true for us, and what is not. I had constant spots as a teenager and looking back I can feel it was that I was not connected to me and who I was and so I would eat copious amounts of sugar and sweets…to try and make my life sweeter. It didn’t work and all it did was to get me to crave sugar all the more. Removing the sugar, dairy, alcohol and gluten and my life began to change, and the joy of being connected to me out weighs any of the cravings, and if they do come back I know it is because I am avoiding connection with myself, and the amazing life I now have.

  25. It is very empowering when we start to take responsibility for ourselves and how we take care of our body. The more we are willing to listen and honour what we are feeling inside the more we are able to deeply nurture ourselves and the body responds to naturally restore and rebalance itself.

  26. ‘My beauty comes from within and no pimple is big enough to erase it on the outside’. It is very freeing and beautiful when we come know and accept, that there is nothing on the outside that can diminish our innate beauty. Thank you Leonne, it was a joy to read your open and honest sharing and how you chose to eventually heed you inner voice.

  27. I just remembered: when I was 16, at school a classmate asked me whether my acne was from inside or outside – I didn’t understand the question but somehow I felt ‘inside’ was the right answer and would satisfy my friend. I still didn’t understand what the question was about for the next 20+ years. I could have asked her there and then what she was asking but it was too much for my pride.

  28. What an astonishing situation to have doctors say that diet is not related to acne, it seems that science has ownership of the truth! It highlights how we give our power to things including science when the true evidence is right there in our bodies.

  29. We have to come to a sensible understanding of just how much we are affected by our diet and then take steps to adjust our diet so that it remains supportive of us as we evolve.

  30. “Most importantly, I now know that my beauty has nothing to do with my appearance” – absolutely Leonne and this happened to me when I understood that beauty, real beauty.. is a quality; something that comes from deep within and through the way life is lived. When I started to live with the quality of (self) love I saw not only my own beauty but all that of others too.

  31. Yep it definitely is empowering to know that we can change our health just from listening and responding to our body and confirming also that our lifestyle (livingness) including diet, do have an impact on our health. This should be common sense really, as we wouldn’t pour a bottle of wine or cup of caffeine on a plant and expect it to be okay, so why should it be different with our bodies!

  32. There is a numbing device called photo shop for large billboards, advertising and fashion magazines which convey a false message that abusive lifestyle choices bring flawless skin, which is not true. The young women who are sold this lie and have bought into it have agonized why they do not measure up. The trick is so that we never know our beauty comes from within and from our responsible lifestyle choices.

  33. Leonne, how very simple the answers to our health issues can be, I had IBS for years and none of the experts said it was to do with diet, I decided to see a nutritionist and since changing my diet I no longer suffer from IBS, it is a shame that the link between our diet and our health is not more readily discussed.

  34. “Most importantly, I now know that my beauty has nothing to do with my appearance” – agree Leonne.. a woman’s own beauty is so inextricably tied to how she looks, her skin and so on as a measure, though nothing beats the beauty from her absolute realness. As I’ve been understanding and experiencing over the years, beauty is borne from a lifestyle (choice).. and the quality of this lifestyle and in how we self-relate is what reveals either a surface level or depth of beauty.

  35. Food is something we go to because we are wanting to feel a certain quality in our body, for example lightness, heaviness, dullness, raciness etc. Hence it is never about food but about addressing the quality we truly want to live in our lives.

  36. Realising we have a responsibility for our choices and that we can change these choices when we feel they are not supportive is very empowering. I love how our body clearly communicates when we are off balance, letting us know we need to come back to ourselves and bring a quality to the detail to be able to deeply nurture ourselves.

  37. How wonderfully wise our bodies are. If only we listened to them more. And yes, real beauty comes from within – pimples or no pimples – well said Leonne. When I really started to understand and appreciate this, the desire for unhealthy lifestyle choices diminished greatly and my body reflected this with weight loss and higher energy levels. We really are offered a powerful reflection constantly by our bodies. Life could be very different if we paid more attention.

  38. What we put into our body and how we treat ourselves bears a relationship to how our body reacts and responds and what shows up in or on our bodies. What we breathe, eat, drink and absorb through our skin becomes our blood and how we think determines our movements, our choices and decisions and influences our wellbeing absolutely. I feel if this were not true then doctors and nurses would not ask for blood tests to ascertain our state of wellbeing. Sometimes when we are in positions of authority it can be tempting to give an answer to satisfy our client rather than being more honest and say we don’t know. To me this is far more irresponsible than the assumed responsibility of having to provide an answer. It can not only cause confusion and spread mistruths but also undermines the validity of our profession.

  39. OMG, Hilarious you let Kate Moss give you advice…so funny! I had never considered that my diet might be causing me any issues growing up, as I had what most people considered a very healthy diet with only the occasional junk food that my dad actually convinced me was healthy to eat once in a while (??). I never had acne, but when I did get a pimple it would often be an enormous volcano sized mound on my face that would hang around for up to a month. It was like 5 pimples in one, and painful. When I started to look after myself and consider looking at refining my diet, I eliminated gluten and dairy and I noticed about a year later I no longer got those intense pimples. 9 years on, and I still haven’t had one.

  40. When our body speaks what is supportive for it, we can either adhere to these messages and respond lovingly, or ignore/deny/dismiss and instead abuse ourselves. There really is no middle ground.

  41. Leonne, I love the rawness in which you write, and I can personally relate to this blog since I also had a “acne issue” – and tried everything too. One thing you do undergo when something like this hits your publicness i.e. face.. is you do what you can to ‘resolve it’ through diet and so forth. For me the killer was cream, dairy which I eventually gave up. There was an obvious imbalance in my life at the time to create such a clearing through the spots/face, and for me I recalled it relating to beauty and how I looked, of being seen.. which in my view back then was “far from beautiful due to the spots”.. I recall going somewhere, accidentally leaving my makeup bag at a friends.. and going into utter panic and despair. I had no option but to face the world, my fellow university students, army officers who were training us for a team build project completely bare skinned. It wasn’t until many years [10+] later, thanks to Universal Medicine, that I truly resolved the core issue to do with [my] beauty, which was the way and quality of care I lived, not how I looked physically. The physical outer being pure representation of the inner being at ease with itself to shine true beauty.

  42. We spend the enormous amount of time trying to find solutions for our woes, when we can access everything that is needed just by simply reconnecting to the quality within ourselves that is one with the all.

  43. “My beauty comes from within and no pimple is big enough to erase it on the outside. How incredibly powerful this is.” – Absolutely! Very awesome to recognise the beauty you and we innately are, to reconnect with that knowing inside and let that beauty out without reserve, not judging our appearance according to how we think we should look or need to be ‘picture perfect’.

  44. Sometimes it seems as though we are fighting against ourselves and our inner wisdom, and make life harder for ourselves. I would say I have been doing the same off and on all of my adult life – knowing some foods give me a constant runny nose and yet I continue to eat them. The reason I know this is because I have experimented and stopped eating the offending foods and the condition has cleared up, and then when the food starts to creep back into my diet the symptoms return. Maybe we would be wiser to listen to our bodies full stop.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s